Recap: The Simpsons S 4 E 10 Lisas First Word

Episode - 9F08
First Aired - 12/3/1992

While waiting for Maggie to say her first word, Homer and Marge tell the story of their life after Bart was born (where they lived in an apartment in a neighborhood that looks like it was from the early 20th century rather than the mid-1980s), how Homer, Marge, and Bart moved into their current house, the early days of Bart and Lisa bonding, and Homer winning Krusty Burger's 1984 Olympics promotion due to a technicality.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Modern audiences (at least the ones who weren't around when it really happened) might not realize that the Krusty Burger Olympic promotion and the subsequent backfiring due to the Soviet boycotting of the Games was based on a real McDonald's promotion that had the same results.
  • Bottle Episode: Of the "Flashback Episode" variety. Aside from the flashbacks, the episode takes place in the Simpsons house with the main family.
  • Continuity Snarl: Krusty the Clown is shown to be literate in this episode, yet in Krusty Gets Busted, an episode that, in-universe, occurred eight years after the events of this one, Krusty openly said that he was illiterate.
  • The '80s: The setting of the flashbacks. It was a time when, as Marge tells her kids, "Ms. Pacman struck a blow for women's rights, a young Joe Piscopo taught us how to laugh..." As the flashback begins, Marge is talking with Irish and Italian housewives about the last episode of M*A*S*H, and Homer sings "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" as he comes home from work. Later, the 1984 Summer Olympics provide a B-plot.
  • The Ghost: Homer has a cousin named Frank who became Francine in 1976, then joined a cult and now goes by the name of "Mother Shabubu" — all because he slept with his parents (not sexually) until he was 21.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: As it turns out, the Simpsons' house is located in what is apparently known as The Rat's Nest, which includes a house that's part of a crime scene, a nice house near a rendering plant, a houseboat, and a house full of cats.
  • Madness Mantra: "Can't sleep, clown will eat me. Can't sleep, clown will eat me. Can't sleep, clown will eat me..."
  • Monster Clown: The headboard of Bart's new bed, thanks to Homer's poor work (though compared to the other crap he's built, the monster clown headboard actually looks good), looks like one to the viewer, and even more so to the poor toddler.
    • "If you should die before you wake...AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
  • Off Model: Sideshow Bob has Sideshow Mel's hair color (greenish-blue) in the commercial for the Krusty Burger giveaway. While it can be handwaved that it's a wig or he had to dye his hair for the show, it actually contradicts with the season one episodes (up until "Krusty Gets Busted") where Sideshow Bob had his own hair (red) and the writers on the DVD commentary point out that Sideshow Bob's hair being greenish-blue instead of red was a coloring mistake.
    • Krusty's beard switches from pink to brown when he has his mental breakdown over his lost money in the sweepstakes.
  • Overly Long Gag: "From now on, the baby sleeps in the crib." "Iron helps us play!" "AHAHAHAHAHAHA!" "Hello, Joe!"
    • Note that it's actually played twice in a naked attempt to pad the episode out, which the writers admitted to doing in the DVD commentary.
  • Primal Scene: Played for Laughs — Bart had walked in on his parents having sex when he was still in diapers, which led to his first words, "Ay caramba!"
  • Sanity Slippage: Bart after Homer makes him that hideous clown bed, and later Krusty when he loses $44 million dollars thanks to the Soviet boycott.
  • The Scapegoat: Bart was initially okay with the idea of having a baby sibling because he thought said potential sibling could've been used as a prop or someone to pass blame on when he misbehaved. But as it turned out, no such luck.
  • Tempting Fate: While discussing his promotion, one of Krusty's aides promises him that all the events chosen are ones the Soviets never lose. Cue a telegram about the boycott.
  • Wham Line: "Daddy." - said by Maggie.