Recap: The Simpsons S 8 E 21 The Old Man And The Lisa
Episode - 4F17
First Aired - 4/20/1997
While Lisa implements a recycling program, Mr. Burns discovers that he's lost his fortune (and was never told this beforehand because his accountants are sycophants/afraid of Mr. Burns' wrath) and now must live like a common man. With Lisa's help, Mr. Burns devises a plan
to regain his fortune.
This episode contains examples of:
- Beyond the Impossible: After Lisa turned down Burns' offer, Homer experienced four simultaneous heart attacks (and a fifth one after Lisa tells Homer that 10% of $120,000,000 isn't $12,000note )
- Broke Episode
- Call Back: When Lisa and Mr. Burns were arguing about recycling and it went to how wealthy Burns was, Lisa produced a copy of the biography Burns wrote ("Will There Ever Be a Rainbow?") from the season two episode "Blood Feud", where Homer forces Bart to donate blood to save Mr. Burns' life under the impression that they will be given money.
- Comically Missing the Point:
Homer: Please be Flanders, please be Flanders...
- Also, when Lisa showed herself disgusted at knowing what the slurry named after her was made of, Mr. Burns thought a spoonful of it would have made her better. Sure, he didn't understand why Lisa didn't like the idea but he should have noticed she didn't.
- Distant Reaction Shot: When Homer ends up in the hospital after Lisa turned down Burns' offer, he bemoans the loss of what he thinks is $12,000. Lisa then began to reluctantly clarify to him how much she actually gave upnote ; cut to the hallway with an alarm going off about a 'Code Blue'note .
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good / Hero with an F in Good: Mr. Burns has genuinely found a desire to do good, but he doesn't realize how wrong it is that Lil' Lisa's slurry is made from live sea creatures.
Lisa: You're still evil, and when you try to be good, you're even more evil!
- Grand Finale: In the DVD commentary, the writers and producers joke that they could have ended the series with this episode, since the ending implied that Homer died of a massive heart attack.
- Gone Horribly Right: Lisa teaches Burns to recycle. And boy, does he...
- Honest Advisor: Burns recruits Lisa since an honest voice can help him more than the yes men who bankrupted him.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Lisa upon realizing what Lil's Lisa's slurry is made of.
- Noodle Incident: It's implied that Lenny, who was Mr. Burns' replacement at the plant, was every bit as ruthless as his predecessor, if not more so. When Smithers visits the Simpson house with Burns, he is surprised to see Homer at home:
Smithers: Simpson! What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be at work?
Homer: I made a mistake and Lenny sent me home to think about what I'd done, but I can't remember what I did, so I'm watching TV.
- Riches to Rags: Mr. Burns thanks to listening to spineless Yes-men. Lisa helped him to become wealthy again.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Lisa refuses to accept her share of the profits from Mr. Burns' sale of the Lil' Lisa's slurry factory. Many fans have argued whether this was wise of her or not.
- Shout-Out: The sequence when Mr. Burns tries to ask Lisa to help him spoofs the Title Sequence of That Girl.
- The scene where a confused Mr. Burns goes to a grocery store is inspired by an apocryphal account of George H.W. Bush being amazed at a grocery scanner.
- The recycling center is called "Uriah's Heap", named after the character Uriah Heep from David Copperfield. The hippie who owns the center is modeled after Dennis Hopper's photographer character from Apocalypse Now.
- The scene where Lisa runs down the streets of Springfield, trying to stop everyone from using Lil' Lisa's slurry spoofs Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Soylent Green.
- Spoof Aesop
Homer: Well Lisa, I hope you learned your lesson. "Never help anyone".