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Recap / The Simpsons S6E23 "The Springfield Connection"

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Episode - 2F21
First Aired - 5/7/1995

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_springfield_connection_promo_picture.gif
After nearly getting attacked by Snake in an alley after exposing his three-card monte scam, Marge gets a much-needed surge of adrenaline in her hum-drum life and decides to join the Springfield Police Force, which unsettles Homer (until he takes unfair advantage of being the husband of a female cop).


This episode contains examples of:

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  • Action Mom: Marge becomes a strong, competent police officer while still keeping up with her housework.
  • All Crimes Are Equal: Homer being arrested for harassing a police officer apparently is enough to be sat in the same jail cell as Hans Moleman, who's been sentenced to death.
  • Apathetic Citizens: The people watching Snake's card games are outraged when he's discovered to be cheating, but take no effort to stop or chase after him once he flees, only staring blankly at Marge when she suggests they do something. Then again, they're residents of the bad part of town.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Homer has the radar gun pointed at Lenny, and remarks, "Hey, what could be going a hundred miles an hour-" (Lenny punches Homer) If Lenny were really punching Homer that fast, he wouldn't even be able to get one word out before contact.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
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    • When Marge goes to the police station early in the episode, Wiggum and the other cops are hauling what you think is a criminal into the station. Turns out they were just bringing in a pizza.
      Wiggum: You think you're pretty hot, huh? Well we got everything we need on you.
    • And then when Marge asks if she can join up, the cops laugh for several seconds... before Wiggum welcomes her.
    • Immediately after Wiggum tells Marge, "Welcome aboard", we see an establishing shot of the Simpson house and Homer shouting, "You WHAT?!" Cut to inside the house, where he's talking to Bart instead of Marge:
      Bart: I just borrowed your nail clipper. What's the big deal?
      Homer: Nothing. I'm just edgy since your mother told me she wants to be a cop.
    • During basic training on an obstacle course, Marge struggles to get over a wall.
      Wiggum: Women always have trouble with the wall. They never seem to find the door. (a bunch of men are casually walking through a nearby door)
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    • With a bit of Take That!: Homer laments that when he thought Marge going to the police academy, it would be fun and exciting like that movie: Spaceballs. Instead, it had been painful and disturbing like Police Academy.
  • Black Comedy: Homer uses Marge's police tape on Ned's house. Predictably, Ned comes home and thinks something horrible has happened.
    Homer: (laughing) Fooled you, Flanders! Made you think your family was dead! Did you get it? (Ned uneasily chuckles) They're not, though. But you thought they were.
    Ned: Yeah.
    Homer: That's why it was so funny. But they're not.
    Ned: That's a good one.
  • Bowdlerization: The Australian airing cut the entire scene with the twitchy Gun Nut demanding Wiggum give him a gun, Wiggum refusing because he won't give him his name, and the man yelling, "I've had it up to here with your 'rules'!"
  • Buffy Speak: Moe thinks "garage" sounds too fancy; he just calls them "car holes". Homer later uses the term himself.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Being married to a policewoman, Homer believes he's automatically above the law. When Marge, being on duty, discovers him breaking the law in a couple of ways (namely parking his car on spaces for disabled people and buying beer for teenagers), she tries to make him reconsider, but Homer has none of it and even rubs it in her face as he briefly takes her hat and plays with it. Naturally, it all gets him arrested.
  • Call-Back: Early in the episode, Marge goes to the police station to apply for a job as an officer, causing all the male officers to laugh hysterically. At the end of the episode, when Marge quits being an officer, the same male officers laugh hysterically again.
  • Cardboard Prison:
    Wiggum: Cuff him, boys. We're putting this dirtbag away.
    Snake: Ha! I'll be back on the street in 24 hours.
    Wiggum: We'll try to make it twelve.
  • Corrupt Cop: The police at the end ignore the pant counterfeiting operation because they get to keep the pants for themselves. This causes Marge to quit.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: Invoked. At one point, when the family is having breakfast, the newly-made police Marge can be seen eating a donut and drinking coffee. However, she soon proves to be very capable and far from incompetent. Also, two cops are assigned to keep an eye on the donut shop, and call in when they cook up a fresh batch.
  • Downer Ending: While Marge is able to expose Herman's scheme, the rest of the Springfield police force claim they can't arrest him due to lack of evidence. The evidence is lacking, of course, because the cops decided to take all the counterfeit jeans for themselves. Unable to stomach its corruption, Marge quits the force.
  • Failed a Spot Check: "Women always have trouble with the wall. Can't ever seem to find the door." Pan out to show the male police recruits casually strolling through said door.
  • First Day from Hell: Despite being Marge's first day as a cop, she's assigned to Junkyville and Bumtown. Subverted, however, in that nothing bad happens to her.
  • Foot Popping: When Homer kisses Marge, his foot lifts, an ironic action for someone who was concerned that with Marge becoming a cop, he wouldn't be the man of the house anymore.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Homer would have lost even without Snake cheating, as when Marge flips over the cards, the missing red card is replaced with a Two of Spades.
  • Heel Realization: Homer after Marge saves his life from Herman.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Marge feels regretful after having to arrest Homer and apologizes to him, but makes it clear that she did it because it was the correct choice and states he will eventually learn to feel grateful there are competent cops in the streets.
    Marge: I'm sorry I had to arrest you, Homer, but what I did was right. Some day when you really need it you'll be happy there are dedicated cops like me out there.
  • I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: Marge offers to turn a blind eye to Homer buying beer for teenagers as long as he moves his car away from where he's parked it across three handicapped spaces. He doesn't, instead opting to take her hat and do a mocking impersonation of her, so she arrests him anyway.
  • Improvised Zipline: Herman tries to make a getaway using his counterfeit jeans as a zipline, but Marge correctly isn't worried and the jeans rip easily, sending him to the ground for easy capture.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: Marge is disappointed to realize that after catching a criminal, buying ham no longer thrills her. So she crosses over to buying devilled ham.
  • Indy Hat Roll: Marge gets an impulse to do this under her garage door.
  • Irony:
    • Herman is foiled by his own shoddy merchandise when he tries to zipline away from Marge using his counterfeit jeans, only for them to rip and send him falling to the ground.
    • Snake didn't need to cheat to beat Homer.
  • Jerkass: Homer, who parks across three handicapped spaces and refuses to move, uses police equipment to do whatever he likes, and steals a man's last meal.
  • Large Ham: The Gun Nut at the police training.
    Gun Nut: Forget about the badge! When do we get the freaking GUNS?!
    Chief Wiggum: Hey, I told you, you don't get a gun until you tell me your name!
    Gun Nut: I've had it up to here with your "rules"!
  • Literal-Minded: Homer, during the climax:
    Homer: A counterfeit-jeans ring operating out of my car hole! I'm gonna tell everyone! Wait here.
    Herman: (pulls his gun at Homer) Not so fast.
    (Homer slows down)
    Homer: All right...
    Herman: Maybe you should just stop entirely.
  • Literally Laughable Question: Subverted when Marge tries joining the Springfield Police Department. Her request to sign up is met with the cops laughing for several seconds... only for them to stop and say "welcome aboard". In the end, when she declares her resignation over their stealing the evidence for their own use, they laugh again, but then politely wish her luck.
  • The Magazine Rule: Marge's favourite read is "Sponge and Vacuum". Due to her newly discovered love of adventure, she considers such other things as "Bear Baiter".
  • Miranda Rights:
    Marge: You have the right to remain silent!
    Homer: I choose to waive that right. (starts screaming)
  • Mundane Utility: Homer keeps using Marge's pepper spray as a condiment.
    Homer: Mmm, incapacitating...
  • Negative Continuity: When Marge was performing the police car test she was in the training gear, but when she finishes the course, the shot shows Marge in her police uniform.
  • Noodle Incident: What did Hans Moleman do to earn the death penalty, and how did his last meal end up being eaten by Homer? Plus, since he was apparently on death row, why would Homer be housed with him in the exact same cell?
  • Off-Model: In two different scenes, Chief Wiggum's hair is black, not unlike his earliest appearances on the show.
  • Pet the Dog: Even if they laugh to Marge's face both times she makes a comment they find funny (that she wants to become a cop and that she wants to quit the force), Wiggum and the other cops really have no other problem with her. Wiggum even says that he's going to miss her when she quits, very sincerely.
  • Pixellation: When Marge goes to investigate a domestic dispute involving Principal Skinner and his mom, Skinner tells the camera man to digitally blur out his face to conceal his identity.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Even if Herman's jeans weren't counterfeit they would still make for a lousy zipline and quickly rip.
    • Average people aren't going to try and run down a criminal, potentially getting stabbed or shot in the process, over a few dollars that isn't theirs.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Once she joins the force, Marge's weapon of choice is the revolver. It definitely gives her style, especially since she's the only character wielding one in the episode.
  • Schmuck Bait: Snake's three-card monte. Homer still falls for it.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Defied. Homer, thinking that he's above the law now that Marge is a cop, tries to park in three handicapped places, buy beer for the three bullies (even though Kearney is said to be of the legal age to drink in America), and steal Marge's hat. He gets thrown in jail. He becomes angry with Marge afterwards, but later apologizes.
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: Invoked; Marge shows Lisa a hand puppet called "McGriff the Crime Dog":
    Marge: "Hello, Lisa, help me bite crime. Woof woof."
  • Serious Business: Herman's counterfeit jean business is treated with all the seriousness of a drug-smuggling operation.
  • Shooting Gallery: Part of Marge's police training. She successfully shoots all the criminal targets, only to be reprimanded by Chief Wiggum:
    Wiggum: Tsk tsk tsk. You missed the baby, you missed the blind man...
    • In the climax, Marge is in the backyard trying to save Homer from Hermann, and various targets pop up, much to her annoyance:
    Milhouse: Is Bart home?
    (Marge pulls her gun up; Abe appears)
    Abe: Just takin' Maggie for a stroll!
    (Marge pulls her gun up; a witch appears from behind a fence, and Marge shoots it. Ned pops up from behind the fence)
    Ned: Well, I guess I am putting up the Halloween decorations a little early. Criticism accepted.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A musical cue is very similar to the theme to Hill Street Blues.
    • In a deleted scene, Marge enters the Skinner residence which is recorded in the style of COPS.
    • Homer draws a line down the bedroom, a la I Love Lucy Note . He says "D'oh" when he realizes he only left himself a tiny area on his side.
  • Stealing the Handicapped Spot: Homer parks his car across three of them at the same time, in an attempt to take advantage of his wife's new status. When Marge tells him to move his car, he refuses and takes her hat, forcing her to arrest him.
  • Tempting Fate: Homer mocks Marge's warnings to move his car he triple-parked over three handicap spaces or she'll ticket him and that if he continues to ignore her warnings, she'll arrest him regardless of their relation. He doesn't take her seriously and swipes her hat, mock imitating her. This was the Last Straw for Marge, who then cuffs Homer.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Moleman meets his end in this episode by being executed in a local jail after Homer eats his last meal. How he got on death row in the first place is left up in the air.
  • Unfortunate Names: The Chalkboard Gag has Bart in trouble for insulting one “Mrs. Dumbface”.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Lisa:
    Lisa: Mom, I know your intentions are well and good, but aren't police a force that maintains the status quo for the wealthy elite? Don't you think we should attack the roots of social problems instead of jamming people into overcrowded prisons?

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