Recap: The Simpsons S 8 E 10 The Springfield Files

Episode - 3G01
First Aired - 1/12/1997

In this tale narrated by Leonard Nimoy, Homer sees an alien in the woods, and while everyone else writes it off as yet another drunken hallucination (since Homer tested "Boris Yeltsin" drunk on Moe's Breathalyzer), Agents Mulder and Scully from The X Files come to Springfield to help Homer solve the case.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Big "NO!": Homer shouts it when he hears Bart's ghost story about college costs for Maggie.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": Leonard Nimoy introduces with, "The following tale of alien encounters is true. And by true, I mean false. It's all lies. But they're entertaining lies, and in the end, isn't that the real truth? The answer is no."
  • Character Filibuster: Parodied, as Mulder gives a long rant about "the truth". He started during daylight hours, but it's night by the time he's finished. And Scully left as he was getting started.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: Homer runs away from the alien screaming "Yahhh!" As we watch from above we see him run through a field spelling out the word "Yahhh!" in cursive (including the exclamation mark, which he dots!) See it here.
  • Crop Circles: Homer runs through a field of crop, screaming "Yahhh!" and creating the pattern Yahhh!, in crop circle fashion.
  • Crowd Song: At the end, the town spontaneously sang "Good Morning, Starshine" together. Nimoy, Mulder, Scully and Chewbacca joined in as well.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "The unsolved mysteries of... Unsolved Mysteries!"
  • Epic Fail:
    • Grampa Simpson ended up lost in the woods while trying to get the morning paper (which is odd, since "The Old Man and the Lisa" revealed that the retirement home no longer has newspapers as the news angries up the elderly residents' blood and there's a sign outside the home that reads, "Thank you for not discussing the outside world.")
    • When Homer gets his reflexes tested. It takes him two hours for his knee to respond.
  • Fake Cross Over: With The X-Files, though it is pretty clear that this adventure did not happen in the other verse. Unlike the debacle that happened with The Critic, Matt Groening's name was in the credits and he actually was cool with having The X-Files cross over to his show, since it wasn't a 20-minute advertisement for the show.
    • And interestingly enough, a year later Mulder described a character played by the legendarily odd-looking Michael Berryman as "Homer Simpson's evil twin." It's up to you if he was referring to the show or the actual guy he met...
  • Humans Are Morons: Discussed.
    Lisa: Dad, according to Junior Skeptic Magazine, the chances are 175 million to one of another form of life actually coming in contact with ours.
    Homer: So?
    Lisa: It's just that the people who claim they've seen aliens are always pathetic low-lifes with boring jobs. Oh, and you, Dad. (laughs nervously)
  • Left the Background Music On: Homer, pretty scared and paranoid, hears the theme from Psycho. It turns out it's actually played by Springfield Philharmonic traveling by bus.
  • Lie Detector: Which Homer causes to explode after claiming to understand Scully's explanation of how it works.
  • Low-Speed Chase: This happens when Abe tries to catch the turtle that took his teeth. (It is currently the page image).
  • Mundane Ghost Story: Bart's "ghost story" about how much college will cost for Maggie (which freaks Homer out). In a deleted scene, the original "ghost story" was about the ingredients to an Oscar Meyer weiner (which still freaks out Homer).
  • Police Lineup: Homer is asked to identify the alien he saw from a lineup which consisted of Chewbacca, ALF, Marvin the Martian, Gort and Kang (or Kodos) from the various "Treehouse of Horror" installments.
  • Psycho Strings: The Psycho shower scene music is actually playing on a bus carrying a travelling orchestra.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Leonard Nimoy's role in the episode references his old hosting gig on the late-1970s/early 1980s supernatural documentary series In Search of..., counting as Actor Allusion.
    • On the line-up of aliens, there is Alf, Marvin The Martian, Chewbaccanote  and Gort (according to the DVD commentary, all of the characters were used without permission from their creators [with the exception of Kang/Kodos, since that's property of FOX and Matt Groening], making it "the most illegal shot in animation." In fact, the worst the staff received was a call from the voice of Alf, who wasn't brought in to voice his character).
    • Reverend Lovejoy does a Bait-and-Switch Comparison of Jesus and ET The Extraterrestrial.
    • When the whole of Springfield gathers on the point where the alien appears, the Springfield Elementary band is practicing the Leitmotif from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
    • Jimbo Jones holds a sign, 'ALIEN DUDE: Need Two Tickets to Pearl Jam.
  • Sickly Green Glow: Mr. Burns's explanation for the glowing, after he was revealed to be the "alien", is that "a lifetime of working in a nuclear power plant has given me a healthy green glow...and left me as impotent as a Nevada boxing commissioner."
  • Signs of Disrepair: An already frightened Homer sees a large billboard that says "DIE." He screams. Then the wind shifts, moving a tree branch and revealing that the word is "DIET." Homer screams louder and flees.
  • Special Guest: Leonard Nimoy As Himself (just like the monorail episode from season four), Gillian Anderson as Agent Scully and David Duchovny as Agent Mulder.
  • Spinning Clock Hands: When Scully performs tests on Homer, she does also the patellar reflex test. It takes one hour till Homer says "oh" and his knee moves a bit. The time is shown with three different shots of the clock.
  • Uranus Is Showing: Bart dresses up as an alien and yells, "I am the thing from Uranus!" the morning after Homer first sees the alien.
  • Time Passes Montage:
    • First done with Spinning Clock Hands and gradually added Mulder's emptied coffee cups.
    • When Homer was explaining where he'd been to Scully and Mulder at Moe's. One beer turned into 10 before Scully got frustrated.
      Homer: (drunk) And so I says, red M&M, blue M&M, they all end up the same color in the end!
    • Mulder rambled about the truth and the mysteries of our world: he started when it was a clear blue day, but finished hours later at night.
  • Tongue on the Flagpole: Channel 6 News uses a file photo of Homer that shows him with his tongue stuck to a lamppost.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: The crowd pulls them out when the alien, later revealed to be a monster and even later to be Mr Burns, appears in the final act.
  • We Come in Peace Shoot to Kill: Parodied when the alien greets the people of Springfield.
    Alien: I bring you love!
    Lenny: It's bringing love! Don't let it get away!
    Carl: Break its legs!
  • You Won't Feel a Thing: Dr. Nick claims that his scary proceure will not hurt.
    Dr. Nick Riviera: Don't worry. You won't feel a thing [exhibits a swirling mechanical device]...till I jam this down your throat!