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Recap / The Simpsons S2 E5 "Dancin' Homer"

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Original air date: 11/8/1990

Production code: 7F05

Homer tells his bar buddies the story of how his drunken antics at a baseball game with his boss landed him a job as a dancing mascot for the Isotopes.

This was the first episode directed by Mark Kirkland, who would go on to direct more episodes than anyone else, and, as of 2022, is still with the show.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Even Lisa can't resist joining Bart and Homer in taunting Mr. Burns:
    Homer: Hey, Burns!
    Bart: You throw like my sister, man!
    Lisa: Yeah, you throw like me!
  • As Himself: The first time in the show, with Tony Bennett appearing as himself.
  • Ass Shove: An opposing player threatens to do this to Homer.
    Batter: Hey, knock it off or I'll stick this bat where the sun don't shine.
    Homer: Oh yeah? And where might that be? (realizes) Oh. (backs away)
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  • Baseball Episode: Homer is the mascot for the Isotopes.
  • Billed Above the Title: As Homer's popularity as Dancin' Homer is rising, his name is shown in big letters above the Isotopes' name on billboards.
  • Call-Back: The Capital City Goofball would later return in "22 Short Films About Springfield" in a short cameo.
  • Celebrity Cameo: That's actually Tony Bennett singing "Capital City".
  • The City vs. the Country: The juxtaposition between Springfield and Capital City is made very apparent in the final act when Homer is hired to be the mascot for the latter's baseball team. While in Springfield he's a smash hit, he doesn't makes it past a single game working for Capital City because the highly jaded city folk hate his act and jeer it to the point Homer is taken away by the stadium's security (and the Capital City people cheer at that).
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  • Couch Gag: The family (sans Maggie) sit on the couch, and Maggie peeks out of Marge's hair, sucking her pacifier.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?:
    Homer: I should have listened to my kids instead of my dumb wife. ...I shouldn't have called her that. Bite my tongue. Bite my tongue. (bites tongue) Ow!
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Lisa, of all people, joins Bart and Homer in taunting Mr. Burns; in any subsequent season, she would be embarrassed by their antics and offended by Bart's sexist statement ("You throw like my sister, man!").
    • On the subject of Lisa, she expresses sadness about moving to the big city because she feels emotionally attached to Springfield. Later in the series, she would most likely anticipate the move to a more cultured environment than Springfield as being a big step up.
    • In this episode, Homer actually asks Mr. Burns for time off work so he can be a dancing mascot. These days, Homer not going to work at the nuclear plant because of a new job he has for the episode and not telling Mr. Burns about it are very commonplace.
  • Easy Come, Easy Go: Homer's fame as a mascot only lasts for one episode and at the end he is back in obscurity.
  • Insult Backfire: Bart shouts at Mr. Burns that he throws like Lisa, who takes it surprisingly well.
  • Location Song: "Capital City", where Tony Bennett sings an appropriate theme song, in itself a parody of the Pep-Talk Song "Theme from New York, New York".
  • Misspelling Out Loud: The fans misspell "Springfield" as Homer does his routine.
  • Moonwalk Dance: As part of his dancing as "Dancin' Homer", Homer performs a moonwalk.
  • National Anthem: Bleeding Gums Murphy sings "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the game where Homer first does his dance. Murphy sings the anthem for 26 minutes. The only person still standing straight up with her hand on her heart, and a smile on her face throughout is, no surprise, Lisa.
  • New Job Episode: The whole episode revolves around Homer's short-lived tenure as a baseball team mascot.
  • Overly-Long Name: As this episode establishes, Mr. Burns doesn't call them "company parties" or "picnics". He calls them "Springfield Nuclear Power Plant Employee, Spouse, & No More Than Three Children Nights".
  • Pet the Dog: Mr. Burns buys Homer a large beer during the baseball game, and the two bond by heckling the players.
  • Shaking the Rump: Marge tells Homer that he can't do this in public.
  • Special Guest: Daryl L. Coley as "Bleeding Gums" Murphy; Ken Levine as Dan Horde; Tom Poston as the Capital City Goofball
    • Ken Levine and David Issacs co-wrote this episode and one in Season 3.
    • Ken's work as a baseball announcer likely contributed to him landing a play-by-play job with the Baltimore Orioles.
  • Tuckerization: Writer Ken Levine named many characters after actual minor league people he met in his career as an announcer (for instance, Norfolk Tides general manager Dave Rosenfield became the owner of the Capital City Capitals).
  • Ur-Example: This is the first episode to feature Homer taking a different job.
  • Welcome to the Big City: The first thing Homer sees when riding into Capital City is an old lady being robbed on the sidewalk.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Homer flashes back on failing to be a dancing mascot for the entire episode, only in the end realizing that he might not be a loser at all, because everyone enjoyed listening to the tale of this failure and want to hear it again.