The Blue and the Gray (The Simpsons)

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"The Blue and the Gray"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no. 477
Directed by Bob Anderson
Written by Rob LaZebnik
Showrunner(s) Al Jean
Production code NABF06
Original air date February 13, 2011
Chalkboard gag "I will not make fun of Cupid's dink"
Couch gag Homer injures himself on the way to the couch, with Barney substituting for him à la a basketball player while Homer is stretchered away.

"The Blue and the Gray" is the thirteenth episode of the twenty-second season of the animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 13, 2011.


After spending another Valentine's Day alone, Moe attends a seminar led by Dr. Kissingher in the hopes of gaining more confidence with women. Moe takes the doctor’s advice and asks Homer to be his wingman. Meanwhile, Marge discovers her first gray hairs, only to find out that she is completely grey and the fumes from the chemical used blanks her memory of the dye job and surprises both her family and the neighborhood by going completely gray and sporting a brand new mature hairdo, but Bart is not happy when the neighborhood kids tease him about Marge’s look. Later, Marge confronts Homer when she learns that he is becoming increasingly popular with the young ladies, but Homer helps Marge realize that he only has eyes for her and proves that love is still in the Springfield air.[1]


Marge is shocked in this episode to discover that her hair is graying, even though the season 5 episode "Secrets of a Successful Marriage" established that Marge already has gray hair, and indeed went prematurely gray ("she's been gray as a mule since she was 17"). However, the writers acknowledge the continuity issues by having Marge's hairstylist explain that the fumes from the blue hair dye he uses cause partial memory damage, so she simply forgot that her hair was already gray.

Cultural references[edit]

When Marge and Lisa are in the supermarket, Lisa picks up a magazine with Jessica Simpson on the cover, saying "Let's see what Cousin Jessica is up to" (referring to the fact that they share their surname). When Homer explains that he is a wingman, he cites Val Kilmer in Top Gun and Wedge Antilles in Star Wars as prominent examples. In the final scene, a segment of "L'amour est bleu" ("Love is Blue") by André Popp is played, appropriately making reference to the theme of the episode. The specific recording used was "Love is Blue" by Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra. During the credits, and the sequence in which Marge appears as a witch, an extended theme of 'Mrs Gulch' and the Wicked Witch is played from The Wizard of Oz. The episode's title references the novel The Red and the Black.


In its original American broadcast, "The Blue and the Gray" was viewed by an estimated 5.618 million households and received a 2.7 rating/7% share among adults between the ages of 18 and 49.[2] This episode marked a 10% drop from the previous episode, "Homer the Father".[2] This might have been due to the episode airing against the 53rd Grammy Awards.[2]

The episode was met with lukewarm reviews from critics, who called it "funny" but "unmemorable".[3] The "Worst Episode Ever" Simpsons podcast has, as of September 2015, deemed this its "worst episode ever."


  1. ^ "Schedule (February 6 - February 12)". FoxFlash. Retrieved 2011-02-02. 
  2. ^ a b c Gorman, Bill (2011-02-14). "TV Ratings Sunday: ‘Grammy Awards’ Rise; ‘Desperate Housewives,’ ‘Brothers & Sisters,’ ‘Makeover’ Hit Lows; ‘American Dad,’ ‘Simpsons,’ ‘Bob’s Burger’s,’ ‘Family Guy’ Down". Retrieved 2011-02-20.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "tvratings" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^ Hochberger, Eric (2011-02-14). "The Simpsons Review: "The Blue and the Gray"". TV Fanatic. She Knows Entertainment. Retrieved 2011-03-07.