The Joy of Cooking Milhouse

Happy Cracker Snack Platter

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“Homer’s Phobia,” season 8 episode 15

I know I keep saying this, but “Homer’s Phobia” is one of my favorites. I love John Waters, it has a great message, and some of the funniest, dumbest Homer jokes. Plus, it has a snack platter!!

After Bart wrecks the dryer, the family is burdened with a huge gas repair bill. They go to an antique store in the mall to sell Marge’s grandmother’s Civil War doll that turns out to just be a novelty liquor bottle. More importantly, that’s when they meet John wearing his Pin Pals shirt.

The Simpsons invite him over to check out the campy stuff at their house. Marge makes her patented happy cracker snack platter complete with pimento noses. He’s enamored with their house and with them, from the corn curtains to Lisa’s pearls. They have a grand time and Homer adores him until he finds out he’s gay (“oh my god, I danced with a gay!”).

The next day, the rest of the family goes on a drive with John but Homer refuses to go. Everyone else loves spending time with John, and after Bart wears a Hawaiian shirt and eats a snowball, Homer becomes concerned that his son might be gay.

After Homer catches his son dancing with a festive wig on, he confronts John. He makes a fool of himself ranting about masculinity and then takes Bart on a manly quest. He sits him in front of a sexy cigarette ad for a couple of hours and then takes him on a visit to the steel mill. Turns out it’s a gay steel mill that converts to a nightclub called The Anvil (“Hot stuff, comin’ through!”).

Moe and Barney convince Homer to take Bart hunting and turn him straight. They don’t spot a single deer all day but Homer’s still determined to “fix” him and thinks its because he’s been a bad father. Moe spots Santa’s Village on the way home and they break in to make Bart shoot a reindeer. Bart refuses and the reindeer start to stampede them, but Homer protects his son and gets tenderized. Luckily, John’s robot Santa saves the day.

Homer finally decides however Bart wants to live his life is okay with him. Bart is shocked to find out that his dad thinks he’s gay, and the episode closes with “Everybody Dance Now.” As all episodes of TV should end.

If you’re having a new friend of any sexual persuasion over, why not make a Happy Cracker Snack Platter? They’re easy and kind of gross and kind of tasty. But they look very cute. Maybe just have some chips and dip available just in case.

Happy Cracker Snack Platter
Serves 4-6

1 sleeve Ritz crackers
1 can Cheez-Whiz
1 small jar sliced green olives with pimentos, drained

Make a cheese smile on a cracker. Add a pimento nose and two olive slices for eyes. Repeat with remaining crackers.

Note: I couldn’t find Cheez-Whiz for this!! I ended up buying a “fancy” boxed mac and cheese with the gooey cheese sauce packet, snipping the corner, and using that. The point is, any thick cheese sauce-type substance will work.

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