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Recap / The Simpsons S19 E11 "That '90s Show"

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After discovering Marge's diploma, Homer recounts the time he gave up his dreams of being a musician just to put Marge through college — until Marge breaks Homer's heart and falls for her professor.


  • Artistic License – History: Grunge existed before The '90s, with bands like Green River and Malfunkshun pioneering the subgenre in the early 1980s. The word "grunge" as applied to the sound also predates the early 90's. Sub Pop popularized it by using it to market Green River around 1987, and the first recorded use of the word in relation to the Seattle music scene dates to 1981.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Homer brings two coats and two pairs of gloves and tells Bart and Lisa they'll keep them warm. He then throws the coats and the gloves at the fireplace.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Frustrated with Marge spending a lot of time with her professor, Homer tells her that she should go with him. Little did he know that Stefane was within earshot and agrees to take Marge.
  • The Cameo:
    • "Weird Al" Yankovic appears on The Simpsons again, this time doing a parody of one of Sadgasm's "Shave Me", calling his version "Brain Freeze".
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    • MTV's Kurt Loder delivers a news report about Sadgasm's breakup.
  • Devoted to You: Even though Marge was cruel to him and left him for Stefane, Homer still loved her and sung a heartbroken song about her, mentioning her by name.
  • Faux Yay: When Moe got caught trying to steal a patron's wristwatch, he claimed he was trying to flirt. To Moe's horror, his "feelings" were reciprocated.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Subverted. Homer goes to Moe's for a drink, only to discover that Moe is offering cigars.
  • It Will Never Catch On:
    • A young Comic Book Guy is heard saying "...and that's why The Lord of the Rings can never be filmed."
    • While splitting up their possessions, Homer takes all the stuff that will be worthless in the following decades (vinyl LPs, Enron stock, VHS tapes) and gives Marge all the stuff that will be successful later on (CDs, Apple stock, DVDs).
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  • Jerkass: Marge's college professor, Stefane August. He manipulates Marge into dumping Homer for him and acts like he's a revolutionary feminist, but really he's just a jerk who would sleep with one of his students.
  • Mistaken for Junkie: Marge unintentionally destroys an insulin syringe, thinking that Homer was taking narcotics and was dying from an overdose.
  • The '90s
  • Retcon: Oh boy. This is the retcon that "The Principal and the Pauper" wants to be when it grows up.
  • Second-Act Breakup: The third act focuses on Marge being with Stefane and Homer going through a deep depression.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The title is an allusion to That '70s Show.
    • The scene where Marvin Cobain calls his cousin, Kurt Cobain, telling them about Sadgasm's sound, is a direct parody of the scene from Back to the Future where Chuck Berry's cousin Marvin calls Chuck to tell him about Marty McFly's new sound.
    • Sadgasm's songs are reminiscent of Nirvana songs, with the exception of "Margerine", a parody of "Glycerine" by Bush. Weird Al parodying Sadgasm is a reference to his Nirvana parody. Kurt Loder reporting their breakup is a reference to him reporting on the death of Kurt Cobain on MTV.
  • Student Teacher Romance: The whole plot revolves around Marge being involved with one of her professors.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: Marge ditched Homer for her professor when Homer was paying for her tuition by working a job he hated.
  • Voodoo Shark: "The Way We Was" and "I Married Marge" are the first two flashback episodes, the former taking place in 1974 and the latter, which supposedly takes place immediately after, taking place in 1980. This episode is supposed to fill the space between these episodes and therefore would ideally take place in the 70's. Guess where it actually does take place.


Example of: