Episode - 1F09\\
First Aired - 1/6/1994

While the Simpsons sleep, their house is invaded by the Springfield Cat Burglar, who leaves a calling card in exchange for such valuables as Marge's pearls (even though Marge has a large ball of replacement pearl necklaces in a drawer), Bart's stamp collection[[note]]the revelation of which gets him laughed at by his own family and Nelson Muntz, who somehow got The Simpsons' home number[[/note]] and portable TV, and Lisa's saxophone. It's up to Homer and his newly-formed vigilante group to catch their man -- if only they'd stop bullying everyone in town.
!!This episode contains examples of:
* AccidentalPublicConfession: While Homer might have thought he was being clever and using ConfusingMultipleNegatives, it's really this trope.
-->'''Kent Brockman:''' Well, what do you say to the accusation that your group has been causing more crimes than it's been preventing?
-->'''Homer:''' Oh Kent, I'd be ''lying'' if I said my men weren't committing crimes.
-->'''Kent Brockman:''' Mmm, touche.
* AffablyEvil: Molloy. If it weren't for his stealing and, at the end, tricking everyone into going on a wild goose chase so he can escape prison, he'd just be affable (and even then, he left a politely worded letter to explain the purpose of the wild goose chase). If anything, Springfield's attempts to deal with the cat burglaries cause more damage than he does.
* ArtisticLicenseGunSafety: Played for laughs when Homer's vigilante squad is checking their guns inside Homer's house. Marge comments that she doesn't like the idea of them using guns, and Homer tries to give her a reassuring talk that they are responsible adults who know how to handle firearms only to be interrupted by an accidental discharge from Moe. Homer tries to resume his talk, but is interrupted by more accidental discharges from the Sea Captain, Principal Skinner, Moe again, and ''Bart''.
* BatmanGambit: Molloy convinces everyone to leave him unguarded so he can escape by sending them on a wild goose chase.
* BigNo: Homer's reaction to Jimbo Jones quitting the posse to go to law school after he feels Homer let him down.
* CallingCard: The cat burglar leaves his business card at his crimes.
* CoolOldGuy: The thief turns out to be a polite old man named Molloy, who gives up everything he stole once he realizes he's been caught.
* DrunkWithPower: It takes the neighbourhood watch all of a few minutes to start abusing their power.
* DumbassHasAPoint: At the end after everyone forgives Molloy, Chief Wiggum reminds them that he broke the law and the appropriate punishment is him going to prison.
* EasilyForgiven: After Molloy is caught he talks the citizens into forgiving him. [[SubvertedTrope The trope is subverted]] when, despite this, Chief Wiggum arrests him and he has to escape.
* EasyComeEasyGo: Thanks to a house's laser system Jasper regains his eyesight but loses it seconds after. He even mentions the trope when he accepts the loss.
* EvilOldFolks: Molloy, [[AffablyEvil kind of]].
* {{Expy}}: Molloy was modeled on Literature/{{Raffles}}, particuarly the Creator/DavidNiven version.
* FailedAttemptAtDrama: The cat burglar calls in to "Eye on Springfield" to taunt Homer about his next robbery. It might have worked better if Homer had realised who he was talking to.
-->'''Molloy''': Hello, Homer, my arch-nemesis.\\
'''Homer''': ''(cheerfully)'' Y'ello.\\
'''Molloy''': ''(nonplussed)'' Uh, you do realise who this is?\\
'''Homer''': ''(confused)'' ...[[EntertaininglyWrong Marge]]?
* FastTunnelling: At the end of the episode, all of the townspeople dig a hole looking for buried treasure, but find an empty trunk. Not at all discouraged by this, they continue digging well into the night until they find themselves at the bottom of a very deep pit.
-->'''Otto:''' How do we get out?
-->'''Homer:''' We'll dig our way out!
-->'''Chief Wiggum:''' No, no, dig ''up'', stupid!
* FoodAsBribe: That's how Molloy bribes the Simpsons' dog into letting him rob them. A sleepwalking Homer takes a similar bribe that night.
* GentlemanThief: Molloy.
* GracefulLoser: Molloy calmly returns everything he'd stolen after being caught.
* {{Homage}}: The final few minutes of the episode are an homage to ''Film/ItsAMadMadMadMadWorld.''
** In fact, when they reach the "Big T," you can see the "Big W" in the background.
** Also caricatures of ''IAMMMMW'' actors such as Creator/PhilSilvers, Creator/MiltonBerle, and Creator/BuddyHackett start appearing in the crowd during this sequence.
** The scene of Bart tricking Phil Silvers into driving into the river is a direct homage to the movie.
** The Simpsons didn't have insurance because Homer spent the money on [[Literature/JackAndTheBeanstalk Magic Beans]].
* InstantlyProvenWrong: After people decide the Springfield Cat Burgler is not so bad after all and want him released from jail.
-->'''Chief Wiggum:''' Oh, sorry folks. Gee, [[SarcasmMode I really hate to spoil this little love-in]], but Mr. Molloy broke the law. And when you break the law, you gotta go to jail.
-->'''Mayor Quimby:''' Uh, that reminds me, er, here's your monthly kickback.
-->'''Wiggum''': ''[Utterly dumbfounded]'' [[LampshadeHanging You just...you couldn't have picked a worse time!]]
* NeverMyFault: Homer hates the magic beans for him not having the money to pay for the insurance.
-->'''Marge:''' Ooh, stop blaming the beans!
* NewsTravelsFast: Played for laughs. Right after Bart reveals he had a stamp collection, Nelson somehow catches wind of it and calls the household to join the rest of the Simpson family in laughing at him for it.
* NoodleIncident: The story Homer tells at the dinner table: "So I says, 'Look, buddy, your car was upside-down when we got there. And, as for your grandma, she shouldn't have mouthed off like that!"
* NotHelpingYourCase: When Homer first forms the militia, Marge is concerned about having guns in the house. Homer assures her that they know what they're doing, but he's repeatedly interrupted by the group's guns accidentally going off. And one of the members holding a rifle that went off accidentally is ''Bart''.
** When Homer was accused of sleeping on duty, he replied that instead of asleep, he was ''drunk''.
* OnlySaneMan: The Phil Silvers expy is the only one to realise that Molloy outwitted the entire town with a wild goose chase.
* RealityEnsues: The town forgives Molloy at the end after he returns their possessions, but Chief Wiggum has a DumbassHasAPoint moment and arrests Molloy anyway because he still committed burglary.
* RhetoricalQuestionBlunder:
-->'''Lisa:''' If you're the police, who polices the police?
-->'''Homer:''' I dunno... Coast Guard?
* RidingTheBomb: When Herman shows Homer an A-bomb that was designed to kill beatniks, Homer not only imagines himself doing just that in a direct ''Film/DrStrangelove'' parody, but also straddles the bomb in reality. Herman then directs Homer's attention to a sign posted nearby: "DO NOT RIDE THE BOMB".
* RuleOfFunny: The only conceivable reason anyone could mistake Homer or Barney for MC Hammer.
* RuleOfThree: "Since the police can't seem to get off their duffaroonies to do something about this burglareeno, I think it's time we start our own neighborhood watch...aroonie!"
* SeriousBusiness: "Lisa, never ''EVER'' stop in the middle of a hoedown!"
* ShoutOut: When Homer and Skinner nod back and forth to each other, the theme to ''Radio/{{Dragnet}}'' plays.
* SpecialGuest: Creator/SamNeill as Molloy.
* SpinningNewspaper: Used to show the cat burglar's crime spree... until the burglar takes it too.
* TakeOverTheWorld: Homer's group wants to do this, though Homer denies as much.
-->'''Lisa''': "World domination"?\\
'''Homer''': That's a typo. ''(thinking)'' Mental note: the girl knows too much.
* TakeThat: Homer and his group chasing down a street musician after he tells him he got his saxophone from Sears.
* ThisIsNoTimeToPanic: Subverted. Kent Brockman's initial report on the Springfield Cat Burglar -- which suggests that mass murders may happen next, and that the burglar may be a WolfMan -- ends with him asking a professor if it's time for the town to panic over the matter. The professor says it is!
* TooDumbToLive:
** Chief Wiggum has a handkerchief the cat burglar left behind during a robbery and is about to let a police dog smell it when he decides to use it to wipe some sweat from his face. Unsurprisingly, the dog attacks Wiggum.
** The people of Springfield continue digging for the non-existent treasure because Homer can't make out Molloy's signature on the note explaining the wild goose chase he'd sent the town on. Several hours later, after digging themselves into a very deep pit, they decide to get out of the pit by continuing to dig.
-->'''Wiggum:''' No no, dig ''up'', stupid!
* WorstNewsJudgmentEver: PlayedForLaughs. While the cat burglaries are worthy of above-the-flap placement, the secondary story -- "Man Marries Woman in Wedding Ceremony" -- is less so.