Episode - 7F02
First Aired - 10/18/1990Homer buys a human hair growth serum that's not covered by his company insurance plan, and enjoys the high life now that he has a full head of hair, but it all comes crashing down when Smithers reports the insurance fraud and Bart uses up all the serum.
This episode contains examples of:
- Absurdly Dedicated Worker: Homer uses a hair grower to get his hair back and is promoted and gets an assistant, Karl, who then takes the blame for something Homer did, gets fired, and still writes Homer's speech for him even after having been fired. The assistant is absurdly faithful to Homer.
- Bland-Name Product: Dimoxinil stands in for Minoxidil.
- The Cassandra: When Mr. Burns commented on how the productivity increased and the number of accidents decreased ever since Homer's ideas started being implanted, Smithers pointed out the productivity only increased to the level it usually does during Homer's vacations and the number of accidents only decreased to the level he was either guilty or suspected of but Burns dismissed this as jealousy.
- Characterization Marches On: In this episode, Smithers is a Jerkass with a strong hatred of Homer; so much, that he goes as far as to ruin his life by getting Karl fired, and take sadist pleasures of Homer's misery, even to the point of a Suicide Dare. His characterization here are way different from his Yes-Man and single-target sexuality towards Burns in later episodes, and is more on par with Frank Grimes in Season 8.
- Continuity Snarl: Mr. Burns states his age is 81. In every future episode where his age is mentioned, it's 104 (and in some much later episodes, Burns' age is implied to be four digits long).
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Smithers has been repeatedly shown to have an almost psychological need to serve Burns, in addition to being sexually attracted to him. These both likely factor into Smithers' loathing for Homer when the latter earns Burns' favor.
- Forgotten Phlebotinum: Dimoxinil is never seen or mentioned again in any future episodes, despite being a miracle drug that immediately cures baldness. You would think a product like that would get a lot more staying power, regardless of its price tag.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Homer initially marks his sex as female on the insurance form before changing it.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Smithers becomes vehement on bringing down Homer after he steals Burns' approval.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Karl to Homer.
- Also Smithers to Burns. Smithers is really upset when Burns starts favoring Homer over him, despite Homer not really being an impressive employee.
- Instantly Proven Wrong: As poor Homer found out, Karl's pep talk to him about the plant community not caring that he didn't have hair was incorrect.
- Irony: Marge dislikes the idea of Homer working with pretty women, and suggests him to hire Karl. He kisses Homer later, and judging from Homer's comments, he has some sort of a man-crush on Karl too.
- It Was with You All Along: Karl convinces Homer that it's his own competence and personality, not his hair, that makes him a shining employee. However as it turns out, the plant's community are genuinely that shallow, quickly rejecting him for his baldness and leaving him demoted back to his old job (they don't even let finish the exposing of ideas he had written and tried to expose while bald).
- Jerkass Has a Point: Smithers' taking Homer down in the episode's climax is motivated by petty jealousy, but Homer did commit insurance fraud, and Homer's ideas for improving the plant's productivity weren't really working—he was just in a position where he couldn't cause productivity to go down with his usual bumbling.
- Loophole Abuse: Every year, Mr. Burns must promote one of his employees. For as long as he gives the employee's job a different name, it doesn't matter if said employee's work and pay remain the same.
- Pet the Dog: Mr. Burns gives Homer his old job as Safety Inspector back after the failed speech because he went bald when he was younger and sympathizes.
- Shout-Out: The episode's title is a reference to the Biblical story of Samson and Delilah, in which Samson lost his strength when he was seduced into cutting his hair. Similarly, Homer loses his success without his hair.
- Also, Homer running around town happy that he had hair was clearly based on the scene from It's a Wonderful Life where George Baily runs around town after getting his life back.
- Special Guest: Harvey Fierstein as Karl, who is noted in the commentary to be the show's first guest star who wasn't ashamed to say he'd done it. "Maybe not the most important barrier he ever broke down."
- Strange Minds Think Alike: As Homer runs through town with his new hair, he meets up with a man who's done the same thing he did.Both: DIMOXINIL!
- Also, when Homer's colleagues suggested him to fraud the company's insurance plan, they reasoned Burns would probably use the Money to buy a backscratcher made of ivory. In fact, that's what Burns moaned about when he learned about the fraud.
- Straight Gay: Karl (and his appearance is not only the first time a celebrity [Harvey Fierstein voices Karl] has done voicework on The Simpsons, but the first time an animated series depicts a character established to be a homosexual kissing another man, though Mission Hill would later go down in animation history as the first animated show to show an established gay male couple kissing). And unlike how Homer acted in "Homer's Phobia", he doesn't even notice or care that his secretary Karl is gay, but he does find it odd that Karl kissed him.
- Taking the Heat: Karl willingly took the fall when Homer was about to be fired for insurance fraud.
- What the Hell, Hero?: After Bart destroys his one bottle of Dimoxinil, Homer decides not to kill him, but to tell him he's ruined his father, crippled his family, and that baldness is hereditary. Bart seems pretty choked up about the final one.note