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Stealing First Base
The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed
American History X-cellent

"The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed" is the sixteenth episode of Season 21.


"The Simpsons are going to..." Jerusalem when Ned invites Homer along on a church retreat in an attempt to save his soul, but when Homer defiles one too many sacred sites, Ned says that he has been pushed too far.

Full Story

The story opens with Flanders officiating a Bible study group in his home. However, he is continually interrupted by the antics of Homer next door, who is playing on a "slip-n-slide"-style water slide toy. In the end, Flanders gets exasperated and claims that Homer is the one and only man who is irredeemable. Reverend Lovejoy, trying to salvage the situation, encourages Ned to reach out to Homer. Ned, acquiescing, invites Homer and the Simpsons to come along with the Bible group's tour of the Holy Land. Marge accepts over Homer's objections, even offering to pay for the trip themselves.

The group lands in Jerusalem, where they are met by Jakob, an eccentric Israeli tour guide and his niece Dorit, who later is revealed to be security. Jakob, after an argument with Marge, is ready to commence the tour, and Ned is eager to walk the Via Dolorossa (or Way of the Cross) as the first stop on the journey. Instead, after Homer's suggestion, the first stop ends up being the magnificent sights of... the hotel's breakfast bar.

Next, the tour visits the Cenacle, the legendary site of the Last Supper. While there, Ned prays for Homer's eyes to be opened to the spirituality of the land, but instead finds Homer and Bart acting irreverently within the building, further irritating Ned.

The tour then visits the Wailing Wall, where Bart runs amok, and finds himself on the receiving end of a Krav Maga beating administered by Dorit.

Afterwards, the group finally arrives at the Church of the Holy Sepluchre, where Ned, in front of the tomb of Christ, prays in thanksgiving for what he perceives to be Homer's increase in spirituality... until he finds Homer splayed asleep upon the tomb's shrine. Homer lazing on the most sacred sight of all Christianity finally enrages Ned. After realizing that Homer has used all of Flanders' camera's memory to take pictures of humorous Israeli soft drinks (such as OY!, Lemon-Lime OY!, Chickpea Fizz, Diet Brisket, and one whose label is the Israeli flag with an exclamation point (!) after the Star of David), he smashes the camera against the wall of the tomb, and is escorted out of the building by a group of Israeli Security Guards. Banned from the Church for life, Ned finally and calmly states that Homer is completely incapable of salvation and storms off out the gates of Jerusalem. Homer, fearing that he is going into the desert, follows, stealing a camel to rescue him... however, Flanders was merely grabbing some tea before going to see a movie to wind down from the encounter.

Homer rides his camel through the trackless desert, encountering a sandstorm. The camel rides off without him, stranding him in the middle of the desert, near the Dead Sea. Naturally, a thirsty Homer tries to drink the heavily salty water, and ends up temporarily comatose, seeing a vision of "VeggieTales"-style characters who convince him that he is chosen to be the Messiah. Just then, Marge and a rescue team find Homer and bring him back to the hospital, where he is administered to by Dr. Hibbert, who diagnoses Homer as suffering from Jerusalem Syndrome. He escapes from the hospital, convinced that he needs to pronounce his message at the Dome of the Rock ("Brought to you by Lemon-Lime OY!"), where he gathers a large crowd of Christians, Jews and Muslims to hear him expound on a new religion that keys in on the similarities of the three religions as opposed to their differences.

He is later kicked off the Rock by Agnes Skinner, similarly believing herself to be the Messiah. Hibbert, under the same delusion, refuses to help.

Finally, the tour heads home, with Homer having a clearer view of his own spiritual life...though forgetting that people can buy goods from places other than the SkyMall in-flight magazine. Ned, who is shown to have forgiven Homer, tells Homer that even though everyone was wrong with their religions today, he personally thought Homer was the closest to the real thing.

Bart and Lisa fight over who gets to sit by the window. Lisa kicks Bart in the groin and sits down while Bart lays down.

Behind the Laughter


"The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed" was viewed by 5.698 million viewers and got a Nielsen Rating of 2.7. It came second in its timeslot and second in the "Animation Domination" lineup, after Family Guy.


The episode was critically panned due to the plot and was voted as the worst episode in the shows history on the's 50 Worst episodes list.

Many people have claimed Homer to be a complete oaf in the episode and it further displayed Ned Flanders "Flanderization." It was even stated that not even Sasha Baron Cohen's guest appearance on the show could save the episode.


Season 20 Season 21 Episodes Season 22
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