Recap: The Simpsons S 3 E 5 Homer Defined

Episode - 8F04
First Aired - 10/17/1991

Homer saves the town from nuclear annihilation, but feels bad for it as he knew the whole thing was a fluke. Meanwhile, Milhouse van Houten (Bart's blue-haired friend) is forbidden to see Bart.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Accidental Hero: Homer
    • The episode ultimately claims that this trope is the basic definition of Homer.
  • As Himself: Chick Hearn; Basketball player Earvin "Magic" Johnson.
  • Bowdlerization: Mr. Burns originally said "Well, there's nothing left for me to do but kiss my sorry butt goodbye" after Smithers told him about the impending meltdown while Bart in a later scene says, "'Bad influence', my ass!" after Milhouse tells him why he wasn't invited to his birthday party. In most reruns (including the "Every Simpsons Ever" marathon), the lines were changed so that way Mr. Burns says "...sorry ass goodbye," while Bart says, "'Bad influence,' my butt!"
    • Oddly enough, the altered version is on the DVD.
  • Dirty Coward: Mr. Burns stole Smithers' radiation suit and claimed to not know where it was.
  • Emergency Broadcast: A news bulletin shows Kent Brockman interviewing Mr. Burns, who despite the imminent danger, the wail of emergency sirens and increasing urgency of the situation nonchalantly tries to assure the public that experts are trying to quickly resolve the problem and that the public is safe.
  • Forced Meme: The episode attempted to make "Pull a Homer"note  an American slang term. It never worked.
  • Gilligan Cut: Mr. Burns reassures Kent Brockman and his audience that his workers are calmly fixing a malfunction that's leading to a meltdown. Cut to his workers screaming, running, praying and destroying vending machines, and an army of rats fleeing the plant.
  • Heroic BSOD: Homer knows he just got lucky, so as more and more congratulate him for what he's done, he gets increasingly depressed and worried someone will find out the truth.
  • Hypocrite: The owner of the Shelbyville Plant denounces Homer for picking a button at random, despite the fact that none of his employees had the slightest clue what to do during the meltdown either.
  • Imagine the Audience Naked: Homer, on Barney's advice, tries this during his speech at the Shelbyville plant. It backfires when he imagines himself in his underwear, too.
  • Jerkass Realization: Homer is prideful after saving the plant, however after Magic Johnson indirectly labels his dumb luck as making him a fraud, he becomes guilt ridden by the endless praise he receives from his family and friends.
  • Never My Fault: During the flashback of the training Homer didn't pay attention to, we see he was focused on solving a rubix cube. Back at present time, Homer was angrily pointing at the still unsolved cube and blaming it.
  • Oh Crap!
    Homer: I'm sure whoever's problem this is, I'm sure they'll know how to handle it.
    (sees that the meter on his dashboard is extremely high)
  • Person as Verb: "Pull a Homer," defined as "to succeed despite idiocy."
    • In the commentary, it's noted that everyone behind the show was hoping this would catch on for real, and were quite disappointed when it didn't.
  • Running Gag: The title of this episode comes from a running bit where Homer imagines his picture as being next to the dictionary definition for various words: "stupid", "lucky", "hero", and "fraud". It ends with the phrase "to pull a Homer" ending up in the dictionary for real.
  • Shout-Out: A license plate in the parking lot reads Three Mile Island.
  • Special Guest: Jon Lovitz as Aristotle Amadopoulos