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Recap / The Simpsons S4 E18 "So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show"

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Episode - 9F17
First Aired - 4/1/1993
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An April Fools' Day prank leaves Homer in a coma. As the family waits to see if he'll recover, they recount moments from previous episodes...of their lives.


This episode contains examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: Homer's is beer, according to him.
  • April Fools' Plot: Bart's prank for April 1 lands Homer in the hospital.
  • Artistic License – History: The origin of April Fools came from 16th century France, and actually had nothing to do with the pagans, nor was April 1 considered their New Yearnote . However, the link with New Years is Truth in Televisionnote .
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  • Bad Boss: Mr. Burns is quite happy to pull the plug on Homer solely because his coma treatment is costing the power plant's health plan $50,000 a day.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Somehow, Bart shook the beer can so hard that it exploded upon opening rather than spraying in Homer's face.
  • Big Eater: Homer temporarily recovers from his belief that he'll never walk again to reach the candy machine, prompting a repeat of his "Land of Chocolate" fantasy sequence.
  • Clip Show: The first one, and, as the title suggests, one that the writers had no choice but to do. On the DVD Commentary, they admitted to feeling overworked as Season 4 went on, so James L. Brooks suggested a clip show to take the edge off. Unlike "Another Simpsons Clip Show", there's still an extensive amount of new footage, including an extended cut of Homer's second fall into the gorge in "Bart the Daredevil".
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
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    • The flashback explaining the origin of April Fool's Day shows pagans burning Christians at the stake over a harmless prank.
    • Bart's prank was way disproportional too, sending Homer to the hospital due the beer can explosion. Downplayed, as he probably didn't expect it to happen and was deeply regretful about the whole situation.
    • Also, Homer strangling him even though he was sorry. Not to say he deserved the coma, but Homer spurred Bart on with his incessant and deadly pranks, which would rightfully be considered child abuse.
  • Establishing Shot: Lampshaded when Lisa's memory of playing the saxophone for Homer in "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish" cuts to outside the house.
    Mike Reiss: Lisa's memory cut to an establishing shot.
  • Everything Makes a Mushroom: The can of Duff beer that Bart stuck into a paint mixer was so fizzled up, the resulting mushroom cloud was seen by Chief Wiggum and Lou a few blocks away.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: Prof. Frink's solution to wake Homer from his coma, which is promptly rejected when it involves entering Homer's lower colon.
  • From Bad to Worse: Bart's prank lands Homer in the hospital where he's told he may never walk again. After making his way to the candy machine, Homer is put into his coma when the machine falls on him and the chocolate falls into his mouth, cutting off his breathing.
  • Fully Automatic Clip Show: An unbroken sequence of 32 "D'oh!"s.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: At one point, Bart recalls an episode of Itchy & Scratchy, with no obvious relation to the rest of the setup. Marge asks why he brought it up, and Bart simply claims "It was an amusing episode... of our lives."
  • Kill It with Fire: In Lisa's story, the pagan tribe leader has the Christian family burned at the stake for insulting them with a fake jar of ram blood.
  • Mind Screw: While Homer and the family are reminiscing about Homer's past survival, Marge brings up Homer's coping skills, cueing a clip of the alien abduction scene from Treehouse of Horror, which is usually non-canon.
  • Mood Whiplash: When Grandpa Simpson visits Homer in the hospital:
    Grandpa: (sadly) Poor Homer. This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you. (Homer grossly drools in his sleep) Ahh! Kill it! Kill it!
  • Police Are Useless: Wiggum is content to blow off the explosion at the Simpsons' house... until he learns beer is coming out of the chimney.
    Chief Wiggum: I am proceeding on foot. Call in a code 8.
    Lou: We need pretzels! I repeat: pretzels!
  • Police Code for Everything: The Springfield Police have a single-digit code for bringing pretzels to a scene.
  • Prank Gone Too Far: Bart's beer can prank ends up sending Homer to the hospital where he eventually winds up in a coma.
  • Recycled Animation: The episode is a clip show, thus uses a lot of clips from previous episodes. However, there is a twist on the formula, as the Bart The Daredevil flashback contains new footage (we actually see when Homer falls down Springfield Gorge a second time instead of just hearing his cries of pain).
  • Shout-Out:
    • A reference is made to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, when Barney smothers Homer with a pillow, then escapes through the window and Don McLean's song "Vincent".
    • The Bumblebee Man episode which Homer is watching in his TV is a reference to episode "Lavadora nueva" (new washer) from El Chavo del ocho. In this episode, the main character (El Chavo) tries to use the washer but makes it to overflow.
  • Soda Can Shake Up: For an April Fool's prank, Bart decides to this by shaking up one of Homer's beer cans using a paint shaker. Unfortunately, he shook it so much that when Homer opened it, the can exploded.
  • Take That!: To "clip episodes" as a whole (being contractually obliged to do one), down to the title.
  • Walk-In Chime-In: After Mr. Burns demands the hospital pull the plug on Homer and Dr. Hibbert refuses...
    Dr. Julius Hibbert: Now hold on! I'm the doctor here!
    Monty Burns: Well I demand a second opinion. (Dr. Nick Riviera appears at his elbow)
    Dr. Nick Riviera: Hi, everybody!
    All: Hi, Dr. Nick!
  • Who's Laughing Now?: During the flashback explaining the origins of April Fools' Day. The Christians (played by the Flanders) prank the pagans (played by the Simpsons). One angry growl later and the Christians are being burned at the stake.

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