Recap: The Simpsons S 2 E 4 Two Cars In Every Garage And Three Eyes On Every Fish

Episode - 7F01
First Aired - 11/01/1990

Bart and Lisa's discovery of a three-eyed fish in a river near the nuclear plant prompts Mr. Burns to save his tarnished image by running against Governor Mary Bailey in the upcoming election.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Bribe Backfire: Mr. Burns' blatant attempt to bribe the government inspector only puts himself in more hot water.
  • Continuity Nod: Bart pastes the picture of him catching Blinky in a scrapbook next to one about how some vandal took a statue's head.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Subverted. Homer thinks this is happening when Mr. Burns glares at Homer for saying that he (Mr. Burns) could afford to run for office when no honest man could. His babbling in fact inspires Mr. Burns to put himself in the running for governor so he can keep his plant from closing down.
  • Hidden Disdain Reveal: In a discussion with another member, Burns' advisor admits pleasant surprise that their "cornball stunt" is actually pulling off, making it no surprise when he abandons the old guy the moment his popularity is left in tatters.
  • Irony: Mocked. After losing the campaign, Burns gives an analogy to the situation that he believes is this. He doesn't quite grasp the trope however:
    Burns: Ironic, isn't it, Smithers. This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election, and yet if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That's democracy for you.
    Smithers: You are noble and poetic in defeat, sir.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Mr. Burns threatens to ruin Homer's life after Marge destroys his campaign single handedly. Granted as with most obligations he has towards Homer, it doesn't seem to go anywhere.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The scene where Mr. Burns spits out the piece of fish meat is done entirely in slow motion, and the accompanying camera crew follows its every motion while it's in the air.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Homer gave Mr. Burns the idea to run for governor. Mostly because Mr. Burns was making him nervous by glaring at him for making a comment that he can afford to.
  • Plot Hole: How Marge actually got hold of Blinky to cook it is never explained, especially since it seemed to be in Burns' possession to begin with.
  • Shout-Out: Many of the scenes (and parts of the plot) in this episode are taken from Citizen Kane.
  • Spanner in the Works: Marge single-handily torpedos Mr. Burns' campaign with one serving.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Marge. Throughout the episode, she keeps acting as though Homer is oppressing the family by making them support Mr. Burns out of a genuine political belief despite Homer's blunt declaration that he is only doing so because Mr. Burns is his boss and would likely fire him if he voted for Mary Bailey. She openly sabotages the campaign anyway (and seemingly kills Blinky to do so), setting Burns' anger onto Homer instead of her. Her attempts to comfort Homer at the end of the episode can be interpreted as her saying that Homer is a loser who's never going to amount to much since his goals are so pathetic.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The plot centers around a gubernatorial race for a state that is never mentioned. This episode could arguably be the Trope Namer since it's the first one where the lack of a state name is kind of an issue.
    • Irony: Apparently the state motto is "Not just another state."