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Recap / The Simpsons S 14 E 2 How I Spent My Strummer Vacation

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Original air date: November 10, 2002

After confessing on a hidden-camera show that he hates how boring his life is now that he's married and has children, Homer is sent to a rock-and-roll fantasy camp.

This episode was produced by Mike Scully (showrunner for seasons 9-12), as opposed to Al Jean, the showrunner for season 13.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Accidental Public Confession: Homer was unaware he was on a hidden-camera show.
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  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: As Marge drives Homer around, she says he's being taken to a place where he'll no longer complain about his family. They pass by a mental institution, a slaughter house and Santa's Village. Homer finds the village to be the scariest option.
  • Bait-and-Switch: One scene features a line of men waiting for their turns to use the men's lounge and it seems Homer will use his pass to enter ahead of them. He instead enters the ladies' lounge and showing his pass makes the ladies cease their protests.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • When Homer reads a note from Marge, he wonders who she is until he reads the surname Simpson.
    • After watching himself say a lot of unflattering things about his family on TV, Homer bemoans the fact that they took off Monkey Trauma Center for this.
  • Comical Overreacting: Homer's reaction to having to return home from the rock-and-roll camp is to have a full-on temper tantrum and start crying like a baby.
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  • Couldn't Find a Lighter: Keith uses the flames the stage devil spouts to light his cigarette.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: When Homer tries to explain himself after his appearance on Taxicab Conversations.
    Lisa: Have you always resented us, Dad?
    Homer: Oh, I don't resent you, sweetheart. What I was trying to say, and maybe I didn't use the right words was that marriage is like a coffin and each kid is another nail. But as coffins go-
    Lisa: Please don't say any more!
  • End of an Age: This was the last episode to be produced with traditional cel animation. "Helter Shelter", which aired three weeks later, would be the last cel-animated episode to air.
  • I Reject Your Reality: Homer refuses to believe that the camp was only for a week, and would rather spend the rest of his life there, causing him to bawl like a baby as his entire family tries to take him home.
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  • Jerkass Has a Point: Discussed. While Marge and the kids were upset on how tactless Homer's conversation was, they did concede that he does sacrifice a lot by working at a job he hates and doing things with the family that they like but he doesn't so as a show of thanks, took him to a week long rock camp for him to enjoy on his own.
  • Shout-Out: Taxicab Conversations is a spoof of the real-life show Taxicab Confessions.
  • Special Guest: Plenty of 'em: Elvis Costello, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Tom Petty, Brian Setzer, and Lenny Kravitz all star as themselves.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: When Marge assumes Homer was just pretending he didn't remember appearing at Taxicab Conversations to surprise the family, he plays along.
  • There Are No Rules: Subverted:
    Mick Jagger: And remember rule number one, there are no rules. (group cheers) Rule number two, no outside food.
  • Toilet Humour: Marge tells Homer that thanks to his bender, she had to call in sick for him:
    Marge: I had to tell Mr. Burns you had violent diarrhea.
    Homer: (embarrassed) Oh... couldn't you think of a less embarrassing excuse?
    Marge: But you did have violent diarrhea! (to Bart and Lisa) Nobody open the hall closet until I say it's okay.
  • Verbal Backspace:
    Mick Jagger: And no matter where you are, always say it's the wildest town in the whole damn world.
    Wiggum: So when you said it in Springfield last year, you didn't mean it?
    Mick Jagger: ...Yeah, sure I did. But only because Springfield really is the wildest town in the whole damn world!
    (group cheers)
    Homer: Springfield!
  • Waxing Lyrical: During Tom Petty's lyrics lesson:
    Homer: Rock songs are supposed to be about drinking and getting drunk and boozing it up.
    Apu: And girls that have legs and know how to use them.
    Otto: And why I can't drive 55!
    • Again when Homer doesn't want to leave rock and roll fantasy camp:
    Mick Jagger: Cheer up, Homer. It's only rock and roll camp.
    Homer: But I like it!
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: On Taxicab Conversations, Homer's asked about his family:
    Homer on TV: Can't imagine my life without them.
    Marge: Oh, you big fooler. Pretending not to remember so you could surprise us.
    Homer: Yeah, I'm pretty great.
    Homer on TV: At the end of a hard day there's no better feeling than coming home to the people that you love.
    Marge: Oh, Homie.
    Lisa: That is so sweet.
    Bart: I had no idea, Dad. I just assumed with all the stranglings, you know...
    Homer: That my family isn't the center of my universe? Are you nuts?
    Homer on TV: Then there's those other days, where you just wish you never got married or had kids. One minute, you're a carefree teenager with dreams of being a rock star, or a photographer for Playboy then, bam, some babe gets her claws in you. And, boom, you got a bunch of kids that always needs love. So whammo, you get stuck in some boring job where they don't let you play guitar or take pictures of naked women. And all you can do is watch yourself get bald and fat and kiss your dreams goodbye.
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