Recap / The Simpsons S 23 E 6 The Book Job

When Lisa discovers that her favorite book series is really the product of committee writing by publishers (with an actress posing as the author), Homer and Bart decide to gain fame the same way until a real publisher wants to publish their work and change it into yet another vampire love story based on Twilight.

Guest stars Neil Gaiman

Tropes:

  • Adam Westing: Neil Gaiman
  • Artistic License Paleontology: Hilariously discussed. When Homer gets taken away by security for taking a nap inside a dinosaur head he protests that it's not against the law to sleep in a Tyrannosaurus head, to which the guards respond that he's inside an Allosaurus.note 
    Homer: I demand to speak to my paleontologist!
  • Basement-Dweller: Principal Skinner joins the crew to have enough money to move out of his mother's house.
  • Broken Pedestal: Lisa finding out the author of the Angelica Buttons series is really an actress and that her favorite books are written by the publishers.
  • The Caper: Technically only the last part is an out-and-out caper, but it feels like one from the moment Bart and Homer cook up their idea to write a money-making book.
  • Doing It for the Art: In-Universe. Lisa, but she is unable to write anything. The other group, driven by greed, is much more productive, so much so that they end up liking their finished work more than the money and defect to Lisa's side.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: At the beginning.
  • Executive Meddling: In-universe. Homer and Bart originally created a fantasy novel that's best described as Harry Potter with trolls, but when it actually gets published, the company plans to turn it into yet another vampire romance series for preteen girls.
  • Fake Defector: When the crew breaks in the printing room, the Executive is aware of this because Lisa informed him in exchange of getting to write a sequel to the book. It turns out she's just tricking him into revealing his passowrd so she can see to it that the original book will be printed instead of the vampire-themed version.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Lisa "reveals" herself to the rest of the crew as a traitor, Patty comments that it's always a woman who betrays the team.
  • Kansas City Shuffle and Noodle Incident: Homer and Bart did something in Kansas City that was regrettable. We don't find out what it is.
  • Out-Gambitted: The Executive thinks he's pulled this on the crew when he recruits Lisa, only for Lisa to secretly take the crew's side. But then everyone turns out to have been dancing on Neil Gaiman's strings.
  • Never Learned to Read: Neil Gaiman somehow manages to have a writing career, despite this.
  • Raptor Attack: The dromaeosaurs at the dinosaur show are Jurassic Park-styled, although subverted in that they are just costumes.
  • Strictly Formula: The Angelica Buttons series and other popular books. Our protagonists try to make some quick money by writing a book the same way, but accidentally evolve the story into something good, become attached to it, and fight to prevent Executive Meddling from ruining it.
  • Tempting Fate: After Lisa explains how she tricked the Executive into publishing the crew's original story, she comments that the best part is that she's been credited as the author. She then opens a copy of the book and learns Neil Gaiman got that credit.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: After it's revealed to the viewers that the company published the original book instead of the vampire-themed version, Lisa explains how it happened. Knowing the crew would fail without the Executive's computer password to allow them to send the book's original version to the printing machines, she pretended to betray them so the Executive would trust her with the password and she would insert the pendrive with the original book instead of the one with the vampire story. Then she sees Neil Gaiman credited as the author instead of her and the next scene features Gaiman commenting that Lisa never thought there might be three pendrives.