Recap: The Simpsons S 6 E 14 Barts Comet

Episode - 2F11
First Aired - 2/5/1995

After unleashing an unflattering balloon caricature of Principal Skinner, Bart is forced to help Skinner with his early-morning astronomy...and Bart fooling around with the telescope leads to the discovery of a comet that's on a collision course with Springfield.

This episode contains examples of (YMMV):

  • Achievements in Ignorance: Skinner has been at his astronomy for years, makes very calculated and precise adjustments with his telescope with the hope of finding something interesting, and has ultimately turned up nothing. Bart screws around with the telescope for a few seconds, spins it around haphazardly, and discovers a comet.
  • Bait and Switch: Ned finds all of Springfield right outside his bomb shelter, glaring at him and in some cases carrying weapons. Moe angrily states they want in the shelter themselves, but Ned tells them there's no space. So Moe just calmly announces they'll all "go off and die, then", and everyone turns to leave.
  • Big "NO!": Skinner unleashes four of them over the course of the episode.
  • Brick Joke: A running one involving the "Big Butt Skinner" balloon.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Early on, Homer shrugs off the comet's perceived threat, claiming that it will burn up in the atmosphere and end up "no bigger than a Chihuahua's head." That's exactly what happens, complete with a nearby Chihuahua for comparison.
    Bart: And the weirdest thing of all is that dad was right all along.
    Homer: I know kids, I'm scared too! (The family hugs together, terrified)
  • Democracy Is Bad: Congress is about to pass a bill on the evacuation of Springfield from the comet, but then the bill has pornography rider attached to it, and is promptly struck down. This leads Kent Brockman to declare: "I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Democracy simply doesn't work."
  • Homage: The final act has several to The Twilight Zone episode "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street".
  • Hypocrite: Homer condemns everyone (including the Flanders family) for Ned having to leave the shelter when it was Homer's own idea in the first place.
  • Irony: Out of all people in the shelter, the one to leave was Ned Flanders, who built it in the first place.
    • The only thing the comet destroyed was the bomb-shelter that was supposed to protect everybody (it also pops the balloon).
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Hypocrisy or not, Homer is the first one to leave the shelter to look for Ned. Moe shortly follows.
    • Jerkass Has a Point: And he knew the sound Moe was making was a Baby Ox. Which prompts Moe to be the first after Homer to follow him.
  • Noodle Incident: Skinner got even with Principal Kohoutek... "him and that little boy of his."
    • Homer's story of how he drove away from some unnamed crime and missed work.
  • Rule of Three: Skinner's Big "NO!" when he finds out Bart discovered a comet, that he just let go of the balloon and read the front page article about how the Prez says school is for losers.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After Skinner's attempts to down the balloon fail, Bart attempts to flee the scene, to no avail. ("Race you to Utah, Milhouse.")
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The congressman presenting the bill on the evacuation of Springfield from the comet is about to mention the state where the town is when he's interrupted by another congressman attaching pornography rider to it.