|"The Haw-Hawed Couple"|
|The Simpsons episode|
|Episode no.||Season 18|
|Directed by||Chris Clements|
|Written by||Matt Selman|
|Featured music||"A Horse with No Name" by America|
|Original air date||December 10, 2006|
|Couch gag||A pair of hands cuts a piece of paper into the shape of Homer; they pull it out to reveal the rest of the family holding hands.|
"The Haw-Hawed Couple" is the eighth episode of The Simpsons' eighteenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 10, 2006. In the episode, Bart becomes Nelson's new best friend and under Nelson's protection no one dares to mess with Bart. It was written by Matt Selman and directed by Chris Clements. In its original run, the episode received 8.29 million viewers. The episode's title is a pun on The Odd Couple, emphasizing Nelson's style of laughing.
A fictional character featured in this episode, Angelica Button, was later used in the season 19 episode "Smoke on the Daughter", and the revelation that the Angelica Button book series was ghost-written was the basis for the season 23 episode "The Book Job".
Marge and Homer are making love in their room while playing a fake tape of them arguing so the kids will not come in. When a flying article of clothing hits the tape recorder and plays America's "A Horse with No Name", Bart and Lisa decide to come in. Bart ends up traumatized by the sight and is an emotional wreck the following day. While he is coping, Nelson coerces Bart and Milhouse for their lunch money but also invites him and the rest of the class to his upcoming birthday party. Although Bart convinces all his friends not to go to Nelson's birthday party, Marge makes him attend. After the party, Bart becomes Nelson's new best friend and under Nelson's protection no one dares to mess with Bart. However, there is only one drawback to his newfound friend/bodyguard: he is no longer able to pal around with Milhouse because Nelson has never had a best friend before and is overly protective and jealous. Eventually, Nelson discovers that Bart had been playing with Milhouse, which leads him to no longer consider Bart a friend. He eventually decides to forgive Bart, however Bart tells Nelson that he thinks he is a psycho. Later, during a field trip to some tidepools, Nelson confronts Bart in a cave, telling Bart he is a bad friend. Suddenly, high tide comes and Nelson saves Bart (but only because they were field trip buddies). Later, Bart goes home and remembers the good times he had with Nelson while hugging a "Nelson vest" he had received.
Meanwhile, in the B-plot, Homer finds himself hooked on one of Lisa's fantasy books, choosing to read an Angelica Button book to Lisa. Homer eventually reads ahead and finds that one of the characters, Greystash, is killed while trying to save Angelica. Upon hearing that Greystash dying would be the end of Lisa's childhood, Homer is unable to bring himself to read the last chapter to Lisa, and improvises a happy ending instead involving Greystash defeating the evil wizard. Afterwards, Lisa reads the real ending and nonchalantly decides that Homer's ending was better. During the credits, Homer is seen at Moe's Tavern, still mourning the loss of Greystash while screaming, "No man should have to outlive his fictional wizard!".
The Angelica Button series of books are a parody of the Harry Potter franchise. Greystash is a parody of Albus Dumbledore. The Malicious Krubb is a parody of both Lucius Malfoy and Severus Snape due to his resemblance to the former's looks, and the fact that he killed the Dumbledore-esque figure, like the latter. The character Lord Evilton is a parody of Lord Voldemort.
The continuous shot of Bart and Nelson walking through the back of the school to get to the lunch hall is a nearly perfect shot-by-shot rendition of the Steadicam scene from Goodfellas, as Henry and Karen walk through the back of the Copacabana. Similarly, both the couples get a table set up just for themselves from the manager(or principal) to watch a singer/comedian perform on stage. The freeze-frames and voiceovers during this scene are reminiscent of Thelma Schoonmaker's editing style. The song played in this scene is He's a Rebel by The Crystals. The same band's song And Then He Kissed Me was used during the Steadicam shot in Goodfellas.
The scene where Bart hugs Nelson's vest is reminiscent of Brokeback Mountain.
- "Bart Gets a New Bodyguard on "The Simpsons", December 10, 2006, on the Fox Network". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
- Air Dates for the Simpsons, tvguide.com. Retrieved on 2008-07-11
- "Simpsons Channel' ratings for "The Haw-Hawed Couple"". Archived from the original on May 14, 2008.
- "The 59th Primetime Emmy Awards and Creative Arts Emmy Awards Nominees are..." Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original on December 31, 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-02.
- "2008 Writers Guild Awards Television & Radio Nominees Announced". Writers Guild of America. Archived from the original on 2007-12-19. Retrieved 2007-12-13.
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