The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star
The Bonfire of the Manatees
The Girl Who Slept Too Little
I'm gonna take you home and fix you up. 'Cause you're the real endangered species, a devoted husband. [purrs and kisses Homer]

The Bonfire of the Manatees is the first episode of The Simpsons' seventeenth season. It aired September 11, 2005. It was the first episode to air in September and first non-Halloween episode to start out the season since season 11's "Beyond Blunderdome". The episode was watched by 11.1 million people.


When Homer falls for a football betting scam and owes money to Fat Tony, who decides to let Homer pay off the debt by letting him shoot a porno film in the house. When Marge finds out, she drives off, and while she is calling Homer, the phone booth she is in is attacked by a manatee, which is driven off by a marine biologist specializing in them (right down to his "I love manatees" tattoo). Marge becomes fascinated by the manatees, which doesn't escape Homer's notice, so when a pack of them are attacked by jet-skiers, it's up to Homer to save the day, the manatees, and then himself.[1]

Full Story

Homer is watching a football game. He loses a bet due to the Denver Broncos winning the game against the Seattle Seahawks , and complains that he didn't bet on what Professor Pigskin told him to bet on. Lisa asks Homer who Professor Pigskin is and he tells her that he's a pig who predicts who will win the game by using a special system and that for the past four weeks each pick has been correct. Lisa sighs and explains to Homer that there are actually two pamphlets sent out each week half getting the correct winners half who don't and the people that get the correct winners start believing that Professor Pigskin is always correct and then start buying more and more pamphlets from the company. Homer becomes excited saying he has money to pay for them while Lisa continues her attempt to warn him that it is a scam, he doesn't listen and gives them his credit card details.

When Homer does bet on Professor Pigskin's suggestion, he loses his bet. This time he bet on the Raiders, who were not only looking awful, but were actually composed of drunks because the star players were down with the flu, causing them to be beaten easily. Lisa asks how much money he bet, to which Homer explained that he actually borrowed money from Fat Tony. Fat Tony, at their window, states that they'll "hammer out" a payment plan.

They do... literally, as Fat Tony has Homer restrained by Legs and Louie with Louie hammering Homer's hand. To repay his debt to Fat Tony, Homer is forced to agree to let his mafia use the Simpson home as a set for the adult film, Lemony Lick-It's A Series of Horny Events. Unfortunately, Homer makes the mistake of assuming that the film will be gay. After Homer explains, "I thought you guys were the gay mafia," Fat Tony, Louie and Legs hammer both of his hands.

Homer sends Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie to Santa's Village with tickets given him from Moe to get them out of the way.

During production, Lenny and Carl enter the house to borrow a board game and stumble upon the production of the film. Homer attempts to get them out of the house, but then after Carl asks how he got Marge to go along with this, Homer bribes them with letting them be in the movie if they don't tell Marge about what's going on. Lenny proposes running the sound board and Carl says he'll perform in the sex scenes.

Bonfire of the Manatees (Promo Picture)

Another promo card for this episode

Marge and the children leave Santa's Village early due to it being a bad experience. When they get home, they discover what is happening. Marge storms off, leaving Homer alone with the children.

Before she goes home, Marge meets Dr. Caleb Thorn, a good-looking scientist dedicated to saving the Florida manatee.

Homer takes the kids and goes looking for Marge.

Meanwhile, Caleb Homer helps Marge realize that is the same man she fell in love - the only problem is that she still expects him to change.

Homer decides they'll stop for the day and stay with his cousins.

Homer tries to win Marge back by saving a herd of manatees from a group of sadistic jet-skiers. Right after the bullys leave, they hear Homer call them "rubes". They turn around to attack Homer. Homer orders the manatees, "Defend!" They all flee. The toughs get to Homer and start beating the hell out of him. Fortunately, Homer's cousin shows the hooligans a court order requiring them to vacate the waters.

Impressed, Marge says she going to take Homer -- a "real endangered species, a devoted husband" -- home.

Homer then gets a manatee to impersonate him at work, for a few days.

Behind the Laughter


Al Jean originally pitched the idea of an episode based around the Simpsons rescuing manatees in 2003 during the writers' retreat sessions for The Simpsons Movie. Although not used in the movie, the idea eventually became an episode in its own right. [2]


  • On May 11, 2008, Entertainment Weekly named Alec Baldwin's role as Caleb Thorn as the first of 16 great guest stars on The Simpsons.[3]


  2. Dan Snierson. "Homer's Odyssey", Entertainment Weekly,. Retrieved on 2008-08-29. 
  3. "16 great 'Simpsons' guest stars", Entertainment Weekly,. Retrieved on 2008-05-11. 

Season 16 Season 17 Episodes Season 18
The Bonfire of the ManateesThe Girl Who Slept Too LittleMilhouse of Sand and FogTreehouse of Horror XVIMarge's Son PoisoningSee Homer RunThe Last of the Red Hat MamasThe Italian BobSimpsons Christmas StoriesHomer's Paternity CootWe're on the Road to D'oh-whereMy Fair LaddyThe Seemingly Never-Ending StoryBart Has Two MommiesHomer Simpson, This is Your WifeMillion-Dollar AbieKiss Kiss Bang BangaloreThe Wettest Stories Ever ToldGirls Just Want to Have SumsRegarding MargieThe Monkey SuitMarge and Homer Turn a Couple Play
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+