Recap / The Simpsons S 9 E 9 Realty Bites
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.


  • An Arm and a Leg: Kirk's arm is sliced off by Snake's wire while complaining that his sandwich wasn't sliced.
  • Bluff the Impostor:
    Moe Szyslak: Geez, this hot rod is souped up six ways from Sunday! Never had you figured for a gearhead, Homer.
    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.
  • Call Back: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • From a Certain Point of View: 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."
  • 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.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Kirk getting his arm sliced off. All he utters is a sad, "Ow!" Also, there's no blood or gore.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.