Recap: The Simpsons S 8 E 18 Homer Vs The Eighteenth Amendment

Episode - 4F15
First Aired - 3/16/1997

Alcohol 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 News line "Beer Baron Beats Banner"
  • Asshole Victim: Rex Banner, who gets launched by the catapult after testing it by launching a cat.
  • Catapult to Glory: The catapult is the method of punishment for breaking Springfield's (obviously outdated) prohibition law.
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot / Shaggy Dog Story: The 200-year old law banning alcohol in Springfield had been repealed the following year.
  • 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.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: For anyone growing up during the height of IRA bombings and terrorism in London, everyone in the parade cheering when the British fish and chip shop gets bombed comes across as this.
  • 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.
  • Karmic Death: Rex Banner gets flung by the same catapult he'd just tested by flinging a cat.
  • Lawful Stupid: Rex Banner is too inept to realize Homer is the Beer Baron he's been hunting down.
  • 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
  • Shout-Out: Comic Book Guy references Superman.
    Banner: Are you the beer baron?
  • Smarter Than You Look: Trying to evade Rex Banner had to take some serious planning for Homer and Bart.
  • 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!
  • Versus Title
  • Whole Plot Reference: The Prohibition Era of The Roaring Twenties 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 the Chicago from The Untouchables rather than Springfield.