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Reviews Comments: Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish" The Simpsons episode review by Cliche

This is my personal favourite episode of The Simpsons. It's as funny as one expects from an episode of the show, but it is also surprisingly well-plotted and heartwarming. The story is based on the "Hellfish Bonanza", a treasure trove of valuable paintings stolen in World War II. Abraham "Grampa" Simpson and Mr. Burns were members of the Flying Hellfish unit, which agreed that the last surviving member would inherit the treasure. Naturally, Mr. Burns, being the greedy Corrupt Corporate Executive he is, decides he will kill Abe for the treasure. One who is familiar with Abe Simpson will suspect him of telling his usual tall tales, and in fact his typical characterization is played with through Bart's embarrassed eyes, who of course doesn't believe him. However, when Mr. Burns comes along and steals the keys to the treasure from Abe's resigned hands, Bart is determined to make sure his more deserving grandfather gets the treasure.

The backstory is based on actual historical tales of stolen paintings in World War II, along with the concept of the "tontine". This learning experience elevates the plot into something enriching as well as entertaining. Also notable about this episode is Abe Simpson getting his character meaningfully fleshed out as opposed to being portrayed as a stereotypical Grumpy Old Man. He acknowledges that he is seen as a failure, but despite this, Bart shows his lesser-shown sympathetic side and encourages his grandfather. This ultimately makes the ending especially touching, as after Abe shows his inner badass against Mr. Burns, he tells Bart that he wanted to show him that he wasn't always a pathetic old coot, and Bart denies this self-portrayal. This is one of the many great family bonding moments of The Simpsons, and I would even go on to say this is the Crowning Moment Of Heartwarming.

With a well-developed plot, great action, and heart, this is one of the exemplary episodes of The Simpsons.


  • This Male troper
  • 6th Dec 09
Obligatory quote-off that must follow any discussion of my favourite childhood show

Assassin: There is one more way to kill a a man. But it requires the precision and planning of a well played game of chess

  • Bursts through the front door with a machine gun. Abe dives behind a couch in fear before a nurse whips out a shotgun*

  • wellinever
  • 6th Dec 09
Grampa: Stop your snickering! I spent three years on that turlet!

Also I think this is one of the most sinister depictions of Mr. Burns in the series with the exception of him trying to block out the sun. I mean as Smithers says that was catoonish supervillainy. In this he kicks a ten year old boy into a safe and off a boat into the ocean! I mean that's black.
  • nighttrainfm
  • 7th Oct 10
"I ain't gonna kill ya: that'd be cowardly! MONTY BURNS cowardly! I just want to *watch you squiiiirm*!"
  • 13th Nov 10
Assassin (disguised as Homer): Doh! Not again!

Mr Burns (disguised as Marge): I can't take any more of your boorish numbskullery.

Smithers (disguised as Bart): I'll be in the car, dudes.

This is indeed a brilliant episode.
  • Exterminatus
  • 18th Jan 12
"Grandpa, you are never useless" (or something along that line.)

Moment of Heart Warming there.
  • Reviewgamesh
  • 3rd Feb 14
Burns: "We'll all be rich! As rich as Nazis!"

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