Recap / The Simpsons S 7 E 7 King Size Homer

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/king_size_homer_promo_picture.jpg
Episode - 3F05
First Aired - 11/5/1995

Mr. Burns decides to help get the workers at the Power Plant in shape by implementing a mandatory ten-minute morning calisthenics program. Homer, loathing the thought of daily exercise, notices that Charlie, a fellow employee, gets to work from home following an injury, and immediately begins scheming to gain this "perk" for himself. A bit of research reveals that anyone who weighs three hundred pounds or more qualifies as disabled, and he quickly realizes that he can use one of his greatest loves—eating—to achieve his dream of working from home (which he imagines will consist of using his usual terminal while Marge flatters him and Flanders suffers from the rat race). Dr. Nick advises Homer to eat from the "neglected food groups"—including "whipped, congealed, and choco-tastic"—to reach his goal weight.

One Shopping Montage of disgustingly fattening foods later, Homer has begun packing on the pounds at an alarming rate, worrying Marge and Lisa, but earning Bart's approval. Homer eventually tops out at 315 pounds, qualifying him as disabled (and requiring him to wear a flowered muumuu and "fat guy hat"). True to his word, Mr. Burns installs a computer terminal in the Simpsons' home, tasking Homer with the duty of repeatedly venting the plant's nuclear gas to prevent a core meltdown. After some initial confusion, Homer discovers that all he needs to do is press the "Y" button to complete the assignment. At first, things seem wonderful—especially after Homer rigs up a drinking bird to hit the button for him—but he soon discovers that being morbidly obese isn't what he dreamed it would be. Marge admits that she no longer finds him sexually attractive, the general public bullies him, and he cannot enjoy things such as a trip to the movies, as the cinema lacks the ability to accommodate him.

Upon returning home from an unauthorized break, Homer discovers that the drinking bird has tipped over, and the gas build-up has reached a critical point that requires a manual release. With his fingers too fat to dial a telephone, Homer begins a mad dash to the power plant, eventually commandeering an ice cream truck to reach the site in time. All of the employees are too excited at the thought of ice cream to listen to Homer's warnings, and somehow miss the leaking gas tank that's ten feet away, so he's forced to climb the vent to reach the manual shutdown button. Unfortunately, Homer's newfound flab shatters the thin ladder leading to the button, and it looks like all is lost...but thankfully, his massive girth is just big enough to plug the tank and prevent the catastrophe.

Mr. Burns rewards Homer (who's still stuck in the tank while being decontaminated) with a medal and a promise to grant any request he may make. Homer, realizing all of the trouble his excess weight has caused, asks his boss to make him thin again. Mr. Burns vows to do so, and it seems like a Training Montage will soon begin—but given that Homer is too fat to do even a single sit-up, the exasperated Burns decides to pay for liposuction instead.

Tropes:

  • An Aesop: Appearances do affect your social life and how everyone sees you.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The episode starts with Homer hiding from Smithers and Mr. Burns' goons in the toilet. One would think he was afraid of a beating, but it turns out he was just trying to avoid morning exercise.
  • Benevolent Boss: Mr. Burns, surprisingly enough. He happily leads his exercise sessions with his workers, and rewards Homer for preventing the explosion by helping him lose weight again.
  • Big Eater: Homer. Even more than usual because he was under a Back-Alley Doctor's orders (read: Dr. Nick's orders) to overeat so he can reach his weight goal.
    • However, after finally gaining all the weight he wanted to, Homer isn't seen eating again until he hijacks an ice cream truck to get to the nuclear plant. Word of God deliberately avoided showing Homer eating after becoming extremely obese, to avoid making him unsympathetic if he was still shown eating so much.
      • Case in point, Homer is insulted when a movie theater manager tries get him to leave by promising him a garbage bag full of popcorn.
  • The Cake Is a Lie: Lisa tells Homer Marge baked him a cake to get him to go in the kitchen so Marge could discuss all the flaws with his plan. After the discussion ends, Homer asks for the cake.
  • Chair Reveal: Parodied when after Bart tells Homer he'll help him gain weight, a pillow that was sitting by the fireplace turns around a la a swivel chair, revealing that Lisa was eavesdropping on their conversation.
  • Comically Missing the Point: To start his work, the screen says to press any key. Homer is unable to find the "any" key, but instead finds keys like "esc" and "ctrl" (which he pronounces "kuh-tur-uhl"). He then decides to order a Tab by pressing the "Tab" key.
  • Continuity Nod: Homer's drinking bird is the one he received from his brother Herb in "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?"
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Downplayed. Hibbert is disgusted by Homer's intentions and refuses to be a part of it, but he will recommend a doctor who will.
    • Despite making himself obese, Homer is outraged when the movie theater owner tries to bribe him with a garbage bag full of popcorn to get him to leave.
  • Fat Comic Relief: Homer, more obese than ever before, definitely falls in this trope.
  • Gilligan Cut: After Lisa says that any doctor will disapprove of Homer's plan, Homer says "Oh, yeah, we'll see about that!" We immediately turn to Dr. Hibbert, who's so horrified he immediately refuses to help him. However, by Homer's request, he gives the name of a doctor that would help him, namely Dr. Nick.
  • Imagine Spot: Bart imagines himself being morbidly obese, which leads to one of the series's most famous lines:
    Obese!Bart: I wash myself with a rag on a stick.
  • Irony: Discussed by Lisa and Bart. Lisa points out that it was ironic that Homer's weight saved the day, while a slimmer man would have died. Bart then adds that it's ironic that, for once, Homer's butt prevented the release of toxic gas.
  • Kick the Dog: After Homer is publicly told he's too fat to be allowed in a movie theater:
    Wise Guy: Hey, fatty, I got a movie for ya: A Fridge Too Far.
    [Everyone laughs]
  • Literal-Minded: When Homer turns on the workstation computer and is prompted to press any key, he starts looking for the "any" key. Feeling thirsty, he presses the Tab key, thinking the computer will somehow give him some Tab brand cola.
  • Montage: Of Homer gaining weight.
  • Motormouth: Home, trying to convince an ice-cream truck driver to give him a lift to the plant, terrifies the man by rambling on about poisonous gas.
  • Never My Fault: When Homer first learns of the impending explosion, he starts blaming his toy bird but he quickly gives in and realized it was his own fault.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Hank Azaria imitates the late Cary Grant when voicing the pig encouraging Homer to gain 61 pounds. This was the idea of the writers, who wanted the real Cary Grant to voice the pig, before realizing that he died years before this episode was made.
  • Noodle Incident: Marge mentions a time Homer tried opening a detective agency, only to shut it down when Marge mocked his hat.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The nuclear power plant tank can get shut down manually, but there's no guide rails for the narrow catwalk.
  • A Nuclear Error: The nuclear power plant nearly explodes, but Homer's fat ass saves the day.
  • Nutritional Nightmare: The stuff Homer eats during the Montage clearly count, products like Uncle Jim's County Fillin', Much Ado About Stuffing, Ham Ahoy, and Tubbb. (A commentary explained that the last one was the cream in Oreo cookies, sold as chip dip.)
  • Oh, Crap!: Homer, when he sees the plant is about to explode.
    Homer: (nervously) Marge... Lisa... Flanders?
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Homer thinks he's come up short and has no food to eat, so Maggie offers him a Play Doh donut.
    • Burns agreeing to do whatever Homer wants in exchange for saving the plant.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Homer's trying to stop the tank from exploding, as the catwalk breaks under him. As he's dangling, he says "Wait a minute, there's probably a-", but is thrown into the air by some vented gas, before landing on top of the tank's release tube. How was Homer thinking of stopping the explosion?
  • Serious Business: After finding Homer hiding:
    Smithers: Boy, I've never seen a man so desperate to get out of five minutes of calisthenics!
  • Shout-Out: Bart's Imagine Spot of himself getting obese spoofs What's Eating Gilbert Grape.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: When Homer calls everyone out for laughing at him when he just wants to watch a movie, the manager tells him to "calm down" and offers him a garbage bag full of popcorn.
  • Status Quo Is God: Parodied. At the end of the episode, Homer asks Mr. Burns to help him back to his old weight. However, hours later, Homer can't even do one sit-up, so Burns offers to pay for the liposuction.
    Homer: WOO-HOO!
  • Take That!: To Faye Dunaway, who had previously refused a guest role on the show, so in revenge, the writers stuck her in a goofy film that would be considered underneath her caliber of work (that Homer tried to see) called Honk If You're Horny! with Pauly Shore.
  • Tempting Fate: On the bus, Ralph tells Lisa he heard that Homer went into a restaurant and ate so much that the restaurant had to close. Lisa insists that Homer may've gained weight but isn't some food crazed maniac. Cue Homer driving by in the ice cream truck, stuffing his face with the inventory.
  • Weight Woe: Inverted. But then played straight when Homer's girth makes it increasingly difficult to prevent the meltdown from occurring.
  • Wham Shot: The drinking bird fallen over and computer saying a meltdown will occur.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/TheSimpsonsS7E7KingSizeHomer