(Season 1 Episode 13) CONTAINS SPOILERS.
I found this episode again because many years ago I had watched it and found it somewhat creepy. The basic outline of the story is Marge is feeling unloved and phones into a radio programme hosted by Marvin Monroe. Homer is convinced by his friends to take Marge out for a romantic meal. When Homer turns up at home with a box of chocolates and a single rose, Marge is charmed instantly.
They book a babysitter and Miss. Botz turns up at the house. She comes across as somewhat sinister, carrying a large suitcase and she threatens Bart when he doesn’t do as he is told. Marge and Homer are having a romantic meal at the restaurant, unaware of the predicament their children are in.
On the television, it is hinted that there is a babysitter bandit on the run. Bart and Lisa are horrified when it is revealed that Miss. Botz is the bandit they are looking for. Bart tries to outsmart the babysitter who has started to ransack the house, and Lisa phones a help line to report the Babysitter Bandit. She ties Bart and Lisa up. Maggie escapes from her crib and sees Miss. Botz ransacking the wardrobes for things to steal.
Lisa convinces Maggie to untie her and Bart in exchange for watching the Happy Little Elves video again. The trio eventually hit Miss. Botz on the head with a cricket bat. However, when Homer and Marge return home they get the wrong end of the stick and think that the children tied Miss. Botz up instead of the other way round. Homer aids the escape of Miss. Butz, and is later interviewed by news reporters.
Originally, I found this episode slightly sinister due to Miss. Botz being based on the murderess, Gertrude Baniszewski. The underlying creepiness of the episode couldn’t be achieved now because the episode itself has a choppy animation style that always made me feel uneasy. One of the classic Simpsons episodes, and not bad for one from the first series…