Recap / The Simpsons S 8 E 12 Mountain Of Madness
Episode - 4F10
First Aired - 2/2/1997

After an extremely disappointing display of teamwork during a fire drill, Mr. Burns forces his workers to participate in a cabin race at a mountain retreat, where the last one to find the cabin will be fired.

This episode contains examples of:

  • A House Divided: Homer and Burns start the crisis being pretty amiable to each other. By the end scene, they are quite willing to kill each other.
  • Cabin Fever: After they get stuck in a snowed-in cabin, Homer and Mr. Burns lose their grip on reality in a matter of hours.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Smithers privately calls out Burns after being forced to hike the mountain alone.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Homer boasts to winning after he gets out of the plant first and blocks the door. Burns is naturally not pleased to see Homer being so dumb as to block the door in a fire drill and tells him he "won" more than he bargained for, to which Homer just cheers.
  • Death Glare: As shown in the page's image, Homer and Burns deliver murderous glares at each other after their Cabin Fever sets in. They also do this in the end scene.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: Discussed.
    Burns: If you can take advantage of a situation in some way, it's your duty as an American to do it. Why should the race always be to the swift or the jumble to the quick-witted? Should they be allowed to win merely because of the gifts God gave them? Well, I say cheating is the gift man gives himself!
    Homer: Mr. Burns, I insist that we cheat.
    Burns: Excellent.
  • Enforced Plug:
    McFadden: Wow, look at all these avalanches. You think they could've buried the cabin?
    Ranger: Well, I'll tell you one thing. They didn't come here for the Mountain Music Festival... March 14-18.
  • Epic Fail: The power plant's fire drill, which kicks off the plot. No one gets it in at least fifteen minutes. The first one out is Homer, who then blocks the exit.
    Homer: I think I won, Mr. Burns!
  • Gas Cylinder Rocket: A propane tank attached to a cabin gets its end knocked off and propels the structure downhill:
    Homer: [praying] Dear Lord, protect this rocket house and all those who dwell within the rocket house.
  • George Jetson Job Security: Invoked Trope. Burns makes the employees race to the cabin as a teamwork exercise, with the threat of firing the last team to arrive. The crisis that follows prevents Burns from finding out that the last guy to arrive to the rally point was Smithers.
  • Hair-Trigger Avalanche: The first avalanche is caused by Homer & Mr. Burns clinking two glasses together in a toast. The second is caused by their boisterous "Huzzah!" after digging themselves out of the first. Then,
    Homer: I think when we yelled we caused another avalanche. *AVALANCHE*
    Burns: whispering We should... be... careful... not... to speak...unless... it's... absolutely... pos-i-tively... necessary. *AVALANCHE*
    Homer: Shh. *AVALANCHE* You're... causing... more... avalanches. *AVALANCHE* I *AVALANCHE* think *AVALANCHE* they've *AVALANCHE* stopped. Beat *AVALANCHE*
    Burns: Let's go. (yet another avalanche occurs as they crawl out from under the table they're hiding under)
  • I'll Kill You!: "I'll kill you, you bloated museum of treachery!"
  • In Vino Veritas: Subverted, where a park ranger enters a cabin and finds it full of partying employees from the nuclear plant.
    Ranger: Hey, what is going on here? Who are you people? This is a lookout post. Where is Ranger McFadden?
    Drunk: I was just happy to see so many nice people!
    Ranger: Quiet, you drunk. Where is Ranger McFadden?
    (The camera then moves a step to the side, revealing a straight-laced ranger with glasses)
    Ranger McFadden: Right here, sir, behind the drunk.
  • Incompetence, Inc.: Homer is far from being the only incompetent idiot at the plant. Notably, he's actually the first employee to evacuate during the fire drill.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: It's hard not to agree with Burn's disgust over his employees' inability to work together.
  • Locked in a Freezer: Well, snowed-in cabin.
  • Magic Feather: Lenny and Carl reach the spot where the cabin should be, but it had been buried under an avalanche by then. Carl brings up the possibility that this trope could be in play, but Lenny dismisses it, saying, "They said there would be sandwiches."
  • Never My Fault: Mr. Burns blames Homer for causing the last three avalanches, but one of them was caused by Mr. Burns himself.
  • Shaped Like Itself: When Marge and the ranger decide to use a chair lift to search for Bart and Lisa, the ranger remarks, "It'll give us an eagle-eye view of the area directly beneath the chair lift."
  • Slouch of Villainy: How Homer and Mr. Burns got to the cabin first as they just sit and loaf while they wait for everyone else, and Burns has an odd take on it:
    Homer: Oh, these sure are comfortable chairs.
    Burns: Oh, yes, sitting. The great leveler. From the mightiest Pharaoh to the lowliest peasant, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?
  • Talking to Themself: Due to a captioning error, the following dialogue appears in subtitles right after the scene where Mr. Burns believes the snowmen he and Homer built are conspiring against them:
    Homer: Burns has lost his mind; it doesn't mean I will. I'm talking to myself. Normal people do that.
  • Trust-Building Blunder: Of the Macho Disaster Expedition variety. Especially because it ends with Homer and Burns wanting to kill each other.
  • You and What Army?: As Homer and Mr. Burns are slowly going mad, each thinking the other is planning on killing him. Eventually, Burns snaps and threatens to kill Homer. Homer responds with this... and then imagines an army of snowmen wearing German pickelhaube helmets supporting Mr. Burns. His response? Scream and claim he has special powers, Political powers. Then Burns imagines the ghosts of world leaders backing Homer up.