"Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy" is the tenth television episode of The Simpsons' sixth season. It was first broadcast on the Fox network in the United States on December 4, 1994.
In the episode, Marge and Homer's sex life hits a rough patch, but Grampa perks things up with a homemade revitalizing tonic. He and Homer go on the road to sell their elixir, and Grampa reveals that Homer’s conception was not planned. The episode was directed by Wes Archer and written by Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein.
marriage becomes boring due to their fading sex lives
pieces together a tonic
that is guaranteed to "put the yowzer back in your trouser". The effectiveness of the tonic results in Homer and Grampa going into business together, selling “Simpson and Son’s Revitalizing Tonic” to the public utilizing a medicine show
. They travel from town to town selling the product, but when they visit the farmhouse where Homer grew up, the two get into an argument
. Grampa calls Homer an “accident” which makes Homer angry, and causes him to shut Grampa out of his life. It also causes him to change the way he acts as a father to his own children, whom he vows to show the attention and love he never got from Grampa. Bart
, however, feel he is overcompensating. Because of the undesirable results of Homer's well-intentioned efforts to be a good parent to them, they find that they prefer the “old” Homer. Depressed at having failed to be a good father even when he is trying, Homer goes back to the farmhouse to think, and sees old photographs, including one of himself as a child on Christmas morning where, in typical Homer fashion, he thinks "my Dad was not even there that Christmas when I got to meet Santa Claus". However, Homer then becomes aware that it was his father in a Santa costume, proving that Abe did really care for his son. Homer quickly reunites with Grampa, whom by coincidence has also gone to the farmhouse to reflect. Both of them accidentally set fire to different parts of the building at the same time and bump into one another on the front porch while fleeing the blaze. The two both admit they are “screw-ups” and forgive one another.
In a subplot, Bart and friends, after being exposed to several conspiracy theories, attempt to figure out why all of the adults disappear after they buy "Simpson and Son's Tonic". They come up with numerous imaginative ideas, none of which have to do with the tonic. Lisa, a skeptic, sarcastically offers up the possibility of all the adults being "reverse vampires" and having to be home before dark, which frightens the rest of the kids more than their serious ideas.
Colin Jacobson of DVD Movie Guide said he "didn’t remember this as a very good episode, but it actually turns out to be quite strong. The initial plot in which Homer and Marge can’t get it together offers plenty of funny moments, and the scenes in which Homer battles with his dad offer depth and much humor. It’s also hard to beat the children’s fears of the 'reverse vampires'". Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, the authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide
, said it was "an amazing episode, in which Homer actually has an argument with someone, rather than backing down. As he and his father drift further apart, so the family are at a loss at what to do. You can't help but feel sorry for Grampa as a piece of Simpson family history goes up in flames".