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Recap / The Simpsons S 16 E 6 Midnight Rx

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Homer and Grampa smuggle prescription drugs in from Canada after Mr. Burns announces that the town's new healthcare plan is cutting prescription medications.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Artistic License – Law: While in Canada, a man offers Flanders a marijuana cigarette, which he claims is legal there. In Real Life, having non-medicinal marijuana would be illegal in Canada until 2018, 13 years after this episode aired, though punishments were far less severe than in the United States.
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  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Flanders says his home-brewed coffee is "hotter than a Fox News weather skank."
  • Call-Back: Homer is referred to as "Former US Astronaut" after being arrested by Canadian authorities.
    • Sideshow Mel mentions taking pills for his lactose intolerance, which was last referenced in "Bart Gets Famous".
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Plywood Pelican is introduced at the beginning of the episode at the museum and is ignored after Burns cuts the plant's healthcare plan. During the climax, Burns, Homer and Abe use it to smuggle medication.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Ned and Apu argue in the back seats of the car about faith, with Homer desperately trying to get them to shut up, like a parent trying to control his unruly children.
  • Epic Fail: When Homer hears he has to cross the border, he assumes he is going to Mexico, and even wears a sombrero and says, "Hola, señor", only for the border patrol guard to say, "Welcome to Canada."
    Homer: D'OH!
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  • Everyone Has Standards: Homer Simpson is a jerk, but he has to put his foot down and do the angry dad "don't make me go back there" act when Ned starts mocking Apu's Hinduism beliefs as they travel to Canada. Of course, Homer has treated Apu as a friend more often than Ned, so...
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Burns might have selfishly cancelled his employees' health care but he still felt the need to warn a female coworker that her new boyfriend is a married man.
  • Evil Counterpart: What Ned deems his Canadian counterpart to be after the latter offers him a joint.
    Ned: They warned me Satan would be attractive.
  • Exact Words: At the end of the episode, Burns said he'll restore the plant's health care program to all his "full-time employees". Cut to the next scene with Homer informing Marge he's now a "freelance consultant".
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  • Hypocrite: Ned judges his Canadian counterpart for offering him a reefer to spite being there on a drug smuggling mission.
  • Jerkass:
    • When the Plywood Pelican is about to fall, Mr. Burns not only takes a parachute for himself but also the other parachutes, which he claims to be gifts for his nephews, leaving Homer and Abe with no choice but to crash land.
    • Ned mocks Apu's beliefs as a Hindu: when, in the middle of discussing their religions, Apu compares his own pantheon to the Super Friends and gets in trouble right afterwards, Ned sneers out "why don't you call out for Hawkman?"
  • My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: When a Canadian express his desire of seeing a mentally challenged man's execution and claims it doesn't happen in Canada, Homer shows surprise and says it happens a lot in the United States.
  • Not Helping Your Case: When the Canadian Border Patrol surrounds the car, Homer tries to tell them they were simple tourists...only for the drugs they were smuggling across the border to spill out his door.
  • Not What It Looks Like: When the guys are trying to get out of Canada with the drugs, Apu takes a sip of Ned's coffee, causing him to start ululating, so Ned wraps a towel around his head to cool him off. When the car reaches the border, Apu looks like a free-thinking Muslim.
    Border Guard: Stop him! He's expressing his faith, eh!
  • Off-Model: When Burns lands on his yard, he looks taller than his own entrance due to skewed perspective.
  • Overly Long Gag: The drugs spilling out of the car.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: Bart tells Lisa that Mr. Burns is one of the nicest men he ever met. When Lisa asks how many men he knows, he says it's basically Burns and Homer.
  • Pet the Dog: After Smithers becomes seriously ill due to his actions, Burns vows to move heaven and earth to save him...if only because it's easier than teaching someone new his filing system.
  • Shout-Out
    • Mr. Burns' plane is called the "Plywood Pelican", a parody of Howard Hughes' "Spruce Goose" (which was also parodied on the season five episode "$pringfield: or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling" during the subplot of Mr. Burns becoming more and more like Howard Hughes in his later years).
    • The Canadian drugstore Homer and his friends go to is called "Dudley Do-Drugs".
    • During Ned and Apu's argument over religion, Ned sarcastically quips "Why don't you just call out for Hawkman?" after Apu cries to Shiva for help.
    • Mr. Burns' rush to get Smithers his medicine towards the end spoofs Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Sleeping Beauty.
    • The title is a pun on Midnight Express.
    • Mr. Burns and Smithers' escape from the angry Springfield Nuclear Power Plant workers involves flying silhouetted in front of the moon, parodying E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
  • Tempting Fate: Homer reassures his father that they'll get to Springfield in the Plywood Pelican on a wing and a prayer. One of the wings snaps off.
    • The episode's Couch Gag sees the family sit on the couch normally, the theme music having suddenly stopped. Lisa turns to the viewer, and asks, "What? Can't we sit on the couch without something happening?" Cue Homer taking the sharp end of a spear to the chest. He says, "D'oh!"
  • Trolling Translator: Inverted. The Mountie trolls his French translator.
    Mountie: We've confiscated your car and its contents.
    French Translator: Nous avons confisqué votre voiture et son contenu.
    Mountie: You may leave Canada, but never return.
    French Translator: Vous pouvez quitter le Canada, mais vous n'avez plus le droit de r'entrer.
    Mountie: I am a big fat French idiot.
    French Translator: Je suis un grand gros - HEY!

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