Recap: The Simpsons S 3 E 22 The Otto Show

Episode - 8F21
First Aired - 4/23/1992

After going to a Spinal Tap concert, Bart is fired up to be a rock star. Meanwhile, Otto the bus driver loses his license, his job, and his apartment and crashes with The Simpsons.

This episode contains examples of (YMMV tropes here):

  • A Day in the Limelight: For Otto Mann.
  • Brand Name Takeover: Referenced. Bart is appalled to see that Otto is reduced to living in a dumpster but Otto wishes he was classy enough for a real Dumpster and is instead stuck with a Trash-Co waste disposal unit.
  • British Rockstar: Bart fantasizes about becoming one, actually looking forward to being a drugged-out mess who alienates his other bandmates and cares more about the excesses of Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll rather than making music.
    Milhouse: You changed, man! It used to be about the music!
    Bart: I said, slag off!
  • Cheap Heat: Spinal Tap uses this to rev up the Springfieldians, though David St. Hubbins needs the name of the town taped to the back of his guitar to remember it, and when they're forced to end the set he says "Good night, Springton" by mistake.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Otto thinks he's supposed to run down the cardboard cutouts of pedestrians on the driving test course.
    • When Otto was kicked out of his apartment:
    Otto: Can I at least get my stuff?
    Landlord: All I found in there was a jar of mustard and a couple of old 'Psycho' magazines.
    Otto: Whoa! ...I had mustard?!
  • Cool Teacher: Patty when Otto expresses hatred for Homer. She gives him every answer to the written word test, spends the practical test laughing at stories of Homer's stupidity and offers to take Otto out for drinks after.
  • Epic Fail: The first time around on his driver's test, Otto failed every segment and misspelled "bus" on his application.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: In Spinal Tap's last appearance in the episode, their tour bus is run off the road, whereupon it flips over and bursts into flames. (Knowing this group's checkered history, this probably only kills the drummer.)
  • Eye Scream: One of the Spinal Tap members is hit in the eye with one of the stage show lasers.
  • Fake Guest Star: Harry Shearer plays his Simpsons characters and Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls.
  • Shout-Out: Homer says of Otto "This is not Happy Days and he is not the Fonz." Otto then comes in and says "Hey, Mr. S!" like Fonzie would call Richie's father "Mr. C."
  • Special Guest: Spinal Tap. All three actors (one of whom, of course, is Simpsons regular Harry Shearer) reprise their roles, with the concert and its aftermath taking up the episode's entire first act.
  • Spoof Aesop: Homer's speech to Bart about giving up on any hobby that proves more difficult than he expected.
  • This Is Reality: Homer's objection over Otto staying with them as listed in Shout-Out.
  • What Could Have Been: The original line was Bart to say "piss off" instead of "slag off". Of course, the censors interfered, though if they knew anything about vulgar British slang, they would have known that "slag" is used in the same context as the American English slang words "slut," skank," and "bitch" (used to describe a sleazy, ugly, or sexually loose woman).
  • What Happened to the Mouse? and Plot Hole: The writers never did resolve how Principal Skinner got out of the traffic jam (and how Bart got off the bus to go to the Kwik-E-Mart).