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Recap / The Simpsons S10 E5 "When You Dish Upon a Star"

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On a day trip at the lake, Homer winds up at the vacation home of Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin, and they let him be their assistant if he keeps their location a secret.

This episode provides examples of...

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  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Homer is glaring at Bart and Lisa in the backseat; Lenny says something in the car next to him. Rather than turn his head back around to face Lenny, he just keeps twisting his neck.
    Marge: Homer! Your spine!
    (Homer twists back to his normal position)
  • Accidental Misnaming: Homer called Alec Baldwin "Alex Baldwin"note  (and initially confused him for his brother, Billy, who does look like Alec in Real Life).
    • He also mispronounced Kim Basinger's last name the first time.
  • Actor Allusion: After Ron Howard sells Homer's idea for a movie, the episode ends with the musical sting from Happy Days.
  • Actor/Role Confusion: Homer hands his script to Ron Howard and tells him, "You're on your own, Potsie." Ron played Richie on Happy Days, not Potsie (who was played by Anson Williams).
  • The Alcoholic: Ron Howard.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: It turned out that "butt.com" is a real website, which is why Bart's chalkboard gag was changed to "butt.butt" in later airings.
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  • Bears Are Bad News: Homi the Bear's plan for Ranger Ned is to viciously maul him.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The celebrities Homer meets in this episode are Kim Basinger (blonde), Alec Baldwin (brunet), and Ron Howard (redhead).
  • Bowdlerization: The chalkboard gag "Butt.com is not my e-mail address" was changed to "Butt.butt" after it was discovered that there was a real porn site called "Butt.com".
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Homer. He tries to keep the celebrities' location a secret, but ends up revealing it to impress his bar buddies.
  • The Day the Music Lied: With Baldwin and Basinger barely hanging on the RV Museum, Howard attempts to make a jump on there with dramatic music. He didn't make it and suffered severe injuries.
  • The Dead Rise to Advertise: Homer provides the page quote while ranting during the trial. He references a real-life vacuum commercial that used the late Fred Astaire.
    "You celebrities need to realize that the public owns you for life! And after you're dead, you'll all be in commercials dancing with vacuum cleaners."
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  • Driver Faces Passenger: Homer, when Bart and Lisa sass him from the backseat.
  • Dynamic Entry: Homer meets Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin by crashing through their skylight and landing on the latter.
  • Floating Advice Reminder: While at Moe's, Homer's thoughts turn to Basinger, Baldwin, and Howard reminding him not to tell the people of Springfield about their secret getaway (well, Howard actually reminds Homer about the lack of vodka, but still...). However, these thoughts give way for a fourth person: the late New York Tribune founder Horace Greeley.
    Greeley: Tell the people, Homer. They have the right to know about the celebrities' summer house.
    Homer: Who the hell are you?
    Greeley: What do you care? I'm telling you what you want to hear.
  • The Heart: According to Howard, the talking pie is this in Homer's movie pitch.
  • It's Personal: "It is personal. He's got our underwear!"
  • Lead In: The episode opens with a scene featuring Homer as Yogi Bear, Bart as Boo-Boo, and Ned Flanders as Ranger Smith, who Homer ends up mauling. Just as "Homi" is about to maul "Bart-Bart", this is revealed to be a dream of Homer's. Homer's kids wake him up to remind him of his promise to take them to a lake. Homer goes back to sleep afterwards and dreams that he's Magilla Gorilla mauling Mr. Peebles.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Subverted. Once Baldwin and Basinger are unable to stop Homer, Howard mutters "I guess it's up to me...", and dramatically leaps towards Homer's RV... only to miss it and tumble down the road.
  • Negative Continuity: Homer finds parasailing to be so much fun, it fills him with contemptuous pride. Apparently, becoming an astronaut and flying into outer space just wasn't good enough for him. Or maybe it's just Homer being Homer (that is, he forget some things sometimes).
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: Homer describes his Yogi Bear dream as this.
    Homer: I was having the most wonderful dream. I had a hat and a tie with no pants on.
  • Odd Friendship: Homer's movie idea is built on this. A killer robot driving instructor is friends with a talking pie.
  • Plagiarism in Fiction: Parodied in the end. Howard takes Homer's movie idea for his own and gets all the money.
  • Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title: The title of this episode parodies the song "When You Wish Upon a Star" from Disney's Pinocchio.
  • Secret Keeper: Homer for the celebrities, but he eventually cracks.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Homer's rendering of the time machine includes a doodle of the flux capacitor.
    • Ron notices waves in the lemonade that indicate a large crowd of people is approaching, in a direct homage to scene from Jurassic Park whereby a glass of water vibrates in the same way to indicate the approaching dinosaurs.
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