Recap: The Simpsons S 4 E 17 Last Exit To Springfield
Episode - 9F15
First Aired - 3/11/1993
In this episode, considered by TV Guide
and many critics/fans as a series masterpiece, 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 (YMMV tropes can be found here):
- AI Is A Crap Shoot: Burns's fantasy sequence of him and Smithers running the plant includes them opening crates marked "Robot Workers - 100% Loyal." The scene switches to the robots chasing Burns and Smithers, chanting "Crush. Kill. Destroy!!"
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
Mr. Burns: (reading the union contract) Benefits? Perks? A green cookie on St. Patrick's Day?
- Big Entrance: In the McBain scene that opens the episode, McBain bursts out of an ice sculpture.
- British Teeth: The dentist scares Ralph Wiggum into healthy dental habits by showing him a book called "The Big Book of British Smiles".
- The Cameo: 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 What Could Have Been below.
- Comically Missing the Point: Homer, for several seconds, is unable to make a link between the proposed disappearance of the dental plan and Lisa's need for braces.
- Continuity Nod:
- There is a slight Continuity Snarl: Marge ruined Burns' run for governor, not Homer.
- Everybody Laughs Ending: 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.
- Homage: Plenty, including:
- Hubert Selby Jr.'s novel Last Exit to Brooklyn
- Jimmy Hoffa being buried at Giants Stadium
- Incredibly Lame Pun: "And that's the tooth!"
- Innocent Innuendo: 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.)
- Imagine Spot: "Mmm... organized crime..."
- Killer Robot / Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: See AI Is A Crap Shoot, above.
- Mushroom Samba: That's some heavy gas the dentist gives Lisa.
- National Stereotypes: "The Big Book of British Smiles" pokes fun at the idea that British people have bad teeth.
- Overly-Long Gag: "Dental plan!" "Lisa needs braces!"
- The Parody
- Don Fanucci's first appearance in The Godfather Part II (Homer as a mob boss, taking bribes in the form of donuts);
- Lisa's surreal dream under narcosis is a parody of Yellow Submarine, complete with an appearance by The Beatles.
- 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 Tim Burton's Batman.
- The scene where the power plant workers sing in a big circle, overheard by Mr. Burns, is a parody of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.
- The closeup of a bird giving a Burns-like shudder references the infamous loudly-squawking parrot with a transparent eye from Citizen Kane.
- Proscenium Reveal: 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 Evil Laugh, 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.
- Rambling Old Man Monologue: 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.
- Take That: One of the pictures in the "Big Book of British Smiles" shows Prince Charles.
- Turned Against Their Masters: Burns's fantasy sequence.
- What Could Have Been: The dentist was going to be voiced by Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates from Psycho), who died before he could record his lines. Anthony Hopkins and Clint Eastwood also turned down the role. And O. J. Simpson was originally going to be cast as a news panelist, but he turned it down and was replaced by Dr. Joyce Brothers. Given O.J.'s later murder trial, the writers were glad that he wasn't picked.
- Worthy Opponent: 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 Too Dumb to Fool.