Better Off Ned
| "Better Off Ned"
| Episode Information
"Better Off Ned" is the sixteenth episode of season 31 of The Simpsons and the six-hundred and seventy-eighth episode overall. It originally aired on March 15, 2020. The story was written by Al Jean and the teleplay was written by Joel H. Cohen and Jeff Westbrook. The episode was directed by Rob Oliver.
"Better Off Ned" was dedicated in memory of Max von Sydow, who died on March 8.
- "Bart bonds with Ned Flanders, which leaves Homer jealous, so he retaliates by mentoring Nelson Muntz. Then, a heroic act by Homer makes Bart look up to him again."
At the Springfield Retirement Castle, after telling him a war story and pranking him with it, after Grampa falls asleep Bart takes the dud grenade. Bart takes it to a school assembly and pranks them the same way Grampa did, scaring everyone away.
Ned, however, puts himself on top of the bomb to sacrifice himself to save the school and Bart reveals the prank. Ambulances and fire workers were also called and Mrs. Muntz reveals she slept with one of the fire workers.
Homer and Marge got called and Superintendent Chalmers wanted to suspend him from school, but Ned intervenes volunteering to supervise Bart to the right way with the three P's: persistence, prayer and persistent prayer. Chalmers agrees, while Lisa and her friends make fun of him.
At Flanders' House, Bart pranks him and so Ned takes him fishing. Bart manages to catch a fish, and Ned teaches him how to roast it on a fire.
At the church, Bart also joins the choir and everyone congratulates Ned for the work, and Homer gets jealous. When Marge takes Homer to bring a pie as thanks, Homer finds Lisa there too, supervising Bart's math work.
Homer tries to help him too, by throwing the paper at the dog so it can eat it, but the dog presents the paper intact back to him. Homer feels useless and walks away, walking sad around the city till he reaches the Springfield City Dump and finds a sad Nelson, crying due to his situation at home.
Homer brings him to Krusty Burger and proposes to Nelson to become his mentor and making Bart jealous of it. Seeing the distraught that's causing, Lisa asks Homer to seek counseling, paying for it.
Homer goes to the therapist that disagrees with his method. Homer goes then to see Nelson but finds his mother, which asks him if he's going to leave them too like all the other men have in the past, breaking Nelson's heart.
When Homer explains to Nelson the truth behind it, Nelson prepares a plan to get even with Bart at the Christian Pride Parade, trying to activate the mechanism that Bart and the Flanders built, the praying hands, when Bart passes through instead of after.
Homer spots him using the slingshot and activating it, and pushes Bart away in time, getting squashed by them. The two ride the ambulance together, before Homer goes to the Dump to say sorry to Nelson and guiding him to Ned, which has Nelson and his mother joining them and takes him to a baseball game, where Homer throws him a rock to answer Bart why they traded places in mentoring.
Nancy Cartwright was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance in 2020 for herperformance in "Better Off Ned". However, she lost to Maya Rudolph of Big Mouth.