Recap: The Simpsons S 4 E 13 Selmas Choice
Episode - 9F11
First Aired - 1/21/1993
Selma once again must find a man so she can raise a family and not die alone like her recently-deceased aunt Gladys, but when Homer falls ill due to a rotten hoagie and Selma volunteers to take Bart and Lisa to Duff Gardens, she soon realizes that she has little to no motherly skills or instinct.
This episode contains examples of (YMMV tropes can be found here):
- Amusement Park of Doom: Duff Gardens is a subversion. The worst the park has is roaming gangs (Dolph, Jimbo, and Kearney, who are shown getting arrested as part of a commercial, but later steal three bumper cars and ride them off into the sunset) and unprofessional/incompetent workers (Surly, the Barrel Roll coaster operator, and the "doctor" who gave Lisa a handful of pills). The real danger comes from Bart wreaking havoc (by pulling down the George Washington robot's pants and getting stuck on a roller coaster) and Lisa getting high on the tainted water in the "Little Land of Duff" ride.
- Bowdlerisation: In-universe, Lou Reed 's "Walk on the Wild Side" (filled with many references to prostitution, racism, transsexuality, and drug abuse) is performed by Hooray for Everything at Duff Gardens. In keeping with the group's "clean-shaven sounds", the lyric "And the colored girls go" is changed to "And all the races sing".
- CallBack: One of the movies Marge rents for a sick Homer is The Erotic Adventures of Hercules, starring Troy McClure as Hercules and Norman Fellnote as Zeus. The Erotic Adventures of Hercules was first mentioned in the episode "Mr. Plow", during Carnival of the Stars.
- Selma continues her search to find a man and have a baby out of fear of dying alone, as seen in "Principal Charming" and "Black Widower".
- Comically Missing the Point: Selma questions Homer's success at raising his children by asking "How do you do it?". Homer responds by explaining how to turn a sheet into a toga.
- Edutainment: Selma assumes the Beer Hall of Presidents is this (it's actually a thinly-disguised ad for Duff Beer) and insists the kids have to sit through the whole thing: "Settle down. Anything this bad has to be educational!"
- Everyone Has Standards: Even Groundskeeper Willie, a brash, slovenly school janitor who has seen his share of disgusting moments in school (mostly bathroom accidents and Wendell the pale kid puking), thinks Selma's dating video of her doing the cherry stem knot trick on a lit cigarette is revolting ("Back to the loch with you, Nessie!")
- Generation Xerox: The babies that all look and belch like Barney Gumble, and the Hans Moleman kids (who are all blind and ugly) in Selma's Imagine Spot of life as Mrs. Hans Moleman.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar and Double Entendre: The slogan for the sperm bank is, "Put Your Sperm in Our Hands".
- Gross-Up Close-Up: Selma chewing on one of her cigarettes, then presenting the disgusting aftermath on her tongue.
- I Ate What?: The rotten hoagie that Homer took home from a nuclear plant picnic. Subverted in that Homer knew what he was eating, but he kept it for so long, it began to turn purple and grow fungus on it (and he still ate it despite that and his obvious illness). This was based on an actual sandwich that one of the writers ate that did go bad overtime, though it never turned purple in real life.
- Jerkass: Surly of the Seven Duffs. He even says so himself when he refuses to get Bart off the rollercoaster ("Hey, Surly only looks out for one guy: Surly.")
- Lie Back And Think Of MacGyver: How Patty and Selma cope with Homer hugging them.
- Love Potion: Selma tries to buy one from a psychic, but the psychic accidentally ingests truth serum after confessing that the "love potion" is made of corn syrup and rubbing alcohol and that "you'll be lucky if it doesn't make your hair fall out..."
- Mushroom Samba: Lisa after drinking the water in "The Little Land of Duff" ride.
- Shout-Out: Duff Gardens is a double-pronged spoof. In real life, the Busch Gardens theme parks (which contain a combination of wildlife exhibits and thrill rides) were still owned by a beer company when this episode was made and ran with the idea, resulting in a park where beer is the main theme. The other spoof target is obviously the Disney Theme Parks, such as "It's a Small World" (Little Land of Duff), The Hall of Presidents (Beer Hall of Presidents) and the Main Street/Disneyland Electrical Parade (Duff Gardens Parade). Even the Seven Duffs are a shout out to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
- After being rescued from swimming naked in the Fermentarium, a strung-out Lisa declares herself "The Lizard Queen!"
- The potato chips that resemble celebrities include Otto van Bismarck (a conservative German statesman who dominated European affairs from the 1860s to his dismissal in 1890), Maurice Chevalier (a French singer and actor), and Jay Leno (an American comedian and talk show host). The one Homer eats is the famous flag-raising statue and picture from the Battle of Iwo Jima.
- The ending where Selma sings "You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman)" to Jub-Jub is based on the Murphy Brown episode where Murphy Brown sings this to her baby. The DVD commentary says it was an obscure reference, as Murphy Brown isn't remembered much today.
- Smoking Is Not Cool: Selma chewing up one of her cigarettes to impress men. Even Groundskeeper Willie thought it was gross.
- Special Guest: Phil Hartman as Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure
- Totally Radical: The rapping Abraham Lincoln robot at the Beer Hall of Presidents is a spoof of this.
- The Un-Smile: Due to Uncanny Valley, the animatronic people in the "Little Land of Duff" ride. Bart asks to get off in a scared tone.