Recap: The Simpsons S 5 E 18 Burns Heir

Episode - 1F16
First Aired - 4/14/1994

After nearly drowning in his bathtub, Mr. Burns realizes that, if he did die, there'd be no one to carry on his wealth and legacynote , since he has no childrennote , so he holds an audition for his next heir. When all the kids (including Bart and Lisa) lose out, Bart vandalizes Burns' house and wins a place in the old man's heart...but the more he stays with Mr. Burns, the more The Simpsons fear that Bart is becoming Burns-like.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: Marge and Homer after Mr. Burns signed the papers naming Bart his heir.
    Homer: "Yeah, let's push him down the steps."
  • Comically Missing the Point: At the beginning of the episode, Homer got an "award". When he learned the "award" consisted of sweeping chimneys, he gave another "Woo-Hoo".
  • Constrained Writing: Mr Burns tells Lenny that he will be fired unless he is able to explain why he shouldn't be without using the letter E.
    Lenny: Uh, I'm a... good... work... guy...
    Mr. Burns: You're fired.
    Lenny: But I didn't say...
    Mr. Burns: You will. (pushes trapdoor button)
    Lenny: (falling) EEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeee!
  • Continuity Snarl: Krusty reads a telegram in a 1982 episode of his show, even though he is supposed to be illiterate. Though he also read a telegram on the Soviet boycott of the 1984 Olympics.
    • When Mr. Burns' life flashes before his eyes, we see a nanny feeding him a bottle (implying that Burns has always been from a rich family), but in the episode "Rosebud," Mr. Burns' childhood was very similar to that of Charles Foster Kane from Citizen Kane (read: he grew up in a poor, but loving family and was adopted by a twisted, loveless billionaire).
  • Crazy-Prepared: As the commentary points out, there's no logical reason for Krusty to have a map of the Falkland Islands on his show unless he somehow knew they were going to be invaded.
  • Description Cut: When Homer was cleaning chimneys, he commented the higher ups were probably working harder. Cut to Mr. Burns relaxing at a bathtub watching Homer's misery on TV and eating potato chips.
  • Epic Fail: Mr. Burns is so weak that having a sponge placed over him causes him to sink and nearly drown in the bathtub.
  • Guilty Pleasures: Homer's "secret shame" is revealed to be eating flowers.
  • Heir Club for Men: Burns wouldn't mark any girl as his heir (and Milhouse rethinks his plan to audition again dressed as a girl).
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Bart lures Mr Burns into falling down the same hatch he uses to dispose of employees.
  • Literal Ass Kicking: Mr. Burns does this to Bart after the latter's horrible audition. Homer still cracks up over it when giving his "never try" lesson to his kids.
    Homer: (chuckles) Right in the butt. That was great.
  • Parental Favoritism: Homer telling Lisa to stop getting on the way of the peas her rich brother throws.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Bart loves his father more than he loves Mr. Burns' money.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The actor Burns hires to play Homer is voiced by Dan Castellaneta, doing an impression of Michael Caine. The producers wanted Michael Caine to actually voice himself playing Homer Simpson, but Caine turned it down.
    • The part during the deleted scene where the robotic Richard Simmons gets shot in the face, which regenerates, spoofs a similar scene from Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Smithers taking a sawn-off pump shotgun out of his jacket in the same scene spoofs how Kyle Reese carried a shotgun in The Terminator.
    • When Mr. Burns sees Bart from his window and asks what that day is, a random kid claims it's Christmas. In A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge interacts with a random kid that way after seeing how the future will be if he doesn't learn his lesson.
  • Spoof Aesop: "Kids, you tried your best, and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try."
  • Tempting Fate: Krusty explains how he can deliver a pizza to Mr. Burns' mansion while his show is on live by saying he put on an old rerun, and no-one will tell the difference.
    Rerun!Krusty: (is handed a telegram) Children, remain calm. The Falkland Islands have just been invaded. I repeat, the Falklands have just been invaded!
  • You No Take Candle: Bart's audition to be Mr. Burns's heir consists of reading off horribly written cue cards from Homer.
    Bart: Hello, Mister... Kurns. I bad want... money now. Me sick.
    Homer: Ooh, he card reads good.
    Bart: So pick please me, Mr. Burns.
    Homer: It's "Kurns", stupid!
    Marge: No it's not.
    Homer: Disregard.