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Recap / The Simpsons S 10 E 8 Homer Simpsons In The Kidney Trouble

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Production Code: AABF04
Premiere Date: December 6, 1998

While driving home from a Old West tourist trap, Homer ignores Grampa Simpson's pleas to let him use the bathroom, which causes the old man to blow out both of his kidneys. With Grampa at death's door, Homer decides to give a kidney to his father — then runs off when he becomes afraid of what being an organ donor will do for him.

This episode contains examples of:

  • All Part of the Show: One of the actors at the attraction is a sickly alcoholic who asks for help and then falls in a tub and presumably drowns. All of the tourists (save for Lisa) do in response to this is laugh at him and snap pictures. Even Bart replied back to his sister when she asked if someone should help him that the guy knew what he was doing.
  • Are We There Yet?: A variant.
    Grampa: Am I dead yet?
    Marge: No.
    Grampa: How 'bout now?
    Marge: No.
    Grampa: Now?
    Marge: I'll tell you when you're dead, Grampa.
    Grampa: Thank you.
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  • Artistic License – Biology: A "kidney blowout" due to holding in urine for a long time is physically and medically impossible, as the kidneys (much like the liver) is just a filter that makes body waste. If any organ in the urinary tract was going to suffer from having too much urine in it, it would be the bladder (and he would have wet himself before dying of sepsis). And if Grampa's urinary system was compromised and Homer didn't want to donate a kidney, couldn't they have put Grampa on dialysis until a donor could be found?
  • Christianity Is Catholic: When Marge asks Reverend Lovejoy to perform the last rites for Grampa, Lovejoy retorts, "That's Catholic, Marge. You might as well ask me to do a voodoo dance."
  • Clueless Aesop: The episode doesn’t really seem to have a point. The aesop isn’t redemption because of the fact that Homer runs away in the end. It’s not being Played for Laughs because of the serious way Abe’s illness is being depicted and they make it clear that Homer left his father to die. And the situation isn’t Up to Eleven so it can’t be Black Comedy. It seems to only point of the episode is to depict Homer as a Jerkass and even then Hibbert and the others aren't that better as they take the kidney without consent and Grampa even gloats about it.
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  • Continuity Snarl: Grampa is said to have two functional kidneys, but in 'Old Money'note , he told Bea he had one kidney (unless he meant one that was functioning).
  • Dirty Old Man: Played with by Grandpa. While in the saloon and after one of the robotic can-can dancers' plastic butt flies off and lands next to him, he pinches it and calls it "sweet cheeks", only for a plastic hand come flying by and slapping him across the face.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • The Frenchman may have stolen his accordion (actually a concertina) from a blind monkey, but he (and the other passengers on the Ship of Lost Souls) would never dream of leaving their fathers to die in the hospital after promising them a kidney.
    • Neither would Bart, a boy once hailed as "America's Bad Boy."
    • Even Dr. Hibbert, who usually laughs at inappropriate moments, is upset by the turn of events. He does laugh, but there's no humor in it and no joy in his expression.
  • Ghost Town: The family visits one converted to a tourist trap in the first act.
  • Great White Hunter: A Englishman dressed in the usual fashion is among the passengers of the Ship of Lost Souls, and mentions his story has tigers.
  • Handicapped Badass: The bartender, apparently.
    Homer: Hey, robot! get your metal ass down here!
    [the bartender walks down to Homer]
    Bartender: First of all, I'm not a robot. And second, I got this metal ass in 'Nam, defending this country for lazy jerks like you. Now what'll ya have, pard'ner?
  • Jerkass: A lot of viewers dislike this episode, as it shows Homer at amongst his most callous (bailing during his father's kidney transplant operation twice, as well as starting the whole mess by not stopping his car to let Grandpa urinate anywhere even when he was begging). Even the "Ship of Lost Souls" calls this over the line.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Homer's fears were pivoted by the fact Dr. Hibbert (and everyone else) outright lied to him about the dangers of the operation so he'd agree. When they can't make him donate willingly, Hibbert outright steals his kidney while he's unconscious. While it's Dirty Cowardice at its finest, would you trust your body in the hands of a quack that deceives and outright mutilates you without your consent?
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Homer getting crushed by a car and having his kidney removed while unconscious.
  • Last Request:
    Homer: If I die during the operation, will you do one thing for me?
    Marge: Oh, anything sweetheart!
    Marge: Hrmmmm. Well, I said I'd do it, so I guess I'll have to.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Homer's cowardice is partially pivoted by the fact Dr Hibbert lied about the dangers of the operation to make him go through with it. When he fails to get Homer to willing go through with it, he outright steals the kidney from him while he's unconscious.
  • My Car Hates Me: Homer's car breaks down and won't start just outside the Retirement Castle.
  • Never My Fault:
    Homer: This is everyone's fault but mine.
  • Noodle Incident: A whole Ship of Lost Souls full of them, barring the French man with the accordion (see Even Evil Has Standards above) and the woman who robbed a bank with a frozen loaf of bread. The Peter Lorre lookalike mentioned that he did something that got him banned from a car wash, though we never find out what it was.
  • Potty Emergency and Potty Failure: Played for Drama; because Homer wouldn't stop to let Grampa use the bathroom, Grampa's kidneys exploded and is now near death.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Homer about the bartender having a metal ass. Homer's reason to call him that is because he believed that the bartender is a robot. The bartender is actually a human who "got this metal ass in 'Nam".
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Grampa acts rudely towards the bartender, but when he mentions that, like Grampa, he's also a military veteran, Grampa simply says "Up yours, hippie!"
  • Shout-Out:
  • "Wanted!" Poster: Bart gives Marge a flyer of Homer, who is apparently wanted for indecent exposure in the short time he and the family are at the spot. While Marge initially believes that it was just pretend, Bart then points out that actual posters are being distributed of Homer.


Video Example(s):


The Lost Souls vs Homer (The Simpsons)

Even the Frenchman who stole his accordion from a blind monkey wouldn't leave their dad to die

Example of:

Main / EvenEvilHasStandards
Main / EvenEvilHasStandards