Original air date: January 4, 1998
It's yet another Simpsons clip show episode. In this one, Homer and Bart rent a gritty, spaghetti Western called Paint Your Wagon, but that turns out to be a cheesy musical. Upset over the turn of events, Homer voices his dislike for musicals and singing, and the rest of the family show them (with the help of some conveniently-obtained videos) that a lot of The Simpsons' memories include singing and big musical numbers — which gets interrupted when resident criminal Snake Jailbird holds the family hostage.
This is the first of two episodes to be produced by David Mirkin (the showrunner for seasons 5 and 6) instead of the current showrunner, Mike Scully.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: Yes, Paint Your Wagon is a real movie, and it was made after Clint Eastwood became famous. Furthermore, it really was a musical. But it was not about painting wagons, and does not feature the song heard in this episode.
- Bait-and-Switch: What Homer and Bart get from Paint Your Wagon, but especially this moment, when Lee Marvin appears:Lee Marvin: Hey, what the hell's going on in my town?
Clint Eastwood: We're just painting this wagon. You got a problem with that?
Lee Marvin: As a matter of fact, I do........ you missed a spot.
Clint Eastwood: Well, grab a brush, and join in!
- Bring My Brown Pants: When Snake first shows up:Marge: (singing) It's a desperate criminal on the run from the law. Please, spare my family...Homer: (singing) And their damp-trousered pa.
- Clip Show: mixed with Musical Episode and Bottle Episode.
- Excuse Plot: In the video, the wagon is just an excuse for the characters to sing a musical.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: By the end of the episode, Snake is so fed up with music that he shoots the orchestra who plays the ending theme. And then he shoots the performers of the Gracie Films theme.
- Hope Spot: Homer hopes Lee Marvin's appearance in the movie will get things back on track. Instead, he sings about oil-based paint and pine.
- Mood Whiplash: What is supposed to be a happy musical-based clip show becomes this when Snake breaks in the family's house and threatens them with his gun.
- Potty Failure:Snake: (singing) I'm back, so resume wetting your pants!
Homer: (speaking) Okay.
- Self-Deprecation: In the grand finale of the songsLisa: There is something worse...
Bart:...And it really does blow....
Family: ...When a long running series does a cheesy clip shoooow!
- Series Continuity Error: In "Two Dozen and One Greyhounds," Bart claimed that "See My Vest" was "pretty catchy" and even hummed along with the tune. Here, he claims that "it wasn't worth Burns' song and dance."
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In-universe, Homer complains that so much singing ruined the story about the wagon.
- Too Kinky to Torture: Snake lampshades this, and it scares him out of the Simpson home.Marge:: *singing* It's a desperate criminal, on the run from the law! Please spare my children...
Homer: *singing* ...and their damp-trousered Pa!
Snake: *singing* A singing family?!? It's worse than I feared! For hostage purposes, you're just too weird! Bye! *Exit: living room window*
- Would Hurt a Child: Snake threatens the lives of the entire Simpson family multiple times. He goes so far as to point his shotgun at the heads of Bart, Lisa and even Maggie, pulling the trigger while the shotgun is aimed at each individual child's head. Thankfully, the gun wasn't loaded.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Lisa asks Homer if he got Emma. Homer chuckles and tells her, "Whoa whoa, calm down little lady, take it easy", suggesting that he was able to get a copy. But then he answers: "No."