Recap / The Simpsons S 8 E 3 The Homer They Fall

Episode - 4F03
First Aired - 11/10/1996

After Bart gets mugged for his Star Trek belt by Dolph, Jimbo, and Kearney, Homer confronts their fathers and gets beat up as well — but ends up scaring them when he takes all of their punches and doesn't react, prompting Moe the bartender to train Homer to be a boxer.


  • And This Is For...: While beating up Homer, the Dads of the bullies who stole Bart's belt say it's for things like telling them how to raise their kids and wanting their kids to return the belt.
  • As Himself: Michael Buffer, doing his legendary "Let's get ready to RUUUUUUUUUMBLLLLLLLLLLLLE!" opening at the Drederick Tatum match.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Moe does this twice for Homer. First, saving him from Jimbo, Dolph, and Kearney's dads with a shotgun, and later, flying him out of the ring before Drederick Tatum can KO him.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The montage of Homer as a boxer after his first fight, set to choral music.
  • The Dreaded: Tatum is so feared, that he's able to quell a prison riot just by telling everyone to quiet down in his soft voice.
  • Epic Fail: When Moe had Homer punch a pad to test his strength, Homer couldn't even harm the fly caught between the glove and the pad.
    • In just the first 5 seconds of his fight against Drederick Tatum, Homer gets severely beaten.
  • Generation Xerox: Dolph, Jimbo, and Kearney all look like their fathers (though Kearney's father should be older if Kearney is established to be Older Than He Looks — unless it's the same with Kearney's father), only Dolph's dad has an eyepatch over one eye instead of his hair.
  • Improvised Weapon: In Moe's, Kearney's dad whacks Homer in the head with a pool cue and it snaps, before remarking that Homer won't fall down.
  • Karma Houdini: As usual, Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney get off scot-free for beating up Bart and stealing his utility belt, Homer contacting his parents only leads them to beat him up instead.
  • Made of Iron: It's explained that Homer has an unusually thick skull and an extra layer of fluid around his brain, which allows him to sustain many heavy hits in boxing. Unfortunately, it fails him as he faces Drederick Tatum.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: As Homer is getting pounded by Tatum, Marge is yelling that he has to fight back because he's not going to tire down. So Homer takes a swing at Tatum... who simply steps of the way before hitting Homer on top of his head.
  • Never Tell Me the Odds: Homer tries to stop the discussion about his impending fight against Tatum this way when Lisa reveals that Vegas odds have Homer winning at a thousand to one.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Lampshaded. Homer notes that Lucius Sweet looks like and sounds like Don King. Paul Winfield, who plays Lucius, had previously played Don King in an HBO movie. And Drederick Tatum is an obvious parody of Mike Tyson.
    • The Fan Man is a parody of James Miller.
  • No Sell / Stone Wall: Thanks to a rare medical anomaly that renders Homer near-invulnerable to knockout punches. Since he has weak boxing skills, Moe advises Homer to absorb everything these boxers can throw at them and then eventually wear them out before Homer simply uses a weak punch or a push to beat his opponents. The trope flies completely out the window when it quickly becomes clear the fearsome Drederick Tatum is far stronger and more capable of punishing Homer than any of his opponents.
  • Reality Ensues: Even with his ability to resist pain and take a beating, Homer stands absolutely no chance against a trained professional boxer like Tatum and is nearly knocked unconscious in the first round.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Moe ultimately gets Homer out of the match just before Tatum gets to KO him, much to the anger of everyone, especially Lucius Sweet, though he still receives his check for $100,000 for the fight.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The boxing montage spoofs a similar montage in Raging Bull. One of Homer's wins in the montage resembles the George Bellows painting "Dempsey and Firpo".
    • Towards the end, Lucius tells Moe "You'll always be a loser".
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: Moe still receives a $100,000 check despite stopping the fight prematurely.
  • Victory by Endurance: All of Homer's victories as a boxer. He can't win unless his opponents become too tired to resist someone who can't even harm a fly caught between the glove and a pad.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The writers admit that they never resolved the "Bart loses his utility belt" storyline.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: How Homer wins the boxing matches. Almost.