[[quoteright:207:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_springfield_files_promo.gif]]
Episode - 3G01\\
First Aired - 1/12/1997

In this tale narrated by Creator/LeonardNimoy, Homer sees an alien in the woods, and while everyone else writes it off as yet another drunken hallucination (since Homer tested "Boris Yeltsin" drunk on Moe's Breathalyzer), Agents Mulder and Scully from ''The X Files'' come to Springfield to help Homer solve the case.

This is the first of four episodes produced by Al Jean and Mike Reiss instead of the current showrunner (in this case, Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein). Jean would return as showrunner starting in season 13.
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!!This episode contains examples of:
* AlienEpisode: Homer sees an alien, and the quest to be believed starts.
* BasedOnAGreatBigLie: Parodied in Creator/LeonardNimoy's introduction. See ByNoIMeanYes.
* BigNo: Homer shouts it when he hears Bart's ghost story about college costs for Maggie.
* BitingTheHandHumor: When Bart asks what Homer will do if they can't get proof of the alien's existence, Homer says they'll make up something and sell it to [=FOX=] Network. The two laugh at how they buy anything.
* BlatantLies: Homer tries to pull this trope to make his actions the night he saw the 'alien' sound better. Scully quickly calls him on it.
-->'''Mulder''': All right, Homer. We want you to re-create your every move the night you saw this alien.
-->'''Homer''': Well, the evening began at the gentleman's club, where we were discussing Wittgenstein over a game of backgammon.
-->'''Scully''': Mr. Simpson, it's a felony to lie to the F.B.I..
-->'''Homer''': We were sitting in Barney's car eating packets of mustard. You happy?
* BookEnds: The episode opens on Leonard Nimoy sitting in shadow before the camera zooms in on him, and ends by zooming away from the Squeaky-Voiced Teen and fading into shadow.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Leonard Nimoy does this in both his cutaways, then the Squeaky-Voiced Teen does the same at the end.
* BrickJoke: After Mulder reveals to Moe that he and Scully are FBI agents, [[OhCrap Moe panics]] and informs the two men in his back room that they have to return the killer whale in there to Sea World. After Mulder finishes his monologue later, the three men can be seen behind him trying to carry the orca, [[OhCrap then run off after they spot Mulder, still carrying the orca]].
* ByNoIMeanYes: Leonard Nimoy begins with, "The following tale of alien encounters is true. And by true, I mean false. It's all lies. But they're entertaining lies, and in the end, isn't that the real truth? The answer is no."
* CallBack: [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS5E2CapeFeare Once again]], Moe abandons a criminal scheme because he mistakenly thinks people are onto him.
* TheCameo: As well as the multiple aliens from other companies that appear on the line-up, someone who may be the Cigarette Smoking Man is shown to be looking at Homer when Scully tries to give him a polygraph test.
* CharacterFilibuster: Parodied, as Mulder gives a long rant about "the truth". He started during daylight hours, but it's night by the time he's finished. And Scully left as he was getting started.
** According to the DVD commentary, they just left the microphone on and let Duchovny ramble about whatever he wanted. He went on for ''two hours'' before he ran out of steam.
* ChekhovsGunman: Mr. Burns appears early on in the episode, then it's revealed at the end that he is the "alien", after undergoing treatments allowing him to cheat death for another week, which leave him twisted and disoriented, and the green glow comes from his lifetime of working at the power plant.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: Homer, not long after being told by the guy selling shirts that the "Homer is a Dope" ones are already sold out, orders two of them.
* CouldntFindAPen: A non-bloody example, Homer runs away from the alien screaming "Yahhh!". As we watch from above we see him run through a field spelling out the word "Yahhh!" in cursive (including the exclamation mark, which he dots).
* CropCircles: Homer runs through a field of crop, screaming "Yahhh!" and creating the pattern Yahhh!, in crop circle fashion.
* CrowdSong: At the end, the town spontaneously sang [[Theatre/{{Hair}} "Good Morning, Starshine"]] together. Nimoy, Mulder, Scully and [[Film/StarWars Chewbacca]] joined in as well.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: "The unsolved mysteries of...''Series/UnsolvedMysteries''!"
* EpicFail:
** Grampa Simpson ended up lost in the woods while trying to get the morning paper (which is odd, since "The Old Man and the Lisa" revealed that the retirement home no longer has newspapers as the news angries up the elderly residents' blood and there's a sign outside the home that reads, "Thank you for not discussing the outside world.") '''''and''''' is found again days later, trying to get his dentures back from a turtle (without success).
** When Homer gets his reflexes tested. It takes him two hours for his knee to respond.
** Homer is unable to correctly recall [[Film/{{Speed}} a movie's title]] in spite of having repeatedly used the title's only word while describing the plot.
-->'''Homer''':I saw this in a movie about a bus that had to ''speed'' around the city, keeping its ''speed'' over fifty, and if its ''speed'' dropped, the bus would explode! I think it was called "The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down."
** Homer is given a polygraph test to see if his alien sighting is true. The polygraph machine ''explodes'' when Homer just answers "yes" to Scully asking him if he understands.
* EtTuBrute: Homer is upset that even Marge would buy and wear a "Homer is a Dope" shirt. He changes his mind upon seeing how good the job of sewing "Dope" on the shirt was.
* FakeCrossOver: With ''Series/TheXFiles''. Unlike the debacle that happened with ''The Critic'', Matt Groening's name was in the credits and he actually was cool with having ''The X-Files'' cross over to his show, since it wasn't a 20-minute advertisement for the show. Whether or not this episode can be considered canon to ''The X-Files'' (albeit taking place much earlier in its timeline) depends on how you interpret a line by Mulder a year earlier, describing a character played by the legendarily odd-looking Michael Berryman as "Homer Simpson's evil twin."
* HaveAGayOldTime: In the opening, Mr. Burns casually asks Smithers if he has any gay plans for the night, meaning light-hearted and fancy-free.
* HumansAreMorons: Discussed.
-->'''Lisa:''' Dad, according to ''Junior Skeptic Magazine'', the chances are 175 million to one of another form of life actually coming in contact with ours.\\
'''Homer:''' So?\\
'''Lisa:''' It's just that the people who claim they've seen aliens are always [[InsultFriendlyFire pathetic low-lifes with boring jobs]]. [[PresentCompanyExcluded Oh, and you, Dad.]] ''(laughs nervously)''
* LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn: Homer, pretty scared and paranoid, stumbles along the road in the forest and is scared when a vehicle approaches him from behind accompanied by the theme from ''Film/{{Psycho}}''. It turns out it's actually the Springfield Philharmonic Orchestra traveling by bus.
* LieDetector: Which Homer causes to explode after claiming to understand Scully's explanation of how it works.
* LowSpeedChase: This happens when Abe tries to catch the turtle that took his teeth. (It is currently the page image).
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Not in the actual episode, but the original script ended with the alien's true identity unrevealed, implying Homer really ''did'' encounter one.
* MundaneGhostStory: Bart's "ghost story" about how much college will cost for Maggie (which freaks Homer out). In a deleted scene, the original "ghost story" was about the ingredients to an Oscar Meyer weiner (which still freaks out Homer).
* NoodleIncident: Scully says this is the worst assignment they've ever had, to which Mulder asks if it's really worse than that time with the flesh-eating virus.
** What led Moe to steal a killer whale from Sea World? And, more to the point, [[FridgeLogic how the hell did he get it in his back room]]?
* OhCrap: PlayedForLaughs when Homer sees a billboard that reads "Die" on his way home from Moe's, which he screams at, then he screams again when a gust of wind moves a tree in front of the billboard, revealing it actually says "Diet".
** Moe has two. The first is when Mulder introduces himself and Scully to him, and he thinks they're onto him for stealing a killer whale from Sea World. The second is later during the payoff of a BrickJoke while he and the two men are attempting to carry the orca, then they see Mulder and, still carrying the orca, they run for it.
** Homer has one when he attempts to talk to the alien and he suddenly realizes he's standing in the campfire. His panic causes the alien to retreat. Luckily, Bart recorded the whole thing.
* PoliceLineup: Homer is asked to identify the alien he saw from a lineup which consisted of [[Film/StarWars Chewbacca]], Series/{{ALF}}, [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Marvin the Martian]], [[Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill1951 Gort]] and Kang (or Kodos) from the various "[[HalloweenEpisode Treehouse of Horror]]" installments.
* PsychoStrings: The ''Psycho'' shower scene music is actually playing on a bus carrying a traveling orchestra.
* RuleOfThree: The alien appears three times over three Friday nights.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Leonard Nimoy concludes his tale after Homer and Bart confirm the alien's existence and recording it during their stakeout.. Upon being informed the episode still has ten minutes left, he is surprised, and says [[INeedToGoIronMyDog he needs to get something out of his car]]. Cue him running out and the sound of him driving away. The Squeaky-Voiced Teen then appears and says, "[[CaptainObvious I don't think he's coming back,"]] and is forced to take over. Nimoy does appear later when the town is gathering and preparing for the alien's appearance.
* ShoutOut:
** Leonard Nimoy's role in the episode references his old hosting gig on the late-1970s/early 1980s supernatural documentary series ''In Search of...'', counting as ActorAllusion.
** On the line-up of aliens, there is Series/{{Alf}}, [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Marvin The Martian]], [[Film/StarWars Chewbacca]][[note]]who also appears at the end[[/note]] and [[Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill1951 Gort]] (according to the DVD commentary, all of the characters were used without permission from their creators [with the exception of Kang/Kodos, since that's property of FOX and Matt Groening], making it "the most illegal shot in animation." In fact, the worst the staff received was a call from the voice of Alf, who wasn't brought in to voice his character).
** Reverend Lovejoy does a BaitAndSwitchComparison of Jesus and Series/ETTheExtraterrestrial.
** When the whole of Springfield gathers on the point where the alien appears, the Springfield Elementary band is practicing the {{Leitmotif}} from ''Film/CloseEncountersOfTheThirdKind''.
** Jimbo Jones holds a sign, "ALIEN DUDE: Need Two Tickets to Music/PearlJam."
** VideoGame/DonkeyKong makes an appearance at the Noiseland Arcade, which turns out to be a bust. He ends up throwing a barrel at the Wise Guy, complete with sound effects.
** Homer uses the camera trick from ''Film/{{Speed}}'' to skip work.
* SicklyGreenGlow: Mr. Burns's explanation for the glowing, after he was revealed to be the "alien", is that "a lifetime of working in a nuclear power plant has given me a healthy green glow...and left me as impotent as a Nevada boxing commissioner."
* SignsOfDisrepair: An already frightened Homer sees a large billboard that says "DIE." He screams. Then the wind shifts, moving a tree branch and revealing that the word is "DIET." Homer screams louder and flees.
* SpecialGuest: Creator/LeonardNimoy AsHimself (just like in season 4's "Marge vs. the Monorail"), Creator/GillianAnderson as Agent Scully and Creator/DavidDuchovny as Agent Mulder.
* SpinningClockHands: When Scully performs tests on Homer, she does also the patellar reflex test. It takes one hour till Homer says "oh" and his knee moves a bit. The time is shown with three different shots of the clock.
* TakeThat: Milhouse plays a ''Film/{{Waterworld}}'' video game, which costs 40 quarters ($10) to play, and after you deposit it, it only goes one move before you need another 40 quarters to play, in reference to the film's over-expensive budget and box-office failure.
* TemptingFate: After Homer's videotape of the alien is broadcast, Lisa thinks the town won't be won over by three seconds of videotape. She's InstantlyProvenWrong when the doorbell rings and Homer finds half the town on his lawn.
* TimePassesMontage:
** First done with Spinning Clock Hands and gradually added Mulder's emptied coffee cups.
** When Homer was explaining where he'd been to Scully and Mulder at Moe's. One beer turned into 10 before Scully got frustrated.
---> '''Homer:''' ''(drunk)'' And so I says, red M&M, blue M&M, they all [[TooMuchInformation end up the same color in the end!]]
** Mulder rambled about the truth and the mysteries of our world: he started when it was a clear blue day, but finished hours later at night.
* TongueOnTheFlagpole: Channel 6 News uses a file photo of Homer that shows him with his tongue stuck to a lamppost.
* TorchesAndPitchforks: The crowd pulls them out when the alien, later revealed to be a monster and even later to be Mr Burns, appears in the final act.
* UranusIsShowing: Bart dresses up as an alien and yells, "I am the thing from Uranus!" the morning after Homer first sees the alien.
* WeComeInPeaceShootToKill: Parodied when the alien greets the people of Springfield.
-->'''Alien:''' I bring you ''love!''\\
'''Lenny:''' It's bringing love! Don't let it get away!\\
'''Carl:''' ''(welding a baseball bat)'' Break its legs!
* YouWontFeelAThing: Dr. Nick claims that his scary procedure will not hurt.
-->'''Dr. Nick Riviera''': Don't worry. You won't feel a thing [exhibits a swirling mechanical device]...[[CueCardPause till I jam this down your throat!]]
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