Recap: The Simpsons S 4 E 18 So Its Come To This A Simpsons Clip Show

Episode - 9F17
First Aired - 4/1/1993

An April Fools' Day prank leaves Homer in a coma. As the family waits to see if he'll recover, they recount moments from previous episodes...of their lives.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: Homer's is beer, according to him.
  • April Fools' Plot: Bart's prank for April 1 lands Homer in the hospital.
  • Big Eater: Homer temporarily recovers from his coma to reach the candy machine, prompting a repeat of his "Land of Chocolate" fantasy sequence.
  • Clip Show: The first one, and, as the title suggests, one that the writers had no choice but to do. On the DVD Commentary, they admitted to feeling overworked as Season 4 went on, so James L. Brooks suggested a clip show to take the edge off.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The flashback explaining the origin of April Fool's Day shows pagans burning Christians at the stake over a harmless prank.
  • Establishing Shot: Lampshaded when Lisa's memory of playing the saxophone for Homer in "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish" cuts to outside the house.
    Mike Reiss: Lisa's memory cut to an establishing shot.
  • Moral Myopia: Bart, in retaliation for a series of mean spirited April Fools pranks pulled by Homer, finally pulls one over on him, only to accidentally send him into a coma. After Bart confesses to the prank, Homer wakes up and strangles him. This is just plain wrong, because Homer pulled some harmful if not potentially deadly pranks, including duct-taping Bart's eyes shut and putting milk in the fridge that had been next to a furnace for six weeks yet never apologized. Father of the year material he ain't, that's for sure.
  • Police Are Useless: Wiggum is content to blow off the explosion at the Simpsons' house... until he learns beer is coming out of the chimney.
  • Shout-Out: A reference is made to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, when Barney smothers Homer with a pillow, then escapes through the window and Don McLean's song "Vincent".
  • Stock Footage: The episode is a clip show, thus uses a lot of clips from previous episodes.
  • What Could Have Been: FOX wanted four clip shows per season to add more to the episode count and for cheaper the cost. Writers and producers refused, fearing that would alienate fans. The next clip show (the one where Marge wants to talk to the family about romance) wouldn't be until season six.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: During the flashback explaining the origins of April Fools' Day. The Christians (played by the Flanders) prank the pagans (played by the Simpsons). One angry growl later and the Christians are being burned at the stake.