The Simpson family visits SHØP (strangely enough, spelled with a Danish and Norwegian "ø" where "ö" would be the correct one), a parody of the Swedish furniture store chain IKEA, and when they eat there, they meet Apu and Manjula. They say that they would like to have a baby. They eventually do, and Manjula gives birth to eight babies called octuplets because the Simpsons and Apu slipped her fertility drugs (which she had been taking herself, already). It makes headlines across Springfield, with local companies giving the Nahasapeemapetilons free products. However, their feat is eclipsed when a family in Shelbyville give birth to nine babies (All of the gifts given to the Nahasapeemapetilons were instantly revoked upon the hearing of the Shelbyville birth). After the feat is made, Apu and Manjula have to deal with raising eight kids all at once.
Later, Apu is met by the owner of the Springfield Zoo, a man named Larry Kidkill. Kidkill offers to put Apu's children in a nursery. Although Apu is not open to the idea at first, he caves in and reluctantly accepts. The children are the stars of a show at the zoo named "Octopia", but Apu is not impressed and he wants to liberate his kids from the zoo's owner, but he will not let them because they are under contract. Apu talks with Homer, and he suggests that they, with Butch Patrick's help, perform at the zoo through a new contract, where they, at a candy stage, have to ride a unicycle while navigating through several cobras (according to Bart, some of the cobras were real, while others were realistic robots filled with venom), with Homer attempting to get the mongoose released, only to have the mongoose attack Homer instead of the cobras.
Behind the Laughter
The episode has become study material for sociology courses at University of California Berkeley, where it is used to "examine issues of the production and reception of cultural objects, in this case, a satirical cartoon show", and to figure out what it is "trying to tell audiences about aspects primarily of American society, and, to a lesser extent, about other societies."
Reception of the episode from television critics have been mixed, but mostly negative reviews from fans.