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Recap / The Simpsons S 12 E 7 The Great Money Caper

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Grandpa teaches Homer and Bart how to be con artists while Marge gets smashed on Long Island Iced Teas.


  • Abusive Parents: Homer abandons Bart at the wharf at night after his magic act only earns 60 cents. Bart doesn't really hold it against him, though.
  • All Part of the Show: Subverted when Marge is attacked by the monkeys in the magic act:
    Announcer: Folks, this is not part of the act. Please help her.
  • Brutal Honesty:
    Homer: A good son would come through for his dad!
    Bart: And a good dad wouldn't miss his son's little league games!
    Homer: I told you: I find them boring!
  • Captain Obvious: Marge's reaction when Homer and Bart lie to her and Lisa about the church carjacker:
    Bart: And he said if we went to the cops, he'd come back for Maggie.
    Marge: (gasps) Oh dear, we don't want that!
  • Creator Cameo: Showrunner Mike Scully plays the announcer at the magic show.
  • Foreshadowing: In retrospect, Grampa easily getting away on a motorized cart without any pursuit from the "FBI agent" should've been a clue that Grampa was in on the con.
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  • Gainax Ending:
    Homer: Wait a minute, you're telling me the police force, the TV news, a courthouse full of people, and a popular entertainer had nothing better to do than to teach me and Bart a lesson?
    Lisa: I know it seems farfetched, even insulting to your intelligence, but there's a simple and highly satisfying explanation. You see...
    Otto: (interrupting) Hey everybody, surf's up!
  • Genre Savvy: Ned instantly catches on to the Simpson males' attempt at trapping him in a Bibles from the Dead scam because he saw the movie Paper Moon, in which the characters use it often.
  • Giant Novelty Check: Homer, Bart and Grandpa use one as part of the scam they pull on Abe's fellow residents at the retirement castle.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Parodied:
    Blue-haired lawyer: Will you tell the court your whereabouts at the time of the carjacking?
    Willie: I was alone in me Unabomber-style shack. I had nothing to do with the carjacking.
    Blue-haired lawyer: Carjacking? Who said anything about a carjacking? (audience murmurs)
    Willie: But didn't ya just say-
    Blue-haired lawyer: I'll ask the question here, Carjacker Willie!"
  • Kangaroo Court: Groundskeeper Willie's trial. Willie was the only person in court aside from Homer and Bart who didn't know the trial was a sham to make Homer and Bart confess. He even shot Principal Skinner, who faked his death.
    • Also, the judge allows Willie to be nicknamed "Carjacker Willie", which obviously wouldn't be allowed in any normal trial.
  • Latex Perfection: The judge in the trial is Grampa in disguise, who removes the mask when all is revealed.
  • Non-Answer:
    Marge: Why are you frosting that old throw pillow?
    Homer: I could ask you the very same question.
  • Not Helping Your Case: When Willie is grilled on the stand:
    Willie: I was alone in me Unabomber-style shack.
  • Of Course I Smoke: After failing to con Flanders, Homer and Bart hide in the treehouse, where Grandpa is waiting for them in a dark corner with a pipe.
    Grandpa: Amateurs! [lights up]
    Homer: Dad?!
    Grandpa: That's right!
    Bart: You don't smoke a pipe.
    Grandpa: That's right! [coughs]
  • Pun: When Homer wants to "scare Bart straight" by requesting Wiggum put him in a jail cell:
    Wiggum: I'll put you in the Rick James suite. It's "super-freaky".
  • Oh, Crap!: After Ned starts to catch on to the Bible grift, Homer and Bart book it to the treehouse.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Why would so many people (including special guest star Edward Norton) go that far just to teach Homer and Bart a lesson?
  • Saw It in a Movie Once: Homer and Bart try a scam they saw in a movie but it backfires when their target recognises the scenario. Grandpa Simpson's scam also comes from a movie but one no-one watched so no one catches on.
  • Shout-Out: In one grifting scheme, Homer poses as Ed Mc Mahon and declares Abe the winner of $10,000,000 from "that Publisher's Clearing Dealie".
    • Grampa's line about being rich enough to afford a "crazy, stripper wife" is a reference to Anna Nicole Smith and her marriage to J. Howard Marshall, which a lot of people believed was so Smith could get his money when he died.
    • Kent Brockman ends his pay phone call with: "Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow."
    • Homer and Bart try to con Ned by selling him a Bible with his name on it, but Ned says, "Wait a minute, this seems an awful lot like that movie Paper Moon."
    • Devon Bradley is currently performing in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the dinner theatre.
    • The title is a play upon The Great Muppet Caper.
  • Take That!: "Now, this little number was in The Sting Part II, so nobody knows about it!"
  • Unwitting Pawn: After the truth comes out in the courtroom that the whole thing was to teach Homer and Bart a lesson:
    Homer: I can't believe everyone was in on it.
    Willie: WILLIE WASN'T!
  • Wrote the Book: Abe claims he wrote the book on grifting. Bart checks the grifting book he had been carrying and sees Abe's name.

Example of: