Couch: The Simpsons are astronauts who sit on the couch as it blasts off into space.
According to DVD commentary, episode writer Ken Keeler wrote this episode as a response to many Simpsons fans who have complained of characters changing personalities (such as Ned Flanders revealing to be mentally ill on "Hurricane Neddy"). While Keeler names this episode the best thing he's written for television, Simpsons creator Matt Groening and voice actor Harry Shearer (along with most Simpsons fans) have named this the worst episode ever made due to the shocking secret behind Principal Skinner's true identity and how it conflicts with past episode continuity.
Agnes Skinner: Seymour! I didn't bring you up to use language like that!
Principal Skinner: Well, you didn't bring me up at all!
Agnes Skinner: The hell I didn't! I've been taking care of you for twenty-six years! I'm the only mother you've ever known!
Principal Skinner: But you have your real son!
Agnes Skinner: You are my real son! You've been my son longer than he has, and he doesn't need me, and I don't need him! Now you march yourself downstairs and get in that car!
Principal Skinner: Yes, Mother.
Agnes Skinnner: And the rest of you, too!
Others: Yes, Mrs. Skinner.
Agnes: Here, son. This is yours again.
Skinner: I've never been happier, or prouder to be Seymour Skinner, but, these last few days as that hot-headed rouge Armin Tanzarian has taught me a thing or two. Now, maybe I've been a little too uptight in the past. Well, from now on, you're gonna see a new Seymour Skinner!
Agnes: Oh, no we won't!
Skinner: Yes, Mother.
Superintendent Chalmers: Now let's clear this up. Who exactly are you?
The Real Skinner: (Salutes) Sergeant Seymour Skinner, U.S. Army.
Principal Skinner: It's true. I was in his platoon. They said you were killed on that scouting mission.
The Real Skinner: No, just captured. It's kind of a funny story, really. After five years in a secret P.O.W. camp, I was sold to China for slave labor. And since '77 I've been making sneakers at gunpoint in a sweatshop in Boo-Haun.
Marge: That's not a funny story.
The Real Skinner: Well, I guess you had to be there.
Homer: Okay, once more. Where are we going?
Edna: To Capitol City.
Homer: And why are you and the old lady in the car?
Agnes: We're gonna talk Armin Tamzarian into coming back.
Homer: And why is Marge here?
Marge: I came up with the idea.
Homer: And why am I here?
Marge: Because the streets of Capitol City are no place for three unescorted ladies.
Homer: Why are the kids here?
Marge: Because we couldn't find Grandpa to sit for them.
Homer: Why is Grandpa here?
Abe: Because Jasper didn't want to come by himself.
Homer: Eh, fair enough.
Abe: (to Agnes) Hellllllo, beautiful!
Agnes: In your dreams!
Abe: We'll see about that! (Lies down to sleep and snores)