[[caption-width-right:350:[[MemeticMutation Dental Plan! Lisa Needs Braces!]]]]
Episode - 9F15\\
First Aired - 3/11/1993

In this episode, cited by ''Entertainment Weekly'' and several other critics as the series' magnum opus, Homer is unwittingly made the leader of the nuclear plant's labor union so he can fight back against Mr. Burns revoking the workers' dental plan, which Lisa needs for invisible braces.

!!This episode contains examples of:

* AccidentalBargainingSkills: Homer is unqualified to lead a union, but events coincide to make him look successful at it. Notable examples include playing hardball with Mr. Burns's offers via needing to go to the bathroom and thinking Burns is hitting on him, and his attempt to quit the job is mistaken as the cue to strike.
* TheAggressiveDrugDealer: Mendoza creates “swank,” a drug [[UpToEleven 10x more addictive than marijuana]] (which is hilarious considering marijuana is nowhere near as addictive as say cocaine or heroin).
-->'''Mendoza''': [[ForTheEvulz To human misery!]]
* AIIsACrapshoot: Burns's fantasy sequence of him and Smithers running the plant includes them opening crates marked "Robot Workers - [[BlatantLies 100% Loyal.]]" The scene switches to [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters the robots chasing Burns and Smithers]], chanting "CrushKillDestroy!"
* AnachronismStew: When Mr. Burns shuts off all the power to the city, one shot of a street shows several people dressed like they're from the 1930s.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking:
-->'''Mr. Burns:''' ''(reading the union contract)'' Benefits? Perks? A green cookie on St. Patrick's Day?
** After giving Homer a tour of his estate, which includes the world's biggest TV, an aviary filled with vultures that look like him (at least one does), and [[MonkeysOnATypewriter 1000 monkeys on typewriters]], Mr. Burns finishes up inside his otherwise ordinary basement.
--->'''Mr. Burns:''' Yes, I should stop ending the tour with it.
* BigEntrance: In the [=McBain=] scene that opens the episode, [=McBain=] bursts out of an ice sculpture.
-->'''[=McBain=]:''' [[HilariousInHindsight Ice to]] [[Film/{{BatmanAndRobin}} see you]]!
* BloodierAndGorier: The [=McBain=] movie that begins the episode is ''filled'' with violence, and blood going everywhere, including at least one on-screen headshot, complete with splatter.
* BookcasePassage: Burns uses one to get to his secret control room.
* BracesOfOrthodonticOverkill: The trope was originally called "Lisa Needs Braces" after the set Lisa is forced to wear, instead of the invisible ones they could afford with the dental plan. The dentist warns her not to get them wet, as they predate stainless steel.
* BritishTeeth: The dentist scares Ralph Wiggum into healthy dental habits by showing him a book called "The Big Book of British Smiles."
* TheCameo: Dr. Joyce Brothers appears in a single scene as the third member of Kent Brockman's discussion panel. Her only line of dialogue is, "I brought my own mic!" See WhatCouldHaveBeen below.
* CardCarryingVillain: The bad guy in the [=McBain=] movie ("To human misery!"). Homer reassures Bart there's [[TemptingFate no one that evil in real life]].
* ComicallyCrossEyed: Principal Skinner tells a pupil to "put his eyes straight." When he answers, "But I can't," he realizes his mistake and says, "Oops, sorry Quigley!"
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: Homer, for several seconds, is unable to make a link between the proposed disappearance of the dental plan and Lisa's need for braces.
** Homer again during the scene mentioned in the InnocentInnuendo entry.
** When Mr. Burns asks Smithers to get him some strikebreakers, "the kind they had in the '30s," [[LiteralMinded he brings actual strikebreakers from the '30s]].
* ContinuityNod:
-->'''Mr. Burns:''' ''(watching Homer tear up the contract on a hidden camera)'' Who is that firebrand, Smithers?\\
'''Mr. Smithers:''' That's Homer Simpson.\\
'''Mr. Burns:''' Simpson, eh? New man?\\
'''Mr. Smithers:''' Actually, sir, [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS2E4TwoCarsInEveryGarageAndThreeEyesOnEveryFish he thwarted your campaign for governor]], [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS2E10BartGetsHitByACar you ran over his son]], [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS3E5HomerDefined he saved the plant from meltdown]], [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS2E18BrushWithGreatness his wife painted you in the nude]]...\\
'''Mr. Burns:''' Doesn't ring a bell.
* DepravedDentist: Doctor Wolfe isn't depraved, but he is unflinchingly strict, and torments Ralph with "The Big Book of British Smiles," which reduces poor Ralph to tears. He also [[LivingLieDetector knows when someone's lying]].
* DescriptionCut:
** While watching the film at the beginning, Homer tells Bart no one could be as evil as the villain from it. Cut to Mister Burns watching a window washer dangling from a wire and laughing.
** And this:
-->'''Homer:''' Guys are always patting my bald head for luck, pinching my belly to hear my girlish laugh.\\
'''Marge:''' Hmm, that doesn't sound like they like you at all.\\
'''Homer:''' You know, I think you're right. First thing tomorrow morning, I'm gonna punch Lenny in the back of the head!\\
''(The next morning, Homer punches Lenny in the back of the head.)''
* DisproportionateRetribution:
** The workers who voted for the strike beat up the guy they believe to be the one who voted against it.
** The workers go on strike, so Mr. Burns blacks out the entire city.
* DoubleEntendre: See InnocentInnuendo. Homer announces that he's not interested in "backdoor shenanigans" as he's convinced that Burns [[MistakenForGay is coming on to him]]. Burns instead takes it as a sign that Homer is a tough negotiator.
-->'''Homer:''' Sorry, Mr. Burns, but I don't go in for these backdoor shenanigans. Sure, I'm flattered, maybe even a little curious, but the answer is no!
* EpicFail: After going through all those security doors, the underground control room has a falling apart screen door that leads outside, which was left open and a stray dog came in.
* EveryScarHasAStory: Homer tells us where he got his scars.
* EverybodyLaughsEnding: The family laughs in the dentist office in response to Lisa's lame pun (see below). Then it turns out they are laughing because the dentist left the laughing gas on.
* EvilLaugh:
** The Don in the FakeActionPrologue, which then fades over to Mr Burns laughing the same way.
** Later Lisa laughs like this on the dentist chair, parodying the Joker in ''Film/{{Batman}}''.
* EvilStoleMyFaith: Parodied. When the school photographer sees Lisa’s braces, he goes from being happy-go-lucky to gasping, “There is no God.” For extra esteem-shattering points, he encouraged her not to be shy to smile because he assumed it'd be a beautiful one.
* FailedASpotCheck: How did no-one notice the human-shaped lump on the football pitch?
** [[RiddleForTheAges How the hell did Mcbain get inside that ice sculpture]]?
* FantasyTwist: The moment in Mr Burns's fantasy of how easy it would be for himself and Smithers to run the plant alone when they get attacked by their robot workers.
* {{Homage}}: Plenty, including:
** Hubert Selby Jr.'s novel ''Last Exit to Brooklyn''
** Jimmy Hoffa being buried at Giants Stadium
* IdiotBall: Why, after gunning down all of the members of Mendoza’s party ([[InnocentBystander including the waiters and musicians!]]), does [=McBain=] then take a crab puff from Mendoza?
* IgnoredExpert: The boy in the atom mill who warned about the rise of the workers' union
-->'''Burns''': If only we had listened to that boy, [[DisproportionateRetribution instead of walling him up in the abandoned coke oven]].
* ImagineSpot: "[[MadLibsCatchPhrase Mmm... organized crime...]]"
* IncrediblyLamePun: "And that's the tooth!"
** Also Mcbain's PreAssKickingOneLiner in the beginning sequence:
-->'''[=McBain=]''': ''[having burst out of an ice sculpture at a supervillain's party] Ice to see you!
* InnocentInnuendo: Homer thought Mr. Burns was "coming on to him".
-->'''Mr. Burns:''' After all, negotiations make strange bedfellows. ''(winks with a chuckle)''\\
''(Homer screams in his mind.)''
** Later on, Mr. Burns watches Homer apparently exercising (he's not, he's trying to get a Sugar Daddy off his back).
-->'''Mr. Burns:''' Look at him, strutting about like he's cock of the walk. Well, let me tell you, Homer Simpson is cock of ''nothing''!
-->'''Mr. Smithers:''' ''(who's caught the innuendo)'' Hrrm.
* JerkassHasAPoint: Mr. Burns isn't exactly wrong that some of the provisions in the union contract are ridiculous ("a green cookie on St. Patrick's Day"?).
* KarmaHoudini: The small guy who never plays along with his coworkers and blames the muscular guy sitting next to him, who gets beat up by just about everyone else in the room, while the actual dissenter chuckles to himself. The coworkers are another example because they never receive any sort of punishment for beating up the muscular guy.
* KentBrockmanNews: Averted, for once Brockman's newspiece isn't frivolous, since it's covering the worker's strike. But he does brush off Mr. Burns' ranting about hellish vengeance.
* KickTheDog: A literal version when Burns and Smithers head towards the underground control room which gives Springfield its electricity, and find a stray puppy had wandered into the room. Burns sighs "Oh, for Heaven's sake!" kicks it out of the shack, and slams the door shut.
* KillerRobot [=/=] SuperPoweredRobotMeterMaids: See AIIsACrapShoot, above.
* LargeHam:
** Doctor Wolfe takes his dentistry seriously.
** Mr. Burns during his "opening tirade" on the news.
-->'''Burns:''' Ten minutes from now, I will wreak a terrible vengeance upon this city! No-one will be spared! '''''NO-ONE!'''''
* TheLastTitle: The name of the episode.
* MistakenForProfound: Throughout the episode Burns interprets Homer's idiocy and oafish behaviour as the work of a tough and skilled negotiator. Only right at the end does he realize he was mistaken.
* MonkeysOnATypewriter: Burns shows Homer a room containing a [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys thousand monkeys]] chained up to a thousand typewriters. He's hoping that they'll write "the greatest novel known to man". He also appears to have gotten them addicted to nicotine, as one has a cigarette and another is seen with a pipe.
* MonochromePast: Burns' flashback to his youth is shown in shades of [[RealIsBrown brown]].
* MoodWhiplash: The triumphant scene of the strike ending is followed by the power going back on across Springfield... including at the Red Light district and the fake vomit factory. Yay?
* MushroomSamba: That's some heavy gas the dentist gives Lisa.
* NationalStereotypes: "The Big Book of British Smiles" pokes fun at the idea that British people have bad teeth.
* NoodleIncident:
** What exactly happened to the last union representative that wound up with him buried in a football field. It's implied later on that the workers know ''exactly'' what happened to him.
** Homer keeps asking Lenny to get his SugarDaddy off his back.
* OhCrap: At the end of Lisa's MushroomSamba, Music/TheBeatles get this when their submarine is about to crash into a drawing of UsefulNotes/QueenVictoria.
* OnOneCondition: Mr. Burns decides to give in to the union's demands and reinstates their dental plan privileges, but on the condition that Homer resigns as union president. Homer is ecstatic.
* OneDialogueTwoConversations: Mr. Burns attempts to bribe Homer, but Homer thinks Mr. Burns is hitting on him.
* OneLinerNameOneLiner: Burns line before the flashback to his youth: "Oh-ho, it didn't use to be this way, Smithers. No, it didn't use to be this way at all."
* OverlyLongGag: "Dental plan!" "Lisa needs braces!"
* TheParody
** Don Fanucci's first appearance in ''Film/TheGodfather Part II'' (Homer as a mob boss, taking bribes in the form of donuts);
** Lisa's surreal dream under narcosis is a parody of ''WesternAnimation/YellowSubmarine'', complete with an appearance by Music/TheBeatles.
** The scene where she checks her reflection in the mirror and laughs demonically is a parody of the Joker looking into a mirror after his facelift in Creator/TimBurton's ''Film/{{Batman}}''.
** The montage Burns and Smithers heading towards the power grid is a parody of ''Series/GetSmart''.
** Mr. Burns quotes Captain Ahab in ''Literature/MobyDick'' [[note]]or [[Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan Khan Noonien Singh]][[/note]] when he shuts down the power in Springfield.
** The scene where the power plant workers sing in a big circle, overheard by Mr. Burns, is a parody of ''WesternAnimation/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas''.
** The closeup of a bird giving a Burns-like shudder references the infamous loudly-squawking parrot with a transparent eye from ''Film/CitizenKane''.
* PottyEmergency: Homer drinks too much "beer and coffee and watermelon" during his meeting with Mr. Burns.
* ProsceniumReveal: The episode opens with a villain revealing a new drug and making a toast "to human misery!" Suddenly, [=McBain=] appears and kills the villain's accomplices, only to be gassed by salmon puff. During the EvilLaugh, it is revealed that Bart and Homer are watching a [=McBain=] movie.
-->'''Bart:''' That is one evil dude.\\
'''Homer:''' It's just a movie, son. There's nobody that evil in real life.
* ProtestSong: A parody of a 30s style union folk song, though the main refrain is good enough to pass for the real thing:
--> "So we'll march day and night\\
By the big cooling tower\\
They have the plant\\
But we have the power"
* RamblingOldManMonologue: Grandpa's favorite tactic in how to break up strikes is to tell stories that don't go anywhere. He then launches straight into the page quote.
* ReluctantRuler: Homer as president of the Springfield Power Plant Union. When Burns "pressures" him to resign to have the dental plan reinstated, he is overjoyed.
* SlowElectricity: The BigBlackout caused by Burns shutting down the plant is travelling from neighborhood to neighborhood.
* StrikeEpisode: Homer becomes the leader of the power plant's union and leads a strike against Mr. Burns when he revokes their dental plan (because [[MemeticMutation Lisa needs braces]]).
* StrongFamilyResemblance: During the flashback to Mr. Burn's youth, Burns' grandfather looks just like him. Also one of the thugs who drags away the young thief is identical to one of the hired goons from later on.
* StoryboardingTheApocalypse: The DepravedDentist laying out Lisa's future without braces.
* SureLetsGoWithThat:
-->''[Homer runs into a long corridor and begins checking every room.]''\\
'''Homer:''' Nope... nope... nope...\\
''[Homer returns.]''\\
'''Mr. Burns:''' Find the bathroom alright?\\
'''Homer:''' Uh...yeah.
* TakeThat: One of the pictures in the "Big Book of British Smiles" shows [[UsefulNotes/TheBritishRoyalFamily Prince Charles]].
* TurnedAgainstTheirMasters: Burns's fantasy sequence.
* UncattyResemblance: One of the vultures in Burns's aviary looks like him. Even sounds like him.
* WorthyOpponent: Mr. Burns comes to regard Homer as this, as all of his attempts to buy or thwart Homer fail spectacularly. Of course, it's really all because Homer is TooDumbToFool.
-->'''Mr. Burns:''' Smithers, I'm beginning to think that Homer Simpson is not the brilliant tactician I thought he was.
* WretchedHive: Springfield, exemplified when the power comes back on. Among the things we see lighting up again are the adult movie theatres, and the fake vomit factory.