Episode - 1F01
First Aired - 10/21/1993
Something is bothering Mr. Burns. He keeps muttering "Bobo" in his sleep, but won't say what it refers to. A flashback shows that "Bobo" was Mr. Burns' teddy bear, back when he lived with his poor, but loving parents. When he was adopted by a twisted, loveless billionaire (a la Citizen Kane
), he tossed the toy aside and drove off, leaving the bear to his little brother, comedian George Burns
. After an ill-received birthday party (which ends with Homer's horrendous attempt at stand-up, followed by Burns' jack-booted thug security guards beating everyone up), Burns finally admits to Smithers what he wants — his teddy bear back!
After being abandoned, Bobo went through a string of different owners. Charles Lindbergh had him when he flew The Spirit of St. Louis
into France, a reference to Lindbergh carrying a Felix the Cat doll with him when he made his famous trans-Atlantic flight. Adolf Hitler
had Bobo during his last hours in his bunker in 1945 Berlin, and Bobo was on the Nautilus
submarine that explored the North Pole in 1957 before ending up frozen in ice and accidentally put into a bag of ice cubes by an ice company. The bag is bought by Bart Simpson (who was sent to the store to buy ice for Homer's bruised head after his disastrous turn as a stand-up comic at Burns' birthday party), who gives the now ragged bear to Maggie.
Burns puts out a reward for Bobo's return, and Homer, after realizing what Maggie is playing with, eagerly calls Burns. However, Maggie is unwilling to give up her new toy, and Homer can't bring himself to force it off her.
Burns tries to get the bear by multiple means, from attempted burglary to cutting off Springfield's TV and beer supply. But even an angry mob can't take stay mad at Maggie, and Burns is forced to have Smithers beg on his behalf. Homer simply tells him to take it up with Maggie. Out in the sandbox, Burns tries to take Bobo by force, but finds his strength lacking. Eventually, he gives up, and tells Maggie to take good care of Bobo. Maggie, seeing how much Burns cares for Bobo, gives the bear to him. Burns, happily reunited, swears to never lose Bobo again...
...And sometime in the very distant future (where apes have ruled the world and Homer has been cloned for slave labor), Burns- now a head on a robotic body- finds Bobo in the desert, and refirms his pledge.
This episode contains examples of:
- 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.
- 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.
- Foreshadowing: Burns' inability to out-muscle Maggie will become very relevant in the "Who Shot Mr. Burns" two-parter.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus and Blooper: Homer's September calendar has 31 days on it (September has 30 days).
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Mr. Burns' birthday is established to be on September 15th. Johnny Ramone (who guest starred on the episode with the rest of The Ramones) died on September 15th of 2004. He wanted the Ramones killed for insulting him, even if he thought they were the Rolling Stones.
- Happy Birthday to You: The Ramones sung it to Mr. Burns, who hated it to the point of ordering The Rolling Stones killed for it.
- Never My Fault: Adolf Hitler blamed Bobo for his downfall.
- Recognition Failure: Mr. Burns thinks the Ramones are the Rolling Stones.
- Shaming the Mob: The mob shamed themselves after seeing how upset Maggie was.
- So Unfunny It's Funny: The sitcom starring Burns and Smithers.
- 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.
- What Could Have Been: Originally, one of the historical moments Bobo was around for was John F. Kennedy's assassination, but the writers thought the joke would be in bad taste (and would cause Fridge Logic, because if Bobo was on the Nautilius in 1957, how would he have ended up in Dallas in 1963 — unless the Nautilius part was the new scene the writers created to cover up the rejected JFK scene?).