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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.


  • 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...
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  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Nitroglycerin is actually used to treat heart conditions (obviously, not the pure stuff).
  • 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.
  • 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.
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  • 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 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.
  • 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!
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  • 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/Murder by Cremation: 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".
  • Digging Yourself Deeper/Too Dumb to Live: 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...somewhat... It all starts with Homer going out to buy a battery, but he gets it for free because he used the choice of buying a 200$ TiVO with subscription. After installing it, the Simpsons, 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, so she starts watching all commercials. It is then that her woke-up family meet her on the living room and a new restaurant ad appears; they like it, so they happily go to the restaurant opening. When they arrive there, they discover an empty room and the restaurant owner ties them up in chairs. They had fallen into the new Sideshow Bob murder plot. So, Digital Piracy Is Okay and don't watch TV commercials so you don't end up killed, I guess?
  • 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]."
  • Faking the Dead: Sideshow Bob.
  • 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.
  • Impersonating an Officer: Two of them, actually: The Terwilliger parents pose as officers in police uniforms, facial masks, and wigs, in an effort to lure Bart into their trap in the Springfield Funeral Parlor.
  • Laughing Mad: Bob is shown wearing a straitjacket and doing this at episode's end.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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