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Recap / The Simpsons S 8 E 4 Burns Baby Burns

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Episode - 4F05
First Aired - 11/17/1996

Mr. Burns is reunited with his illegitimate, boorish, middle-aged son who looks like and is voiced by Rodney "I Don't Get No Respect" Dangerfield.


  • 555: That's how Homer's phone number starts, prompting Chief Wiggum to assume it's fake.
  • Abandoned Warehouse: Homer and Larry tried to hide inside one, only to learn it was no longer abandoned.
    Homer: D'OH! Stupid economic recovery!
  • Actor Allusion: In one scene, Larry says "I don't get no regard, no regard at all!", a play on Rodney Dangerfield's Catch Phrase "I don't get no respect at all!" There are also numerous references to Dangerfield's film Caddyshack, including the scene where Larry attends a cocktail party with Mr. Burns as well as the ending party, which is set to Journey's "Any Way You Want It."
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When the family first pick up a hitchhiking Larry, he shows them a picture of Mr. Burns asking if they know who he is, garnering the following replies:
    Larry: Hey, I'm looking for this guy. [Shows an old picture of Burns] Anyone know who he is?
    Bart: Yeah, sure, we know him. That's Mr. Burns.
    Lisa: He tried to kill our puppies.
    Marge: He sexually harassed me.
    Abe: He stole my fiancee.
    Homer: He made fun of my weight.
    Larry: Okay, so there's been a little friction. Know his address?
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  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Burns meets his long-lost son, Larry, but finds him to be a boorish oaf and gradually wants nothing to do with him. Homer and Larry attempt to invoke this reaction into Burns with an ill-thought out kidnapping scheme, but Burns doesn't show concern, only anger at being robbed. After Larry comes clean, Burns admits while he's glad to know Larry, he still wants nothing to do with him afterwards.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Homer and Larry hide out in a costume shop, and moments later two people in costumes matching the duo's figures exit the shop. It then shows the two hiding inside the shop, at which point the store owner makes them leave since they aren't buying anything.
    • The beginning of Mr. Burns' tale of how he got involved with Larry's mother suggests she's a college classmate of his but she turns out to be the classmate's daughter.
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    • During the police stand-off, Homer charges outside and is immediately gunned down by police, to the horror of his family. Kent Brockman announces:
    Kent: A bloody end for Homer Simpson... is just one of several possible outcomes, according to our computer simulation. Now, here's how it would look if the police killed him with a barrage of baseballs.
  • Berserk Button: As Mr. Burns puts it, no one steals from him, even if they steal something he doesn't care about. It's the principle of the thing.
  • Class Reunion: Mr. Burns met Larry's mother at a class reunion. She's the daughter of a former classmate of Mr. Burns and her mother used to date Mr. Burns during their student days.
  • Comically Missing the Point/Rhetorical Question Blunder: When Larry brings Homer over to dinner with Burns and tries to stimulate a conversation between the two, Burns angrily asks Homer if "(his son) brings home nitwits and makes you talk to them?" Homer ignores the insult towards himself, instead responding by going on a tirade about Milhouse.
  • Dance Party Ending: After Larry makes up with his father, he shouts "Let's party!" and a large dance party spontaneously breaks out on the street. Lampshaded by Homer:
    Lisa: Who's playing that music?
    Marge: And where's all that liquor coming from?
    Homer: It's a party, Marge. It doesn't have to make sense.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Homer tried to point out to Marge that he couldn't take Larry back to Burns because it was broad daylight and there were cops all over the city, but Marge said "No excuses." It wasn't until she saw Homer on the news did she realize he was right.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Burns is upset that that he never got to see Larry's mother again after she went to South America.
  • Epic Fail: Larry's so dumb Yale won't take bribes to allow him unless at least a whole airport is offered. An idea that even the super-rich Mr. Burns, despite being a proud alumnus of Yale, considers too outrageous.
    Are you mad? I'm not made of airports! Get out!
  • Expy: Dangerfield is seriously channeling his Caddyshack character here.
  • Faked Kidnapping: Homer's plan to reunite Larry and Burns.
  • Funny Background Event: Kent Brockman mentions a computer simulation of the police shooting baseballs at Homer, but the scene cuts away before it can be shown. However, you can still hear Homer getting hit by the balls and yelping in pain while the rest of the family discusses the situation.
  • Gilligan Cut: After getting kicked out of Burns' mansion, Homer says the only way to get back his love is a fake kidnapping. However, Larry refuses, and, accompanied by uplifting music, says he's going to clean up his act and give up the booze. Cut to Mr. Burns opening a letter.
    Mr. Burns: (reading) "Your son has been kidnapped."
  • Hypocritical Humor: Larry evidently made fun of one of the Yale representative's weight, even though Larry is a pretty portly fellow himself.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Designing Larry Burns was a challenge because the director had wanted him to look like Dangerfield but still have Burns' characteristics such as the pointed nose.
  • In Vino Veritas: Smithers thinks Larry's odd behavior is due to his "truly heroic intake of cocktails", and indeed, Larry drinks more than he likely should.
  • Irony: A rather sad example. In one part, Larry asks aloud "What do folks in this town have against my dad? He's a pussycat." As the next scene shows, that pussycat still has claws.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Homer should have figured out Mr. Burns had nothing but contempt for Larry when he made his fake ransom call.
    Homer: [While speaking through a kazoo to disguise his voice] Hello, Mr. Burns. This is the kidnapper. Do you miss your son?
    Mr. Burns: Yes, I am missing one son. Return it immediately!
  • It Is Pronounced Tropay: Marge mispronounces quite a few words in the first act: "Foliage" (said as "foilage"), "nuclear" (said as "nucular"), "escape" (said as "ecscape") and "library" (said as "liberry"). Lisa is quite annoyed.
  • It's the Principle of the Thing: Mr. Burns' answer to Smithers' question as to why he wants to get back the son he just angrily disowned two hours ago.
    Smithers: Didn't you say you wanted Larry out of your life as little as two hours ago?
    Burns: It's the principle of the thing! No one steals from Montgomery Burns, whether it's my morning paper or my boorish ignoramus of a son!
  • Kick the Dog: When hiding at the movies, Moleman tells Homer and Larry that he is trying to watch the movie. Homer responds by throwing popcorn at him and telling him to call the cops if he doesn't like it. It is implied that Moleman did call the cops.
  • Lampshade Hanging: When Chief Wiggum tries to track Homer's phone number, he gets three numbers in before deciding it's fake. Homer is using a 555-number, like any other fictional character.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: The whole premise of the episode centers around Larry revealing that Mr. Burns is his father.
  • This Loser Is You: Larry can match Homer in this area, so much that he admits to being a lazy slob.
  • Missing Steps Plan: Chief Wiggum's plan to find the kidnapper was to have a large pile of money in the park under a net. Lou had to add the part where the net comes down.
  • Narrative Backpedaling: Marge and the kids are watching the live police stand-off on TV. At one point, Homer bursts out of the theater and the cops shoot him until he falls to the ground. Marge and the kids scream, and Kent Brockman says, "A bloody end for Homer Simpson...... is just one of several possible outcomes according to our computer simulation. Now, here's how it would look if the police killed him with a barrage of baseballs!"
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Marge telling Homer to go out of the house and tell Mr. Burns about the kidnapping being a hoax along with Burns' son. Her advice only resulted in Homer getting into even more hot water than before when he takes Burns' son out in broad daylight, something that Homer even attempted to warn Marge about why he shouldn't do that immediately.
    Kent Brockman: Appearing in broad daylight with police everywhere, there's only one word for that, ladies and gentlemen... idiocy.
    *Marge groans embarrassed*
  • Noodle Incident: During the day Homer met Larry, Bart found a diamond, Lisa broke her arm, and Maggie won a cute baby contest. None of this is expanded upon.
  • Oh, Crap!: Homer's reaction at the plant once he learns the guy next to him his his boss' son.
  • Paper Destruction of Anger: Chief Wiggum crumples a piece of paper with a tracked phone number which Eddie hands him and then throws it into fire. He thinks it's fake because it starts with 555.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: During a boring lecture from Ned about cider, Homer's brain decides to leave. Seconds later, Homer collapses in a heap.
  • Something We Forgot: At the very end of the episode Larry remembers he has a wife and kids, and that the last time he saw them he said he was going out for coffee, a week ago.
  • Subverted Catchphrase: Larry never says the word "respect" like we all expect a character voiced by Rodney Dangerfield to say.
    Larry: I tell ya, I get no regard. No regard at all. No esteem, neither.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Averted. Burns disowns Larry and tells him to leave in the end. To Larry's credit, he's perfectly fine with this development, even admitting he has his own family.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Larry asks a train's brakeman where the train is going, and is told Springfield. When he asks where Springfield is, the man's response is muted by the train horn going off.
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: Marge tells Homer to take Larry back to Mister Burns, in broad daylight with cops everywhere. Homer points this out, to no avail, and they're quickly spotted and have to flee. Kent Brockman chimes in with his opinion.
    Kent: Appearing in broad daylight with police everywhere, there's only one word for that, ladies and gentlemen: idiocy.
    Marge: (murmurs)
  • Writing Around Trademarks: After discovering that Larry Burns is also working in Sector 7G, Homer frantically cleans up and puts away an almost entirely assembled jigsaw puzzle which has an image of Snoopy the dog lying on his doghouse. The puzzle is missing several pieces over where Snoopy's nose should be, which was intentionally drawn that way to avoid copyright laws.
  • X Called; They Want Their Y Back: When Larry makes fun of Marge's hair, Lisa adds "Buckingham Palace called, they want their hat back."


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