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YMMV / The Simpsons S2 E15 "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?"

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  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • At the time, the title was a reference to the Film Within a Film in Sullivan's Travels. It now brings to mind the much more famous Coen Brothers movie which was named after the same thing.
    • Some of the design suggestions for the car, such as a larger cupholder and the one designer's idea of a video game system to keep kids distracted on long trips, have actually been incorporated in some form in cars designed since the episode aired.
  • Informed Wrongness:
    • As the commentary notes, Homer is vilified for destroying Herb's company, when Herb himself actually shares a good deal of the blame for letting someone with no experience take over his new car's design, giving him no supervision, and even ignoring his board's attempts to tell him what a disaster Homer is making. Homer was in fact cooperative (and borderline subordinated) to the team's more conventional plans until Herb convinced him to take a stand.
    • The pompousness of the board themselves only exacerbated the matter. They quickly lost patience with Homer's ineptness with the process (which, despite being interpreted to make him an unbearable idiot, seems pretty expectant from someone with no experience of the industry) and shooed him away, leading Herb to stand up for him and make them do the job they were told. Even before the project goes completely haywire, the leader is quick to make a complaint, heavily implied to be loaded with gratuitous personal insults that likely only further led to Herb not taking them seriously. Even worse, before Homer arrived, the board was manufacturing cars that didn't cover the entirety of the market; the plot started because Herb was offering Homer a free car, only for Homer to be told "Americans don't want X" every time he requested something. Homer screwed up, but only after being corrupted by the unprofessional conflict between the company and their boss.
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  • Jerkass Woobie: In contrast to Mean Boss on the main page. Much of the reason Herb is such, is because by his own admission he's a very lonely man. This turned out to be the case when he found out about his brother Homer. He was overjoyed at knowing he had a long lost sibling. However that joy wouldn't last.
  • Memetic Mutation: Pictures and gifs of "The Homer" have become a stock internet comparison for any ugly or bizarre-looking new car design.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Herb. The episode tries to paint Homer as the one responsible for destroying his company, but as described above in Informed Wrongness, Herb himself was the one who came up with the idea and exacerbated the problem by refusing to listen to any of his employee's warnings.
    • Herb's employees are in turn depicted as long suffering under his and Homer's incompetence, but their snobbishness and poor marketing decisions are what led to the company's failings and Herb making his gamble with Homer in the first place. It is also implied that Homer's disastrous reign could have been avoided if the lead engineer hadn't tried to placate things in such a condescending manner, attempting to dismiss him from the project, and complaining to his brother about his directions in a tirade of petty insults.
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  • What an Idiot!: Herb Powell's company is presently struggling against Japanese competition. Naturally, Herb wants to rectify this.
    You'd Expect: Anything other than what Herb does. Perhaps get more up-to-date market research, since his executives are shown to be very out-of-touch with their consumer base.
    Instead: Herb decides the best way to save his company is to allow Homer free reign to design the company's next car, simply because he fits the criteria of an average American, and throwing all of the company's resources behind the plan.
    Result: With no-one reining him in, Homer is allowed to design an $82,000 monstrosity of a car that only he and Bart would be willing to drive, bankrupting Herb and his company.


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