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What is the joke with the sentence "I wouldn't want you to have a cow, man! Here's a catch-phrase you better learn for your adult years: Hey,buddy, got a quarter?" ?

Flanders: Calm down, Neddly diddily diddily diddily, doodily. They did their best shodaiddily iddily iddily diddily diddily. Gotta be nice, hostidididildilidilly... aw, hell-diddly-ding-dong crap! Can't you morons do anything right?! [everyone gasps]

Marge: Ned! We meant well, and everyone here tried their best.

Flanders: Well, my family and I can't live in good intentions, Marge! Oh, your family's out of control, but we can't blame you, because you have good intentions!

Bart: Hey! Back off, man!

Flanders: Ooh, okay, dude! I wouldn't want you to have a cow, man! Here's a catch-phrase you better learn for your adult years: "Hey, buddy, got a quarter?" [everyone gasps]

Bart: I am shocked and appalled.

http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/Hurricane_Neddy/Quotes

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  • I think the original may have a transcription error; it should read "my family and I can't live on good intentions".
    – TimR
    Apr 2, 2015 at 13:24

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This is a slightly meta reference to Bart Simpson's catchphrase "Don't have a cow, man!". "Hey, buddy, got a quarter?" is something a beggar might say. The insult/joke here is that Ned's saying that Bart will grow up to be a beggar and that he should start practicing now.

This is certainly a totally inappropriate and rude thing to say to a child, but everyone is much more shocked because Ned is usually such a nice person.

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