Brake My Wife, Please
| "Brake My Wife, Please"
| Episode Information
"Brake My Wife, Please" is the twentieth episode of season 14 of The Simpsons and the three-hundred and eleventh episode overall. It originally aired on May 11, 2003. The episode was written by Tim Long and directed by Pete Michels. It guest stars Steve Buscemi as himself, Jackson Browne as himself and Jane Kaczmarek as Judge Constance Harm.
- "Homer has a car accident and loses his driver's license, which means that Marge now has to do all of the family's driving. Homer comes to enjoy walking instead of driving, but the extra responsibility stresses out Marge. She becomes increasingly accident-prone (starting with running over Homer in the car), and Homer is on the receiving end of all of her accidents. This puts a strain on their relationship, but a visit to a marriage counselor sorts everything out."
During a school field trip to Springfield Aquarium, Principal Skinner spots some unusually large pearls in a giant clam. The "pearls", however, turn out to be Bart mooning everyone. After pulling the prank, Bart tries to get out of the water, but in short order is grabbed by an octopus, punched in the stomach by a sea turtle and pounded on the head by a hammerhead shark. Following the aquatic assault, Bart goes to the hospital to have his injuries treated.
At the hospital, Marge realizes that Homer has the family's health insurance card, but she can't find him anywhere. This prompts Dr. Hibbert to postpone treating Bart, instead chaining him to a radiator and leaving him there until the card is presented. When Homer finally shows up with the card, he says he was sidetracked by watching TV at the video store, and Marge demands that he get a cell phone. Fortuitously, cell phone saleswoman Lindsey Naegle happens on the scene and sells him one on the spot.
The next day, Homer goes to an electronics store to buy a hands-free set for his new cell phone. However, he is enthralled by the variety of automotive accessories which plug into the cigarette lighter, so he ends up buying a bunch of them, including a DVD player, a snow cone maker, a deep fat fryer and a fog machine. With his car stuffed full of accessories, Homer drives around town using them all at once (and talking on his cell phone as well), paying no attention whatsoever to the road. As a result, Homer drives onto a pier, then off of the end and into the ocean. The Coast Guard pull Homer's car out of the water, but Homer has to go to court for his reckless driving. Judge Constance Harm revokes Homer's driver's license in a thoroughly decisive manner: She confiscates the license, then cuts it up, guillotines the pieces, feeds the remaining shards to a pair of dogs, and then orders the court officers to "Burn their poop!"
With Homer no longer able to drive anywhere, Marge now has to do all of the driving for the family. In addition to running her own errands, Marge now has extra chores such as picking up Homer's dry cleaning in Shelbyville and driving Lenny and Carl around. In the meantime, Homer has to walk everywhere he goes, and while walking to Moe's Tavern he discovers he enjoys walking and starts walking all over town just for the fun of it. However, Marge finds the extra driving to be increasingly stressful, and as a result she accidentally runs over Homer in the street.
Homer goes to the hospital, and Dr. Hibbert tells Marge that he has a broken pelvis and will need her to do everything for him. Marge brings Homer a bowl of pea soup, but when he says it's too hot, she accidentally spills it on him. Later, after Homer is sufficiently recovered to go home, he is walking out of the hospital using a cane. Marge is still annoyed that she has to do all his driving and accidentally kicks the cane out from under him, causing him to fall down. Homer is now suspicious of the series of accidents, and accuses Marge of intentionally trying to hurt him. Marge tries to deny the accusation but she can't get the words out. After several babbling and fumbling attempts to claim her innocence, Marge screams "I hate you!" at him. This triggers an argument, and Marge and Homer go to see Dr. Brentano, a marriage counselor.
At the counseling session, Brentano has Homer and Marge each make a list of people who are important to them. Marge notices that she's not on Homer's list, as it contains only different variations of his own name. Saddened, she walks out of the session. Brentano confronts Homer and tells him that his selfishness is the problem, and then recommends that Homer do one unselfish thing to win her back.
Homer decides to throw a big barbecue in Marge's honor, and invites the whole town to come. When Marge returns home in a bad mood from running driving errands, she is surprised and overjoyed to receive an enthusiastic welcome from everyone. Homer and Jackson Browne then sing a duet dedicated to Marge. After the food is served, Marge tells Homer that she loves him and wants to kill him, but with kisses. After dinner, Homer decides he wants some private time with Marge and turns on the sprinklers in the yard to get all the barbecue guests to leave.
A lot of the designs for the Springfield Aquarium were based on the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. After this episode, appearances of characters butts, especially Bart's, were slowly reduced in the show due to Fox not wanting them in the show. Jackson Browne was not the producers first choice for guest star in this episode. Their first choice was Jon Bon Jovi, who had been dying to do The Simpsons, but he didn't like the script, in particular the joke about his latest album not being that popular. They also had a line about referring to Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora as a giant meatball which never made it as a result.
Steve Buscemi was a little sad about his short Simpsons appearance because he thought that once he did the show, that would be it and he wouldn't be invited back again. However, he later came back to voice Dwight Diddlehopper in the season 19 episode "I Don't Wanna Know Why the Caged Bird Sings". Originally, Jackson Browne was storyboarded with a guitar. However, the soundtrack had piano rather than guitar so the animators had to change it.
- Michels, Pete (2011). Commentary for "Brake My Wife, Please", in The Simpsons: The Complete Fourteenth Season.
- Jean, Al (2011). Commentary for "Brake My Wife, Please", in The Simpsons: The Complete Fourteenth Season.
- Long, Tim (2011). Commentary for "Brake My Wife, Please", in The Simpsons: The Complete Fourteenth Season.
- IMDb - "Brake My Wife, Please"
- TV.com - "Brake My Wife, Please"