The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed
| "The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed"
| Episode Information
"The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed" is the sixteenth episode of season 21. It originally aired on March 28, 2010. The episode was written by Kevin Curran and directed by Michael Polcino. Sacha Baron Cohen and Yael Naim guest starred.
- "When Homer is playing noisily in the yard, it disrupts Flanders' bible-study group. Coaxed by the reverend, a frustrated Flanders takes it upon himself to redeem Homer by inviting the Simpson family on his church retreat to Jerusalem. Unappreciative of the history and culture, Homer would rather hang out at the hotel's breakfast buffet rather than tour the city. But when an eccentric tour guide takes the group to famous monuments, including the Dome of the Rock and the Wailing Wall, Homer finally proves he is not beyond salvation."
The story opens with Flanders leading a Bible study group in his home. However, he's continually interrupted by the antics of Homer next door, who is playing on a Slosh 'N' Splash outdoor waterslide toy. In the end, Flanders gets exasperated and claims that Homer is the one and only man who is irredeemable. Reverend Lovejoy, trying to salvage the situation, encourages Ned to reach out to Homer. Ned, acquiescing, invites Homer and the Simpsons to come along with the Bible group's tour of the Holy Land. Marge accepts over Homer's objections, even offering to pay for the trip themselves.
The group lands in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, where they are met by Jakob, an eccentric Israeli tour guide and his niece Dorit, who later is revealed to be security. Jacob, after an argument with Marge, is ready to commence the tour, and Ned is eager to walk the Via Dolorossa (or Way of the Cross) as the first stop on the journey. Instead, after Homer's urging, the first stop ends up being the magnificent sights of... the hotel's breakfast bar.
Next, the tour visits the Cenacle, the legendary site of the Last Supper. While there, Ned prays for Homer's eyes to be opened to the spirituality of the land, but instead finds Homer and Bart acting irreverently within the building, further irritating Ned.
The tour then visits the Wailing Wall, where Bart runs amok, and finds himself on the receiving end of a Krav Maga beating administered by Dorit.
Afterwards, the group finally arrives at the Church of the Holy Sepluchre, where Ned, in front of the tomb of Christ, prays in thanksgiving for what he perceives to be Homer's increase in spirituality... until he finds Homer splayed asleep upon the tomb's shrine. Homer lazing on the most sacred sight of all Christianity finally enrages Ned. After realizing that Homer has used all of Flanders' camera's memory to take pictures of humorous Israeli soft drinks (such as OY!, Lemon-Lime OY! Diet Brisket, and one whose label is the Israeli flag with an exclamation point after the Star of David), he smashes the camera against the wall of the tomb, and is escorted out of the building by a group of Israeli Boarder Guard guards. Banned from the Church for life, he finally and calmly states that Homer is completely incapable of salvation and storms off out the gates of Jerusalem. Homer, fearing he's going into the desert, follows, stealing a camel to rescue him... however, Flanders was merely grabbing some tea before going to see a movie to wind down from the encounter.
Homer rides his camel through he trackless desert, encountering a sandstorm. The camel rides off without him, stranding him in the middle of the desert, near the Dead Sea. Naturally, a thirsty Homer tries to drink the heavily salty water, and ends up temporarily comatose, seeing a vision of "Veggie Tales"-style characters who convince him that he is chosen to be the Messiah. Just then, Marge and a rescue team find Homer and bring him back to the hospital, where he is ministered to by Doctor Hibbert, who diagnoses Homer as suffering from Jerusalem Syndrome. He escapes from the hospital, convinced that he needs to pronounce his message at the Dome of the Rock ("Brought to you by Lemon-Lime OY!"), where he gathers a large crowd of Christians, Jews and Muslims to hear him expound on a new religion that keys in on the similarities of the three religions as opposed to their differences.
He's soon kicked off the Rock by Agnes Skinner, similarly believing herself to be the Messiah. Hibbert, under the same delusion, refuses to help.
Finally, the tour heads home, with Homer having a clearer view of is own spiritual life... though forgetting that people can buy goods from places other than the SkyMall in-flight magazine. Ned, who is shown to have forgiven Homer, tells Homer that even though everyone was wrong with their religions today, he personally thought Homer was the closest to the real thing.
Bart and Lisa fight over who gets to sit by the window. Lisa kicks Bart in the groin and sits down while Bart lays down.
"The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed" was viewed by 5.698 million viewers and got a Nielsen Rating of 2.7. It came second in its timeslot and second in the "Animation Domination" lineup, after Family Guy.
This episode received overwhelmingly negative reviews from fans of The Simpsons, mainly due to its plot, and the tour guide. In 2011, it was voted as the worst episode in the show's history by the NHC.