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Recap / The Simpsons S13 E9 "Jaws Wired Shut"

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To escape a gay pride parade marching by their house, The Simpsons take in a movie, but all the cheesy trailers and useless trivia fillers wear on Homer's nerves, and he instigates a riot. While escaping the ushers, Homer runs out of the theater — and fractures his jaw on Drederick Tatum's unveiled park statue. With Homer's jaw wired shut, the only thing he can do is listen to his family and friends, and suddenly becomes a kinder, gentler Homer, which is nice at first, but soon, Marge misses Homer and his brash, wacky ways.


This episode contains examples of:

  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Before the previews, the movie screen shows a word jumble for celebrity names. One seems to obviously spell Tom Hanks, before it's revealed to be "Otm Shank". According to Apu, "He is India's answer to Brian Dennehy."
    • Marge hears Homer shout out "I'm going to kill you!" and thinks Homer has already gone back to his old ways. It turns out that he was reading the title of a play he was helping Bart prepare for.
    • Homer's reaction to finding out that the Gay Pride Parade at first sounds like he's scared or bigoted towards it, until he lets out a "whoo-hoo!", indicating that his tone was excitement.
  • Berserk Button: Prolonging the movie in the cinema with plenty of previews and ads is bound to gradually set Homer off.
  • The Bore: Deconstructed. While Marge usually takes this trope and holds onto it, she relies on Homer to counterbalance it to bring excitement to her life. When Homer's becomes normal and thoughtful, she finds it painfully dull and goes into a dangerous situation in a desperate attempt for excitement.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • Marge's reaction to the "Stayin' In The Closet" float in the gay pride parade mentioned below under Foreshadowing is commenting how nice it would be if the man and woman inside the closet ended up together.
    • Duffman shows up at Moe's to challenge everyone to a trivia question to identify a certain beverage based on how he describes it. Homer is the only one who figures out it's beer but is unable to speak so he has to figure out another way to convey the answer. He goes as far as to push one of Moe's beer taps but the only reaction he gets is a complaint from Moe, who doesn't even bother to mention the name of the liquid Homer is wetting him with.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: A masked driver in the demolition derby absolutely trashes every car, including Marge's, without ever getting hit. It gets ridiculous as said vehicle is still shown beating the already wrecked cars in "beating a dead horse" fashion.
  • Advertisement:
  • Department of Redundancy Department: When Lisa realises that Homer really wants to hear about her day, Homer wipes the blackboard and writes 'Yes' twice.
  • Edible Bludgeon: When Homer causes a ruckus at the theater, the Squeaky-Voiced Teen and his fellow ushers threaten and pursue Homer wielding "movie-sized" Kit Kat bar pieces.
  • Foreshadowing: One float in the gay pride parade is "Stayin' In The Closet", where a man (obviously Smithers) and a woman (sounding like Patty or Selma) say "We're gay, we're glad!" and "But don't tell Mom and Dad!". In Season 16's "There's Something About Marrying", Patty finally comes out as a lesbian.
  • Heel Realization: Parodied in a scene where Bart talks with head-braced Homer and expresses his disgust with the realization that he's a trouble-making class clown.
  • Hope Spot: After many previews, the narrator says "And now, our feature presentation..."
    Homer: (sighs in relief)
    Homer: (screaming in fury) Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaugh!
  • Jerkass Has a Point: As crazy as it was to incite a riot at the theater, Homer did have a right to be infuriated with how long the theater was holding up the movie.
  • No More for Me: Upon seeing a gay dog parade, Maggie stops drinking her milk bottle and tosses it aside.
  • "No Talking or Phones" Warning: There's a pre-movie Itchy and Scratchy short called "To Kill a Talking Bird", in which a duck can't stop chattering on his cell phone, leading Itchy to switch it out with a dynamite stick which blasts the duck down to a skeleton. Itchy then slices Scratchy's stomach open and pulls out his intestines to write "Please no talking" on the movie screen.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack:
    • "Flight of the Bumblebee" plays when Maggie's pacifier gets stuck in the wiring of Homer's head brace and he swings her around, attempting to get her off.
    • Two of the music pieces that play during the formal are Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, and Johann Strauss's "Beautiful Blue Danube".
  • The Quiet One: Homer while in the brace which prevents him from talking, aside from a few instances where he groans understandable words like "Broken jaw?!" through his teeth. In a way, it's subverted in that we hear his thoughts.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Marge jiggling her arms and crying for help like Olive Oyl in classic cartoons. Later, when Homer had a beer to give himself courage, the background music was one Popeye fans used to hear when he ate spinach, including Bart squeezing the beer out of the can into Homer's mouth, and Homer flexing his bicep with an image representing power, though unlike Popeye which usually had a tank or a turbine, Homer has a beer in a glass. Homer later gives a donkey some beer and music resumes until the donkey falls down.
    • Bongo from Matt Groening's comic Life in Hell makes a cameo appearance in the Itchy and Scratchy short as part of the moviegoing crowd.
  • Suicide as Comedy: Apparently, Dr. Hibbert has a suicide machine (a wooden chair with syringes fixed to it) which Homer tries to use once fitted with the brace but apparently it only causes "sexual release" for a man Homer's size.
  • Take That!: One of the reasons the film they intended to see at the beginning of the episode is rated PG-13 is due to brief rudeness and scenes featuring Garry Shandling.
    • Ed O'Neill being the star of a crummy kids' movie is a burn against him starring in Dutch and a burn against Ed O'Neill trying to find another acting job after Married... with Children's cancellation (which was hard for O'Neill to do since everyone recognized him as Al Bundy, the loser shoe salesman married to a lazy, redheaded nag. It wouldn't be until Modern Family years later that the association would slowly wear off).
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: Marge can't stand mild-mannered Homer.


Example of: