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Recap / The Simpsons S 13 E 5 The Blunder Years

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Homer is hypnotized into remembering a traumatic experience that may have something to do with the death of Smithers' father.

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  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Homer and Bart pranked Marge into thinking Chad, the handsome man on Burlys napkin was coming to dinner, it was really Barney in his underwear leaving Marge angry and humiliated. Feeling guilty, Homer take the family all out to a posh dinner and Marge admits that the prank was actually funny because not only it was the only one that nothing was on fire, but one of the few pranks that wasn’t harmful in any way.
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  • The Cameo: Homer tries to fantasize about Paul Newman, but even his own imagination turns him down.
    Paul Newman: Homer, I'll tell you what I told Redford: "It ain't gonna happen."
  • Clip Show: After drinking some tea to calm his mentality, Homer begins reminiscing the time that he jumped over Springfield Gorge, which dissolves into the clip from The Simpsons S2 E8 "Bart the Daredevil", until Lisa says, "Dad, everyone's tired of that story," in reference to the fact that that clip has been shown on pretty much every single Simpsons clip show.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Burns thought going into the core was dangerous, even by his standards although he’s told why. He was even saddened by Smithers Sr.’s death.
  • Freudian Excuse: Burns' cover story for the death of Smithers' father (killed by Amazons) is implied to be the reason behind Smithers' homosexuality. At the very least it explains his freak out in the precedent episode when he was at a strip club.
    • According to Homer, the trauma of discovering Smithers Sr.'s decaying corpse it's the cause of everything wrong in his life, including his "occasional" overeating and his fear of corpses.
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  • Heroic Sacrifice: Waylon Smithers Sr.
  • Inopportune Voice Cracking: Happens when 12-year-old Homer reacts to seeing Smithers Sr.'s decaying corpse; he starts constantly screaming in his high-pitched voice, but his voice suddenly deepens during one of the screams from puberty.
  • Oedipus Complex: This episode implies Mr. Burns became a Parental Substitute to Smithers after his dad died, making his crush on him all the more creepy.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Burns tries to plea with Smithers Sr. not to go into the core because that’s highly dangerous, considering he doesn’t often think about the wellbeing of his employees. Then, grieving Smithers Sr. after what happened. Burns also feels guilty about never telling Smithers about his dad's death because he wasn't sure how to break the news. He didn't lie when he said his Smithers Sr. was his friend.
  • Series Continuity Error:
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    • Smithers is shown as a baby around the time Homer was a teenager, but other episodes including "Bart Star" and "Bye Bye Nerdie" showed Homer and Smithers in school together.
    • There's also the fact that Smithers' father dies in Burns' flashback when Smithers implied his dad was still alive in "Bart After Dark," claiming he only attended the Maison Derriere because his parents suggested he try it out.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The move that Smithers’ did was a reference to Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan, where Spock does the same thing.
    • In the chalkboard gag, Bart writes "I am not Charlie Brown on acid.", which is how some critics described South Park.
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