This episode did a few things. It may have helped to inspire the creation of Futurama, it suggested Bart could be great if he were consistently disciplined, and that Homer does have an area in which he is very knowledgable.
Three Halloween specials later, and Homer has replaced Marge as the character to warn parents that the show might be too scary for kids. Then he taunts the viewers.
Also, no treehouses appearing this episode, but scary joke versions of the names of all the people who work on the show are another story.
Most episodes of The Simpsons that showcase the relationship between Lisa and Homer show how clueless Homer is about his sensitive middle child and he needs to learn a lesson.
This episode is a nice change of pace because Homer actually is the one who gets it right this time.
Season four of The Simpsons opens with a look forward…if you buy that weird theory that The Flintstones and The Jetsons take place at the same time, with the Jetsons and their neighbors living well above the devastated world below that got knocked back to the stone age of, you guessed it, the world of Bedrock and the Flintstones.
I think that’s a load of hooey, but the Flintstones were on the Simpson’s couch in the opening credits.
For Homer Simpson, sterility may have been a gift that kept on giving.
Homer didn’t know he was sterile near as I can make out, but it sure had plenty of fringe benefits.
Milhouse is Bart’s dorky friend, someone who comes across as a loser.
What happens when Milhouse actually scores something ahead of Bart, though?
According to the producers of The Simpsons, Fox wanted a spin-off for Otto Mann, the school bus driver for Springfield Elementary. The producers weren’t too keen on the idea.
Otto got a single spotlight episode, and after that he more or less faded into the background. Oh well. Maybe the Fox executives had the same sort of realization Otto himself had when he stopped to think about how his father told him he’d never amount to anything if he just goofed off playing the guitar all through high school.
Selma Bouvier does not want to die alone. We got a sense of that when Principal Skinner was courting her more hostile sister Patty, but Selma makes plenty of bad romantic decisions entirely on her own.
This particular episode of The Simpsons features two rather noteworthy things. First, it is near as I can make out the only episode series creator Matt Groening has sole script credit for. He assisted with a few others, but this one is the only one with just his name on it (though in cases like this, there was probably a lot of polish from all the other writers, as with any show).
Second, it has one of my favorite Homer lines, “It takes two to lie: one to lie and one to listen.” Marge didn’t know what that meant. I don’t think I do either.
John Swartzwelder is the most prolific of Simpsons writers, and he was responsible for this particular episode as well.
As a reward, sharp-eyed viewers can note that Springfield is located in Swartzwelder County in whatever state that is.