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Recap / The Simpsons: S11 E5 "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)"

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Homer Simpson, tomacco farmer.
Forced to skip town to get out of a duel, Homer moves back to the farmland he lived on as a kid (according to the season six episode "Grandpa vs. Sexual Inadequacy," even though the last part of that episode showed the house burning downnote ) and tries his hand at growing crops, all of which fail except for a tomato plant with a disgusting surprise inside.


  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Homer started his glove-slapping by defending Marge's honor. When he saw he could use it to get stuff he wanted, it quickly went to his head afterwards.
  • Aliens Steal Cattle: While fighting with a cow over the last tomacco plant, Homer claims there's a flying saucer, causing the cow to look up in shock and letting go of the plant.
  • Anachronism Stew: That horrible Zorro film the Simpson family sees.
  • Animal Gender-Bender: The neighboring farmers have an Asian elephant which they named "Petunia" and refer to as female, despite the elephant having tusks which makes it male.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Played with. While no one had ever cross-bred tomato and tobacco plants, though both plants are in the nightshade family, it is theoretically possible.
    • A fan in 2003 was able to crossbred a tomato and tobacco plant. It resulted in a plant that looked like the famous tomacco on the outside but was inedible due to the lethal amount of nicotine it contained. The plant lived for 18 months and produced fruit every season. [1]
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  • Artistic License – History: Parodied. The Poke of Zorro sees him face the Three Musketeers, the Man in the Iron Mask, and the Scarlet Pimpernel. When he finally triumphs, he's declared king of England by King Arthur himself.
    Bart: It's a history lesson come to life.
    Lisa: No, it isn't. It's totally inacc—
    Bart: Quiet. Here come the ninjas.
  • Asshole Victim: After the Laramie executives steal the last plant, they try to flee via helicopter, but a tomacco-crazed sheep has snuck on board. It attacks them, causing the helicopter to crash, killing everyone on board. (Except the sheep, fortunately.)
  • Bait-and-Switch: The Simpson family are in the Googolplex Cinema, and it seems like they were watching a war film. Suddenly, it is revealed to be a commercial for Buzz Cola, with the German soldier sitting up despite being wounded, and telling them that the drinks are "available in the lobby".
    Lisa: (to Marge) Do they really think cheapening the memory of our veterans will sell soda?
    Homer: (getting up from his seat) I have to go to "ze" lobby.
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  • Bullying a Dragon: Much to Homer's distress, his little ploy of bullying people into giving him what he wants by challenging them to a duel backfires when he meets someone who immediately accepts and sets the duel to be with guns.
  • Clothing Damage: Shown in the Zorro movie, much to the annoyance of the love interest.
    "What part of 'Stop cutting my dress off' don't you understand?"
  • Comically Missing the Point
    • When Homer told the family he'd accept the offer Laramie Cigarettes made for "tomacco", Lisa pleaded to him about how cruel they are, hoping to convince Homer not to make any deals with them. Bart instead took it as a sign he could charge more, which the rest of the family supports.
    • When the family goes to talk about the offer in private, the first thing Homer wants to talk about is how two of the executives seem to have a thing for each other.
    • When Homer gets shot in the arm and Lisa asks him if he's all right, Homer assures her as he's twitching from the pain that that he's okay because "the bone stopped the bullet" (read: the bullet is still inside of his arm).
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Laramie executives, looking to buy the tomacco in order to make people addicted to cigarettes and other tobacco products from youth. When the last plant falls into their hands by accident, they waste no time at all stealing it (though this comes back to haunt them).
  • Couch Gag: The living room is set up like a trendy night club. The bouncer lets in Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie, but sends Homer away.
  • Cruel Mercy: Despite what threat the Southern Gentleman represented, he at least knew to shoot Homer in the arm than to kill him outright.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: The Laramie executives fly away on their helicopter and steal the only remaining tomacco plant, leaving the Simpsons behind to be attacked by the junkie farm animals. The pilot then mentions that the helicopter is overweight a few seconds before a sheep that managed to sneak on attacks the executives to try to eat the plant, making the helicopter go out of control and crash.
  • Delicious Distraction: The Southern Gentleman has a thing for mincemeat pie, evident as he got a smell of it during the duel. Subverted when Homer reminds the Colonel, who promptly shoots him in the shoulder.
  • Descent into Addiction: The animals that raid the tomacco plantation become extremely addicted to it to the point they go nuts and feral when they have finished eating everything but a small sample the Simpsons are guarding.
  • Determinator: The Southern Gentleman waited outside the Simpson house for his pistol duel, despite the family being gone for more than a month.
  • Did Not Think This Through: It doesn't occur to Homer that someone may accept his challenge until it happens.
  • Dirty Coward:
    • The Scarlet Pimpernel in the Zorro movie.
    • Homer, but then again, the duel was involving guns.
  • Fantastic Drug: Tomacco itself. It tastes terrible, but has powerful addictive properties.
  • Glove Slap: Inspired by a corny Zorro movie, Homer goes around slapping people with a glove and challenging them to a duel to get whatever he wants. No one takes him up on it, so Homer keeps on doing it and getting his way, until one day he slaps a Southern Gentleman who accepts the challenge.
    • Later, after fleeing home to avoid the duel, the family looks for a place to live and bumps into Jimmy Carter. He's busy at a Habitat for Humanity, but they ask him to build a new house. When he says he's too busy with his current project he's building for Cletus, Homer yells at him—leading to Carter taking off one of his gloves. Homer drives away, as Carter demands satisfaction.
  • Halfway Plot Switch
    • The episode starts with Homer randomly doing Glove Slaps, only to inadvertently end up in a duel with a southerner, which he escapes by hiding out at his family's farm. Unlike other episodes where the previous plotline is forgotten, when the Simpsons return home, Homer finds the southerner still waiting for him and ends up dueling.
    • The sequence with the addicted farm animals attacking the Simpsons gives the episode a momentary detour into Zombie Apocalypse territory.
  • Imagine Spot: Homer wonders how Zorro would handle the problem with the Southern Gentleman. A thought bubble shows him getting shot immediately.
  • Honking Arriving Car: The Southern Gentleman honks a novelty car horn when he arrives outside the Simpsons home in his RV at dawn for his duel with Homer.
  • Implausible Deniability: Homer increasingly denies the idea that Tomacco is dangerously addictive, even as his own farm animals go into an insane rampage to get the last vegetable. If it couldn't be made any clearer...
    Cow: *smashes through wall* TOMACCOOOO!
  • I Love Nuclear Power: Homer steals plutonium rods from the power plant and buries them with his crop under the impression the radioactivity will help them grow. Instead it causes the tomato and tobacco seeds he planted to spontaneously splice together, yielding nasty tasting but super addictive "tomacco" plants.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Homer's initial glove slap was to defend Marge's honor. It quickly escalated out of control from there and he started using it to avoid having to pay for things or cutting in line.
  • Laser-Guided Karma
    • It takes a while, but Homer does suffer for his constant glove-slapping.
    • The Laramie executives get killed because they stole the plant they intended to use to exploit others.
  • Loophole Abuse: The reason the Laramie execs want to buy the rights to tomacco is because they can't sell tobacco to kids, but there Ain't No Law that prohibits tomacco. (Unfortunately, Homer misinterprets their intents.)
  • Negative Continuity: The Simpsons hide out at Grampa's old farm, despite the house being burnt down last time.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Homer tries to imagine what would Zorro do if he was in Homer's current predicament, and the result is Zorro gets shot: the Gentleman doesn't even stand up from the seat Homer imagines him in.
  • Never My Fault: "Oh, honey, I had the worst nightmare. This glove kept slapping people, and I was getting blamed."
  • Nightmare Face: The tomacco-addicted sheep that attacks (and indirectly kills) the Laramie executives on the helicopter.
  • Noble Demon: The Southern Gentleman is trying to kill Homer but he will only do so in a fair duel where both have an equal chance. He also has no personal animosity towards Homer and is otherwise extremely polite to him and Marge.
  • Off-Model: In a scene where Lisa questions the Tomacco and the choice of name to Homer, you can notice Lisa's outline behind her, especially when Homer pets Lisa and the latter subsequently facepalming.
    • Bart and Lisa's pupils are larger than normal in the scene involving Homer in the "swimming hole".
  • Offscreen Inertia: The Halfway Plot Switch is caused by Homer fleeing from a duel with a Southern Gentleman. At the end of the episode, everyone returns home and Homer muses that he doesn't remember why they ever left — at which point the Gentleman pans into view, still waiting patiently on their front lawn.
  • Parody Assistance: The B-52s perform "Glove Slap", a parody of their hit song "Love Shack".
    Homer: (anguished) ZORRO!
  • Running Gag: The tractor flipping over and trapping Homer under it for the most implausible reasons (such as another farmer throwing an ear of corn to Homer and accidentally hitting the tractor instead, which somehow causes it to flip towards him).
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The whole point of the Simpsons moving to the country was to get away from the duelist. When they return (having forgotten why they left in the first place), the duel is immediately back on. And despite Marge and Lisa distracting the duelist with some pie, Homer complains: "Are we duelling, or what?", the duelist apologises: "Where are my manners?", and shoots Homer in the arm. Homer shortly shrugs off his injury for some pie.
  • Short-Lived Aerial Escape: The Laramie executives get the only Tomacco plant that remains and escape in a helicopter, but it turns out that one of the crazed animals snuck on board and attacks them, making the aircraft crash and presumably killing everyone on board (except the sheep).
  • Shout-Out
    • When the animals surround the farm-house, it resembles a zombie movie.
    • The farming montage's music is the theme song from Green Acres.
    • The Dueling Colonel has a mudflap with him likened to Yosemite Sam on his RV.
    • Homer's inspiration for using radiation to make plants grow is the B-movie Beginning of the End, though he mis-remembers the title as "Grasshopperus".
    • The line about the corn being as high as an elephant's eye is a lyric from the musical 'Oklahoma'.
  • Skewed Priorities: After being shot, Homer pauses writhing in pain to have some pie.
    Lisa: You know, Dad, that's probably something you should go to the hospital for.
    Homer: After pie.
  • Smash Cut: After Homer makes his ridiculously large offer (read: 150 BILLION dollars) to the tobacco company, it then cuts to the Simpsons being dumped back onto their farm.
  • Something We Forgot: As Homer pulls up to their house at the end of the episode, he is greeted with the sight of the Southern Gentleman still waiting for him.
  • Southern Gentleman: Homer's main antagonist throughout the episode who is even credit as "Southern Gentleman". True to form, he's impeccably polite, dresses in a white suit and has an old-fashioned code of behavior.
  • Stepford Smiler: Marge briefly invokes this when she happily declares "I'll repress the rage I'm feeling" after Homer brings the family to the decrepit farmhouse, and plasters a smile on her face that makes her look like she's on the verge of murdering everyone.
  • Stylistic Suck: "The Poke of Zorro" is an abomination of a movie that somehow pits Zorro against the Three Musketeers, the Man in the Iron Mask, some ninjas, and the Scarlet Pimpernel before King Arthur declares Zorro the new king of England. It also ends with an incredibly awful rap song, and the credits list mentions there was a robot version of Zorro, a magic taco voiced by James Earl Jones, and at least one time traveler.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Homer expects to have massive crops ready to harvest just one night after he used radioactive material on the farm's soil. When he wakes up, the farm's soil is seemingly as desolate and arid as before. He almost gives up, until Lisa finds some tomato sprouts, which take some weeks/months to grow to proper size.
  • Talk to the Fist: Homer's Imagine Spot about how Zorro would handle the Southerner has Zorro pulling out his sword (probably having asked for a proper duel) and doing a flourish, which is followed by the Southerner drawing his pistol and killing him with one shot.
  • Tastes Like Feet: Ralph doesn't like the taste of tomacco.
    "Eww! Daddy, this tastes like grandma!"
  • Theme Tune Rap: The cheesy rap song that ends the Zorro film.
    "From the Z to the O to the double R-O, / He's the dude in a mask from the barrio / With his horse and his mask and his big ol' sword / He'll cut your butt from a '52 Ford."
  • Too Dumb to Live: When the southerner was about to forget the duel in favor of a mincemeat pie, Homer reminded him, and gets shot in the arm. Keep in mind that he spent most of the episode trying to get out of the duel.
  • Touché: When Homer is buying snacks from the theater lobby:
    Squeaky-Voiced Teen: I'm sorry, but we're not supposed to put butter on the Milk Duds.
    Homer: You're not supposed to go to the bathroom without washing your hands, either.
    Squeaky-Voiced Teen: Touché.
  • Trigger Happy: Implied with the Southerner, with his RV having stickers for "honk if you demand satisfaction" (read: duel) and one saying that he's a member of a pistol dueling society.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Because of monster movies, Homer was under the belief that radiation caused things to grow super fast. Upon checking the field the next day, however, he didn't find the tall crops he was expecting, but rather sprouts.