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Recap / The Simpsons S 16 E 16 Dont Fear The Roofer

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Sick of being unwanted, Homer befriends a man who works as a roofer. However, no one else can see him and Homer's insistence that the roofer does exist prompts everyone to think he has gone crazy (again).


  • Acquitted Too Late: Non-lethal version. Everyone found out that Homer didn't imagine Ray after his electroshock treatment was complete. Homer was righteously upset about going through all that pain and suffering for no reason and forced Dr. Hibbert to finish the repairs to the roof as compensation.
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  • Actor Allusion: Ray tries to remind Homer, and the audience by extension, to see Everybody Loves Raymond, which was ending its run around the time this episode originally aired.
  • Applied Mathematics: Homer has two Rebus Bubbles upon meeting Ray:
    • When Ray mentions he's a roofer, Homer realizes that Ray plus the broken roof equals a happy Marge.
    • When Ray offers him a big mug of beer, Homer considers that him plus beer equals a car accident...before he changed it to him being the President of the United States (resembling Abraham Lincoln)...who plays basketball.
  • Artistic License – Law: Springfield is a place so damn crooked that a doctor can set a rule in his clinic that if he validates the clinic's parking ticket, he's legally exempt from being sued for malpractice. Worse yet, the doctor that set said rule is Dr. Hibbert.
  • As Himself: Stephen Hawking is back to explain that the reason Bart never noticed Ray was the presence of a black hole.
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  • Bait-and-Switch: After Homer accidentally ruined Lenny's surprise birthday party, he sadly started to leave, but was stopped by Moe, who seemed to be inviting him to stay...only for him to scrape the cake Homer sat on off his butt before shoving him out the door.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: After Homer's first electroshock treatment, he made a joke about seeing Yogi Bear, leading to this line:
    Dr. Hibbert: (Chuckling) Well, I see your sense of humor's not affected. (Seriously) That's a very bad sign. (Shocks Homer again)
  • Bland-Name Product: "Knockers" is an obvious spoof of "Hooters" even using the same type of font style and font color.
  • Contrived Coincidence: It's lampshaded before the explanation at the end that the circumstances that led to no one but Homer seeing Ray are convoluted.
  • Crooked Contractor: Ray flat-out admits that he is one when it's pointed out that he just up and left all of a sudden, leaving Homer to finish the roofing work alone (let alone the whole "imaginary friend" mess). This is considered Actually Pretty Funny by everybody else and triggers an "Everybody Laughs" Ending.
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  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: A couple of the gags involving Homer insisting that Ray is real flat-out resemble him trying to prove that God is real to atheists (including asking Ray to give Hibbert a Bolt of Divine Retribution to prove he's real).
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy Is Torture: This was Homer's treatment for weeks after everyone was sure that he imagined Ray. To make it worse, Dr. Hibbert gave him jolts when he learned Homer's sense of humor wasn't affected and when he mistakenly believed Robin Hood was real. When Homer found out that it was all unnecessary, however...
  • Extreme Omnivore: When Homer is about to undergo his first treatment, Dr. Hibbert puts a mouthpiece in his mouth, only for Homer to eat it despite Dr. Hibbert telling him it was just to bite on. When Homer says the doctor should've given him one that didn't taste so good, Dr. Hibbert tells him that it was rubber covered in Vaseline. Homer then asks Marge to write down the "recipe" so that she can make it at home.
    Dr. Hibbert: We can't begin this treatment soon enough.
  • Fan Service With A Smile: The Knockers girls waitresses that have all big boobs. Subverted when one of them slaps Homer because a sign saying "Do not stare at our waitresses' large breasts."
  • I See Them, Too: After the majority of the episode where everyone thought he was made up, Ray is finally seen by those who disbelieved Homer. Of course, it does raise the question about why he was at the psychiatric hospital where they saw him.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Not only is Ray Magini a case of The Danza for Ray Romano, he looks like him too.
  • Invented Individual: The entire mess Homer suffers is because people believe he invented Ray. Lisa even showcases that Ray's name is a Significant Anagram for "imaginary".
  • Jerkass Ball:
    • Marge and the family bitch Homer out like crazy about the house and stuff that happens due to the rain and when he gets a roofer to fix the roof and he takes forever to get back and fix the roof, they commit Homer to months of shock therapy because they jump to the conclusion that he's gone crazy because they can't believe the contractor is real because they have never seen him.
    • Dr. Hibbert gives Homer several months worth of electroshock therapy to try and force him to admit Ray is imaginary and then because he has a sense of humor. He then manipulates Marge into not suing and gloats about it.
    • Moe and the barflies when they treat Homer like shit because at the very end he reveals the surprise of Lenny's party at the last seconds.
    • Ray casually reveals himself to be a Crooked Contractor and leads the rest of the cast into an "Everybody Laughs" Ending, without caring that he ditched on a man who considered him a very dear friend, or that performing said ditching is the reason Homer had to endure a whole lot of electroshock therapy.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Subverted. After learning that he gave Homer weeks of electroshock for nothing, Dr. Hibbert tried to invoke this by saying that Marge already agreed not to sue him when he validated her parking. When Marge pointed out that he hadn't punched a hole in her parking slip, he immediately did so. Fortunately, Homer didn't let him get away.
    • Unfortunately, Marge herself plays this straight. Of all the Simpsons and Homer's friends, Marge really laid into Homer the most, even moreso than usual. Yet when she does eventually see Ray, she never actually apologizes. This combines with the below.
  • Logo Joke: During the Gracie Films logo...
    Stephen Hawking: Badabing, badaboom, and we're done.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Dr. Hibbert gives Homer several months' worth of electroshock therapy (which is flat-out excessive as far as psychiatric treatments go, short of a lobotomy) to try to force him to acknowledge Ray isn't real (and other things — in the montage, he also shocks Homer after Homer makes a joke that Yogi Bear is in the room (which he actually recognized was a joke) and because he said Robin Hood was real when in reality research has found out that he isn't (which means that he electrocuted Homer just because he wasn't up to date with Medieval historical research) and when it turns out that Ray is real, Hibbert doesn't even says he's sorry but says that just validating his clinic's parking tickets are a legal agreement not to sue him (when Marge points out that he hadn't validated the ticket yet, he punched the ticket and mocked her).
  • Never My Fault: The people who blame Homer for ruining Lenny's surprise party were the ones who decided not to warn Homer about the party (their reason being that Homer would inadvertently blab to Lenny about it) and placed a barstool-shaped cake next to actual barstools.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Ray Magini. The instances of Snuffy-esque bad timing aside, there are reasons why specific people couldn't see Ray:
    • The bartender had an eyepatch on the eye that saw Ray.note 
    • Flanders couldn't see him because he was behind the chimney.
    • Bart...well, a miniature black hole sorta popped up behind Ray.
  • Obsessively Normal: Ok, interning Homer because people believe he's having hallucinations is kind of OK (although it also makes Marge an example of this). Trying to cure said hallucinations via electroshock therapy is awful. But Dr. Hibbert hits this trope when he gives Homer shocks for anything he can think of that he doesn't considers normal, including Homer still having a sense of humor after so many therapies.
  • Oh, Crap!: Everyone reacts appropriately after Ray shows up after Homer finished his treatment (for seeing the "imaginary" Ray).
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Inverted. When Dr. Hibbert comments that Homer's sense of humor wasn't affected by his first treatment (saying he saw Yogi Bear along with him and Marge as a joke), he says that it's a bad sign before shocking him again.
  • Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title: The title is a play on the Blue Öyster Cult song "Don't Fear The Reaper".
  • Pre-emptive Declaration: Upon seeing Ray is real, Dr. Hibbert says he's not worried since Marge agreed not to sue him when he validated her parking.
    Marge: (Holding up her parking slip) You didn't validate my parking.
    Dr. Hibbert: (Punches a hole in the slip) Check and Mate.
  • Shout-Out: The whole episode is a loose parody/homage of the "Mr. McBeevee" episode of The Andy Griffith Show, where Opie's assumed Imaginary Friend turns out to be a real person, as well as of A Beautiful Mind.
  • Significant Anagram: Ray Magini is an anagram of "imaginary". It's lampshaded by Lisa near the end. And then Ray shows up.
    Homer: [When Lisa points this out] Wow. My subconscious is a genius.
  • Take That!:
    • When asked why he takes so long to show up and fix the roof, Ray explains that he's a contractor. The explanation is quickly accepted and one of the Simpsons even comments on how unreliable contractors are.
    • Marge also mentions "those cell phone ads where old people act young that everyone hates".
  • Ungrateful Bastard: The rest of the family didn't appreciate Homer's attempts to deal with the leaky roof.
  • With Friends Like These...: Marge and the family bitch Homer out like crazy about the house and stuff that happens due to the rain and when he gets a roofer to fix the roof and he takes forever to get back and fix the roof, they commit Homer to months of shock therapy because they jump to the conclusion that he's gone crazy because they can't believe the contractor is real because they have never seen him.