The Simpsons: Life on the Fast Lane – My Thoughts

Life on the Fast Lane is the 9th episode of the first season of The Simpsons. It’s no secret that the marriage of Marge and Homer have faced several trials and tribulations in their marriage, and this episode highlights one issue that plagues their marriage, Homer’s selfish nature.

As an adult, I have a whole new appreciation for the stories and complexity of the characters within the universe of The Simpsons, and this is one of my favourite episodes highlighting the imperfections of relationships.

The images used within this post are covered by fair use under the Fair Use Act.

Plot Summary

Homer forgets that it is Marge’s birthday and rushes out to buy her a gift. He winds up finding a bowling ball that he wants to buy for himself, but he instead purchases it for Marge knowing that she isn’t a fan of bowling. He even had his own name engraved onto the item.

Marge is annoyed by Homer’s selfish “gift” and opts to go bowling, by herself, out of spite. Having never bowled before, Marge is atrocious. She attracts the attention of another bowler called Jacques, who assists her and begins to take a liking to her.
Jacques is attempting to seduce Marge. She is flattered and enjoys it.

The episode continues to show Homer at home with the children, all of whom are aware that the marriage of Homer and Marge is crumbling; meanwhile Marge is having fun with Jacques. At the end of the episode, Marge has to decide if she wants to continue her life with Homer, or go visit Jacques at his home. After seeing signs reminding her of their wedding vows, she chooses to forgive her husband.

My Thoughts

This episode highlights how quickly relationships can fall apart if one party is feeling under appreciated. Although Homer had no ill intentions when purchasing the bowling ball, it was an incredibly selfish thing to do, on his wife’s birthday, no less.
This wasn’t the first occasion he had bought a gift for himself under the guise of it being for her to use, after time, this obviously wore her down.

Jacques was a breath of fresh air for her. He paid attention to her. He was patient with her, and him purchasing a custom, embroidered bowling glove for her, gave her the joy of feeling appreciated, something that Homer dimwittingly stopped providing for her.

Of course, her relationship with Jacques was in it’s infancy. The start of any new relationship is fun, exciting and, you spend a lot of time becoming comfortable with that person. In long-term relationships, all the “new” feelings that are associated with the relationship tend to dissipate. This doesn’t mean the relationship is doomed, but it can occasionally feel disheartening when your partner/spouse doesn’t seem to behave the same way as they used to.

No relationship is perfect because people are flawed. Marge loves Homer deep down, and realised this at the end of the episode.
Homer and Marge have built a life together; they have a home and a family of their own. And in the end, she realised that her marriage and family were worth more than a fleeting fling.
All the excitement she felt with Jacques would be fleeting, and jumping from relationship to relationship just to relive these feelings would destroy the life she had built.


I asked Twitter if they thought the marriage of Marge and Homer was healthy, this is the result of that!


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