|Episode no. 436|
Written by John Frink
Production code LABF06
|Directed by Nancy Kruse|
Showrunner(s) Al Jean
Original air date April 5, 2009
"Eeny Teeny Maya Moe" is the sixteenth episode of The Simpsons' twentieth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 5, 2009. Moe falls in love with a woman named Maya, whom he met over the Internet. When Moe meets her in person, she turns out to be a dwarf. They remain in love, but his tactless attitude to her size eventually drives her away. Meanwhile, in an attempt to spend more time with Maggie, Homer inadvertently drops her off at a playground full of bullies.
Homer attempts to spend more time with Maggie and ends up bringing her to Moe's Tavern. Moe is cleaning up the bar for a date, and finds out he actually has a window, which was previously obscured by layers of grime. Outside the window is a playground, which Homer sees as an opportunity for watching Maggie while spending time at Moe's. Homer sends Maggie to play with the other babies outside, but they turn out to be ruthless bullies. Marge notices Maggie is uncomfortable when she returns home one day, and becomes worried that Homer is neglecting her. After watching a commercial about a surveillance camera fixed in the eye of a teddy bear, Marge purchases a spy camera which she attaches to Maggie's hair band and discovers that Maggie is bullied by a group of gangster babies. At first, Marge is surprised to see Maggie being tormented by the babies, but sees Homer, after he discovered the truth about the other babies from the playground, rush to Maggie's rescue and be beaten up by Kearney's son. Maggie jumps to Homer's rescue and Homer says that he loves both her and Marge. Moved to tears, Marge tells Homer he is a wonderful father.
Meanwhile, Moe's date, whom he met over the Internet, turns out to be a little person named Maya. Moe still loves her, but is worried about what his friends will think. Moe decides to take Maya on a double date with Marge and Homer, neither of whom seem to care that she is small. Homer, seeing Maya's intelligence and sensitivity, suggests Moe marry her. Moe proposes but cannot resist making jokes about Maya's height. Insulted, she rejects him. Crushed by grief, Moe consults the advice of Lenny and Carl, who advise him to do something risky to win Maya back. Moe decides to have surgery to become shorter, and Dr. Nick Riviera agrees to conduct the surgery. Maya stops Moe just before the surgery, as she wants someone who sees her as "beautiful" not "short", and who does not need to cut himself down to her size in order to love her (even though Mr. Largo the music teacher was mistakenly given Moe's surgery instead of a sex change operation to look like Julie Newmar). Moe, intent on having the surgery, does not listen to Maya, and she leaves him for good. Homer consoles a dejected Moe, stating that even though things did not go well with Maya, Moe actually found love with a woman who loved him back and that if he was successful once, he will be successful again. Moe brightens up and wonders how a small woman like Maya could make him feel so big.
Since airing, the episode has received mostly positive reviews from television critics. Robert Canning, a reviewer of IGN.com gave the episode a 7.6/10 and said when Homer consoled Moe about getting broken up with, it was "a sweet way to end this enjoyable episode". Erich Asperschlager of TV Verdict wrote: "Spending too much time away from the family has always been tricky for The Simpsons. Letting minor characters shine can be fun, but let’s face it: people tune in to watch the Simpsons, not the Szyslaks, or the Flanderses, or the Leonard-Carlsons. Then again, spending too much time with the family can be exhausting. This week, The Simpsons hit a nice middle ground, spending most of the episode on Moe’s short-lived relationship but backing it up with a Homer-Maggie-Marge B-plot. Neither story soared to great heights, but 'Eeny Teeny Maya Moe' was a solid entry in a (thus far) solid season." Hank Azaria was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for his role as Moe Szyslak in this episode, but lost to fellow Simpsons cast member Dan Castellaneta for "Father Knows Worst". John Frink has been nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award in the Animation category in 2010 for writing the episode. The Simpsons was the only show to be nominated in the category, with the other nominated episodes being "The Burns and the Bees", "Take My Life, Please", "Gone Maggie Gone" and "Wedding for Disaster". The last one was the winner.