Recap / The Simpsons S 9 E 9 Realty Bites

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Episode - 5F06
First Aired - 12/7/1997

Feeling bored with life (once again), Marge takes a job in real estate but is uncomfortable having to bend the truth to make sales, especially when she wants to sell a cursed house to the Flanders. Meanwhile, Homer buys Snake's car at a police auction and Snake breaks out of jail to get it back.

This episode features Phil Hartman's last appearance as Lionel Hutz before his death in 1998.

Tropes:

  • The Alleged House: This exchange lampshades a few of the common metaphorical truths of real estate listings:
    Lionel Hutz: There's "the truth" (shakes head) and "the truth." (smiles wide) Let me show you. (shows pictures of homes for sale)
    Marge: It's awfully small.
    Lionel Hutz: I'd say it's awfully "cozy."
    Marge: That's dilapidated.
    Lionel Hutz: "Rustic."
    Marge: That house is on fire!
    Lionel Hutz: "Motivated seller."
  • An Arm and a Leg: Kirk's arm is sliced off by Snake's wire while complaining that his sandwich wasn't sliced.
  • Big "NO!": A variation. When Snake sees his car, Li'l Bandit, is next up for auction, he exclaims, "Oh, no!"
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Implied with Cookie Kawn, who's number one on the west side and wants to keep it that way. She cheerfully greets Marge, then warns her to stay away from the west side, and then suspiciously asks Nick and Gil if they are talking about the west side, when in fact it was Nick talking about how long he thought Marge would last at Red Blazer Realty.
  • Bluff the Impostor:
    Moe Szyslak: Geez, this hot rod is souped up six ways from Sunday! Never had you figured for a gearhead, Homer.
    Homer Simpson: Oh yeah, I'm a real expert.
    Moe Szyslak: What is that, a six barrel Holley carb?
    Homer Simpson: You betcha!
    Moe Szyslak: Edelbrock intakes?
    Homer Simpson: Nothing but.
    Moe Szyslak: Myohoff lifters?
    Homer Simpson: Oh, yeah.
    Moe Szyslak: I made that last one up.
    Homer Simpson: I see.
  • Brick Joke: Kirk's arm is sliced off by Snake's piano wire. When he's later seen in the unemployment line at the end of the episode, he has a cast on that same arm.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Marge can't bring herself to lie to people and ends up getting fired.
  • Cardboard Prison: The Springfield Penitentiary is apparently run on the honor system, a unlocked door with a "No escaping please" sign is the only thing keeping the prisoners in.
  • Catchphrase: Nick Callahan, one of the realtors, has one: "Boo-yah!" He says this twice, first when he manages to sell the Whitman place (which Gil had been trying to sell for 21 years), and again when he learns Marge sold the Murder House.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: The people in the unemployment line besides Kirk and Marge are Larry Burns (Mr. Burns' son from "Burns Baby Burns"), Lurleen Lumpkin (from "Colonel Homer," who looks just as worn-out and drug-addled as she did in "Marge vs. The Monorail"), George H.W. Bush (from "Two Bad Men"note ), and the redheaded hippie writer (modeled after Simpsons writer George Meyer) from "The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show" who was fired for objecting to adding Poochie the dog in a vain attempt at revitalizing The Itchy and Scratchy Show.
  • Cowboy Cop: Marge gets the "loose cannon" speech from Hutz just before she's fired.
  • Drives Like Crazy:
    Marge Simpson: I'm not getting back in this car until you drive like a sane person!
    Homer Simpson: [speeds off] Okaybyeloveya!
  • Exact Words: Marge says at the end that it would have been nice to bring home at least one paycheck. Homer reassures her that she will, as he drives up to the unemployment office. He didn't say she had to still be employed to bring a paycheck home.
  • Foreshadowing: Nick's comment of "I give her a week." Hutz later tells Marge that if she fails to sell a house in her first week at Red Blazer Realty, she'll be fired.
  • George Jetson Job Security:
    Lionel Hutz: Cubicles are for closers, Marge. Anyone who doesn't sell a house their first week gets fired. I probably should've mentioned that earlier.
  • Honor Before Reason: Marge giving back the check because she sold the Flanders the Murder House.
  • I Call It "Vera": Snake's car, which he calls Li'l Bandit.
  • Imagine Spot: Marge imagines the dove on Ned's check telling her she has to tell the Flanders' the truth about the Murder House. The dove lets the branch fall from its beak, says, "You've got to tell them the truth, Marge. The truth!", then the branch flies back into its beak.
  • It's All About Me: Marge feels she can't lie to people about the houses they buy, even tries to talk some people out of moving house altogether, and even though the Flanders' tell Marge they'll be happy in the Murder House, she tells them she won't feel right with herself until she returns their deposit. Lisa, however, commends Marge for not compromising her integrity.
  • Jerk Ass: Hutz definitely qualifies given the fact he just gave Marge a jacket saying "Fired" meaning she's fired.
  • The Lost Lenore: Homer asks Skinner if he wants to drag race, only for Skinner to sadly remark that his high school sweetheart, Debbie Sue, was killed in a drag-racing accident. Homer tries to reassure him by saying, "It'll be fun." It turns out to be the worst thing he could say, as that's what Debbie Sue said before said accident.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Kirk getting his arm sliced off. All he utters is a sad, "Ow!" Also, there's no blood or gore.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Marge, the Flanders' Homer and Snake all have one when Snake's car is about to crash into the Murder House. When Wiggum's police cruiser crashes into the house as well, the house collapses.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The "Jealous Jockey Murders" that happened in the house Marge sells to the Flanders. We're not told the details as to what happened or how it was instigated, other than the intended victim Mrs. Astor survived by hiding in the butler's pantry and there was a "torso heap" in front of the fireplace in the living room. Whatever else happened got the home dubbed "The Murder House."
    • The brief shot of Kirk in the unemployment line with his arm in a sling will come off as this if you watch the Edited for Syndication version where Kirk getting his arm cut off after Homer dodges the piano wire is cut.
  • Razor Floss: Snake uses this to try and decapitate Homer. Homer happens to duck at just the right time, and it gets Kirk's arm instead.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Gil makes his first appearance in this episode, and is patterned after Jack Lemmon's character in Glengarry Glen Ross. The "cubicles are for closers" line is also a parody of the line, "Coffee is for closers".
    • Todd Flanders says "Red room, red room, over there!"
    • Snake uses Acme Piano Wire when attempting to decapitate Homer.
  • Skewed Priorities: Chief Wiggum's reason for pursuing Snake and Homer? They caused a 318- "Waking a police officer"
  • Sex Sells: Marge's real estate billboard. Parodied with The Lumber King billboard, where Homer is mesmerized by the fat, moving butt of the company mascot.
    Homer: Gee, that picture makes your butt look big!
    Marge: I thought so, too! But they said it sells.
  • That Poor Car: Snake is upset when he hears Homer shifting gears poorly and using regular gasoline instead of premium.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: The residential ID of the Murder House is "1313".
  • Vocal Dissonance: Mixed with Call-Back: When Flanders is excited about the house he's touring, he screams like a woman.
    Ned: Purple drapes! All my life, I've wanted purple drapes! (high-pitched scream)
  • Who's Laughing Now?: When Johnny D's gates are sold at the police auction, Snake laughs at him. He has the last laugh when the next item turns out to be Snake's car.
  • You Did the Right Thing: Bart tries to console Marge after she's fired by telling her she did this. Eventually (his words).
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