| "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious"
| Episode Information
"Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious" is the thirteenth episode of season 8 of The Simpsons and the one-hundred and sixty-sixth episode overall. It originally aired on February 7, 1997. The episode was written by Al Jean and Mike Reiss and directed by Chuck Sheetz.
- "The Simpson family get a nanny after Marge starts losing her hair to stress."
Whilst eating dinner, the Simpson family watch the Krusty Komedy Klassic. Marge gets demands from many of the family members, eventually being told by Lisa that there's a hair in her soup. This hair turns out to be Marge's, which upsets her. Marge then starts to lose a lot of her hair, getting holes in it. This greatly upsets Marge who then goes to the Springfield General Hospital to get checked out by Dr. Hibbert. Dr. Hibbert can't find anything physically wrong with her but suggests that the hair loss may be from stress. To relieve the stress, Marge decides that the family should hire a nanny to help out around the house.
After Homer chases off several nannies, thinking they were men in drag after watching Mrs. Doubtfire, Bart and Lisa sing a song ("Minimum Wage Nanny") to Homer and Marge. After this, Shary Bobbins floats down from the sky to apply as a nanny for the family. After passing the interview, Shary gets straight to work with the kids, getting them to clean up Bart's bedroom with a song and dance ("Cut Every Corner"). This helps Shary to bond with the kids. Shary then takes the kids to the park where she sees several people she knows, and then they meet Groundskeeper Willie. Willie reveals that he and Shary were previously engaged until Shary got her eyesight back and left him. Shary and the kids then fly a kite, with Shary allowing Mr. Burns to fly one too. This resulted in Burns getting struck by lightning and having his heart restart.
Meanwhile, Homer and Marge were pleased with Shary as the house was spotless and the kids were occupied. However, Shary was starting to get annoyed at the family after the kids demanded that Shary sing them another song ("A Boozehound Named Barney"). After she sung the song, the kids fell asleep. The next day, Shary decided that she had done enough as the family was better and the kids were behaved. Shary then left, only for the house to immediately descent into chaos again. Shary walked back in and decided that she had to stay to try and fix everything.
At this point, the family were back to their usual selfish selves. They demanded Shary do stuff for them and went back to being lazy. When Shary tried to sing to them again, she was shut down. Bart's room went back to being a mess and Lisa refused to go outside. After watching an episode of The Itchy & Scratchy Show, "Reservoir Cats" (guest directed by Quentin Tarantino), the family realized what a state Shary Bobbins was in and realized it was all their fault. They then sang to Shary ("Happy Just the Way We Are") to tell her that they are happy with the way things are and they didn't ant to change. Shary then leaves the house, grabs her umbrella and flies off into the engine of an airplane as the Simpsons wonder if they'll ever see her again.
The idea for the episode was pitched as a writers retreat several years earlier but nobody ran with it. This happened with "The Springfield Files" as well. Al Jean and Mike Reiss then left to work for Disney. However, they struck a deal with Disney where they could work on four episodes of The Simpsons whilst working at Disney so they decided to write the episodes. The episode was Al Jean's idea and Mike Reiss told him that he didn't want to do it, and Jean was going to write it by himself. He eventually relented and it turned out to be one of the best regarded things they had done together. The writers also asked Julie Andrews if she wanted a part in the episode, but she declined. The episode came out a bit short so they tried to pad out the episode to make it meet the run time. The part where Homer attacks Mrs. Pennyfeather has Homer calling her "fakey, phony". This part was ad-libbed by Dan Castellaneta and not part of the script. Matt Groening was also very nervous about the episode.
Mike Reiss wouldn't let Shary Bobbins do anything magical in the episode because they wouldn't have magical things happening in other episodes. Eric Stefani served as the layout artist for most of the musical moments as he is also a musician. The episode was done with a skeleton staff of Reid Harrison and David M. Stern. This was because Jean and Reiss were working freelance at the time. After the park scene, the "We Love To Smoke" song was supposed to happen when the family went to visit Patty and Selma. However, this was cut from the episode because it didn't get any laughs. The song was later included on the album Go Simpsonic with The Simpsons.
The snow effect during "A Boozehound Named Barney" is layered over the other animation. The snow also falls in the same way no matter the position of the camera. When Grampa flies off with Shary's umbrella, he yells "I've never felt so alive." This line was added during coloring as they realized Grampa's mouth was moving. Quentin Tarantino was also offered a role in the episode as himself but he declined. During the song "Happy Just the Way We Are", they forgot to record Dan Castellaneta singing part of the song, so they just have Homer standing around mouthing to the words. The ending of Shary Bobbins going into the jet engine was originally intended to be a gag on The Critic but it never got made. So, they reused the gag in the episode.
Alf Clausen was nominated for an Emmy award for this episode. However, it lost to The 70th Annual Academy Awards Maggie Roswell was nominated for a 1997 Annie Award in "Best Individual Achievement: Voice Acting by a Female Performer in a TV Production". However, she lost to June Foray for The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries.
Gwen Ihnat of The A.V. Club called "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious" one of the most successful Simpsons parodies. She also called "Cut Every Corner" the "musical high point" of the episode. Ihnat went on to say that the third act of the episode showing Shary Bobbins' descent into madness was a master stroke.
- Jean, Al (2006). Commentary for "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious", in The Simpsons: The Complete Eighth Season.
- Reiss, Mike (2006). Commentary for "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious", in The Simpsons: The Complete Eighth Season.
- Groening, Matt (2006). Commentary for "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious", in The Simpsons: The Complete Eighth Season.
- Sheetz, Chuck (2006). Commentary for "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious", in The Simpsons: The Complete Eighth Season.
- Emmy Awards - "Outstanding Music Direction 1998"
- The Annie Awards - "Legacy: 25th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (1997)" (archived on Wayback Machine)
- The A.V. Club - "The Simpsons (Classic): “Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala-D’oh!-cious”"
- IMDb - "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious"
- TV.com - "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious"