The 20 Most Cromulent Simpsons Episodes of All-Time: #8 Thursday, June 14, 2007Posted by cdnmoose in CDNMoose, the simpsons, total cromulence, TV.
Tags: 700 million Hindus can't be wrong, bearclaw slippers, patented out of this world moon waffles, snake handlers
Holy Hannah, we’re getting down there. We’re
9 6 weeks away from “The Simpsons Movie” and I gotta tell ya, I’m starting to get all tingly. Moreso than usual, I mean.
This week’s episode is a personal favourite (and if we were doing things “that way”, I’d probably have it at #2 or #3). It’s a perfectly packed 22 minutes of joy, bearclaw slippers, questionable kitchen recipies, ’70s car chases and paths that should lead to damnation, but don’t.
Sound like fun? Of course it does. And this quote from the writer of the episode tells us all we need to know…or something.
“I read that several ministers and theologans praised this show. When I heard that, I felt that I had failed” — George Meyer
Written by George Meyer
Season 4, Episode 4
|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
9. Bart Sells His Soul
8. Homer the Heretic
Homer gives up his religion, only to create his own. Hilarity ensues.
Why This Episode Is Particularly Cromulent
The opening shot of Homer dreaming of being in the womb, transitioning to him struggling to stay in bed is a great gag and kicks the episode off perfectly.
The fact that the episode has exactly one plot line without any side stories is wonderful in its simplicity. There’s no fluff here at all.
The animation is positively spectacular– there are multiple shifts of perspective, the special lighting created for God and for the fire is done just perfectly and there are whole rafts of independently-moving animated extras (in the church scene in particular) which is totally unecessary, except that it’s great eye candy that keeps you immersed in the episode.
Homer’s bearclaw slippers add awesomeness to any episode, and we see them several times in this one. I asked for a pair for my birthday that year, and every year after (I still haven’t received them, but since my feet are huge, hairy and quite claw-y, it can really only be so disappointing…)
Any episode that teaches us a lesson has to be high up on the list. Life is about learning (remember that), and this episode brings us one of life’s great lessons. No, no– not on religion (who gives a shit about that?). No, this episode teaches us something even more important that eternal salvation:
Patented Out of This World Moon Waffles
- Pour one bag of caramels directly onto a hot waffle iron
- Add a generous amount of waffle batter (enough to cause “waffle runoff”)
- Add liquid smoke to taste
- Let sit on overheated waffle iron for several seconds
- Remove by hand and wrap waffle around a stick of butter
- Lance with large, oversized cocktail toothpick
- Serves one (plus runoff for dog on chest when eaten in underwear in front of couch)
That, my friends, is magic on a friggin’ stick.
The ’70s car chase music as Homer escapes the clan Flanders by jumping his car to a barge headed to Garbage Island (“Dad, the heathen’s getting away!“) is a perfect example of the sublime genius that is Alf Clausen.
The throwaway shot of Snowball II licking itself clean on the couch before Homer has his “visit” made me (quite literally), “roll on the floor laughing” the first time I saw it (note: I apparently used to be considerably less cool than I am now). Classic.
Oh, and Flanders rescuing homer (by pushing him out, having Homer land safely, only to bounce back into the house, followed by Flanders doing the stunt dive and barrel-rolling backwards into the house himself) is just fucking awesome…
In this episode, the role of Flanders will be played by Lee Majors…
Notes and Observations
- This was the first episode ever animated for the show at Film Roman studios, where the show is still animated at today
- God only appears when Homer is asleep in order for the writers to keep it “vague” that He may or may not be real.
- God has four fingers and a thumb (except a couple of shots at the end). Just a mistake; nothing to be read into and all that.
- The show has gradually lost time over the years and is on average 90 seconds less now than it was “back in the day” (in order to put in more commercials, of course). On the DVD commentary, Matt Groening says this is a particular shame since the real memorable moments of many episodes are the non-sequitors which are tougher to put in to a shorter show.
- They assumed the cutoff joke at the end (God saying “The Meaning of life is…“) would be interrupted by a promo for one of Fox’s other shows (“Drexel’s Class”, or something similar). Sadly, this one week they didn’t have one and it just cut to the credits.
- I once came *this close* (imagine my thumb and forefinger really close together) to getting “The Feast of Maximum Occupancy” off from work once. It was almost a real Human Fund moment for me, I tell you.
- I’ve often wondered if it’s genius in animation, or just blind luck, but what’s great is that although Jimi Hendrix played “left-handed”, he played a right-handed Strat “upside down”. So when we see his guitar onscreen when he plays Ben Franklin (“That’s game, Hendrix!“), it’s a right-handed Strat that is shown, as it should be. I choose to believe that this is not a coincidence and that the animators are *that* good.
Bart: Hey, where’s Homer?
Marge: Your father’s … resting.
Bart: “Resting” hung over? “Resting” got fired? Help me out, here.
Homer: Ah, I’m just a big, toasty, cinnamon bun.
I never want to leave this bed…
gotta take a whiz.
Think, man, think…
Think, think, think…
Oh, I better get up…
I’m wizzing with the door open…
…and I love it!
Lovejoy: And he was cast into the fiery cauldron of Hell. The searing heat, the scalding rivers of molten sulphur!
Bart: Aaaaahhhhh…I am there!
Lisa: Our father, who art in Heaven…
Bart: Lisa, this is neither the time nor the place.
Lovejoy: Card table for sale, top badly damaged, leg missing, otherwise fine. One dollar or best offer.
Homer: Moe is their leader.
Homer: Come on, TV…Give me some of that sweet, sweet pep.
TV Talking Head: Let’s define our terms, gentlemen. Are we talking about redistricting, or are we talking about reapportionment?
Homer: Oh, well…can’t win ’em all.
TV Voiceover: We interrupt this public affairs program in order to bring you…a football game.
Keith Jackson: Oh, Doctor! A 98-yard triple-reverse ties the score at 63-63! We have seen nothing but razzle-dazzle here today: three visits from Morganna the Kissing Bandit, and the astonishing return of Jim Brown!
Could this be the best day of my life?…Looks like we have a new champion!
Marge: Homer, are you actually giving up your faith?
Homer: No! No, no, no, no, no!…Well, yes.
Homer: And what if we’ve picked the wrong religion? Every week, we’re just making God madder and madder…
God: Thou hast forsaken My Church!
Homer: Uh, kind of…but…
God: But what!
Homer: I’m not a bad guy! I work hard, and I love my kids. So why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I’m going to Hell?
God: Hmm… You’ve got a point there. You know, sometimes even rather be watching football…Does St. Louis still have a team?
Homer: Naw, they moved to Phoenix.
God: Oh, yeah.
God: That Reverend Lovejoy displeases Me. I think I’ll give him a canker sore.
Homer: Give him one for me!
God: Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to appear in a tortilla in Mexico.
Homer: God Himself told me I should seek a new path.
Lovejoy: Oh, really…
Homer: Yeah. He appeared before me in a dream, and I knew that was special because I usually dream about naked…Marge.
Bart: So, Homer, you saw the big cheese? What’d he look like?
Homer: Perfect teeth. Nice smell. A class act, all the way.
Lovejoy: Homer, I’d like you to remember Matthew 7:26: “The foolish man who who built his house on sand.”
Homer: And *you* remember… Matthew … 21:17!
Lovejoy: “And he left them and went out of the city into Bethany and he lodged there”?
Homer: Yeah… Think about it.
Moe: I was born a Snake Handler, and I’ll die a Snake Handler
Homer: Kids, let me tell you about another so-called “wicked” guy. He had long hair and some wild ideas and he didn’t always do what other people thought was right. And that man’s name was…I forget. But the point is…I forget that, too. Marge, you know who I’m talking about. He used to drive that blue car?
Marge: Homer, please don’t make me choose between my man and my God, because you just can’t win.
Homer: There you go again, always taking someone else’s side: Flanders, the water department, God…
Marge: I’m only going to ask you one last time: Are you sure you won’t come with us to church?
TV: Coming up next: “Make Your Own Ladder”!
Homer: Very sure.
Homer quoting Playdude: “Our unabashed dictionary defines IUD as ‘love springs internal’“. Heh-heh-heh-heh-heh! … I don’t get it.
Apu: Please do not offer my god a peanut.
Homer: No offense, Apu, but when they were handing out religions, you must have been out takin’ a whiz.
Apu: Mr. Simpson, please pay for your purchases and get out and come again!
Homer: Boy, everyone is stupid except me.
Homer: Waaaugh! Fire! What do I do? What do I do? Oh, the song! The song. “When the fire starts to burn, There’s a lesson you must learn. Something something, then you’ll see, you’ll avoid catastrophe!”….D’oh!
Apu: Little Jamshed. The store is in your hands.
Jamshed: How I have waited for this day.
Homer: Flanders, you saved me! Why?
Ned: Heck, you’d’a done the same for me.
<dreams of not-so-much doing that>
Homer: That’s right, old friend.
Marge: Homer, are you alright?
Homer: Our magazines and roach traps…Gone…all gone.
Wait a minute…Flanders is a regular Charlie Church, and God didn’t save his house…D’oh!
Insurance agent: Any valuables in the house?
Homer: Well, the Picasso, my collection of classic cars…
Insurance agent: Sorry, this policy only covers actualy losses, not made up stuff.
Brockman: Fire. Man’s oldest foe. Insatiable, remorseless, unquenchable.
Wiggum: Hey, it’s out!
Brockman: Coming up next: Which work better? Springy clothespins, or the other kind?
Ned: Homer, God didn’t set your house on fire.
Lovejoy: No, but He was working in the hearts of your friends and neighbors when they came to your aid, be they Christian, Jew, or…miscellaneous.
Apu: Hindu! There are 700 million of us.
Lovejoy: Aw, that’s super.
Homer: God, I gotta ask you something…What’s the meaning of life?
God: Homer, I can’t tell you that. You’ll find out when you die.
Homer: I can’t wait that long!
God: You can’t wait six months?
So let the debate begin. How much more worse could this episode possibly be than the softball episode.
The answer? None more. None more worse.
Some may even say it’s 12 better.