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"Tennis the Menace"
The Simpsons episode
Tennis the Menace.JPG
Episode no. 260
Prod. code CABF07[1]
Orig. airdate February 11, 2001
Show runner(s) Mike Scully
Written by Ian Maxtone-Graham
Directed by Jen Kamerman
Chalkboard "I will not publish the principal's credit report"
Couch gag The living room floor is frozen over. The Simpsons ice skate to the couch. When Homer sits down, his side falls through the ice.
Guest star(s) Andre Agassi as himself
Pete Sampras as himself
Venus and Serena Williams as themselves

Mike Scully
Al Jean
Ian Maxtone-Graham
Matt Selman
John Frink
Don Payne
Max Pross
Phil Rosenthal

"Tennis the Menace" is the twelfth episode of the twelfth season of The Simpsons which originally aired February 11, 2001. This is also the second episode (the first being season seven's "Radioactive Man") to be digitally colored instead of colored traditionally through cel animation, a practice that would later be used starting with the season 14 episode, The Great Louse Detective.



The Springfield Retirement Castle holds a talent show, which the Simpsons attend. Grampa wins the show after performing a painful version of What's New, Pussycat? His prize is a free autopsy, so the Simpsons go to a funeral salesman. Instead, Homer realizes that a certain kind of cemetery monument uses the same amount of cement as a tennis court, and so Homer decides to get the house a tennis court, even though Homer mistook tennis for foxy boxing (or, as Homer puts it, "the sport where the chicks whale on each other", though, it should be noted that Homer knew that the "sport" had a name in the season six episode Lisa on Ice) and, as it is, The Simpsons can hardly afford the mortgage on their house (as seen in "Homer vs. Patty and Selma" and later touched on in full on "No Loan Again, Naturally").

The court is very popular with Springfield's residents, and yet, these residents mock Homer and Marge for losing all the time due to Homer's absent-mindedness. (Lou calls them the "L.A. Clippers of backyard tennis"). Homer tries to please Marge by entering Krusty's celebrity tournament, the "Krusty Kharity Klassic". However Homer is a hopeless tennis player and so Marge "dumps" him and enters with Bart as her new partner. Homer is outraged that he was abandoned for a ten year old. He receives a nightmare where Bart and Marge are married and he is a wall trophy, after being shot at a guillotine factory. Homer enters the tournament with Lisa as his partner.

The tournament takes place and in the stands are leading tennis pros Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Venus Williams and Serena Williams. At the tournament, Homer dumps Lisa for Venus Williams. In response, Marge replaces Bart with Serena Williams as her partner. Ultimately, Serena and Venus replace Marge and Homer with Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, respectively. This forces the family to go back to the bench and resume their normal places in the family; as they enjoy the exhibition of top-class tennis, they agree that it is better to watch things than to do things and Homer offers to go eat dinner with money he took from Pete Sampras' wallet.


The episode is written by Ian Maxtone-Graham and directed by Jen Kamerman. The writer Ian who is bad at tennis thought it would be a good idea for Homer [2]. Ian also did research on cemeteries to write it right.[2] Ian also had a friend to guest star who is a professional tennis player, but forgot to include him.[2] In the commentary it was revealed that ever since season 14, the censors have called a moratorium on showing Homer's bare butt.[3] It is the first episode produced with computer animation.[3]Al Jean directed Pete Sampras while Ian Maxtone-Graham directed the Williams sisters.[4] There were many alternate endings to the episode.[2]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d Maxtone-Graham, Ian. (2009). The Simpsons The Complete Twelfth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Tennis the Menace". [DVD]. 20th Century Fox. 
  3. ^ a b Jean, Al. (2009). The Simpsons The Complete Twelfth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Tennis the Menace". [DVD]. 20th Century Fox. 
  4. ^ Frink, John. (2009). The Simpsons The Complete Twelfth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Tennis the Menace". [DVD]. 20th Century Fox. 

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