| "To Cur, with Love"
| Episode Information
"To Cur, with Love" is the eighth episode of season 24 of The Simpsons and the five-hundred and sixteenth episode overall. It originally aired on December 16, 2012. The episode was written by Carolyn Omine and directed by Steven Dean Moore.
- "Grampa has to move into the Simpsons house following a fire at the retirement home, and on moving day, Homer 'throws his back out' and 'rests' at home. He later finds an advert for a video game, Villageville on his myPad, and starts playing. During that time, Homer loses Santa's Little Helper. When the family find him, Homer doesn't seem to care because he's "not a dog person". Grampa later tells the rest of the family the story of Homer's childhood companion, pet dog Bongo."
During a event in downtown Springfield, Professor Frink demonstrates his MHV vehicle which allows sound waves to replace fuel, but he soon loses control of the car, causing it to crash into the Springfield Retirement Castle. The Simpson family watch the breaking news on TV and worry about Grandpa Simpson's fate, only to see him coming out alive and telling the news that he was going to stay with his son. Marge, Bart, and Lisa set out with boxes to help Grandpa move, but Homer fakes breaking his back, allowing him to stay at home. While there, Homer plays with his MyPad and discovers a app game called "Villageville". He plays and becomes obsessively addicted, trying to build a village, but ignores Santa's Little Helper. When the others return, they discover Homer lied to them, but are even more shocked when they discover the dog is missing. After minutes to hours searching, they eventually find Santa's Little Helper hidden in a pantry shelf below the sink. Lisa and Bart realize Homer hasn't paid any attention to the dog all day. Grandpa soon mentions another dog named Bongo, which upsets Homer. Homer runs upstairs crying, while Grandpa tells the rest of the family about Bongo.
In a flashback, young Homer & Bongo were each other's best friends; Bongo helped Homer avoid a quiz, escape the dentist, and set the school on fire. Abe then reveals that, during a kids fundraiser Mr. Burns was hosting, Burns insulted Homer, which led to Bongo attacking him. An upset, Burns threatened Bongo, forcing Abe to hide Bongo at a farm belonging to Ms. Viola, which ended up damaging not only Homer and Bongo's relationship, but Abe's relationship with his son.
Back in the present, Homer accepts that he will likely never see Bongo again, and that Bongo will never remember his old friend. Abe shows Homer a picture of an old Bongo, resting on an old sweatshirt Homer gave to him when Abe left Bongo with Ms. Viola. Homer becomes happy that Bongo still remembers him. When Homer looks at Santa's Little Helper, he realizes the mistakes he made to the family dog and as well Abe. Making up with Abe by hugging his father, Homer is soon spotted sleeping on the couch with Santa's Little Helper by his side, along with Abe. When Bart tries to get Santa's Little Helper, Homer shouted "My Dog!". Bart lets Santa's Little Helper stay, but tell Homer tomorrow the dog is his and leaves. In a dream sequence, Homer is walking with Santa's Little Helper while next to them is young Homer and Bongo; as well Burns walking his dogs and Krusty and his gorilla.
The episode was written by Carolyn Omine and directed by Steven Dean Moore. The episode was paired with the short, Montgomery Burns Explains the "Fiscal Cliff" which aired right after the episode ended and right before the closing credits. On January 3, 2012, the thumbnail (for one scene only), the storyboard, the animatic and the full color images of three scenes from the episode were posted on Pinterest.
This episode, because of President Obama's address to the nation following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, was watched by a total of 3.77 million viewers. Overnight ratings however, showed that 4.41 million viewers watched the episode. Despite The Simpsons' low ratings (its lowest ever then), the show still managed to be Fox's most watched show of the night. Fox scheduled a repeat airing of the episode to air in the 8:30pm time slot on December 23, 2012, which gathered 4.88 million viewers.