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|"The Haw-Hawed Couple"|
|The Simpsons episode|
|Orig. airdate||December 10, 2006|
|Written by||Matt Selman|
|Directed by||Chris Clements|
|Couch gag||A pair of cartoon 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 and first aired 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.
Marge and Homer are making love in their room while playing a tape of their arguments 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, but 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. There is only one drawback to his newfound friend/bodyguard: he can no longer 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 that 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 (a Brokeback Mountain movie reference). Nelson rides by on a bike and shouts "Haw Haw! I touched your heart!"
Meanwhile, Homer finds himself hooked on one of Lisa's fantasy books, choosing to read an Angelica Button book to Lisa, instead of having sex with Marge (however the first time, Homer is willing to do so, so he rushes on Lisa's tuck in until Homer gets interested in the book). Homer eventually reads ahead and finds that one of the characters, Greystash, is killed while trying to save Angelica (also spoiling the twist to a now angered telephone repair man that happened to be reading another copy of the novel). 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 decides that Homer's ending was better. During the credits, Homer is seen at Moe's Tavern, still mourning the loss of the Headmaster ("No man should have to outlive his fictional wizard!") while Carl and Lenny look at him.
This episode was subsequently nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in 2007 for Outstanding Animated Program (Less Than One Hour) but lost to South Park. Matt Selman was also nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award in the animation category; the award was won by The Simpsons episode "Kill Gil: Vols. 1 & 2".
- "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"".
- "The 59th Primetime Emmy Awards and Creative Arts Emmy Awards Nominees are...". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2008-03-02.
- "2008 Writers Guild Awards Television & Radio Nominees Announced". Writers Guild of America. Retrieved 2007-12-13.