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Recap / The Simpsons S3 E10 "Flaming Moe's"

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Original air date: 11/21/1991

Production code: 8F08

Moe steals Homer's recipe for a cough syrup-laced cocktail that becomes the toast of Springfield.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Accidental Discovery: Homer discovers the "Flaming Homer" after accidentally adding Krusty-brand cough syrup to a hastily-made cocktail, and discovers "fire made it good" after ashes from his sister-in-law's cigarette fell into it.
  • Accidental Good Outcome: Homer Simpson throws together an impossibly delicious cocktail out of leftover bits of liquor, plus cough syrup and a cigarette-ash flambé, thanks to his and Patty's inattentiveness.
  • An Aesop: "Maybe some things are too good to be kept a secret."
  • Affectionate Nickname: Colette calls Moe "Morris".
  • As Themselves: Aerosmith (Steven Tyler, Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford). They were the first music act to guest star on the series (not counting Michael Jackson, who had guest starred at the start of the season, but did so under a pseudonym, and played Leon Kompowski rather than himself).
  • Bait-and-Switch: Bart's prank call for Hugh Jass. Moe even sets it up himself as per usual by asking to check the men's room for a "Hugh Jass". Turns out there really was a Hugh Jass in the bar and the prank backfires on Bart, who comes clean to Hugh.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The truth behind the Flaming Moe comes out, leading to other bars replicating it and leaving Moe's Tavern right back where it started, but Homer and Moe have repaired their friendship.
  • Boring Vacation Slideshow: Homer has a boring night watching Patty and Selma's vacation pictures, so he goes to find a drink in the kitchen; he doesn't have any, leading to him creating the Flaming Homer that sets up the plot of the episode.
  • Characterization Click Moment:
    • While Moe wasn't a paragon in earlier episodes, this would be the one that established Moe's willingness to commit underhanded tactics for the sake of profit. This would be immediately escalated a few episodes later to criminal tactics by showing Moe handled all of the underground sports betting in Springfield.
    • The episode also acts as one for Homer and Moe's friendship. While previously it'd been somewhat ambiguous how close the two were beyond being bartender and customer, this one shows the two as genuinely close friends, something which would become a consistent aspect going forwards.
  • Chekhov's Gun: At school, Martin talks about the gas chromatograph in "The Inventor I Admire" section. Later, we see Professor Frink using a gas chromatograph to try to find the secret ingredient to the Flaming Homer/Moe. Except it doesn't work as expected. ("Love? Who's been screwing with this thing?!")
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: As Homer becomes more obsessed with Moe, he starts hearing his name in the family's breakfast conversation, until it degenerates into the family only saying "Moe". Then, when he runs outside, he starts seeing Moe's face on everyone and everything.
  • Comically Missing the Point: After Moe and his waitress Colette have sex:
    Colette: Morris, something troubles me.
    Moe: Don't worry, baby, my mother won't be home for another 20 minutes.
    Colette: No, I was thinking about Homer Simpson.
    Colette: (annoyed) I meant, I think you should sell your drink and give half the money to Homer.
  • Couch Gag: Two burglars are in the process of stealing the couch. The family comes in and sit, but the burglars throw them off and leave with the couch.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: When Moe drinks the Flaming Homer initially, his only remark is "...It's not without its charms."
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Moe.
  • The Determinator: Lisa and her friends were persistent in giving Bart a makeover.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Angry at Moe for taking credit for his drink idea and lying about it, Homer spites him by revealing the secret recipe to the people Moe was about to sell it to.
  • Driven to Madness: Homer at the climax.
  • Expy: Collette for Diane Chambers. Barney is even treated like Norm Peterson.
  • Fan Disservice: Patty shows a slide depicting her hairy legs in a bikini.
  • Fanservice: Used blatantly in Eye on Springfield, with bikini-clad women throughout the opening and one segment being "Our eye-opening look at the bikini", with more bikini-clad women on screen. Later in the episode, Princess Kashmir and Ms. Krabappel appear in tube tops in Flaming Moe's.
    "Bart:" (seeing the bikini girls) Whoa— T and A!
  • The Glomp: Lisa's friend Susan glomps and kisses Bart in a "Truth or Dare" game.
  • Homage: Many of the scenes around Moe's bar homage Cheers:
    • The song about Flaming Moe, including the imagery, is similar to the opening credits.
    • When everybody in the bar greets Barney and the bartender asks him: "How's the world treatin' you, Mr. Gumble?" à la the way Norm enters the bar in every episode in Cheers.
    • The character of Colette is a stand-in for Diane Chambers. When she leaves to become a movie actress, it references Shelley Long's decision to leave Cheers for a film career.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: When Moe is turning down an offer to sell the cocktail, he asks if the guy knew how much of his blood and sweat went into it. Cue everyone in the bar doing a Spit Take.
    Moe: Uh, figure of speech.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: Tonal version with Mrs. Krabappel when her students present on their favorite inventors:
    [Happily] "Brilliant, Martin. Brilliant. Once again, you've wrecked the grading curve. Oh, I pity the poor student who has to follow you." [Growls] "Bart Simpson, you're next!"
  • Incendiary Exponent: The Flaming Homer tastes better after being put on fire.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: What kicked off Homer's invention was him wanting a beer after seeing an unflattering photo of Patty's hairy thighs.
    Homer: [monologue] As I stared up at that hairy yellow drumstick I knew I needed a drink. [out loud] Patty, Selma, would you excuse me for a moment?
    Patty: If you're going for a beer, [holds up her can of Duff] this is the last one.
    Homer: D'oh!
  • Laughing Mad: Homer, after revealing the secret ingredient to Moe's patrons.
    Harv Bannister: Thank you, Mr. Nutball. [Rips up the contract] Gotta go, Moe. Tough luck.
  • Madness Mantra: Moe, Moe, Moe...
  • Makeover Torment: Lisa and her friends chase Bart all over the house to give him a makeover, forcibly, which ends with him jumping out his window just to avoid it. Then the girls turn their attention to poor Maggie.
  • Morality Pet: Collette discovers that Moe stole the recipe from Homer, and convinces him to sell the "Flaming Moe" for $1,000,000 and give half of the money to Homer.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Homer gives away the secret ingredient to the Flaming Moe, unknowingly screwing both Moe and himself out of a small fortune.
  • Nothing Personal: Moe tells Homer he's sorry for stealing his drink; "It's nothing personal. This is business."
    Homer: Business, eh? Well, let me tell you something: you just lost yourself a customer.
  • Overly Long Gag: Played mostly for drama. When Homer tries to tell Moe that he just lost himself a customer, Moe can't hear him over the excited crowd, flaming drinks, and the cash register, causing Homer to try and make the threat many times without success, only managing to make Moe think that he just wants to use the restroom. Dejected, Homer just gives up and simply leaves.
    Moe: Yeah, you can use it!
  • Plagiarism in Fiction: The main plot of this episode is Moe stealing Homer's recipe.
  • Precision F-Strike: Drederick Tatum gets one while being interviewed about his youth in Springfield.
    Drederick Tatum: That town is a dump! If you ever see me back there, you know I really [bleep]ed up bad!
  • Properly Paranoid: Bart worries about Lisa and her friends plotting against him. Homer dismisses it but Bart turns out to be correct.
  • Punny Name: Bart's prank call of this episode backfires because there is someone named "Hugh Jass" who actually takes the prank call in good spirit.
  • Running Gag: This episode introduces one of the series' running gags: the perpetually burning Springfield Tire Yard.note 
  • Sanity Slippage: Homer's obsessive grudge against Moe eventually drives him to madness, hallucinating everyone as constantly mentioning Moe's name and turning into duplicates of Moe all coming up to him. It finally results in him revealing the secret ingredient of Flaming Moe to the public, right when Moe was about to sign on the deal.
  • Sarcasm Mode: One of the funniest moments in this episode (in fact, one of the most well-known scenes in the series).
    Homer: Stupid Moe, non-inventing, recipe-stealing, pug-nosed...
    Marge: Well, Homer, maybe you can get some consolation in the fact that something you created is making so many people happy.
    Homer: Oh, look at me! I'm making people happy! I'm the Magical Man from Happy-Land, in a gumdrop house on Lollipop Lane! [Leaves the room, slamming the door. Pokes his head back in] Oh, by the way, I was being sarcastic. [Closes the door]
    Marge: Well, duh.
  • Say My Name: A jinxed Bart writes this on a card, trying to get Homer to say it.
    Homer: Why should I do that, my lad?
    Bart: Because I'm jinxed, damn it!
    [Homer punches him in the arm for talking.]
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: For half the episode, Moe affects this attitude regarding solicitous restaurant representative Harv Bannister.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Homer invokes this when he sees the results after Lisa and her friends give Maggie a makeover.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Smurfing: Homer goes crazy thinking about how Moe screwed him over, and his "Moe on the brain" spell extends to him imagining his family doing this at the breakfast table:
    Marge: Bart, are you going to Moe the lawn today?
    Bart: Okay, but you promised me Moe money.
    Marge: I Moe, I Moe...
    Lisa: When Bart's done, can we Moe to the Moe-vies? There's a Moe-tinee!
    Marge: Of course! All work and Moe play makes Moe a Moe Moe!
  • Song Parody: The Flaming Moe's Theme Song is similar to the Cheers theme "Where Everybody Knows Your Name". Heck, the graphics during the Flaming Moe's theme and the Cheers opening credits are similar.
  • Special Guest: Phil Hartman as Lionel Hutz and Aerosmith as themselves.
  • Spit Take: Moe refuses to sell the drink, citing the blood and sweat he put into it. When everyone at the bar spits their Flaming Moe, Moe points out it was just a figure of speech.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Homer tells Moe (unsuccessfully) that he just lost Homer as a customer. Yet as shown in the Cheers parody segment, Flaming Moe’s continues to prosper even as Homer fails to find a new drinking hole. To any successful business, losing a single person's patronage, no matter how loyal they are, means next to nothing. But to Homer, it's everything due to Moe's betrayal.
  • Theatre Phantom: During Homer's haughty speech from the rafters when he reveals that the Flaming Moe's secret ingredient is cough syrup, notice the robe deftly draped over his face like the Phantom's mask (from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical).
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup: Maggie ends up a victim of this from Lisa and her friends. It is enough to drive Homer out of the house and lead to the main plot.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Colette is upset Moe when she learns that he stole the drink from Homer. Later, she tells him he should sell the recipe to Bannister and give half the fortune to Homer. But it's too late, and for that she breaks up with him and leaves to pursue a movie career.


Video Example(s):


Flaming Moe's Cheers Intro

The Simpson's Flaming Moe's intro pays mocking homage to Cheers.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / AffectionateParody

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