Recap / The Simpsons S 12 E 18 Trilogy Of Error

In this homage to such movies as Go and Run, Lola, Run, Homer's severed thumb, Lisa's mad rush to school, and Bart and Milhouse encountering the local Mafia are interconnected to show how each of these events are related.


  • AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: Linguo pronounces "error" as "err-OAR".
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Marge accidentally caused the conflict of Bart's subplot by thinking "123 Fake Street" was a, well, fake street.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Homer's severed thumb.
  • Brick Joke: When Marge calls 911 for help during the first shot, Chief Wiggum is more concerned about arresting Marge than helping Homer so she makes up a fake address named "123 Fake Street" to lure him away. The third shot reveals that the address really exists.
    • An inverted example: "Homer's Day" sees Dr. Nick bemoan the burning of he clinic by remarking "Inflammable means flammable?! What a country!" During "Bart's Day", after Milhouse's firework laden bike tire flies into Captain McCallister's room and lands onto an ether tank:
      Dr. Nick: Don't worry, it's inflammable! (tank explodes) ...let's keep this our little secret.
  • Commercial Break Cliffhanger: "Lisa's Day" ends with Marge hitting the brakes as Bart (who was last seen running off to answer the door during breakfast) suddenly emerges from a manhole. Not only do we have to wait through the commercials, we also had to watch "Bart's Day" to see what led to this situation before it's resolved. Bart turns away from the truck anticipating impact, only to be lightly hit by it as comes to a complete stop. "Ow. Mom...!"
  • Contrived Coincidence: Everything that happens to each character is a direct result of something (usually stupid) that another character has done, always with no idea that their actions are influencing the rest of the family. Eventually everyone's paths have crossed and re-crossed until, at the end of the episode, everyone's in the same situation.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Homer gives up on saving his thumb when he realises he can't reach Shelbyville in 20 miles on foot, so he promptly dumps Moe's pickle brine into the trash.
    Homer: (to his severed, shriveled thumb) Well, friend, we always knew this day would come. Say goodbye to your brother.
  • Decoy Protagonist: While the episode depicts the events of Homer, Bart and Lisaís day it is actually a Marge episode as she is the one who holds everything together and makes everything happen. She kicks off everything with breakfast, cuts off Homer's thumb (by accident), starts up the 123 Fake Street which leads to Bart's undercover storyline, does all the driving for both Homer and Lisa, and itís her fault that Homer has to hitchhike and then walk. And itís ultimately her who saves the day by tossing Linguo into the fire.
  • Dies Wide Open: After Linguo "dies", Homer pushes his eyes shut.
  • Evil Laugh: Martin has one when he believes Lisa will miss the fair.
  • French Jerk: The West Springfield counterpart of Lisa's classroom has a French class, who laugh at her predicament.
  • Grammar Nazi: Linguo is programmed to correct grammar.
    Homer: Let's put him to the test. "Me like beer."
    Linguo: I like beer.
    Homer: Aww, he likes beer. (pours beer into its mouth)
  • Hidden Wire: Wiggum hooks Bart to one to capture the firework smugglers.
  • Ironic Name: Fake Street is real.
  • Logic Bomb: Gangster speak is too much for Linguo to handle.
    Louie: Hey, they's throwing robots at us!
    Linguo: They are throwing robots.
    Legs: (to Fat Tony) He's disrespecting us. (to Linguo) Shaddap you face!
    Linguo: Shut up your face.
    Legs: Wassamatta you?
    Louie: You ain't so big!
    Legs: Me and him are gonna whack-a you in Labonza!
    Linguo: Bad grammar overload... Error! Error!
  • Logo Joke: The audio for the Gracie Films logo is replaced with this:
    (West Springfield students laugh)
    French Teacher: en francais...
    (students laugh in snooty manner)
  • Naked People Are Funny: The title screen for "Homer's Day" is Homer losing the towel around his waist as he dashes off to get dressed for breakfast.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: During "Lisa's Day", Chief Wiggum unwittingly lets Fat Tony know there's someone with a bug to record his conversation. Afterwards, Wiggum, Lisa and the viewers hear gunshots from Fat Tony's side. "Bart's Day" reveals to the viewers the noise to be some fireworks lit by Bart to use a distraction while he and Milhouse escape.
    • "Bart's Day" serves to explain why Lisa's bike went missingnote  and why Bart popped out of a sewer manholenote  at the end of "Lisa's Day", and why Dr. Nick's clinic burned downnote  and Linguo exploded at the end of "Homer's Day"note .
      • Likewise, "Lisa's Day" serves to explain why Marge left Homer at Moe'snote  and why Cletus' truck got stolen during "Homer's Day"note .
  • Only Sane Man: The episode ends with Mr. Teeny calling out the nonsensical nature of the episode, begging for the viewers to do something.
  • Parenthetical Swearing: When Marge accidentally gets into a rear-end collision with Rainier Wolfcastle's Ferrari, she mutters, "Aw, doodlebugs."
  • Recycled Set: An animation version. Lisa is mistakenly dropped at West Springfield Elementary, which looks exactly identical to Springfield Elementary. One of the students notes that all schools in the area were drawn from the same floor plan. This is Truth in Television in some areas, especially areas with a lot of schools built at the same time.
  • Robo Speak: Spoofed with Linguo, who is programmed to be a grammar-correction robot, yet he speaks like this when he's not repeating grammar-corrected sentences.
    Lisa: Almost done. Just lay still.
    Linguo: Lie still.
    Lisa: I knew that. Just testing.
    Linguo: (correcting Lisa) Sentence fragment.
    Lisa: "Sentence fragment" is also a sentence fragment.
    Linguo: Must conserve battery power.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Run, Lola, Run.
    • When Homer is pouring beer into Linguo's mouth, making him short-circuit, Homer explains "I thought he was a party robot.", which is how Bender has been described on Futurama. Linguo even looks a bit like Bender.
  • Snarky Inanimate Object: Linguo, especially to Legs and Louie when he corrects their mob slang.
  • Something Completely Different: Much like "22 Short Films About Springfield," this episode tells its story in interconnected vignettes. Unlike "22 Short Films About Springfield," this episode focuses on how Homer getting his thumb cut off, Lisa ending up in the wrong school, and Bart and Milhouse running afoul of Fat Tony and his men are related to each other.
  • Take That!: Chief Wiggum has Bart record the mobsters over a Hootie & the Blowfish album because "It's cheaper than blank tape."
  • Three Shorts: The episode is split into "Homer's Day", "Lisa's Day", and "Bart's Day".
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: What happened to Maggie in the episode.
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Lisa's reaction to Homer trying to "feed" Linguo beer.