Recap / The Simpsons S 5 E 4 Rosebud

Episode - 1F01
First Aired - 10/21/1993

Rosebud is the fourth episode of the fifth season of The Simpsons.

It's Mr. Burns' birthday, but, despite getting everything a cold, heartless billionaire could ever want, all Mr. Burns really wants is Bobo, the teddy bear he abandoned the day he was adopted into wealth a la Charles Foster Kane. Little does he know that his long-lost childhood toy is closer than he thinks...

This episode contains examples of:

  • Adolf Hitlarious: Hitler blaming a teddy bear for his own failures.
  • AI Is A Crap Shoot: Prof. Frink claims his robotic bear is programmed to be just as cuddly as a normal teddy bear, but it doesn't work out that way.
  • Artistic License Geography and Artistic License History: O.K., we may be able to buy that Charles Lindbergh took Bobo on his trip across the Atlantic Ocean and threw him away as soon as he arrived in Paris (since Lindbergh actually had a Felix the Cat doll when he made his famous trans-Atlantic flight, though it was night when he landed in Paris, not daytime). But Hitler grabbing the bear in the crowd? What was he doing in Paris in 1927? Wasn't he preparing the Nazi Party in Germany for winning the 1933 German elections? Not to mention that the real Lindbergh actually landed at night. Or the fact that Bobo the bear somehow got stuck on top of the "Nautilius" note  in 1957.
  • As Themselves: The Ramones
  • Bad Future: In the year 1,000,000 A.D., apes rule the world, Homer is the only human alive (and has been cloned for slave labor), Mr. Burns is still alive (and kept that way on a robotic body), and Smithers' head is on a robot dog's body.
  • Blatant Lies: Mr. Burns tries to get out of offering Homer a big reward by claiming he's "strapped for cash." The ceiling above him immediately breaks and a torrent of gold and jewels falls on him.
  • Bowdlerization: On Canada's Global network and the UK, the Ramones' performance was edited to remove the lines "I'd just like to say this gig sucks!", "Up yours, Springfield!" and "Go to hell, you old bastard!" (making it seem as if Burns was scared because of the punk music, not the profanity and the punk music).
    • When Princess Diana died, the scene of Mr. Burns getting his photo taken by a paparazzo was cut to remove Burns' line, "Damn you, paparazzo" in the UK because the paparazzi was implicated in causing the car crash that killed Princess Diana.
    • In Australia, the part where Mr. Burns' security guards beat everyone up after he announces that his birthday party is over was cut, as well as the scene where Barney points a gun at Homer after Burns cuts off the Beer supply.
  • Butt Monkey: George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter who aren't allowed at Burns' party, because they only served one term.
  • Deal with the Devil: A newspaper headline notes that Mr. Burns credits his long life to Satan. A picture below the headline shows Burns handing Satan a giant check.
  • Faceless Goons: The guy that whips Homer wears a hood which covers his face.
  • Fan Disservice: Smithers imagines Mr. Burns erotically popping out of a birthday cake for him clad in nothing but a sash (though Smithers sees it as fanservice).
  • Foreshadowing: Burns' inability to out-muscle Maggie will become very relevant in the "Who Shot Mr. Burns" two-parter.
  • Flashback: A large part of it.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus and Blooper: Homer's September calendar has 31 days on it (September has 30 days).
  • Ignored Epiphany:
    Burns: Smithers, I'm so happy. Something amazing has happened, I'm actually happy. Take a note! [resolute] From now on, I'm only going to be good and kind to everyone.
    Smithers: I'm sorry sir, I don't have a pencil.
    Burns: Ehh, don't worry, I'm sure I'll remember it.
  • Iwo Jima Pose: When Smithers presented a slideshow of Mr Burns's life on his birthday, one of the shots was of the Iwo Jima Pose with Mr Burns's face superimposed onto all of the Marines.
  • Lampshading:
    • When young Burns drives off with a billionaire he drops his teddy bear. His father runs behind him and yells for him to come back as the bear is "the symbol of his youth and innocence."
    • When Homer notices Bobo's face behind their aquarium he immediately asks: "How long have we had those fish?"
  • Left Hanging: Milhouse apparently went missing, seeing that his face was seen on a milk carton. But we never find out where he went.
  • Marilyn Maneuver: Mr. Burns does this pose, in the white Monroe dress, on one of the clips Smithers shows to the crowd.
  • Never My Fault: Adolf Hitler blamed Bobo for his downfall.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Marge suggests the family make Mr. Burns double whatever offer he gives them, causing everyone to stare in shock. Marge retorts, "Why can't I be greedy once in a while?"
  • Pun: Two signs the crowd carries after Mr. Burns banned all alcoholic beverage in order to get Bobo the bear back are "We want bear" and "We want beer".
  • Recognition Failure: Mr. Burns thinks the Ramones are The Rolling Stones.
  • Shaming the Mob: The mob shamed themselves after seeing how upset Maggie was.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The opening scenes with Burns in his bed and him going away from his parents during his youth are straight out of Citizen Kane.
    • The chanting soldiers in front of Burns' mansion reference the Witches' soldiers in The Wizard of Oz.
    • Mr. Burns claims he misses Sheriff Lobo.
    • Mr. Burns apparently owns Excalibur, the only nude photo of Mark Twain, the first draft of the US Constitution with the word "suckers" in it, the Ten Commandments, the Venus de Milo and a mummy.
    • Smithers' fantasy of Mr. Burns jumping out of a cake singing "Happy Birthday" references Marilyn Monroe singing "Happy Birthday" to John F. Kennedy, which she didn't do out of a cake though.
    • Mr. Burns' older brother is George Burns, who also was 100 years old by the time he passed away.
    • Homer prepares to do stand-up by practicing in front of the mirror with a golf club in his hand, referencing comedian Bob Hope.
    • Former presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush are seen getting in line to visit Burns' party, but Bush is not allowed inside because he only served one presidential term. Outside he is greeted by Jimmy Carter, who was also sent away.
    • Homer watches Barney The Dinosaur. It becomes a Take That when Mr. Burns interrupts it.
    Barney: "Two plus two is four, two plus two is four, two plus two is four"
    Homer: "(chuckles) Heh, heh, heh, I can see why this is so popular."
    • One of the channels Homer flips to broadcasts Soul Train, but here it is named "Soul Mass Transit System".
    • The final scene with Homer in the future cloned and enslaved by apes references Planet of the Apes.
    • In Homer's Imagine Spot about having his own recording studio, Homer sings the old Big Mac jingle.
  • So Unfunny It's Funny: The sitcom starring Burns and Smithers.
  • Special Guest: The Ramones, albeit with Marky and C.J. instead of Dee Dee and Tommy.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Sort of. To avoid admitting to Smithers he was having a nightmare about his lost teddy bear Bobo, Burns claimed he was having one about missing the TV show Sheriff Lobo. Then we get to see Homer, who actually was dreaming about missing Sheriff Lobo.
  • Take That: To television, in general.
    [Watching Mr. Burns' bad sitcom]
    Lisa: Is it my imagination, or has TV gotten worse?
    Homer: Eh, it's about the same.
  • Tempting Fate: After Mr. Burns attempt to take Bobo from Maggie by force failed, he wondered what could be more humiliating and a paparazzo showed up to photograph him.
    • Depressed because he gave up a fortune by refusing to give Bobo back, Homer says his life can't get any worse. Cue Smithers calling him on the tannoy to report for much worse duties.
  • There Was a Door: The robot bear escapes by going through the walls of Burns' mansion.
  • Time Marches On: Many celebrities featured in this episode have died now. A year after this broadcast Richard Nixon passed away. Joey Ramone died in 2001, Dee Dee Ramone in 2002, both Johnny Ramone and Ronald Reagan passed away in 2004. Tommy Ramone died in 2014.
  • Too Dumb to Live: One of the ice diggers, who went all the way to the Antarctic to get Apu some ice, brings the bags to Apu and says: "You've gotta start selling this for more than a dollar a bag. We lost four men on this expedition!" Apu then angrily challenges him to think of a better way to get ice, and the man can't come up with one.