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Recap / The Simpsons S 11 E 13 Saddlesore Galactica

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Original air date: 2/6/2000 (produced in 1999)

Production code: BABF-09

Homer and Bart rescue a horse from a cruel sideshow attraction and train it to be a badass on the racetrack, which irks a secret society of jockey elves. Meanwhile, Lisa files a complaint to President Bill Clinton over an unfair judgment at the county fair's Battle of the Bands.


  • Aluminium Christmas Trees: "Diving horses" were a popular sideshow attraction in North America from the 1880s to the 1970s.
  • As Himself: South African horse racing announcer Trevor Denman, who wasn't credited for his appearance, is the announcer for all of Duncan's/Furious D's races. He even uses his real-life Catchphrase - "AND AAAAAAAWAY THEY GO!" - at the start of each race.
    • Canadian rock band Bachman Turner Overdrive also show up, harassed by Homer into playing several of their classic hits.
  • Ass Pullinvoked: Lampshaded In-Universe with the reveal that the jockeys are a secret society of elves. Homer believes for a few seconds that he's hallucinating or that the encounter was a dream. Later on, when he casually says that the jockeys are elves, Marge reacts by saying a Big "WHAT?!"
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  • Audience Surrogate: The Comic Book Guy becomes one in this episode, pointing out that it recycles old plots and character traits (such as the Simpsons having a horse and Marge's gambling).
  • Bait-and-Switch: "That horse better win, or we're taking a trip to the glue factory... and he won't get to come!"
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Double Subverted. The Ogdenville band cheats by using visual aids, then is stripped of their win by the President.
    • Subverted by Furious D; he bumps his fellow horses out of the way like he's in a NASCAR race, and is never disqualified.
  • Couch Gag: The family leaps into the room, all dressed in karate uniforms. They chop the couch to pieces while Homer does a spinning kick and clicks on the TV with the remote.
  • Cryptid Episode: The third act twist is Homer discovering that all of the other horse jockeys in Springfield are members of a secret society of elves that give him an ultimatum: Duncan must lose the next race or else they'll eat his brains.
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  • Curse Cut Short:
    Nelson: Oh, man, that horse don't take no guff from nobody.
    Jimbo: Guff?!
    Nelson: I mean sh— (Jimbo and Keaney pummel him.)
  • Deep-Fried Whatever: Apparently Homer will even eat his own shirt if it's deep fried.
    Homer: And you said they couldn't deep-fry my shirt!
    Marge: I didn't say they couldn't, I said you shouldn't.
  • Didn't We Use This Joke Already?:
    • When the Simpsons are mulling over taking Duncan in or not:
      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.
      Homer: (pause) Anybody care what this guy thinks?
      Crowd: No!
    • Later:
      Marge: Okay, Lisa, I've got Furious D across the board, boxed with the three and the eight and wheeled up and down.
      Lisa: Mom, I think you might be developing a gambling problem.
      Comic Book Guy: (while wearing a "Worst Episode Ever" t-shirt) Hey, I'm watching you.
  • Everyone Chasing You: Jockey-sized trolls chase after Homer after Homer breaks his promise to throw the horse race so they can win.
  • Heart Beats out of Chest: Parodied and deconstructed. Moe meets a beautiful woman at a horse racing track, and his heart starts beating out of his chest like in the older, wackier Golden Age of Animation cartoons (particularly the Looney Tunes and MGM cartoons directed by Tex Avery). When he notices this, he identifies this as the symptom of a serious medical problem, and says he has to leave for the hospital.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Lisa is right that the Ogdenville band cheated, though few appear to care. The judge takes no action but abolishing a planned "Good Sports" trophy due to the particularly antagonistic way Lisa expresses this.
  • Laugh Themselves Sick: Both Homer and Marge begin rolling on the floor laughing after getting caught up in their own bizarre fantasies.
  • Logo Joke: This was one of the episodes that repeated characters' lines for the Gracie Films logo.
    Comic Book Guy: Worst episode ever.
  • Sore Loser: Lisa. It is clear that the other hand cheated and Springfield Elementary's band pulled an awesome performance by playing "Living In America", but it still takes her "whining" about her loss all the way up to the President of the United States in order to find an authority figure that cares about this injustice.
  • Spoof Aesop: Bill Clinton says that if you don't win something, complain until you get it. Marge even points out that that's a lousy lesson...
  • Take That, Audience!: Homer, referring to Comic Book Guy, asks "Anybody care what this guy thinks?", to which everyone responds "NO!".
  • That Was Not a Dream: After the scene in Jockey Town, Homer is sent back to the surface.
    Homer: Did that really happen, or was it all just a wonderful dream?
    Jockey: [popping up] No dream. Lose the race, fat boy.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: Because of Bart's training, Duncan does rough things to win such as getting a hold of a rival horse's jockey with his teeth and tossing him away. He gets to the point that all he needs to keep the other horses from racing is to give them a Death Glare.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: It appears that the evil jockeys are weakened by water. It doesn't kill them, but it does immobilize them long enough to put them in a trash bag.
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!: Comic Book Guy criticizes the episode, which recycles old plots and character traits ("Excuse me, I believe this family already had a horse", Marge's gambling). As the episode proceeds, he wears a "Worst Episode Ever" shirt. When the credits end at the Gracie Films production logo, he says, "Worst. Episode. Ever."
  • Would Hurt a Child: The horse jockeys have no qualms about whipping ten-year-old Bart with their riding crops when the boy begins to pass them. This continues until Duncan begins knocking the jockeys off their horses.