Recap: The Simpsons S 2 E 21 Three Men And A Comic Book

In this homage to the film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Bart (after only earning 50 cents from an old woman [voiced by Cloris Leachman] who hired him to do dangerous chores), Milhouse [who only wanted to buy a baseball card], and Martin pool their money together so they can buy the first issue of Radioactive Man, but their greed, jealousy, and paranoia turn them against each other and turn the treasured comic book into shredded paper.


  • Aside Glance: Bart while his future self narrates his life (a la The Wonder Years). An annoyed Homer tells him to stop staring into space.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: Right on the comic. After it fell into the wet grass and shredded by Santa's Little Helper.
  • Broken Aesop: They apparently learned nothing in the end.
    Bart: We worked so hard, and now we end up with nothing because the three of us can't share.
    Milhouse: What's your point?
    Bart: Nothing. This just really ticked me off.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Bart overlooks the fact that Martin was only trying to help by not being paranoid.
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot: Martin points out if Bart never tied him up for being so paranoid he would have saved the comic while Bart saves Milhouse.
    Bart: Shut up! Just shut up!
  • First Appearance: First episode featuring Comic Book Guy (back before he was an Audience Surrogate for angry nerds, before his real name of Jeff Albertson was revealed, and before he married a Japanese manga artist, he was just a snooty comic book geek who talked down to his customers and often sold crappy and overpriced comics and toys to kids who were dumb enough to fork over the cash for them).
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: When Bart tells Homer that he wants the Radioactive Man comic more than anything, Homer responds, "Well, T.S." T.S. means tough shit.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: The origin of Radioactive Man's powers (via nuclear bomb testing).
  • Nerds Speak Klingon: Comic Book Guy mentions that he has a Masters in Folklore and Mythology, part of which involved translating The Lord of the Rings into Klingon.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: At the comic convention, Bart asks if Dirk Richter, the man who played Radioactive Man in the old TV show, haunts the bordello where they found his bullet riddled body. The actor who played Fall Out Boy breaks down in tears, asserting Dirk was a wonderful man and screams "Can't you little vultures just leave him alone?!"
  • Too Dumb to Live: Mrs. Glick's brother, who died in World War I from pulling the pin on a grenade and monologuing too long about who the grenade is supposed to avenge before intending to throw it.
    Asa: This one's for you, Kaiser Bill. Special delivery from Uncle Sam and all the boys in "D" company. Yeah, Johnny, Harrison, Brooklyn Bob, and Reggie. Yeah, even Reggie. He ain't so stuck up once you get to — (grenade blows up)
  • What Could Have Been: According to DVD commentary, the third act originally had Bart rally a union of kids who were sick of doing chores for minimum pay, but the writers thought this detracted from the original story and banged out a subtle Treasure of the Sierra Madre parody.
    • In hindsight, later episodes would often detract from the first part of many episodes.
  • You're Insane!: Milhouse calls Bart crazy when he thinks he'll bash Bart's head with a brick.