Posts Tagged ‘The Homer They Fall

10
Nov
19

Quote of the Day

“Wow, I bet if God wore pants, he’d have a belt like that.” – Milhouse van Houten
“This isn’t a belt. It’s a tactical pants retaining system.” – Bart Simpson

24
Sep
19

Makeup Quote of the Day

“What’s this?” – Homer Simpson
“Aw, that’s the barbed wire. We, uh, we called that the ‘Stinger’. They, uh, they don’t let you use that no more.” – Moe

10
Nov
18

Quote of the Day

“You’ll be okay, Dad. Just make sure he hits you an even number of times so you don’t end up with amnesia.” – Bart Simpson

28
Jul
18

Quote of the Day

“Man, you’d never get me into a ring. Boxing causes brain damage.” – Barney Gumble

20
Aug
17

Quote of the Day

“Your brain is cushioned by a layer of fluid one eighth of an inch thicker than normal. It’s almost as if you’re wearing a football helmet inside your own head. Why, I could wallop you all day with this surgical two-by-four without ever knocking you down. . . . But I have other appointments.” – Dr. Hibbert

13
Oct
16

Quote of the Day

thatpluspolitics

“Somehow, I just never made it to the big time.” – Moe
“Why not?” – Homer Simpson
“Cause I got knocked out forty times in a row. That plus politics. You know, it’s all politics.” – Moe
“Lousy Democrats.” – Homer Simpson

03
Apr
16

Attention Star Wars and Star Trek Fans, Geeks, and General Enjoyers

The Homer They Fall11

“No, I do not have a receipt. I won it as a door prize at the Star Trek convention. Although I find their choice of prize highly illogical, as the average Trekker has no use for a medium size belt.” – Comic Book Guy

Hello, everyone. My New Year’s Resolution was to blog more; and since 2016 is now one quarter gone, I’m going to try and get right on that. I’m not sure yet what that means around here. I haven’t seen a Zombie Simpsons episode since January, and I’m pretty happy about that, but Reading Digest is definitely going to be coming back.

In the meantime, I have a different, though not entirely unrelated, announcement. It’s no secret that Simpsons fandom has, shall we say, abundant overlap with Star Wars and Star Trek fandom. But there are probably a lot of Simpsons fans who just don’t care much about the twin towers of pop science fiction. So I understand that many of you will not care about this in the least.

On the other hand, if you care enough to have seen the recent entries directed by one Jeffrey Jacob Abrams (the 2009 Star Trek reboot, it’s wretched 2013 sequel, and last year’s Star Wars movie), I hope you’ll appreciate my latest cranky minibook, “J.J. Abrams Is Bad at Movies“.

Just like the last two times, the whole book is going up for free on-line. Unlike the last two times, I’m putting it all up at once, and it’s at a new site, the boringly titled charliesweatpants.com. That place is very much a work in progress, and I’m far from sure what I’m going to do with it yet, but for now it does contain my best Dead Homers style swing at why I so deeply disliked The Force Awakens and downright loathed Star Trek 12. And there’s chapters about Mission Impossible 3Star Trek 11, and Super 8, to which I am fairly indifferent.

You’re still welcome to read it even if you’re meh on Star Wars and Star Trek, of course. I just want everyone to know what they’re getting into. I quote the show a couple of times (can’t help myself), but that’s it for Simpsons.

Anyways, I hope those of you who read it enjoy it, and that all of you share the link with your geekiest Star Wars and Star Trek friends *wink wink, nudge nudge, hello Mr. Thompson*.

10
Nov
15

Quote of the Day

LadiesRoom

“Here, let me show you something.” – Moe
“Wow, I’ve never been in here before.” – Homer Simpson
“Yeah, well, when I realized we hadn’t had no ladies in here since 1979, I turned it into an office.” – Moe

26
Aug
15

Quote of the Day

The Homer They Fall10

“Hey, Simpson, want to trade belts?” – Jimbo Jones
“Well, not really, cause yours is just a piece of extension cord.” – Bart Simpson
“Hey, dude, he’s ragging on your cord.” – Kearney
“Get him!” – Jimbo Jones

10
Nov
14

Quote of the Day

The Homer They Fall9

“You used to be a boxer just like me?” – Homer Simpson
“Yup.  They called me Kid Gorgeous.  Later on it was Kid Presentable, then Kid Gruesome, and finally Kid Moe.” – Moe

01
May
14

Compare & Contrast: Moe Pulls a Gun

The Homer They Fall8

“Hey, there’s something wrong with this guy, he’s not falling down!” – Kearney Sr.

“What to Expect When Bart’s Expecting” was such a shambles of a story that trying to compare the whole thing to another episode would be futile.  Finding just a few coherent seconds is hard enough.  But there was one moment that lines up perfectly: Moe pulling his shotgun on people threatening Homer.  Moe did almost the exact same thing in “The Homer They Fall”, only there it was quicker, funnier and made more sense for all involved.

To start, compare why Homer is there in each case.  In “The Homer They Fall”, he’s trying to squeal about Bart getting his belt stolen to the parents of the bullies who stole it.  Moe’s is a pretty natural place for that, especially once we see the parents in question (who presumably wouldn’t be hanging out at the next PTA meeting).  In “What to Expect When Bart’s Expecting”, Homer is at Moe’s with Bart, and both of them sit there looking like regulars (with Bart having a chocolate milk).  Is there any reason for them to be at Moe’s?  Well, no, there isn’t.  They were just fighting because Homer caught Bart selling his voodoo fertility services and then they’re at Moe’s.

Is Homer taking Bart to Moe’s to have heart-to-heart talks now?  That could be funny, but Zombie Simpsons doesn’t even try, it just has them say expository things that they could say anywhere:

Homer: What is your problem, boy?
Bart: Maybe when I’ve got a Dad who shows up in the morning with no shirt on and rocks on his face it sets, I don’t know, a low bar?

They make a bar nuts joke and then the gangsters show up, and that’s the scene.  What’s really incredible about this is that the heavily exposited subtext here is about Homer being a bad father, but instead of Bart pointing out that taking a 10-year-old to a bar is bad fathering, they have him recite something we already saw earlier in the episode.  It didn’t need to be Moe’s, it just was because Homer and Bart needed to get kidnapped someplace, damn it, and they didn’t care about anything else.

Along similar lines, consider the two groups of men who get threatened by Moe.  In “The Homer They Fall”, it’s three guys who are the beaten down and broken fathers of Dolph, Jimbo and Kearney.  They each look like their sons and the scene is a quick way of moving to the story about Homer becoming a boxer.  So we see Homer taking the grown-up version of the beating we just saw Bart take because Homer is no better at dealing with bullies than his son.  The guys are exactly the kind of fathers you’d expect, and the show lets us know without disrupting the dialogue:

Jimbo Sr.: That’s for telling me how to raise my lousy kid.
Dolph Sr.: And this is for the crummy life I’ve had to live.

The Homer They Fall7

Quick and funny one off characters, what a concept.

So while it’s just a quick throwaway scene to get the plot moving, we get three characters with a reason to be there, a reason to beat Homer, and a couple of good lines.

By contrast, in “What to Expect When Bart’s Expecting”, Legs and Louie just show up brandishing guns.  Why?  Well, because Fat Tony decided to act like a moron and kidnap Bart and Homer so that he can, that very night, perform a voodoo ritual to get a horse pregnant.  In addition to not making even the driest lick of sense, there’d been no intimation of any of that right up until drawn guns appear next to Bart and Homer’s heads.  A completely unexpected and massive plot swerve like that would be jarring if it weren’t so common.

Finally, we come to Moe himself.  Right after Kearney Sr. laments their inability to knock him down, we hear Moe pump his trusty shotgun and say:

“Fun’s over fellas!  If you’re gonna beat up my friend in my bar, there’s a two drink minimum.”

It’s a typically well crafted Simpsons line.  It fits in with who these characters are and what they’re doing, and it’s got a nice little punchline at the end.  The elder bullies back out cautiously, and we’re ready to move on with the plot.

Now contrast that smooth, short interaction with the hacktacular sitcom banter in Zombie Simpsons.  Legs and Louie grab Homer and Bart, and then this happens:

Moe: Not so fast!  Nobody comes into my bar and kidnaps two paying customers.

In addition to this being a repeat, it’s a much weaker repeat.  Why?   Well, for starters, there’s no punchline.  There isn’t even a setup for a punchline.  There’s part of a setup for a punchline, which Homer then completes:

Homer:  Aw, thanks Moe! . . . I, uh, must have left my wallet at home.
Moe: Take ’em!  Take ’em!  Fill their pockets with corn and toss ’em to the pigs!
Louie: Don’t tell us our business.

That’s an awfully long way to go for a joke that was done better seventeen seasons ago.  On top of that, the whole thing is drained of whatever life it might’ve had by the sheer weirdness of what’s going on.  Remember, we hadn’t seen Legs and Louie until just a few seconds before (as per usual, they just appeared out of nowhere) and we have no idea why they’re there.  The preceding scene was Bart doing voodoo for people and the next one is them getting threatened by Fat Tony in a stable.  The sheer randomness of it not only saps the scene and the jokes of any punch, but it makes it basically impossible to mentally engage with the show since nothing you’re seeing matters much for what comes next or even what’s going on right now.

When the bully dads were beating up Homer, we knew what was at stake and why and Moe acted like you’d expect Moe to act.  When Legs and Louie beamed in from wherever they were, nobody needs to be there and all anyone does is repeat worn set ups and banter like bored comedy writers.

01
Feb
14

Quote of the Day

The Homer They Fall6

“Homer, of all the crazy ideas you’ve had, this one ranks somewhere in the middle.  You’re thirty-eight years old, you don’t know how to box, and you haven’t gotten any exercise since grade school.  Before you even consider this, I insist you consult a doctor.” – Marge Simpson
“No problemo.” – Homer Simpson
“A competent doctor!” – Marge Simpson
“D’oh!” – Homer Simpson

22
Jun
13

Quote of the Day

The Homer They Fall4

“Hey, Simpson, wanna trade belts?” – Jimbo Jones
“Well, not really, cause yours is just a piece of extension cord.” – Bart Simpson
“Hey, dude, he’s ragging on your cord.” – Kearney
“Get him.” – Jimbo Jones

07
Aug
12

Quote of the Day

The Homer They Fall3

“Fun’s over fellas!  If you’re gonna beat up my friend in my bar, there’s a two drink minimum.” – Moe

21
Jan
12

Quote of the Day

The Homer They Fall2

“Well, sir, you more than meet every one of this state’s requirements to box, wrestle or be shot out of a cannon.” – Dr. Hibbert
“That’s what we get for living in a state founded by circus freaks.” – Marge Simpson

18
Mar
11

Quote of the Day

The Homer They Fall1

“Drederick, what do you think of Homer Simpson?” – Reporter
“I think he’s a good man, I like him, I got nothing against him, but I’m definitely going to make orphans of his children.” – Drederick Tatum
“Uh, you know they do have a mother, champ.” – Reporter
“Yes, but I would imagine that she would die of grief.” – Drederick Tatum

09
Jun
09

Crazy Noises: The Homer They Fall

Homer Goes to College2

“Those ‘crazy noises’ are computer signals.” – Skinny Nerd
“Yeah, some guys at MIT are sending us reasons why Captain Picard is better than Captain Kirk.” – Black Nerd
“Hah!  They’re out of their minds.” – Fat Nerd

In an attempt to fill the summer with love, hate and pointless Simpsons commentary we at the Dead Homer Society are going to spend some time overthinking Season 8.  Why Season 8?  Because Season 8 is when The Simpsons really began to deteriorate into Zombie Simpsons.  That’s why.  Because we’re cutting edge and ultra-modern we’re using a newfangled, information-superhighway fad called a “chatroom” to conduct our conversation.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “sphygmomanometer”).

Today’s episode is 803, “The Homer They Fall“, and we’ll be back tomorrow with 804, “Burns Baby, Burns“.

Mad Jon: Well, we can start by perhaps discussing the crapitude of the episodes in question, especially as they follow one my personal favorites [Editor’s Note: That would be “You Only Move Twice”, aka the Hank Scorpio episode.]

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, looking at my notes for “Homer They Fall” three things really struck me. The first is that this is one of the first whiffs we get of Homer being bipolar, weird, and ultra stupid.

The second is that there’re still a lot of good gags in there, it’s clearly not Zombie Simpsons, but it’s also clearly not real Simpsons.

Third, and far and away the biggest, is just how fucking lazy the story is. It’s just bad storytelling, through Homer’s improbable boxing career, fighting the champ for no reason, then it ends with Moe flying in on the fan guy thing?

Mad Jon: There are some pretty good sight gags too, and they don’t go too far like a zombie episode would, I cite Barney drinking varnish and the very brief description of the ‘stinger’

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, both of those struck me as something that would’ve been dragged on a lot longer these days. I was also a big fan of the entrance to the big fight with the sign that says “Tasteful Attire Prohibited” and then you notice all the weird shit people are wearing.

Mad Jon: but then there is that stupid montage of the train yard circuit or whatever

Dave: boxcar charlie or something like that?

Mad Jon: I think it was in black and white no less

Dave: the dude fighting for a sandwich?

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, they use the famous song from that one opera that’s been in about forty movies and TV shows before.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakm%C3%A9

Mad Jon: too bad I’m not into opera

I feel they did a good job with the Don King impersonation

I also like his desire to have a fight go long enough so the fans have a chance to get drunk

Charlie Sweatpants: Lucious Sweet was right on the money, but the problem I had with him goes to what I was saying earlier about bad story telling. Lucious wants someone to fight Tatum, but then he acts surprised when Homer shows up at the fight and he’s fat and out of shape.

Mad Jon: Good point

I would also like to point out that Homer spends Zero (0) time in the plant, which is always a bad sign.

Charlie Sweatpants: Say what you will about Don King, but at least Peter McNeeley was in shape.

Mad Jon: And he got a Pizza Hut spot out of his 92 seconds

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, I remember watching this one the first time, and right at the beginning, Homer grabs Marge’s arm and drags her into the electronics store and then freaks out over the World’s Coolest Jacket or whatever. It’s very out of character.

Dave: the whole bonanza opening thing at the mall was off

Charlie Sweatpants: You think so?

I liked that part.

Dave: well, off might not be the right word

Mad Jon: I kinda liked the statement, “Weren’t there 3 Indians last year?”

Dave: I didn’t find it particularly funny though

Mad Jon: I must say my least favorite aspect of the episode is that there is any kind of character growth in Moe. Moe doesn’t grow, he stifles people’s growth. That’s his thing.

The real Moe would have let Homer take the last punch

Dave: agreed, Jon. The ending montage with Moe doing good deeds was more of that empty character growth

Charlie Sweatpants: The ending is a hot mess regardless. Just having Moe throw in the towel wouldn’t be enough, so in the eight seconds it takes Tatum to wind up his punch he runs away, gets the fan thing, picks up Homer, flies out of the ring, and then when they land in the parking lot Tatum and Lucious are both already there.

And that’s after we’ve put up with the idea that Homer can take lots of punches, but gets heavily winded by throwing even a single one. Oh yeah, and he doesn’t know who Tatum is.

I don’t think that last point is a nitpick, because a regular guy like Homer would absolutely know about a guy like Tatum. But SuperHomer can be sooooo dumb that he doesn’t know anything.

Mad Jon: Completely agreed. The real Homer would have made some comment about how he lost money on Tatum’s assault trial or something

Charlie Sweatpants: Bingo. Dave, anything Homer related that jumped out at you in this one?

Dave: nothing about the fight in particular, just some general carelessness that seemed out of character as when Marge says he’s hurting her arm, and he responds “no I’m not”

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, that bothered me too.

So, what’s the 1-2 sentence summary of what’s wrong with “Homer They Fall”?

Dave: Characters acting unexpectedly lead to situations that strain to exist even within the loose reality of “The Simpsons”

Mad Jon: In an attempt to needlessly flesh out the non family characters the writers failed to remember who the star was or involve the rest of his family at all.

Charlie Sweatpants: Homer ceases to be human yet they play it for tension and morality anyway. It makes so little sense that you don’t care what happens.

Mad Jon: That episode reminded me of the time I saw Buckethead perform with Guns and Roses, there were some good things, but in the end nobody won.

Dave: I just poured water all over my laptop. Carry on – I’ll be right back after I deal with this

Mad Jon: That’s what he gets for not drinking beer

Charlie Sweatpants: Amen, cans don’t spill easily.

So . . . Jon, Dave’s Wet Laptop, any final thoughts on Homer They Fall?

Mad Jon: Yes. Let it stay down, and I’ll hit the back scene button until “You only move twice” starts over.

Dave: crisis averted

Charlie Sweatpants: Good to hear.

Hehe, I will say, this does have one of the best Comic Book Guy scenes ever, when he’s away from his store and he has to endure the taunts of the other shopkeep. A fat sarcastic Star Trek fan, you must be a devil with the ladies? And then he calls him Casanova. That always cracks me up.

Mad Jon: Yeah the belt bit was funny, especially when Bart points out it has a sphygmomanometer

Charlie Sweatpants: Anything you want to add Dave, or should we go on to “Burns Baby Burns”?

Dave: Nothing else to add except I enjoyed the sphygmomanometer bit too

not many people would find that funny

ready to move on when you guys are

Charlie Sweatpants: Sure

Mad Jon: Ok

In an effort to milk two posts out of this discussion, and keep this from being a complete waterfall of text, Part 2 (“Burns Baby Burns”) will post tomorrow.



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