Homer Simpson and Ned Flanders have had some wacky adventures together throughout the 31 seasons and counting of The Simpsons. From getting lost at sea to pitting their sons against each other in a game of mini-golf, Homer and Ned’s neighbour relationship has provided the backbone for many of the show’s most memorable episodes.
Homer’s loud, boorish behaviour is so at odds with the mild-mannered, church-going Ned that hilarious results are inevitable. One prime example is in the season 10 episode Viva Ned Flanders, where Homer takes Flanders on a wild trip to Las Vegas to savour the delights of the casino.
Viva Ned Flanders begins with Mr Burns’ Casino being blown up, after which Ned realises that despite being 60 years old he has led a dull and monotonous life. After spotting Homer spit-roasting a turkey over the chimney of his house, Ned enlists his neighbour to help him live life on the wild side.
Homer’s first instinct is to take Ned to Mr Burns’ Casino, forgetting that it was blown up the previous day. After he drives into the smouldering remains, the only other option is to head to Las Vegas and give Ned a true taste of what it means to live in the moment.
When the pair arrive in Sin City, Ned is overwhelmed by the bright lights and loud noises of the city. The episode does a fine job of capturing the unique feel of Las Vegas with its neon signs and flashing lights. As they drive up the strip they pass many casinos, including a ‘Safari Casino’ where animals ride rollercoasters around the building.
After reaching their destination of ‘Nero’s Palace’, which is inspired by the famous Caeser’s Palace, Ned begins to get in the Vegas spirit after witnessing Homer take part in a daredevil stunt. This sets Ned’s heart racing, or in his own words, “turns my beatbox all the way up to Rumba”.
One of the most memorable scenes takes place at a Roulette wheel, where Ned wins big on his first spin. Inspired by this good luck, Homer empties the contents of Ned’s wallet for the next spin before losing it all. Homer’s indifference at the loss causes Ned to gasp in horror, as the croupier scoops up all of Ned’s cash and credit cards. Those looking for a more comfortable casino experience may feel better playing online Roulette!
Homer and Ned’s casino antics result in the pair accidentally marrying two cocktail waitresses. In a bid to escape, they sprint through the casino, sending Slot machines toppling and causing carnage at the Craps tables. They are soon apprehended by a variety of characters, including casino security guards, heavyweight boxer Drederick Tatum, a tiger, and members of the English rock band The Moody Blues.
The pair are thrown out of the city and across the state line, where they are forced to start walking home and figure out how to explain things to their wives.
The whole episode is a wacky portrayal of Las Vegas and casino culture, as Homer’s idiotic behaviour means Ned doesn’t quite get the fun experience he was expecting. Thankfully, real-life casinos are nowhere near as chaotic!