Hello and welcome to Laughing Place’s regular recaps of new episodes of The Simpsons on the FOX Network. This week’s installment is the fifth episode of the long-running animated sitcom’s 32nd season, entitled “The 7 Beer Itch” (not to be confused with season 16’s “The Seven-Beer Snitch,” though both titles are a play on the 1955 Marilyn Monroe romantic comedy film The Seven Year Itch, directed by Billy Wilder).
Chalkboard Gag: None.
Couch Gag: Dressed in spacesuits, our favorite family is bouncing around on the moon. They all sit on the couch but Homer bounces too high and flies out into space.
The episode opens with Groundskeeper Willie (voiced by Dan Castellaneta) singing a song to Nelson Muntz, a squirrel, and a raccoon. He’s telling a story about a woman named Lily (guest star Olivia Coleman of The Favourite) who everyone in his hometown wanted to date. We see a flashback to men in a pub fighting over her, and Willie explains that all the guys wanted her because she made life fun. Then there’s a montage of Lily running around the UK making a ruckus. Because she causes such a commotion, Lily is banished to “England's penal colony,” America, and on the plane to the US the pilot leaves the cockpit to propose to her. She then rejects Leonardo Dicaprio and throws a dart which lands on an ad for “America’s least romantic city,” Springfield.
Lily arrives at Moe’s Tavern, where the local barflies are down in the dumps. “Excuse me there lady, but this is a man’s bar,” says Moe (Hank Azaria) as Lily enters. She starts singing a pub song to prove she belongs. “There are songs about drinking?” exclaims Barney (also Castellaneta). Narrator Willie berates the audience for expecting the Simpsons to show up in the story, before saying that Homer (Castellaneta yet again) is about to receive a surprise. Marge (Julie Kavner) is taking the kids on vacation to her relative’s home where Homer isn’t allowed, and the pets are staying next door with Ned Flanders (Harry Shearer) because “we knew he would take care of them.” Homer chases Marge’s car down the highway and runs off the road to a weigh station, which proclaims him overweight for a truck. He winds up at Moe’s, where Lily finishes her song and opens a window in the bar for the first time. “Lily, you transformed this dump into a joint. Bless you,” says Moe.
Homer enters the bar and Lily is immediately attracted to him because he doesn’t offer her a chair. Lily says Homer has to have a good time in his family’s absence to avoid them having guilt over leaving. Homer calls Marge on his cell phone and the call doesn’t go through because Bart (Nancy Cartwright) and Lisa (Yeardley Smith) are arguing in the car. Marge and the kids arrive at Martha’s Vineyard and rent a jeep, then drive to the vacation home. At Moe’s, Homer is looking through pictures of his family on his phone when Lily starts singing another song. “If you’re done singing, can we turn up the game?” Homer asks. Lily runs out crying because Homer isn’t hitting on her. Barney comforts her by admitting “I love him too,” and they both sigh.
On Martha’s Vineyard, Marge is resting and Bart is chasing birds but immediately gets covered in ticks after running into the woods. Margs removes all the ticks and tells Bart to watch Itchy & Scratchy while convalescing. “But mom, I am itchy and scratchy.” At the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, Lily brings lunch to all the guys. Mr. Burns (Shearer) watches from his balcony as Lily picnics with Homer, Lenny, and Carl. Burns falls instantly in love with Lily and has Smithers (Shearer too) enlist Homer to ask her out on a date for him. On vacation, Marge is exploring the town as a boatful of tourists arrive. “And raise the prices… now,” says a local shopkeep. The tourists invade the streets and their mopeds nearly run Marge over, causing her to decide to return to Springfield.
Lily finds Homer on the boardwalk and sits down next to him on a bench. Homer reveals that she’s going on a date with Mr. Burns, and a shocked Lily asks Homer to be their chaperone. At dinner on Burns’s yacht, Homer and Lily have a moment, but Burns is creeping her out. “You make me feel like I’m having dinner with a James Bond villain,” she says, as we cut back to Burns stroking a white cat. “She gets me,” he says. Lily is upset that Homer arranged this date, when Smithers rolls out a giant cake, out of which pops an inappropriately dressed Mr. Burns. Lily makes an excuse to end the date and walks off with Homer at sunset. They flirt on the boardwalk and Lily wipes a morsel of food off Homer’s lip, which makes him start sweating. He drives her home and she asks him to walk her in. “You’re the most anything of any woman I’ve ever known, except for my wife!” Lily kisses Homer against his wishes and then goes inside her house, leaving him angry outside.
Back at the Simpson home, Homer is fighting to stay awake so he doesn’t dream of Lily. He finally passes out and of course dreams of Lily, but then wakes up to find Marge stroking his cheek. Homer embraces his wife but drops her on the ground when Lily calls his cell phone. Lily tells him to meet her at Lover’s Lane. “I have to tell you, nothing’s going to happen,” says Homer. “Can you tell me in person?” replies Lily. “Great idea!” Lily sings to Homer over the phone as he walks through the suburbs back to her house. At the last moment before opening the door, he sees visions of Marge and then returns home, where he promises to never leave his soulmate. At the airport, we see Lily crying as she waits for her flight back to London at the gate.
Back in the UK, Lily is morosely drinking in a pub. “There will never be another like him,” she sobs. All the men around hit on her, and she rejects all of them until a Homer doppelganger with a big handlebar moustache approaches her. “Two questions: are you married, and will you shave off your moustache?” Lily asks the man. “Yes, and immediately,” he replies, as they walk off together down the street.
Next week: “The Road to Cincinnati”
Mike serves as Laughing Place’s lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly “Who’s the Bossk?” Star Wars podcast. He’s been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general since a very young age and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.