Recap / The Simpsons S 9 E 1 The City Of New York Vs Homer Simpson
"What the hell is this thing?"
Episode - 4F22
First Aired - 9/21/1997

In this, the ninth season premiere, Homer's car is illegally parked (by Barney Gumble) in New York City next to the World Trade Center and Homer (who had a bad experience in NYC when he was a teenager) is forced to take his family there to retrieve it.

This episode contains examples of (YMMV tropes can be found here):

  • Anything But That!: Barney becomes designated driver. He expected Duffman to show up, but not that night. He hears him coming, and realizes he'll miss out.
  • Artistic License Geography: When Homer reaches the top of the (original 2 WTC) South Tower, he discovers the men's restroom is out of order. He has to travel back down to the ground, run across the plaza and go up the (original 1 WTC) North Tower. When he gets to the summit, the North Tower's 360 ft. tall TV antenna is noticeably missing. It's worth noting because all other shots of the roof in this episode show it. This could also be considered a goof by the animators. Further, there were washrooms on the ground floor of both towers.
  • Bad Vibrations: The approaching Duffmobile makes the peanuts at Moe's bar shake.
  • Bait and Switch: Homer asking for something to drink from the Khlav Kalash Vendor.
    Homer: Now, what do you have to wash that awful taste out of my mouth?
    Vendor: Mountain Dew or Crab Juice.
    Homer: (groans) Blecch! Oh, geez... I'll take a Crab Juice.
  • Big "NO!": When Barney realizes he's picked the black rotten pickled egg, thereby becoming the designated driver.
  • Brain Bleach: Inverted when Bart sees what really goes on at MAD.
    Bart: [dreamily] Wow! I'll never wash these eyes again.
  • Butt Monkey: Homer Simpson puts up with ridiculous amounts of abuse in New York, with the rest of the family oblivious to his suffering. This happened to him the last time, where he got robbed of everything, chased by a Pimp, and fell into a sewer where he was attacked by C.H.U.Ds. His time in New York is still pretty painful.
  • The Cameo: In the flashback Homer gets Woody Allen's trash on his head.
    • "The Sphere" sculpture (which used to sit in the Austin J. Tobin Plaza) makes a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance when Homer sees his car get ticketed from the men's restroom in the North Tower.
    • Bart visits the MAD office and sees the magazine's mascot Alfred E. Neuman in real life.
  • Captain Obvious: Homer points out to Barney that he selected the black pickled egg.
    Homer: You got the black one.
  • Competition Coupon Madness: Barney did this offscreen, resulting in Duffman's debut.
  • Foreign Queasine: "Khlav kalash."
  • Gave Up Too Soon: Homer tries to hold off his Potty Emergency so he can stay with his car, but can't hold it in anymore and goes to both towers to relieve himself. He ends up getting his car another ticket.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Homer butts in front of a woman, she says, "How frightfully rude! I certainly hope someone stabs him in the eye!"
  • Imagine Spot: After Homer sees a city bus with the destination of Flushing Meadows (a public park in Queens), he thinks of it as a big field with numerous toilets all flushing several times.
  • Jerkass: Fans usually point to this episode as the first one where Homer is an unsympathetic lout compared to his bumbling self. Partially justified, as last time he went to New York he had a terrible time and now has his car ticketed and booted.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The celeb in the musical "Kickin' It!" is inspired by Robert Downey, Jr., who had serious drug issues that led to numerous arrests at the time this episode was made.
  • No Sympathy: The rest of the family believe Homer is overreacting from his bad memories of New York and insist they go. The fact they have a thoroughly pleasant and carefree time compared to Homer didn't help.
  • Potty Emergency: Homer after he drank crab juice.
  • Reality Ensues: Homer tries to remove the boot on his car with a jackhammer. He ends up damaging the car even more, breaking the windows through the force of the vibrations and filling the car with holes when he misses.
  • Rule of Funny: There were restrooms at the World Trade Center plaza on the ground floor, making Homer's Potty Emergency a complete waste of time (for both him and his bladder).
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: This episode features a play where a judge says he should send the defendant somewhere he can't hurt or maim people but, since they live in L.A. and the defendant is rich and famous, he'll be sent to the Betty Ford clinic instead.
  • Shout-Out: Carl, Lenny, and Homer get drunk, and sing "The Macarena" in the car.
  • Shown Their Work: It took a lot from the animators, but they got New York right. Except for some scenes involving the World Trade Center. The Twin Towers stood at an angle from each other, not parallel, and there are moments where they are either at an angle or parallel.
  • Skyward Scream: When Homer is in the North Tower taking a whiz, he sees his car get another ticket. He then unleashes a "D'oh!" the entire city can hear.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: While Homer is trying to escape New York, "Everything is Beautiful" starts playing on the car radio. Homer kicks the radio in response.
  • Vacation Episode: The Simpsons travel to New York City.
  • The Worst Seat in the House: One unlucky lady who sat behind Marge during a Broadway production couldn't see a thing, and after some impatient movement, she finally gave up on seeing anything.
  • What a Drag: As Homer is driving his car slowly on a street in Manhattan (due to the car boot still being attached to the left front tire), a taxi driver passes him and is dragging a bicyclist underneath the rear bumper.
    Taxi Driver: [to Homer] Get off the road, ya freakin' maniac!
    Bicyclist: Yeah, ya jackass!
    Homer: Shut up, shut up! SHUT UP!