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Recap / The Simpsons S 15 E 2 My Mother The Carjacker

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Homer's mother, Mona, is finally released from prison — only to return due to a technicality.


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  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Why Grandpa thought it was a good idea to testify against Mona.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: From one of the other female prisoners on the bus with Mona.
    Woman Prisoner: [upbeat] I hope this bus ride never ends...[depressed] 'cause I'm being executed when I get off.
  • Burying a Substitute: At the end of the episode, Homer's mother hijacks a prison bus and escapes from the pursuing police, only for the bus to go off a cliff and end up trapped under a rockslide. The Simpson family is subsequently shown holding a funeral for Mona (losing the coffin in the process), but Homer later reveals that they Never Found the Body and the coffin was filled with the previous week's garbage.
  • Call-Back: Frank Grimes' tombstone makes another appearance.
  • Character Filibuster: After the trial Sideshow Mel goes on a long rant about the hotel they stayed at featuring an Opinion Flip Flop; not even the judge can stop him.
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  • Comically Missing the Point: While announcing the Oops Patrol, Kent Brockman showed a photograph of Marge and Homer asked who got the prize.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: When Homer starts chasing after the car taking his mother to jail, the driver stops the car to tempt Homer and speed off when he gets close, the other man in the car has this reaction
  • Everyone Has Standards: Mona doesn't take kindly to Homer strangling Bart and is seemingly quite willing to do likewise to him.
  • Evil Lawyer Joke:
    (Homer crashes into the police station)
    Chief Wiggum: Luckily all you destroyed were bricks, mortar, and attorneys!
    Attorney: Remember me... as a drain on society!
  • Face–Heel Turn: Chief Wiggum was a big help to Mona in her first appearance but now he's leading the charge against her.
  • Justice by Other Legal Means: Burns, driven to get revenge on Mona when she gets a pardon for the crime of destroying his biowarfare lab, obtains evidence that she went to various national parks while using her assumed identities over the years — turns out that using a false name to sign the visitor logbook is a federal offense and this means she is arrested and automatically sent to jail for the rest of her life. Homer even lampshades that this is the kind of technicality that normally should keep people out of jail.
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  • Kick the Dog: Burns getting Mona arrested for a federal offense right in the middle of the town's celebration of her pardon and gloating about it.
  • Lead In: The episode opens with Homer, Bart, and Lisa doing yard work until Marge invites them inside to watch TV, saying it's too nice out for outdoor chores. Bart is happy, but Lisa and Homer suspect an ulterior motive. Marge forces everyone inside by spraying them with a gardening hose, and it turns out that Marge was featured on Channel 6's weekly "Oops Patrol" segment. Homer's ensuing envy sets up Mona's eventual return.
  • Never Found the Body: As it turns out the coffin at the funeral contained yesterday's garbage.
  • Noodle Incident / Comedic Sociopathy / Disproportionate Retribution: On the same day as Mona's trial Homer is on trial for torching a blood bank after they only gave him one cookie.
  • Off on a Technicality: Discussed. As Mr. Burns used a technicality to send Mona back to prison, Homer complained technicalities should get people out of prison.
  • Punny Name: Anita Bonghit.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Homer believes his mother survived because he read what he believes to be a coded message saying "I M O K". She did survive and leave a coded message but it's in another newspaper and explains how she survived and where she went.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Mr. Burns's view on why he should have won his courtcase.
    Mr. Burns: This is America, justice should favour the rich!
  • The '60s: Kent Brockman presents a montage for people who are to young too remember which features — among other things — the moon landing, Richard Nixon's presidency, Woodstock, and the Batusi.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Once Homer becomes completely obsessed with finding a print error on the news that will give him an "Oops Patrol" T-Shirt, lack of sleep (and sanity) makes him start to see words on the newspaper just like John Nash did in A Beautiful Mind.
    • The episode title to the TV comedy series My Mother the Car. Also a subtle Take That! — the show was a notorious flop and one of the executive producers (James L Brooks) was part of the show's writing team, and he's made it clear that he considers it an Old Shame.
  • Take That!: Homer plans to hide his mother at a place nobody goes and chooses Disney's California Adventure.
  • There's No Kill Like Overkill: Mona's bus falls of a cliff into a lake where it explodes and is crushed by many falling rocks.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Mona manages to get a pardon from Quimby both because of being a Cool Old Lady, model prisoner and because the statute of limitations for the destruction of Burns' bio-lab in The '60s has passed. But Burns absolutely refuses to let things go with nothing less than Mona's destruction and obtains evidence that Mona visited several national parks with the various assumed identities she used throughout the years she was on the lam — a federal offense, which will put her in jail for however many years she's got left to live. As a result Mona has to go on the run again, and this time she had to start by faking her death in front of many people, including her own son.
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