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Recap / The Simpsons S 19 E 8 Funeral For A Fiend

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A night at a rib restaurant turns into yet another plot for Sideshow Bob to kill The Simpson family, but the whole scheme turns into a family affair when Bart kills his mortal enemy by throwing away his nitroglycerin (which Sideshow Bob needs for his heart) and the rest of the Terwilligers go after Bart for killing Bob.


  • Accidentally Real Fake Address: Zigzagged. Luigi mentions that Bart made a prank order for pizzas to be delivered at "888 Poopypants Lane". As it turns out, Poopypants Lane was real... but it ended at 700.
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  • Actor Allusion: Sideshow Bob is voiced by Frasier star Kelsey Grammer. Bob's brother Cecil is voiced by David Hyde Pierce, who played Grammer's on-screen brother in Frasier. So of course, Bob and Cecil's father is voiced by John Mahoney, who also played the father of their two characters in Frasier.
  • All Just a Dream: The scene where Sideshow Bob kills the Simpsons as they are celebrating defeating him again. As it happens, he really didn't take this defeat so well...
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Nitroglycerin is actually used to treat heart conditions (obviously, not the pure stuff).
  • Animation Bump: The Itchy & Scratchy short featured is far more fluid than the rest of the episode it's in.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: As Kent Brockman makes a live coverage on Bob's (faked) death:
    America has a tradition of turning outlaws into legends after their deaths: Billy the Kid. Bonnie and Clyde. Jesus Christ.
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  • Artistic License – Law: Gino gets the same punishment as his entire family, despite being just a toddler. In reality, he would be placed into rehabilitation and foster care, or deported back to Italy, because he is too young to be tried even as a juvenile for attempted aggravated murder.
  • Bait-and-Switch: At first, it seems like Sideshow Bob is just going to stab Bart in the funeral home. The second Bart jumps into his coffin, however, he locks it and activates the conveyor belt into the incinerator.
  • Call-Back: Homer blocks Marge when she tries to open the coffin to save Bart but Homer insists "He has got to get over his fear of coffins", referring back to the opening scene of season 12's "Tennis the Menace".
  • Chekhov's Gag: Bob's coffin has a high bump at the end of it to make room for his large feet. This joke later becomes important to the plot; at the end, Lisa explains to Bob and his family that she started getting suspicious when she noticed it at his funeral, and figures that Bob's family wouldn't have bothered to pay for something like that if he actually was dead.
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  • Comically Missing the Point: Homer once Wes Doobner's restaurant is revealed to be Sideshow Bob's trap.
    Sideshow Bob: Before you die, perhaps you'd like to know how I engineered my ultimate revenge.
    Homer: I'd like to know if Wes Doobner is aware of what you're doing in his restaurant!
    Sideshow Bob: I'm Wes Doobner!
    Homer: Mr. Doobner, I have a complaint: I work hard and when I go out with my family I expect a certain level of basic—
    Sideshow Bob: Shut up!
  • Complexity Addiction: Exploited by Bob, yet also brings his downfall: his plan to fake his death involving bringing the Simpsons into a trap with a perfect bait (a restaurant with a class of food that Homer would insist on going to eat immediately, even shooing away other families in the process) and then having it backfire on him because it was too complex goes well, but the "actual" part, that runs on Bob hoping that Bart, paranoid about whether or not he's actually gone, will investigate, ends up being thwarted because Lisa (accurately) guesses the Terwillingers wouldn't invest in a custom coffin unless Bob was actually alive.
    • Even then, the first part of the plan had a chance of failure because the Simpsons purchased a Tivo earlier in the episode and the ad for the fake restaurant had a chance of maybe never be seen by them, hadn't Marge gotten a guilty complex over not seeing the ads. Which does raise several questions as to the complexity: did Bob pay an actor, or Keith Olbermann himself, to give Marge that speech when he realized they were skipping commercials? Did he also pay for all the realistic masks he wears to sell the deal? Hell, did Bob somehow drain their remote battery because he knew Homer couldn't pass up that kind of deal? And why would he go through such a complex plan to kill them when he has them tied up rather than just finishing the job then and there? Sadly, we never find out, as instead we get yet another Bob-tries-to-kill-Bart plot, the show completely dropping the previous plan the moment it cuts to the courtroom.
  • Continuity Nod: Marge is initially uninterested in Wes Doobner's noodles until it's shown to be with butter. Back in "Mommie Beerest", Marge's favorite food was revealed to be buttered noodles, making this a very subtle nod.
  • Conveyor Belt o' Doom: As a part of Bob's "fake death" ruse, his coffin is placed on a conveyor belt that leads to a cremation furnace, as Bob locks his Arch-Enemy into the coffin and attempts to incinerate him. It has two speed settings: "Gloating Speed" and "Kill Him Already".
  • Daydream Surprise: Bob completely snaps after being arrested alongside his whole family and imagines himself barging into the Simpsons' celebration of their victory and tearing all of them apart with a knife while he's straight-jacketed in prison.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Homer, at Bob's funeral:
    Homer: [to Marge, at the altar in front of Bob's casket] Yeah, well, between you and me, I still can't stand him!
    ["I still can't stand him!" echoes so loudly that everyone, including Bob's horrified family, hears him.]
    Homer: Oh, I don't care about these church-jerks!
    ["Church-jerks" echoes loudly as well, and this time Reverend Lovejoy is so horrified, he covers his wife's ears.]
    Marge: Homer, your behavior is heinous!
    [The word "anus" now echoes through the church.]
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil: Commercial skipping is treated as something akin to piracy. When Homer buys and installs a TiVO with subscription, the family, especially Marge, start getting used to skipping commercials. But then Marge falls asleep and has a nightmare with Keith Olbermann warning against such a terrible action, calling her a "content burglar" for skipping the commercials that pay for the shows she watches, so she starts watching all of them.
  • Drama Queen: Dame Judith Underdunk acts like one, just moments after her husband's "fake death" IV has fully taken effect on their son's body. Justified, since she is a Shakespearean actress herself.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Bart manages to accidentally kill Sideshow Bob by tossing away the nitroglycerin he needs for his heart. Subverted when it turns out he was Faking the Dead.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: What makes Lisa realize Bob's real plan? Milhouse wanting to relax on the front porch, saying "[His] feet are killing [him]."
  • Everyone Has Standards: Sideshow Bob may be his sworn enemy and has tried to kill him constantly, but the idea that he (accidentally) murdered him gives Bart a hefty guilt trip.
  • Faking the Dead: Sideshow Bob fakes his in this episode, and manages to do a double whammy by having it look like Bart (accidentally) killed him.
  • The Family That Slays Together: Sideshow Bob, his wife, his son, his brother and his parents.
  • Feuding Families: The Simpsons vs. the Terwilligers
  • A Fool for a Client: Sideshow Bob represents himself when taken to court.
  • Foreshadowing: When Lisa fast forwards through those 10 commercials to get back to Itchy and Scratchy after hooking up the TiVo, the commercial for "Wes Doobner's World Famous Family Style Rib Huts" is seen among them.
    • Also, there's some Backshadowing during the trial: When Bob "threatens" the crowd with a nitroglycerin vial (supposedly for his heart failure) that he pulls out of his left pocket, you can see that his left hand holding the vial is tingling and quivering; his same left hand also tingles when it's on his chest while he is shocked that Bart has snatched the vial and tossed it out the window. The tingling on his left hand is not a sign of a Hollywood Heart Attack, but rather a sign that his father's "fake death" anesthesia that had been injected into his left arm is slowly taking effect on his body in a few seconds, and once it does, the IV's effects will last for about a day before he wakes up, which will be a perfect time for him to set up an ambush on Bart in his coffin at the funeral parlor.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: As mentioned above, one of the commercials that Lisa fast forwards through is the one for the restaurant that they see later in the episode. Other adverts include those seen on previous episodes.
  • Hindenburg Incendiary Principle: Happens in the Itchy and Scratchy short "Spherical on 34th Street", which has Itchy inflate Scratchy with hydrogen gas to the size of a blimp, resulting in him floating through the air amongst the balloons in a Thanksgiving Day parade. Then Itchy grabs a bow and arrow from another mouse dressed as at Native American on a Thanksgiving feast-themed float, sets the arrow alight with a candle, and fires the arrow at Scratchy, causing him to explode and turn into a huge fireball. As his body parts rain down on the float and the other mice feast on them, Itchy comments dressed as a radio reporter, "Oh, the hilarity!"
  • Impersonating an Officer: Two of them, actually: The Terwilliger parents pose as officers in police uniforms, latex masks and wigs, in an effort to lure Bart into their trap in the Springfield Funeral Parlor.
  • It's All About Me: One more strike for Krusty. Krusty's farewell song to Sideshow Bob suddenly becomes an advertisement for a DVD titled "The Best of Sideshow Bob".
    Krusty: And it seems to me your loyal fans oughtta buy this DVD...
  • Latex Perfection: A couple examples...
    • Marge dreams of Keith Olbermann warning her that skipping commercials is bad, and that without the ad money he'd look like a "swamp monster from a child's nightmare", and peels off his rubber mask to reveal such a swamp monster, claiming "and under here, I'll look even worse," removing another mask to reveal a somewhat worse-looking "swamp monster", then adding "Then it gets better..." before pulling that mask off to reveal a paler, slightly disfigured version of his normal face. But then he claims in a haunting voice "Then even worse!" as he peels off that mask to reveal a scary green blob-like head.
    • As mentioned above, the Terwilliger parents disguise as police officers this way as part of their elaborate trap for killing Bart in the Springfield Funeral Parlor.
  • Laughing Mad: Bob is shown wearing a straitjacket and doing this at episode's end.
  • Lawful Stupid: Unknown to Bob, his "perfect bait" for his "simple" plan only ends up working because Marge develops a guilty complex over skipping TV ads and binge-watches those as well.
  • Longer-Than-Life Sentence: The Terwilligers receive 87 years in prison (including Gino, see Artistic License – Law), and will all die in prison. Except Bob, who escapes in his next appearance.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Bob manipulates everyone in Springfield into hating Bart just so he can cremate him.
  • Money Dumb: Homer goes to the electronics store in order to buy some batteries. The store employee then tells him he can get the batteries for free if he buys a $200 TiVO with subscription. So he buys that... and almost leaves the store without the TiVO, as all he wanted were the batteries.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Bart tosses away a vial that Bob pulls out during his court hearing and gloats that he thwarted yet another of Bob's schemes, only to find out that the vial contained Bob's heart medication and he pulled it out because he was about to have a heart attack. The result: Bart kills Bob. Except not, because Bob was just Faking the Dead and he hoped that giving Bart a guilt trip would drive him into Bob's Death Trap.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: In-universe: Bob says that the Wes Doobner commercial had gained him his position as a director of The Hills Have Eyes 3: The Hills Still Have Eyes.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Sideshow Bob misquoting Macbeth. Which Lisa later realizes was intentional.
  • Product Placement: In-universe. During Sideshow Bob's funeral, Krusty the Clown sings what starts as a heartfelt farewell song but then he sings the line "And it seems to me your loyal fans oughtta buy this DVD" and the rest of the song is just about describing the DVD.
  • Shout-Out: To Shakespeare: The plot when Bob attempts to blow the Simpson family up:
    Sideshow Bob: Let's not tarry. As Shakespeare said, "It it were done—when 'tis done—then 'twere best / It were done quickly." Power on! [turns on the laptop as a detonator and laughs maniacally] This time I've made no mistakes.
    Lisa: Actually, you made one. What Shakespeare really said was, "'twere well / It were done quickly."
    Sideshow Bob: Yes, I'm sure you've studied the immortal bard extensively under your "Miss Hoover." [leaves and shuts the door]
    Lisa: Macbeth, Act I, Scene vii. Look it up.
    Sideshow Bob: [reenters the room] I shall! [takes the laptop] Come on, Wikipedia. Load, you unwieldy behemoth!
    [the laptop explodes, and Bob falls to the ground]
    Sideshow Bob: "Hoist on his own petard."
    Lisa: [corrects him again] It's "Hoist with his own petard".
    Sideshow Bob: Oh, get a life!
    • Also, Bob's mother Dame Judith Underdunk is a well-known Shakespearean actress, because of whom he would have known Shakespeare too well to have misquoted him accidentally and did this on purpose so that he would get caught. And Bob's father (Dr. Robert Terwilliger Sr.) administering a special intravenous drug to his son to give him the appearance of death for a long time period (long enough for Bob to awaken and ambush Bart in his coffin) is a nod to Romeo and Juliet, in which Friar Lawrence hands Juliet Capulet a special potion that allows her to feign death for 42 hours in an effort to avoid an Arranged Marriage to Paris set up by her parents and escape with Romeo.note 
  • Significant Anagram: "Wes Doobner's World Famous Family Style Rib Huts" is an anagram for "Sideshow Bob's World Famous Family Style Return". Lisa and Sideshow Bob bring it up after the Simpsons fall for the trap.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Lampshaded. As Lisa is explaining what Sideshow Bob's actual plan was (getting Bart cremated in his place) in the car, Homer asks if he can pull over now since he was circling the funeral home "for 10 minutes" while waiting for her to finish.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: Not the episode itself, but rather the Itchy & Scratchy episode, "Spherical on 34th Street", complete with a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade fiasco.
  • Villain Ball: Sideshow Bob ends up foiling his own scheme when he uses his explosive laptop to look up information on the Internet. Subverted when it turns out this was part of his actual plan to kill Bart.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: None of Bob's family is seen again after this episode, but we don't know whether Francesca and Gino are still in Springfield or were deported to Italy.