“I Married Marge,” season 3 episode 11
There are a few versions of Homer and Marge getting married (one that involves a whale cake that I recreated here and one that involves Homer eating the entire wedding cake in this episode), but precedent is set in this season three episode. I mean, it’s titled “I Married Marge.” And while this one is a little bittersweet with money troubles galore, it has real heart and a deliciously greasy wedding ring.
Marge is taking an especially complicated pregnancy test that comes with a free corncob pipe. With inconclusive results, she heads to the doctor and leaves Homer with the kids. The thought of another baby has him reminiscing about Bart’s arrival and their wedding. As he waxes poetic about working at the putt-putt course and dating Marge, the kids wander outside, blaming their short attention spans on TV. Homer grabs Maggie so he has an audience.
Flashback time! One night while dating, Homer picks Marge up for a movie date to see Star Wars and they end up in the impregnable putt-putt castle drinking Champale. One thing leads to another and a young Dr. Hibbert tells Marge she is the opposite of impregnantable and hands her a “so you’ve ruined your life” pamphlet. Homer proposes soon after at Lookout Point and honks in triumph.
They quickly get married at Shotgun Pete’s just over the state lines. Homer looks for a higher-paying job and interviews at the power plant to no success. The bills pile up and Homer cycles through gigs making candles at Ye Old Springfield, selling knives door-to-door, and being a test dummy for attack dogs. The repo man comes and takes the baby supplies along with Marge’s wedding ring, leaving the couple’s life in shambles.
Homer is ashamed and writes a farewell letter to Marge, promising to send every cent to the baby and not return until he is a man. He ends up with a job at the Gulp ‘N’ Blow but pines for a job at the plant, especially after seeing the doughnut man making a delivery (“that’s right, all the colors of the rainbow!”).
Patty and Selma finally tell Marge where Homer works. They reunite and he replaces her missing wedding ring with an onion ring (before eating it). Mmm… matrimony.
Filled with a renewed sense of purpose, he marches into Mr. Burns’ office and successfully demands a job, flouting his spinelessness. Marge has little baby Bart who immediately sets Homer’s tie on fire. The episode almost ends on a sentimental note with Homer thankful for his kids… when Marge returns proclaiming she’s not pregnant. The couple high-fives in relief.
Looking to propose or renew your vows? Have a fried food craving? Kill two birds with one stone! Whatever your reasons, you can’t go wrong with homemade onion rings. It’s the most romantic thing I can think of off the top of my head.
Wedding Ring Onion Rings
1 large sweet onion (sliced into rings and separated)
Oil (like canola or peanut, for frying)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2-3/4 cup light beer
- Place the onion rings in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 10-15 minutes and drain. Dry well with a tea towel or paper towels. If you have time, peel away the membrane that clings to the inside of each ring.
- Add enough oil to a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pan so that it reaches 1 1/2 to 2 inches up the side. Heat to 375 degrees F.
- When the oil has almost reached temperature, combine the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in a small mixing bowl. Add the beer while whisking with a fork. You want the batter to be thick enough to stick to the rings but thin enough to coat them, like thick pancake batter.
- Add the onion rings and gently toss them around to coat.
- Once the oil has reached temperature, use the fork to retrieve a ring and let the excess batter drip off. Add to the oil and set the timer for 4 minutes. Repeat with remaining rings, careful not to overlap the rings (fry in batches if needed).
- The onion rings are done with they are crispy and golden brown. Each ring will take roughly 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain and immediately sprinkle liberally with salt.
- Serve warm. Place a perfectly-sized (cooled) onion ring onto your loved one’s finger and live happily ever after.