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Recap / The Simpsons S10 E13 "Homer to the Max"

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When a dashing lancer named Homer Simpson becomes a Bumbling Sidekick on a new cop show, Homer petitions the court to have his name legally changed and takes advantage of the good life that comes with having a new name — until he gets roped into an environmental protest.


  • 555: The garden party invite lists Trent Steel's phone number as KL5-2654.
  • Awesome Ego: In-Universe: Ed Begley Jr rides a go-kart powered by his own sense of self-satisfaction. It goes as fast as a race car, too.
  • "Awesome McCool" Name: Homer has his name changed to "Max Power" because it was the only one he spelled correctly. His other options were "Hercules Rockefeller", "Rembrandt Q. Einstein", and "Handsome B. Wonderful".
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In-Universe: In All in the Family 1999 after Archie Bunker proclaims his love for the Token Minorities around him, he mutters to himself, "I wish I'd saved my money from the first show."
  • Bumbling Sidekick: On Police Cops, the character of Homer Simpson becomes one to Lance Kaufman after the first episode. Lenny even refers to the character as one.
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  • Cassandra Truth: When Homer tells Trent where he got the idea for the "Max Power" name from, Trent assumes it's a joke.
  • Catchphrase: TV!Homer gets one before and after his retool. "And that's the end of that chapter." Then "Uh-oh, Spaghetti-O's!"
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Police Cops.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Homer cutting down his tree manages to knock down all the other trees in the forest and destroy a police car. To top it off his chain hits an eagle when he tosses it skyward.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In-universe: Police Cop Homer Simpson starting as a competent cop and being later changed into a Bumbling Sidekick.
  • Epic Fail:
    • Homer's single-handed demolition of an entire forest (including the smashing of a patrol car and killing an eagle) when he tries to prevent the cops from macing him as a protestor against the forest's destruction. In-Universe, the Police Cops version of Homer mistakes a "guns-for-toys" exchange program for the reverse, and so he ends up giving away guns to criminals.
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    • Lenny once held a New Years' Eve party, and didn't even have a clock.
  • Executive Meddlinginvoked: Discussed:
  • GASP: Homer does this when he sees that the cool detective on Police Cops is also called Homer Simpson.
    Homer: GASP! He's Named Like My Name!
  • Genre Shift: In-Universe. Police Cops starts off as action show before being retooled into a comedy.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Back in the earlier episode "Bart the Mother," Bart felt terrible about shooting a bird. In this episode, however, when Homer tells Bart to kill a cat, he gladly complies without even a trace of uncertainty (on the other hand, we don't actually see if Bart went through with it).
  • I Am Not Spock: In-Universe: Once the character is changed into a clown, people start treating Homer like he's the character.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Lenny when he tells everyone Homer was about to do something stupid. On one hand It isn't really being a good friend to follow a friend about waiting for him to mess up, but on the other hand, Homer 'did' cause a huge accident trying to cook fondue on his work console.
  • Juggling Loaded Guns: Chief Wiggum scratches himself with his gun... right after calling Homer "that stupid cop from TV".
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Homer got the name "Max Power" off a hair dryer.
  • Named Like My Name: Homer's Buffy Speak reaction to hearing that Police Cops (well, in its pilot episode, at least) has an Inexplicably Awesome The Ace character with his same name is the Trope Namer.
  • Non-Idle Rich:
    • The Police Cops version of Homer, before being turned into a Bumbling Sidekick.
    • The celebrities are all dedicated enviromentalists. This terrifies Homer, who only wanted the self entitled benefits of celebrity.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Marge mentions an unspecified time when Anthony Michael Hall stole Homer's car stereo.
    • Later, Marge mentions a New Year's Eve Party Lenny held which was supposedly worse than Homer and Marge being chained to trees.
  • Oblivious to His Own Description: Homer's unaware that his description of the new Bumbling Sidekick version of the Homer Simpson "Police Cops" character matches him as well.
    Homer: Hey, what's going on? That guy's not Homer Simpson. He's fat and stupid!
  • The Other Darrin: In-Universe: Played for Laughs — During the joke about how networks love animation because they don't pay the actors squat, Ned Flanders comes in and adds, "Plus, they can replace the voices and no one can tell the diddly-ifference." For the sake of that joke, Karl Wiedergott (a featured voice actor who joined the show during its tenth season) voiced Ned Flanders (who is regularly voiced by Harry Shearer). Played a bit more straight with changing the actor playing the Police Cops Homer Simpson between the pilot and the second episode from a handsome guy to a Chris Farley Expy — this alongside turning the character into a complete idiot.
  • Reality Ensues: After being humiliated from the Show Within a Show Police Cops features a character called Detective Homer Simpson, who is heroic and suave in the pilot but becomes a fat, bumbling idiot in the series proper. Homer decides to sue the producers for improper use of his name, which the judge immediately throws out as individuals do not own exclusive rights to their names, and simply sharing a name with a fictional character does not give you the right to sue over how that character is used by the creators.
  • Retirony:
    Chief Wiggum: That car only had one day until retirement.
  • Retool: An In-Universe example with Show Within a Show Police Cops changing the character Homer Simpson from a Sonny Crocket-style super-cool cop to a Chris Farley-style fat Epic Fail levels of bumbling idiot in between the pilot episode and second episode, which being so close to Homer's In-Universe Real Life persona, causes him a whole lot of grief.
  • Police Brutality: When the cops try to deal with the protesting celebrities (and Homer), Wiggum orders that the cops use pepper spray. Or rather, a mixture of pepper so strong that the bottle guarantees will probably destroy the eye, and needs a massive swab for it to be applied (so they chase after Homer in order to hold him down so they can do so). Him being chased by the cops around the tree that he's chained to causes the Disaster Dominoes mentioned above.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: Homer's attempts to prove that he's nothing like (the new) Homer on Police Cops, only causes him to act more like him.
  • Sanity Slippage: Homer briefly experiences this after the fallout of the new Homer Simpson, during which he orders Bart to kill a random cat and a big, yellow flower which were apparently laughing at him.
  • Scarf Of Asskicking: The cool Detective Homer Simpson wears a scarf on the "Police Cops" show to highlight just how badass he is, which prompts the real Homer to wear one as well. The character still wears it after being retooled into an idiot, but it's much less asskicking then.
  • Self-Deprecation: Lisa suggests that mid-season is just a dumping ground for shows that weren't good enough for the fall line-up. Guess what show premiered in December of 1989, well after the fall premieres.
  • Shout-Out: Homer's "Max Power" song is sung to the tune of the title theme of Goldfinger.
    • The initial detectives' appearances and behavior in Police Cops and the show itself were modeled after Miami Vice.
    • A subtle one to Max Headroom: When Homer's asked where he got the name "Max Power", he said he got it off a hair dryer. In the Max Headroom series, Max got his name from the last thing Edison saw before getting in a car crash: A sign that said "MAX HEADROOM 2.3 M".
    • The retooled "Police Cops" show has Da Chief yelling "SIMP-SOOOOOOOON!" at the new, dumbed-down Homer Simpson, similar to how on The Jetsons, Mr. Spacely would yell "JET-SOOOOOOOON!" at George Jetson.
  • Show Within a Show: Police Cops and the other mid-season shows, like The Laughter Family, Admiral Baby, and America's Funniest Tornados.
  • Status Quo Is God: In the end Homer/Max changes his name back to Homer Simpson.
  • Take That! and Biting-the-Hand Humor: Homer's line about networks loving animated shows because they don't have to pay the actors' anything (and a newly-voiced Ned Flanders adding that networks can also change the characters' voice actors and no one can tell the difference). At the time of the episode's premiere, The Simpsons voice actors were in a pay dispute and were threatened with being replaced by soundalikes if they didn't agree to FOX's offer.
    • At the environmental party, Homer refuses to talk to SNL producer and co-creator Lorne Michaels, who was actually voiced by former SNL cast member Harry Shearer.note 
    • To make Homer feel better, Marge tells him that his new characterization may serve as the comic relief, like Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now.
    • The aforementioned comment about Anthony Michael Hall and how it was a coincidence that some other man with the same name stole Homer's car radio.
    • An In-Universe example (either that or it was too funny an inspiration to pass up) happens when Homer begs the writers to stop making the Police Cops Homer Simpson an idiot because they are mocking him as well, only for the next episode to have that Homer repeat the plea word for word, complete with copying Homer's "D'oh!", after falling groin-first into a cactus.
  • Too Dumb to Live and Hypocritical Humor: Chief Wiggum pointed a gun at himself while insulting Homer's competence.
  • Unfortunate Names: Homer has Marge's name changed to "Chestie LaRue" he says if shes not completely satisfied she can be "Busty Saint Clare" or "Hootie McBoob"
  • What Could Have Been: In-universe: Police Cops wasn't originally supposed to be a series. It was supposed to be a comedy about a psychologist on-board the R.M.S. Titanic starring Annie Potts and Jeremy Piven, but was scrapped because the idea scared the hell out of them, so they came up with a cop drama. Also, Police Cops was supposed to be called Badge Patrol, but they didn't like the title or the idea of hi-tech badges that shoot laser beams.
  • Who's on First?:
    Trent Steele: You like Thai?
    Homer/Max: Tie good, you like shirt?


Example of: