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Marge vs. the Monorail
Selma's Choice
Brother from the Same Planet


"Duff Beer for me, Duff Beer for you
I'll have a Duff, you have one too!"
―Animatronic Puppets in The Little Land of Duff

Selma's Choice is the thirteenth episode of Season 4.

Synopsis[]

Selma continues her quest to raise a family and not die alone after her aunt Gladys dies, and her maternal instincts are put to the test when she has to take Bart and Lisa to Duff Gardens after Homer gets food poisoning.

Full Story[]

After seeing an ad for Duff Gardens featuring Lance Murdock, Homer and the kids start to get ready to leave but Marge comes in with sad news, their Great Aunt Gladys (whom Bart mistakes for an unnamed relative that's short, has blue hair, and a big dent in her forehead; Marge corrects him by saying she looked like Patty, which disgusts Bart) has died. The Simpsons attend the funeral and subsequent reading of the will. On the video will, Great Aunt Gladys warns Patty and Selma not to die alone without a husband and children as she did. Selma starts to worry that her biological clock may be ticking, and sets out to have a baby. Video dating only disgusts her potential suitors, Madame Opal's love potion turns out to be a truth serum made of corn syrup and rubbing alcohol, Selma unsuccessfully hits on The Squeaky-Voiced Teen while he bags her cigarettes and TV Guide, her date with Hans Moleman goes nowhere after she imagines her life as the mother of ugly, prematurely elderly, blind kids (one of which dies after falling out the window), artificial insemination is a no-go after she sees Barney turn in his sperm donation and several mothers leave with belching infants, and getting a husband via mail-order ended with her getting a cardboard cut-out.

Lq

"I am the Lizard Queen!"

Meanwhile, Homer promises Bart and Lisa that they will go to Duff Gardens that weekend (remarking as long as another relative doesn't die), but Homer becomes ill after eating a spoiled hoagie he got from the nuclear plant company picnic. Despite his efforts, Homer is not well enough to go, especially when he collapses and suddenly turns pale. Marge, in an effort to give Selma a chance to experience the responsibilities of parenthood, nominates her to take the two. While disappointed at first, Homer and Marge end up having a wonderful time together, watching such videos as Boxing's Greatest Weigh-Ins, Yentl, and The Erotic Adventures of Hercules. Bart and Lisa wear Selma out at Duff Gardens. Things come to a head when the three are on "The Little Land of Duff" ride and Bart dares Lisa to drink the ride's water, which has become so toxic and sludgy that Lisa doesn't think it's water at all. When Lisa drinks it (at Selma's insistence to keep Bart and Lisa from annoying her), Lisa starts hallucinating and acting erratically, escaping the ride and wandering the park in a drugged stupor. Meanwhile, Bart sneaks on the Barrel Roll (pretending to be taller than he is) and ends up hanging upside-down after the ride operator stops the ride prematurely. Bart ends up detained for the Barrel Roll ride incident and, earlier, pantsing the George Washington robot at the Duff Hall of Presidents (which led to Dolph, Jimbo, and Kearney making off with three bumper cars). The other security guards bring in Lisa, still high from the toxic water on "The Little Land of Duff", after finding her swimming naked in the Fermentarium. The park "doctor" prescribes Lisa with a handful of pills to sober her up.

The three return from Duff Gardens miserable. After these negative experiences caring for Bart and Lisa for a day, Selma realises that she isn't ready for children and adopts Jub-Jub, Gladys' iguana, instead.

Production[]

Writer David Stern said he wanted to go back to a "Patty and Selma episode", because it was sustained so well when he wrote "Principal Charming". He thought it was important to "keep these characters (Patty and Selma) alive." The animators had trouble with the size of the characters' pupils during the season. In this episode, they are noticeably larger. When the family watches the video will, Julie Kavner did five voices in the scene. When Gladys Gurney shows off her collection of potato chips, the scene was inspired by Myrtle Young, who appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. During an interview with David Letterman, Young said she was working in quality control at a potato chip factory, and collected potato chips that looked like, amongst other things, famous people. The scene where Homer ate a chip is a reference to the Johnny Carson appearance, where, whilst Young was looking away, Johnny ate a chip from a separate bowl (not of the collection), Young, thinking Johnny had ate a chip from her collection, was shocked, before Johnny cleared up the misunderstanding. Jub-Jub made his debut appearance in this episode; the name of the iguana Jub-Jub came from Conan O'Brien.

Though research is usually done when real languages are used on the show, the language heard on Selma’s ham radio is fictional.

Reception[]

"Selma's Choice" finished 27th in the weekly ratings for the week of January 18–24, 1993 with a Nielsen rating of 14.2.

The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood said, "A nice episode for Selma and good for Marge and Homer as well. But it's the kids who provide the highlights in this one, with their antics at Duff Gardens.

The author of Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Documented an Era and Defined a Generation, Chris Turner said it "Fills in with the usual grab bag of great gags" and "The episode had some crowd-pleasing moments." He went on to say, "The last few minutes of the show played out to continuous laughter [in the pub he was watching it in]".


Season 3 Season 4 Episodes Season 5
Kamp KrustyA Streetcar Named MargeHomer the HereticLisa the Beauty QueenTreehouse of Horror IIIItchy & Scratchy: The MovieMarge Gets a JobNew Kid on the BlockMr. PlowLisa's First WordHomer's Triple BypassMarge vs. the MonorailSelma's ChoiceBrother from the Same PlanetI Love LisaDufflessLast Exit to SpringfieldSo It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip ShowThe FrontWhacking DayMarge in ChainsKrusty Gets Kancelled
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