The Simpsons: 10 Dark Jokes That Took You By Surprise

8. The Death Of Maude Flanders ('Alone Again, Natura-Diddily')

To Springfield Speedway now; a newly built stock car racetrack where, amongst the excitement, a squad of cheerleaders are shooting free t-shirts into the crowd. To grab their attention, Homer draws a target on his stomach but, just as they fire their cannons towards him, he suddenly spots a bobby pin on the floor and bends to pick it up. The t-shirts miss Homer and instead hit Maude (who, having grown tired of Homer's behaviour, had just returned from the concessions stand), the impact knocking her over the edge of the bleachers and onto the concrete below. Unsurprisingly, the rest of the episode becomes a bit of a downer once we discover that Ned has to raise Rod and Todd by himself. Worse still, Ned can't help but feel that it is all his fault. If only he had gone to buy the hot dogs instead... "Now, now, now'' comes Homer's attempt at consolation, ''Don't beat yourself up. I'm the one who drove her out of her seat. I'm the one who provoked the lethal barrage of t-shirts. I'm the one who parked in the ambulance zone, preventing any possible resuscitation...'' This last part is news to us - and Ned. It may have been just a throwaway line but, nevertheless, it hardly goes some way towards assuaging the fans' fears: did Homer kill Maude?
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Yorkshireman (hence the surname). Often spotted sacrificing sleep and sanity for the annual Leeds International Film Festival. For a sample of (fairly) recent film reviews, please visit