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Recap / The Simpsons S 21 E 16 The Greatest Story Ever Dohed

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Ned Flanders offers to take Homer and his family to Israel in hopes to save his soul, but he gets more than he bargained for when Homer gets lost in the desert and the resulting dehydration makes him believe he is the Messiah.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Eastward Endeavor: Ned basically invokes this by taking Homer to Israel so he can save his soul. With Homer being Homer, it backfires spectacularly.
  • Egocentrically Religious: Jakob the tour guide is pretty condescending and disrespectful towards other religions.
  • Forgiveness: Following Ned's "The Reason You Suck" Speech, Homer goes out in the desert in an attempt to find his friend. After coming down with Jerusalem Syndrome, he delivers a speech at the Dome of the Rock that moves Ned to the point of reconciling with him.
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  • Global Ignorance: Tour guide Jacob claims "Israel is the safest country in the world."
  • Groin Attack: Bart is kicked in the groin by Dorit after vandalizing a sacred wall. Lisa later does the same to take his airplane seat.
  • Hypocritical Humour: Dr. Hibbert gets worried about the outbreak of Jerusalem Syndrome (where you think you're the messiah)… and then declares this a job for the messiah.
  • Jews Love to Argue: Jakob is shown to be pushy and abrasive, though he justifies it with his final interaction he has with Marge when they finally track down Homer:
    Jakob: Before you go in, you fill out comment card. Okay. Uh, eh, don't forget the back!
    Marge: You people are so pushy.
    Jakob: What, Israeli people are pushy? How about you experience a couple of genocides and see how laid-back you are? We were purged from Spain! Throw out of there! They allow everybody in Spain! But for us, Jews, no flamenco, get out! (An annoyed Marge starts walking away without saying a word) I'm pushy? Please. You stay there, surrounded by your great enemy, Canada! Try Syria for two months, then we'll see who's pushy!
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  • Madness Mantra:
    Homer, to the tune of Lawrence Of Arabia: "Thirsty, I am so thirsty, and hungry and horny, but mostly just thirsty..."
  • My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting:
    Homer: "Ned, I'm an American tourist. I'm just here to see some sights, try goofy new food and spread some shekels with my Carolina Panthers credit card."
  • National Stereotypes: Israel is mostly shown as a country full of Jewish people. Jakob the tour guide is portrayed as being pushy, arrogant and into haggling. He also references a lot of Jewish products like falafels. He and Dorit are both military skilled. Only near the end we see some native Christians and Muslims. Specific references to Israel are Masada, Mount Zion, King David's Tomb, the Armenian quarter, the Wailing Wall, the Israeli combat sport Krav Maga, the Ark of the Convenant, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Dome of the Rock. Homer also plays the classic culturally ignorant American tourist who makes no attempt to learn anything about the country he's in.
  • Persona Non Grata: When Ned hits his limit with Homer, he is kicked out of the Church of Holy Sepulchre and banned for life because he broke Homer's camera by thrashing it against the wall. Homer might have been sleeping on top of the tomb, but Ned for all appearances was actively trying to wreck the place.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Homer Simpson, you are not...worth...saving."
  • Rage-Breaking Point: Ned when he sees Homer resting on Jesus' tomb and thinking Porky Pig is buried there.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: After Homer escapes through the window from the hospital with his Jerusalem syndrome, Lisa surmises he fled to Dome of the Rock; a religious site that welcomes many religions where can give a speech. The problem is, Homer didn't flee. He was still near the window standing outside on the edge and overheard her pointing the place out, so he decides to head there.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When The Simpsons arrive in Israel they see a man playing a fiddle on a rooftop. This is a reference to Fiddler on the Roof.
    • The movie Ned sees is a Jewish parody of Transformers.
    • The music during Homer's desert crossing is from Maurice Jarré 's soundtrack to Lawrence of Arabia.
    • Characters from VeggieTales appear during Homer's hallucination.
  • Special Guest: Sacha Baron Cohen as Jacob the tour guide.
  • Thirsty Desert: While trying to find Flanders in the desert, Homer experiences dehydration, which is made more severe when he drinks sea water (and adds salt to it after complaining that it's too salty).
  • Truth in Television: Jerusalem Syndrome (deluding yourself into thinking you're the Messiah) is a real delusion.
    Bart: Have you ever noticed that Dad always gets the diseases they write about in the in-flight magazine?
  • Vacation Episode: The Simpsons travel to Israel.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: Invoked. At the beginning of the episode, Ned learns that Jimbo is uninterested in the bible study due to not having modern technology, so he does a half-assed attempt to pander to him ("Mouse pad! Double click! Skype, Skype!"). Once he has gained Jimbo's attention, Ned continues the study as if he didn't resort to this.