The Twisted World of Marge Simpson

"The Twisted World of Marge Simpson" is the eleventh episode of The Simpsons' eighth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 19, 1997.[1] It was written by Jennifer Crittenden and directed by Chuck Sheetz.[1] The episode guest stars Jack Lemmon as Frank Ormand and Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony.[1] In the episode, Marge starts her own pretzels business.

"The Twisted World of Marge Simpson"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.Season 8
Episode 11
Directed byChuck Sheetz
Written byJennifer Crittenden
Production code4F08
Original air dateJanuary 19, 1997
Guest appearance(s)

Jack Lemmon as Frank Ormand
Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony

Episode features
Chalkboard gag"I am not licensed to do anything"[1]
Couch gagThe couch is a giant Whack-A-Mole game.[2]
CommentaryMatt Groening
Josh Weinstein
Chuck Sheetz


At a meeting of the Springfield Investorettes, Marge admits that she is reluctant to invest money in high-risk ventures and is ejected from the group while receiving her refund deposit of $500.00. After some consideration, Lisa convinces Marge to buy her own franchise. During a Franchise Expo, the Investorettes become members of the glamorous, but containing suspicious ingredients, "Fleet-A-Pita" franchise, prompting Marge to join a much smaller one called "Pretzel Wagon" as a response, owned by a man named Frank Ormand. After watching a promotional video, Marge sets up a makeshift office in her garage, distributes flyers, and with Homer, Bart, and Lisa's help, proceeds to make pretzels.

To begin with, Marge sets up shop outside the Springfield Power Plant, with Homer convincing his colleagues to each try the new snack. The business gets customers initially; however, the Investorettes' Fleet-A-Pita van rolls up, and within a few seconds, converts Marge's customers. Lisa suggests that Marge "think big", and so the family offer "Free Pretzel Day" at the Springfield Isotopes baseball stadium. Before the crowd has a chance to consume their pretzels, it is announced that Mr. Burns has won a 1997 Pontiac Astrowagon in the day's give-away competition. The supporters react angrily to the news and bombard the field with the pretzels, knocking out Whitey Ford in the process. No one tries the food, and Marge's efforts end in vain once again. Homer, seeing Marge depressed, decides to search for someone who can help Marge.

After discovering that Frank Ormand has died in a car accident, Homer establishes a secret business agreement with Fat Tony. The following day, Marge surprisingly receives a large order for pretzels and the business is reinvigorated. Many snack-food vendors are intimidated by the mob, culminating with the Investorettes' Fleet-A-Pita van being detonated. Fat Tony greets Homer and demands payment, but he instead inflicts self-guilt on Fat Tony by telling Fat Tony that he only helped Homer so that he could get something back. Fat Tony leaves hanging his head in shame but immediately realizes that Homer has just tricked him. As a result, one early morning Marge is given an order to be delivered to a remote location on the outskirts of the town, where she is approached by Fat Tony and his gang. He informs her of the deal he made with Homer and claims that he is entitled to a 100 percent stake of Marge's profits. Marge confronts Homer and he comes clean, explaining that he was only trying to help her. Marge decides to refuse to pay any money to the mafia and to go on making pretzels. The following morning the mob arrives and Marge makes her decision clear to them. As the mob advances on her, the Investorettes, after having their ship confiscated due to the ingredients being illegal, have decided to bring in the Japanese Yakuza to try to kill Fat Tony's mob. The rival gangs begin to fight and the Simpsons retreat to the house. Inside the house Marge tells the kids to go back to bed and forgives Homer for trying to help her, even though he made the situation worse.


The main plot of the episode concerning the two rival snack food franchises was selected because at the time of production, pita bread and pretzels were "becoming popular".[3] Josh Weinstein expressed his wish that the ideas had been changed to something more "fun", as both snacks have since "gone out of fashion".[3] The Fleet-A-Pita chef was an early version of the "Khlav-Kalash" man from "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson".[3] At the Expo, many of the franchises were based on real franchises and get-rich-quick schemes.[3] In the scene where Homer is inspecting pretzels, there was originally a shot where he gave a thumbs down to Maggie's pretzel.[4]

The episode was written by Jennifer Crittenden who wrote four other episodes. Homer's line "Yeah, Homer's right" during the scene where the pretzel wagon arrives was ad-libbed by Dan Castellaneta.[3] In another scene, Cletus calls for his many children to come out of the house; the names of which were all "trendy names from the nineties".[3] The 1997 Pontiac Astrowagon that Mr. Burns wins was designed to accurately resemble one.[3] The episode's final scene, the mob war, was conceived by Matt Groening as no one else could come up with an ending.[5]

Cultural references

Jack Lemmon - 1968
Guest star Jack Lemmon's portrayal of Frank Ormand was based on his role in Glengarry Glen Ross.

The scene in which the Springfield Mafia destroy all of the competition to "Pretzel Wagon" is based on a scene from Goodfellas.[3] Frank Ormand's "You'll be there" speech mirrors that of Tom Joad from John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.[1] Lemmon's portrayal of Frank Ormand is based on the character Shelley Levene from the film Glengarry Glen Ross, also played by Lemmon.[3] The character Gil Gunderson, who would not be introduced until the ninth season episode "Realty Bites", was also based on Levene.[5] Rumer and Scout, two of Cletus's children, are named after Bruce Willis and Demi Moore's children.[3] The scene where baseball fans cause a riot by throwing pretzels after Mr. Burns wins a new car, is based on an incident where the Los Angeles Dodgers were forced to forfeit. It happened on August 10, 1995, when the fans threw promotional baseballs onto the field to protest a bad call during the 9th inning.[6]


In its original broadcast, "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson" finished 55th in ratings for the week of January 13–19, 1997, with a Nielsen rating of 8.2, equivalent to approximately 8.0 million viewing households. It was the fifth-highest-rated show on the Fox network that week, following The X-Files, King of the Hill, Melrose Place, and Beverly Hills, 90210.[7]

The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, called it "A clever, and rather unusual, idea for an episode that shows a frightening bitchiness beneath the middle-class veneer of smalltown businesswomen."[2] The scene with Cletus's children is one of two scenes from this episode that Josh Weinstein considers to be "classic", with the second being the sequence when the crowd throw their free pretzels onto the baseball field, knocking Whitey Ford unconscious.[3] The Ford scene was placed 24th on's list of the "Top 100 Simpsons sport moments", released in 2004. Greg Collins, the author of the list, added that "Every time it looks like a fight is about to start at a baseball game, I start quoting this scene."[8] The A.V. Club named the baseball commentator's line "Aaaannnd heeerrre come the pretzels" one of the quotes from The Simpsons that can be used in everyday situations.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e Groening, Matt (1997). Richmond, Ray; Coffman, Antonia (eds.). The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family (1st ed.). New York: HarperPerennial. ISBN 978-0-06-095252-5. LCCN 98141857. OCLC 37796735. OL 433519M. p. 223.
  2. ^ a b Martyn, Warren; Wood, Adrian (2000). "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson". BBC. Retrieved April 6, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Weinstein, Josh (2006). The Simpsons The Complete Eighth Season DVD commentary for the episode "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  4. ^ Sheetz, Chuck (2006). The Simpsons The Complete Eighth Season DVD commentary for the episode "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  5. ^ a b Groening, Matt (2006). The Simpsons The Complete Eighth Season DVD commentary for the episode "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Associated Press (January 23, 1997). "Thursday sweep leads NBC to top". Sun-Sentinel. p. 4E.
  8. ^ Collins, Greg (January 23, 2004). "The Simpsons Got Game". Archived from the original on August 24, 2007. Retrieved March 29, 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ Bahn, Christopher; Donna Bowman, Josh Modell, Noel Murray, Nathan Rabin, Tasha Robinson, Kyle Ryan, Scott Tobias (April 26, 2006). "Beyond "D'oh!": Simpsons Quotes For Everyday Use". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on July 9, 2008. Retrieved April 24, 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

External links

Batavia, New York

Batavia is a city in and the county seat of Genesee County, New York, United States. It is near the center of the county, surrounded by the Town of Batavia, which is a separate municipality. Its population as of the 2010 census was 15,465. The name Batavia is Latin for the Betuwe region of the Netherlands, and honors early Dutch land developers.The city hosts the Batavia Muckdogs baseball club of the New York–Penn League, at the Dwyer Stadium, at 299 Bank Street. The Muckdogs are an affiliate of the Miami Marlins. They won the 2008 championship. In 2006, a national magazine ranked Batavia third among the nation's micropolitans based on economic development.The New York State Thruway (Interstate 90) passes north of the city. Genesee County Airport (GVQ) is also north of the city.


Chuck Sheetz

Chuck Sheetz is an animation director on The Simpsons. He was the producer on What's New, Scooby-Doo? and the director of the TV series, Recess. He has also done work on Bobby's World, Rocko's Modern Life, King of the Hill, The Critic, Fresh Beat Band of Spies, Welcome to Eltingville and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle in addition to directing the Drawn Together episode "Captain Hero's Marriage Pact". Sheetz graduated from UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

Fat Tony (The Simpsons)

Marion Anthony "Fat Tony" D'Amico is a recurring character in the animated sitcom The Simpsons. He is voiced by Joe Mantegna and first appeared in the third season episode "Bart the Murderer". Fat Tony is a gangster and the underboss of the Springfield Mafia. His henchmen include Legs, Louie, and Johnny Tightlips, and he answers to Don Vittorio DiMaggio. The character somewhat resembles real-life mobster "Fat Tony" Salerno. While serving his terms, Salerno died in a federal facility located in Springfield, Missouri.

Hang in there, Baby

Hang in there, Baby is a popular catchphrase and motivational poster. There were several versions of the "Hang In There, Baby" poster, featuring a picture of a cat or kitten, hanging onto a stick, tree branch, pole or rope. The original poster featured a black and white photograph of a Siamese kitten clinging to a bamboo pole and was first published in late 1971 as a poster by Los Angeles photographer Victor Baldwin. It has since become a popular relic of the 1970s.

Jack Lemmon

John Uhler Lemmon III (February 8, 1925 – June 27, 2001) was an American actor who was nominated for an Academy Award eight times, winning twice. He starred in over 60 films, such as Mister Roberts (1955, for which he won the year's Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor), Some Like It Hot (1959), The Apartment (1960), Days of Wine and Roses (1962), Irma la Douce (1963), The Great Race (1965), The Odd Couple (1968, and its sequel The Odd Couple II (1998), both with frequent co-star Walter Matthau), Save the Tiger (1973, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor), The China Syndrome (1979), Missing (1982), and Glengarry Glen Ross (1992).

Jack Lemmon filmography

Jack Lemmon (born John Uhler Lemmon III, February 8, 1925 – June 27, 2001) was an American actor of film, stage and television. He had an extended professional relationship with the director Billy Wilder and the actor Walter Matthau.

Jennifer Crittenden

Jennifer Crittenden (born August 29, 1969) is an American screenwriter and producer. She started her writing career on the animated television series The Simpsons, and has since written for several other television sitcoms including Everybody Loves Raymond and Seinfeld. Her work has earned her several Emmy Award nominations.

List of The Simpsons couch gags

The Simpsons is an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The opening sequence of The Simpsons features a couch gag: a "twist of events that befalls the Simpson family at the end of every credit sequence as they converge on their living-room couch to watch TV." The couch gag is a running visual joke near the end of the opening sequence.

The couch gag changes from episode to episode and usually features the Simpson family's living room couch. A typical gag features the Simpsons running into the living room, only to find some abnormality with the couch, be it a bizarre and unexpected occupant, an odd placement of the couch, such as on the ceiling, or any number of other situations, such as to make a pop culture reference. Longer couch gags have sometimes been used to fill time in shorter episodes, such as in "Lisa's First Word", "The Front" and "Cape Feare". The show's 500th episode "At Long Last Leave" showcases each couch gag that was used in the series.

List of The Simpsons episodes (seasons 1–20)

The Simpsons is an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. It is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its eponymous family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield, and lampoons American culture, society, and television, as well as many aspects of the human condition. The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of the Fox series The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime-time show that was an early hit for Fox.Since its debut on December 17, 1989, The Simpsons has broadcast 662 episodes. The show holds several American television longevity records. It is the longest-running prime-time animated series and longest-running sitcom in the United States. On February 19, 2012, The Simpsons reached its 500th episode in the twenty-third season. With its twenty-first season (2009–10), the series surpassed Gunsmoke in seasons to claim the spot as the longest-running American prime-time scripted television series, and later also surpassed Gunsmoke in episode count with the episode "Forgive and Regret" on April 29, 2018.Episodes of The Simpsons have won dozens of awards, including 31 Emmy Awards (with ten for Outstanding Animated Program), 30 Annie Awards, and a Peabody Award. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 26 and 27, 2007 and grossed US$526.2 million worldwide. The first eighteen seasons are available on DVD in regions 1, 2, and 4, with the twentieth season released on both DVD and Blu-ray in 2010 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series. On April 8, 2015, show runner Al Jean announced that there would be no more DVD or Blu-ray releases, shifting focus to digital distribution, although this was later reversed on July 22, 2017. Another two years later, on July 20, 2019, it was announced that Season 19 will be released on December 3, 2019 on DVD.On November 4, 2016, The Simpsons was renewed for seasons 29 and 30. It reached its 600th episode on October 16, 2016, in its twenty-eighth season. The thirtieth season ended on May 12, 2019. On February 6, 2019, The Simpsons was renewed for seasons 31 and 32, in which the latter will contain the 700th episode.Season 31 will premiere on September 29, 2019.

List of The Simpsons guest stars (seasons 1–20)

In addition to the show's regular cast of voice actors, celebrity guest stars have been a staple of The Simpsons, an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company, since its first season. The Simpsons focuses on the eponymous family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. The family was initially conceived by Groening for a series of animated shorts, which originally aired as a part of The Tracey Ullman Show between 1987 and 1989. The shorts were developed into a half-hour prime time series which began in December 1989. The series' 29th season began in October 2017 and 662 episodes of The Simpsons have aired. A feature film adaptation of the series called The Simpsons Movie, was released in 2007.

Guest voices have come from a wide range of professions, including actors, athletes, authors, musicians, artists, politicians and scientists. In the show's early years most guest stars voiced original characters, but as the show has continued the number of those appearing as themselves has increased.

The first credited guest star was Marcia Wallace who appeared in "Bart the Genius" in her first stint as Bart's teacher Edna Krabappel. Singer Tony Bennett was the first guest star to appear as himself, appearing briefly in the season two episode "Dancin' Homer". Several guest stars have featured as recurring characters on the show, including Phil Hartman, Joe Mantegna and Kelsey Grammer. Hartman made the most appearances, guest starring 52 times. Grammer, Mantegna, Maurice LaMarche and Frank Welker have appeared twenty times or more; Jon Lovitz and Jackie Mason have appeared over ten times, while Albert Brooks, Glenn Close, Michael Dees, Dana Gould, Terry W. Greene, Valerie Harper, Jan Hooks, Jane Kaczmarek, Stacy Keach, Kipp Lennon, J. K. Simmons, Sally Stevens, George Takei and Michael York have made over five appearances.

Two guest stars, Ricky Gervais and Seth Rogen, earned writing credits for the episodes in which they appeared. Grammer, Mason and three-time guest star Anne Hathaway all won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for guest voice roles on the show. The show was awarded the Guinness World Record for "Most Guest Stars Featured in a TV Series" in 2010. As of May 12, 2019, there have been 826 guest stars on the show[A], with this figure rising to 831 if The Simpsons Movie is included.

List of one-time The Simpsons characters

The following is a list of one-time characters from the American animated television comedy series The Simpsons.

Some of the characters have returned to the show, sometimes in brief speaking appearances, or just 'in the crowd' scenes. Other characters originally intended to be one-time characters have ended up becoming regular cast members, such as Cletus Spuckler, Luigi Risotto, Disco Stu, Groundskeeper Willie, Crazy Cat Lady, Cookie Kwan and Lindsey Naegle.

For purposes of this list, "one-time" means they were central to an episode one time. Some of the characters listed here have appeared in later episodes, but only briefly. The characters are sorted by episode.

List of recurring The Simpsons characters

The Simpsons includes a large array of supporting characters: co-workers, teachers, family friends, extended relatives, townspeople, local celebrities, fictional characters within the show, and even animals. The writers originally intended many of these characters as one-time jokes or for fulfilling needed functions in the town. A number of them have gained expanded roles and have subsequently starred in their own episodes. According to the creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening, the show adopted the concept of a large supporting cast from the Canadian sketch comedy show Second City Television.

Marge Simpson

Marjorie Jacqueline "Marge" Simpson (née Bouvier) is a fictional character in the American animated sitcom The Simpsons and part of the eponymous family. She is voiced by Julie Kavner and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Marge was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his mother Margaret Groening. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three seasons, the Simpson family received their own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989.

Marge is the matriarch of the Simpson family. With her husband Homer, she has three children: Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. Marge is the moralistic force in her family and often provides a grounding voice in the midst of her family's antics by trying to maintain order in the Simpson household. She is often portrayed as a stereotypical television mother and is often included on lists of top "TV moms". She has appeared in other media relating to The Simpsons—including video games, The Simpsons Movie, The Simpsons Ride, commercials, and comic books—and inspired an entire line of merchandise.

Marge's distinctive blue beehive hairstyle was inspired by a combination of the Bride's in Bride of Frankenstein and the style that Margaret Groening wore in the 1960s. Julie Kavner, who was a member of the original cast of The Tracey Ullman Show, was asked to voice Marge so that more voice actors would not be needed. Kavner has won several awards for voicing Marge, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 1992. She was also nominated for an Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature for her performance in The Simpsons Movie. In 2000, Marge, along with the rest of her family, was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Motivational poster

A motivational poster, or inspirational poster, is a type of poster commonly designed for use in schools and offices.

Mountain of Madness

"Mountain of Madness" is the twelfth episode of The Simpsons' eighth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 2, 1997. In the episode, Mr. Burns forces the workers of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant to go for a team-building hike in the mountains. Burns and Homer are paired together and trapped in a cabin that gets buried by multiple avalanches.

"Mountain of Madness" was directed by Mark Kirkland and written by John Swartzwelder. The script underwent many rewrites and the story was completely rewritten. Several new designs and backgrounds had to be created for the wilderness scenes. The episode received mostly positive reviews.

The Lineman

"The Lineman," originally entitled "Man, Go Man," is an instrumental composed by Ralph Dollimore. The best-known version of the song is a cover version that was produced by Sam Spence, which has been featured in many NFL Films highlights videos and documentaries.

This song is also predominant in Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants, usually playing in the title cards. The song was also played in The Simpsons episode "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson". It has also been played in an advertisement for the PlayStation JAMPACK demo discs.

Recently, this song has been played in a trailer for the Nickelodeon show Penguins of Madagascar.

This song is also the main theme for the trailer of the DS game Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force.

This song was also featured in the Sam Spence album Power and Glory: The Original Music & Voice of NFL Films.

The Simpsons (season 8)

The Simpsons' eighth season originally aired on the Fox network between October 27, 1996, and May 18, 1997, beginning with "Treehouse of Horror VII". The showrunners for the eighth production season were Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein. The aired season contained two episodes that were hold-over episodes from season seven, which Oakley and Weinstein also ran. It also contained two episodes for which Al Jean and Mike Reiss were the show runners.

Season eight received critical acclaim and won multiple awards, including two Emmy Awards: "Homer's Phobia" won for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or Less) in 1997, and Alf Clausen and Ken Keeler won for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music and Lyrics" with the song "We Put the Spring in Springfield" from the episode "Bart After Dark". Clausen also received an Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Music Direction" for "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious". "Brother from Another Series" was nominated for the Emmy for "Sound Mixing For a Comedy Series or a Special". For "Homer's Phobia", Mike Anderson won the Annie Award for Best Individual Achievement: Directing in a TV Production, and the WAC Winner Best Director for Primetime Series at the 1998 World Animation Celebration. Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation awarded the episode the GLAAD Media Award for "Outstanding TV – Individual Episode".The DVD box set was released in Region 1 on August 15, 2006, Region 2 on October 2, 2006, and Region 4 on September 27, 2006. The set was released in two different forms: a Maggie-shaped head to match the Homer and Marge shaped heads of the previous two sets and also a standard rectangular shaped box. Like the seventh season box set, both versions are available for sale separately.

The Springfield Files

"The Springfield Files" is the tenth episode of The Simpsons' eighth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 12, 1997. In the episode, Homer believes he has discovered an alien in Springfield. It was written by Reid Harrison and directed by Steven Dean Moore. Leonard Nimoy guest stars as himself and David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson guest star as agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, their characters on The X-Files. The episode serves as a crossover with The X-Files and features numerous references to the series. The story came from former showrunners Al Jean and Mike Reiss, who returned to produce this episode while under contract with The Walt Disney Company. It received mostly positive reviews from critics; Jean and Reiss won an Annie Award for producing it.

Whitey Ford

Edward Charles "Whitey" Ford (born October 21, 1928), nicknamed "The Chairman of the Board", is an American former professional baseball pitcher who played his entire 16-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career with the New York Yankees. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.

Ford is a ten-time MLB All-Star and six-time World Series champion. In 1961 Ford won both the Cy Young Award and World Series Most Valuable Player Award. He led the American League in wins three times and in earned run average twice. The Yankees retired Ford's uniform number 16 in his honor.

In the wake of Yogi Berra's death in 2015, George Vecsey, writing in the New York Times, suggested that Ford is now "The Greatest Living Yankee."

Season 8
Themed episodes
See also


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