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Maude Flanders was the wife of Ned Flanders, and the mother of Rod and Todd. Maude was a woman with many positive qualities: faith, chastity, charity. She also loved to draw, which was discovered when Ned found her sketch pad after her death.
Maude Flanders was a devout Christian who once attended a Bible camp to learn how to be more judgmental. Maude was often partnered with Helen Lovejoy as they protested against the "evils" in Springfield, and she campaigned strongly against Itchy and Scratchy with Marge. Maude died after she was knocked off a grandstand at the Springfield Speedway in a tee-shirt cannon accident.
Maude was a busy homemaker and a devoted wife and mother. She was also a tireless advocate for children in general, whose innocence, she felt, was often sullied by the "evils" of cartoon violence, liberal education and the insidious influences of popular culture.
Maude and Ned attended the weekend marriage counseling retreat, as they were working on fine-tuning some issues in their marriage. The main one, according to Ned, was that sometimes Maude would underline passages in Ned's Bible when she couldn't find her own.
Even though she spent much of her free time in prayer and reading the Bible, Maude was known to let her hair (and her neckline) down for the occasional dinner party at the home of her neighbors, the Simpsons. Homer has repeatedly demonstrated his lust for Maude, even going so far as to convince himself that she also "has a thing for me" although he did acknowledge that she was good at hiding it "behind a mask of low-key hostility. Moe was also attracted to her.
Maude died after being knocked off a grandstand by a T-shirt cannon barrage at the Springfield Speedway, an incident that was both precipitated and exacerbated by Homer Simpson. Homer loudly insisted that the T-shirt girls give him a shirt, to the point of taking off his own shirt and painting a target on himself with ketchup while he continued to taunt them. The girls responded by firing their cannons at him en masse. However, Homer ducked out of the way at the last second (being distracted by a bobby pin) and the shirts hit Maude instead. Because she was in the back row, the impact knocked her off of the grandstand and she fell to her death. Homer later admitted to Ned that he had "provoked the lethal barrage of T-shirts" and also that he had parked in the ambulance zone, preventing any possibility of resuscitation.
Maude's death was a crushing blow to Ned Flanders (as well as Todd and Rod), who, though used to some measure of hardship (their house getting destroyed  and car crashes among them), assumed that they would always be together.
At Maude's memorial service, Homer apparently fell in her grave, which Ned later mentioned. Reverend Lovejoy eulogized her as follows: "In many ways, Maude Flanders was a supporting character in our lives. She didn't grab our attention with memorable catchphrases, or comical accents. But, whether you noticed her or not, Maude was always there ... and we thought she always would be."
After Maude's death, the grieving Ned saw in her sketchbook a series of drawings that outlined a plan for a Christian-themed amusement park named "Praiseland". Realizing this park to be her final dream, Ned acquired the defunct amusement park "Storytime Village" from Colonel Antoine "Tex" O'Hara ("The Rich Texan") and, with the assistance of Homer and other townspeople, built and opened Praiseland. He memorialized Maude there with a statue of her, and placed on its base a plaque bearing the phrase "She taught us the joy of shame and the shame of joy." Praiseland sold Maude memorial items such as masks. Praiseland gained popularity among the residents of Springfield when they erroneously attributed to the statue of Maude the performance of miracles providing religious experiences. The religious experiences were actually hallucinations, caused by gas that was leaking from a gas line near the base of the statue. Feeling that profiting off the memory of his dead wife was wrong, and even more so after candles near the gas leak nearly caused an explosion, Ned closed down Praiseland.
Behind the Laughter