| "Friends and Family"
| Episode Information
"Friends and Family" is the second episode of season 28 and it aired on October 2, 2016. It was written by J. Stewart Burns and directed by Lance Kramer. It guest-starred Allison Janney as Julia.
- "Mr. Burns hires the Simpsons to play his live-in virtual reality family, but excludes Homer so that he may play dad. Now alone, Homer finds a new best friend in girl-next-door Julia, who eats, drinks and thinks like him."
To deal with anger issues, Mr. Burns goes to his psychiatrist where, due to his anger, Dr. Nussbaum tells him that he'll never have a family, giving up on his case after seven years. After Burns leaves, the doctor dies. At his funeral, the Simpsons start arguing, also remembering their last family therapy, in which Maggie talked but no one payed attention. Meanwhile, Burns shows the tombstone funded by him for the doctor. However, the writing on it says "Paid for by C. Montgomery Burns", which gets everyone angry and, as a result, Burns and Smithers flee.
On their car, Smithers runs over Professor Frink, who was wearing a Frink Oculus, attending his Nobel Prize ceremony. After trying the Oculus on the ambulance, Burns takes it home and has some fun, with the VR being programmed by Smithers. Smithers reminds him that the doctor told him he needs a family, something that Burns denies. Smithers then suggests creating a family by programming it on Virtual Reality.
At the auditions for the family, the Simpsons stand out the most, so they all get hired except for Homer, due to the fact that Burns wants to be the father, and he's sent home. During the recordings, Burns likes the family so much that hires them for ten years and gives them a shack in the garden of his mansion.
Home alone, Homer misses his family at first, but then realizes he can do what he wants. Laying naked on the roof of the house at night, he meets Julia, his neighbor, which shares what he loves and hates, like beer and Ned Flanders, and they become friends.
Meanwhile at the mansion, the family gets tired of the job and starts hating Burns. The old man realizes that having a family doesn't suit him and gives up, firing them. When Marge gets back home, she finds Homer hanging up the phone on Julia and finds out what has happened with Julia during her absence. She then gets really mad, and even more when Julia enters the house. However, Julia's words make her realize they were just friends.
At the end of the episode, most Springfieldians are shown wearing Oculus, including Homer and Marge.
The episode was watched by 6.00 million viewers.