Episode - 1F13
First Aired - 2/24/1994
After discovering that people are more interested in sitcoms like Home Improvement
and Married... with Children
(read: sitcoms about blue-collar fathers who are either incompetent
or the show's Butt Monkey
) than telecasts of space launches, NASA decides to recruit an average man to go into space — and Homer (who has been passed up for an "Employee of the Month" award to an inanimate carbon rod) volunteers after they approach Barney Gumble.
This episode contains examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: Marge admonishes Bart for writing "Insert brain here" on the back of Homer's head...and then starts to laugh at it.
- As Himself: Buzz Aldrin; James Taylor
- Big "NO!": In slow motion, no less.
- Big "Shut Up!"
- Brick Joke: Homer losing to a carbon rod.
- Bart drawing on Homer's head.
- Crack Defeat: See Brick Joke above.
- Double Entendre: Homer's line when calling President Clinton: "Hello, is this President Clinton? Good. I figured if anyone knows how to get Tang, it'd be you." Homer was referring to the powdered drink associated with astronauts (Tang), but, considering Clinton's rep as a Handsome Lech (and his many sex scandals: Jennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, and, later, with his intern, Monica Lewinsky), that line comes off as Homer asking Clinton to find him some easy women.
- Kent Brockman News: A classic example, where Kent Brockman, after seeing an ant float past the news camera, overreacts and immediately assumes a race of 'space ants' has enslaved the crew and is about to take over earth, then apologizes after someone presumably has a talk with him.
- Lampshade Hanging: Homer somehow knows the number to NASA and the White House. He tells him to shut up when they asked how did he got their number.
- The Last Horse Crosses The Finish Line: It took Homer 30 years to figure out the twist ending to Planet of the Apes note
- New Job Episode
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Homer constantly.
- Public Domain Soundtrack: Homer's floating around eating the chips is scored with "The Blue Danube Waltz."
- The Quisling: Kent Brockman. "And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords".
- Taking You with Me. After Homer breaks the handle on the shuttle. Banyon proclaims if he dies he's taking Homer to Hell with him.
- Too Dumb to Live: According to Marge, Homer had trouble using a touch-tone phone when they first met — and he still does.
- Even though Buzz points out the rod can hold the door for them to return to Earth, Homer tries to pull it out, still wanting to bash Banyon.
- You Fool!: "Now we may never know if ants can be trained to sort tiny screws in space!"
- Your Television Hates You: After losing to the rod at work and being ridiculed by his family, a depressed Homer decides to watch TV, saying: "TV respects me. It laughs with me, not at me." He turns it on and sees a man pointing at the camera, laughing, and saying: "You stupid..."