Recap / The Simpsons S 9 E 13 The Joy Of Sect
Homer and the rest of the town (save Marge, Reverend Lovejoy, Flanders, Mr. Burns, Smithers, and Groundskeeper Willie) are brainwashed into joining a cult.
- Arranged Marriage: As part of the "mass marriage" ceremony, Otto is chosen to marry Barney, while Comic Book Guy is chosen to marry Lurleen Lumpkin.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Comes up when Homer tells the Movementarians about his short attention span, then gets distracted by a bird as soon as they attempt to explain the point of their orientaion film.
- Batter Up: Lovejoy tries to subdue Homer by smacking him with a baseball bat, but as he's failing, Willie steps in and tries to smack Homer himself.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Occurs in the Movementarians' orientaion film.
When you surrender yourself to the Movementarians, you are guaranteed a perfect life of serenity and love and loving serenity! Not a guarantee. Moe:
Loving serenity. It's about damn time!
- Call Back: Homer's ability to withstand the blows from Lovejoy and Willie is almost certainly a Call Back to "The Homer They Fall".
- Chekhov's Gag: When the kids are swayed out of the Movementarians' ways with fake hoverbikes, Ned reveals that he created the hoverbikes' humming noise with a comb and paper. Later on, when the Leader's "spaceship" falls apart, it is revealed that the ship's own humming noise was provided by a comb and paper.
- Church of Happyology: The Movementarians is said to be a reference to Scientology (among other cults, but Scientology sticks out as the main target). The leader even looks like L. Ron Hubbard. It's a miracle this episode didn't cause controversy like South Park's "Trapped in the Closet" did, considering that Nancy Cartwright note is an actual member of the Church of Scientology and that a rejected first draft exists where Lisa joins Scientology.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Homer gets bored of the orientation film and makes up his own movie. The first thing he says after the real movie ends is, "Wait! I'm confused about the movie. So the cops knew that internal affairs were setting them up?" much to his attempted brainwashers' annoyance.
- Deprogram: Groundskeeper Willie tries to deprogram Homer, but ends up being convinced that the Movementarians are great and joining too.
- Despair Event Horizon: Rev. Lovejoy loses faith in his own religion when the Leader's apparent spaceship is revealed.
- The Determinator: The recruiters trying to convert Homer.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Smithers eagerly agreeing to kneel before Mr. Burns. Considering his unrequited crush on the old man, that can be taken a lot of ways.
- The Golden Rule: One of the religious recruiters at the airport tells Homer, "Do unto others as you would have done unto you." Homer replies skeptically, "Right, that'll work."
- Hostile Show Takeover: The Movementarians take over Kent Brockman's newscast.
Kent: Springfield has been overrun by a strange and almost certainly evil sect calling themselves "the Movementarians". " In exchange for your home and all your money,the leader of this way-out and wrong religion claims he'll take believers away on his spaceship to the planet Blisstonia. Excuse my editorial laugh, but- (is handed a note) Ladies and gentlemen, I've just learned of a change in this station's management. Welcome, Movementarians! Continue to improve our lives! I love you, perfect Leader, and new C.E.O. of KBBL Broadcasting.
- Humiliation Conga: The Leader's "spaceship" breaks apart in mid-air, sending him plummeting to the ground on Cletus' property, who then robs him at gunpoint.
- Hypocritical Humor: Reverend Lovejoy, to what's left of the congregation:
Lovejoy: This so-called "new religion" is nothing but a pack of weird rituals and chants designed to take away the money of fools. Let us say the Lord's Prayer 40 times, but first let's pass the collection plate.
- "Even though the Leader himself is completely nonviolent, he urges you to be as violent as you like in capturing the Simpsons."
- Irony: Just as Lisa comments that the family is thinking for themselves again, the family — including Marge — starts droning after the TV, "We are watching Fox..."
- I Take Offense to That Last One: One attempt to brainwash Homer has him being subjected to harsh criticism by several people at once. After gleefully agreeing with insult after hate-filled insult, Moe finally mentions Homer's armpit smell. Homer is about to object, but he gets a whiff himself and promptly changes his tune.
- Jerkass: This episode is the first time Homer uses the word ("Outta my way, jerkass!"), but "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson" and "Trash of the Titans" actually show Homer's new jerkass personality. In this episode, he's just an easily-swayed idiot who likes beer (though some will argue that he is a jerkass for forcing his family into a cult, but that was only partially his fault).
- Late To The Realization: Homer can't seem to grasp the free weekend that the Movementarians are hosting:
Movementarian: We're having a free get-acquainted session at our resort this weekend.
Homer: How much is this free resort weekend?
Movementarian: It's free.
Homer: And when is this weekend?
Movementarian: It's this weekend.
Homer: Uh-huh. And how much does it cost?
Movementarian: Um, it's free.
Homer: I see. And when is it?
Movementarian: It's this weekend.
Homer: And what are you charging for this free weekend?
Bart: Come on, Dad. The team's arriving.
Homer: (as he's pulled away) It's free, right?
- Noodle Incident: Three of them:
- Apparently, Reverend Lovejoy burned down the Springfield Church before ("I never thought I'd have to do this again").
- Barney's liver has once tried to escape from his body (the part where he mistook the liver Dolph threw out for his own).
- Homer fell for a timeshare scam where he bought four of them before his check bounced.
- Organ Autonomy: When Marge and the others tempt Homer with beer to break him out of his Movementarian mindset, Homer's brain and stomach fight over whether Homer would have some.
- Perp Sweating: Whenever anyone tries to leave the Movementarians video room, a bright spotlight shines from above and a Movementarian inquires why they're leaving. The person in question nervously sits back down.
- Real After All: Homer attempts to expose the leader as the fraud he is, only to find himself face to face with a working intergalactic spaceship. The leader attempts to escape in the ship, only for it to fall apart in the air, revealing it was not a real spaceship at all.
- Shout-Out: Deciding that a catchy theme tune was the best way to convert Homer, the cult members chanted the one to Batman with "Leader" instead of "Batman". Rover from The Prisoner also shows up.
- Mr. Burns' attempt at introducing himself as a god spoofs the music video for Michael Jackson's HIStory.
- His attempts at creating a symbol for his religion ended up producing Kellogg's Special K and Disney's Mickey head.
- The way Groundskeeper Willie gets everyone's attention and offers his services spoof Quint's introduction in Jaws.
- Shown Their Work: Many of the Movementarians' tactics and practices are taken directly from Real Life cults including Jim Jones' People's Temple, Heaven's Gate, and the Church of Scientology.
- Start My Own: Mr. Burns attempts to create his own religion after he learns of the Movementarians' tax-exempt status.
- Ironically, the Leader had started his own religion with the Movementarians after having previously been with the Promise Keepers.
- Strange-Syntax Speaker: When Homer is informed beer is not allowed in the Movementarians:
Homer: Homer no function beer well without.
- Too Dumb to Fool: Until the cult recruiters realized that's what kept them from converting Homer.
- Touché: During the "circle of judgement" scene:
Moe: And your stink brings tears to my eyes.
Homer: Now wait a minute, Moe. (sniffs himself) Oh, my mistake.