Recap: The Simpsons S 4 E 14 Brother From The Same Planet

Episode - 9F12
First Aired - 2/4/1993

Angry over Homer neglecting to pick him up from soccer practice, Bart poses as a homeless child in dire need of a father figure for the Bigger Brothers Organization and begins spending time with a cool man named Tom. Meanwhile, Lisa tries to break her addiction to a 1-900 line where pretty boy celebrity, Corey, talks to girls.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Amusing Injuries: Homer suffers a lot of these near the end of the episode during his fight with Tom.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad:
    Marge: He said you're a bad father.
    Homer: Oh Marge, when kids say "bad" they mean "good". And "shaking your booty" means "wiggle one's butt". (about to stand up) Permit me to demonstrate.
  • Blame Game: "I know you're mad at me, boy. I'm kinda mad too. I mean, we can sit here talking about who forgot to pick up who until the cows come home. Let's just say, that we're both wrong, and that'll be the end of it."
  • Body Horror: Bart's Imagine Spot of Homer's face melting as the background turns into Hell.
    Homer: Now how about a hug.
  • Brief Accent Immitation: Homer takes on an upper-class English accent while confronting Bart when he comes back from a day out with Tom for no particular reason.
  • Call Back: Bart and Tom watch an episode of Ren and Stimpy, while later Homer and Pepe mirror this by watching an episode of The Itchy and Scratchy Show together.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Homer forgets to pick up Bart after practice, even when he hears the word "Bart" repeatedly around him.
  • Creator Backlash: According to the DVD Commentary, almost everyone on the staff hated this episode—to the point where James L. Brooks ordered then-upcoming showrunner David Mirkin not to "...make shit like this." Also a case of Critical Dissonance, as viewers do consider this a memorable episode.
    • The jokes about Tuesday Night Live being lame and unfunny are this to the writers of The Simpsons who used to be on Saturday Night Live (George Meyer, John Swartzwelder, and Jon Vitti, all of whom worked on the show during its 11th season, which had such a disparate cast and bizarre writing that didn't appeal to anyone that the show nearly got canceled for it).
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Homer catches Bart coming home after his time with Tom, he is at first aggressive but then tries to get Bart to remember the fun times they had, like when he pushed Bart on the swing. Bart coldly replies, "I was faking it." Homer, aghast, shouts, "Liar!" Bart teases him: "Oh yeah, dad? Remember this? Higher, dad! Higher!" Homer is deeply hurt and runs out shouting, "STOP IT!" Obviously, this whole bit is a euphemism for faking orgasms during sex.
  • Eye Scream: In the Ren & Stimpy cartoon, Ren's eyeballs suddenly explode after eating Stimpy's collection of furballs and stomach acid.
  • I Have No Son: Inverted. Bart calls the Bigger Brother program and says he doesn't have a father, then poses as an orphaned street rat whose father abandoned him.
    Bart: My name is Bart Simpson, and I don't have a father.
  • Imagine Spot: "Now how 'bout a hug?"
    • Also Homer has one in which he finally goes to pick up Bart from soccer practice, only to find a spiky-headed skeleton.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After driving Homer from the room by claiming he faked enjoying the fun times he had, Bart lowers his head sadly. He's also deeply apologetic after Homer's fight with Tom ends badly.
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: Homer calls Pepe "Pepsi" at one point.
  • Naked People Are Funny: When Homer finally remembers to pick up Bart, he leaps out of the bathtub to get to the car without bothering to put on clothes first. Fortunately, he shows up fully dressed.
    Lisa: Dad, hide your shame!
    Ned: (off-screen) Hey, Homie, I can see your doodle!
    Homer: (off-screen) Shut up, Flanders.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Original promos for this episode suggested this was a going to be a serious, dramatic episode, with Bart saying "Tom's a better father than you ever were!", followed by a shot of Homer crying. In the actual episode, Homer was crying after confessing that he fell for a record and tape club scam that promises the first couple albums for a penny before jacking up the prices.
  • Shout-Out
    • While Bart waits for Homer, the wind begins to pick up and a nun is sent flying as a result.
    • Milhouse writes "Trab Pu Kcip" on a mirror when Bart tries to psychically project a message to Homer.
    • Bart watches Krusty hosting the Saturday Night Live knock-off Tuesday Night Live and is so disappointed in the episode that he misses Joe Piscopo (who was a cast member on SNL from 1980note  to 1984).
    • Homer compares a Dumpster-dwelling hobo to Oscar the Grouch.
    • Bart and Tom watch Ren and Stimpy on TV. They actually got the show's artists to do the layouts for the scene.
    • The scene where Homer confronts Bart after returning from having fun with Tom is taken from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.
    • Homer and Tom's fight is taken from The Quiet Man, complete with similar music.
  • Special Guest: Phil Hartman as Football Commentator, Nelson's Dad, Tom, and the Tuesday Night Live Announcer
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Early on, a nun gets blown away on the wind, and randomly explodes in the distance.
  • Take That: Bart watches Krusty guest-hosting an episode of Tuesday Night Live, which is so bad that Bart remembers the days when Joe Piscopo was on the show. At the time, most critics were claiming that Saturday Night Live was going into another period of Seasonal Rot due to bad host choices and thin sketches with one-note characters note . The writers on the DVD commentary claimed that this was more of a backhanded Affectionate Parody, as most of The Simpsons writers on the show at the time got their start on SNL and left because they pretty much used their time on the show for extra money and a stepping stone for bigger and better projects.
  • Taxonomic Term Confusion: Homer does this twice. He teaches Pepe the wrong names for constellations and claims that Tom's correct explanation that dolphins are mammals is actually untrue.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: By the Turn of the Millennium, 1-900-numbers fell out of fashion, so this episode's B-plot may seem alien to those who were too young to remember when they were popular. Ditto the record and tape club scams where the first 10 albums are a penny before the prices are jacked up (which, in a world of people streaming music and downloading music legally and illegally, has all but vanished).
  • What Could Have Been: Tom Cruise was supposed to play Tom.