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Worst Episode Ever
Tennis the Menace
Day of the Jackanapes

You know, there's a lesson here for all of us: It's better to watch stuff than to do stuff.
Homer about playing tennis.

"Tennis the Menace" is the twelfth episode of Season 12.


Instead of buying a casket for his father, Homer uses the money to build a tennis court. Springfield soon holds a tennis tournament, in which the family joins. But when teams are divided, the family gets competitive with each other, and they recruit professional tennis players to play in their places.

Full Story

The Springfield Retirement Castle holds a talent show, which the Simpsons attend. Grampa wins the show after singing a bad version of "What's New, Pussycat?". His prize is a free autopsy that Grampa mistakes for a free car, so the Simpsons go to a funeral salesman. While there, Homer realizes that a certain kind of cemetery monument uses the same amount of cement as a tennis court, and so Homer decides to get the house a tennis court, even though Homer mistook tennis for foxy boxing and, as it is, the family can hardly afford their own house.


The court is very popular with the residents, who also insulting Homer and Marge for losing all the time due to Homer's absent-mindedness. Marge pleads with Homer to take the games seriously; however, Homer is too oblivious to see how bad he is in tennis. Homer tries to please Marge by entering Krusty's celebrity tournament, the "Krusty Kharity Klassic". Homer is a hopeless tennis player, so Marge "dumps" him and enters with Bart as her new partner. Homer is outraged that he was abandoned for his ten year old son. He has a nightmare where Bart and Marge are married and he is a wall trophy, after being shot at a guillotine factory. Homer enters the tournament with Lisa as his partner.


The tournament takes place and in the stands are leading tennis pros Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and Venus and Serena Williams. At the tournament, Homer dumps Lisa for Venus. In response, Marge replaces Bart with Serena as her partner. Ultimately, Serena and Venus replace Marge and Homer with Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, respectively. This forces the family to go back to the bench and resume their normal places in the family; as they enjoy the exhibition of top-class tennis, they agree that it is better to watch things rather than to do things. Homer offers to buy the family dinner (with money he took from Pete Sampras' wallet).

Behind the Laughter


The episode was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham and directed by Jen Kamerman. This is the second episode (after Season 7's "Radioactive Man" to be animated with digital ink and paint (which would not be used permanently until Season 14's "The Great Louse Detective").


The episode received mixed to positive reviews from TV critics.


Season 11 Season 12 Episodes Season 13
Treehouse of Horror XIA Tale of Two SpringfieldsInsane Clown PoppyLisa the Tree HuggerHomer vs. DignityThe Computer Wore Menace ShoesThe Great Money CaperSkinner's Sense of SnowHOMЯPokey MomWorst Episode EverTennis the MenaceDay of the JackanapesNew Kids on the BlecchHungry, Hungry HomerBye Bye NerdieSimpson SafariTrilogy of ErrorI'm Goin' to PraiselandChildren of a Lesser ClodSimpsons Tall Tales