Recap: The Simpsons S 11 E 3 Guess Whos Coming To Criticize Dinner

Homer becomes a food critic for the local newspaper following the retirement of the old one, and, after showering every meal with praise, decides to become a Caustic Critic, which causes the local restauranteurs to plot his murder.


  • Big Fun: Invoked briefly. Homer's fantastic reviews lead to a lot of citizens gaining weight, to which a now heavyset Mr. Burns claims he's "never felt jollier" until his shins break from the extra weight. He's later seen among the mob that delivers Homer's comeuppance at the end.
  • Brain Bleach: When the Sea Captain and Akira discuss Homer's pants being unfastened:
    Sea Captain: I'm surprised he doesn't give it up and go for sweatpants.
    Akira: He says the crotch wears out too fast.
    Sea Captain: Yar! That's going to replace the whale in my nightmares.
  • Caustic Critic: Homer becomes one about halfway through, causing local restaurants to lose so much business that their owners conspire to have him killed.
    • The critic that Homer is replacing was not exactly a nice one either: she gives a caustic criticism to the food of her farewell party (and the editor snarks about how this attitude made him divorce her).
  • Censored for Comedy: Homer's cursing while driving behind an ambulance. The words that got bleeped out weren't the kind of curse words that warrant a bleeping on TV.
  • Constrained Writing: When Homer becomes a food critic, he writes a review without using the letter E. That's because the E key on his typewriter is broken. "By Homer-no-Earl-no-Bill Simpson!"
  • Conveniently Timed Distraction: After the French chef is arrested for trying to kill Homer and he's handcuffed, Chief Wiggum suggests to Eddie and Lou that they go get some Belgium waffles but Lou would rather have frittatas. While Wiggum and Eddie laughs at Lou for his frittata obsession, the French chef uncuffs himself and escapes with none of them noticing that he's gone despite the fact that he was standing between Eddie and Lou.
  • Epic Fail: Krusty's disastrous dinner theatre role has him dubbed, according to the newspaper article, the "Worst King Lear in 400 years."
  • Extreme Omnivore: Before becoming a Caustic Critic, the only bad review Homer gave was to a slice of pizza he found under the couch, and only then he claims it lost points simply because he found a Hot Wheels toy on it. Even one of the critics balks at the idea of him being poisoned, citing, "I've seen this man eat a bowl of change!"
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Homer shrugs when told the eclair would kill him and still plans to eat it, but throughs it away in horror when told it's low fat.
  • Four Point Scale: In-universe; initially Homer gives everything a good review, simply because he loves food so much. Even when he becomes a Caustic Critic, his rating of Marge's pork chops is the lowest he ever gave: seven thumbs up.
  • Karma Houdini: Discussed, lampshaded, and ultimately averted when Homer tempts fate at the end saying he'll never receive his comeuppance, only for Laser-Guided Karma to happen during the credits as Homer is beaten up by an angry mob of everyone he pissed off in this episode.
    • In an alternate ending seen only on the season 11 DVD, he actually does become one, as he and Lisa walk off from the festival with him suffering no consequences.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: When Homer pans Luigi's food to his face, one of the chefs storms out with a knife, slashing Homer. Homer quips "I hope you cut me better than your green beans", but casually concedes when he realizes the chef did cut off part of his ear.
  • The Nose Knows: Homer can tell that a cake says "so long and best wishes" from it's smell.
    Nelson: Your old man has an awesome nose.
    Bart: That's nothing, he can hear pudding.
  • Shower of Angst: Homer after he was rejected the first time ("Still not clean...").
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Homer's first review was written with a typewriter that didn't have a working "E". When the editor dismissed it as a joke, Homer decided it was indeed a joke.
  • Temporary Bulk Change: Homer's rave reviews of just about everything cause a small surge of weight gain in the Springfield community.
  • You Keep Using That Word: When Homer defends his new caustic style, he says "My palate has grown more sophisticated.", to which Marge asks "Oh, yeah? What's a palate?" Homer can't answer, thinking it means a special time in a boy's life, so he runs away, grabbing some more food as he does.