Recap / The Simpsons S8 E2 "You Only Move Twice"

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"I am here to welcome you on behalf of the President of the Globex Corporation — me."
Episode - 3F23
First Aired - 11/3/1996

The Simpsons are moving away to a town called Cypress Creek after Homer is offered a position at a nuclear plant run by a benevolent man who's actually an evil genius bent on world domination. While Homer is blissfully unaware of his boss's actions and happily adjusting to his new job, Marge tries to compete with a house that cleans itself, Lisa becomes allergic to the wildlife, and Bart is put in a class for special ed. kids after his teacher discovers that Bart doesn't know how to read cursive or do long division.

Tropes:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Homer calls Scorpio "Mr. Scorpion" before being corrected.
  • Advertised Extra/Never Trust a Trailer: The original promos for the episode heavily featured James Bont as a major character. He only appears in one scene and dies by the end of it.
  • Affably Evil: Scorpio. Very friendly and personable to your face, a great guy to work for, and plans to Take Over the World.
  • The Alcoholic: Played with Marge. A couple of scenes showcasing her increasing boredom at Cypress Corners makes it look like she is on the quick road to become this... and then it turns out that she can't bring herself to drink enough to actually officially be classified as such.
  • Badass Beard of Evil: Scorpio, of course.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Scorpio takes over the East Coast. It's even the image for this trope.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Marge's drinking. Bored at home, we see her drinking wine accompanied by a Scare Chord. Near the end of the episode, it's revealed that she's actually finding it difficult to meet a guideline she read that recommended one-and-a-half drinks per day.
  • Benevolent Boss: Scorpio is the perfect boss to his employees, acting on their suggestions and providing them with their every need. It actually shows how well Homer would do at his job if he was given some praise and encouragement once in a while.
  • Better Living Through Evil: Okay, it's not like Mister Burns is a model of morality. Scorpio just treats his workers better.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Homer does one when the rest of the family tell him they want to move back to Springfield, mainly because for the first time he actually feels good at his job. He reluctantly comes round when he sees how unhappy they all are.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Subverted. After James Bont escapes from his laser trap, Scorpio opts to just have his security detail shoot him several times.
  • Canada, Eh?: One of the kids in the remedial class is from "Ca-na-dah and they think I'm slow, eh."
  • Casual Danger Dialog: "I'm having a little trouble with the government."
  • Creepy Child: One of the kids in Bart's remedial class starts fires and tries to hit Bart before the teacher stops him.
  • Curse Cut Short:
    Mr. Doyle: So, you never learned cursive?
    Bart: Um, well, I know hell, damn, bit-
    Mr. Doyle: Cursive handwriting. Script.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Homer being hired by Globex was basically the gold standard for how his life could improve; not only is his new boss nice to him, and listens to his ideas, but those ideas turn out to greatly improve the company.note  However, it all comes crashing down because everything in Cypress Creek torments the family he loves, which is far more important to him than even a job this good. The Cool House Globex gave Homer did all of Marge's work for her, boring her to madness. Bart loved the house, but the quality school Globex built put him in remedial classes with kids every bit as bad as him.note  Lisa was ecstatic with the house, school and even the town itself... until she discovered that the local wildlife sent her never-seen-before(-or-since) allergies into overdrive. And Maggie doesn't actually enjoy her Swing-A-Majig.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: When Scorpio presents the Simpsons a fruits basket as a welcoming gift:
    Scorpio: Try the papayas, they're juicy and full of papain — makes you strong like Popeye. Popeye, papain. Popeye, papain. See? Same thing. Same... ah, forget it.
  • Doomsday Device: Scorpio has, of course, built one to threaten to the world.
  • Eureka Moment: Homer and Marge get one when they decide to simply abandon their house in Springfield rather than sell it. This works out for them because when they return to Springfield, they are able to move straight back in (well, not quite, Otto is squatting in there with his girlfriend).
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Well, Bart isn't exactly evil, more like a fun-seeking mischief maker, but even he hates being in the remedial class because it has "arsonists and kids who wear mittens all year-round."
  • Evil Laugh: Scorpio does one towards the end while wielding a flamethrower.
  • Expy: James Bont is a very obvious knock-off of James Bond.
    • Scorpio himself is a parody of "the Bond villain" as an archetype, with the work attitude and ethics of entrepreneurs like Richard Branson.
    • Bart's remedial class is filled with Ralph Wiggum expies.
  • First-Name Basis: Scorpio insists that Homer call him by his first name, Hank.
  • Funny Background Event: Homer idly scratching his ass as Scorpio threatens the UN.
  • Gambit Roulette: One of the UN members suggests Scorpio is doing this to absurd lengths, banking on the 59th Street Bridge naturally collapsing on its own at just the right time to enforce Scorpio's bluff.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    James Bont: Scorpio, you're totally mad.
    Scorpio: I wouldn't point fingers, you jerk.
  • Ignorant Minion: Homer manages to go the entire episode without realizing his new boss is a supervillain (again, not that Burns is much better...)
  • Insane Troll Logic: The school in Cypress Creek seems to run on this. One of your students falls off the monkey bars and passes out? Don't take her to the nurse's office and call her parents; put her in the remedial class! Though she does like it in there at least. Bart points out another one:
    Let Me Get This Straight... we're behind the rest of the class and we're supposed to catch up to them by going slower than they are?
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Bart when he points out the Insane Troll Logic the remedial class seems to run on, saying how it would be impossible for the remedial class to catch up to the rest of the school by going slower than them. Unfortunately, it seems to go over the teacher's head.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: The Simpsons leaving Springfield is accompanied by a rapid-fire sequence of characters saying a variant of, "Goodbye." The last of these characters is Nelson Muntz, who instead points at them and gives his Signature Laugh.
  • Morality Pet: Homer would qualify as this for Scorpio, though this likely applies to everyone in his company, as his Villain Song describes.
    "His twisted twin obsessions are his plot to rule the world and his employees' health!"
  • Murderous Thighs: During the attack on Scorpio's "office", a woman in a bikini flips over to one of the invaders, leaps atop him, and wraps her legs around his neck as she pins him to the ground. She then twists and squeezes until the inevitable Neck Snap.
  • No Poverty: A Time Passes Montage shows an ugly suburb transforming into the perfect community of Cypress Creek; parking meters become trees, abandoned warehouses become coffee shops, and a bum becomes a mailbox. Somewhat justified by Scorpio being a megalomaniacal James Bond villain who's ridiculously good at administration - enough so that from that one town, he manages to conquer the West Coast.
  • Obliviously Evil: Homer has absolutely no idea that he's become a Punch-Clock Villain for an evil organization, and that his time there helped Scorpio move his agenda forward.
  • Oh, Crap!: Bart has one when he discovers he's going to be put in the remedial class.
  • Pet the Dog:
    Scorpio: [After Homer has tackled James Bont to the ground thinking he was a slacker] Nice work Homer, am I proud of you!
    Homer: [Proudly] Well.
  • Privately Owned Society
  • Prove I Am Not Bluffing: Scorpio demonstrates his power by making the 59th Street Bridge collapse.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Homer, not that he ever catches on. "My team is way ahead of the Weather Machine and Germ Warfare divisions!"
  • Shout-Out:
    • The episode title is a pun on the James Bond film You Only Live Twice. The final battle in the hollowed-out volcano parodies the one from YOLT, right down to a bikini-clad heroine taking part in it.
    • The laser gun scene and Bont's "do you expect me to talk?" line are a nod to Goldfinger.
  • Similar Squad: There's a kid in Bart's original class at Cypress Creek who bears an uncanny resemblance to Milhouse. Bart gets switched to remedial class before they can really interact.
    "Milhouse": Hey Bart, do you have a best friend yet?; 'cuz I've been looking for someone to boss me around.
  • Status Quo Is God: Homer gets a new job and the family move to a new town. By the end of the episode they're back in Springfield.
  • Take That!:
    Scorpio: [While calibrating a giant laser] By the way, Homer, what's your least favorite country: Italy or France?
    Homer: Hmm... France.
    Scorpio: Heh, nobody ever says Italy.
    • One is also made at the Denver Broncos, when Homer receives them at the end of the episode and expresses disappointment (he'd originally wanted the Dallas Cowboys).
  • Too Dumb to Live: One of the UN members.
    "We can't take any chances."
    "You always say that! I want to take that chance!"
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Homer treats the various SWAT teams and special agents invading Scorpio's "office" with mild curiosity.
  • Vengeful Vending Machine: Homer struggles to get a vending machine to accept his bill.
  • Villain Song: The end credits play a song devoted to Hank Scorpio and his twisted twin obsessions ("his plot to rule the world and his employees' health").
    • Smithers also sort of has one at the beginning of the episode where he sings about working for Mr. Burns to the tune of "Hooray for Hollywood".
  • Villains Out Shopping: When Scorpio isn't trying to take over the world or run his corporation, he likes doing a fun run, which he's apparently in the middle of doing when he first meets the Simpsons after they arrive in Cypress Creek.
  • Visual Gag: Of a Wraparound Background. In the scene where Hank and Homer discuss their dreams, they are first shown walking, but the background somehow wasn't moving. The camera pulls back to reveal they were actually walking on treadmills. They then step off, but then they stop walking, yet the background continues to move. The camera pans further back to show that they are actually standing on Jetsons-style moving sidewalks.
  • We Care: Played with. Scorpio's attitude seems too good to be true, but he really is a generally nice guy who values his employees' input. He just also happens to be a supervillain who wants to Take Over the World.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Scorpio takes this option with Bont when the plan to kill him with a giant laser fails.
  • You're Insane!: James Bont tells Scorpio he's "totally mad", but Scorpio brushes it off.
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