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The Simpsons. Season 2 Episode Guide


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Por TM
Nombres Alternativos: 

Simpsons
The Simpsons Show



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"Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish" (4th episode of the 2nd season) was the first episode produced for the season, but "Bart Gets an F" aired first because Bart was popular at the time and the producers decided that to premiering with a Bart themed episode would draw more attention.

So, "Bart Gets an F" is the first episode of The Simpsons' second season, aired on October 11, 1990. This was the first episode to feature the series' new, shorter opening sequence. This episode marked the first appearance of Mayor Quimby.

The second season featured a new opening sequence, which was shortened by fifteen seconds from its original length of roughly 1 minute, 30 seconds. The opening sequence for the first season showed Bart stealing a "Bus Stop" sign; whilst the new sequence featured him skateboarding past several characters who had been introduced during the previous season. Starting with this season, there were three versions of the opening: a full roughly 1 minute 15 second long version, a 45 second version and a 25 second version. This gave the show's editors more leeway.

The episode was ranked 31st on Entertainment Weekly' list of the 100 Greatest Moments in Television. It marked the first time that The Simpsons aired at the same time as The Cosby Show on NBC. It averaged an 18.4 Nielsen Rating and 29% of the audience. An estimated 33.6 million viewers watched the episode, making it the number one show in terms of actual viewers that week. At the time, it was the most watched episode in the history of the Fox Network and it is still the highest rated episode in the history of the show.

This episode marked a presage of the passing of the baton from '80s family function to '90s dysfunction--it immediately took a chunk out of the NBC champ. and as Matt Groening recalls, "That was when we started figuring out what we were doing, I thought, Okay, we're going to be around for a while."

However the Fox network decided to move The Simpsons from 8:00 PM on Sunday night to 8:00 PM on Thursday where it would compete with The Cosby Show, the number one show at the time. Most of the producers, including James L. Brooks, were against this desicion because The Simpsons had been in the top 10 while airing on Sunday and they were sure this would cause the ratings to plummet.

During the second season The Cosby Show beat The Simpsons every time, furthermore The Simpsons fell out of the top 10. It would not be until the third season episode "Homer at the Bat" (17th episode of the 3rd season) that The Simpsons would beat The Cosby Show for the first time.

Speaking mainly from the animation side, as specified by Silverman, the animation started to click at the beginning of season 2, it was beginning to look more standardized. There were flashes of really good animation here and there. There were some in the first season, especially with Brad Bird's episode, "Krusty Gets Busted" (12th episode of the 1st season); that episode of the 1st season really helped set a standard for the 2nd season.

The 2nd season saw the introduction of several new recurring characters, including Mayor Quimby, Kang and Kodos, Maude Flanders, Bill and Marty, Dr. Hibbert, Roger Meyers, Sideshow Mel, Lionel Hutz, Dr. Nick Riviera, Blue Haired Lawyer, Rainier Wolfcastle, Troy McClure, Groundskeeper Willie, Hans Moleman, Professor Frink and Comic Book Guy.

In the beginning, Bart was made to be the main character. This is evident from the vast number of Bart-orientated episodes in the first few Seasons, such as Bart The General and Bart The Daredevil. Bart was also the center of much of the merchandise, and even the focal point of two music videos: Do The Bartman and Trouble.

However, after a few Seasons, it emerged that Homer was more popular, hence the large increase in Homer-orientated episodes in later seasons, such as Homer The Heretic and Homer Vs. Patty & Selma among others.


Episodios / Capítulos: 

Aired between October 11, 1990 and July 11, 1991

Number of episodes: 22

  1. Bart Gets an F:

    Original Air Date: October 11, 1990

    Writer: David M. Stern.

    Director: David Silverman.

    Starring Characters: Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others).

    Recurring Characters: Marcia Wallace (Edna Krabappel), Jo Ann Harris (Additional Voices), Russi Taylor (Martin Prince, Sherri, Terri and others), Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not encourage others to fly".

    First Appearances: Mayor Quimby, Jasper.

    Plot: When Bart presents his book report at school on Treasure Island, it is clear to everyone that he has not read the book. Mrs. Krabappel proves her suspicion when Bart is unable to answer her question about the name of the pirate in the book. After school, Mrs. Krabappel tells Bart his grades have steadily gotten worse and warns him about an upcoming exam on Colonial America; Bart does not pay attention. At home, Bart tries to study but procrastinates instead. The next day at school, Bart "collapses" in class to get out of taking the test, and the nurse sends him home after diagnosing him with amoria phlebitis.

    At home that night, Bart again fails to study, instead calling Milhouse for the answers. The next day at school, Bart takes the test but fails; Krapabbel tells him his effort is "worse than Milhouse's exam." Homer and Marge are called in to meet with Krabappel and school psychiatrist Dr. J. Loren Pryor. They are told that Bart is an underachiever and that they recommend holding him back.

    Bart finds out he may flunk fourth grade and, in desperation, asks Martin for help. He helps Bart study, and Bart reciprocates by showing him how to be more popular, which encourages him to take on some of Bart's bad attitudes. Bart reminds the "new" Martin about the test, but he ignores it, preferring to hang out with his new friends and play practical jokes. Left with little time to study on his own, Bart prays to God that something will happen to make him miss school the next day so he can have more time to study. That night, Springfield is hit with a massive blizzard, and the schools are closed.

    Bart actually concentrates while he is studying, and after he finishes the test, he asks Mrs. Krabappel to grade it immediately. She gives it back to him, and he sees that he got 59%, another F. Extremely upset at this failure after his honest effort, Bart breaks down over the fact that now he knows how George Washington felt when he surrendered Fort Necessity to the French in 1754. Mrs. Krabappel, stunned at this obscure historical reference, realizes that Bart did study after all. She gives Bart an extra point for demonstrating applied knowledge, pushing his grade up to a D-. Homer proudly displays Bart's new personal best on the refrigerator.

    Trivia:

    • The highest rated episode of the season.
    • In the couch gag the family members rush in and the sofa falls through the floor.
    • The scene where everyone in Whoville gathers around the town circle, holds hands and begins singing is mimicked by the townspeople of Springfield is a reference to "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"
    • Bart's claim, "As God is my witness, I can pass the fourth grade!" is a reference to a nearly identical quote from Scarlett O'Hara ("As God is my witness, I will never go hungry again!") in "Gone with the Wind".
    • The movie "Gorilla the Conqueror" is a spoof of the 1933 "King Kong" film (and subsequent 1976 remake).
    • In her admonition to Bart, Lisa changes the first word of the Samuel Johnson's famous 1775 quote, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" to "prayer".
    • The sled Benjamin Franklin is carrying in Bart's daydream about the Continental Congress reads "Don't sled on me", a reference to the legend on the historical Gadsden flag: "Don't Tread on Me".
    • It marked the first time that The Simpsons aired at the same time as The Cosby Show on NBC.

  2. Simpson and Delilah:

    Original Air Date: October 18, 1990

    Writer: Jon Vitti

    Director: Rich Moore

    Starring Characters: Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others).

    Recurring Characters: Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others), Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others).

    Guest Star: Harvey Fierstein (Karl)

    Chalkboard Gag: "Tar is not a plaything".

    First Appearances: Karl.

    Plot: Homer Simpson sees an ad for Dimoxinil, a new "miracle breakthrough" for baldness. He visits a store which sells Dimoxinil, but it is far out of Homer's price range. At work, Lenny suggests Homer pay for Dimoxinil through the company medical insurance plan. He successfully applies the drug, and the next day, Homer wakes up with hair. At work, Mr. Burns surveys the security monitors to find a new person to promote to an executive position. He sees Homer with hair and, mistaking him for a young go-getter, chooses Homer for the job.

    As he is about to become an executive, Homer tries to look for a good secretary, but all the applicants fail - until Homer finds a man, Karl, who applies. Homer eventually picks Karl, and they go shopping for a suit. When Burns notes how meltdowns and accidents have dramatically decreased, Smithers notes that the decrease is exactly the number of accidents Homer has caused in the past, and production is at the same level it was during Homer's last vacation. Burns dismisses this as jealousy and is so impressed with Homer's efforts that he gives Homer the key to the executive washroom. Smithers begins to feel jealous of Homer and, after one look at Homer's file, discovers the case of insurance fraud that gave Homer hair in the first place.

    Homer is about to be fired for the scam, but Karl takes the blame and is fired instead. Homer is invited to give a speech at the next meeting. Homer is nervous about giving the speech without Karl, but reasons that as long as he has hair, everything will be fine. When he gets home, he finds that Bart has spilled all of Homer's Dimoxinil in a misguided attempt to grow a beard. The next day, Homer, bald again, arrives at the meeting. His fears are alleviated when Karl appears with a pre-written speech for him. Karl then kisses Homer and pats him on the butt, explaining Karl's loyalty to Homer. Homer presents his speech, but the audience is unable to take him seriously without hair. Rather than punishing him, Burns, a fellow sufferer of male pattern baldness, sympathizes with Homer's situation. Homer is demoted back to his old position.

    Homer is devastated now that he is making less money, can not buy the kids things he promised them and that Marge will not be attracted to him anymore. Marge assures him that his old job always got them by and the kids would have to get over it. As for Homer still being attractive, Marge reassures him by singing "You Are So Beautiful To Me".

    Trivia:

    • Homer cures his baldness with an expensive product called Dimoxonil. This is a play on the word minoxidil, a standard ingredient in such real-life baldness cures as Rogaine.
    • This is the episode where Homer grows a full head of hair. A conscious effort was made to have his hairstyle different in every scene.
    • In the couch gag the family members rush in and break into an Egyptian dance.
    • Homer runs out into the streets to spread the news of his hair's return in a lifted scene from It's a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946). His entry into the executive washroom closely parallels a scene in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (Frank Tashlin, 1957).
    • The episode title, "Simpson and Delilah," spoofs the bible story of a long-haired, brawny Jew, named Sampson, and the evil, seductress Philistine, Delilah.
    • In this episode we learn that:

      -Lisa's shoes size is 4B, her ring size is 3.

      -Bart has 16 permanent teeth and 4 baby teeth and his allergies are butterscotch, imitation butterscotch, and glow-in-the-dark monster makeup.

      -Homer's earmuff size is XL
    • The scene where Homer burns a banknote is a reference to Serge Gainsbourg, celebrates French singer which had also burned a banknote to him on line on television, to denounce the taxation taken of what it gained.
    • In a 2008 article, Entertainment Weekly named Harvey Fierstein's role as Karl as one of the sixteen best guest appearances on The Simpsons.
    • The character Karl was played by openly gay actor Harvey Fierstein. In the episode, Karl is implied to be homosexual; creator Matt Groening says that when people began asking "Was he gay?" the day after the episode aired, his response was "He's whatever you want him to be." However, Groening points out, "He does kiss Homer: He does give him a nice pat on the butt" which is "beyond what any other cartoon" had done at the time. Karl's homosexuality is later confirmed by the booklet for the season's DVD set. Karl's appearance marks the beginning of a trend of several homosexual characters on The Simpsons. The character was supposed to reappear in "Three Gays of the Condo," but Fierstein objected, feeling that episode to be playing to stereotypes too much.

  3. Treehouse of Horror:

    Original Air Date: October 25, 1990

    Writer: Jay Kogen, Wallace Wolodarsky, Sam Simon, John Swartzwelder, Edgar Allan Poe.

    Director: Wesley Archer, Rich Moore, David Silverman.

    Starring Characters: Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson).

    Guest Star: James Earl Jones (Moving Man, Serak the Preparer, Narrator).

    Chalkboard Gag: None.

    First Appearances: Kodos, Kang.

    Plot: In a parody of Edward Van Sloan's introduction to the original 1931 Frankenstein film, Marge warns the audience that this episode may frighten some viewers and suggests that parents with sensitive children "tuck them into bed early tonight instead of writing us angry letters tomorrow". This practice was kept up in a small number of subsequent episodes. The creators eventually decided that people knew that the episodes were scary and stopped adding warnings.

    Bad Dream House:

    In this segment, based on The Amityville Horror murders, as well as Poltergeist, the Simpsons move into an old house, wondering why it was so inexpensive. Their questions are soon answered when the walls begin to bleed and objects begin to fly through the air. Marge wants to leave, but Homer tells her to sleep on it first. That night, the house possesses Homer and the children, manipulating their minds and making them chase each other with axes and knives. Marge intervenes and confronts the house, demanding that it treat them with respect while they are living there. The house thinks it over, eventually opting to destroy itself instead.

    Hungry are the Damned:

    The Simpsons are abducted by extraterrestrial life forms. The aliens introduce themselves as Kang and Kodos, and tell the Simpsons that they are taking them to their home planet. En route they present the family with enormous amounts of food and watch eagerly as they gorge themselves. Lisa is suspicious, so she sneaks into the kitchen where she finds a book called How To Cook Humans. She takes the book and confronts the aliens with it. They inform her that part of the title was obscured by space dust, which they blow away to reveal the title How To Cook For Humans. Lisa, skeptical at this, blows off more space dust, revealing the title to be How To Cook Forty Humans. The aliens blow off the last of the space dust, finally revealing the real title How To Cook For Forty Humans, allegedly proving that the aliens were trying to treat the humans well. Enraged at Lisa's distrust, they return the Simpsons to Earth, but not before rubbing in how she ruined their chance of paradise on the aliens' home planet. This episode parodies "To Serve Man", an episode of The Twilight Zone.

    The Raven:

    Lisa reads "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe. In this adaptation, Bart is depicted as the raven, Homer finds himself in the role of the poem's lead character, while Lisa and Maggie are seraphim. Marge appears briefly as a painting of Lenore. James Earl Jones narrates. The poem is read verbatim, with some of the poem edited out for time. Several times a bust of Edgar Allan Poe is visible in the background on a bookshelf.

    Trivia:

    • The haunted house segment owes a lot to The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973) - Maggie's revolving head, Poltergeist (Tobe Hooper, 1982) - the reference to the house being built on the site of an Indian burial ground, and The Amityville Horror (Stuart Rosenberg, 1979) - the bleeding walls, while the Rigellian plan for humanity recalls the Twilight Zone episode To Serve Man. The Raven is an almost direct transcription of Edgar Allan Poe's poem of lost love and ghastly redemption.
    • Very first episode whose score was composed by Alf Clausen who has scored every episode since then.
    • The only "Treehouse of Horror" to use the tree house motif and is so far one of two "Treehouse of Horrors" that don't use the spooky names. The second is "Treehouse of Horror XIII".
    • Edgar Allan Poe is listed in the opening credits as a writer as the episode refers to and quotes from his classic poem "The Raven".
    • This episode dispenses with the usual opening credits and cuts straight into the action.
    • The closing theme tune is played on a harpsichord. Originally it was supposed to be a theremin but that particular instrument is unable to hit all the notes in the theme music.
    • Harry Shearer provides the voice of the house in the first segment.
    • The first two segments work better than the third, but this is a marvellous episode, and set a high standard for the Hallowe'en specials to come.
    • It was the first of a series of Halloween themed episodes, currently consisting of 18 episodes. The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episodes are a yearly tradition. The Treehouse of Horror episodes generally do not obey the rest of the series' rules of realism, and are not treated as canon, although the first and third (and to a lesser extent, the second and fourth) are set-up in a fashion that they could be considered canon.
    • Since 1995, Bongo Comics has produced an annual comic book titled Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror.

  4. Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish:

    Original Air Date: November 1, 1990

    Writer: John Swartzwelder, Sam Simon.

    Director: Wesley Archer.

    Starring Characters: Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson).

    Recurring Characters: Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others), Maggie Roswell (Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not Xerox my butt" or "It's potato, not potatoe".

    Plot: Bart and Lisa go fishing downstream of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and Springfield Shopper reporter Dave Shutton pulls up just as Bart catches a three-eyed fish, which the media nicknames Blinky. From the resulting publicity the state governor, Mary Bailey, calls for an investigation of the power plant. After the inspection, Mr. Burns is presented with a list of 342 violations, which would cost $56 million to rectify. Distraught, Mr. Burns talks to Homer, who half-heartedly suggests Mr. Burns run for Governor so that he could change the standards and prevent the plant from being shut down.

    Burns's political advisors break the news to Burns that he is greatly despised by many people and force Burns to try being friendly and even smile. Burns also does a TV commercial, discussing Blinky with an actor portraying Charles Darwin, who claims Blinky is an evolutionary step. Combined with a promise to lower taxes and a smear campaign against Mary Bailey, Burns ties Bailey in the polls. On the night before the election, Smithers and his other advisors suggest that Burns have dinner at the home of a middle class family as an opportunity to put Burns "over the top." Burns scans his employees for the most average man he can find, and Homer is chosen.

    Before the dinner arrives, Burns's advisors prepare the family for the event, even giving them pre-written questions to ask in lieu of conversation. Lisa becomes disillusioned by it all, but Marge tells her not to worry. To everyone's surprise, Marge serves Blinky, the three-eyed fish that Bart caught, for dinner. Mr. Burns tries to act as if it does not bother him, but is not able to keep from spitting it out. The cameras flash as the bite flies through the air, but the press is gone and his gubernatorial campaign dissolves by the time the chunk hits the floor. Finally Bailey wins the election, but in the end, he swore that Homer's dreams will go 'unfulfilled'. While Homer is despondent by Burns's threat, Marge cheers Homer up by saying that his dreams to be a husband and father have already been fulfilled, and that his other dreams of desserts and sleeping in late on weekends are unable to taken away by any one man such as Burns.

    Trivia:

    • It is revealed that the C in C. Montgomery Burns stands for Charles.
    • In the couch gag the Simpsons rush in and get snappered up by the sofabed.
    • Mr Burns' initial address before a huge poster of himself is a steal from Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941). It may be a coincidence, but the character played by Donna Reed in It's a Wonderful Life, the movie perhaps most referenced in The Simpsons, was called Mary Bartey.
    • It represents an example of political satire, demonstrating the lengths people will go to win votes.
    • Burns hires an actor to portray Charles Darwin (who argued a landmark scientific theory on evolution) to help in his claim that the three-eyed fish was the result of evolution.
    • The episode title is a reference to the 31st president's Herbert Hoover Great Depression-era campaign slogan, "A car in every garage and two chickens in every pot".
    • Mary Bailey, the incumbent governor whom Burns seeks to unseat, shares her name with George Bailey's wife in the 1946 movie "It's a Wonderful Life".
    • The scene where Burns is seen driving a military tank is similar to the scene of Michael Dukakis doing the same during the 1988 presidential campaign.

  5. Dancin' Homer:

    Original Air Date: November 8, 1990

    Writer: Ken Levine, David Isaacs.

    Director: Mark Kirkland.

    Starring Characters: Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others).

    Recurring Characters: Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others), Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others).

    Guest Star: Ken Levine (Dan Horde), Daryl L. Coley ("Bleeding Gums" Murphy), Tom Poston (Capital City Goofball), Tony Bennett (Himself).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not trade pants with others".

    Plot: One night at Moe's Tavern, Homer tells the story of how he got (and then lost) his big break. His story begins during Nuclear Plant Employee, Spouses and No More than Three Children Night at the Springfield Isotopes baseball game at Springfield Stadium. At the game, Mr. Burns sits with Homer, taunting the Isotopes, which are expected to lose their 27th consecutive game, reportedly the longest losing streak in professional baseball. But when Homer fires up the crowd to the tune of "Baby Elephant Walk", the Isotopes win a game.

    Because of this, Homer is made the Springfield Isotopes' mascot, "Dancin' Homer". Eventually Homer is promoted by Antoine "Tex" O'Hara to the team in Capital City.

    The Simpsons pack up their things, say goodbye to their friends and move to the big city. Homer is nervous about performing for a larger crowd and sharing the stage with the legendary Capital City Goofball. His first performance is a disaster. He is booed off the stage and promptly fired. Homer sadly finishes his story, only to find that the barflies are still pretty impressed.

    Trivia:

    • This is the first episode in the series to feature a guest star as himself, in this case, Tony Bennett.
    • Writer David Isaacs was a minor league baseball announcer, a profession which came in handy for this particular episode.
    • In the couch gag the Simpsons, minus Maggie, rush in and sit down and Maggie peeks out of Marge's hair.
    • The Duff Brewery appears to be in Capital City which is some 220 miles away from Springfield.
    • Mr. Burns walks down the stairs in the stadium just like Charlie Chaplin.
    • The song "Capital City" sounds like that of "New York, New York".
    • Homer's farewell speech to the fans ("I consider myself the luckiest mascot on the face of the earth.) references Lou Gehrig's farewell address and the film "The Pride of the Yankees", based on the incident.

  6. Dead Putting Society:

    Original Air Date: November 15, 1990

    Writer: Jeff Martin.

    Director: Rich Moore.

    Starring Characters: Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson).

    Recurring Characters: Maggie Roswell (Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others).

    Guest Star:

    Chalkboard Gag: "I am not a 32 year old woman".

    First Appearances: Maude Flanders, Rod Flanders (Although he made a cameo appearance in The Call of the Simpsons).

    Plot: Homer is mowing his lawn with obvious frustration. This prompts some unwelcome advice from next-door neighbor Ned Flanders. Ned invites Homer into his beautiful basement rumpus room for a beer. Upon seeing Ned's house and observing his exaggeratedly perfect relationships with his wife and son, Homer erupts at Ned, accusing him of showing off. In response, Ned angrily asks Homer to leave. Later, Ned Flanders feels guilty about asking Homer to leave, and he writes a letter to Homer (starting out with "Dear Neighbor,") saying that he is really sorry and that he loves Homer as a brother. Homer immediately starts to crack up at Ned's sentiment and reads the letter to the family at the breakfast table. Marge is not happy with the family's reaction and chastises Homer for making light of Ned's sincere apology. Homer then suggests the family go play a round of miniature golf. Homer takes Bart and Maggie to Sir Putt-A-Lot's Merrie Olde Fun Centre. They unexpectedly run into Ned and Todd Flanders and end up going golfing together.

    The game goes well for everyone (especially Bart), except for Homer, who is obviously still jealous of Ned. Meanwhile, Bart and Todd find out about a kids' miniature golf tournament, with a first prize of $50. Although Todd is very good at miniature golf, Homer becomes too confident that Bart will win the tournament ("It is not okay to lose!" he tells Bart at one point). Homer forces Bart to stare angrily at a picture of Todd Flanders for 15 minutes every day. Bart looks at his meager collection of trophies (none of which say 'first place'), when Lisa offers to help him practice. Utilizing spiritual books that calm Bart's mind, they meditate and she asks him answerless riddles such as "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" and "If a tree falls down in the woods and no one's around, does it make a sound?" Meanwhile, Homer goads Ned into a wager on whose boy is a better golfer: the father of the boy who loses the tournament will mow the other father's lawn in his wife's Sunday dress. Before signing it, Ned objects to the word "loses" for being too negative, and requests that Homer swaps it for "doesn't win".

    On the day of the tournament, Homer threatens Bart to win no matter what. In an extremely close match, Bart and Todd each do well, and tie by the time they reach the eighteenth hole. Bart and Todd are both agree that the competition is not worth the stress, that they are equally good and that they should call it a draw, splitting the award evenly.

    Knowing that both boys did not lose or win, Ned is relieved that the bet is off. Homer still sticks to it, saying that Todd did not win, so Ned has to mow Homer's lawn. Ned backs it up by saying that Bart did not win either, so Homer has to mow Ned's lawn. Homer replies that it is a small price to pay. Eventually, they are forced to wear their respective wife's best Sunday dress and mow each other's lawn. People around the neighborhood laugh at them and Ned actually enjoys it (commenting that it reminds him of his fraternity days), much to Homer's consternation.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag the Simpsons rush in followed by Snowball II and Santa's Little Helper.
    • The title of the episode is a reference to the film Dead Poets Society.
    • Karate Kid is referenced twice: when Bart poses in the "crane" position, and when Ned calls, "Mercy is for the weak."
    • Full Metal Jacket is referenced when Homer tells Bart to give his putter a girls name, mirroring the order given by Gunnery Sergeant. Hartman to his recruits that they must give their rifle a female name. The name Charlene which Homer ultimately gives to the putter, is also the same name that Private Pyle gives to his rifle in the movie.
    • This is the only episode to be scored by Ray Colcord.

  7. Bart vs. Thanksgiving:

    Original Air Date: November 22, 1990

    Writer: George Meyer.

    Director: David Silverman.

    Starring Characters: Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others).

    Recurring Characters: Maggie Roswell (Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others).

    Guest Star: Greg Berg (Rory, Homeless Guys).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not do that thing with my tongue".

    First Appearances: Bill and Marty at KBBL, Jacqueline Bouvier (excluding her brief appearance during Marge's childhood flashback in Moaning Lisa).

    Plot:

    It is Thanksgiving, and Lisa has made a centerpiece for the dinner table. But when Bart brings in the turkey he complains that it is taking up too much room. After a short fight the centerpiece ends up burning in the fireplace and Lisa runs to her room in tears. Bart is sent to his room by Homer and Marge, they also tell him he has ruined Thanksgiving.

    Convinced he has not done anything wrong, Bart decides to run away. In order to get some money for food he donates some blood plasma and passes out. Two hobos then take him to a soup kitchen. Kent Brockman interviews him on live TV and the family, seeing the report, call the police.

    Bart returns to the house feeling remorseful and decides to climb onto the roof. He hears Lisa in her room crying and calls for her to come onto the roof. Lisa asks him to look deep down inside himself to see if he feels bad for what he had done. Bart thinks to himself that this is a stupid idea but after thinking about it further he realizes he does indeed feel bad. He apologizes to Lisa and he rejoins the family to enjoy a dinner of leftovers.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag Grampa is asleep on the sofa but wakes up with a start when the family dash in.
    • The first occasion when Mr Burns unleashes the hounds.
    • The Dallas Cowboys named in this episode, Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky, are actually writers on the show.
    • Homer's favourite football team are the Dallas Cowboys.
    • The music to accompany the break in the Thanksgiving Parade is Get Dancing, a 1974 hit by Disco-Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes.
    • Lisa's angst-ridden poem - 'My soul carved in slices! By spiky-haired demons' - is very close to Allen Ginsberg's poem Howl.
    • Mr Burns' mansion is at the crossroads of Croesus and Mammon, both of whom are mythological figures of greed.
    • Marge's mother Jackie is particularly nightmarish in her first real appearance. The final sequence on the rooftop with Lisa and Bart is lovely.
    • Homer and Bart watch Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. They talk about the Helium balloons modeled after Bullwinkle and Underdog.
    • 'The Simpsons is self-referenced when Homer tells Bart that if the parade "turned every flash-in-pan cartoon character into a balloon, it will be a farce", the TV shows a giant balloon of Bart. Not coincidentally, 1990 was the year the Bart Simpson balloon was added to the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.
    • When Bart is discovered attempting to steal a pie from the window sill, one of the guards at Burns's mansion is reading Les Misérables, in which the main character is imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread after breaking a window.
    • Kent Brockman references Emmett Kelly, the Charlie Chaplin character the Tramp and the Red Skelton character Freddy the Freeloader.
    • The music Bart sings when he brings the turkey to the table is the music heard in the 20th Century Fox opening.
    • When Bart is on the roof, there are lots of toys on the roof. In the scene where the house is destroyed in The Simpsons Movie, you can briefly see the toys from this episode on the roof.
    • The song playing during the super bowl half-time show is titled "Get Dancing" by Disco Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes.

  8. Bart the Daredevil:

    Original Air Date: December 6, 1990

    Writer: Jay Kogen, Wallace Wolodarsky.

    Director: Wesley Archer.

    Starring Characters: Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others).

    Recurring Characters: Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others), Maggie Roswell (Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others), Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not drive the principal's car".

    First Appearances: Dr Hibbert.

    Plot: Homer and Bart are highly anticipating a trip to the monster truck rally featuring Truck-o-Saurus, a giant robotic dinosaur which ultimately crushes the Simpson family car. The rally's grand finale features a death-defying stunt by "the world's greatest daredevil", Lance Murdock. Despite the fact that the act leaves Murdock badly hurt and hospital-bound, Bart is enamored and dreams of becoming a daredevil.

    Bart quickly injures himself during his first skateboard stunt. Nonetheless, Bart is persistent and continues, jumping over a swimming pool, some animals, and Homer on his hammock. On a class trip to Springfield Gorge, Bart announces that on the coming Saturday he will jump over the gorge.

    Even after a punishment, several orders, and a "heart-to-heart talk" with Homer, Bart still goes to the gorge and tries to jump it. He is stopped at the last second by Homer, who angrily resolves to jump the gorge himself to show Bart what it's like to see a family member needlessly risk their life for no good reason. Bart, not wanting to see his father get injured (or possibly die) on his account, recants his wish to jump the gorge, and promises he will never try to be a daredevil again. He and Homer reconcile, but Homer is still on the skateboard which rolls down and flies over the gorge by itself, with him on board. Although he becomes airborne, Homer loses momentum and plummets into the gorge.

    A helicopter winches Homer out, slamming him against the side of the gorge several times in the process before he is loaded into a waiting ambulance. Mere seconds after driving away, however, the ambulance crashes into a tree and the gurney carrying Homer falls out of the back, and Homer once again falls to the floor of the canyon, being hit on the head by the gurney. Homer is eventually taken to the hospital and put in the same ward as Lance Murdock, where he says "You think you've got guts? Try raising my kids!"

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag the Simpsons rush in but Homer's weight proves too much for the sofa.
    • Captain Lance Murdock is based on Evel Knievel.
    • Syndication cuts the second time Homer falls down the gorge.
    • Matt Groening said in an interview that this episode was his favorite Simpsons episode. This would likely explain why footage of this episode is that which is most often used for the series clip shows.
    • The scene of Homer plummeting down Springfield Gorge has become one of the most used Simpsons clips ever; it was featured in the 1993 episode "So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show" and referenced in "Treehouse of Horror XIII". This episode has been referenced so many times that in the season thirteen episode The Blunder Years, when the family is trying to find out why Homer can't stop screaming after Mesmerino hypnotized him, Homer flashes back to his greatest moment: jumping the Springfield Gorge, only to be interrupted by Lisa, who says "Everyone's sick of that memory."
    • This episode was once again referenced in The Simpsons Movie.
    • There is a scene where Bart and Homer jump over Springfield Gorge on a motorcycle and when they land on the other side, the ambulance from this episode can be seen (still stuck against the tree) in the background.
    • The Russian wrestler, Rasputin, is named after Grigori Rasputin.
    • The Springfield Elementary band plays Franz Schubert's Unfinished Symphony and Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.
    • Werner Von Brawn, one of the wrestlers in the match, is probably named after Wernher von Braun.
    • Bart appearing at Springfield Gorge in the distance is based on Omar Sharif's entrance in Lawrence of Arabia.
    • During the ride on the school bus Otto is humming a tune that sounds very similar to Foxy Lady by Jimi Hendrix.
    • The monster truck at the rally, Truck-o-saurus, is a parody to the famous monster truck, Robosaurus.
    • The movie "Jaws" parodied in the way the lion leaps out to attack Captain Lance Murdoch.
    • Lance Murdoch is a parody of famous daredevils such as Evel Knievel, and also a reference to Marvel's own comic book character Daredevil, whose fictional civilian name is Matt Murdock.

  9. Itchy & Scratchy & Marge:

    Original Air Date: December 20, 1990

    Writer: John Swartzwelder.

    Director: Jim Reardon.

    Starring Characters: Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others).

    Recurring Characters: Maggie Roswell (Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others), Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others).

    Guest Star: Alex Rocco (Roger Myers Jr.).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not pledge allegiance to Bart".

    First Appearances: Sideshow Mel.

    Plot: Homer attempts to build Marge a spice rack. While he is doing so, Maggie sneaks up and hits Homer on the head with a mallet. Marge is at first clueless as to why Maggie would do such a thing, but Maggie sees an episode of The Itchy & Scratchy Show, a cartoon which is known for its violence, and tries to stab Homer with a pencil. Marge immediately blames The Itchy & Scratchy Show for Maggie's actions and bans Bart and Lisa from watching the show. Marge writes a letter to the producers of the show asking them to tone down their violence and in response, Roger Meyers, Jr.—the CEO of Itchy & Scratchy International—writes a letter to Marge, telling her one person can not make a difference and calls her a "screwball". In response, Marge decides to "show what one screwball can do".

    Marge forms "Springfieldians for Nonviolence, Understanding, and Helping" (SNUH) and forces the family to picket outside the Itchy & Scratchy Studios. Marge's protest gains momentum and soon more people join the group. Finally Roger Meyers concedes defeat, and agrees to eliminate violence in Itchy & Scratchy. Eventually, a new short in which Itchy & Scratchy sit on a porch drinking lemonade airs, but Bart, Lisa, and other kids across Springfield reject the cleaned-up show. A lengthy montage follows, in which the children of Springfield go outside and engage in various wholesome activities and that night Bart and Lisa brag about their various outdoor activities while Marge listens happily.

    Meanwhile, Michelangelo's David goes on a coast-to-coast tour of the U.S. and is scheduled to stop in Springfield. The members of SNUH try to urge Marge to protest the sculpture, insisting that the sculpture is offensive and unsuitable. However, Marge argues that the sculpture is a masterpiece. Deciding that it is wrong to censor one form of art but not another, she decides to give up her anti-cartoon violence protest. Itchy & Scratchy immediately returns to its old form and Springfield's children abandon their wholesome activities.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag the Simpsons rush in but the sofa's not there.
    • The idyllic scene of happy children at play in a world without TV violence recalls the Beethoven's 6th Symphony sequence from Walt Disney's Fantasia (1940).
    • Itchy & Scratchy & Marge is an acclaimed episode which dealt with censorship issues and allowed the writers to have a lot of Itchy & Scratchy cartoons, which many fans had been clamoring for.
    • The episode was written by John Swartzwelder, who loved Itchy & Scratchy and wrote several episodes that have them at the centre.
    • The episode was partially inspired by Terry Rakolta, who protested the Fox network over the show "Married... with Children".
    • During the original airing of the episode, the Fox satellite blew out and the entire West coast of the United States missed the first act of the episode.
    • This was the first episode directed by Jim Reardon, who had previously made a student film called "Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown" which was very violent and the experience served him well for this episode.
    • There are several characters who work at I&S studios who are caricatures of real people: the cartoonist who draws the Marge/Squirrel is based on Eddie Fitzgerald, who worked at Filmation and the three people with Meyers when he is asking Marge for suggestions are caricatures of Rich Moore, David Silverman and Wes Archer.
    • Many people behind The Simpsons were huge fans of The Godfather and Jim Reardon looked for a way to shoot him in the eye as a reference to Rocco's character, Moe Greene.
    • Roger Meyers, Jr. makes his first appearance in this episode, as does Sideshow Mel, although he does not have any lines until the later episode "Black Widower".
    • The scene where Maggie hits Homer over the head with a mallet is an extensive parody of the shower scene from Psycho, in which the music and camera angles are almost identical.

  10. Bart Gets Hit by a Car:

    Original Air Date: January 10, 1991

    Writer: John Swartzwelder.

    Director: Mark Kirkland.

    Starring Characters: Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others).

    Recurring Characters: Doris Grau (Lunchlady Doris), Phil Hartman (Lionel Hutz, Troy McClure and Additional Voices), Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not sell school property".

    First Appearances: Springfield DA, Lionel Hutz, Dr Nick Riviera, Judge Roy Snyder (although he is called Judge Moulton here), Blue-Haired Lawyer.

    Plot: Mr. Burns' car hits Bart when he is skateboarding. Bart has an out-of-body experience, and rides a gold escalator and visits Heaven. Naturally, Bart does the opposite of what he is supposed to do (hold on to the hand rail and not to spit over the side), and visits Hell. In Hell, he meets the Devil. He floats back into his body, waking up in Dr. Hibbert's room. Bart has minor injuries, a bump on the head and a broken toe, but nothing serious. In the room, an attorney named Lionel Hutz comes in and suggests that Homer sue Mr. Burns. Burns offers Homer $100, but he refuses, and he goes to see Lionel Hutz. Hutz promises Homer a cash settlement of $1,000,000. They see Dr. Nick Riviera, who says that Bart is a very sick boy. According to Dr. Nick a fingerprinted x-ray was in fact broken ribs. Marge, however, decries Dr. Nick for saying Bart is sick, arguing that he is not a real doctor.

    Homer sues Mr. Burns, with Bart offering his (unbelievable) testimony that he was playing innocently, until the "Luxury Car of Death" hit him, and Burns saying in his (even more unbelievable) testimony that he was driving to the orphanage to pass out toys until Bart darted in front of him. The jury does not believe Mr. Burns's testimony, who yells at his lawyers and orders them to bring Homer and Marge to his house. At his mansion, Burns offers Homer a $500,000 settlement. Homer and Marge discuss the matter, but Homer objects to the settlement, insisting that Burns knows he will lose the trial and will have to pay the family $1 million. Burns cancels the settlement after overhearing Marge saying the lawsuit is based on false evidence.

    At the trial, Marge is called to the stand. In her testimony, she denounces Dr. Nick Riviera as being a phony doctor concerned more about wrapping Bart in bandages than in making him feel better, while proving Dr. Hibbert to be a real doctor. She is asked to describe Bart's intense mental anguish and suffering, and when she does, she is not sure how intense it is, although she mentions that Bart did miss three days of school, and when asked to put a dollar amount on the hardships, she says that Bart would have made $5 if he were able to take out the garbage. Marge, offering honest testimony, destroys Hutz's case. Mr. Burns then offers Homer another settlement, this time for the amount of $0, which Hutz advises Homer to accept. Although Bart receives good treatment and now feels better after the trial, a downbeat Homer worries that Marge cost him $1,000,000, and he tells Marge he is going to Moe's. Marge comes into Moe's and asks Homer to forgive her for her testimony, but he says that he is not sure he loves her anymore, until he looks her in the eyes to find out and feels happy, and they love each other.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag Homer wriggles until he forces the others on to the floor.
    • Phil Hartman's first appearance on the show.
    • This is the second episode to show its title (the first being The Telltale Head) and first to show its number (episode 23).
    • Hutz's card reads, 'Lionel Hutz Attorney at Law as seen on TV KLondike 5-LAWW. Clogging up our courts since 1976.'
    • Dr Nick Riviera's credentials are Mayo Clinic Correspondence School; Female Body Inspector; Club Med School and I Went to Medical School for Four Years and all I got was this Lousy Diploma.
    • Hell as seen in this episode is taken from Hieronymous Bosch's painting The Garden of Earthly Delights.
    • The Devil was off in his calculation of the next time the Yankees would have won the American League pennant: not "a century from now," but 1996.
    • The Devil uses a Macintosh computer to check Bart's record.
    • This episode shows Great-Grandpa Simpson, Aunt Hortense and Snowball I in Heaven.
    • Dr. Hibbert pokes Bart's bump and he shouts "Ow! Quit it." two times. This was the second time we hear Bart shout "Ow! Quit it." He first shouted it in "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire." Matt Groening claims this reference comes from what his real life siblings (Maggie and Lisa) used to do to him when he was a child.
    • Lisa only has five lines in this episode.
    • The program's version of Hell is an homage to Hieronymus Bosch's triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights; esp. the Hell panel.
    • This is one of the most heavily edited episodes in syndication. The full opening sequence is replaced with the short opening from Season 5's Rosebud, and there are 17 cut scenes, none of which are over nine seconds long.
    • Approximately half-way through the episode, when Bart is on the witness stand, the characters Akbar and Jeff from Matt Groening's comic, Life in Hell, can be seen in the courtroom audience.
    • The song "Tijuana Taxi" by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass is heard twice in the show's history: in this episode (as Mr. Burns is recalling the time leading up to the incident), and in "On a Clear Day I Can't See My Sister".
    • The Devil says "Please allow me to introduce myself", a reference to The Rolling Stones song Sympathy for the Devil.
    • When Bart wakes up from his out-of-body experience, he says, "I did go away, Mom! I was miles and miles and miles away, writhing in agony in the pits of Hell! And you were there! And you and you and you," a reference to the 1939 film adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy awakens from her slumber.

  11. One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish:

    Original Air Date: January 24, 1991

    Writer: Nell Scovell.

    Director: Wesley Archer.

    Starring Characters: Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others).

    Recurring Characters: Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others).

    Guest Star: Diana Tanaka (Hostess), Joey Miyashima (Toshiro), Sab Shimono (Master Chef), George Takei (Akira), Larry King (Himself).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not cut corners" (Bart uses ditto marks to repeat it).

    First Appearances: Akira.

    Plot: Bored with having meatloaf for dinner, Lisa suggests that the family, instead of having pork chops the next night, go to the new sushi bar, "The Happy Sumo". When they arrive, Homer starts by ordering a few things, but when he discovers that "this fish is delish!", he eats everything on the menu, including a type of sushi called Fugu.

    The chef in charge is busy making out with Edna Krabappel in the parking lot, so his apprentice has to slice the fugu, of which certain parts are toxic. The apprentice tries to do it carefully, but Homer becomes very impatient, and the apprentice is forced to serve it. Homer considers it a treat, but it is poorly prepared, and Homer is told that he may have been poisoned.

    Homer and Marge go to the hospital, where Dr. Hibbert informs Homer he is indeed going to die and has 24 hours left to live. He actually has 22 (since Hibbert left Homer waiting too long; in reality, blowfish poison kills far more swiftly). He eventually accepts his fate and makes a list of all the things he wants to do on his last day on Earth.

    On his last day, the things Homer does are: have a man-to-man talk with Bart, in which he teaches him to shave. He then listens to Lisa play her saxophone. Then he borrows Ned Flanders’s camcorder to make a video for Maggie, which she can look at when she is older (he also briefly considers attending the Flanders family’s barbecue; accepting in the belief that he will be dead the next morning). He has to cross out "plant a memorial tree" so that he can reconcile with Grampa, until he is arrested for speeding. Homer calls Barney, who is asked to pay $50 to bail him out, because Homer does not want Marge to know that he is in jail. Leaving jail and with not much time left, he tells off Mr. Burns, has one last drink at Moe's Tavern with his friends, and then hurries home in time to say a good-bye to his family and be "intimate" with Marge.

    At midnight, Homer visits each family member, who are all asleep, and says goodbye. Feeling glum, he listens to Larry King read the Bible on tape, to which suddenly his head drops and it appears his body has stopped working. Marge awakens the next morning and is panicked that her husband is not by her side. She runs downstairs and finds Homer, collapsed in the armchair. As she mourns, she realises that his drool is still warm. She wakes him up and drums in the fact that he is alive. Homer then prances around in an overjoyed state and vows to live life to its fullest. In typical Homer fashion, he is soon back on the couch watching a bowling tournament and eating pork rinds.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag the sofa tips over backwards and only Maggie crawls back up again.
    • In the early seasons of the show, Homer sports some chest hair.
    • : The Happy Sumo's karaoke machine plays host to Japanese businessman Richie Sakai (a reference to the Simpsons producer of the same name), who sings Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves, a 1971 hit for Cher, and Lisa and Bart, who duet on Isaac Hayes' '71 Theme From Shaft.
    • The scene where Homer hammers on the car window calling Marge's name is a lift from The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967).
    • In the phone gag Bart says: Hello, can I speak to Seymour Butz.
    • No matter how much sushi Homer wolfs down, at no point is he ever seen with less than two pieces on his plate, even if it appears he has grabbed it all.
    • According to DVD commentary, the FOX censors almost did not let them use Shaft’s theme song. They had to dig up footage of the Academy Awards ceremony at which the song was sung in order to be able to use it.
    • The video at the end of the episode with Homer eating pork rinds on the couch is recycled from "Moaning Lisa", with bowling sounds (and credits) overlaid. According to the episode commentary, a deleted scene of Homer and his family at the Flanders' barbecue is described, with various acts of Homer's causing undesirable results.
    • This is the first episode with a shortened opening sequence (clouds, blackboard, SNPP, grocery store, sax solo, driveway, couch, credits). Additionally, a slightly different version of Lisa’s sax solo was introduced for use on this and other Season 2 episodes with this opening sequence.
    • Homer and Marge have not missed "Pork Chop" night since "The Great Pig Scare" In '87.
    • Fugu is in fact a poisonous fish and must be prepared in a special way to avoid harm as seen in this episode. Sushi chefs usually must work several years before being allowed to handle that fish and must pass difficult tests in order to gain a certificate to prepare fugu.
    • The title is a play on the Dr. Seuss book One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.
    • Bart and Lisa sang the theme song to the movie Shaft, “Theme from Shaft” by Isaac Hayes.
    • Homer experiencing the stages of grief as he learns of them is a spoof on the movie Airplane!
    • The sequence when Homer rushes home is a parody of film The Graduate. The same guitar chords can be heard as when Dustin Hoffman character rushes to the church. The parody also includes Homer banging the windows using both fists.
    • At the end of the Bible tape, Larry King mentioned the San Antonio Spurs, a professional basketball team.

  12. The Way We Was:

    Original Air Date: January 31, 1991

    Writer: Sam Simon, Mike Reiss, Al Jean.

    Director: David Silverman.

    Starring Characters: Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others).

    Recurring Characters: Tress MacNeille (Agnes Skinner, Brandine Del Roy, Dolph and others), Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others), Maggie Roswell (Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others), Jon Lovitz (Artie Ziff and Mr. Seckofsky).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not get very far with this attitude".

    First Appearances: McBain (as played by Rainier Wolfcastle), Artie Ziff, Principal Harland Dondelinger, Marge's father Clancy Bouvier and Mr. Seckofsky.

    Plot: Marge tells the kids the story of how she and Homer first met. We flashback to 1974, when they were both in their senior year of high school. While Homer was quite the slacker, Marge was a responsible student. But when she was at a feminist rally burning a bra on school grounds, she is sent to detention. Already there is Homer together with Barney, having been busted for smoking in the school restrooms. Homer is awestruck by the beautiful Marge.

    To get to be around her more, Homer joins the debate team, of which Marge is a member. But there, Marge is more interested in the more articulate Artie Ziff. As a plan B, Homer pretends to be a French student so that he can be tutored by Marge. It appears to be working, and when Homer asks Marge to the senior prom, she says yes. However, when Homer reveals he does not really take French, Marge is furious and instead decides to go with Artie Ziff.

    Homer does not realize (or perhaps refuses to believe) that Marge has rejected him, and so shows up for prom night to pick her up. He is thrown out by Marge, and so he has to go to the prom by himself.

    After the prom, everyone goes to the makeout spot in Springfield, where Artie gets a little too grabby with Marge and rips her dress. Meanwhile, Homer's limo time has run out, and without any money he is forced to walk home.

    Along the way Marge and Artie pass by Homer, and after Artie drops Marge off at her house (begging her not to say anything about his fondling of her) she goes back out to find Homer. Upon finding him walking dejectedly by the side of the road, she begins honking. Homer becomes angry and starts stomping in the mud when Marge pulls up beside him. Homer gets into the car and gives her the corsage, looking sad. He turns to Marge to say; "I've got a problem. Once you stop this car, I'm going to hug you, and kiss you, and then I'll never be able to let you go." It cuts back to present day with Homer stating "And I never have." Lisa is touched by this sentiment but Bart is not.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag the Simpsons rush in and the sofa falls through the floor.
    • Marge's date Artie Ziff sings the Carpenters 1970 hit (They Long To Be) Close To You.
    • The poem that Homer attempts to read in episode "The Way We Was" is the weird poem that Steve Martin recites in both The Man with Two Brains (1983) and L.A. Story (1991) ("Oh pointy birds, oh pointy pointy...").
    • The first episode to feature a prolonged flashback.
    • Jon Lovitz's first guest appearance on the show.
    • According to Marge's forensics teacher, Marge speaks in dramatic interpretation, where students perform works, usually of fiction, written by other persons. However, the speech Marge gives seems more consistent with original oratory style, where students write their own speeches on contemporary topics.
    • The Way We Were — The episode title is a reference to the 1973 movie, starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford. Another episode (The Way We Weren't) also spoofs this title.
    • Homer sings along to "The Joker" (by The Steve Miller Band) at the beginning of the flashback, as well as in the end credits.

  13. Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment:

    Original Air Date: February 7, 1991

    Writer: Steve Pepoon.

    Director: Rich Moore.

    Starring Characters: Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson).

    Recurring Characters: Phil Hartman (Lionel Hutz, Troy McClure and Additional Voices), Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others), Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others), Tress MacNeille (Agnes Skinner, Brandine Del Roy, Dolph and others).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not make flatulent noises in class"

    First Appearances: Troy McClure, Drederick Tatum, Ralph Wiggum (true appearance), Sanjay Nahasapeemapetilon (mentioned only, does not appear until "Homer at the Bat").

    Plot: After seeing Ned Flanders reject an offer from a man to get an illegal cable hook-up, Homer chases after the cable man and wants to be hooked up for free. He likes the new channels he gets, which the family watches with him. Lisa, however, feels suspicious about this. Following a Sunday School lesson regarding the existence and nature of Hell, Lisa becomes terrified of violations of the 10 Commandments, the adherence to which she is assured will keep one’s soul safe from Hell. She fears that because Homer violated the Eighth Commandment, he will go to Hell when he dies.[1] She additionally opposes other examples of common and harmless thievery all around her. She convinces Marge to pay the cost on two grapes in a grocery store which she has tested but not paid for. Lisa pays a visit to Reverend Lovejoy at church, where he suggests that Lisa cannot turn her father in to the police (since she must continue to Honour Thy Father and Thy Mother), but he instead encourages Lisa to not watch anything on Homer’s cable hook-up, setting a good example.

    Homer invites his friends from the power plant, as well as Apu, Moe, and Barney to watch “The Bout to Knock the Other Guy Out!” on pay-per-view. (Mr. Burns and Waylon Smithers show up as well). Lisa tries to boycott the party, and this results in Homer making her stay outside. Meanwhile, Bart has set up posters on the back door for his showing of an adult channel for 50 cents (although his age requirement is eight), but he is caught a few seconds later by Homer. Homer’s conscience eventually bothers him, more in the form of his daughter’s distress than a moral objection to stealing cable, and he gives in to Lisa’s protests, begrudgingly choosing not to watch the last minutes of the fight. Marge, Maggie, and Bart (otherwise reluctant) join them as well. He sits the fight out and when everyone leaves, he hesitantly (and unprofessionally) cuts his cable hook-up, despite Bart’s objection. Homer somehow accidentally cuts the electricity to all of Springfield in his random wire-cutting before finally cutting the cable wire.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag the Simpsons perform a shimmying dance number.
    • Cable delights include Hear Me Roar - the network for women, pro-wrestling from Mexico, reruns of Jaws, Die Hard and Police Academy, Congress, World Series of Cock-fighting, I Can't Believe They Invented It!, The Blockbuster Channel, and Top Hat Adult Entertainment (titles including Stardust Mammaries and Broadcast Nudes).
    • Lisa's non-violent protest is reminiscent of Mahatma Gandhi's protests against the British occupation of India, during which, just like Lisa, he would drink only lemonade.
    • 'Gentleman Jim' Corbett (1866-1933) was the first heavyweight boxing champion under the Queensberry Rules.
    • When Homer is watching the cable by himself, the sound from The Itchy & Scratchy Show episode "Porch Pals" from "Itchy & Scratchy & Marge" can be heard.
    • Drederick Tatum is obviously based on Mike Tyson, his manager looks exactly like Don King, and his opponent resembles Evander Holyfield.
    • In a joke about Mr. Burns’ age, he recalls watching a bare-knuckle match between Gentleman Jim Corbett and “an Eskimo fellow.” Corbett would later be referenced as “Gentleman Jim Simpson” in a deleted scene in “The Homer They Fall” on the Season 8 DVD boxset.
    • This episode was The Simpsons submission to the 1991 Emmys. It won the award, the second for The Simpsons.
    • Though “Thou Shall Not Steal” is listed as the Seventh Commandment in Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism, the Simpsons belong to one of the numerous protestant sects which list it as the eighth.

  14. Principal Charming:

    Original Air Date: February 14, 1991

    Writer: David M. Stern.

    Director: Mark Kirkland.

    Starring Characters: Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson).

    Recurring Characters: Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others), Marcia Wallace (Edna Krabappel), Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not belch the national anthem"

    First Appearances: Groundskeeper Willie, Hans Moleman, Squeaky Voiced Teen.

    Plot: Patty and Selma visit the wedding of a man that could have easily been Selma's husband had Patty not gotten in the way. Selma realizes that she needs to find a husband and begs Marge to help her. Marge enlists the help of Homer to seek one out, however, Homer has trouble finding anyone suitable.

    Meanwhile, Bart pulls a big prank by pouring the fictional chemical sodium tetrasulfate onto the grass. In the principal's office, he is told to call his father, who is currently at Moe's Tavern. After asking for Homer Sexual, Principal Skinner takes the receiver as Moe verbally assaults who he imagines is his long-time tormentor. Moe gives Homer the phone when he realizes it is Principal Skinner on the other end of the line. Homer goes to the school and decides that Skinner is the perfect man for Selma. He invites the Principal to meet her, but he falls for Patty instead.

    Skinner starts to go out with a slightly unwilling Patty, much to Selma's increasing chagrin. Meanwhile, Bart takes advantage of the opportunity to take control of the school. Skinner enlists Bart's help to get Patty to marry him, while Homer fixes a date between Selma and Barney, which Selma reluctantly accepts.

    Skinner takes Patty to the top of the Bell Tower to propose. Following Bart's lead, he has written "Marry Me, Patty" in 40-foot letters using the "sodium tetrasulfate" that got Bart in trouble. Patty is flattered, but declines. She admits to Skinner that she shares a common bond with the emotional grief of her twin sister, which Seymour immediately picks up on and says it is best she go support her sister. Patty appreciates Seymour's understanding and his gentlemanly conduct, and if she ever did settle down with a man, she would want it to be with him. In his grief, Principal Skinner sees what has happened to the school, and takes back control - much to Bart's chagrin, as it means he is immediately put back into detention. Patty informs Selma of the events at Moe's Tavern, so she breaks her own date. Things then return to normal.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag the Simpsons rush in and get caught in the sofabed.
    • This was the episode selected to be aired for Valentine's Day 1991.
    • Patty and Selma are 40, and live in apartment 1599.
    • Patty and Skinner see Space Mutants V: The Land Down Under.
    • Seymour has extensive files on Bart's tardiness, rudeness and vandalism amongst others.
    • Homer's work number is KLondike 5.6832, home is KLondike 5.6754 and Moe's Tavern is KLondike 5.1239.
    • Happy Hour at Moe's lasts thirty minutes, between 5 and 5.30 p.m.
    • Selma sings Brandy, a 1971 hit for Scott English.
    • There's a scene recreated from Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958), as Principal Skinner climbs the school tower.
    • Homer's attempts to locate a suitable man for Patty include a computer-enhanced overlay on his vision that closely resembles that used by The Terminator (James Cameron, 1984).
    • Principal Skinner's final return to the school is straight out of Gone With the Wind.
    • Homer admits, 'A good man really IS hard to find'. This is a reference to the short stories by Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find".
    • The title is a reference to the fairy tale character Prince Charming.
    • The phrase "Good night, my sweet principal" is a reference to the phrase "Good night, my sweet prince" from Shakespeare's Hamlet.

  15. Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?:

    Original Air Date: February 21, 1991

    Writer: Jeff Martin.

    Director: Wesley Archer.

    Starring Characters: Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson).

    Recurring Characters: Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others), Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others), Maggie Roswell (Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others).

    Guest Star: Danny DeVito (Herb Powell).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not sell land in Florida".

    First Appearances: Herb Powell, Mona Simpson.

    Plot: After watching the latest McBain movie, Grampa Simpson suffers a heart attack. Thinking he might die, he is prompted to confess a long-hidden secret: Homer has a half-brother.

    Herb Powell the half brother of Homer, who looks just like him, except taller, slimmer and with more hair, is the head of eponymously-named automobile manufacturer Powell Motors, which is in danger of being taken over by the Japanese because of otherwise poor management. He is very rich, but is quite unhappy not knowing who he is and where he comes from. He is overjoyed upon hearing of his half-brother and invites the entire Simpson family to stay at his mansion in Detroit. The family drives in the road but accidently drives into an unauthorized detour, however, thanks to Homer's resembelance to Herb, they were able to do anything they want util they reach Detroit.

    Bart, Lisa, and Maggie are enthralled by Herb's wealthy lifestyle and kind personality, although Marge constantly worries about spoiling her kids. Herb then decides that Homer, being an "average" American, is the perfect person to design a new car for his company. Homer is given entirely free rein in the design, but is at first too timid to voice an opinion, as Herb's designers begin to design the car with their own ideas in mind. When Herb gets word of this, he gives Homer a pep talk that sends him back to the designers determined to build the car with all sorts of weird effects like bubble domes, tail fins and several horns that play "La Cucaracha".

    At the unveiling of the new car, dubbed "The Homer", Herb is horrified to discover that the car is a monstrosity that costs $82,000 ($125,791.13 when inflation adjusted to 2007). Herb's company folds, his mansion is sold off and he leaves regretting that he ever met his brother. As he departs on the bus he angrily remarks to Homer that he "has no brother". Lisa laments, "His life was an unbridled success... until he found out he was a Simpson." In the end of this episode, while Homer drives the family home, Bart tells him that the car he built was great. Homer becomes relieved to discover that at least one person seems to like it.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag the Simpsons, minus Maggie, rush in and sit down and Maggie peeks out of Marge's hair.
    • The orphanage director has a long-lost twin brother - and he bears more than a passing resemblance to Dr Julius Hibbert, in which case they may have another brother, Bleedin' Gums Murphy (see Round Springfield).
    • The line, 'As far as I'm concerned, I have no brother', comes from The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1973).
    • In the video games The Simpsons Road Rage and The Simpsons Hit & Run, the Homer is a drivable vehicle, complete with a horn which plays "La Cucaracha".
    • Herb returns, and his plight is resolved, in the later episode "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?" (Season 3).
    • This episode marks the first appearance of Homer's mother, who is voiced by Maggie Roswell. She is seen again in another flashback in "Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy" and then turns out to be alive and reunited with her family in "Mother Simpson" where she is voiced by Glenn Close.
    • A few of the things suggested for "The Homer", like super-sized cup holders and built-in media-players, are now incorporated into modern day cars.
    • After Herb's company is bankrupt, whatever happened to the Homer is never shown or explained.
    • The Simpsons kids were all born in wedlock, but Bart was, as Homer likes to put it, a "close call".
    • Herb's birth is somewhat similar to Bongo in Life in Hell's birth.
    • The title of this episode is also the name of the non-existent book "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" in the Preston Sturges film Sullivan's Travels. The film is also where the Coen Brothers got the name for their movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?
    • The storyline where a very controversially styled car causing the company to tank both echoes that of the Edsel and the Tucker Torpedo. The Edsel was a very controversially styled car that bore the name of Henry Ford's son, which is now considered one of the biggest flops in history (In fact, the name "Edsel" has since become assoiated with "failure") While the Tucker was a very advanced car. "The Homer"'s unveiling is a parody of the Tucker's unveiling, down to the girls wearing pink gowns, to Herb Powell calling it "The Car of the 90s" (Preston Tucker referred to the Tucker as the "Car of the 50s", hinting at how advanced it was). However, this is an injoke, as the Tucker was very advanced for its time, while "The Homer" was notoriously dated, using design features like tailfins, which went out of style in the 1950s. The storyline also slightly takes off that of the AMC Pacer, which was a controversially styled car that is blamed for the final fall of American Motors.
    • Herb Powell lives in a house that looks like Frank Lloyd Wright's house in Oak Park, Illinois, works in a studio that looks like the Taliesin school of architecture in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and his factory is none other than the Johnson Wax Company in Racine, Wisconsin, all three buildings designed by Wright.

  16. Bart's Dog Gets an F:

    Original Air Date: March 7, 1991

    Writer: Jon Vitti.

    Director: Jim Reardon.

    Starring Characters: Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others).

    Recurring Characters: Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others), Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others), Frank Welker (Santa's Little Helper and Additional Animal Voices).

    Guest Star: Tracey Ullman (Emily Winthrop and Mrs. Winfield).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not sell school property".

    Plot:

    Lisa has the mumps and has to spend a few days home from school. While Marge teaches her sewing, Homer goes to the mall to buy some magazines for her. There he sees and purchases some expensive shoes known as 'Assassins', which he saw Ned Flanders with earlier. The next day, he buys a giant cookie.

    Marge shows Lisa a patchwork quilt, which is a family heirloom. Lisa makes her own contribution to it, but then Santa's Little Helper (Frank Welker in his first appearance) rips it up, also destroying the shoes and cookie. Homer wants to get rid of the dog, but Lisa convinces them to take him to an obedience school first.

    Santa's Little Helper does not do well at the Obedience School as Bart is unwilling to use a choke chain. The night before the final exam, Bart and Santa's Little Helper play, thinking it will be their last few hours together. This bonding breaks down the communication barrier, allows Santa's Little Helper to understand Bart's commands, and to pass obedience school. Lisa marks the occasions by creating a new quilt to replace the one destroyed.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag the Simpsons rush in and are joined by Santa's Little Helper and Snowball II.
    • There is a brief shot of Miss Botz from Some Enchanted Evening on Kent's show.
    • Other dogs at Miss Winthropp's class include Buddy and Lao-Tzu.
    • The magazines Homer buys for Lisa are Teen Scream, Teen Screen and Teen Steam. Other mags on sale include Teen Team, Teen Dream,Teen Spleen and Non-Threatening Boys.
    • Tracey Ullman's Miss Winthropp clearly seems to be based on the late TV dog trainer, Barbara Woodhouse.
    • The shots of Santa's Little Helper's point of view are a lift from Predator (John McTiernan, 1987).
    • Dr Hibbert's home and his family rather resemble Bill Cosby's home and family in The Cosby Show, which was running against this season of The Simpsons at the time.
    • This episode's title is a reference to a previous episode, "Bart Gets an F".
    • Ms. Botz (from the episode Some Enchanted Evening) was seen on a news report when Santa's Little Helper was chewing on the television remote.
    • The dog obedience school have different categories named after famous dogs, which are Rin Tin Tin, Benji, Toto and the one in which Santa's Little Helper attends, Cujo.
    • One of the dogs seen in the graduation ceremony is named after Lao Tzu.
    • When Lisa shows Marge her finger the music from the film E.T. plays.

  17. Old Money:

    Original Air Date: March 28, 1991

    Writer: Jay Kogen, Wallace Wolodarsky.

    Director: David Silverman.

    Starring Characters: Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson).

    Recurring Characters: Maggie Roswell (Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others), Phil Hartman (Lionel Hutz, Troy McClure and Additional Voices).

    Guest Star: Audrey Meadows (Beatrice Simmons).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not grease the monkey bars".

    First Appearances: Professor Frink.

    Plot: Grampa, falls in love with Beatrice Simmons when their pills are mixed up at the Retirement Castle. They fall in love and go on a date, leading up to her birthday on a Sunday.

    However, Homer makes Grampa come on a family outing to the Discount Lion Safari and locks him in the car, causing him to miss Bea's birthday. At the refuge, the family's car becomes stuck in the mud and, to make matters worse, hungry lions begin circling the car, trapping the family in the car overnight. After a hunter helps run the lions off the next morning, Grampa returns home expecting to see Bea. However, Homer pulls up just in time for the ambulance to pull away. It turns out that Bea has died of a burst ventricle (though some say a broken heart) when he was out with the family.

    Grampa is saddened, attends her funeral, and is very angry with Homer (who disbelieved that Grampa really has a girlfriend and saying that Bea is just an imaginary woman), refusing to speak to him, as Grampa blames Homer for preventing him from attending Bea's birthday party and being with Bea in her final moments.

    Grampa then receives Bea's inheritance of $106,000 from Lionel Hutz. First, he looks at buying things for himself, until Bea's ghost suggests that if he is not happy spending it on himself, that he give the money to worthy causes. (His inheritance is slightly reduced because he spent $400 on a fez that Napoleon supposedly once wore.) She also tells him to forgive Homer because deep down Grampa still loves him. After interviews with many people across Springfield, Grampa attempts to double his money by gambling at a casino, but Homer stops him — and just in time, since Grampa would have lost the entire inheritance at the roulette wheel.

    Grampa forgives Homer and decides to spend the rest of the inheritance on renovating the retirement home, and adding a new room named the Beatrice Simmons Dining Room.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag the Simpsons rush in and surprise slumbering Grampa.
    • Homer's list of places to take Grampa include Pony Rides, The Glassblower in Old Springfield Town, the Museum of Barnyard Oddities and the Springfield Mystery Spot.
    • Grampa considers visiting Club Mod, going paragliding and heading to Diz-Nee-Land ('not affiliated with Disneyland, DisneyWorld or anything else from the Walt Disney Company').
    • Grampa's passionate pill-popping with Beatrice is a rather cruel adaptation of the erotic food scene from Tom Jones (Tony Richardson, 1963).
    • Professor Frink makes his first appearance in this episode. Hank Azaria based his on Jerry Lewis's character from The Nutty Professor. The character was named after writer John Frink.
    • Mystery Spot - When the family is suggesting places they could go, Homer suggests the Springfield Mystery Spot, a reference to the similarly named spots in California and the Upper Peninsula in Michigan — although Lisa says that the Springfield "Spot" is simply a puddle of mud. Another Springfield Mystery Spot, depicted later (in the episode "Homer at the Bat") is a sort of wormhole, shown when Ozzie Smith falls into it in that same episode.
    • Lion Country Safari – Discount Lion Safari is patterned after a reserve in Palm Beach County, Florida.
    • If I Had a Million – The climax scenes, where Grampa uses the money to fix up the Springfield Retirement Castle, is a carbon copy of the ending of the 1932 film.
    • The Jazz Singer – Grampa's angry comment, "I have no son!" toward Homer is taken from the Neil Diamond remake of the film.
    • Krusty Burger (making its first series' appearance) is inspired by McDonald's and other fast-food restaurants which make use of marketing directed towards children.
    • The scenes where Springfield residents suggest how to spend Grampa's inheritance is taken from the 1936 "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town".
    • The scene where Grampa and Bea eat their pills seductively is taken from the 1963 "Tom Jones"
    • The shot of Grampa sitting at the diner resembles the famous 1942 American painting Nighthawks.
    • 1972 Billy Martin MLB Manager trading card - Bart suggests this purchase as one of the things he would do with Grampa's inherited money ("The card where the ballplayer is flipping the bird").
    • Bart also asks for a copy of Radioactive Man #27, giving the reason that it is the issue where Radioactive Man first fights Dr. Crab. Batman's first appearance was in Detective Comics #27.
    • While preparing for his date with Bea, Grampa opens a jar of "Lucky Lindy" hair gel, only to find he used it all up long ago. He then proceeds to slick his hair by himself into a popular 1920s fashion.
    • When Grampa Simpson quotes the lines pertaining "a game of pitch and toss" and the final line, "you'll be a man, my son.", he makes a reference to the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling.
    • In the Safari, when the hunter finds the Simpsons he says "Mr. Simpson, I presume?". This is a reference to the famous greeting "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" given by Henry Stanley when he met Dr. Livingstone on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in 1871.
    • One of the people waiting in line to ask for Grampa's money is Darth Vader.

  18. Brush with Greatness:

    Original Air Date: April 11, 1991

    Writer: Brian K. Roberts.

    Director: Jim Reardon.

    Starring Characters: Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others).

    Recurring Characters: Jon Lovitz (Professor Lombardo and Donut Delivery Man), Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others), Maggie Roswell (Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others).

    Guest Star: Ringo Starr (Himself).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not hide behind the Fifth Amendment".

    First Appearances: Lisa's teacher, Miss Hoover.

    Plot: After Bart and Lisa see Krusty do his show at the Mt. Splashmore water park, they ask Homer if they can go there. Homer gets annoyed, but reluctantly decides to take them there. The family goes to Mt. Splashmore, where they ride H2WHOA!, a crowded water slide. As Homer goes on H2WHOA!, he gets lodged in a section of a pipe. After the rescue crew removes him from the ride, with the help of a large crane, he realizes that he needs to lose weight and announces that he will go on a diet.

    While Homer is looking for his weights, Bart stumbles on paintings of Ringo Starr that Marge made as a student in high school, when she had a crush on him. Lisa asks Marge what her painting talent was as a schoolgirl, and she says that as a high school student, she was scolded for doing a painting of Ringo Starr. She also recalls sending a painting to him for an "honest opinion", which she also recalls never actually got a response. Lisa suggests that Marge take a painting class at Springfield Community College, which she does. She makes a painting of Homer, which her professor, Lombardo, praises. It wins the college art show.

    Mr. Burns wants Marge to paint his portrait for the Burns Wing of the Springfield Art Museum. She reluctantly agrees, as long as Burns insists that the painting portray him as a beautiful man. While Burns heckles Marge as she does the painting, Homer finds out that he weighs 239 pounds, which is 21 less than what it previously was. After Burns insults Homer, Marge insists that he leave the house and is ready to quit until Homer encourages Marge to finish the painting and she gets a reply from Ringo Starr, who is decades behind on answering his fanmail, praising her artwork. She finishes the painting, and at the opening of the Burns Wing, she unveils the painting. The painting depicts a naked, frail, and weak Burns. The people are shocked, until Marge explains that it depicts what Burns actually is: a vulnerable human being which will, one day, be no more. Everyone, even Burns, who is at first outraged but then accepts his new glory, praises Marge's painting.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag the sofa tips sideways but Maggie ends up safe on a cushion.
    • Mount Splashmore offers a whole two hours free parking and nose plug rental, and has a post-ride trauma centre on the premises.
    • The unveiling of Marge's painting of Burns is to mark the opening of the Burns Wing of the Springfield Palace of Fine Art.
    • Krusty wipes his make-up from his face in a very similar way to Jack Nicholson as the Joker in Batman (Tim Burton, 1989).
    • Homer limbers up just like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky (John 0. Avildsen, 1976), and the animated Ringo Starr hasn't changed much since Yellow Submarine (George Dunning, 1968).
    • When Professor Lombardo draws a rabbit on the board, it resembles the main character in Simpsons creator Matt Groening's comic strip "Life in Hell".
    • When Ringo Starr sees the envelope from Marge he says "Hello, what's this?", and when Homer sees a letter on the kitchen table he says the same thing.
    • When Carl tells the donut man about Homer's diet, he speaks in Lenny's voice.
    • This episode marks the first of appearance of Lisa's teacher, Miss Hoover, who has blue hair in this episode.
    • "As God as my witness, I'll always be hungry again!" is a spoof of the famous line from Gone with the Wind, "With God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again!".
    • As Homer approaches the scale, the music from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is heard.
    • A painting of what looks like a Campbell's soup can is visible at the gallery, in a reference to Andy Warhol.
    • The first appearance of Ringo's mansion is captioned "Meanwhile... Somewhere In England". This may be a reference to fellow Beatle George Harrison's 1981 album of the same name.
    • The line for the H2WHOA! ride reproduces the staircases in the lithograph Ascending and Descending from Escher.

  19. Lisa's Substitute:

    Original Air Date: April 25, 1991

    Writer: Jon Vitti.

    Director: Rich Moore.

    Starring Characters: Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others).

    Recurring Characters: Russi Taylor (Martin Prince, Sherri, Terri and others), Jo Ann Harris (Additional Voices), Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others), Maggie Roswell (Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others), Marcia Wallace (Edna Krabappel).

    Guest Star: Dustin Hoffman (Mr. Bergstrom).

    Plot: When Ms. Hoover falls ill with a suspected case of Lyme disease, she is replaced by substitute teacher Mr. Bergstrom. Because of his unorthodox teaching methods, Lisa quickly takes a friendly, even romantic, liking to him. He is the only teacher, and perhaps the only adult, who has ever challenged, respected, and liked her. Just as Lisa is about to ask Mr. Bergstrom over to her parents' house for dinner, Ms. Hoover returns rubbing out Mr. Bergstrom's name on the blackboard, stating her Lyme disease was psychosomatic. Rushing to the train station, Lisa confesses to Mr. Bergstrom (who is taking a job in another city) that she will be lost without him. To comfort her, he writes her a note with a message that he says will always support her. He then boards the train and the train departs. She tries to catch up with the train, but of course, it soon gets out of her sight. Only then does she read the note. It says, "You are Lisa Simpson", in order to change her feelings.

    Meanwhile, Bart runs for class president against Martin Prince. With his shock-based campaign, he seems to be the sure winner, but still loses due to the fact that nobody in the class (including himself) voted, with the exception of Martin himself and one other student, Wendell, who both voted for Martin.

    At dinner that evening, Bart is miserable and Lisa is very upset. Lisa explains to Homer that Mr. Bergstrom is gone, but Homer responds in his usual uncaring manner which enrages Lisa, causing her to decidedly call her own father a baboon before running to her room in tears (Bart then exclaims 'somebody was bound to say it one day, I just can't believe it was her'.). Marge furiously orders Homer (after he whined about being called "the ugliest ape of them all") upstairs to apologize and to console Lisa, explaining how her daughter is very hurt emotionally and in need of her father. He enters Lisa's room and finds her crying over her desk. He is uncertain of how to deal with Lisa's sadness, and is noticeably uncomfortable seeing his daughter crying. Homer finds his inspiration from the music of a musical ballerina jewelry box and explains to Lisa how he can not really understand how it feels to lose someone important because he tells Lisa how everyone he has ever loved and cared about lives with him still. Homer then alludes to Lisa calling him a baboon, and in a loving manner mimics a monkey and Lisa is cheered up. Lisa apologises to Homer for calling him a baboon, and Homer accepts the apology. Finding Bart still seething over the election result, Homer reminds his son that all the job of class president would have meant was extra work with little reward. Bart becomes happy that he lost. Finally going by Maggie's room, he places her pacifier in her mouth. Proud that he helped all three of his children, Homer goes to bed happy that night.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag the Simpsons rush in but the sofa's gone missing.
    • Dustin Hoffman had to do some voice pick-ups after his initial recording session. He ended up doing them from his trailer on the set of Hook (1991).
    • Other guests at The Happy Gypsy include I. Kamerman, J. Vitti and P. Hogan.
    • Ms Krabappel's attempted seduction of Mr Bergstrom is lifted from Dustin Hoffman's similar situation in The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967).
    • Mr. Bergstrom reads a line from Charlotte's Web. It is implied that this line is the end of the book, when in fact another chapter follows.
    • The character of the substitute teacher, Mr. Bergstrom, was actually modeled on the physical appearance of Mike Reiss, longtime writer/producer for the show.
    • In the episode "Smart and Smarter", Marge gives Lisa a paper that says "You are Lisa Simpson" and then Lisa says "I already have one of those".
    • When Lisa arrives at Mr. Bergstrom's apartment building, you can see a list of tenants. One of the names is J. Vitti, for the episode's writer Jon Vitti, and another is J. Kamerman, for then-animator (and future Simpsons director) Jen Kamerman.
    • When Bart unexpectedly loses to Martin in the class president race, a picture of Martin holding up a copy of The Daily Fourth Gradian with the headline "Simpson Defeats Prince" is taken, which in turn ends up on the front page of The Daily Fourth Gradian under the headline "Prince Beats Simpson." This is a direct nod to the famous picture of President Harry Truman holding up a copy of a prematurely printed edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune that proclaimed "Dewey Defeats Truman," taken the day after his close victory over Governor Thomas Dewey in the 1948 presidential race.
    • Sam Etic is a pseudonym for actor Dustin Hoffman (which he is credited as in this episode). The name is a play on the word semitic, alluding to the fact that Hoffman and the Bergstrom character are Jewish. According to the DVD commentary, James L. Brooks also suggested the pseudonym which Dustin Hoffman supposedly liked. This is referenced in the later episode "Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie", in which Lisa tells Bart that the film included several cameos, mentioning Michael Jackson, (who appeared on the episode Stark Raving Dad, also using a pseudonym) and Dustin Hoffman, adding that "they didn't use their real names, but you could tell it was them."

  20. The War of the Simpsons:

    Original Air Date: May 2, 1991

    Writer: John Swartzwelder.

    Director: Mark Kirkland.

    Starring Characters: Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier).

    Recurring Characters: Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others), Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others), Maggie Roswell (Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not do anything bad ever again".

    First Appearances: Snake Jailbird (though he wasn't named until season three's Black Widower).

    Plot: Marge and Homer throw a party. Homer gets drunk and humiliates himself by leering at Maude Flanders, telling off total strangers, and stumbling over furniture. The next day at church, Marge signs up for a weekend retreat of marriage counseling hosted by Reverend Lovejoy and his wife. Marge recruits Grampa for the weekend to babysit since the babysitter she previously hired was emotionally scarred by Bart when he was a baby.

    Homer finds out that the retreat will be held at Catfish Lake and packs his fishing equipment, despite Marge telling him that the retreat will be resolving their differences. On the way there, he learns of the legendary catfish, General Sherman, named after the Civil War era Union general. The only known picture of Sherman resembles the famous Loch Ness Monster photograph.

    Meanwhile, at home, left with Grampa, Bart and Lisa decide to hold a party. At the lake the next morning Homer tries to sneak away to go fishing, but not before Marge wakes up. Marge is upset that Homer would choose fishing over their marriage, to which Homer fails to understand as he visualizes Marge turning into a catfish. Homer takes a walk instead. On the dock, Homer finds an abandoned fishing pole. The pole, with General Sherman on the line, yanks him off the pier into a small rowboat, and onto the lake. From their cabin window, Marge watches Homer battle General Sherman.

    Bart and Lisa's party has ended and the house is a total mess. Watching Grampa cry and fearing that he will get in trouble, they frantically clean up the house, not knowing he was pretending.

    Marge attends the workshops alone while Homer triumpantly rows in with General Sherman. When he returns, Marge tells him their marriage is in serious trouble if he values fish more than her. To prove that he loves Marge more he lets the fish go (despite battling it for several hours) and they return together to a clean house. Grandpa then laughs uproariously and reveals to a stunned Lisa and Bart that he faked his tears before to get them to clean the house, and they fell for it!

    At the bait shop, General Sherman is still uncaught, but tales get told about Homer as a remarkable fisherman.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag Homer wiggles about so much that the others are squeezed on to the floor.
    • An unsolicited script from a writer not working on the show - also about Homer and Marge going on a marriage retreat - caused legal problems at the time. To avoid any further problems from this coincidence, the writer was paid $3,000.
    • Deleted from this episode was Mr. Burns attending the marriage counseling retreat with his Asian mail order bride.
    • The trip taken by Grampa and the kids to the safari is a lift from The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976), and some of Marge and Homer's arguments are taken from Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (Mike Nichols, 1966).
    • Among the music heard in this episode is Homer's rendition of We Are the Champions, a 1977 hit for Queen. Tom Jones' It's Not Unusual (1965), Dusty Springfield's The Look of Love (1967) and KC and the Sunshine Band's That's the Way (I Like It) (1975) are also heard.
    • Homer's recollection of the party, as an evening of witty ripostes and sophisticated rivalry, suggests the activities of the 1930s New York literary circle known as the Algonquin Round Table.
    • The title is based on the 1989 film The War of the Roses.
    • When Ned Flanders is making drinks at the Simpsons' party, much of the flashy ways he is seen preparing the cocktails is similar to Tom Cruise's bartending stunts in the 1988 film Cocktail.
    • The music in the scene where an infant Bart chases his teenage babysitter with the car is similar to the score from The Omen.
    • The character of Gloria is one of the few times in the series that Julie Kavner has voiced a character other than Marge or one of her relatives.
    • Homer's marathon attempt at catching General Sherman, his bludgeoning of the fish and the line "I love you but I have to kill you" are all based on Santiago's fight with the marlin in Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.

  21. Three Men and a Comic Book:

    Original Air Date: May 9, 1991

    Writer: Jeff Martin.

    Director: Wesley Archer.

    Starring Characters: Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others).

    Recurring Characters: Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others), Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others), Russi Taylor (Martin Prince, Sherri, Terri and others).

    Guest Star: Daniel Stern (Narrator), Cloris Leachman (Mrs. Glick).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not show off" (Bart writing with special font).

    First Appearances: Comic Book Guy, Mrs. Glick, Bartman, Radioactive Man (although a comic of RM was seen in the episode Bart the Genius), Fallout Boy.

    Plot: Bart attends a comic book convention and finds the first issue of Radioactive Man at the Android’s Dungeon sale table for $100. He doesn’t have enough money in his own allowance and his parents refuse to give Bart extra money. So Bart turns to Mrs. Glick, who has some rather unsavory chores around the house that he can do. She only gives him 50 cents for his hard work. Bart protests, but Mrs. Glick imagines she has thanked him. Bart returns to the comic book store, only with a few cents extra, and runs into Milhouse and Martin. He talks them into pooling their money and buying the first Radioactive Man comic from Comic Book Guy. None of them want to let the comic book out of their sights and decide to spend the night together in Bart’s treehouse. As a storm approaches, Martin devises a plan so that the three boys have equal access to the comic. As he attempts to leave with the comic, Bart stops him. Bart gets progressively more paranoid and becomes convinced that the other two are conspiring against him.

    Eventually, each boy is at each other’s throat. When Martin gets up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, Bart thinks he plans on stealing the comic book and subsequently ties him up. Meanwhile a storm is raging outside. Milhouse falls out of the treehouse as a gust of wind takes hold of the comic so that it flies towards the entrance. Bart reaches out to grab Milhouse by the hand. He is forced to decide between Milhouse and the comic. After mulling over his options, Bart chooses Milhouse and pulls him up into the treehouse. The comic flies out the door and is shredded by Santa’s Little Helper, and zapped by lightning.

    The next morning, the three boys reflect on how their inability to share lead to the destruction of the comic book, although Bart, at least, has learned nothing from the experience. Fortunately, the three had not noticed that the last panel has been safe and clear in a bird's nest and only torn from the other panels.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag the sofa falls over backwards, but Maggie gets up.
    • First appearance of/references to Fall Out Boy, Radioactive Man's sidekick.
    • One of the guest voices in this episode is Daniel Stern, whose brother David is a regular writer and director on the show.
    • It is the twelfth annual Close Encounter of the Comic Book Kind Convention.
    • Lisa collects Casper the Friendly Ghost comics.
    • Some attendees are dressed up for the occasion; costumes include Krusty the Klown, Bug Man and Radioactive Man. Bart, of course, is Bartman.
    • Patty and Selma are fans of Frankie Avalon.
    • Buddy Hodges has just finished a run in Cats.
    • There's a great sequence parodying The Wonder Years Bart stares into the distance and his voice is heard saying "I didn't realise it at the time, but a little piece of my childhood had slipped away for ever that day..."
    • Radioactive Man #1’s original price was 10 cents.
    • This episode tells us Patty and Selma got their husky hoarse voices because they smoked so much. They are shown speaking with higher voices during Marge’s flashback. Before their voices changed from smoking, they were voiced by Pamela Hayden instead of Julie Kavner.
    • An old advertisent for Laramie Cigarettes has Radioactive Man telling Fallout Boy he is too young to smoke. Immediately afterwards, Buddy Hodges, the actor who played Fallout Boy, is seen holding a cigarette.
    • Radioactive Man had five fingers on his left hand after the A-bomb exploded.
    • Episode commentary reveals that this is the first episode to beat The Cosby Show in the ratings the night it was broadcast.
    • In this episode, Comic Book Guy (in his debut appearance) speaks with a voice similar to Drederic Tatum, unlike his later voice, which is far more nasal.
    • Radioactive Man’s origin is nearly identical to the Marvel character of The Incredible Hulk.
    • Fallout Boy (Radioactive Man’s sidekick) is an obvious parody of Batman’s young sidekick Robin
    • The scene where Bart saves Milhouse from falling out of the treehouse is taken from the 1942 Hitchcock film Saboteur.
    • The part of the story where Bart, Milhouse and Martin begin arguing over the comic book is lifted from the 1948 film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
    • The Radioactive Man commercial for Laramie cigarettes is a take-off of The Flintstones starring in Winston’s TV cigarette commercials, which aired during the 1960s, or of past looser regulations regarding cigarette advertising in general.
    • When the boys first unwrap the comic book, Martin describes it as "The stuff dreams are made of," which is how Bogart's character describes the Falcon at the end of the movie The Maltese Falcon.
    • when Bart begs Mrs. Glick not to apply iodine to his wounded arm, she grabs his arm and the scene shifts to their silhouettes as Bart screams; in Gone With The Wind, Scarlett O'Hara is working in a field hospital and watches two silhouettes, as a soldier begs a surgeon not to amputate his leg.
    • Empire called the episode's Treasure of the Sierra Madre parody the ninth best film parody in the show. "Bart turns into a perfect Bogart – grizzled, paranoid and sleep-deprived. With lighting and camera angles half-inched from Huston, this priceless gag is joyfully pitched over the heads of 90 per cent of the audience".

  22. Blood Feud:

    Original Air Date: July 11, 1991

    Writer: George Meyer.

    Director: David Silverman.

    Starring Characters: Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others).

    Recurring Characters: Maggie Roswell (Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others), Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not sleep through my education".

    Plot: When Mr. Burns falls ill with "Hypohemia" and desperately needs a blood transfusion, Homer discovers Bart has Mr. Burns's rare blood type, and Homer, disappointed he only has A Positive, urges his son to donate, promising that they will be handsomely rewarded. He mistells the story of "Androcles and the Lion" (instead, referring to it as "Hercules and the Lion"), telling Bart the hero was rewarded with riches. However, Mr. Burns knows nothing of this promise, or even of the Simpsons' desire for a reward, and having received the blood, all he does is send the family a card. Enraged, Homer writes an insulting reply, but Marge convinces him at the last minute not to send it. Later the letter goes missing, as Bart has mailed it, still thinking its message is called for.

    Homer and Bart's attempts to stop the mail delivery end in failure, and Mr. Burns is furious at the insult and demands that Homer be beaten up. Waylon Smithers calls off the beating, however, on the grounds that this action is no way to thank the man who saved Mr. Burns's life. Just as Marge had convinced Homer to refrain from sending the letter, Smithers has a calming influence on Mr. Burns, and the two decide instead to buy the family a present. The Simpsons receive an antique Xtapolapocetl, an Olmec head (a massive, Tiki-god-like affair) that Bart, the blood donor, likes, and which Homer hates. At the end, the family debate on what the moral of this whole story is, but they soon dismiss it as "just a bunch of stuff that happened".

    The antique head appears many times in subsequent episodes, usually in the family's basement.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag the sofa falls through the floor.
    • Mr Burns' biography is called Will There Ever Be A Rainbow?
    • Other books Roman has ghostwritten include - Like Hell I Can't!, Up From The Muck and The Unsinkable Sedrorovin Murghurobag.
    • Burns' and Bart's blood type is 00- while Homer's is A+.
    • Lisa's shoe size is 4B, Bart has 16 permanent and 8 baby teeth and is allergic to butterscotch, imitation butterscotch and Glo-in-the-Dark Monster Make-Up.
    • The Springfield Post Office has an amusing variant on Michelangelo's 1511 painting The Creation of Adam.
    • In the phone gag Bart says: Hello, can I speak to: Mike Rotch.
    • Burns's line about getting "A frabulous, grabulous, zip-zoop-zabulous present" is similar to lines used in many Dr. Seuss books. Burns also has Dr. Seuss-inspired lines in "Last Exit to Springfield" and a few other episodes.
    • Otto is also heard humming the Black Sabbath tune "Iron Man".
    • Bart receives a blue crowbar in this episode. It later appears in the season nine episode Lisa the Skeptic and he refers it to as "Old Bluey".
    • In this episode Bart is revealed to have OO negative blood, the type that Mr. Burns requires for his transfusion. Marge doesn't reveal hers but she says that Homer's is A positive. Human genetics is such a child inherits its blood group from its parents so Marge must be OO negative too, or Homer isn't Bart's biological father (which is highly unlikely, considering the events that transpired in the flashback of the season three episode "I Married Marge"). Actually type O is a recessive phenotype so Homer is AO and Marge could be AO, BO, or OO.
    • On the envelope of the card that Burns sends, the two-letter state code is shown in the return address. It is Il, indicating that Springfield is (or was) in Illinois. But, contradicting this, the letter says "Springfield, NJ".
    • A sample from this episode is heard in the "Weird Al" Yankovic song "Phony Calls".
    • The Xtapolapocetl head reappears in many subsequent episodes, often when the Simpsons' basement is shown.


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