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Life on the Fast Lane

Wikisimpsons - The Simpsons Wiki
Season 1 Episode
008 "The Telltale Head"
"Life on the Fast Lane"
"Homer's Night Out" 010
"I can teach you, everything."
"Life on the Fast Lane"
Life on the Fast Lane.jpg
Episode Information
Episode number: 9
Season number: S1 E9
Production code: 7G11
Original airdate: March 18, 1990
Showrunners: James L. Brooks
Matt Groening
Sam Simon
Written by: John Swartzwelder
Directed by: David Silverman
DVD features

"Life on the Fast Lane", also known as "Jacques To Be Wild",[1] is the ninth episode of season 1 of The Simpsons. It originally aired on March 18, 1990. The episode was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by David Silverman.


"Homer buys Marge a bowling ball for her birthday, but she accuses him of only buying it for himself - true, right down to the Homer engraving on the ball. To spite him, she begins to learn how to bowl, helped by Jacques, with whom she becomes quite attached to. Homer suspects something when Jacques invites Marge to his apartment, but Marge changes her plans and goes to the power plant to see her husband instead."


The episode begins with Bart and Lisa in the kitchen making Marge breakfast for her birthday. The kids bring it upstairs and surprise Marge with breakfast in bed. During the surprise, Homer thinks it's his birthday and quickly realizes he forgot Marge's birthday. He quickly hurries downstairs and takes off in the car with tires squealing. Cut to Homer shopping at the mall for a present. Back at the house, Marge is on the phone with her sisters, Patty and Selma, talking about Homer's lousy gift giving history and deciding on where to go for her birthday dinner. At the mall, Homer sees a bowling ball and has an idea. Cut back to the house, where Homer hides Marge's present, and Marge informs Homer about dinner at The Singing Sirloin with the kids and her sisters. Later at the restaurant, Marge receives a bottle of French perfume from Bart and a dried macaroni art piece from Lisa. When it comes time for Homer to give Marge his present, a bowling ball complete with drilled holes and Homer's name engraved on it, everyone's shocked including Marge, visibly upset.

Back at the house, before going to bed, Homer tries to defend his reasoning for getting Marge the bowling ball. Marge doesn't buy it and decides to go ahead and use the bowling ball just to spite Homer. Homer's upset because his plan for a new bowling ball now backfired. The next day at Barney's Bowlarama, Marge goes bowling by herself and clearly doesn't know what she's doing. A French accented man named Jacques, bowling in the lane next to Marge, comes over and offers bowling lessons to her, and she accepts. It's clear Jacques's to trying to seduce Marge, and she's very flattered. Back at the house, Homer does his fatherly duties, provides pizza for dinner, and puts the kids to bed. Later on, with everyone asleep, Marge finally comes home. When Marge tells Homer she'll be going bowling again the next night, he becomes suspicious, but doesn't say anything to her about it. The next night at the bowling alley, Jacques gives Marge a wrist guard for bowling, with her name embroidered on it. The seduction continues, and Marge is clearly enjoying herself. Later on, Jacques drops off Marge at home and invites Marge to brunch the next day. She reluctantly agrees. When she comes to bed late, once again Homer's suspicious, but doesn't say anything.

The next morning, before school, Marge gives Bart and Lisa large sack lunches with extra goodies inside and showers them with lots of love. Lisa asks Marge if she is going bowling later, and Marge says yes. Later on the bus, while Bart comments on the cool lunches, Lisa explains to him Marge is feeling guilty because her marriage with Homer's starting to crumble. Bart doesn't understand and denies the situation even exists. At brunch with Jacques, Marge is visibly nervous about being seen with another man, and local gossip Helen Lovejoy (the wife of Reverend Lovejoy) stops by to chat. Marge starts feeling even more uncomfortable, and, when Jacques asks her to meet with him at his apartment, she faints. During her fainting spell, Marge dreams about the encounter with Jacques at his apartment. In the dream, Marge in a gown and Jacques in a tux dance together and just as Jacques leans in for a kiss, she wakes up from her dream. Marge sees Jacques staring her in the eyes, and she agrees to meet him again, this time, at his apartment.

Back at home in the bedroom, Homer discovers Marge's wrist guard and fears the worst. Bart comes in and asks Homer to play catch. When playing catch in the backyard, Homer's too depressed and lost in thought to pay attention. Bart panics and realizes Lisa's right about their parents' marriage. He offers Homer some advice and tells him to keep his mouth shut to Marge about the situation and maybe it won't get any worse. The next morning, while Marge is making the kids lunches for school, Homer tells her how much he likes her sandwiches, mentions he doesn't believe in keeping feelings bottled up inside, and walks out to go to work. Marge is touched by his words. Cut to Jacques at his apartment getting ready for his meeting with Marge, and it's apparent he plans on really putting the moves on Marge this time. Back to Homer at work, too preoccupied to eat his lunch. Meanwhile, Marge is in the car headed for Jacques' apartment. On the way there, she sees various couples together clearly in love. When she comes to a fork in the road with one way leading to Jacques and the other leading to Homer at the power plant, she can't decide which way to go. Cut back to Homer, looking sad and depressed at work when Marge walks in and taps him on the shoulder, surprising him and making him forget all of his worries. As Homer carries Marge in his arms off to the backseat of their car, he announces "I won't be back for ten minutes!"


The episode was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by David Silverman.


"Life on the Fast Lane" won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program in the 42nd Primetime Emmy Awards.[2]

In other languages[edit]

Language Name Translation
Germany.png Deutsch "Der schöne Jacques" The handsome Jacques
Spain flag.png Español "Jacques, el rompecorazones" Jacques, the heartthrob
Hispanic America.gif Español "Un momento de decisión" A moment of decision
France.png Français "Marge perd la boule" Marge loses the ball/her mind
Flag of Quebec.svg.png Français "Marge prend sa revanche" Marge gets her revenge
Italy Flag.png Italiano "Nati per essere sfrenati" Born to be wild
Brasil Flag.png Português "Uma Vida Turbulenta" A Stormy Life
Hungary flag.png Magyar "Kalandra fel!" Adventure time
Flag of Japan.png 日本語 "恋におちて" Falling in Love


The Saga of Carl - title screen.png Wikisimpsons has a collection of images related to "Life on the Fast Lane".
Season 1 Episodes
Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire Bart the Genius Homer's Odyssey There's No Disgrace Like Home Bart the General Moaning Lisa The Call of the Simpsons The Telltale Head Life on the Fast Lane Homer's Night Out The Crepes of Wrath Krusty Gets Busted Some Enchanted Evening