Hello and welcome to Laughing Place’s regular recap of new episodes of The Simpsons on the FOX network. This week’s installment, entitled “A Made Maggie,” is the tenth episode of the long-running animated sitcom’s 33rd season.
Chalkboard gag: None.
Couch gag: None.
“A Made Maggie” begins at a parody of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter called “The Overpriced World of Angelica Button,” where Homer tries on the “Categorize Cap” to see which magic school suits him. When he’s sorted into the “Grizzledum” house, Bart warns him that he’s now a sworn enemy of Pufflesnuff. “I hate those guys,” Homer murmurs, just before he is immediately accosted by a trio of adult Pufflesnuff members who make fun of his weight. Lisa tells her father they’re just park employees, which Homer thinks means he can punch them without them hitting back, but then they inform him that they’re seasonal workers, meaning they “can do what they bloody well please.” Homer tries to enlist the help of a fellow Grizzledum, but it’s just a house elf who is “known for his stomach aches.” While the three toughs chase Homer around the theme park area, Marge takes the time to call Grampa Simpson to check on Maggie.
After being connected through an old-fashioned telephone operator, Abe tells Marge that “everything is A-Okay!” but Maggie is playing in the litter box with the family cat Snowball. Thinking he is outside at the beach, Grampa starts to put on what he believes to be sunscreen, but it’s really chip dip. Back at the park, the Simpsons board a ride called Cauldrons of Chaos (basically Disneyland’s Mad Tea Party) and Homer thinks he can use the attraction as an opportunity to relax until Bart starts spinning the ride out of control. Bart refuses to stop unless Homer agrees to buy the kids something at the gift shop, and Homer hits the emergency stop button, which dumps the family down an exit chute right into… well, the gift shop. Bart and Lisa select numerous wands, which makes Homer grumble as he opens his wallet, and then they head home. Arriving back at the house, they find Grampa swaddling the cat, who is sucking on Maggie’s pacifier.
Marge panics and asks Abe when the last time he saw Maggie was: “I just changed her diaper before I put the cat out.” Of course the cat is wearing a diaper, so Bart and Lisa head outside in search of their baby sister. A knock at the door reveals that Ned Flanders has found and returned Maggie home, and Marge embraces her with numerous kisses. Homer says he owes Flanders one, to which Ned replies, “Could you give me back my allen wrench?” Homer mocks Flanders for naming his tools, and Marge says she will never ask Grampa to babysit again. Ned says Maggie has the best insurance a baby needs: a simple Christian baptism, but Marge admits that Maggie hasn’t been baptized yet. Marge asks Flanders to be Maggie’s godfather, but evidently there’s a long waiting list (and Comic Book Guy thought the buzzer was for Tony Roma’s). Marge lays awake at night worried that Maggie isn’t baptized, but Homer tells her to sleep well knowing that “current religious thought is that Maggie won’t go to hell… although that’s always up for debate.”
Marge has a dream that the family is in church and a flaming demon hand comes out of the holy water to take Maggie away to hell, where she grows horns and sits on the devil’s lap. “She’ll play in an unsanitary ball pit for all of eternity.” Bart’s in hell too, and he has Milhouse growing on his back, which makes Marge wake up and declare that it’s time to get Maggie baptized, suggesting that either Patty or Selma could be the godmother. “Well, that would insult one of them,” says Homer, “but I want to insult both of them.” Marge says they need to find a godfather who goes to church weekly, and sends Homer out into the world to track one down. Cut to Moe’s Tavern, where Homer turns off the TV and asks around for a godfather, eventually crossing Lenny, Carl, Moe, and Barney off his list. He visits the police station but crosses Chief Wiggum’s name off after he sees what he’s done with his son Ralph.
Homer tells Maggie she doesn’t have to worry about dying anytime soon, but then two Laurel and Hardy types accidentally drop a piano from a balcony above, and suddenly Fat Tony the gangster leaps in and pushes a statue in their way, knocking them to the ground mere instants before they would have been killed. Homer notices that Fat Tony is religious and says, “You’d be a great godfather if it weren’t for… you know…” Fat Tony makes Maggie laugh and accepts Homer’s “offer” to become godfather to his child. “You did offer it to me, didn’t you?” A man recording the conversation from a nearby FBI surveillance van confirms he did. Fat Tony tears up because he now has something innocent and pure in his life, and Homer says it’s great because “it’ll be just like The Godfather.” “The what?” responds Fat Tony. “Never heard of it.”
Naturally, back at home Marge does not want Fat Tony to be Maggie’s godfather, saying they’d be better off with Mr. Burns. “I asked him. He’s allergic to new baby smell,” says Homer. Fat Tony then drops by unannounced and notices that Maggie’s car seat is outdated and facing in the wrong direction, which triggers a flashback to Homer driving recklessly while Maggie bounces around in the back seat. Fat Tony presents the Simpsons with a top-of-the-line car seat, which Marge says is very nice. She’s even more impressed with the new car Fat Tony has leased for her, but she still tells Fat Tony he can’t be the godfather. Fat Tony offers to get Maggie into a series of prestigious schools thanks to the many people who owe him favors, so Marge tells Homer to play along until they can get out of the situation. She kisses Fat Tony’s ring and he attends the baptism ceremony, where Homer hugs the new car and welcomes it to the family.
Out to dinner at Luigi’s, Marge tells herself just to get through the evening because “you never see the godparents again.” Fat Tony says he takes the responsibilities of being a godfather seriously “and almost intrusive.” He presents Maggie with a First Communion book his mother gave him along with his first ten-dollar bill, which blows out of the book and burns up on the tabletop candle, causing Fat Tony to break down in tears. Fat Tony is further incensed when Lisa informs him about the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism, and he gives Maggie a statue of “the Saint of Learning to Speak,” which she begins sucking on like a pacifier. “You gotta love a religion with merch,” says Bart. Marge tells Homer that Fat Tony being godfather might actually work out, and on the way the family keeps stopping the new car so they can play with its automatic gull-wing doors.
At a park the next day, Fat Tony’s henchmen Legs and Louie babysit Maggie in the playground, and when Baby Gerald kicks over her sandcastle, Legs puts a bucket on his head. Now terrified of her, the other babies on the playground pay tribute to Maggie in pacifiers and plastic shovels. Later, Fat Tony tells his men not to talk about violence in front of the baby, so Louie says they’re going to give a guy “a boo-boo to the brain… make him go night-night forever.” The mafiosos start to worry that Fat Tony is going soft, so they talk to the don, and an agreement is made to take the mob boss out. At the Simpson house, Marge is worried that Maggie looks different because she’s dressed like a New Jerseyan, but Homer says they can’t be bad parents because Maggie got admitted to the Preschool for the Performing Arts.
Fat Tony shows up to take the family “for a ride” because he won’t allow Maggie to miss the early Sunday church service. Inside, Fat Tony makes Bart sing along with the hymnal, and Homer prays to God to bail him out of this predicament. After church, Marge says she only saw the wedding part of The Godfather and asks Homer if anything happened after that. Fat Tony joins the conversation and Homer tries to broach the topic of ending their agreement, but Fat Tony interrupts to give the family tickets to “Itchy and Scratchy’s Christmas On Ice.” Fat Tony then decides to open a legitimate legitimate business– a baby supply store in the Springfield mall, but when he shames his men for only thinking criminally again, they decide to make their move the following Sunday. At preschool, Marge asks Fat Tony not to give Maggie anymore “bling,” and when she sees her daughter pushing another baby to the ground in order to steal his toy, Marge imagines a future for Maggie where she’s a mob wife who burns down her house with her tied-up husband inside.
Marge tells Fat Tony to stay away from her kid, and the mob boss excuses himself to “attend to an urgent matter.” He searches behind a bathroom stall (like in The Godfather) but instead of a gun he pulls out a clean diaper and uses it to change Maggie. Fat Tony tells Homer he’s getting out of the mafia business and into the “slightly less cutthroat” business of maternity wear. “I’m gonna get my soul back, and Maggie is my inspiration.” Fat Tony asks for one more day to prove that he belongs in Maggie’s life, and has Legs and Louie dispose of Maggie’s dirty diaper, which they shoot multiple times and bury near the town’s waterfront. At the ice show, several hitmen prepare to “off” Fat Tony, and one tells the other to “take the gun, leave the Zamboni” (yet another Godfather reference). The Simpson family sit with Fat Tony during the show, who tells them that he has bought out the rest of the arena in the interest of safety.
“No audience means no witnesses,” observes Lisa. Marge begs Fat Tony to leave Maggie alone, offering to cook and clean for him in return, but the wiseguy refuses. Then Scratchy skates over and takes off his mask, revealing Johnny Tightlips underneath. “This is it, Tony. You did the worst thing a mob boss could ever do: care about somebody else.” But Legs and Louie come out of nowhere and stop Johnny, both claiming to be Fat Tony’s cousin. Fat Tony knocks Johnny Tightlips to the ice with the butt of his gun, but when he notices the Simpson family watching he stops himself. “I’m sorry– that’s not me.” “Oh, isn’t it?” replies Marge. Fat Tony admits he can’t change who he is, but says it’s not too late for Maggie to go straight. He steps back as godfather and proceeds to beat Johnny over the head. Marge hesitantly hands over the keys to the new car, but she won’t let go of the keys so Fat Tony lets her open the doors one more time, knocking down a passing Hans Moleman.
Fat Tony bids farewell to Maggie: “Ciao, Bella.” Homer asks Fat Tony to change Maggie one last time… “Just when I thought I was out, they drag me back in.” In the coda, Legs and Louie bury another dirty diaper and Legs says, “If this keeps up, I’m calling HR.” Louie responds, “You mean Harry the Rat? He’s buried right there.”
New episodes of The Simpsons air Sunday evenings on FOX.
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 all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.