Colonel Homer
Black Widower
The Otto Show


  • The episode title is a twist on the term "Black Widow", which in a criminological context refers to female killers who murder their husbands or boyfriends.
  • Psycho: When Sideshow Bob goes to see Selma's dead corpse in the chair, he turns it around to see that Bart is there instead. He whacks the light, and as it swings back and forth, he sees Selma in the doorway. This sequence parodies the film's famous ending scene.
  • Encyclopedia Brown: Bob's scheme (and its revealing) are similar to the pattern of how Encyclopedia Brown stories unfold.
  • When Patty tells the family that there is something disturbing about Selma's new boyfriend, Lisa imagines Selma walking arm in arm with a tall man in a big coat and hat with a bag over his head with one eye hole and a walking stick. This appears to be a reference to Joseph Merrick, The Elephant Man.
  • When Bob is saying goodbye to his fellow inmates he says goodbye to the first two and then turns to Snake to say that he thinks he is going to miss him most of all. This mirrors the goodbye scene from The Wizard of Oz.
  • Les Misérables. Bob's prisoner number is 24601. The same as Jean Valjean. Principal Skinner reveals he had the same number in Homer's Barbershop Quartet when browsing the swap meet at the beginning.
  • Cool Hand Luke is referenced when a flashback showing Bob's time in prison is played. The music is a direct reference to the soundtrack, as are the outfits and guard with the aviator sunglasses.
  • When the family leaves the house to save Selma, Homer shouts "to the Simpson mobile!" This is a reference to the Batman TV show.
  • The show that the family is watching in the beginning is a parody of Dinosaurs (TV series), a former ABC show. It is commonly believed many Simpsons writers saw the other series as a knock-off of their own (hence Bart's words "It's like they saw our lives and put it right on screen.")


  • We learn that Selma lost her sense of smell and taste when she was young after a firecracker accident, yet in previous and future episodes, she has been able to taste and smell.
  • This episode marks the first time Selma and Patty watch their favorite TV show MacGyver.
  • Snake Jailbird’s name is revealed in this episode.

Season 2 Season 3 References/Trivia Season 4
Stark Raving DadMr. Lisa Goes to WashingtonWhen Flanders FailedBart the MurdererHomer DefinedLike Father, Like ClownTreehouse of Horror IILisa's PonySaturdays of ThunderFlaming Moe'sBurns Verkaufen der KraftwerkI Married MargeRadio BartLisa the GreekHomer AloneBart the LoverHomer at the BatSeparate VocationsDog of DeathColonel HomerBlack WidowerThe Otto ShowBart's Friend Falls in LoveBrother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?
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