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Recap: The Simpsons S 7 E 19 A Fish Called Selma
Episode - 3F15
First Aired - 3/24/1996

When Troy McClure (whom you may remember him from such Simpsons episodes as "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" and "Lisa the Vegetarian"!) is sentenced to renew his driver's license after getting pulled over for erratic driving, he meets Selma (who is still looking for a man so she can have a family and not die alone) and decides to marry her to revive his moribund movie career (which fizzled out due to bad project choices and the urban legend that he is sexually attracted to fish, which got him in trouble at the Springfield Aquarium), which Selma has no problem with — until Troy's agent wants Troy and Selma to have a baby.

Tropes:

  • Babies Make Everything Better: Played for Drama — Troy's agent wants Troy and Selma to have a baby, but Troy doesn't know the first thing about sex with a real woman and Selma doesn't want to bring a child into a sham marriage.
  • The Beard: Selma, for Troy (only Troy isn't gay, just allegedly sexually attracted to sea life).
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: The final line reveals 20th Century Fox is willing to produce Troy's ridiculously outdated-sounding vanity project.
  • Brutal Honesty:
    Selma: Is this a sham marriage!?
    Troy: Sure, baby. Is that a problem?
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: "Marge, could you close your eyes? I'm trying to sleep."
  • Career Resurrection: Troy undergoes one after marrying Selma.
  • Character Development: The entire point of the episode was to provide this for Troy.
    • A Day in the Limelight: For Troy McClure and Selma. The Simpsons do appear, but they're pretty much the supporting cast.
  • Earth All Along: A line from Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want to Get Off is the Trope Namer.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Selma may be a jerk to her brother-in-law, Homer, on many occasions and not seem to mind that she's being used to help Troy McClure's career, but she refuses to have a baby with him, as she feels bringing a child into a sham marriage will negatively affect the kid.
  • The Fantastic Trope of Wonderous Titles: The Contrabulous Fabtraption of Professor Horatio Hufnagel currently provides this trope's page image.
  • Hypocritical Humor
    Parker: Paramount wants you to star in a buddy comedy with Rob Lowe and Hugh Grant.
    Troy: Those sick freaks?!note 
  • I'm Going To Disney World: Troy's reaction to the possibility of being McBain's sidekick:
    Hot damn! I'm going to Sea World!
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: When Troy tries to have sex with Selma to conceive a child, he just keeps making roaring noise at the door of their bedroom. Selma wants to break the ice and offers him some wine. He quickly runs to the bed, empties both glasses, and returns to the door to continue with the roaring.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: MacArthur Parker looks like his voice actor, Jeff Goldblum.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Troy is able to win over Selma by talking about the benefits she gets out of the sham marriage.
  • Punny Name: MacArthur Parker is one on the song "MacArthur Park".
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The premise of a celebrity marrying solely to convince the public that they have non-deviant sexual urges may have been inspired by the failed Michael Jackson-Lisa Marie Presley marriage, which ended a few months before this episode ran and was widely suspected of being a career-reviving ploy. (Columnist Jonah Goldberg actually referenced this episode in a National Review piece in 2005, as Jackson's child molestation trial was nearing its end.)
  • Shout-Out: The musical Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want to Get Off!, in addition to being a parody of Planet of the Apes, also contains the number "Dr. Zaius", set to a Suspiciously Similar Song to Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus". See also Punny Name above.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Subverted; it looks like Homer might object, but he's too busy humming the tune to Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll, Part 2" in his head.
  • The Other Darrin: Normally, Joe Mantegna voices Fat Tony whenever Fat Tony appears on The Simpsons. However, for this episode, Phil Hartman (who already spent most of the episode as Troy McClure) voiced Fat Tony (in the short part where Fat Tony tells one of his mooks that when he said that Troy McClure sleeps with the fishes, he didn't mean it in the sense of "The Mafia encased his feet in cement and drowned him").
  • The Unreveal: Troy's "abnormality" is purposefully alluded to but never spelled out (most likely due to censorship reasons, but Fat Tony's line about Troy McClure "sleeping with the fishes" — which, in this case, doesn't mean that Troy was drowned by the Mafia — is about as close to alluding to Troy's sexual fetish as primetime TV will allow)
  • Weird Aside: How Homer lets the truth slip:
    Marge: It was a beautiful wedding. I don't think I've seen Selma happier.
    Homer: That reminds me Troy said something interesting last night at the bar. Apparently he doesn't really love Selma and the marriage is just a sham to help his career. Well, enough talk. Let's snuggle.
    Marge: WHAT?!
  • You Might Remember Me from...: It's a Troy episode, so this trope is all over the place.
The Simpsons S 7 E 18 The Day The Violence DiedRecap/The SimpsonsThe Simpsons S 7 E 20 Bart On The Road

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