17 Love Is a Many Strangled Thing

After saving Mr. Burns' life, Homer wins tickets to a NFL game between the Springfield Atoms and the Miami Dolphins, and takes the whole family. During the game, everybody starts to dance in front of the screen, but Bart does not want to dance, saying "Everybody Dance Now" is 'a little bossy' for his liking. Homer tries to make him dance by tickling him, but he inadvertently humiliates Bart in front of the stadium crowd when he tickles Bart until he wets himself. To make matters worse, the stadium owners take pity on Bart and try to dry his shorts off by opening the roof, but Russian spy satellites capture the image of Bart with wet shorts, leading to widespread humiliation on the Internet, and an invasion by Russia, who see his urine-soaked shorts as a sign of American weakness.

Later that night, Marge scolds Homer for hurting Bart's feelings, and encourages him to enroll in a fathering enrichment class taught by therapist Dr. Zander. During the class, Homer casually mentions that he often strangles Bart for his mischievous behaviour. Shocked to learn of Homer's violence towards Bart, Dr. Zander conducts a series of treatments in the next session. Dr. Zander's friend, the towering basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, teaches Homer what it feels like to be young, small, and helpless by strangling him mercilessly all the time, even going as far as letting his friends strangle Homer as well.

Unfortunately, the therapy works too well and Homer can no longer strangle Bart, even when the boy misbehaves, because he is traumatized by the therapeutic session. Realizing that the sessions have turned Homer into a pushover, Bart takes advantage of Homer and becomes a school bully, as the school can no longer count on Homer's aggressiveness to protect them from Bart's pranks. Seeing Bart's abuse towards Homer, Marge decides to take Bart to Dr. Zander to changes his ways, but to her shock, she finds out that Zander has become homeless due to the current economic downturn. Marge begs Dr. Zander to fix Bart and Homer for $23 and a can of beans, and Zander accepts.

Dr. Zander takes Bart and Homer on a trip while Marge and Lisa spend their time watching sad horse movies. During their trip, Zander tries several exercises to encourage Homer to have confidence in Bart but, unfortunately, Bart often abuses Homer's ignorance and enjoys when he gets hurt, much to Zander's frustration. The ultimate test for Bart's and Homer's relationship is that Bart must save his father from being hanged in a tree, but Bart is more focused on text-pranking Moe than looking out for Homer's welfare. Dr. Zander, realizing just how annoying and sociopathic Bart is, gets fed up and decides to kill Bart, but Bart manages to free Homer, who saves him. In revenge for Zander's behaviour, Homer and Bart sue the doctor, and are awarded his sole remaining possession: a hole in the large tree he lives in, a place where Homer and Bart finally reconcile and bond.

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