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Recap / The Simpsons S 13 E 16 Weekend At Burnsies

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Original air date: 4/7/2002

Production code: DABF-11

After Homer's new pet crows (which have flocked to him after he trashed Marge's new scarecrow for her garden) peck out his eyes, Dr. Hibbert suggests that Homer smoke medicinal marijuana to cure his ocular pain, but the pot turns Homer into a burnout...and Mr. Burns' newest speechwriter.

This episode contains examples of:

  • As Himself: Phish performs at Homer's benefit concert, but only after they were shown some prescription forms for medicinal marijuana from the audience.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Having gotten the clothes for her scarecrow, Marge spots something on the vegetable patch and goes to shoo them away. It's the Flanders family, praying to the scarecrow's cross-shamed frame.
    • Moe tells Homer to take his crows and leave. "This ain't no crow-bar! This is a crowbar!" He reaches behind the bar...and takes out a picture of crows sitting on barstools.
  • The Beastmaster: Homer briefly becomes this when he "kills" a scarecrow set up by Marge, causing the crows to honor him as their leader, follow him everywhere, and obey his every command. It backfires badly when they grab Maggie in response to his idle comment that "Maggie wants to fly too!", and his attempts to lay down the law result in them turning against him and attacking him en masse, getting the real plot going when he's prescribed marijuana as a painkiller.
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  • Brick Joke: Homer and Otto spend some time watching The Three Stooges. During the last scene, Homer ends up in some Three Stooges-style antics as he and Smithers get slapped around by Mr. Burns.
  • Closer than They Appear: Parodied:
    Homer: (reads container) "Toke as needed. Caution: objects may appear more edible than they actually are."
  • Contemplating Your Hands: Homer and Otto, both stoned, partake in this for a bit, including Otto finding a wedding band and that his fingers do "fing".
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Creepy Crows: "It's a murder, honey. A group of crows is called a murder."
  • Drugs Are Bad: Played straight with Ned Flanders' petition to recriminalize medical marijuana, which Homer signed. When the Springfield police department burns the medical marijuana, the people gathered around the burning fire inhale its fumes and enjoy the scent... until the police dump toxic material into the fire that makes them cough and disperse.
  • Epic Fail: Homer hosts a huge rally to get people to vote against the referendum to recriminalize medical marijuana. But it goes on for so long that they miss the vote, and thus lose.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: In a hilarious use of this trope, Homer starts seeing rainbows everywhere when he uses the drugs. Even when he cuts himself shaving, he bleeds rainbows!
  • Exact Words: Even after his eyes being cured, he kept a joint as a "reminder". Not a reminder of being on drugs, an actual memo pad he used to remind himself that he needs to go to the dentist on Tuesday.
  • Eyeball-Plucking Birds: The crows particularly attack Homer's eyes, trying to "drink his sweet eye juices" according to Hibbert.
  • Groin Attack: In a flashback, Homer is shown stuffing a joint into the crotch of his pants to hide it from a drug-sniffing dog. You can imagine what happens next.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The main plot doesn't get underway until the start of the second act. The first act has the following lead-in subplots: Marge tries serving genetically modified vegetables > Marge sets up her own vegetable garden and makes a scarecrow > Homer wrecks the scarecrow and befriends the crows > The crows ultimately attack Homer. In fact, this is lampshaded early on in the third act...
    Marge: Homie, you don't need drugs anymore. Your eyes are all better.
    Homer: Eyes? What the hell are you talking about?
  • Imagine the Audience Naked: Marge recommends Homer do this when he has to listen to Mr. Burns's jokes while not on marijuana. Homer immediately screams. Marge suggests imagining him with a funny hat on instead. This is somehow much more traumatizing for Homer.
  • Improvised Parachute: Maggie flaps her arms when she sees the crows as a baby might. They lift her into the air, assuming she wants to fly despite Homer's protests. She slips from their grip but manages to save herself by using her diaper as a parachute.
  • Limited Animation: At one point when two of the crows carry Maggie through the air, in the shot where Maggie slips out of her clothes, the crows carrying her are completely static as they slide forward in the air.
  • Listen To It Stoned: Homer apparently likes Lisa's saxophone music and Mr. Burns' lame jokes a lot more when he's stoned. Even The Bible is a lot funnier to Homer when stoned.
  • Marijuana Is LSD: Note that this is medical marijuana that's like this to Homer.
  • Mushroom Samba: Homer starts seeing everything with smiley faces and rainbows once he starts smoking pot. The soundtrack also plays Donovan's "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" when Homer drives his car through the sky to work. This currently provides the trope image for the former.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Even though the episode title is a pun on Weekend at Bernie's, the parody of it is very shallow (just consisting of Smithers and Homer finding Mr. Burns dead and propping him up to make him look alive) and isn't seen until nearly the end of the episode.
  • Of Corpse He's Alive: After Mr. Burns apparently drowns, Smithers and Homer turn him into a marionette to fool the investors. Somehow, it works, and Burns regains consciousness.
  • People Puppets: Smithers directs Mr. Burns this way at the investors' meeting to hide the fact that he's unconscious (thought by them to be dead). At the end, Homer chides Smithers for wanting to take Burns to the hospital. Annoyed, Burns has Smithers, who still has Burns on marionette strings, manipulate his hand to slap Homer and himself (while also slapping Burns at his own request).
  • Shaped Like Itself: Otto's comment about why they call them fingers if they don't fing, then realizing they do fing.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The title is a reference to the movie Weekend at Bernie's and shares a similar premise in trying to make it appear that a dead body is still alive (though Mr. Burns is revived).
    • The way Homer and Smithers find Burns drowning in the bathtub is a parody of an episode of Dragnet 1967.
    • While stoned, Homer sings "Smoke on the Water" which is what alerts the family to his pot use (though the telltale trails of smoke do too).
    • Also while stoned, Homer watches an episode of The Three Stooges with Otto.
    • The trivia bubbles that pop-up when Marge builds a scarecrow are taken from Pop Up Video.
    • Dr. Hibbert tells Homer that he can use medical drugs, using a short list of different terms that culminates in "Texas THC". This is a spoof of a line in "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" from The Beverly Hillbillies, in which the narrator elaborates on what he meant by Jed finding "a bubbling crude", which culminates with "Texas tea".
    • Mr. Burns makes a joke about 1920s-era film star Louise Brooks. Homer and Smithers have no idea what's going on.
  • So Unfunny, It's Funny: Mr. Burns' standup routine.
    Burns: So, profit margins will be lower than ...Louise Brooks' negligee.
    (Homer and Smithers grin awkwardly and stare at each other)
    Burns: You know, Louise Brooks, the silent star of Lulu.
    (Homer and Smithers still sit in awkward silence)
    Smithers: (whispering to Homer) One of us has got to start laughing. If Mr. Burns gets flop sweat, he'll die of dehydration.
  • The Stoner: Besides Homer, this episode also cements Otto's personality as a frequent user of marijuana, initially only dropped through subtle hints. It's the first time we actually see him high on weed on-screen.
  • Stoners Are Funny: Most of the episode's humor comes from this principle.
  • Take Our Word for It: Phish frontman Trey Anastasio reads Hans Moleman's prescription form, then says in a shocked voice "Whoa, this guy's really sick!", to which Hans says "My doctor never told me that. I had to hear it from Phish..."
  • Un-Installment: While Marge is building a scarecrow, we learn that there's an episode called "Who Shot Grampa's Hat?"
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!: Subverted and played for laughs.
    Lisa: I want my old dad back. The one who was yelling all the time, and ... you know, I'm not really sure what I want.