Episode - 4F15
First Aired - 3/16/1997Alcohol is banned from Springfield after Bart gets drunk at the St. Patrick's Day parade and the local law clerk finds a Prohibition amendment that was written but never enforced. To combat this, Homer becomes a bootlegger — and the town fights back with a no-nonsense, Elliot Ness-style lawman who puts the incompetent Chief Wiggum out of a job.
This episode contains examples of:
- Accidental Pervert: When the anti-alcohol women's group catch Chief Wiggum dancing with Princess Kashmir, Wiggum decides to "give them the old Wiggum charm." Just as he struts up to the group, smiling, Helen Lovejoy screams, "PERVERT!" thinking that he was going to molest her.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: The newspaper headlines "Beer Baron Beats Banner" and "Banner Bars Booze (Booze Barred By Banner)".
- Asshole Victim: Rex Banner, who gets launched by the catapult after testing it by launching a cat.
- Behind the Black: After returning from a Beer Baron run, Homer briefly considers checking to see if the coast is clear before taking his wheelbarrow inside...and running into Marge, who's standing right in front of him.
- Blatant Lies: After escaping Banner, Homer insists to Marge that nothing happened to the car, despite the obvious damage to it. Averted in the next scene when Marge asks why he has so many bowling balls.Homer: I'm not gonna lie to you, Marge. So long. [leaves]
- Broken Aesop: Rex Banner's Jerkass Has a Point moment when he says you can't not follow a law just because it's not liked really loses validity points when it's revealed the Prohibition law was actually repealed a year after it was made official, meaning everyone who disobeyed the law were punished for nothing. Likewise, Banner and the policemen were the ones who should've been arrested for unlawfully imprisoning and punishing citizens who technically hadn't broken any laws.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: The plot gets kicked off by Bart accidentally ingesting a truckload of booze fired from a Duff parade float and getting drunk. In 5 seconds. You could justify it by the fact that he's a kid, so he doesn't have any experience with the stuff, and his dad's a noted alcoholic, but even then, he probably only would've been drunk in a few minutes, not seconds.
- Catapult to Glory: The catapult is the method of punishment for breaking Springfield's (obviously outdated) prohibition law.
- The Comically Serious: Rex Banner. For example, look at him on his birthday◊ and his inability to laugh naturally.
- Designated Driver: Moe tells all of the arriving patrons that, since it's St. Patrick's Day, it's going to be the biggest drinking day of the year. Moe then asks for the designated drivers to identify themselves, then tells them, "Beat it. I got no time for cheapskates."
- Do Wrong, Right: Marge is impressed with Homer for running such a successful operation with less of his characteristic stupidity than usual.
- Expy: Rex Banner is a clear spoof of Elliot Ness of The Untouchables.
- Gilligan Cut: The head of Duff Brewery, under the belief his customers like beer for its flavor and not for its alcohol, announced Duff Zero. Cut to thirty minutes later, the brewery was out of business.
- Also, when asked what'd happen to him, Homer said he'd probably be just fined. Cut to the town ready to give him death by catapult.
- Go to Your Room!: When Marge and Lisa finds out Homer's beer smuggling, the former is very impressed for once that Homer is using his own intellect for once and raising money for the family. When Marge says the prohibition was a dumb law, Lisa said it's still a law and was about to ramble on about her views and is sent to her room by Homer, Marge, and Bart.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Implied with Banner. During his speech about the necessity to maintain law regardless of public opinion, he says that if there were no laws, he would kill anybody who "looked at him funny".
- I Shall Taunt You: A funny example here, when Rex vows to get the Beer Baron. Homer taunts him from a very far distance.Rex Banner: You're out there somewhere Beer Baron and I'll find you!!Homer: No you won't!!!Rex Banner: Yes I will.Homer: Won't!!!
- Jerkass Has a Point: Banner might have just cemented the Jerkass part by using a cat to test the catapult but he rose a quite valid point with his speech against ignoring a law just because it's not liked.
- Obnoxious as they were, the anti-alcohol women's group were right. A 10-year-old got drunk during the parade because someone fired alcohol into the crowd, and Wiggum was brazenly not enforcing the prohibition law note by getting drunk at a speakeasy.
- Karma Houdini: The police are able to a catapult a cat and Rex Banner in front of a large group of people and nothing happens except the mayor saying that was unexpected.
- Karmic Death: Rex Banner gets flung by the same catapult he'd just tested by flinging a cat.
- Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: Moe fronts his speakeasy as Moe's Pet Shop. However, the fact that it plays jazz music at 1:00AM and attracts a certain partygoing clientele make its true purpose blatantly obvious.Banner: What kind of pet shop is filled with rambunctious yahoos and hot jazz music at 1:00AM?
Moe: Um, the best damn pet shop in town.
- Lawful Stupid: Rex Banner is too inept to realize Homer is the Beer Baron he's been hunting down.
- Moral Guardians: The anti-alcohol women's group, again.
- Move Along, Nothing to See Here: A parade float honoring Irish police is escorted by several of them, all saying things along the lines of this trope.
- Nighthawks Shot
- Police Are Useless: Why Wiggum is tossed off the force. We also get a gag of an officer who keeps his badge in his mouth.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Rex Banner doesn't accept bribes.
- Shaggy Dog Story: The 200-year old law banning alcohol in Springfield had been repealed the following year.
- Shout-Out: Comic Book Guy references Superman.Banner: Are you the beer baron?
- Skewed Priorities: Banner shuts down Fat Tony's operation immediately.Fat Tony: Okay, you win. From now on, we'll stick to smuggling heroin.
Banner: See that you do.
- Smarter Than You Look: Trying to evade Rex Banner had to take some serious planning for Homer and Bart.
- Stopped Reading Too Soon: A 200-year-old law banning alcohol is discovered in the Springfield Charter. It took until the very end of the episode to discover that it was repealed 199 years ago.
- Take That!: To non-alcoholic beer. The head of Duff Brewery, under the belief his customers like beer for its flavor and not for its alcohol, announced Duff Zero. Cut to thirty minutes later, the brewery was out of business.
- Think of the Children!
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The clerk who unveiled the old Prohibition law especially because he never bothered to read the whole parchment and learn the law was no longer in effect. It would be a miracle if he managed to retain his job after making such a horrible blunder. Of course, this is Springfield we're talking about.
- Versus Title
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The Springfield anti-alcohol women's group that forced the application of the outdated prohibition law in the first place disappears after Rex Banner is hired to head the police force.
- Whole Plot Reference: The Prohibition Era of The Roaring '20s and The Untouchables.
- Will Not Tell a Lie / Non-Answer: When Marge confronts Homer of bringing so many bowling balls (which are hollowed to smuggle beer) to bowling.Marge: Why do you have so many bowling balls?Homer: I'm not gonna lie to you, Marge. (proceeds to get in his car and drive off)
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Rex Banner acts like he's in 1920s Chicago rather than Springfield.