Bart After Dark
A Milhouse Divided
Lisa's Date with Density


  • The producers had contacted Sheryl Crow and asked her to record Kirk's song "Can I Borrow A Feeling" to play over the closing credits. Crow declined, and instead a sax version of the normal credits is played.
  • The opening scene of the family eating dinner in front of the television with TV trays is used as a test for background artists who want to work on the show.
  • This is the only episode written entirely by Steve Tompkins, although he had been a member of the writing staff for several years.
  • The writers wanted to break a typical sitcom convention by having the Van Houten's divorce, and remained divorced at the end, as opposed to the stereotypical sitcom which often has a "reset button technique" of change being unchanged by the end, or the "happy ending in 30 minutes or less", in which actors neatly solve all their problems by the end of each show.
  • The episode's subplot was originally about Bart wanting Homer and Marge to divorce after seeing that children of divorced families (like Milhouse) get extra attention. Milhouse of Sand and Fog would reuse the plot line of Bart nearly sabotaging Homer and Marge's marriage for attention purposes due to Milhouse and his parents, the only difference being that Homer and Marge's marriage being on the rocks was an unintentional result rather than deliberate, and Milhouse was the one who came up with the idea as he enjoyed the attention he got from his own parents fighting for it.
  • The sign outside of the Cracker Factory reads: "Southern Cracker: The dryyyyyyyy cracker."
  • The wedding flashback from I Married Marge is used again in this episode, along with a new scene where Homer and Marge are at a cake store.
  • As with the "Skinner and the Superintendent" (Steamed Hams) segment from 22 Short Films About Springfield, the scene where Bart hits Homer over the head with a chair has become a recent meme.
  • This is the first episode in which Kearney Zzyzwicz is shown to have a son and mentions previously being married. This goes on to be a recurring gag.

Cultural References

  • Homer mentions that he pictured his marriage as is but he also thought they would be, "driving around in a van solving mysteries," referencing the TV series Scooby Doo, Where Are You?
  • Milhouse's toy car is designed to look like a S-class Mercedes.
  • Bart recognizes Luann's new boyfriend as Pyro, from the syndicated game show American Gladiators.
  • The Allied Biscuit box logo looks similar to the one for Nabisco.
  • The song "I Love the Nightlife" is sung by Luann when she packs away Kirk's clothes and sets them on fire.

Previous and Future Episode References

  • The Simpsons have a dinner party similar to the one in "The War of the Simpsons", in which the Flanderses, Hibberts, Van Houtens and Lovejoys were invited. Both dinner parties resulted in later problems for a married couple that everyone else saw. The main difference is that this dinner party was "the straw that broke the camel's back", where tensions between Luann and Kirk reached a boiling point, whereas the earlier problems were started by Homer's boorish behavior when he had too much to drink. Also worth noting is that the kids had a presence at this dinner party, whereas only adults (Bart aside) were featured in the first.
  • Kirk loses his job at Southern Cracker. It was previously established that he worked there in "Homie the Clown" and "Bart on the Road"; in the former, Milhouse states Kirk is "a pretty big wheel down at the cracker factory."
  • The premise of this episode was partially inspired by a scene in a previous episode "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming" where Milhouse, while playing in the cockpit of an F-15, pretends to launch missiles at his parents out of anger that they had to send him to a counselor, as well as mentioning the doctor by name, Sally Wexler, and pretending to attack her as well.
  • Kirk and Luann's divorce in this episode was mentioned at Maude's funeral in Alone Again, Natura-Diddily.
  • Kirk and Luann get back together in Milhouse of Sand and Fog.
  • Kirk and Luann get remarried in Little Orphan Millie.
  • Aside from the obvious long-term consequences of the Van Houtens' divorce, the events of this episode are referenced again in "Wedding for Disaster," which reveals that, due to a bureaucratic error, Reverend Lovejoy's clerical license had been invalid at this time, and therefore he was not legally able to remarry Homer and Marge (meaning that Homer and Marge were not legally married and that Homer's marriage to Amber the Vegas barmaid should not have been recognized as bigamy).

Goofs and Continuity Errors

  • In this episode, Kearney is riding the bus, but in "Lisa's Date with Density" (which came before this episode in production code order rather than broadcast order), Kearney has a car. It could be possible that the car has broken down or been stolen, or perhaps Kearney has lost his license for some reason.
  • In this episode, Marge wants to cook Bart butterscotch chicken as a reward for getting three cavities at the dentist, but in "Blood Feud," Marge reveals that Bart is allergic to butterscotch, imitation butterscotch, and glow-in-the-dark monster makeup.
  • In the flashback to the quickie wedding at Shotgun Pete's and the inexpensive cake, Marge laments that there are no guests, especially not her friends to see this. In The Simpsons Movie, when Homer realizes his family left Alaska and Marge figures the only way for him to get the message was tape over their VHS footage of their wedding; at the very end there is a remnant of the original footage of the wedding, which shows Marge and Homer doing a solo dance while multiple wedding guests watch.
  • Homer could not easily get a divorce from Marge as in a ton of cases it takes a while to process one and Marge would have had to sign the divorce papers as well.
  • After Marge shortens a candle to be level with an adjacent candle, what was previously the bigger one very briefly returns to its original height when she moves them back into their proper positions.
  • Homer and Marge's outfits in the wedding flashback change slightly when it switches from archive footage from "I Married Marge" to new footage.


Season 7 Season 8 References/Trivia Season 9
Treehouse of Horror VIIYou Only Move TwiceThe Homer They FallBurns, Baby BurnsBart After DarkA Milhouse DividedLisa's Date with DensityHurricane NeddyEl Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)The Springfield FilesThe Twisted World of Marge SimpsonMountain of MadnessSimpsoncalifragilisticexpiala-D'oh-ciousThe Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie ShowHomer's PhobiaBrother from Another SeriesMy Sister, My SitterHomer vs. the Eighteenth AmendmentGrade School ConfidentialThe Canine MutinyThe Old Man and the LisaIn Marge We TrustHomer's EnemyThe Simpsons Spin-Off ShowcaseThe Secret War of Lisa Simpson
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