Recap / The Simpsons S 14 E 6 The Great Louse Detective

Original Air Date: December 15, 2002

Someone's out to kill Homer, after Homer gets locked into a sauna by a hooded man and only Sideshow Bob can figure out who that is.


  • Art Shift: As of this episode, the show fully switched over to digital paintnote . Like the previous two instances (Season 7's "Radioactive Man" and Season 12's "Tennis the Menace"), it wasn't well-received, since at the time of this episode's airing in 2002, digital ink was not very common and traditional cel animation wouldn't become defunct until three years later.note 
  • Call-Back:
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • As Moe, Carl, and Lenny give Sideshow Bob advice on how to kill Bart, Homer shuts them up—not because they were threatening his son, but so Bob can think.
    • Homer does this twice with being voted King of Mardi Gras: First when Marge points out that Homer's leaving himself exposed to the killer, Homer tells her not to "embarrass (him) in front of the drag queen." Then, when Bob states that the killer stuffed the ballots so that Homer would be elected, going so far as to show that all the votes for Homer have the same handwriting, Homer responds with "Nevertheless, the people have spoken."
  • Dartboard of Hate: Sideshow Bob plays darts at Moe's, fashioning a likeness of Bart's face out of the darts.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Frank Grimes, Jr. is the person trying to kill Homer.
  • Description Cut: In order to figure out who's trying to kill Homer, Bob tells Homer he's going to follow him through the course of an ordinary day. Cut to Homer and Bob hangliding:
    Sideshow Bob: This is an ordinary day?
    Homer: I just wanted to impress you.
  • Enemy Mine: Second time Sideshow Bob works together with the Simpson family.
  • Foreshadowing: There are various hints throughout the episode that indicate who's trying to kill Homer, as Sideshow Bob notices.
    • When Bart examines the spa invitation sent to Homer by the killer, he discovers a black smudge on it.
    • When the killer traps Homer in the sauna room, he uses an enormous wrench.
    • When the killer tries to shoot Homer and escapes, he uses a tow truck.
  • Hand Wave: Homer questions how Frank Grimes had a son if he never married. Jr replies that his father "happened to like hookers".
  • Human Cannonball: Bob gets into the cannon on one of the Mardi Gras floats and lights the fuse in order to launch himself into the air and save Homer from getting Impaled with Extreme Prejudice on one of the swordfish in the swordfish museum.
    • Also a Continuity Nod; Bob has plenty of experience getting shot out of cannons, as revealed way back in "Krusty Gets Busted".
  • Jerkass: Homer's friends at the bar actually give Sideshow Bob advice and encouragement to kill Bart.
  • Musical Spoiler: Using Sideshow Bob's Leitmotif for the shot of Campbell's Chunky Soap Maximum Security Prison really gives away the reveal of Sideshow Bob.
  • Noodle Incident: Upon realizing that Homer's runaway Mardi Gras float is heading for the Swordfish Museum, Marge comments "That museum's been nothing but trouble since it opened."
  • Recruiting the Criminal: In this case, Bob is the recruited criminal.
  • Sauna of Death: First attempt on Homer's life. He was actually already in danger by being in the sauna at all because of his obesity and heart problems. The sauna controls helpfully included the setting "murder".
  • Series Continuity Error: This episode features the third different gravestone used for Frank Grimes. In "Homer's Enemy", the gravestone simply read "Grimes", while "Alone Again, Natura-Diddily" read "Frank 'Grimey' Grimes". Here it reads "Frank Grimes (Homer's Enemy)".
  • Stun Guns: Wiggum affixes a remote button-controlled "shock garter" to Sideshow Bob's leg, which administers a jolt every time he threatens someone. Or whenever somebody feels like pushing the button.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    Chief Wiggum: Now, Mr. Simpson. Is it possible you're living a double or triple life that your wife doesn't know about?
    Homer: Triple? [looks around] No. Definitely no.
  • Take That!:
    • When Marge suggests the prison wasn't a good place to bring the kids, Lisa offers that it "still beats Disney's California Adventure". The others quickly agree.
    • While staying at the Simpsons' house, Bob watches an episode of That '30s Show:
      Sideshow Bob: Tom Shales gave this show a good review. And I'm the one in prison!
  • Trope Co. Trope of the Week: Bob is housed at "Campbell's Chunky Soup Maximum Security Prison".
  • Unexplained Recovery: The last time we saw Sideshow Bob, Chief Wiggum was preparing to execute him for brainwashing Bart to kill Krusty. No explanation is given on how Bob managed to earn a reprieve.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Lampshaded, when various people show up to attack the "Homer" dummy Sideshow Bob rigs to lure the killer. Including Homer himself.
    Homer: Once I kill you, everyone will think I'm the real Homer. Hahahahaha!
    Sideshow Bob: [turning to the others with some confusion] None of this seems odd to you?
    Marge: [shrugging] Meh.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: At Moe's, the regulars mock Sideshow Bob's inability to kill Bart, with Lenny suggesting he "just come up behind him with a knife and slit his throat real quick-like".
    • Brick Joke: At the end of the episode, confronting Bart in his room, Bob takes out a knife and says he's "going to take some advice that was given to me by Lenny, and kill you without delay". (Only to discover he can't go through with it, having grown accustomed to Bart's face.)
  • You Killed My Father: The reason Frank Grimes, Jr. tries to kill Homer.