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

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Homer Simpson, tomacco farmer.

Original air date: 11/7/1999

Production code: AABF-19

Forced to skip town to get out of a duel, Homer moves back to the farmland he lived on as a kid 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 starts his glove-slapping by defending Marge's honor. When he sees he could use it to get stuff he wants, it quickly goes to his head.
  • 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 let go of the plant.
  • The All-Solving Hammer: The Glove Slap soon becomes Homer's method for dealing with any difficulty, from Dr. Hibbert attempting to give him a shot to traffic at the mini golf course.
  • Anachronism Stew: The 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, both plants are in the nightshade family, so it is theoretically possible.
  • 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 are 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.
    • In the Zorro film, Zorro challenges the Scarlet Pimpernel to a duel or be proven a coward. The angered Pimpernel gets in Zorro's face, then cries that he is a coward and runs away.
  • 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.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Comically subverted with Marge's mincemeat pies. The southern gentleman who was waiting to duel Homer smells them in the back of the car and Homer's almost spared the duel...until he reminds him what they're supposed to be doing.
  • 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 tells the family he'd accept the offer Laramie Cigarettes made for "tomacco", Lisa pleads to him about how cruel they are, hoping to convince Homer not to make any deals with them. Bart instead takes 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 his arm).
  • Compressed Vice: Bart is a tomacco fiend for all of five minutes to prove the point that it's addictive. Chief Wiggum, Ralph and scores of others are also instantly hooked, but it's all pushed aside once the farm animals get into the crop and become deadly in their need for a fix.
  • 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 the threat the Southern Gentleman represents, he at least knows to shoot Homer in the arm rather 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 just before 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 waits 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.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: When the Laramie executives dump the family back on their farm, behind them it's possible to see all the Tomacco plants are gone.
  • 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!
  • Instant Taste Addiction: People (and animals) get addicted to tomacco at the first bite. Nobody likes the taste, though.
  • It Tastes Like Feet: Ralph doesn't like the taste of tomacco.
    "Eww! Daddy, this tastes like grandma!"
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Homer's initial glove slap was to defend Marge's honor. It quickly escalates out of control from there and he starts 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 Zorro would 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.
  • Nuclear Mutant: Homer acquires 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.
  • 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 on their farm.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Lisa decries the Tomacco plant when it's shown how addicted and crazed the farm animals have become, telling Homer he needs to destroy the remaining one. Notably, while Homer offers bullshit excuses about how "He's just one man who wouldn't know where to start," Lisa does nothing to destroy the last Tomacco plant when it's right in front of her. As befitting her usual moral grandstanding, Lisa would rather spend more time shaming someone else into doing the right thing instead of just doing it herself.
  • 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 played by Shawn Wayans, a magic taco voiced by James Earl Jones, Pelé as the hiccuping narrator, and at least one time traveler played by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, among several other either unrealistic or just stupid-sounding characters.
  • Special Guest: The B-52s sing the song around Homer's Glove Slap. Frank Welker also returns for another stint of animal vocals, voicing several of the crazed, tomacco-influenced farm animals.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tranquil Fury: Marge outright says she's repressing rage with a very fragile smile when Homer announces they will live on a farm from now on, clearly livid at how Homer's Tomdickery forced them to leave their lives behind.
  • 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 doesn't find the tall crops he was expecting, but rather sprouts.