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The Most Cromulent Simpsons Episodes of All-Time: #10 Thursday, May 31, 2007

Posted by cdnmoose in CDNMoose, the simpsons, total cromulence, TV.

Not since Navin R. Johnson got the new phonebook has anyone been so excited over something so…uneventful.

And yet I can’t help but fake-scream: The Top 10 is here! The Top 10 is here!

Yes my friends, this is a very special entry indeed. Not only are we cracking the Top Ten, but we’re a mere 64 sleeps until “The Simpsons Movie” arrives.

In bonus news, 64 is *by far* my favourite centred triangular number. By. Far.

Anyway, today’s entry contains a 50-second section that I still look at and smile, but at the time I know I watched with actual tears streaming down my actual face. Man, that was fun-nay back in the day.

To find out what makes me cry (other than the dolphins), please come with me and we will debate why Germany is a superpower, despite not getting money from the US.


Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk

Written by Jon Vitti
Directed by Mike Kirkland

Season 3, Episode 11
Originally aired December 5, 1991

20. Homer At The Bat
19. Hurricane Neddy
18. Homer Goes to College
17. Homer’s Enemy
16. The Cartridge Family
15. 22 Short Films About Springfield
14. Treehouse of Horror II
13. El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer
12. Mr. Plow
11. Kamp Krusty
10. Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk

Episode Synopsis

Burns sells (and rebuys) the plant from some Germans who are full of smiles and sunshine. Homer (shockingly!) loses (and regains) his job because, well, he’s basically a functionally retarded man in a position of importance at the plant.

Why This Episode Is Particularly Cromulent

Homer in the Land of Chocolate. Sweet Holy Hell, that made me laugh and laugh and laugh back in the day. I actually wore out the VHS tape rewinding and re-watching that piece over and over again. Good times. The highest point of that sequence? Homer getting excited about half-price chocolate in a store when all the chocolate around him (the houses, the rain, the lampposts, the dogs…) are all free. Heheheheh.

Horst’s “how you say inelegant” English discussion with an obtuse and frightened Homer always makes me laugh and is quoted weekly around here.

The very short, but wonderful Itchy & Scratchy: “This Old Mouse” had one of my all-time favourite gags: the old “drive a nail through his skull and hang a picture of your friendship” gag. Rawk.


And, of course…Burns. It’s been said before, but he is the writer’s favourite character to write for, and this episode is a great example of their love of the man.

Notes and Observations

  • Smithers gets stung by bees when Burns is beekeeping. As we saw in entry 15 of the Crolument 20 he’s supposed to be allergic to such things.
  • As per the show’s animation rules, only Lenny and Homer are allowed to have beard lines, but there is one side-character at the plant who shows up with them in this episode. That sort of thing is, well, supposedly verboten.
  • Phil Hartman (who playes Horst and Homer’s broker in this episode) spoke fluent German.
  • Sam Simon came up with the idea to show the land of chocolate instead of doing a “Sound of Music” parody. Sam Simon is now a hero of mine.
  • When you see Homer following the road sign to “Fudge Town”, he was originally supposed to go down the “Hershey Highway” but (perhaps not so shockingly). the network censors made them change it.
  • The music for the Land of Chocolate sequence is “borrowed” from the movie “Tucker”.
  • Bart performs “Teddy Bear Picnic” because they couldn’t get clearance for “The Good Ship Lollipop”.

Memorable Quotes

SnappySmithers: What’s wrong, sir? Did I get some in your eyes. The shampoo specifically said ‘no more tears’
Monty: Ah, a lovely promise, but one beyond the powers of a mere shampoo.

Monty: Snappy, you know it’s hard to imagine, but I was once a barefoot boy with cheek of tan. I dreamed of grand slam home runs and wiping out nations with the stroke of a pen.

Broker: Your stock in the power plant just went up for the first time in ten years.
Homer: I own stock?
Broker: Yes, all the employees got some in exchange for waiving certain Constitutional rights…

What $25 buys you…
And what $5200 could get you…

Swine beerHomer: Have a Duff, boys!
Fritz: Thank you. My English is not perfect, but…I have to tell you…your beer is like *swill* to us. Do I have zat right? I’m saying zat only a swine vould drink zis beer?

Hans: Ve are interested in buying ze power plant. Do you zink ze owner will ever sell it?
Homer: Well, I happen to know that he won’t sell it for less than $100 million!
Fritz: 100 million?
Hans: [opens a briefcase full of cash] Eins, zwei, drei, vier, fuenf…Oh, don’t vorry, ve still have enough left to buy ze Cleveland Browns.

Quimby: Ich bin ein Springfielder!

Lenny looks greatMarge: Look at all those worried faces…except for Lenny. He looks great!
Lenny: This is the worst day of my life.

Horst: Guten Morgen. I am Horst. The new owners have elected me to speak with you because I am the most non-threatening. Perhaps I remind you of the loveable Sergeant Schultz on Hogan’s Heroes.

Horst: Do we have any alcoholics among us?
Collection of workers: Uh, me?…Right here…I’m drunk right now!
Horst: You will be given a six-week treatment at our drying-out facility in Hawaii, after which you will return at full pay.
Len: Oh, great! Alright! Hey, maybe I’ll marry Elizabeth Taylor!
Homer: Lucky drunks…

Horst: We plan to have some frank discussions with your safety inspector.
Homer: Hee hee. Yeah. Sock it to him, Horst!
Lenny: Psst, Homer– aren’t *you* the safety inspector?
Homer: (checks nametag): D’oh!

Sycophantic German tape: You look sharp today, sir…You looken sharpen todayen, mein Herr.

Good,good…I’m learning…Homer: Lisa, your father needs your help. Do you know anything about Germany?
Lisa: Well, it’s a country in Europe.
Homer: Good, good, I’m learning…

Homer: My job is my identity. If I’m not a Safety Whatchamajigger, I’m nothing!

Homer: Hey you, stop being… so…unsafe! Smitty! Safen up!

Horst: Homer, could ve have a word with you?
Homer: No.
Horst: I must have phrased that badly. My English is, how you say, “inelegant”. I meant to say, “may we have a brief friendly chat”.
Homer: No.
Horst: Once again, I have failed. [consults phrasebook] We request the pleasure of your company for a free exchange of ideas.
Homer: [runs away in panic]

Horst: You have been safety inspector for two years. What initiatives have you spearheaded in that time?
Homer: Uh…All of them?
Horst: I see. Then you must have some good ideas for the future as well?
Homer: I sure do!
Hans: [long pause]……such as?
Homer: Well I wish the candy machine wasn’t so picky when taking beat up $1 bills. Because a lot of workers really like candy
Horst: We understand, Homer. After all, we are from the land of chocolate…

The Land of Chocolate

50 of the greatest seconds in television history

PAHorst over PA: Attention workers, we have completed our evaluation of the plant. We regret to announce the following lay-offs, which I will read in alphabetical order:
Simpson, Homer.
That is all.

Monty: Ah, the mirthless laugh of the damned. Hold your nose, Smithers…we’re going in.

Homer: Let me ask you something…Does your money cheer you up when you’re feeling blue?
Monty: Yes.
Homer: Okay, bad example.

Burns: What good is money if it can’t inspire terror in your fellow man?

Burns: Please sell me my plant back. I’ll pay anything.
Horst: Isn’t this a happy coincidence! You are desperate to buy, and we are desperate to sell!
Burns: Desperate, eh? Advantage…Burns!

Horst: Alright, Mr. Burns…you win. But beware…we Germans aren’t all smiles und sunshine.
Burns: Oooh, the Germans are mad at me. I’m so scared! Oooh, the Germans! Uh oh, the Germans are coming to get me…
Germans: Stop it! Stop sir…
Burns: Don’t let the Germans come after me. Oh no, the Germans are coming after me…
Germans: Please stop the “pretending you are scared” game, please.
Burns: Ooooh, Smithers, the Germans!


Burns Woo-hoo

Woo-hoo! Woooo hooooooo! Woooooo!

You must grudgingly accept that this episode rawks your faces off.


1. larry burns - Thursday, May 31, 2007

50 of the greatest seconds, how bout the 50. unless there is a 50 second thing of like hot naked girls.

2. Greek McPapadopoulos - Thursday, May 31, 2007

Zat vas 10 minutes ago!

3. MitchKayak - Thursday, May 31, 2007

Good, good, I’m learning…

I always crack up at that. Especially the look of concentration on his face. I use that one a lot. The only homerism that makes me laugh harder is when homer whispers.

4. Peter Cavan - Thursday, May 31, 2007

I love the negotiation scene, where Burns refers to Smithers as his “lickspittle.” I’ve used that term many, many times since then.

5. DougOLis - Thursday, May 31, 2007

larry – I believe that 50 seconds resides in Wedding Crashers

I loved the Germans are coming to get me part.

favourite? wtf?

6. larry burns - Thursday, May 31, 2007

doug i beleive it does.

7. CrashOverride - Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I’m pretty sure that this quote:
“Homer: Hey you, stop being… so…unsafe! Smitty! Safen up!”
is supposed to end with “Smitty – Safe enough!”
Just sayin

8. NOM NOM NOM « Squid Ink - Tuesday, March 11, 2008

[…] and cool whip and just general yum that one can expect from a weekend in Marydel.  Remember that Simpsons episode where the Germans buy the plant and Homer hears that Germany is The Land of Chocolate?  And […]

9. name - Monday, March 2, 2009


10. William Forecroft - Friday, May 22, 2009

thwe writers loved to write for burns and there’s a great example when burns is interviewed before going to meet the germans “you’ll see the statue of liberty wearing liederhosen, before you see a german in charge of my plant…………. I’m here to look uncle fritz square in the monocle, and say NINE!!!!”

brilliant! and further to the utter complexity and joy of a character who has been lucid and active through out all of modern history, his statement indicate a anti-german feeling for the first world war, yet in the later episode “A Star is Burns” he reveals a more pragmatic attitude towards the bosch!

Burns – “…I want you to do for me what Spielberg did for Oscar Schindler”

Spielbergo -” But senor burns, schindler is bueno! Senor Burns is El Diablo!”

Burns “Listen, Spielbergo, Schindler and I are like peas in a pod:
we’re both factory owners, we both made shells for the
Nazis, but mine worked, dammit! Now go out there and win me that festival!

11. WQA - Wednesday, January 25, 2012

usa need more germans!!!

12. Anatomy of a recap « Creativity Hacker - Sunday, February 5, 2012

[…] or even “Things You May Have Missed in Book One.” This gets the job done, but it is, how you say… inelegant. A much better solution is to find a way to motivate retelling the previous events as part of the […]

13. Fellow aspiring writer for 25 June 2013 | D. James Fortescue - Tuesday, June 25, 2013

[…] found the quote on  the ‘DeadOn’ WordPress page.  The blogger, who unfortunately bid adieu several years ago, proved to be a […]

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