Synopsis by Mark Deming
Homer Simpson (voice of Dan Castellaneta) is a man with a well-documented love of bowling, but he's never managed to score a place on a bowling league. Homer wants to start a team of his own, but discovers the fee to enter into league competition is 500 dollars, which is more than he can afford. One day, Homer works up his courage and asks his boss, aging energy tycoon C. Montgomery Burns (voice of Harry Shearer), to sponsor the team; Burns, doped up on ether to withstand the pain of having his nails trimmed, imagines that Homer is the Pillsbury Doughboy, and eagerly cuts him a check. Soon Homer has formed the "Pin Pals" with Apu (voice of Hank Azaria), Moe (also voiced by Azaria) and Otto (voice of Harry Shearer), and with friendship and teamwork as their watchwords, the team begins winning games and moving into the championships. However, a spanner is thrown into the works when Burns discovers he sponsored the bowling team while under the influence, and he gives Homer and ultimatum -- either give the money back, or let Burns play on the league instead of Otto. "Team Homer" first aired on January 6, 1996.