There's No Disgrace Like Home
There's No Disgrace Like Home is the 4th episode of Season 1. It was an early episode, showing early designs for a few recurring characters. Several critics have noted that the characters acted differently from the way they would in later seasons. It was written by Al Jean and Mike Reiss and directed by Gregg Vanzo and Kent Butterworth.
Homer takes his family to the company picnic at the expansive estate of his boss, Mr. Burns. The cruel and tyrannical Burns fires any employee whose family members are not enjoying themselves. Homer sees that Burns is drawn towards a family that treats one another with love and respect and he wonders why he is cursed with his unloving and disrespectful family. The entire picnic is a catastrophe when Bart harasses the swans and almost beats Burns in a sack race, Lisa swims in the fountain, and Marge gets drunk and performs a musical number.
The Simpsons wander the neighborhood and peek in on other families who are sharing quality time together. Although this trip starts off well, a man notices them in the bushes and chases them off his property with gunfire. The Simpsons are later reported to the police for disturbing the neighborhood. Depressed because both he and his family are pathetic, Homer stops by Moe's Tavern, where he sees a TV commercial for Dr. Marvin Monroe's Family Therapy Center. When he hears that Dr. Monroe guarantees "family bliss or double your money back," Homer spends the kids' college funds and pawns the TV set to enroll the family in the clinic, causing them to become extremely upset.
After his standard treatments prove useless, Dr. Monroe resorts to shock therapy and wires the Simpsons to electrodes. The family is soon sending shocks to one another (and the electricity buzzes when they are shocked), eventually causing large sections of Springfield to lose power due to rapid shocking. Resigned to the fact that the Simpsons are incurable, Dr. Monroe reluctantly gives them double their money back and orders them never to tell anyone that they were there. With $500 in his pocket, Homer takes his blissful family to buy a new 21-inch screen television set with realistic flesh tones.