Recap / The Simpsons S 3 E 24 Brother Can You Spare Two Dimes

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Episode - 8F23
First Aired - 8/27/1992

In this sequel to "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou," Herbert Powell, Homer's once-wealthy half-brother, is now homeless and searching for the next new idea to take him back to the top — and all he needs is Homer's $2,000 prize money he got at a (rigged) award show and a place to stay (the Simpsons' house).

This episode contains examples of:

  • As Himself: Joe Frazier
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Homer is impressed with the drinking bird.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Homer somehow has over 100% body fat. The extra 4% are implied to come from the chicken drumstick he's eating while suspended in the buoyancy tank.
  • Bookworm: Lisa really wishes to get a subscription for the greatest books of Western canon. Herb obliges.
  • Boring but Practical: Marge's idea of what to do with the money that Homer won.
  • Bowdlerisation: On BBC Two in the UK, the chalkboard gag in the opening sequence "I will not fake seizures" is replaced with "Funny noises are not funny", so as not to offend epileptic viewers.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Barney at Moe's has been apparently been heckling former Boxing Champion Joe Frazier all night since he got there, that ends with him, well see the next entry.
  • Curbstomp Battle: The fight between Joe Frazier and Barney Gumple. We don't see it happen as they go outside, but the fight ends with Barney pummeled and hanging upside down in a trashcan.
  • "Good Luck" Gesture: Homer crosses his fingers on both hands when he's expected to receive the First Annual Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence.
    Homer: (crossing fingers) Please, please, please, please, please!
    Lisa: Dad, you know you won!
    Homer: Don't jinx it!
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Herb. He treats Homer pretty badly (due to still not forgiving him) and only hunts him down to use his money, but he is a good uncle and gives every family member their own gift on top of paying the money back. And Herb eventually does forgive Homer, calls him "brother" again, and bought him the massage chair he wanted.
  • Man Hug: Homer and Herb after patching things up. Homer admits he feels awkward hugging another man. Then Herb says he bought him the massage chair. Homer proceeds to give him a Bear Hug and kisses him on the cheek.
  • Mood Whiplash: An epic display from Mr. Burns as he flips back and forth between anger and courtesy when talking to his team of lawyers.
    Mr. Burns: Before you begin, let me make one thing clear to you. I want your legal advice, I even pay for it. But to me, you're all vipers! You live on personal injury, you live on divorces, you live on pain and misery...! (friendly) But I'm rambling. Anybody want any coffee?
  • Rags to Riches: Herb
  • Random Events Plot: The commentary notes halfway through "As you can see, we still haven't figured out the plot of this episode. We just wanted to bring Danny back."
  • Self-Made Man: Herb became one again.
  • Sequel Episode: To "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou".
  • Shoddy Knockoff Award: The award Mr. Burns gives Homer is literally an Emmy Award with Mr. Burns's head replacing the head of the woman on the statuette; and Mr. Burns is holding up a lithium atom, instead of the generic vector model of the atom that the Emmy holds.
  • Shout-Out
    • Homer's fantasy while on the massage chair is reminiscent of the 'star gate' sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
  • Special Guest: Danny DeVito as Herb Powell
  • Take That: Done by Bart and Lisa during Homer's award ceremony. Note that the show had lost at the Emmys the previous year.
    Lisa: This show is the biggest farce I ever saw.
    Bart: What about the Emmys?
    Lisa: I stand corrected.
  • Tempting Fate: Played with. At the power plant, Lenny and Carl try to comfort Homer after the loss of his couch. He says his life can't get any worse, then waits a few moments and nothing happens... he repeats himself, and Smithers finally calls him to Mr. Burns' office. Turns out it's good news actually. He is getting a cash settlement for an infliction that the plant caused. He doesn't know what it is and even if he did, since he didn't want anymore kids he wouldn't care..
  • Theme Tune Cameo: The show's theme plays when Homer wins the award.
  • Turn Your Head and Cough: Part of Homer's description of his physical:
    Marge: How was your day at work, dear?
    Homer: Oh, the usual. Stand in front of this, open that, pull down this, bend over, spread apart that, turn your head that way, cough.

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