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Recap / The Simpsons S18E19 "Crook and Ladder"

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Maggie wreaking havoc over having her pacifier taken away leads Homer to sleepwalk thanks to some prescription medication, and later, Homer joins the town's fire-fighting force, where he, Apu, and Moe make a killing stealing items from burning buildings.


  • Bait-and-Switch: Towards the end of the episode, a woman outside a burning building shouts, "My baby!", and follows it with, "...Could do worse than grow up to be like you, sir."
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  • Bland-Name Product: Nappien the prescription sleep medication is a send-up of Ambien.
  • Buffy Speak: Homer lamenting his financial situation.
    Homer: Aw, I have three kids and no money. Why can't I have no kids and three money?
  • Call-Back: During Homer's sleepwalking montage Bart had him participate in a street fight where he soaks every hit and lightly punch the guy out after he is tired, like he used to do as a professional boxer.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Moe literally has a card describing him as a villain. His face appears in a Dastardly Whiplash style. He also had a hero card in the back of his villain card.
  • The Corrupter: Moe leads the other volunteers into becoming looters.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Homer, Apu and Moe change from being real heroes to taking advantage of their positions as volunteer firefighters to rob the people they're supposed to help.
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  • Genre Savvy: When Moe says he'll also become a firefighter, he explains his wording by saying he's sure he's not the first one.
  • Morality Chain: Seeing the sad faces of his children once they learned the truth is what made Homer regret stealing from those he was supposed to help.
  • My Beloved Smother: Marge reads a magazine called "Smothering Mother".
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Averted; when Mr. Burns stiffs the firefighters who saved him, Moe grumbles, "I can't believe he acted completely in character!"
  • Secret Other Family: An ad for a medication has a list of stress sources with "secret other family" in it.
  • Side-Effects Include...: Sleepia causes foot fattening and elbow stink.
  • Skewed Priorities: Kent Brockman interviews a man who's stuck inside his burning house:
    Brockman: Sir, how does it feel knowing that no one is coming to save you?
    Man: Oh, not as bad as knowing that somewhere, gays are marrying each other. That's the real emergency, Kent.
    Brockman: Once again, crisis has brought out the best in us.
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  • Small Role, Big Impact: Mr. Burns' only role in the story is to be the only ungrateful person among those rescued by the volunteer firefighters but that's what turns them into thieves.
  • Take That!: Homer compares himself to 80% of America: "Whacked out on prescription drugs."
  • Token Good Teammate: Principal Skinner
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Mr. Burns. His ungratefulness towards the volunteer firefighters was what turned them into thieves.
    Mr. Burns: Ta-ta, toodle-loo. Go back to your tenements, where the O'Briens live next to the Goldbergs, who rub elbows with Antonellis, and the only thing you have in common is the squalor of your chamber pot! Oh, how I hate you! Bye-bye.

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