Diatribe of a Mad Housewife

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Diatribe of a Mad Housewife"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.323
Directed byMark Kirkland
Written byRobin J. Stein
Showrunner(s)Al Jean
Production codeFABF05
Original air dateJanuary 25, 2004
Couch gagThe Simpsons’ heads pop out of a slice of apple pie. Homer takes a bite out of the pie.
CommentaryAl Jean
Ian Maxtone-Graham
Matt Selman
Michael Price
Tom Gammill
Max Pross

Matt Warburton
David Silverman
Mike B. Anderson
Steven Dean Moore
Guest appearance(s)

Tom Clancy as himself
Thomas Pynchon as himself
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as themselves


"Diatribe of a Mad Housewife" is the tenth episode of The Simpsons' fifteenth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 25, 2004. Marge is inspired to write a romance novel, though after Homer hears rumors that Marge is secretly in love with Ned Flanders due to the storyline of the novel, he grows jealous. Meanwhile, Homer buys an ambulance and becomes an ambulance driver.


After his reckless driving causes an accident, Homer is fired from his job at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Homer attempts to become a car salesman, but ends up purchasing a 1959 ambulance; he begins acting as a paramedic. Meanwhile, Marge is inspired to write a novel after a visit to a bookstore, and begins to write about whaling times. The main characters in Marge's novel are inspired by herself, Homer (who is the villain), and Ned Flanders, while romance is the central theme. She completes the book, titled The Harpooned Heart, and after it receives positive reviews, she decides to get it published. Helen Lovejoy soon begins to spread rumors that the novel is based on Marge's life.

After Homer is teased by several people, who imply that Ned is Marge's secret love, Homer decides to read the book. After arguing with Marge, Homer decides to get revenge on Ned. He chases him in his ambulance after Ned flees. Ned is sure Homer is going to kill him when they are on the cliff, and is stunned when Homer drops to his knees and begs Ned to show him how to be a good husband. Marge arrives in a panic but is relieved that Homer and Ned are speaking. Homer and Marge later decide to make create a novel, titled "Who Really Killed JFK".


In the episode, reclusive author Thomas Pynchon has a cameo appearance, wearing a paper bag within a question mark on his head.[1] This is intended to satirise the author's "own carefully crafted anonymity". His appearance on The Simpsons was "his only sanctioned authorial image in decades".[2] He later appeared in the season 16 episode "All's Fair in Oven War".[3]

Dr. Marvin Monroe appears in this episode. He had not been seen since early seasons. Harry Shearer, who plays him, did not like doing the voice as it hurt his throat. The character had been subtly suggested to be dead, and mentions in this episode that he has just "been very sick".

The Psychology of the Simpsons: D'oh! cites a section of dialogue from the episode to illustrate its point that "Homer and Marge don't seem to be very good at communicating before making important decisions".[4]

Critical reception[edit]

DVDMG commented that the episode over-explained a decent joke - about Moby-Dick - making it lose its funniness. The site added that "'Diatribe' takes two lackluster premises to combine into a forgettable show".[5]


  1. ^ Keith Booker, M (2006-01-01). "Drawn to Television: Prime-time Animation from the Flintstones to Family Guy". ISBN 9780275990190.
  2. ^ Finn, Edward Frederick (2011). "The Social Lives of Books: Literary Networks in Contemporary American Fiction".
  3. ^ Cowart, David (2012-01-15). "Thomas Pynchon and the Dark Passages of History". ISBN 9780820337098.
  4. ^ Alan S. Brown; Chris Logan (2013-08-21). "The Psychology of the Simpsons: D'oh!". ISBN 9781935251392.
  5. ^ "The Simpsons: The Complete Fifteenth Season (2003)". www.dvdmg.com. Retrieved 26 May 2018.

External links[edit]