main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Recap: The Simpsons S 5 E 2 Cape Feare
Episode - 9F22
First Aired - 10/7/1993

Bart is plagued with threatening letters written in blood (except for one written in black by Homer that reads, "I KILL YOU SCUM") and by the recently-paroled Sideshow Bob. To keep Bart from getting killed (again), The Simpsons go into witness protection and move away to Terror Lake.

This episode contains examples of (YMMV items can be found here):

  • Banned in China: Airing of the episode in Germany was delayed for six years, because the "Up Late with McBain" sequence featured the show announcer dressed in S.S. gear, complete with a swastika armband (display of Nazi symbols is illegal regardless of context in Germany). It was finally broadcast in 1999 in a dubbed and edited version.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Lisa's line, "The FOX network has sunk to a new low" after watching Up Late With McBain.
  • Brick Joke: Grampa is left behind without his pills while the Simpsons leave town. When they return home, he has apparently turned into a woman without his pills.
  • The Cast Showoff: This episode takes advantage of Kelsey Grammer's singing voice.
  • The Chew Toy: Bob takes a hell of a lot of slapstick abuse in this episode from losing blood, hitting speedbumps, driving through cacti, stepping on rakes, getting crushed by an entire parade including elephants...and it is hilarious.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Bart's strategy for distracting Bob is foreshadowed by the family listening to the entire works of Gilbert and Sullivan on the way to Terror Lake.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: Sideshow Bob writes letters to Bart, to-do lists, letters to Reader's Digest, everything in blood while he's in prison. Lampshaded by Snake when Bob gets woozy from the blood loss:
    Snake: Use a pen, Sideshow Bob!
  • Gilligan Cut: The Simpsons tried to hire someone to drive Bob away from town. The guy sounded like he'd be tough enough for the job. Cut to him whining to Bob while pathetically asking him to leave town.
  • Goshdarn It To Heck
    Sideshow Bob: Bart Simpson? Ha! The spirited little scamp who twice foiled my evil schemes and sent me to this dank, urine soaked hellhole?
    Parole officer: Uh, we object to the term "urine-soaked hellhole" when you could have said "pee-pee-soaked heckhole".
    Sideshow Bob: Cheerfully withdrawn.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: A woman on Sideshow Bob's parole board who declares, "No one who speaks German can be an evil man!"
  • Humiliation Conga: Sideshow Bob goes through a lot of pain before he can get to Bart.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Homer's opinion of the guy (Sideshow Bob) smoking a cigar in front of his Family at the movies while his cigar was larger.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The only options the Witness Relocation Program offers for the Simpsons to move to are Terror Lake, New Horrorfield, and Screamville.
    Homer: Oooh, Ice Creamville!
    Agent: No, Screamville.
    (Homer screams)
  • Leitmotif: Sideshow Bob gains one in this episode.
  • Logo Joke: Midway through the episode, when the Simpsons get new identities, the opening plays again, this time introducing "The Thompsons" and gradually zooming in on their houseboat.
  • Noodle Incident and Riddle for the Ages: Just how, when, and why did Bart put the "Wide Load" tattoo on Homer's butt?
    • Also, why is Dr. Demento one of Bart's mortal enemies?
    • And what did Linda Lavin do to deserve getting prank-called by Bart?
  • Overly-Long Gag: Bob vs. rakes, Round 1! It had to be shortened in syndication because of how long it was (which, according to commentary, was very long, as the episode was running short and they needed padding)
  • Rake Take: The first of many for Sideshow Bob.
  • Shout-Out: Obviously, to the movie Cape Fear.
  • Special Guest: Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob
  • Stab The Salad: Happens to Bart several times as he worries about who might be out to get him. Homer even pulls this twice when they're in Terror Lake.
  • Tempting Fate: "Surely there is no harm in laying in the middle of a public street." Cue a parade... with elephants.
  • Underside Ride: How Sideshow Bob follows the family.
    • "Hey kids, who wants to drive through that cactus patch?"

The Simpsons S 5 E 1 Homers Barbershop QuartetRecap/The SimpsonsThe Simpsons S 5 E 3 Homer Goes To College

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy