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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

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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  • 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.
  • Deadly Prank: Bart's beer can prank ends up sending Homer to the hospital where he eventually winds up in a coma.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • 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.
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  • 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.
  • Karma Houdini: Subverted—Bart did have a "guilt trip" at the end and got strangled by Homer upon his awakening, yet he didn't get any reprimanding for what he did.
  • 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.
  • Moral Myopia: Bart, in retaliation for a series of mean spirited April Fools pranks pulled by Homer, finally pulls one over on him, only to accidentally send him into hospital (and getting in a coma afterwards). After Bart confesses to the prank, Homer wakes up and strangles him. This is just plain wrong, because Homer pulled some harmful if not potentially deadly pranks, including duct-taping Bart's eyes shut and putting milk in the fridge that had been next to a furnace for six weeks yet never apologized. Father of the year material he ain't, that's for sure. This may explain why Bart was not visibly punished aside from Homer's usual strangulation (see Karma Houdini above).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Take That!: To "clip episodes" as a whole (being contractually obliged to do one), down to the title.
  • 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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