Love Is a Many-Splintered Thing

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"Love Is a Many-Splintered Thing"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no. 520
Directed by Michael Polcino
Written by Tim Long
Showrunner(s) Al Jean
Production code RABF07
Original air date February 10, 2013 (2013-02-10)
Chalkboard gag "I was not nominated for "Best Spoken Swear Word""
Couch gag The Simpsons all look like Moe Szyslak (as seen in the couch gag for "She Used to Be My Girl") and announce that their new sitcom, The Szyslaks has been cancelled.
Guest appearance(s)

"Love is a Many-Splintered Thing" is the twelfth episode of the 24th season of The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 10, 2013, as a Valentine's Day themed episode, the name being a take on Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing.


Narrating the episode, Bart looks back upon his failures with girls, particularly Mary Spuckler. At Springfield Elementary School, Bart realizes that Mary has returned to Springfield and has been welcomed back to her family after the events of "Moonshine River". Though they pursue a relationship, Bart fails to pay enough attention to Mary and is instead focused on video games. Despite Lisa's warnings, Bart continues to take Mary for granted until she tells him that they should take a break. Bart recognizes the expression as a warning sign for a potential breakup. Additionally, she starts showing interest in a prosperous boy from Brazil. Eventually, it becomes clear to Bart that Mary has broken up with him, after she sings a breakup song to him over the phone.

During an argument between Homer and Marge, Bart takes Homer's side, arguing that men cannot be expected to understand women when women never come out and say what they are thinking. In response, Marge tells Homer exactly what she thinks of him, leading to both Bart and Homer being kicked out of the house. The two promptly settle into Brokewood Apartments, an apartment for failed husbands who were kicked out by their wives. Bart and Homer initially become accustomed to their new situation, but the two, along with all of the other husbands, soon realize that they have to win their loves back, which they learn to do by watching British rom-com movies. Taking this into play, Bart, Homer, and the husbands invite Mary, Marge, and the other wives over to the apartment and sing to the tune of The Ode to Joy. It wins the hearts of every women except for Mary, who has started dating the Brazilian boy. The episode ends with Lisa informing Bart that women should not be taken for granted, and afterwards, Bart visits a social media site, where he sees Mary's relationship status change to "single", and he sends a message to her reading, "I miss you." In a post-credits scene, he receives a video call from Mary (newly widowed).


Picture Of Benedict.
Benedict Cumberbatch guest-starred in this episode.

Benedict Cumberbatch was cast for his role after having a meeting at the same studio where The Simpsons record their voice-overs. After hearing that there was an uncast role, he commented: "I said, 'I hate to muscle in here, guys, but could I record it?' Next thing, I'm standing in a room with all those famous voices: Bart, Marge, Homer, Lisa."[1] His two small roles in the episode were not Sherlock-related; instead, he portrayed the British Prime Minister and Severus Snape, in a spoof of Love Actually.[2]



The episode received 2.0 in the 18-49 demographic and was watched by a total of 4.19 million people. This made it the second most watched show on Fox's Animation Domination line up that night after Family Guy, beating Bob's Burgers, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

The episode was met with mostly negative reviews, with Robert David Sullivan of The A.V. Club giving it a D+, saying, "This is an unusually focused story for The Simpsons, but it's padded out by self-deprecating cameos and perfunctory, Family Guy-style celebrity impressions."[4] Rob H. Dawson of TV Equals said, "I just found 'Love is a Many Splintered Thing' to be completely boring and unsatisfying, is all."[5]

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