| Maximum Homerdrive
| Episode Information
"Maximum Homerdrive" is the seventeenth episode of season 10. It originally aired on March 28, 1999.
- "Homer takes on a gruff truck driver in a beef-eating contest. But when the trucker pays the high price of trying to top Homer's bottomless stomach, Homer vows to deliver his cargo, leading to a cross-country truckin' adventure. Meanwhile, Marge and Lisa make the best of a troublesome new doorbell."
Lisa announces that she is going to protest a new steakhouse which allows its customers to kill their own steak, which is called "The Slaughterhouse" (it is also decorated with hanging steer carcasses and a fountain of blood, and everything on the menu is meat - even the menu itself). Homer thinks it sounds great, taking the rest of his family to eat there, and Homer enters a challenge with a friendly truck driver named Red Barclay. The challenge Homer and Red enter revolves around who will finish off a "Sir Loins-A-Lot" first, a 16 lb (256 ounce or 7.26 kg) steak that only two people in the history of The Slaughter House have finished (Red being one and Tony Randall being the other). The gargantuan steak is more than a match for Homer, as for once in his life he is unable to finish his food and breaks down crying. Red does, but dies seconds later of what Dr. Hibbert called "beef poisoning". This shocks the diners, before he reassures them that it was "probably from some other steakhouse" (Coincidently informing the Simpsons beforehand that he owns a fair percentage of the steakhouse). Homer then decides to finish Red's last delivery and brings Bart along with him, leaving the rest of the family behind.
Lamenting that Homer and Bart always get to go on exciting adventures, Marge says "Maybe it's time we took a walk on the wild side." However, she, Lisa, and Maggie end up going to a doorbell store to buy a doorbell that they install themselves, which plays The Carpenters' song "(They Long to Be) Close to You". Lisa wants to press the doorbell, but Marge insists that they should let visitors do the ringing first. Unfortunately, they barely get any visitors and they never get to ring for various reasons (Milhouse is trying to sell birdseeds, but is attacked by birds, some Jehovah's Witnesses were about to ring the doorbell when they reconsider their careers). Marge desperately tries to order garlic bread from Luigi's to get someone to ring the doorbell, but unfortunately the delivery man, who is Raphael, prefers to knock on the door and leaves when he hears that Marge is not interested in the garlic bread. Finally, Lisa gets fed up and rings the doorbell herself. However, the new doorbell starts to malfunction, playing over and over again.
Meanwhile, Homer goes to get some pills that will keep him awake overnight. He takes an entire bottle of pep pills, followed by a bottle of sleeping pills to balance it out. In the truck, he alternates between being hyper to being drowsy until he finally falls asleep at the wheel, almost heading off a cliff. The next morning, he awakes to discover a secret: the truck drove by itself with its Navitron Autodrive System. He talks it over with other drivers, who inform him that he should not mention anything about the truck driving by itself. The truck's Autodrive system also helps keep itself safe. To demonstrate the system, Homer and Bart sit on the hood. A passing bus notices this, and Homer outright tells them about the autodrive system and its nature as a secret scam. Another truck driver notices this and informs the other truckers about the situation.
Back in Springfield, Marge tries to cut the wires to the doorbell, but discovers that Homer has once again traded his tools for M&M's. She decides to just pull the wires out, but this causes the doorbell to speed up and amplify itself, disturbing the whole neighborhood.
Homer and Bart are enjoying themselves until an angry mob of truckers get in a showdown with Homer, and he survives without the help of the Autodrive system, which had ejected itself from the truck by managing to get the truck to jump over the others. The truckers briefly consider giving up scamming before deciding just to bootleg Beanie Babies. Homer and Bart finish the shipment of Artichokes and migrant workers by taking it to Atlanta, but they still need transport home. The Lord provides one, as a freight train full of napalm headed back to Springfield needs a driver (as the original driver had quit because he didn't want to deliver a train full of napalm to Springfield).
Back at the Simpson house, the doorbell's tune grows so annoying that an angry crowd has gathered. Chief Wiggum is about to shoot it until the doorbell store's mascot, Señor Ding Dong, uses his whip to silence the noise from the doorbell. Everyone in Springfield is thankful for him, and Señor Ding-Dong attempts to make a dramatic exit, but his truck is malfunctioning and he is instead forced to ask for jumper cables.
"Maximum Homerdrive" received a 7.8 rating/20 share in adults 18–49 in its original broadcast. It lost to Futurama's first episode titled "Space Pilot 3000", which aired just after this episode.