"Who Shot Mr. Burns" is ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'''s first multi-part episode. It was the end of season 6 and the opener for season 7. YMMV tropes can be found [[YMMV/TheSimpsonsWhoShotMrBurns here]].

[[caption-width-right:350:This is not a clue... or is it?]]
!Part 1[[#S6E25]]

Episode - 2F16\\
First Aired - 5/21/1995

While burying a dead gerbil, Groundskeeper Willie strikes oil on Springfield Elementary. Principal Skinner starts taking and accepting suggestions on what to do with the money the oil well will bring, including hiring mambo star Music/TitoPuente to teach. Mr. Burns hears about the school's oil well, and swears to get the oil.

Meanwhile, Homer starts becoming unhinged by the fact that Mr. Burns can't remember who he is. It reaches the point where Homer attacks Burns in his office, screaming, "My name is Homer Simpson!"

Burns creates his own slant-drilling operation to tap the school's well, much to Smithers' displeasure. As a result, Springfield Elementary has no oil, and from the cost of building and dismantling their drill, they have to fire both Willie and Tito, who swear vengeance. Burns' oil drilling causes the Springfield retirement home and Moe's Tavern to close down. A gusher from the well hits Bart's treehouse, destroying it and injuring Santa's Little Helper, causing Bart to also swear revenge. But the worst is yet to come; Burns reveals that he plans on building a sun-blocker to keep Springfield in eternal darkness, forcing them to rely on his powerplant-powered lights 24/7. This is finally too much for Smithers and he asks that Burns stop but Burns fires him instead.

At a town meeting, everyone voices their grievances about Burns, and the man appears himself. He reveals that following an attack from 'someone' he has started carrying a revolver around, and despite the entire town hating him, activates his sun-blocker, thinking himself invincible. Walking into an alley and obscured from view, he meets someone;

->"Oh it's you, what are you so happy about? Ah, I see. I think you'd better drop it. I said drop it! Get your hands off-"

There's a gunshot, and Burns staggers out into the open and collapses onto the sundial, badly wounded. As the townsfolk gather around his body, Marge realizes that since everyone hates Burns, any one of them could be the shooter.

!!This episode contains examples of:
* AccidentalMisnaming: The RunningGag regarding Burns never recalling Homer's name reaches its RageBreakingPoint on these episodes. His name is not Lenny, Carl, or Guillermo, it's ''Homer!'' So Burns remembers the ''wrong'' names, but he can't remember the ''right'' one when he tries to say hello again, even though it says "Homer" on the name tag?!!? It gets so bad that Homer almost wastes his chance at clearing his name by ''trying to shoot Burns in the head'' when the man forgets his name one time too many.
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: The "pressing parcel processing" scene.
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: Burns of all characters asks one, when Springfield's hatred of him was even more intense than usual.
-->'''[=McCallister=]''': Arr, Burns, your scurvy schemes will earn ye a one-way passage to the boneyard!\\
'''Ned''': I'd like to hear from Sideshow Mel!\\
'''Mel''': I'll see to it that Burns suffers the infernal machinations of hell's grim tyrant!\\
'''Otto''': Yeah!\\
'''Burns''': Oh, you all talk big, but who here has the guts to stop me?\\
''The residents of Springfield all look around, expecting someone else to step forward''
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking:
** At the town meeting, everyone states their reasons for hating Burns, all of them legitimate reasons to hold a grudge. Except for Marge...
--> '''Marge:''' HE'S CAUSING US ALL TO YELL!
** And when Smithers tries to dissuade Mr. Burns from blocking out the sun.
--> '''Smithers''': But sir, every plant and tree will die, owls will deafen us with incessant hooting; the town's sundial will be useless.
* AssholeVictim: Mr. Burns himself.
* AtomicFBomb: Homer when his plan to make Mr. Burns remember his name backfires.
--> '''Ned:''' Dear Lord, that's the loudest profanity I've ever heard!
* BaitAndSwitch:
** Consumed with rage over Mr. Burns repeatedly failing to remember his name, Homer drives to the plant and sneaks into his office, carrying a duffle bag. The bag contains spray paint, which Homer uses to leave the message "MY NAME IS HOMER SIMPSON".
** When Mr. Burns walks in on Homer and ''once again'' fails to realize who he is, Homer snaps and charges towards Burns... and grabs him by the shirt and shakes him.
* BlatantLies: When Principal Skinner shows Superintendent Chalmers the headline "Awful School is Awful Rich", he covers the first "Awful". When Chalmers asks what's written behind the fingers, Skinner says it has nothing to do with the story.
-->'''Skinner:''' It's an unrelated article.
-->'''Chalmers:''' An unrelated article? Within the banner headlines?
-->'''Skinner:''' Yes.
* ChekhovsGun:
** Smithers mentions the town sundial.
** All the guns brought to the town meeting (meaning it's easy to work out who's not the shooter by the guns they're carrying, like Moe's shotgun).
** Grandpa Simpson's gun is a literal one, which Marge buries and is later shown to have been dug up.
** In the background at Moe's tavern, a TV can be seen advertising "Pardon My Zinger" at 3 o'clock.
** The last thing Homer does before the scene at Town Hall is shake Burns while repeatedly saying "My name is Homer Simpson!".
* CliffHanger: To date, the only 2-part Simpsons episode.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: Homer when Marge gives him an idea to make Mr. Burns remember his name:
--> '''Marge:''' I have an idea.\\
'''Homer:''' What? What's your idea?\\
'''Marge:''' When my father was first trying to catch my mother's eye, he sent her a box of candy with his photo in it. After that, she never forgot him.\\
'''Homer:''' That's all well and good, but it's not really ''your'' idea, is it now, Marge?
* ConeOfShame: Santa's Little Helper gets one after his legs are injured. Nelson and his parrot laugh at him, and Abe mistakes him for a lamp.
* ContinuityNod: When Mr. Burns and Smithers are eating from Homer's box of chocolates:
-->'''Smithers:''' Now look, there's a photo in here.\\
'''Burns:''' Ah yes, I believe that's little Maggie Simpson, the baby who [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS5E4Rosebud found my precious teddy bear Bobo]]. Oh, and that Simpson mutt, [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS3E19DogOfDeath my former guard dog]]. Oh, and um... that's uh, Bart Simpson. [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS5E18BurnsHeir He was my heir for a brief period]], you know?\\
'''Smithers:''' Yes sir, I remember.
* DelegationRelay: Burns tries to send out a package through one of these. It ends up with Homer, who [[ComicallyMissingThePoint Comically Misses The Point]] and brings the package ''back'' to Burns, who angrily tells him that his name is on the ''return address.''
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: Marge says the cheesy-sounding "Holy Christmas!" to express surprise and alarm upon seeing the devastation Mr. Burns has wrought through his slant drilling.
* DrowningHisSorrows: Smithers does not take being fired well, drinking cheap liquor and watching shows on Creator/ComedyCentral. (He also mentions that he never misses ''Pardon My Zinger,'' which turns out later to be a clue that clears him.)
* EveryoneIsASuspect: By the time Mr. Burns is shot, everyone in Springfield has a motive to shoot him & Marge outright says the [[TropeNamer trope naming phrase]]. In reality, there was a handful of people who couldn't have done it. [[note]]Sideshow Mel had a knife, not a gun; Principal Skinner's gun had a silencer; Moe & Apu had guns which wouldn't wound Burns in the manner that he was; Marge Simpson & Jimbo Jones are both seen outside City Hall as a wounded Burns stumbles past; and Krusty the Clown had literally just returned to town minutes earlier.[[/note]]
* EveryoneHasStandards:
** Smithers is Burns' HypercompetentSidekick, a hard-core YesMan and how much "evil" he actually is himself ''seriously'' lands on DependingOnTheWriter territory, but his temporal downfall stems from the fact that he thinks Burns' terrorizing of the entire town for the sake of getting more money (even before he showcases the solar blocker dish) is going too far. After he becomes a jobless drunk, as well, people are ''[[FauxHorrific horrified]]'' that he's been brought so low that he spends all day watching Comedy Central.
* [[EvenEvilHasStandards Even Corrupt Politicians Have Standards]]: Mayor Quimby may be an ''incredibly'' corrupt mayor, but he even thought the idea of Burns blocking out the sun to force the people to pay for electricity was an outrage.
* {{Homage}}: The whole episode, and the next by extension, is a parody of the "Who Shot J.R.?" episode of ''Series/{{Dallas}}''.
** Dr. Hibbert -- already an {{Expy}} of Creator/BillCosby as his ''Series/TheCosbyShow'' character -- becomes one for Cosby's character in ''Series/TheCosbyMysteries'' with his "Well, I couldn't possibly solve this mystery... Can you?" statement at the end.
* {{Irony}}: At Marge's suggestion, Homer sends Mr. Burns a box of chocolates with a photo of the entire Simpson family so he'll know who he is. Instead, Burns and Smithers eat everything ''except'' the piece covering Homer's face.
* {{Jerkass}}: Mr. Burns might well be at his absolute worst in this episode, stealing oil from a school out of spite, destroying the retirement home, badly injuring Bart and Santa's Little Helper, and then planning to block out the sun entirely, travelling to the town meeting to gloat. And while there, he threatens to draw a gun on Bart, after taunting him about aforementioned injuries to SLH.
* LampshadeHanging: The day after Willie strikes oil on the Springfield Elementary campus, the local newspaper's front page reads "[[SuckySchool AWFUL SCHOOL]] IS AWFUL RICH."
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: After Mr. Burns collapses on the sun dial, Dr. Hibbert comments "Well, I couldn't possibly solve this mystery...Can you?" whilst looking and pointing directly at the viewer, [[FourthWallPsych before quickly cutting to a different shot to show he was talking to Chief Wiggum]]. This was done in reference to the contest that ran over the summer, in order for the viewers to figure out the culprit.
* MultiPartEpisode: Notably the only one the show has ever done.
* NoIndoorVoice: During the meeting, everyone seems to have picked up a habit of shouting out what Burns had recently done to their lives. {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d by Marge.
* NoSell: When he tries to attack Principal Skinner, Mr. Burns can only flail ineffectually at him.
* NotAMask: Used at the end:
-->'''Chief Wiggum:''' This isn't Mr. Burns' face at all! It's a mask! (pulls on his face) Oh wait, it is Burns. Heh his wrinkly skin lo-looked like a mask.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: The fact that Smithers, the quintessential YesMan, can't bring himself to toe the line is a good indicator of how far over the edge Burns has gone.
* OverlyNarrowSuperlative: Principal Skinner describes Mr. Burns as "this town's most prominent 104-year-old man".
* PaperThinDisguise: Mr. Burns tries to convince Skinner to give the oil to the power plant by disguising himself as Jimbo Jones. [[RealityEnsues It works about as well as you would expect]].
* PayEvilUntoEvil: Subverted. Burns is portrayed as an opportunist with no moral restraint. When he decides to block sunlight from Springfield, a town hall meeting is called on the subject, and everyone brings a gun to the meeting. But when someone actually SHOOTS Burns (hid behind a Shadow Discretion Shot), he is perceived as a victim, despite his obviously evil nature, and the attempted murder is investigated anyway. This is VERY out of character for Springfield, the kind of town that would [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS3E13RadioBart leave a boy to die in a well for previously pranking the town into thinking someone else fell into it]].
* PetTheDog: Mr. Burns is probably at his worst in this episode, but when he thinks the Simpsons have sent him a box of chocolates, he has Smithers send a thank you in response. For Burns, that's astoundingly polite (even if he did accidentally miss out Homer).
* RedHerring: Abe and the constant drawn attention to his flintlock is an obvious one PlayedForLaughs.
** The sundial clue in part one also serves as this, while also giving the identity of the actual.shooter away if one thinks more carefully. Burns' hands land on the west and south points of the sundial, matching the initials of Waylon Smithers, the initial main suspect.
* RhetoricalQuestionBlunder: As he's about to unleash his sun-blocking device, Mr. Burns rhetorically asks the other residents of Springfield if they "have ever seen the sun set at 3 P.M.?" [[FatherNeptune Captain Horatio McAllister]] goes off into an anecdote about sailing around the Arctic circle once before Mr. Burns tells him to shut up.
* RoomFullOfCrazy: Homer spray-painting "I am Homer Simpson" on the walls of Mr. Burns' office. It ''still'' doesn't get Burns to remember him.
* SanitySlippage: Homer undergoes one as a result of his name not remembered by Mr. Burns.
* ScaleModelDestruction: Mr. Burns goes a bit too far with this.
-->'''Burns:''' Take that, Bowlerama! Take that, convenience mart! Take that, Nuclear Power Plan-- [[MadeMyselfSad Oh, fiddlesticks]].
* TheScream: A variation appears; on realizing that Mr. Burns has forgotten his name yet again despite all his efforts, Homer takes a deep breath and yells a profanity (starts with an "[[AtomicFBomb F]]", the rest is covered by the sound of an organ playing). It's given exactly the same treatment as The Scream.
* ShoutOut:
** The image of [[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 Joel/Mike and the bots in the theatre]] can be seen on the TV in Moe's bar.
** The sequence involving the package being delivered spoofed the advertising campaign at the time for Federal Express, including Mr. Burns saying the slogan "it must absolutely be there overnight.".
** The music in the credits is done to match Oliver Stone's ''JFK''.
** Chief Wiggum mistaking Mr. Burns' face for a mask parodies WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooWhereAreYou.
* SpecialGuest: Music/TitoPuente. Applies to Part 2 as well.
* SpoofingInTheRain: Mr. Burns climbs a lamp post in the same way Creator/GeneKelly did in ''Film/SinginInTheRain''.
* StealthPun: The church organ chord used to censor Homer's AtomicFBomb is an ''F minor'' chord.
* [[StronglyWordedLetter Sternly Worded Letter]]: Mayor Quimby's response is... to write a polite but firm letter, with the plan to send it to his underlings, in the hope they'll pass it along or "at least give him the gist of it".
* TakeOurWordForIt: When Mr. Burns sends Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie (but not Homer) a thank you card, Homer reacts by shouting something Flanders considers the loudest profanity he's ever heard.
* TakeThat: After losing his job, Smithers now spends all his days watching Creator/ComedyCentral, leading a disgusted Dr. Hibbert to utter "My God!", and everyone else to look horrified.
* TranquilFury: Homer, when he asks Bart and Lisa to leave for a second, not wanting them to hear his AtomicFBomb presumably since it isn't their fault Mr. Burns keeps forgetting his name and to keep them from learning a bad word. Regardless, seeing how dangerously pissed off their father is, Bart and Lisa do as they're told and run away scared.
* WaxingLyrical: Before he's shot, Mr. Burns paraphrases the Music/SimonAndGarfunkel song "Feelin' Groovy", saying "Hello, lamppost, whatcha knowin'? I've come to watch your power flowin'..."
* WouldHurtAChild: To prevent Bart from attacking him at Town Hall, Mr. Burns flashes his pistol.
* WraparoundBackground: Used on the CouchGag.
* YouMonster: Said by Bart after Mr. Burns mocks Santa's Little Helper's injuries.

[[caption-width-right:300:Don't complain about the solution when you hear it.]]
!Part 2[[#S7E1]]

Episode - 2F20\\
First Aired - 9/17/1995

Kent Brockman reports that Burns was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. He was then taken to a ''better'' hospital and pronounced "Alive, but barely". With Burns in a coma and the only witnesses to the shooting being Maggie and Santa's Little Helper, the police suspect Smithers. Smithers also suspects himself, because he has a gun that was recently been fired. Recalling shooting someone, a guilt-addled Smithers goes into a Catholic confessional to vent, which turns out to be a trap by Wiggum. On TV, Smithers makes a comment from an episode of 'Pardon My Zinger' that aired on the night of the shooting. Sideshow Mel realizes that if Smithers saw that episode he could not have been at the town hall to shoot Burns, and reports his thoughts. Smithers realizes that the man he shot was Jasper, but only in his wooden leg. Meanwhile, the sunblocker is torn down, crushing Shelbyville.

With the prime suspect being the first one cleared, police are once again, and as usual, baffled, as their only clue is the bullet pulled from Burns' body. Lisa, wanting to help, names some suspects and their motives; Skinner, Willie, Moe, and Barney, whose livelihoods were endangered by Burns' oil drilling. Wiggum realizes that Music/TitoPuente is also a suspect by that logic, and the police go out to investigate.

* Tito's 'vengeance' turns out to be [[TheVillainSucksSong a slanderous mambo]], much to entertainment of the police.
* Skinner admits to preparing to attack Burns, but was applying combat make-up at the time of the shooting. A flashback shows that he mixed up his ''mother's'' make-up, and while Superintendent Chalmers can vouch for his alibi, "Anything else he says is a filthy lie."
* Willie claims to have a crippling arthritis in his index fingers from ''VideoGame/SpaceInvaders'' (not the video game; ''actual'' space invaders), vouched by his medical records.
* Via LieDetector, Moe is also proclaimed innocent (and a pervert who ogles women in the Sears catalog).

After a dream involving Lisa and burning cards, Wiggum checks the suit Burns was wearing when shot. He finds an eyelash, and a DNA scan reveals that it came from the Simpson line. At this time Burns wakes up, crying, "Homer Simpson!"

The police raid the Simpson home, and find a gun in the family's car. It not only has bullet markings identical to the one from the shooting, but Homer's fingerprints on it! Homer is arrested, but escapes when Wiggum turns over the paddywagon while trying to get fast food from a drive-thru.

Lisa is unconvinced by the evidence, as the DNA was 'Simpson', not just Homer's. And a flashback reveals that Homer got his fingerprints on the gun by feeling around for an ice cream scoop he dropped.

Meanwhile, a check-up by Dr. Nick ("Hi, everybody!" "Ho, Mersimp Son!") reveals that "Homer Simpson" is the ''only'' thing Burns can say, the result of brain trauma.

Lisa goes to the town hall to investigate some more, and has a revelation on who the shooter is. Smithers issues a reward for Homer's capture "Dead or alive", and word gets out that the fugitive is at the hospital Burns is at! The entire town hurries there to find Homer shaking Burns, demanding that the 'accusation' be taken back. This cures Burns' trauma, and he ''still'' has no idea who Homer is.

His speech returned to normal, Burns reveals who shot him; Maggie Simpson!

Burns reveals that after the town meeting, he saw Maggie in the Simpson car with a lollipop. Wanting to actually 'take candy from a baby', Burns went at it, but found his strength to be lacking. During the struggle, his gun fell out and into Maggie's arms, firing.

Burns demands that his 'assailant' be arrested, but is shrugged off. After all, it was an accident.

Wasn't it?

The reveal of the real shooter has been referenced in several episodes since.
!!This episode contains examples of:
* AbortedArc: The story concerning the oil under Springfield Elementary that dominated Part 1 is quietly dropped and forgotten about, as is all of the damage that Mr. Burns caused in his efforts to seize it.
* AfterActionVillainAnalysis: Smithers provides some.
-->'''Smithers:''' [Burns] became consumed by greed, he'd steal from anyone...and when he tried to steal our sunlight, he crossed the line from everyday villainy into CartoonishSupervillainy!"
* TheAlibi: Each of the main suspects has one, including Smithers, who initially thought he himself was the culprit.
* AllJustADream: The episode opens with Smithers waking up and finding Mr. Burns in the shower, leading him to conclude that the shooting was a dream. But then Burns explains that he and Smithers are [[TheyFightCrime crime-fighting]] racecar drivers in [[TheSixties the year 1965]]. And that's when Smithers wakes up for real. The whole scene is a spoof of the infamous ending of the eighth season of ''Series/{{Dallas}}'', an egregious example of this trope.
* AmbiguousSyntax: When Sideshow Mel visits the police station and tells the officers that they have arrested an innocent man, Chief Wiggum thinks he's talking about Dr. Colossus.
* AnalogyBackfire: After Sideshow Mel clears Smithers of shooting Burns, Marge remarks that it's never the most likely suspect. Lisa shoots down Marge's theory by saying that 95% of the time, it ''is'' the most likely suspect (the other 5% being down to a deranged lunatic who did it for no reason).
* AndThereWasMuchRejoicing: The Springfielders who tear down Burns' sun blocker rejoice once Principal Skinner states the town it crushed was Shelbyville.
* AppointmentTelevision: With the help of Sideshow Mel, this was the reason Smithers was proven to be innocent: he couldn't have been the one to shoot Mr. Burns, since his favorite television show was on at the time of the crime, and he never misses it.
* ArtMajorBiology: In-universe; Marge is under the impression that marrying Homer gave her Simpson DNA. Lisa is not impressed.
* BaitAndSwitch: The climax of the episode sees Homer sneak into Mr. Burns' hospital room and moves towards him, hands raised, intending to make sure Burns stops saying he shot him. When everyone rushes into the hospital room later on, [[BrickJoke we see Homer yet again shaking Mr. Burns by the shirt]].
* BigNo: Parodied in the {{foiler|Footage}} ending.
-->'''Burns:''' The one who shot me was... ''(freaks out upon seeing Smithers)'' Waylon Smithers!\\
'''Smithers:''' NOOOOOO! [[YesMan Wait a minute, yes.]]
* TheBore: After the GilliganCut from the Tito Puente interview, Skinner is taking a long time recalling where he was during the shooting, hemming and hawing all the way, and all of the policemen in the room are literally falling asleep from the boredom.
* CardboardPrison: Double subverted for Dr. Colossus: when he tries to escape the police precinct's prison with his "Colosso-Boots" after gloating, he's unable to punch though the roof and he asks for his lawyer, but when Sideshow Mel arrives and says that Wiggum has arrested an innocent man in error, Wiggum immediately assumes he's talking about Colossus and lets him go before Mel can say that he meant Smithers.
* CartoonishSupervillainy: Smithers' recap of Mr. Burns' actions in Part One is the TropeNamer.
-->'''Dr. Colossus:''' Bah! He was a rank amateur compared to Dr. Colossus! ''(EvilLaugh)''
* ChalkOutline: Provides Lisa with a clue.
* {{Crossover}}: A special episode of ''Series/AmericasMostWanted'' aired before this episode's debut, looking at the clues and suspects from Part 1.
* ConfessInConfidence: Smithers goes to confession.
-->'''Smithers:''' Father, I'm not a Catholic, but... well, I ''tried'' to march in the St. Patrick's Day parade. But anyway, I've got a... rather large sin to confess. (''sniffles'') I'm the one who... shot Mr. Burns!\\
'''Wiggum:''' (''pokes head out, cocks gun'') That's all I needed to hear! Boy, this thing works great.
* DisabilityAlibi: Groundskeeper Willie is cleared as a potential suspect due to being medically certified to be unable to use a gun from playing too much ''VideoGame/SpaceInvaders'' in his youth.
* EntertaininglyWrong: Homer is falsely arrested for shooting Burns. The evidence against him seems pretty solid, but he turns out to be innocent. When Burns wakes up from his coma, he shouts "Homer Simpson!", the gun Burns was shot with had Homer's fingerprints on it, and was found under his car seat, and the bullet that was removed from Burns matches the other bullets in the gun. However, "Homer Simpson" is the ''only'' thing Burns could say due to brain trauma, Homer didn't know the gun was there and left fingerprints on it without realizing it, the gun was the one Burns had bought after Homer had attacked him in his office prior to the town meeting, and it fell out of his pocket, into Maggie's hands and fired at him before ending up under the car seat (along with the lollipop Burns had tried to take from Maggie).
** Marge mistakenly believes that by marrying Homer she inherited Simpsons DNA, making her a suspect when it turns up on Burns' coat. Lisa prudently [[SureLetsGoWithThat moves the conversation along]].
* EveryoneHasStandards: Tito Puente, when interrogated as a suspect, answers that he's not a man who believes in violent revenge: after all, why shoot someone when he can create a slanderous EarWorm [[InUniverse of a]] mambo that will probably outlive both men?
* FairPlayWhodunnit: Even though the culprit did seem to come out of the blue, the clues were indeed all there, with the mystery even being drummed up as a contest to see who could figure it out.
* FakeOutOpening: The episode opens with Smithers waking up and finding a thought-to-be-dead Mr. Burns in the shower ala [[Series/{{Dallas}} Bobby Ewing]]. Mr. Burns suddenly exposits, "The year is 1965, and you and I are undercover detectives on the hot rod circuit." Cue the opening sequence of a show called ''Speedway Squad'' ("In Color!"). Smithers then wakes up for real.
* FoilerFootage: Even though only a few of them could have been guilty, there was a gunshot, and Principal Skinner's gun had a silencer; Moe had a shotgun, which would've killed Burns, and Apu is shown using an automatic weapon that still leaves just one wound. They also shot a full alternate summation where Smithers goes through his whole MotiveRant, and it's explained how all the clues could have added up to Smithers being the culprit. As Troy [=McClure=] points out in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS7E10TheSimpsons138thEpisodeSpectacular The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular]]", the DNA evidence has to be ignored for this alternate ending to work.
** There were also some brief, insane shots of various Springfieldians killing Burns, including ''Santa's Little Helper''!
* FugitiveArc: Homer manages to escape police custody because of an accident en route to prison and goes on the lam, trying to demonstrate he wasn't the one who shot Mr. Burns... [[NotHelpingYourCase which unfortunately means that the cops find him almost shooting Burns for real because he's angry that Burns can only say his name.]]
* GilliganCut: After Music/TitoPuente's mambo, Wiggum hopes all of the suspect interviews will be as much fun. Cut to the police interviewing the ''very'' dull Principal Skinner.
* GratuitousSpanish: Music/TitoPuente's TheVillainSucksSong includes the lines "¡Burns! / Con el corazón de perro[[note]]with the heart of a dog[[/note]] / ¡Señor Burns! / ¡El diablo con dinero![[note]]the Devil with money[[/note]]," and ends with "¡Adiós, viejo!"[[note]]Goodbye, old man![[/note]]
* {{Homage}}: The opening scene references another ''Series/{{Dallas}}'' storyline, in which the whole eighth season was revealed to had been AllJustADream.
* HumiliationConga: Moe, on the lie detector.
-->'''Moe:''' Now would you unhook me already? I don't deserve this kind of shabby treatment! (''buzz!'')
* InadvertentEntranceCue:
-->'''Marge:''' Why don't you solve the mystery of who put mud in the freezer?\\
'''Bart:''' Who wants chocolate ice cream?\\
'''Homer:''' Me! Me! Me!
* {{Irony}}: As it happens, Mr. Burns really ''can't'' steal candy from a baby.
* KarmaHoudini: Burns gets away with a ''lot''. Sure, he got shot, but he stole millions of dollars from the school by rigging the oil well forcing them to let go a number of people including Willie, caused the retirement home to collapse in a sinkhole, ruined Moe's bar via toxin fumes, broke Santa's Little Helper's legs, and drove Homer so crazy over his inability to remember Homer's name that he assaulted him in his office. And his worse plan is to blot out the sun and kill all plant life and force everyone to use his electricity. Yeah, his device got torn down, but unless he paid to repair the damage above offscreen, or the device didn't last long enough to make up for the money he spent building it, he got away scot free with no consequences! The people who tore down Burns' device aren't seen receiving any sort of punishment for crushing Shelbyville either, though considering the Shelbyvillains tend to be bigger {{Jerkass}}es than the Springfieldians, this may be more of a case of LaserGuidedKarma for Shelbyville.
* KilledOffForReal:
-->'''Kent Brockman:''' At 3PM Friday, local autocrat C. Montgomery Burns was shot following a tense confrontation at Town Hall. Burns was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. [[SubvertedTrope He was then transferred to a better hospital where doctors upgraded his condition to "alive".]]
** There's also a point later on in the episode where it's mentioned the aforementioned "better hospital" is the [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS1E4TheresNoDisgraceLikeHome Dr. Marvin Monroe]] Memorial Hospital, the implication being that the Simpsons' former family psychiatrist was KilledOffscreen some time during Season 6, a theory seemingly confirmed in [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS7E10TheSimpsons138thEpisodeSpectacular subsequent]] [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS11E14AloneAgainNaturaDiddily episodes]]. Like the Burns example above, this later turns out to be [[SubvertedTrope subverted]]; He later appears complementing Marge's novel in Season 15's "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS15E10DiatribeOfAMadHousewife Diatribe of a Mad Housewife]]", stating that he'd just "been very sick".
* LetsGetDangerous: Although the plot eventually demonstrates that the "iron-clad" evidence was product of a bunch of highly circumstantial coincidences, Wiggum still manages to pull off a decent enough investigation (with some help from Lisa) when prompted that Homer's (wrongful) conviction was almost sure.
* MakeTheDogTestify: Eddie and Lou attempt to do this with Santa's Little Helper and Maggie.
--> '''Lou:''' Did you see this guy? Was he anywhere near the parking lot when Burns got shot?\\
'''Eddie:''' No, it's no use. They ain't talking.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Smithers when he believed he shot Mr. Burns.
* NobleProfession: Spoofed. Lisa says that Tito Puente can't be a suspect in the case because he's a celebrity. Chief Wiggum doesn't think so.
* NotHelpingYourCase: As Burns snaps out of saying "Homer Simpson" nonstop, he ''still'' doesn't seem to know who Homer is, exasperating him.
-->'''Homer:''' ''D'OOOOOOOOOOH!'' (''pulls out a pistol'') Say it, Burns! Say I never shot you... (''realizes everybody's watching'') before.
* NotSoAboveItAll: Lisa's investigating is a big help to the police, but she completely dismisses the idea of Tito Puente being the shooter, despite the fact he has just as much motive as the other suspects, solely because she admires his music. He does turn out to be innocent but the police were right to investigate him.
* OhCrap: Homer has one when the police bust into the Simpson home to arrest him for shooting Burns. He gets another, in the form of a scream, when the gun he claims to have never seen before somehow has his fingerprints on it.
* OutOfCharacterMoment / SmartBall: The otherwise completely incompetent Chief Wiggum seems surprisingly competent in this episode, as he arrests Smithers and Homer with evidence against both, and has a few DumbassHasAPoint moments in his investigation, such as coming up with the confession booth trap to catch Smithers, asking why no one reported Jasper getting shot (he was unharmed because Smithers shot his wooden leg), and saying that Tito Puente must be a suspect too because he was supposed to be hired by the school, but was fired because of how the school's oil well was tapped by Burns, and Lisa concedes the point.
* ParrotExpowhat: When Smithers asks Jasper to forgive him for shooting his wooden leg, Jasper says "You shot who in the what now?"
* PlagiarismInFiction: Krusty accused Smithers of stealing a Music/{{Madonna}} gag from him. When Sideshow Mel called him out for having stolen it from "Pardon My Zinger", he asked "Stole, made up. What's the difference?"
* PoorMansPorn: Moe is forced to admit under a lie detector test that he spends his evenings ogling the women in the Sears catalogue (even though Sears stopped sending out Sears catalogues in America at the time of the episode's first airing, but who's to say that Moe doesn't either have a stash of old catalogues, or getting new ones from Canada?).
* RageBreakingPoint: Homer's violent shaking winds up snapping Mr. Burns out of his "Homer Simpson" stupor... and his first act is to ask Smithers who is shaking him. Homer full on breaks, grabs Chief Wiggum's pistol, '''and jams it into Burns' head, finger on the trigger'''.
* SherlockHomage: Sideshow Mel reaches the conclusion that Smithers must be innocent. While he ponders over the clues, he lits a Holmesian pipe and orders Krusty (the Watson in this case) to come along with him to the police station.
* ShoutOut:
** Homer's escape from arrest and sneaking into a hospital disguised as a doctor all spoof ''Film/TheFugitive''.
** Groundskeeper Willie's investigation while showing he's wearing nothing below his kilt references the most famous scene from ''Film/BasicInstinct''.
** Chief Wiggum's dream is one to ''Film/TwinPeaksFireWalkWithMe''.
*** He's getting his detective advice from a fictional Creator/AgathaChristie novel.
** The "Speedway Squad" sequence from Smithers' dream references the opening sequence of ''Series/PoliceSquad''.
* TakeThat:
** The first thing that clues Sideshow Mel in on Smithers' innocence is when he mentioned watching Comedy Central, which Mel took note of because it was unusual (this episode having been made back when Comedy Central wasn't as popular as it was now).
** When Burns demands Maggie be arrested for shooting him, Wiggum laughs it off by saying no jury in the world would convict a baby, except maybe Texas.
** "Pardon My Zinger" insults Madonna by implying she was disappointed in missing out on the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tailhook_scandal Tailhook Scandal]], a gag later used by both Krusty and Smithers.
* TheVillainSucksSong: Music/TitoPuente's creation of one is his alibi for not shooting Mr. Burns.
-->'''Tito:''' Revenge? Of course. But why wound his body with bullets when I could set his soul afire with a slanderous mambo?
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Chief Wiggum never investigates Barney (there's even a shot of Lisa's chart of suspects with everyone except him crossed out as Wiggum laments that he still hasn't got any leads)[[note]]This may have to do with [[WhatCouldHaveBeen what was originally planned]] for the episode as stated on the [[WordOfGod DVD Director's Commentary]] in Part 2, in which Barney would have turned out to be the shooter[[/note]].
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: During Tito's song, a group of clams in the kitchen starts dancing to it. The chef looks on in astonishment, smiles and then [[BlackComedy dumps them in a boiling pot anyway.]]
* WhoMurderedTheAsshole: Downplayed in that Burns isn't ''killed'', but he does everything in his power to become such a colossal example of the AssholeVictim within a handful of minutes/a couple of days InUniverse that the ensuing mystery was treated pretty seriously because, yeah, even ''babies'' wished him dead.
* WouldHurtAChild: Once everything has been cleared and Homer is declared innocent, Burns immediately points out that things are not over yet and orders Wiggum ''[[DisproportionateRetribution to arrest Maggie (a baby) for his attempted murder]]''. Wiggum refuses because 1) it was very clearly an accident and 2) no jury in the world would convict a baby... [[TakeThat except maybe Texas]].