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Recap / The Simpsons S 24 E 21 The Saga Of Carl

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Homer, Moe, Lenny, and Carl share a winning lottery ticket, but when Carl makes off with the winnings, the others follow him to his country of origin, Iceland, where they learn why Carl would abscond with their lottery winnings.


  • An Aesop: Friendship can mean different things to different people, there can be a vast difference in definitions of what friendship is even to people who have known each other for years.
  • All for Nothing: Carl betrays the gang and spends the lottery winnings on the missing page in hopes that it'll prove his ancestors' innocent...only for it to reveal they were actually much worse.
  • Anime Land: Bart and Lisa watch a show, "Ki-Ya Karate Monsters", that is clearly intended as a parody of the genre (even moreso than that anime parody from the season 12 episode "HOMR")
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Lenny takes Carl's betrayal very hard and attacks him. Immediately Lampshaded by Moe.
    Moe: When the nice ones snap, it's always a good show.
  • Big "NO!": Carl does one after Homer, Lenny and Moe steal the lost page of the saga from him. It was probably for the best anyway since the page doesn't make the Carlsons out to be the brave warriors that Carl expects they were. Instead, it shows they were even worse than he thought.
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  • Both Sides Have a Point: Carl doesn't see the others as his friends because of their belief in Real Men Hate Affection, rightly pointing out that they didn't even know he's from Iceland. Homer even ponders that he might be right. That being said they did regard Carl as a friend and his stealing the lottery money hurt them all quite deeply. They aren't even that mad about losing the money as much as Carl abusing of their trust and saying they were never friends.
  • Call-Back: Carl has mentioned being from Iceland in the the episode "'Scuse Me While I Miss the Sky"
  • Chase Scene: They try one but due to being unhealthy barflies, the others can't catch up to Carl, with Carl getting exhausted himself; Homer just pays a bystander to catch Carl.
  • Clear Their Name: Carl uses the money to clear the dishonour of his family name by buying the missing page of the saga that depicts them as cowards who abandoned their post only to find that his ancestors were actually worse than what the saga depicts; they were cowards who worked with the Vikings who pillaged Iceland.
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  • Dirty Coward: The Carlsons are portrayed this way in the saga, and even more so with the missing page, possibly to Moral Event Horizon level.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Homer watches female tennis and describes it as "soft-core tennis".
  • Easily Forgiven: Despite how his ancestors probably crossed the Moral Event Horizon by joining in the invasion with the Vikings against their own country, the Icelanders forgive Carl and his family after Homer, Lenny and Moe gather them together and tell them about nice things that Carl has done for them, such as helping Lenny move house, helping Moe paint his windows, and leaving beers in Homer's fridge. Granted they have been giving the Carlsons the cold shoulder for centuries after every Carlsons responsible for it are dead.
  • Foreign Queasine: Homer gets Carl to confess by threatening to feed him rotten shark fermented in urine (though Homer is seen eating it later on).
    Carl: Anything but the inedible, repulsive food of my native land!
  • From Bad to Worse: The saga originally depicts the Carlsons as cowards who merely abandoned their post when the Vikings invaded. Homer, Lenny and Moe find out from the missing page that they were still cowards and who joined in the invasion with the Vikings to pillage Iceland. Even taking part in the ritual massacre of the elderly.
  • Implausible Deniability: Homer and Lenny deny Carl's betrayal for a very long time, despite all signs to the contrary. Lenny needs Carl to tell him straight at his face that he never considered him a friend.
  • In the Blood: Betraying friends is in Carl's adopted blood.
  • Insistent Terminology: Bart and Lisa insist that everyone call "Ki-Ya Karate Monsters" by its full name, getting upset whenever Marge just calls it "Karate Monsters".
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: When Homer claims that getting a pool would make their family whole, Marge states their family is not broken, only for Bart and Lisa to agree with Homer.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Carl pays dearly for stealing the lottery winnings for his own ends and then declaring that the guys aren't friends to him. Homer, Moe and Lenny catch up with him and take the missing page that he spent the money on from him, refusing to return it not only because they technically have a 75% claim on it from him using the money that should have been theirs but also on the same grounds that he used to justify betraying them- they aren't friends. Lenny in particular throws his declaration that they weren't friends back in Carl's face.
  • LOL, 69: Homer's number contribution to the lottery pool is 69, because it makes people laugh (though he himself doesn't know why).
  • National Stereotypes:
    • Truth in Television Iceland is portrayed as a country with a small population, though caricatured here to the point that all inhabitants can apparently crowd together in one spot instantly without anyone missing.
    • References are made to geysers, Icelandic sagas, Björk, Viking invasions, the Allied Forces occupation during World War II for strategic reasons, the Northern Lights, fairies, elves, trolls, Sigur Rós, the 2008-2011 economical collapse and their former lesbian Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir (who was, in fact, the very first openly lesbian head of government in the world).
  • Negative Continuity: The Icelanders seem to have forgotten that it was Homer who caused their country to go bankrupt in the Season 21 episode "The Bob Next Door".
    • Carl being adopted and not viewing the guys as friends goes against Season 22's "The Blue and The Grey" when we see he has a sister who looks just like him who dates Lenny while he dates Lenny's sister, they talk about how great it is to date someone with their best friends face.
  • Real Men Hate Affection: Discussed, the gang doesn't know much about themselves since as guys they don't talk about their problem or stories, which is why Carl betrayed them: he never considered them friends but just people he has barside conversations with. This hurts Lenny deeply to the point he tries to kill Carl.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: The whole of Iceland has never forgiven Carl's adopted family for their ancestor's crimes.
  • Smash Cut: While on the plane to Iceland, Homer, Moe, and Lenny learn that Iceland is actually green and Greenland is actually icy, causing them to laugh at the twist of words...only for it to cut to them in Iceland where it's still pretty cold.
  • Special Guest: Sigur Rós plays the closing theme.
  • Suspect Is Hatless: When the guys ask around for Carl in Iceland.
    Moe: Say, have you seen our friend? He's about this tall, wears a jacket, has no visible tattoos...
    Homer: Just say he's black.
    Moe: You say he's black!


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