Life on the Fast Lane

Life on the Fast Lane was the 9th episode of Season 1. It aired on March 18, 1990. The episode was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by David Silverman.


It is Marge's 34th birthday, and her gifts include a gallon of cheap "French" perfume from Bart and a homemade macaroni-and-glue card from Lisa. However, Homer has completely forgotten about the date. He quickly leaves to go to the Springfield Mall to buy Marge a last-minute gift, and impulsively settles on an expensive bowling ball. The birthday party takes place at the Singing Sirloin, a restaurant featuring singing waiters, recommended by Patty and Selma. Marge is highly insulted that her primary "gift" is something Homer selfishly wants for his own use, even going to the extent of having the ball engraved with his name and having the holes drilled for his fingers. To spite him, Marge decides to keep it and use it anyway.

Just one day later, Marge goes bowling for the first time ever, but is unsuccessful. At the bowling alley she meets Jacques, a handsome French bowling instructor in the next lane, who offers her bowling lessons. She finds in Jacques a sensitive and charming man, nearly the exact opposite of Homer. After one "lesson", Jacques invites her to have brunch with him. Although she feels guilty, she agrees.

On their brunch date they encounter Helen Lovejoy, a known gossip who speculates about what Marge is doing having brunch with a man who is not her husband. Jacques assures her that it is merely a bowling lesson. However, when Helen is out of earshot, Jacques invites Marge to his apartment. Marge accepts the invitation, but has a moral dilemma en route. She reaches a fork in the road, one direction leading to Jacques' apartment, the other to the Springfield Nuclear Plant where Homer is working. After much deliberation, she proceeds to the plant, where she tells Homer she loves him. Homer happily leaves work with Marge in his arms.