[[caption-width-right:450:This is not a clue... or is it?]]
"Who Shot Mr. Burns" is a two-part episode, and the only one in [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons the series]]. It was the end of season 6 and the opener for season 7. YMMV tropes can be found [[YMMV/TheSimpsonsWhoShotMrBurns here]].

!Part 1

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 dismanteling their drill 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 too much for Smithers, and he asks that Burns stop. 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, mortally 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:
* 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; except for the shooter, who simply glares at Burns.''
* 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!
* BlatantLies: When Principal Skinner showed Superintendent Chalmers the headline "Awful School is Awful Rich", he covered the first "Awful". When Chalmers asked what was written behind the fingers, Skinner said it had nothing to do with the story.
* ChekovsGun:
** 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, which Marge buries and is later shown to have been dug up.
** In the background at Moe's tavern, a TV can be see advertising "Pardon My Zinger" at 3 o'clock.
* 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.
* 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]]
* [[EvenEvilHasStandards Even Corrupt Politicians Have Standards]]: Mayor Quimby may be a corrupt mayor [[note]]which has been showed in episodes like being an admitted a womanizer in "Bart's Inner Child"[[/note]], but he even thought the idea of Burns blocking out the sun to forced the people to pay for electricity was an outrage.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** As Mr. Burns is threatened at the town meeting, Burns asks "You all talk big, [[ArmorPiercingQuestion but who here has the guts to stop me?]]" Everybody except Maggie lowers their face or looks away.
* {{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.
* {{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".
* LateArrivalSpoiler: The DVD box art for Season 6 features Maggie penned up in a miniature jail cell. However, the commentators' lips are sealed.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: After Mr Burns was 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 seemed to have picked up a habit of shouting out what Burns had recently done to their lives. {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d by Marge.
* 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.
* PaperThinDisguise: Mr. Burns tries to convince Skinner to give the oil to the power plant by disguising himself as Jimbo Jones. 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 in a well for previously pranking the town into thinking someone else fell into it]].
* 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-- 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 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''.
* 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''.
* TakeOurWordForIt: When Mr. Burns sent Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie (but not Homer) a thank you card, Homer reacted by shouting something Flanders considered the foulest word he 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!"
* TranquilFury: Homer, when he asks Bart and Lisa to leave for a second, not wanting them to see his AtomicFBomb presumably since it isn't their fault Mr. Burns keeps forgetting his name.
* WaxingLyrical: Before he was shot, Mr. Burns paraphrases the Music/SimonAndGarfunkel song "Feelin' Groovy", saying "Hello, lamppost, whatcha knowin'? I've come to watch your power flowin'..."
* WraparoundBackground: Used on the CouchGag.
* YouMonster: Said by Bart after Mr. Burns mocks Santa's Little Helper's injuries.

!Part 2

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.

The 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 livelyhoods 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-fighitng]] 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 thought he was talking about Dr. Colossus.
* 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.
* 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.]]
* 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.
* DeletedScene: [[http://pic.twitter.com/TcTBam7K8v A scene that never made it beyond the script]] had Dr. Hibbert remove the bullet from Mr. Burns to help Chief Wiggum's investigation. In the actual episode, the episode skips straight to Wiggum already having collected the bullet.
* 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!
* 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!
* 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.
* KilledOffForReal:
-->'''Kent Brockman:''' At 3 PM 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".]]
* 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.
* 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.
* ParrotExpowhat: 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?).
* 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''.
** The "Speedway Squad" sequence from Smithers' dream references the opening sequence of ''Series/PoliceSquad''.
* TakeThat: The first thing that clues Sideshow Mel in on Smither's innocence is when he mentioned watching Comedy Central, which Mel took note of because it was unusual (this show having been made back when Comedy Central wasn't as popular as it was now).
* 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]].