Strong Arms of the Ma

Strong Arms of the Ma
"Strong Arms of the Ma"
The Simpsons episode
Strong Arms of the Ma.jpg
Marge announces that she will keep taking steroids.
Episode no. 300
Prod. code EABF04
Orig. airdate February 2, 2003
Written by Carolyn Omine
Directed by Pete Michels
Chalkboard gag "The school does not need a 'regime change' "
Couch gag The couch is a novelty cardboard cut-out with holes in it. The family members go behind the standup and stick their faces through the holes: Lisa becomes the face for Homer, Homer becomes Marge, Maggie becomes Lisa, Bart becomes Maggie and Marge becomes Bart. Instead of the TV, a photographer is standing in front of the Simpsons and takes their picture.
Guest star(s) Pamela Reed as Ruth Powers
DVD
commentary
Al Jean
Carolyn Omine
Matt Selman
Kevin Curran
Michael Price
Matt Warburton
Pete Michels

"Strong Arms of the Ma" is the ninth episode of The Simpsons' fourteenth season which aired on February 2, 2003. It is the 300th episode to be broadcast.

Plot

The Simpson family goes to Rainier Wolfcastle's bankruptcy garage sale, where everything that he owns is for sale at extremely low prices. Homer asks Rainier if he has anything that will increase in value when he dies and is shown an old weight-lifting set, complete with dumbbells and bench press. Homer takes it and packs everything and everybody in the car in the style of a Tetris game. The car ends up being so overpacked that Homer has no room in it and ends up being carried home by Rainier Wolfcastle in a baby harness built for an adult and used in the Rob Schneider movie My Baby is an Ugly Man!

On the way home, Marge and the kids discover that Maggie has soiled her diaper and needs a change. Marge quickly pulls into the Kwik-E-Mart, and Apu reluctantly allows her to use the restroom after smelling Maggie. Later, as Marge comes out with a much sweeter-smelling Maggie, a shady character in a Goofy hat accosts her and threatens her with a gun. Finding only diapers in Marge's purse, he grabs Marge's pearl necklace and takes off. Marge, stunned, walks to her car in a daze and breaks down sobbing at the wheel in front of her kids.

The next day, they inform the police and Chief Wiggum declares he will investigate immediately. Later, as Marge is about to leave the house, Homer gives her some pepper spray and some tips on how to handle an attacker. She pulls up to the Kwik-E-Mart, but she snaps when Ralph greets her. She pepper-sprays him on impulse, and feeling guilty, drives back home where she feels safe. When she reaches home, Bart tells her she is parked over the mailman. Marge is a nervous wreck and cannot bring herself to cross the threshold of her house to help the mailman. Dr. Hibbert goes to their home and diagnoses Marge with agoraphobia. Homer and the kids try their best over the next few days to encourage her to go outside, but to no avail. Eventually, she moves into the basement. There, feeling a bit safer, she prepares breakfast for the family and sets up a bed for herself. One day, when she is alone at home, she eyes Rainier Wolfcastle's weight-lifting set and decides to use it to pass the time.

In two weeks, she builds herself up and even gets a well-defined washboard stomach (much to Homer's delight). Suddenly, she dashes out to the garden to get some lemons. Realizing that she is not afraid anymore, an overjoyed Marge starts running around town. Suddenly, she runs into her mugger, who sarcastically says "What you have done, living with fear?" (as Marge joyfully remarks that she isn't afraid any longer to everyone that she sees ahead.). Even though the mugger doesn't move a finger against Marge, she beats him to a bloody pulp out of revenge. Homer gleefully declares "It's like I'm married to Shaft!" The cops arrive and arrest the crook. Marge starts exercising even more (to the theme from Rocky). One day, as she jogs by an open-air gym at the beach, she runs into Ruth Powers, her old neighbor (from "New Kid on the Block" and "Marge on the Lam"). Ruth, pretty buffed herself from her years as "Miss Mexican Mafia" in prison, tells Marge that she owes it all to steroids. She talks Marge into using them, attacking her inability to stop trying to be stronger, and also advises Marge to enter a women's bodybuilding contest. Marge, using the steroids, exercises harder than ever, and becomes very muscular and estrogen-depleted, resulting in a short temper and a new-found violent streak, which is quite harmful to everyone (including her family) next to her, especially due to her recent developed superhuman strength (evident when she stop and lifted the school bus with her bare hands). Homer, seeing these changes, finds himself less attracted to her. When Homer refuses Marge's sexual advances the night before the contest, she callously ignores his worries and then proceeds to pin him down and rapes him, before leaving him completely sore and exhausted to take care of the kids the next morning. She wins second place, which irritates Marge when her muscular ears overhear her family's unhappy conversation in the audience.

Later that night, at Moe's, Marge tells everyone at the bar that she is going to exercise and take more steroids so she will never come in second place again. Things get worse when Moe says to Marge that "I don't got enough booze to make you look good". She flies into an uncontrollable rage, beating up all comers (even taking out five sailors as they march in to fight her) and ultimately trashes the bar. Homer (who has been hiding in the back) comes out to confront his wife as she prepares to hurl Lenny. Terrified, Homer tells Marge that he misses the sweet, feminine woman he married. Marge, horrified with what she has done, apologizes, drops Lenny, and leaves with Homer. Moe, in order to cover the costs of repairing his bar, sets fire to it; however, Carl points out that he has not insured the place yet. Later, at the Simpson house, Marge burns the weight set in the furnace as the show ends. Homer asks if Marge is ready for a "real workout" which turns out to be a request to wax the car, after which he gets beaten by Marge into meekly saying that he was just kidding.

Cultural references

  • The episode spoofs the film The Godfather, as Marge attacks her mugger and then kicks him to under a fire hydrant before onlooking spectators in a manner similar to Sonny Corleone beating up Carlo Rizzi.
  • The bar where Marge meets Ruth Powers is named 'Let's hear it for the Soy', a reference to the Deniece Williams song "Let's Hear It for the Boy".
  • As Marge gulps down steroids in the manner of Popeye eating spinach, the Popeye theme plays.
  • After drinking the steroids and remarking over how there will be no repercussions, Marge's eyes turn green. Much like the famous transformation sequence in The Incredible Hulk.
  • Marge's license plate reads the code for this episode.
  • The scene where the mailman is about to read "Twilight Zone magazine" and finds out his glasses are broken is a spoof of The Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough at Last"; the theme music plays during this scene.
  • As Marge attacks the bar patrons with a jukebox, three songs play, each changing as Marge hits a patron: they are, in succeeding order, "Love Is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar, "At Last" by Etta James and "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
  • In the scene when Marge fought all the bar lions, and is about to hurl Lenny, the song "Adagio for Strings" by Samuel Barber, a song which is known for heard in the movie Platoon, plays in the background.
  • At the beauty contest, the announcer introduces the muscular women as the "Iron Maidens", a reference to rock band Iron Maiden.
  • At the beauty contest, the cowgirl contestant sings the Frankie Lane song, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence," which was a theme to the 1962 movie of the same title.
  • When the Sailormen leave Moe's badly beaten, Anchors aweigh sounds, in a reference to 1941.
  • When Marge runs down the street she screams "I'm not afraid", which is a reference to the movie Home Alone.

External links


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