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One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish
The Way We Was
Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment


I'm livin' it, but I ain't lovin' it.
Bart suffers through Homer's and Marge's story

The Way We Was is the twelfth episode of Season 2 and the first flashback episode of The Simpsons.

Synopsis

When the TV malfunctions, Marge and Homer plan to tell their children a story. After refusing to tell the story of how Bart was born (which would later be seen exactly one season later in Season 3's "I Married Marge"), they choose to tell the story of how Homer and Marge met in high school—and how Marge almost fell in love with a nerd named Artie Ziff.

Full Story

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When the TV shorts out, Marge tells the kids the story of how she and Homer first met. The setting is a flashback to 1974, when they were in their senior year of high school. Homer was barely a responsible student, contrary to Marge, but when she attended a feminist rally and burned a brassiere on the school grounds, she was sent to detention for one day. Homer and Barney were also sent there for three days for smoking cigarettes in the boys' restroom. Observing Marge enter the detention room, Homer was smitten and wanted to ask her to the prom and got bullied by Artie and the teacher.

To be around her more, Homer joined the debate team that Marge is on. However, Marge was more interested in the smart and articulated Artie Ziff. As a next strategy, Homer pretended to be a French student so that he can be tutored by Marge. However, when the time came for Homer to ask Marge to the senior prom, she initially agreed, but then revealed that he didn't really take French. Angry, Marge slapped him and stormed out of the house. Despite this breakup, Homer still thought that he was taking her to the prom. The next day, due to her lack of sleep, Marge was not prepared for her role on the debate team. Afterwards, Artie asked Marge to the prom, which she gladly accepted.

70s patty selma.jpg

On the night of the prom, Homer arrived at the Bouvier family residence to pick up Marge, much to the surprise of her family. After getting insulted by Patty and Selma, Homer realized his mistake when Artie came to pick up Marge. Homer still planned to go to the prom, since he had already rented his tuxedo, a limousine, and paid for the two dinners at the event. At the prom, Homer had a terrible time from having a prom photo taken only of himself without a date, to watching as Marge and Artie were crowned prom king and queen and have their first dance. Heartbroken, Homer left during the dance and cried outside in the hallway. When Marge appeared to ask Homer why he was putting himself through such misery, he tells her it's because he was certain they were meant to be together. Though Marge felt some sympathy, but firmly tells Homer that he was wrong. Later, Marge and Artie left the prom and go off to have an intimate moment. Marge was rather unsure about this, and becomes offended when Artie tried to force himself upon her. Upon her demand, Artie drove her home, wishing her good night, and asking that she does not tell anyone about his "busy hands". Meanwhile, Homer's limo time ran out, leaving him to walk home from the other side of town as he had very little money. Marge was about to enter her house when she heard her parents Jackie and Clancy arguing through the door, saying how uncouth Homer was, and how lucky Marge was for going to the prom with Artie. Marge then got in her car, and found Homer walking along the side of the road. Marge gave him a ride, telling him once she got home she realized she should have gone to the prom with him instead. At these words, Homer mentioned that he was a little afraid, because "Once you stop this car, I'm going to hug you, and kiss you, and then I'll never be able to let you go." (Which he does.)

Homer finishes the story by telling the kids that he never did let go, and he happily embraces with Marge. While Lisa is touched by the story, Bart (as expected) is grossed out.

Citations

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Season 1 Season 2 Episodes Season 3
Bart Gets an "F"Simpson and DelilahTreehouse of Horror (aka "The Simpsons Halloween Special") • Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every FishDancin' HomerDead Putting SocietyBart vs. ThanksgivingBart the DaredevilItchy & Scratchy & MargeBart Gets Hit by a CarOne Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue FishThe Way We WasHomer vs. Lisa and the 8th CommandmentPrincipal CharmingOh Brother, Where Art Thou?Bart's Dog Gets an FOld MoneyBrush with GreatnessLisa's SubstituteThe War of the SimpsonsThree Men and a Comic BookBlood Feud
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