First Aired - 1/8/1995
After noticing that his buddies Lenny and Carl are privy to a lot of perks, Homer spies on them — and discovers that they're part of a Freemasons-esque secret society called "The Stonecutters."
This episode contains examples of:
- Actor Allusion: Patrick Stewart's character "Number One" is what Captain Picard calls his executive officer Commander Riker.
- Affectionate Parody: The Stonecutters are a parody of the Freemasons and Illuminati.
- A God Am I: Homer's attitude after becoming The Chosen One.Homer: I've always wondered if there was a god, and now I know there is — and it's me.
- Subverted when Homer grows bored with all the stuff he gets, and decides to use his power over the Stonecutters for charity... Only for them to misinterpret his good intentions as a poorly-disguised excuse to perpetuate that trope.
- All There in the Manual: An event in The Simpsons: Tapped Out, released nearly two decades after the episode aired, finally revealed the numbers of the other Springfield Stonecutters (except for Sideshow Mel, Herman, Barney, Mr. Largo, Kirk Van Houten, and Apu, who never got Stonecutter costumes for whatever reason):
- Dr. Hibbert is #2.
- Jasper is #5.
- Moe is #21.
- Mayor Quimby is #22.
- Krusty is #36
- Chief Wiggum is #50.
- The martian is #51. He's even called by his number in the game.
- Smithers is #59.
- Principal Skinner is #60.
- Kent Brockman is #66.
- Arnie Pye is #67.
- Groundskeeper Willy is #85.
- Grampa is #111.
- An Aesop: Homer learns two of them. The main one being Lonely at the Top, and the secondary one No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Grandpa: "I'm an Elk, a Mason, a Communist, I'm the president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance for some reason..."
- Atlantis: The Stonecutters are apparently responsible for keeping it off the maps.
Number One: Remove the Stone of Shame!
- When Homer accidentally intrudes upon a meeting between the Stonecutters while attempting to spy on them, the Stonecutters ominously declare that he must pay "the ultimate price", implying that they intend to kill him to maintain their secrecy... only to anticlimatically throw him out of their hideout.
- Done when the Stonecutters learn Homer is their chosen one, while he's already naked and dragging the Stone of Shame.
Number One: Attach the Stone of Triumph!
(An even bigger rock is chained to Homer's neck)
- Brick Joke:
- The "No Homers" club.
- Homer's idea of using a bunch of monkeys to re-enact the Civil War.
- Brotherhood of Funny Hats: Supposedly, the Stonecutters are an Ancient Conspiracy that has been controlling the world from the shadows for centuries. But all they ever seem to do is party every night in fancy robes and act weird and secretive for the sake of being weird and secretive.
- Butt-Monkey: Homer, over the course of this episode, has his basement flooded, breaks his chair, falls through a glass ceiling, is forcibly ejected from the Stonecutters' meeting, falls five stories and is paddled to bejesus during his initiation, is chained to a very large rock while naked, and is abandoned by the Stonecutters when he tries to turn them into a force for good. Even after all that, he ends up getting paddled again, this time by his own family.
- Call-Back: On Homer's "revenge" list, one of the names is "H-2-Whoa!", the water ride Homer got stuck inside in season 2's "Brush with Greatness".
- Chirping Crickets: Happens when Homer tells the Stonecutters that they should dedicate themselves to helping the less fortunate, either due to poor communication and inadvertently making it sound like an order and not a request, or because it just happened to make them think he's gone mad with power and would kill those who disobey.
- The Chosen One: Homer turns out to be the Stonecutters prophesied leader, and they immediately make him the head of their society.
- The Comically Serious: Patrick Stewart provides his usual Shakespearian delivery to everything Number One says, including the Stonecutter's induction ritual, which involves asses and paddles.
- Cool Chair: Standard issue for all Stonecutters. They even vibrate.
- Description Cut: As Homer sits at home talking to his family about how everything's going well, and that as long as the Stonecutters are behind him he's making the world a better place, the scene immediately cuts to the Stonecutters meeting, and Moe angrily declaring they have to kill him because they're misinterpreting Homer's good intentions as "going mad with power".
- Enemies List: Homer comes to work and sits on a stool, which promptly collapses. Homer checks the stool and sees it was actually a budget stool produced by Econo-Save. Homer promptly adds the company to his revenge list, which includes (among other things) Stern Lecture Plumbing (the plumbing service he had to deal with at the beginning of the episode), H-2-Whoa! (the water slide in which he got stuck from "Brush with Greatness"), God, gravity, the Bill of Rights, Grandpa, and "the boy" (Bart).
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: After he gets bored with the Stonecutters and Lisa inspires him to help others in need, Homer decides to round up some monkeys and make them re-enact the Civil War (which Lisa quickly points out doesn't actually help people). The plan predictably falls through.
- Exact Words/One Steve Limit: The "No Homers" wouldn't let Homer Simpson in because they already had somebody else named Homer.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "The Paddling of the Swollen Ass... with Paddles!" By the time Homer receives it, his ass is probably swollen by the previous paddling sessions.
- Flat Joy:
Homer: Oh, I win again, don't I? Woo hoo.
- When the Stonecutters declare Homer the winner of a fixed game of Blackjack:
Skinner: The grand exalted leader requests a moment of your time. (claps hands) Class dismissed!(The children immediately rush out cheering)Mrs. Hoover: Yay.
- Also done when Homer wants to talk to Lisa while she's in class.
- Floorboard Failure: During Homer's initiation ceremony into the Stonecutters, he jumps from what he believes to be the roof of a five-floor building. A series of floorboard failures makes it a real experience.
- Foreshadowing: Moe was in the process of explaining to Homer about The Chosen One, only for Homer to stop caring. Funny too, since he is The Chosen One.
- For the Evulz: The Stonecutters' "I Am" Song is them detailing the things they are responsible for, most of which seems to have no obvious motivation and never gets explained (making cave fish blind or blocking the metric system).
- Good Feels Good: Homer gets more satisfaction from using the Stonecutters to do good deeds than he did from having them worship him. The other Stonecutters, unfortunately, disagree.
- Hand Gagging: Bart does this to Lisa under Homer's order when she, once again, annoys him with her pointless lectures.
- Hidden Depths: For somebody who's usually characterized as lazy and disliking of exercise, Homer apparently does have an interest in gardening. To the point that he was willing to stalk one of his neighbors because he thought he dug it up.
- "I Am" Song: "Who controls the British crown?/Who keeps the metric system down?/We do! We do!"
- The Illuminati: This episode gloriously mocks every aspect of the very notion of a clandestine, privileged society. While the Stonecutters do wield considerable power (evidenced by their song), they use it to basically congratulate themselves and "get drunk and play ping-pong." In fact, this is enforced; the moment Homer tries to have them actually use their power for anything more than conspiratorial messing around and keg parties, they quit to Start My Own.
- Initiation Ceremony:
Homer: This club better be worth it!
- Part of Homer's initiation is having his behind paddled in different ways, one of which is "The Paddling of the Swollen Ass... with Paddles!".
- At the end of the episode, Homer's family gives him a similar initiation into their "club".
- Irony: The Stonecutters start growing sick of Chosen One Homer when they misinterpret his having them do charity as an excuse to make them thralls and think he's become a mad dictator.
- "Just Joking" Justification: During this episode's blackboard gag, Bart writes that saying you're just joking doesn't justify insulting the principal.
- Kids Are Cruel: Homer mentions he's been excluded all his life, even having a flashback to an example in his childhood. Marge uses this trope by name. Bart, passing by, uses this as an excuse to attack Lisa.
- Loophole Abuse: When the Stonecutters realized Homer would still rule their lives for as long as they were Stonecutters, they became "No Homers".
- Mundane Made Awesome: After Homer joins, the Stonecutters celebrate their one hundredth anniversary, and in honour of the occasion, they're havin' ribs.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Moe, and then three of the four Stonecutter World Council members, think killing Homer would be the best solution.
- Naked People Are Funny: Part of Homer's punishment for being kicked out of the Stonecutters is burning all his official Stonecutter clothing. He's then forced to drag a rock home naked. It becomes funny when he's discovered to be the Chosen One... and in their celebration, they forget to give him his clothes back.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Lisa destroys an ancient group and Homer's cushy position within it (which had benefitted the family as well — the only plumber in town was also a Stonecutter) because she encourages Homer to make the group use its resources to make people's lives better. Homer feeling better because the Stonecutters letting him always win was driving him to boredom was very short-lived as a result (both from the Stonecutters abandoning him and his family treating him like crap for the sake of getting some hazing fun).
- Noodle Incident:
- Precisely what Billy Crystal, the Grammys, and Soloflex did to earn spots on Homer's revenge list is left to the viewer's imagination (God, Grandpa, and Bart's presences on the list are somewhat more self-explanatory). Equally unclear is the origin of Homer's feud with the "Egg Council".
- Grandpa is somehow, much to his own confusion, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance.
- Not Helping Your Case: When Homer ruins the Stonecutters' parchment, he pleads them not to kick him out, claiming he learned his lesson. However, he subsequently punches the parchment as he exclaims, "I've... learned... my... les-son!".
- Off-Model: Carl's skin is briefly colored yellow during the Stonecutters' song.
- Off the Wagon: Played for Laughs when Homer lists off the activities that the Stonecutters indulge in:Homer: Beer busts, beer blasts, keggers, stein hoists, AA meetings, beer night...
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Subverted: All they like to do is party.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Number One's real name is unknown.
- Poor Communication Kills: This would have happened when Homer declared the Stonecutters were going to help the less fortunate and unwittingly made it sound like he was going to rule their lives and kill those who refused to obey him. Instead, the Stonecutters decided to form the Ancient Mystic Society of No Homers. So it's now "Poor Communication Leads to Abandomment".
- Rule of Three: Lenny nearly blowing the Stonecutters by mentioning "it's a secret", only to be told by Carl to shut up. In the third one, Carl's busy drinking a cola, so Homer has to do it for him.
- Saved by the Platform Below: Subverted. One of the trials is the "Leap of Faith," a five story plunge where they push you off a ledge and you fall five stories - but it's really only a few feet. Homer falls the few feet, everyone laughs, and then the floor gives way sending Homer on a genuine five story plunge.
- Saying Too Much: After Homer sees the Stonecutter meeting, he confronts Lenny and Carl the next day. Carl tries to play dumb, but Lenny outright gives him the name, to Carl's annoyance.
- Secret Circle of Secrets: The Stonecutters is a secret organization, though nevertheless quite a lot of Springfieldians are members. Steve Guttenberg, Mr. T, Jack Nicholson, George H. W. Bush, and even a Martian (named Number 51) are apparently Stonecutters as well.
- Secret Handshake: Homer reveals himself as a Stonecutter to the Stern Lecture plumber this way.
- Soapbox Sadie: After Homer starts feeling bored out of his mind because the rest of the Stonecutters just let him win every game, Lisa tells him what he's feeling is spiritual emptiness and that the Stonecutters should use their immense resources to make things better for other people (which Homer does, causing the rest of the society to flee and start another one with an explicit "no Homers" rule).
- So Long, Suckers!: When Homer goes to work after gaining his Stonecutter privileges, he leans out of the car and exclaims this before taking a secret route hidden behind a boulder under the overpass.
- Sophisticated as Hell: Patrick Stewart as "Number One", given his Shakespearean method of communication and deep, rich baritone can have this effect, especially with lines like this:Number One (solemnly): Tonight is our glorious ancient society's fifteen-and-hundredth anniversary, and in honor of this momentous occasion... (Beat, grinning from ear-to-ear) ...We're havin' ribs!
- Special Guest: Patrick Stewart as "Number One"
- Start My Own: When the other Stonecutters disagree about the direction Homer's leadership takes them in, they start a new secret society that explicitly forbids Homer from joining.
- Take That!: One of the mysterious things the Stonecutters is apparently responsible for is making Steve Guttenberg a star.
- Tempting Fate:
- When Homer follows Lenny and Carl to a Stonecutter meeting, he sits upon their hideout's skylight, giggling, "I can see everything and they're none the wiser!" Then the skylight shatters and he falls in.
- When Homer orders Lisa to be carried away, she points out that, since they're at home, there isn't anyone to carry his orders but she's interrupted by Bart taking her away.
- Unishment: Like everyone who becomes a Stonecutter, Homer must take an oath that his belly will bloat and he'll have no more than three hairlines if he reveals the club's existence. Understandably, Moe suggests Homer should take a different oath.Number One: Everybody takes the same oath!
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Thrice: Homer becoming a Stonecutter ended with him almost getting kicked out because of his stupidity, Homer being discovered to be their Chosen One drove him to despairing boredom because the other members were letting him win and the happiness he felt from following Lisa's advice and using the group to do good ends with the group abandoning him and his family treating him like crap.
- You Are Number 6: All the members of the Stonecutters have numbers depending on their initiation. The Stonecutters' leader is known as Number 1. As numbers 12 and 14 respectively, Lenny and Carl outrank Mr. Burns, who's number 29. Homer is initiated as number 908.