"Weekend at Burnsie’s" is the sixteenth episode of season 13. It originally aired on April 7, 2002. The episode was written by Jon Vitti and directed by Michael Marcantel. Guest starring Phish as themselves.
After being attacked in the garden by an unruly group of crows, Homer goes to see Dr. Hibbert about the ongoing pain in his eyes. Dr. Hibbert suggests that Homer begin smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes.
After a bad experience with genetically modified food, Marge decides to plant her own garden. She faces a few problems. Crows arrive on the new garden and eat the seeds, so Marge decides to make a scarecrow. However, the Flanders mistake the large stake for the true Cross and pray in front of it. Marge has to shoo them too. She finishes making the scarecrow with the pumpkin from the Treehouse of Horror series, Bart's horse-riding trousers from "Saddlesore Galactica", Lisa's hockey jersey from "Lisa on Ice", and Grampa's hat, which is said to be from a fictional episode "Who Shot Grampa's Hat?" Marge puts the scarecrow up in her garden, and the crows instantly flee into the Flanders' yard. After coming home late at night, Homer mistakes the scarecrow for a scary person and destroys it. This leads to the crows to see Homer as their leader, following him everywhere and doing everything he tells them to. Homer enjoys being their leader, but the rest of the family avoids him as they are scared of all the crows. And Marge starts sleeping on the couch when Homer tells her that a group of crows is called a murder. One day when Homer tells the murder to bring Maggie down from the second floor, they take her and bring her high up in the air. Maggie falls out of her onsie but uses her diaper as a parachute and lands safely in Homer's arms. Homer is furious at the crows and yells at them to go away and they all attack him. He is rushed to the hospital, where Dr. Hibbert puts stitches in his eyes. Homer then experiences horrible pain and Dr. Hibbert prescribes him medicinal marijuana and a prescription bong (Homer has a choice between a wizard bong or a skull bong).
When he gets home, Homer immediately goes upstairs to his room. He follows the instructions on the bottle and starts toking. Marge and the kids catch him toking while singing "Smoke on the Water". Marge is outraged at first, but because it's for Homer's eyes, she goes along with it. Homer becomes a stoner stereotype. He enjoys listening to Lisa play her saxophone (and thinking that it would make a great pipe), watching TV with Otto in the attic while talking about Fonzie, and even asking Flanders to read him the whole Holy Bible, much to Ned's joy. When Flanders offers a petition to have a vote on the ban of medical marijuana in Springfield, Homer unwittingly adds his signature. Homer's stoned state also sees him promoted to Executive Vice-President at the power plant, and so he goes to a rally for the legalization of medical marijuana (but the rally is actually held a day after the ban was approved by voters). Homer is cured of his medical condition and promises he won’t smoke pot again.
Mr. Burns asks Homer to help him with a speech for a crisis shareholders meeting. Homer gives Smithers his last joint, and while Smithers is smoking and dressing like Judy Garland, Burns apparently drowns in his bathtub. So, for the meeting, Smithers and Homer make Burns into a marionette and the movement of the marionette inadvertently gets Mr. Burns’ heart working again. The meeting is a success, and another financial crisis at the power plant is avoided.
Due to the prevalent drug themes/use throughout the episode, the following rating assignments were made:
- This is the second episode of The Simpsons to be issued an “M” rating on Australian network television for “drug use” (the first episode to be rated M by Network Ten was Natural Born Kissers, although that episode has been rated PG by the OFLC).
- This episode does not air before the 9pm watershed on Sky One or Channel 4 in the UK.
- This episode was originally rated TV-PGV when It originally aired in the U.S., but was later re-rated TV-14V.