Recap / The Simpsons S 16 E 12 Goo Goo Gai Pan
The Simpsons are going to China after Selma is diagnosed with menopause and turns to adoption to make her dream of being a mother come true. However, the Chinese government doesn't allow single women to adopt, so Selma pretends that Homer is her husband and Marge is a single, live-in nanny.


  • Bait-and-Switch: When Homer wakes up in the hospital, he finds himself covered in needles and believes the doctor used acupuncture on him, but it turns out that a porcupine snuck into the room while he was sleeping.
  • Big "NO!": Homer when he finds out he's going to pretend to be Selma's husband to help her adopt a baby.
  • Black Comedy Animal Cruelty: Homer gets bitten by a baby panda, causing him to strangle it while yelling "I'll endanger you!". He is, in turn, strangled by its mother.
  • Department of Child Disservices: The Adoption agency where Selma was about to adopt a baby allows Cletus to take the baby away from Selma. Despite the fact that Brandine clearly had Rabies.
  • Disappeared Dad: Madam Wu's Dad died from choking on a ping pong ball one day before the Heimlich Maneuver was invented.
  • Eye Scream: Ling squeezes Homer's eyes with her hands. This later becomes a plot point, as this is how Homer recognizes her out of the nearly identical babies when breaking her out of the orphanage.
  • Global Ignorance: When Homer is introduced to some monks, he expects them not to move because he mistakes them for guards from Buckingham Palace.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: When Madam Wu tells Selma her adoption request has been approved, Selma cries "Finally, my life can begin!"...right in front of Bart and Lisa, who Wu is under the belief are her children.
  • Impact Silhouette: When Selma flies out of Mr. Burns' car and lands in the snow, the hot flashes from her menopause cause the snow beneath her to melt, creating a Selma-shaped hole in it.
  • In-Name-Only: Homer used this In-Universe about his and Selma's "Marriage".
  • Land of Dragons: The Simpsons & Selma travel to China to meet the baby.
  • Mama Bear: A literal example: the mother panda whose cub Homer was trying to smuggle out of China takes exception to him strangling it like Bart.
  • Mangled Catchphrase: Near the end, a Chinese spy impersonating Bart says the phrase "Feast on my shorts, stupid father man."
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: When Selma claims that Homer is her husband, it Jump Cuts to Homer at Moe's where he gets a terrible feeling.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Madame Wu. She acts like a Jerkass to Marge and the family, and takes Ling from Selma when she learns about how she is not married to Homer. However, she eventually relents as since her mom raised her alone, Selma herself can raise Ling.
  • Panda-ing to the Audience: Homer tries to smuggle a baby panda out of China. When the cub bites him, he starts strangling it, causing its mother to strangle him in return.
  • Portrait Painting Peephole: Wu finds out that Homer isn't really Selma's husband by spying on them through a portrait of Mao — through his nostrils.
  • Special Guest: Lucy Liu as Madame Wu.
  • The Stinger: The credits roll with a live-action clip of David Silverman teaching the viewer how to draw Bart.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When the Simpsons arrive in Tiananmen Square, there is a sign reading "On this site in 1989, nothing happened," a nod to the Chinese government's denial and secrecy over the massacre.
  • Vacation Episode: The Simpsons visit China.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: In the menopause video, Robert Wagner jokes that the viewer should give menopause "men-applause", then turns to someone off-camera and saying "Men-applause? I'm not saying that."