When Homer becomes the star player on the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team, at one point he points to left field calling his home run. Then he hits a homer to right field. He stands there looking silly for a moment, then retroactively calls his shot to right field instead.
Parodied in a later episode when Crazy Cat Lady Eleanor Abernathy, who's given to cat-tossing, points over the roof to call a toss.
Calvinball: In one episode Bart and Homer are playing a board game that's a cross between Battleship and Scrabble.
Homer: "You sank my Scrabbleship!"
Lisa: "This game makes no sense."
The Cameo: The show has a boatload of celebrity cameos, often at the insistence of the writers who want their favorite actor or actress to appear on the show, but these days, it's because the celebrities love the show so much that they want to appear in it. This trope is also one of the many reasons behind the show's decline, due to the fact that the celebrities usually appear for just one scene and do nothing to add to the story.
Camp Straight: Sideshow Bob, though mainly in the Latin American dub.
Canada, Eh?: The stereotype is of course featured, especially in episodes like "Midnight Rx" and "The Bart Wants What It Wants" where the action travels north.
Played with in "You Only Move Twice":
Boy in remedial class: I'm from Canada, and they think I'm slow, eh?
Cannot Tell a Joke: Homer fails at humorous limericks. He tries to disprove this by saying "There once was a man from, I think it was Nantucket. And anyway, he had this interesting characteristic..." At this point he can't remember the rest, and Lenny and Carl just snicker at him.
Principal Skinner. It takes him less than 30 seconds to screw up the Who's on First? routine he is doing with Superindentent Chalmers by explaining that he doesn't mean the pronoun 'who' but rather that there is a player with the unlikely surname of 'Who' playing first base.
Canon Discontinuity: "The Principle and the Pauper." Even Matt Groening regards the episode as a mistake. Also Snowball II's death, which mentions the Skinner thing.
In "Homer The Vigilante", Herman shows Homer a "miniature version of the A-bomb" which "the government built in the fifties to drop on beatniks". Homer then goes into a day dream sequence where he rides the bomb a la Dr. Strangelove onto a group of beatniks only for it to cut back to reality where he's actually riding the displayed bomb. Herman then points out the adjacent sign reading "DO NOT RIDE THE BOMB".
There's also an instance early on in the episode with Homer's heart attack, when he begins a quiet prayer to God and is shushed immediately by the nurse, who points to a sign reading "NO PRAYING".
When Homer is injured in a prison rodeo, he is treated in the prison's medical facility. When Marge remarks that he's being very stoic about the situation, he says he can't complain, then points out a sign saying "No Complaining". The doctor says that the sign's only for the prisoners, so Homer starts letting it all out: "Oh, I hurt so much! And my job is so unfulfilling..."
Lisa is trying to ride the bus to see a museum exhibit:
Lisa: Excuse me, when does the bus get to the museum? Bus Driver:[points to sign reading "Do not talk to driver."] Lisa: Sorry, it's just that this is the first time I ... Bus Driver:[taps repeatedly on the sign] Lisa: End of the line?! I thought this was Bus 22! Bus Driver: Yep, Mondays and Wednesdays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays it's the 22-A. Lisa: 22-A?!? But that doesn't ... Bus Driver: Don't make me tap the sign.
In order to protect himself from Homer, Bart hid behind a sign reading "Report Child Abuse".
When they made a Parody of The Da Vinci Code, Lisa entered a place that had a sign forbidding it. Under it, there was another sign alternatively allowing it, stating it was a sign, not a cop.
When Homer got lost inside a labyrinth, he tried to climb his way out but got electrocuted. He then found a sign stating it was electrified. Out of anger, he punched it and got another shock. He then found a sign reading "Signs also electrified".
In "Homer vs. Dignity", during the infamous "panda rape" scene, Lisa exclaims, "Something's wrong! Terribly wrong!" Ya think?
After Lisa's goalkeeping results in a shining victory for her team, Marge praises her performance: "By blocking the net, I really think you helped your team!"
One episode had Homer attempting to play "Horse Whisperer". His advice? "When the race starts, run real fast!"
Dr. Marvin Monroe proposed an experiment wherein he would raise a baby to adulthood in a sealed box, providing it only with basic nutrition, along with the occasional icy shower or electric shock. His theory: "The subject will be socially maladjusted, and will harbor a deep resentment towards me".
(after Homer sees his nerd friends from college get mugged by Snake Jailbird): "Wait a minute... THAT'S not the wallet inspector..."
(after Homer's brain tells him that finding $20 is better than finding a peanut because $20 will get him a lot of peanuts): "Money can be exchanged for goods and services."
Marge: "Cannons are designed to hurt."
Marge: "Maybe [what's in your hair] is just shampoo. That washes right out."
Bart: "What good's a credit card if you can't even use it?" As opposed to what else you'd do with it?
Don Vittorio in "Homie the Clown": "To murder a funny man of such genius would be a crime!" Although he may have meant a crime by Mafia standards.
Also, a slightly subtler example from the episode "Bart's Inner Child", overlapping Exposition:
Homer: Well, here we are at the Brad Goodman lecture.
Lisa: We know, Dad.
Homer: I just thought I'd remind everybody. After all, we did agree to attend this self-help seminar.
Tech Guy: Hey, this TV ain't broke. It's just been unplugged.
[Patty closes the door.]
Captivity Harmonica: Seen on "Kamp Krusty" during the montage of the miserable time the kids are having. Lampshaded on "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish," when Homer is in jail and asks a prisoner playing the harmonica what he's in here for? The prisoner's answer: "Atmosphere."
Card-Carrying Villain: While Mr. Burns only called himself 'completely evil' once, and that was in the context of him wanting to go overboard from saying he's a 'bad boy' after his girlfriend left him for Snake, he does seem pretty damn aware that the various plans he has aren't very nice.
"I swear Monty, you are the Devil himself." "*gasp* WHO TOLD YOU—Oh ho ho! Yes, well..."
He gets announced with the Imperial March from Star Wars, more commonly used to announce Darth Vader.
Mr. Black from the episode "Kamp Krusty" made a toast "to evil!"
It's even more blatant in the Japanese dub, where he says "Akuma ni kampai," which translates to "A toast to the devil."
Cash Lure: Mr Burns does it in one episode to bait children: dangling a large denomination bill on a string out of the window of his limousine and then driving away as Bart tries to pick it up.
Cassandra Truth: When Homer designs a car for his brother's company, the professional designers call Herb with concerns. Herb dismisses this as the designers hating the fact that someone else is in control, not even bothering to see what Homer is making until it's unveiled for the public.
In "Bart the Fink", Bart swears he saw (the deceased) Krusty on the street, but when he tells Marge, she brushes it off as seeing Krusty in his mind. Turns out Krusty was actually alive, and living incognito.
Catapult Nightmare: Seen in numerous episodes. The trope is so common in this show that the writers called attention to how unrealistic it is in many of the DVD commentaries. Perhaps the funniest example of this trope, though, was in "Moaning Lisa" after Homer's nightmare of losing to Bart in the boxing video game: He jolts up, screams for many seconds, then calmly lays back down to go back to sleep.
Lampooned in one episode, where Lisa tells Bart to be himself "instead of a one-dimensional character with a silly catch-phrase" (after Bart spent most of the episode repeatedly saying "I didn't do it" for the public), only to have everyone who had a catchprase appear to belt it out. Then the entire group looks to Lisa, who's never had a catchprase.
Lisa:I'll be in my room.
Homer:What kind of catchphrase is that?
Mocked in another episode when Lisa uses Bart's early catchphrases "Ay carumba" and "Don't have a cow, man". When he complains to Marge, she points out that he hasn't used it in years.
Show-within-a-show example: On "Police Cops", Detective Homer Simpson (in the pilot version) says "And THAT'S the end of that chapter", and (in the regular series version) says "Uh-oh, Spaghetti-os!" (similarly, the police chief shouts, "Simp-SON!")
The writers frequently have fun with Nelson's "haw haw!" catchphrase, such as in "Team Homer" when he forgets his catchphrase due to the new uniforms, or in "Bart Carny" when only half of his phrase is heard when Bart briefly opens the door to the backyard, followed by the other half when Marge opens it again.
Mad Libs Catch Phrase: Lenny's "Ow! My eye! I'm not supposed to get X in it!" and Homer's "MMM, [whatever Homer ate — it doesn't have to be food]".
Smithers's "It's Homer Simpson, (he's) one of your X from sector 7g". The X usually implies that Homer is either stupid and lazy, or that he belongs as property to Burns.
Done in "The Italian Bob": Sideshow Bob turns out to be the mayor of Salsiccia, and he's just as surprised at the Simpsons for coming to Italy.
Parodied in the "Chief Wiggum P.I." short from "The Simpsons Spinoff Showcase", where Wiggum persues Big Daddy all the way to his mansion, and we see Big Daddy run into his office, sit in his chair, and turn his back to the door moments before Wiggum enters just so he can pull this stunt.
Done in "New Kids on the Blecch" when L.T. Smash reveals the other three members of the Party Posse.
Due to the passing of actress Marcia Wallace, Edna Krabappel was quietly killed off. No death of Edna Krabappel has been mentioned. At the end of the episode "The Man who grew too much", After Ned dreams about him doing tango dance, He looks at the picture of Edna and says sadly "Sure do miss that laugh" Nelson the School bully pops in Ned's living room window and remarks "Ha-ha! I miss her, too!"
After Phil Hartman died in 1998, Matt Groening had Hartman's characters, Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure, retired out of respect. The last episode to feature Hartman, "Bart the Mother", which had Troy McClure, aired the following season. Both Hutz and McClure are alive in story and continued to appear in crowd shots, but have never done anything significant. They also appear frequently in the comics, since they don't need to be voiced.
This initially happened to Lunchlady Doris as well after Doris Grau's death. Eventually, she started getting voiced appearances again with the help of The Other Darrin, Treiss MacNeill.
A real problem arose in 2006 when Marge's German voice actress Elisabeth Volkmann died. She had to be replaced to keep the German dub running, but Anke Engelke, another famous TV comedian, sounds nothing like her.
It happened again in October 2013, when Marcia Wallace, the actress for Ms. Krabappel died. Matt Groening has said that Edna Krabappel will be written out of the show too, much like Hutz and McClure. This will not actually occur in practice until around the 25th or 26th season, as some episodes with the character have already been recorded prior to her passing. The episode "Four Regrettings and a Funeral", shown on November 3rd, 2013, was dedicated to Wallace.
"Bart" Soldier: "We believe that God's last prophet, Bart Simpson preached a message of tolerance, and love."
"Bartman" Soldier: "We believe the holy Bartman preached a message of understanding and peace, before he was betrayed by his follower, Milhouse! And pulled apart by snow-mobiles, until he died."
"Bart" Soldiers: "Eat my shorts!!!"
"Bartman" Soldiers: "Cowabunga!!!"
fade to black as they charge each other
Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: The Trope Namer, although not an actual example of the trope, is heard in the episode Round Springfield when, due to budget cuts, belligerent Scotsman Groundskeeper Willie is shown to be the French teacher at Springfield Elementary.
Burns: Smithers, I've designed a new plane. I call it the "Spruce Moose", and it will carry two hundred passengers from New York's Idyllwild Airport to the Belgian Congo in seventeen minutes! Smithers: That's quite a nice model, sir. Burns:Model? (Later, near the end of the episode...) Burns: Now, to the plant! We'll take the Spruce Moose. Hop in! Smithers: But, sir — Burns:(draws gun) I said, hop in.
In "Itchy & Scratchy Land", the family, heading to the titular theme park, makes a brief stop at "Five Corners", in which five different states intersect. 15 seasons later, Sideshow Bob takes Bart to the same area in "The Bob Next Door" to exploit extraterritorial jurisdiction, setting the stage for the episode's climax.
In Season 4's "Lisa The Beauty Queen", throwaway character Amber, winner of the plot-central "Little Miss Springfield" contest, goes to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new Dutch superstore, simply titled "Shop". The store serves at once a site to drive the episode's plot forward and another to serve as a little black comedy, for here, at "Shop", Barney, who is, yet again drunk, is behind the wheel of the Duff Blimp (It Makes Sense in Context), and due to his inebriated state, crashes into the new store, simultaneously recreating the Hindenburg crash, crippling Amber, and handling the title of Little Miss Springfield off to Lisa. Seven seasons later, in the episode "Eight Misbehavin'", the Simpson family revisit Shop on a family outing, running into Apu and Manjula, who, after sitting down with The Simpsons to lunch and seeing how Homer and Marge handle their children, decide on having kids of their own.
Amber was struck by lightning, not hit by the blimp.
Lisa: I'd say the greater danger is that scepter acting as a lightning rod — unless it's made of plastic.
Also, "property of Bart Simpson" stickers in "Radio Bart." They're a Running Gag earlier in the episode, but when Bart throws his radio down a well to prank the town into thinking a kid fell down there, Lisa finds out, and points out that he was probably dumb enough to leave one of those stickers on the radio. Bart then rushes to the well, to retrieve the radio from it, but falls into the well himself.
Chekhov's Gunman: Manjula. She first appeared as a little girl in Apu's flashback in the seventh season episode Much Apu About Nothing, in which Apu tells her that he is sorry that their arranged marriage will not happen, before getting on a plane departing for the U.S. She comes back in The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons where Apu finds that he can't escape his arranged marriage with her.
Chew Out Fake Out: In "Lisa Gets An A", Skinner calls Lisa to his office to discuss the results of yesterday's test, on which Lisa cheated:
Skinner: I've just received some rather unusual news regarding your unprecedented A-triple-plus. To be honest, I'm surprised and saddened. Eh, no, not saddened... what's the word? Ah, yes, delighted!
Chew Toy: Hans Moleman, Milhouse and Frank Grimes.
Bart Simpson sometimes.
Children Are a Waste: There's a group of single people who get tired of dealing with other people's children and lead a campaign for more restrictions on kids ("The children are our future: today belongs to me!). They succeed, and Marge leads a counter-campaign to get everything back to normal.
Children in Tow: In one episode, the fire truck rushes to a fire only to be delayed by a mother duck crossing the road with a lot of ducklings.
Chirping Crickets: In "Monty Can't Buy Me Love", Mr. Burns waits for the kudos to roll in from his donation to the Springfield Hospital. He waits until evening, when the crickets outside begin chirping. Mr. Burns pushes a button on his desk, which releases cricket poison outside, killing the crickets.
The Chosen Zero: When Homer becomes a member of the secret society The Stonecutters, he is found to have a special birthmark that signifies he is The Chosen One. As Homer usually does in these situations, he screws it up. At least one or two characters have their doubts that he's really the one prophesied by the Sacred Parchment.
Ned Flanders mistakes Chris Rock for a Christian Rock concert. He later says that he's "never heard a preacher use the 'm-f' word so many times".
There's a parody of the Christian parody rock band Apologetix in "The Father, The Son, and The Holy Guest Star". Their name is Pious Riot.
Christianity is Catholic: Averted, and may be one of the most prominent aversions in American pop culture. Reverend Lovejoy is married and wears a necktie instead of a Roman collar. The big town church is Presbylutheran, a fictional combination of the Presbyterian and Lutheran churches. When Catholics show up, like the priest voiced by Liam Neeson, they seem exotic in context.
Christmas Creep: The show brings this up quite often, most notably in "Treehouse of Horror XIV", a Halloween special that was pre-empted and aired in early November, Kang and Kodos mention in the intro "Who is watching a Halloween special in November? We already have our Christmas decorations up!"
Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire: Homer works as a mall Santa to keep the family from discovering that he didn't get his Christmas bonus after finding out that Marge blew the family's Christmas money on getting Bart's tattoo removed. Marge Be Not Proud: Bart gets busted for shoplifting at the Try-n-Save, and Marge becomes so depressed that she cuts Bart off from all the holiday fun. Miracle on Evergreen Terrace: Bart accidentally burns down the family's fake Christmas tree, and covers his tracks by saying that burglars robbed them on Christmas Eve. Grift of the Magi: Springfield Elementary gets closed down to a Mafia deal gone bad, but reopens when a toy company uses the school as a focus group to create the holiday season's hottest new item Skinner's Sense of Snow: The kids are snowed in the day before winter break, and Skinner tries to keep them in line. She of Little Faith: After the local church is forced to put up advertising to pay for damages done by Homer's toy rocket, Lisa loses her faith in Christianity (or Presbylutherism, as it's called on this show) and converts to Buddhism with the help of Lenny, Carl, and special guest star Richard Gere. 'Tis the Fifteenth Season: A Christmas version of the season five episode, "Homer Loves Flanders" in which Homer becomes the nicest man in the neighborhood after realizing his Yuletide selfishness has made him a jerk. Simpsons Christmas Stories: Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Kill Gil: Volumes 1 and 2: Resident Butt Monkey Gil Gunderson gets fired as a department store Santa and crashes with The Simpson family for a year, which irritates Marge. The Fight Before Christmas: Another multi-part Christmas episode, which includes a parody of Inglorious Basterds and guest appearances by celebrity homemaker Martha Stewart and pop singer Katy Perry Holidays of Future Passed: 30 years into the future, Bart and Lisa are parents trying to take care of their rebellious kids while Maggie is a single, pregnant pop singer trying to get to the hospital to have her baby.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure, after Phil Hartman, the voice actor who played both of them, was sadly murdered. Also Flander's new girlfriend Rachel Jordan he gets after Maude dies. Appears in two episodes in the eleventh and twelfth seasons then just disappears for no discernable reason even though its implied in the last episode she appears in, ("I'm Goin' to Praiseland") that Flanders and her are still together. As well as this the bitch that Santa's Little Helper impregnates in the Sixth Season episode, ("Two Dozen and One Greyhounds"), appears to be living with the Simpsons family and then never appears again in the series with no explanation this arguably happens in the episode itself with the character just disappearing during the episode after the puppies are born.
Circle of Shame: Happens more than once. One example comes when Bart fantasizes about his family's reaction to him "ruining Thanksgiving".
Classically Trained Extra: Both Sideshow Bob and Sideshow Mel. In fact, Bob's original intention for framing Krusty wasn't just revenge for him being robbed of his dignity but also out of a desire to provide children's television that is not only entertaining but is educational and thoughtful as well. It worked so well that even though he was arrested after only a few days he won an Emmy for his work.
Clean Cut: In "Realty Bites", Snake attempts to decapitate Homer with a length of piano wire strung across the road. He fails, but he does cleanly slice off the arm of Kirk van Houten's (who was waving a sandwich in the air).
Climb, Slip, Hang, Climb: Homer does it as he climbs to the top of what he hopes to be the worlds tallest human pyramid.
Cliff Hanger: "Who Shot Mr. Burns", the only two-parter the show ever did.
"Missionary: Impossible", which cuts away from Homer and Lisa Jr. (who are about to fall into the lava) to Betty White and the PBS telethon. We never do find out how Homer and Lisa Jr. got out of that predicament.
While not a true two-parter, the season 23 premiere will reveal the results on the Ned/Edna relationship poll which started after the previous season's finale.
They stay together.
Cliffhanger Copout: Invoked at the end of a chapter from a "Radioactive Man" film serial from the 1940's being screened at a comic convention. Earth is shown in the middle of an Earth-Shattering Kaboom, already clearly split in two by an atomic bomb when the action freezes and a narrator asks, "Will Radioactive Man be able to save the Earth in time?"
Clip Show: The production team hated to make these, but Fox forced them to do so for budgetary purposes. The clip show episode of The Simpsons is no longer made, due to the Three Shorts episodes being a funnier, more cost-effective substitute. The clip shows are:
"Another Simpsons Clip Show": A Bottle Episode where Marge gathers everyone in the kitchen to talk about romance (which ended badly for the kids and nearly led to infidelity for Homer and Marge) after Marge reads The Bridges Of Madison Country. Known for being an exaggerated take on the clip show, as almost all the footage (including the framing device footage) is recycled from past episodes. The only thing that's new is the framing device dialogue.
"The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular": Troy McClure hosts a retrospective of The Simpsons, which shows how the family first started out as filler on The Tracy Ullman Show before becoming a half-hour show. Includes viewer mail about Homer's stupidity, how long does it take to make one episode, and Smithers' ambiguous homosexuality, a reel of actual deleted scenes (including Homer's head being used as a bowling ball in Hell in "The Devil and Homer Simpson," James Bond losing a poker game at Mr. Burns' casino in "$pringfield," and, most famous of all, The Robotic Richard Simmons on "Burns' Heir"), and "Hardcorenote PG-rated hardcore nudity!"
"All Singing, All Dancing": Homer's accidental renting of a Western musical (based on the infamous film Paint Your Wagon) prompts the family to reminisce about their musical moments, leading to Snake Jailbird holding everyone hostage.
"Gump Roast": Homer is honored at a Friars' Club Roast, and Kang and Kodos invade so they can enslave humanity.
Clock Discrepancy: Homer gets painted as a molester by an unscrupulous TV show editing an interview; the clock behind him jumps back & forth as he speaks.
Abe: He was right under my nose the whole time. He lives in my retirement home. His name is Malloy.
Lisa: Wow! How'd you track him down, Grampa?
Abe: Good question! On one of my frequent trips to the ground, I noticed Malloy wore sneakers...for sneaking. My next clue came yesterday at the museum. We felt slighted by your age-bashing, and started home. Malloy said, "I'll catch up with you." [Malloy throws a grappling hook at the museum roof and starts climbing] I couldn't quite put my finger on it. There was something strange about the way he walked -- much more vertical than usual. And finally, Malloy, unlike most retired people, has the world's largest cubic zirconia on his coffee table.
Abe wants to mooch from his long lost bastard son Herb, who is a rich Detroit auto executive - but by the time Abe gets there Homer (who went to meet Herb earlier) has already ruined Herb professionally and financially.
When Rodney Dangerfield turns up to Guest Star as Mr. Burns's long-forgotten illegitimate son, Larry, he briefly tries riding Burns's coattails. Ultimately, Larry proves too lazy and unambitious to do even that.
When Lisa tutors Cletus's children and turns them into a singing group, Krusty hires the clan to appear on his show. Cletus lives the good life as their "manager."
In an episode that shows Lisa becoming President in the future, Bart, now an unemployed slacker and freshly evicted from his apartment, turns up to mooch off of his successful sister and crash at the White House.
Cobweb Of Disuse: When the family goes to the library to do research for school they find no books and cobwebs on the shelves. So Marge tells them stories of Henry VIII, Sacagawea and Mozart.
Cold Open: "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" features a cold open, with the announcer presenting Troy McClure, who greets the audience and then rolls the opening.
In "Lisa the Skeptic", the town is convinced the world is going to end at sundown. Edna suggests he and Skinner have sex one last time before the end. Skinner agrees, but asks her to give him a bit so he can finish filling out the tardy slips. If the world was ending, who cares about tardy slips?
In "Bart the Genius", Bart confesses in writing that he cheated on the IQ test. When J. Loren Pryor reads the note, he remarks: "You know... you misspelled 'confession'."
In "Lard of the Dance" when Homer gets paid only 63 cents for all the lard he traded in:
Bart: Dad, all that bacon cost twenty-seven dollars.
Homer: Yeah, but your mom paid for that!
Bart: But doesn't she get her money from you?
Homer: And I get my money from grease! What's the problem?
In "Much Apu About Nothing," after Apu passes his citizenship exam:
Lisa: You know, in a way, all Americans are immigrants. Except, of course Native Americans.
One episode sees Homer get excited about receiving a coupon book in the mail, including one coupon for "two free pizzas at Doughy's." When Lisa points out, "Doughy's makes terrible pizza," Homer counters, "Yeah, but there's TWO!"
Comic Book Guy: Last night's Itchy and Scratchy was, without a doubt, the worst episode ever. Rest assured that I was on the internet within minutes registering my disgust throughout the world.
Bart: Hey, I know it wasn't great but what right do you have to complain?
Comic Book Guy: As a loyal viewer, I feel they owe me.
Bart: What? They've given you thousands of hours of entertainment for free. What could they possibly owe you? I mean, if anything, you owe them!
Comic Book Guy: Worst. Episode. Ever.
Compressed Abstinence: The prohibition episode, brought on by one exceptionally rowdy St. Patrick's Day. This is enforced, as the 200 year old prohibition law is revealed early in the episode, and the 199 year old anti-prohibition law is revealed near the end.
Narrator: And so, one town's brief flirtation with prohibition ended in a joyous remarriage to Lady Liquor. Congratulations, Springfield! We wish you the very best!
This is how Chief Wiggum arrests Smithers in "Who Shot Mr. Burns Part 2", by hiding in the confessional booth and hearing Smithers confess to shooting Mr. Burns.
Homer, to Father Sean, in "The Father, The Son, and the Holy Guest Star", goes into a highly detailed confession of his many sins in rapid fire manner.
Conflict Ball: Nearly every significant character at some point, but by far the most blatant example is Bart and Lisa. By season 7, they've accomplished so much together, helped each other so many times, and genuinely love and admire each other so much, they not only don't have any sane reason whatsoever to keep ragging on each other, they should be disgusted at the very idea.
In "Bart's Comet" Principal Skinner points out the constellation "The Three Wise Men" to Bart; it looks like The Three Stooges.
Another gag constellation is known as "The Chariot Race", which consists of a single star.
In another episode, Homer gets an orphan to be a "Bigger Brother" to, and the following exchange occurs.
Pepe: Tell me more! I want to know all the constellations.
Homer: Well, there's... Jerry the Cowboy. And that big dipper looking thing is Alan... the Cowboy.
Contagious Cassandra Truth: Lisa discovers that town founder Jebediah Springfield was secretly a villainous pirate. No one believes her story except Homer, who is Genre Savvy enough to know Lisa tends to make the right assumptions on these things. They fail to convince anyone else and Homer is stripped of his role in the town parade as punishment. Subverted when Lisa realises that the museum curator covered it up (he relents, but Lisa decides that the lie inspires the town and leaves things be).
Continuity Nod: In "Homer at the Bat", guest star Mike Scioscia is unable to play because of radiation poisoning from working at the Springfield Nuclear Plant. Years later, Scioscia makes another cameo in "MoneyBART", where he reveals the radiation poisoning gave him super-managing powers.
Contrived Clumsiness: In one early episode, the family is supposed to solve their problems by shocking each other. At the beginning of the exercise, Bart accidentally-on-purpose shocks Lisa, claiming his finger slipped. Lisa shocks him back saying, "So did mine."
Couldn't Find a Lighter: Done in an episode with multiple rockstars making guest appearances. For a benefit concert, they have a motorized Devil-head on wheels, complete with pyrotechnics, which Keith Richards lights his cigarette on by putting it in his mouth and sticking his head into the stream of flame.
Counting To Potato: Notorious for its portrayal of the "typical hillbilly". In "Rednecks and Broomsticks", Lisa is playing with the Spuckler children, they counted while she hid as saying, "One, two, backwards-z, one-legged triangle, banana hotdog, double-banana hotdog, sixty-corncob-two..."
In "Marge's Son Poisoning". Homer is doing curls with a dumbbell. He starts counting normally, before randomly skipping through numbers, and then including 'banana'.
There are also numerous episodes that feature court scenes, even if they aren't the main focus of the episode, such as "Krusty Gets Busted", "The Monkey Suit", "Marge in Chains", "Sideshow Bob Roberts", "The Great Money Caper", the list goes on.
Cover Identity Anomaly: Homer pretends to be Mr. Burns. This is made more difficult as he doesn't know Mr. Burns' first name.
Cover Version: "Twist and Shout" plays in "Behind the Laughter", and it's sung by someone other than The Beatles (while they didn't create the song, their rendition was arguably the most famous).
Parodied when Homer writes letters to movies instead of actors.
In another episode when they're watching Die Hard, Bart refers to the main character as the title.
Marge also refers to a Darth Vader mask as a Star Wars.
A Comcast description for the episode "I, D'ohbot" says it's about Homer builds a robot to unleash terror on Springfield. The plot involved Homer and Bart building a robot for a BattleBots-like show, and when it didn't turn out well Homer disguised himself as the robot.
"Boy Scoutz 'N the Hood": One scout member gives one to Bart after being choked by his necktie caught in the door.
Ned: Now, just breathe into him every three seconds. Make sure you form a tight seal around his mouth!
"Dog of Death": SLH is revived by CPR during his stomach operation after SLH dreams of going to heaven.
"It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Marge": After Homer faints into the Ark Ice Cream Bowl, Becky, noticing he's not breathing, gives Homer CPR to try to revive him only to have Marge think that she's an upsurper the minute she arrived.
"Mobile Homer": After he is smashed repeatedly on the neck by the garage door and getting suffocated by the spiders, Lisa gives her father CPR with Bart compressing his chest.
"The Haw-Hawed Couple": After Nelson saves Bart, Skinner gives Bart CPR which lead the children to blurt out a 'gay joke' between them.
"Stealing First Base": When Bart accidently falls off the roof of the school causing him not to breathe, Nikki rushes to save him with her knowledge of CPR, defying the 'no touch' policy Springfield Elementary has. What follows between is a montage of kissing scenes from classic movies (The Godfather Part II, Lady and the Tramp, From Here to Eternity, Gone With The Wind, Alien 3, etc.), just when Nikki proceeds to breathe air into Bart's lungs, reviving him, saving his life.
"24 Minutes": After Bart and Willie are saved from drowning, Mrs. Krabappel gives Willie CPR, who would rather die than clean the mess in the gym.
"Rome-Old and Juli-Eh": During a montage of Selma and Abe dating, Selma is shown giving him CPR.
"Midnight RX": Mr. Burns gives Smithers CPR after applying his thyroid medication.
Crash Course Landing: In "He Loves to Fly and He D'ohs", Homer has to land a private jet after the pilot passes out. Marge calls his life coach to talk him through the process, but the life coach doesn't know how to land a plane either.
Crazy-Prepared: In "Marge vs. The Monorail", when Lyle Lanley's plane has to make an unexpected stop in a town where he previously sold a bad monorail to, the citizens just happen to be waiting for his plane to land, one instantly sees that he's in the plane (which is really far away to tell), and they all enter the plane as soon as it lands to give Lyle a beating.
"Who Shot Mr. Burns?" (part 1) used an ominous, JFK-style theme, while part 2 used a Latin big band arrangement by Tito Puente.
"Mother Simpson" had a gentle, quiet theme playing while Homer looked at the stars, which Bill Oakley & Josh Weinstein had to battle Fox to let air without a Credits Pushback or announcer blathering over it.
"Homerpalooza" had the theme performed by Sonic Youth, one of the guest bands in the episode.
"A Milhouse Divided" played the theme in a '70s combo style.
"Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala-D'oh-cious" had a lyric-less reprise of the songs from the episode.
"Bart After Dark" was the same, only for "We Put the Spring in Springfield".
"Little Big Mom" played the theme in a Hawaiian style.
"Simpsons Tall Tales" played the theme in an Ozark style.
"She of Little Faith" played the theme in an Indian style.
"Blame it on Lisa" played the theme in a Brazilian style.
"My Fair Laddy" had a lyric-less reprise of the songs from the episode.
This isn't even counting the times when a licensed song was played over the credits. For a full list, see this link.
Credits Pushback: Parodied in "Das Bus" when God revealing the key to salvation to Noah is interrupted by Kent Brockman giving a news teaser.
Also parodied in "Bart Gets Famous" when Bart pauses the videotape to show his friends his name in the credits. But since the credits portion of the screen is so squashed, Bart's name is hard to read and they don't believe him.
Crippling the Competition: When Mr. Burns forces his way onto Homer's bowling team (for which he was tricked into writing a $500 check), the team is disgusted at the old man's complete ineptitude but cannot simply kick him off. Moe hatches a plan to bash in his knee with a lead pipe so he can't play. Unfortunately, he does so when Burns is already indisposed and his whack on the knee has the exact opposite effect: the injured Burns is able to play again.
Crooked Contractor: The repairman from "Homer the Great" says he won't get the parts he needs for the job for two three weeks, and that's if he orders them today. Which he won't.
Also a main plot point in "Don't Fear the Roofer".
Crossing the Burnt Bridge: In a flashback episode, Homer, upon quitting his nuclear plant job, plays Burns' head like a bongo in front of all the other employees, and then throws Burns at a barrel of toxic waste. He LITERALLY burns a bridge he drives over on his way out. He eventually has to take the job back after impregnating Marge with Maggie.
Burns: Oh, I should be resisting this, but I'm paralyzed with rage...and island rhythms!
Crossover: The Critic's Jay Sherman (Jon Lovitz) appears in "A Star Is Burns", and makes a cameo in "Hurricane Neddy" and "The Ziff Who Came to Dinner."
King of the Hill 's core cast make a surprise appearance in "Bart Star"...a surprise ruined on the episode's premiere by Fox's advance promotions.
Hank Hill: We drove 2,000 miles for THIS?
Bender appears briefly in the episode "Future-Drama".
Cross Referenced Titles: A few recurring ones, like "*Simpson* vs. *something*"Examples "Marge vs. the Monorail", "Homer vs. Dignity", "*Simpson*" Gets a *grade*"Examples "Bart's Dog Gets an F", "Lisa Gets an A", and "*Simpson* the *title*"Examples "Bart the Genius", "Homer the Smithers".
Crowd Chant: "Where's My Burrito?! Where's My Burrito?!" Not to mention a certain pachyderm.
The episode "Lisa's Sax" sees Lisa's prized saxophone sail out her bedroom window and into the street where it's run over by a car, a truck, stamped on by Nelson (who then points at it and mocks, "Ha ha"), and concludes with a man on a tricycle who falls over to the side when his front tire hits what remains of the flattened saxophone, accompanied by the scene transition music from Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.
Another episode sees Milhouse crushed by an actual parade, featuring an endless number of marching bands, parade floats, elephants, etc.
Crying Indian: At the end of "Trash of the Titans," Chief catches an empty potato chip bag and sheds a single tear. His friend advises him not to look behind him, as behind him is the ruins of Springfield covered in garbage.
Chief:AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Indian: I told you not to turn around.
Crying Wolf: The subplot of "Marge Gets a Job"; Bart hasn't read the end of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" and thus doesn't realize the lesson of not repeatedly faking sick to get out of a test.
Cryptid Episode: In an attempt to become the world's most lovable billionaire Mr. Burns goes to Loch Ness to capture Nessie.
The episode "Springfield Files" was this
Cue the Flying Pigs: From "Lisa the Vegetarian", Burns says he'll donate a million dollars to the local orphanage... when pigs fly. Just as he and Smithers share a laugh, the pig from a scene earlier goes flying by their window.
Smithers: Will you be donating that million dollars now, sir?
Subverted in an episode where the Simpsons lose their house. Tossed out unto the street, Homer says, "Well, it could be worse. At least it's not raining." (Beat) "See? Told you it could be worse."
In another episode, Mr. Burns is telling the story of how he went to jail. As Smithers leaves, Burns notes that this the point in a story where it would start raining, and decides that, since he's telling the story, it did rain. Then he decides that rain wasn't depressing enough, so he has it snow instead, capping it off with Smithers losing his nose to frostbite.
In "Bart the Murderer", it immediately begins pouring when Bart misses the school bus, and the second he gets to school, the sky clears up ("D'oh!"). Likewise, it starts pouring when he leaves school.
Homer:(as King Solomon) The pie shall be cut in two. (takes a knife and cuts a pie in half, then holds up each slice as if offering them) Now each man will recieve... (withdraws the slices) death! I'll eat the pie. (scarfs both slices down)
Moe: All right, tell me when I hit the sweet spot. [gently slides crayon in] Homer: Deeper, you pusillanimous pilsner pusher! Moe: All right, all right. [with a small hammer and chisel, taps the crayon further up Homer's nose] Homer: De-fense! [woof-woof] De-fense! [woof-woof] Moe: Eh, that's pretty dumb. But, uh ... [taps once more] Homer: Extended warranty? How can I lose? Moe: Perfect.
Dance Line: Mr. Smithers is sent on vacation, and goes to a gay resort. He calls Mr. Burns to check up on him...and a conga line forms behind him at the payphone, which he proceeds to lead.
Mr. Smithers: Well, I've gotta go. There's a line forming behind me.
Grampa claims that back in 1906, everyone was doing a dance called "The Funky Grampa". Of course, knowing Grampa, this is definitely senility talking.
The Danza: Doris Grau did the voice of Lunchlady Doris.
Doris: It's rich in bunly goodness.
Darker and Edgier: This scene, once you get to the sweatshop part, in comparison to other Simpsons scenes in general, let alone Simpsons intros.
Several episodes focused on Mr. Burns and Sideshow Bob as well.
Any episode with a character who has no funny quirks and is played seriously. Examples include the winemakers from "The Crepes Of Wrath" (who nearly killed Bart by giving him antfreeze-laced wine), the Babysitter Bandit from "Some Enchanted Evening" (who tied up the kids and tried to rob the house) and Bart's kindergarten teacher from "Lisa's Sax" (whose treatment of Bart made him what he is today).
Dead Guy Puppet: After digging up Jebediah Springfield to disprove Lisa's vocal claims, Chief Wiggum tries his hand at ventriloquism with the city-founder's skull.
Deadly Hug: Sideshow Bob brainwashes Bart into killing Krusty by hugging him, which will complete a circuit on Bart's suicide belt and make them both blow up.
Deadpan Snarker: Various characters have their moments, but Comic Book Guy is the most apparent, such as when Bart sees a sign saying "Bonestorm - 99 cents" outside the store.
Bart: I'd like to buy a copy of "Bonestorm." Here's 99 cents. Comic Book Guy: Allow me to summarize the proposed transaction. You wish to purchase "Bonestorm" for 99 cents. Net profit to me: negative 59 dollars. Comic Book Guy opens the cash register. Comic Book Guy: Please take my 59 dollars, I don't want it. Bart reaches forward to take the cash. Comic Book Guy: Uh uh - Seeing as you are unfamiliar with sarcasm, I shall close the cash register at this point, and state that 99 cents is the rental price.
Lampshaded in the episode "I (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot" with the following conversation:
Lisa: I'm keeping you! You're Snowball V, but to save money on a new dish, we'll just call you Snowball II and pretend this whole thing never happened. Principal Skinner: That's really a cheat, isn't it? Lisa: I guess you're right, Principal Tamzarian. Principal Skinner: I'll just be moving along, Lisa. Snowball II.
Death Dealer: Ricky Jay appears in "The Great Simpsina" where he attempts to kill Lisa by hurling cards at her with enough force to shatter a steam pipe.
Decade-Themed Party: Marge's Old Flame Artie Ziff tries to woo her back by recreating their prom and paying everyone in town to dress like they did in The Seventies (Disco Stu, of course, "is working pro bono").
Decided By One Vote: In "Wild Barts Can't Be Broken", the curfew law which made it illegal for anyone under senior citizen age to be out after sundown was passed by a single vote. This was announced after Homer foolishly declared that one vote never made a difference.
Ned: God put us here and that's that. Todd: But you said a stork brought me. Ned: Umm... that was God disguised as a stork. Rod: Who brings baby storks? Ned: There's no such thing as storks! It's all God!
In a later episode, Ned claims that he and Maude specifically picked Dr. Stork to deliver the boys, this way they could say that the stork delivered the babies without technically lying.
Defeat by Modesty: In "The Falcon and the D'ohman", Wayne has a flasback where he is training against a huge range of opponents. One of them is a 19th century muscle man whom he defeats by ripping off his Old-Timey Bathing Suit.
Defeat Means Friendship: In Bart The General Nelson Muntz was introduced as a bully and enemy of Bart, in subsequent episodes he became a friend of Bart and no longer a bully per se but just liked to laugh at the misfortune of others.
Denser and Wackier: The show's genre trappings from season to season have undergone this gradually from the first season onwards.
The Mike Scully years were an embodiment of this trope, with "Saddlesore Galactica" and "A Tale Of Two Springfields" being infamous examples.
From "Marge in Chains", a sign reads "Springfield Women's Prison: A prison for women."
In "Homer's Enemy", when Lenny introduces himself to Frank Grimes, he says:
Lenny: I'm Lenny. This is Carl and Homer. I'm Lenny.
From "The Dad Who Knew Too Little":
Protest leader: What do we want?
Group: The gradual phase-out of animal testing over the next three years!
Protest leader: When do we want it?
Group: Over the next three years!
From "Homer: Bad Man":
Announcer: Tonight, on "Rock Bottom": We go undercover at a sex farm for sex hookers!
From "The Itchy & Scratchy Movie":
Homer: I can't let that happen, I won't let that happen, and I can't let that happen!
From "Dumbbell Indemnity":
Moe: I'm just going to die lonely, and ugly, and dead.
Depending on the Artist: The eyes in the earlier seasons were an easy way to tell the threeanimationstudios apart. note The eyes in an AKOM episode tended to use animation smears for quick pupil animation, Anivision's eyes were larger than normal (especially in far shots), and Rough Draft animated the eyes normally with small pupils
Despair Event Horizon: In "Bart gets an F", Bart himself hits this briefly. He is informed that he must pass his next exam otherwise he will be held back a year, and he really does not want that to happen. Despite his best efforts, he fails the exam anyway, and completely breaks down sobbing, shocking even Edna Krabappel. During his crying-induced rant of self-hatred, he quotes an obscure bit of history regarding George Washington, and Ms. Krabappel, impressed, awards him an extra mark, the one mark needed to get him a D- and pass.
Devil in Disguise: In "Lady Bouvier's Lover", Marge's mother goes out dancing with Mr. Burns:
Mrs. Bouvier: I swear, Monty, you're the Devil himself.
Mr. Burns: WHA?!! WHO TOLD Y... oh, er, heh heh...
Not to mention the Halloween episode where it's revealed the Devil is Ned Flanders. "Always who you least suspect", indeed.
Devil Flanders: Hey, Bart.
Bart (nonchalant): Hey.
Devil's Advocate: Parodied. Homer states that he's about to "play devil's advocate" in regards to helping Apu...it then cuts to him playing a pinball game called "Devil's Advocate".
Did Not Die That Way: Grandpa Simpson told Homer that his mother had died, and pointed out her tombstone from time to time as they passed by the cemetery. Turns out that Mama Simpson is alive and hiding out from the Feds. The cemetery marker Grandpa points out is actually Walt Whitman's.
Marge: Hmmm. Should the Simpsons get a horse? Comic Book Guy: Excuse me, I believe this family already had a horse, and the expense forced Homer to work at the Kwik-E-Mart, with hilarious consequences.
Grampa: Son, don't go up that mountain! You'll die up there like I did! Homer: You? Did? Grampa: Sure.
Diet Episode: Homer went on one in "Brush With Greatness" after he got stuck in a water slide at a water park.
Lisa went on a diet in "Sleeping With the Enemy" after her friends said she had a big butt.
Digging Yourself Deeper: Principal Skinner in "Girls Just Want to Have Sums" keeps accidentally insulting women, and with each attempt to rectify the situation, he just keeps making it worse. Eventually, he just breaks down and pleads to the women: "Just tell me what to say!"
Dinky Drivers: In one episode, Bart was steering while Lisa and Milhouse were operating the gas and brake pedals. They failed spectacularly due to their total lack of coordination, though Milhouse took the opportunity to ask Lisa out.
Dinner Order Flub: Selma takes Hans Moleman out to dinner in order to seduce him (she wants a baby, and by this time doesn't much care with who). He tries to read the menu but the waiter tells him it's the wine list. "Very good."
Mr. Burns does this in "Two Cars in Every Garage, Three Eyes on Every Fish" as part of his political campaign.
Also parodied in "The Simpsons Spinoff Showcase", where the family consists of beavers and the boss is a skunk (played by Tim Conway).
In the episode "Twenty-Two Short Films About Springfield," there's a segment about Principal Skinner having Superintendent Chalmers over for dinner.
One more Simpsons example: In "Behind the Laughter", this was the plot of the pilot Homer shot. Bart played the boss.
The Dinosaurs Had It Coming: In one episode lampooning The Bible, a pig in the Garden of Eden warns Adam (Homer) against eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. One of the dinosaurs ate one and well...that's why there aren't any more of them.
Discretion Shot: Near the end of the second act of the episode "Bye Bye Nerdie", Lisa gets beaten up by Francine. This happens the same time we see the shot of one of the security camera monitors in which Wille replaces a toilet paper and giving a thumbs up to the camera.
Disproportionate Retribution: In "Two Bad Neighbors", former President George H.W. Bush spanks Bart for destroying his memoirs. When Bart tells Homer about the spanking, Homer decides it's the last straw and starts a conflict with Bush. Homer didn't even know about the memoirs until the final confrontation, and even then he still attacks Bush.
This is the reason why the infamous "The Boys Of Bummer" is so hated. It basically gets to where losing a baseball game can get you branded a pariah and be Driven to Suicide.
In Homer and Marge's growing legal battle with Judge Constance Harm this trope it set up to be averted when their retribution is to hang a protest banner on Harm's houseboat. However when their plan is foiled by a guard Sea Lion Homer's solution is to blindside the Judge with a cinder block(!) which only manages to hit her house and sink it.
Happens when Bart dares her to drink the water in the "Little Land of Duff" boat ride in "Selma's Choice".
Disney Creatures of the Farce: In "Homer the Heretic", after he creates his own religion, a group of woodland animals gather around him and Homer happily accepts their presence — until he asks them to leave while he's showering.
Disqualification-Induced Victory: One episode has NASA look for ordinary people to become astronauts, ending up with Homer and Barney. Barney by far outperforms Homer, but as soon as he drinks alcohol reverts to his previous state, leaving Homer the winner by default.
We see the other side of the coin in an early episode of The Simpsons where Lisa is crowned Little Miss Springfield note Lisa was first runner up and gets the title when the winner is hit by lightning, making her unable to "fulfill her duties" as Little Miss Springfield . The pagent's sponsor (Laramie Cigarettes) don't like her speaking out against smoking so they find a loophole: on the entry form where it says "Do not write in this space" Homer wrote "O.K." Lisa is disqualified and the title goes back to the original winner.
Distracted from Death: Burns reunites with his long lost love in one episode, only to take too long in the bathroom getting ready for sex. When he comes out, she has died.
Does Not Like Men: Patty & Selma, especially if said "men" are anything like Homer, though that doesn't stop them from trying to find men that are worse than Homer for Marge to marry (i.e. Artie Ziff, Andre on "Homer's Triple Bypass," the man from "Regarding Margie" [the episode where Marge has amnesia and loses her memory of being married to Homer]). Despite this, there was an arc where Selma wanted to find a man so she doesn't die alone and single (as seen in the episodes "Principal Charming," "Selma's Choice," and "A Fish Called Selma"). Patty, on the other hand, revealed in "There's Something About Marrying" that she's a lesbian, along with being a misandrist.
Does Not Like Shoes: In Tree House of Horror X, after being affected by radiation Lisa becomes the super hero Clobber Girl. During which she remains barefoot the entire time.
Bart, in "Marge Be Not Proud", doesn't understand Comic Book Guy's sarcasm when he tries to buy a new video game for only 99 cents.
Do I Really Sound Like That?: When Bart and Lisa were encouraging Homer to audition for the role of Poochie, they record his voice so he could hear it.
Homer: Oh... I don't like having such a hilarious voice.
Parodied on "The Otto Show": Bart tapes himself impersonating Marge to use as proof that Marge gave Bart permission to let Otto live at their house. The impersonation is poor, but Homer believes that it's Marge and uses the line that everyone says, "That's not my voice" when they hear themselves on tape.
The Don: Fat Tony oozes this trope. Never has mob menace been so second-language articulate.
Don't Explain the Joke: the show has the tendancy to do this frequently in meta, but one point it's played straight as a joke: one of the many bad acts in the Springfield Elementary Faculty Variety show is Skinner and Chalmers trying to do Who's on First?, only for skinner to ruin it in his very first line by flat out explaining the first baseman's name really is "Who".
Doomed New Clothes: When Homer had to quit his dream job at the bowling alley in "And Maggie Makes Three", he gets a "Sorry you had to 'split'" jacket as a going away present. When he returns to the SNPP, acid rain sprang up and dissolved the jacket.
Door Closes Ending: The Godfather's final shot is homaged in the ending of a mafia-themed episode, with Lisa in the role of Kay. Subverted as the door opens again to reveal Michael is playing with his toys.
Dork Horse Candidate: Seen in a couple episodes; "Lisa's Substitute" featured Bart running for class president against Martin, and "Trash of the Titans" featured a disgruntled Homer running against Ray Patterson for sanitation commissioner.
Doting Grandparent: Mona Simpson, supposedly deceased mother of Homer Simpson, created a bond with Lisa as soon as they met in "Mother Simpson".
Double Edged Answer: In "Hurricane Neddy", when Ned Flanders asks Reverend Lovejoy if God is testing him, Lovejoy answers, "Short answer, yes with an if; long answer, no with a but."
Dramatic Shattering: In "Last Exit to Springfield", Lisa angrily shatters the mirror when she sees how her braces look.
Dramatic Spotlight: Parodied in the episode where Krusty reveals to the world he's Jewish. He asks for a spotlight, and the spotlight operator thinks he's doing a bit.
Boys and girls, I'd like to be serious for a moment if I may. Spotlight, please. I just wanted (spotlight moves away from Krusty) I just wan- (spotlight moves away again) Come on guys, I'm not doing the spotlight bit!
Dream Sue: Homer is given to this, imagining himself as a muscular, more handsome version of himself.
Well, as Mrs. Krabappel already mentioned, the name of the book that I read was Treasure Island. It's about these pirates, (Looks at the illustrated cover of the book.) pirates with patches over their eyes, (Looks at cover.) and shiny gold teeth, (Looks at cover.) and green birds on their shoulders. Did I mention this book was written (Looks at cover.) by a guy named Robert Louis Stevenson? (Looks at cover.) And published by the good people at McGraw-Hill. So, in conclusion, on the Simpson scale of one to ten—ten being the highest, one being the lowest and five being average—I give this book a nine.
In "Viva Ned Flanders", Homer and Ned are running away from their new wives. They take two janitors into a broom closet to beat them up and take their uniforms, but the janitors beat Homer and Ned up and neither the janitors are mugged for their clothes nor are Homer and Ned posing as janitors.
In "Burns, Baby Burns", Homer and Larry Burns are running away from the police, and duck into a costume store. Moments later, two people emerge wearing outfits whom we assume are Homer and Larry in disguise. However, it's revealed that those are two random people, and that Homer and Larry are hiding in the shop's bathroom until the shopkeep tells them to buy something or get out.
Dumb Muscle: Subverted with Ox, a member of Abe Simpson's old Army squad in World War 2. He comes off as this trope initially, and his nickname reinforces it. However, it turns out he's the only one who knows what a Tontine is. It also turns out the name is short for "Oxford".