Beyond Blunderdome
Brother's Little Helper
Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner?


  • Bart's ADD was previously mentioned in the episode "Lisa's Substitute". At the end, Homer says to Bart, "I always knew you had personality; the doctor said it was hyperactivity, but I knew better!"
  • Six years after this episode aired, a real ADD drug with a very similar brand name to the fictional Focusyn, "Focalin", was approved by the FDA. This drug is a derivative of Ritalin.
  • When the episode was in development, the crew planned whether Bart's pupils would be bigger or smaller while on Focusyn.
  • The school gym is called the "Marvin Monroe memorial gym" after the character thought to be dead.


  • Bart's ADD was previously mentioned in the episode "Lisa's Substitute". At the end, Homer says to Bart, "I always knew you had personality; the doctor said it was hyperactivity, but I knew better!"
  • Skinner threatens to expel Bart in this episode, although he doesn't do it since Homer and Marge agree to put Bart on Focusyn. He would succeed in expelling him in "The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star". He also had previously expelled Bart in Whacking Day.
  • Homer mentions his ten-year ban from the water park, which could be a reference to what happened to him on "Brush With Greatness" when he got stuck on the water slide and the ride had to be shut down and taken apart in order to rescue Homer.
  • Ralph admits to starting fires on a fairly regular basis. This is consistent with his belief that a leprechaun advises him to start fires in the episode "This Little Wiggy".

Cultural References

  • The title of this episode is a reference to The Rolling Stones' 1966 single "Mother's Little Helper", which addresses pill abuse, and also to Santa's Little Helper.
  • The part where Bart steals the tank is a reference to the Shawn Nelson incident in San Diego, California on May 17, 1995, where Nelson broke into a US National Guard Armory and stole a tank, which led to a rampage where he destroyed cars, RVs, fire hydrants, traffic lights, and utility poles, as well as attempting to destroy a pedestrian bridge before getting stuck on a concrete divider on California Highway 163. The incident ended when an officer shot Nelson before Nelson could break the tank free from the concrete divider.
  • Marge standing in front of the tank is a reference to Tank Man.
  • The Fire Safety Day slogan, "Learn, Baby, Learn", is a reference to 'Burn, Baby, Burn', the catchphrase of R&B disc jockey Nathaniel 'Magnificent' Montague, which became associated with the Watts riots of 1965. Montague himself subsequently changed the phrase to "Learn, Baby, Learn".
  • When trying to introduce the schoolchildren to the Fire Safety skit, Principal Skinner briefly mentioned that one of the helpful things that fire can do is, "raining fire on Charlie" which is referring to the frequent dropping napalm on the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.
  • Homer remarks that Bart has gone from Goofus to Gallant, referring to an edition of "Highlights for Children, a children's magazine.
  • When in the tank, Bart sings "Don't Stop" by Fleetwood Mac.
  • Bart expresses a preference for the allergy decongestant Claritin D over regular Claritin.
  • Bart's classmate Sherri reads aloud the poem "The Daffodils" by William Wordsworth.
  • The book that Bart gives to Homer, "Chicken Soup for the Loser", refers to the book "Chicken Soup for the Soul."
  • Bart is reading a book "The seven habits of highly effective pre-teens.", a reference to the well-known book "The seven habits of highly effective people" by Stephen R. Covey.
  • On their date, Marge and Homer see the movie "Showgirls" at the Aztec Theater.
  • The T-shirt in the army barracks, which reads "I went to the Persian Gulf and all I got was this lousy syndrome", is a reference to Gulf War Syndrome.
  • Bart's Ritalin song at the end is a parody of the theme song sung at the conclusion of the Popeye animated shorts.
  • Nelson's reaction when he thinks about violence or a girl while wearing the shock collar may be a reference to "A Clockwork Orange".
  • The turkish word for whats your matter is "Senin neyin var? Derdin ne?" or "Sana ne oldu?" but actually the pronounciation is wrong when its Neh-Yeen -Warh Dherdh een neh? They pronounce neh-yinn warht Therd-inn neh. (Also Neyin var? Derdin ne? is usable and its the used one in this episode.)
  • Mr. Burns makes a reference to the 1898 Spanish-American War by saying, 'Leave it to the Democrats to let the Spaniards in the pantry again.'



Homer and Marge's eyes lack outlines

  • When the family gets in Bart's room to find him wrapped in tin foil and with a garbage can lid on his head, a door slam is heard after Bart says to close it. When the camera angle changes, though, the door is clearly open.

Bernice Hibbert with yellow skin

  • In the couch gag, the animators forget to outline the eyes of Marge and Homer.
  • For one scene at the site where the crowd gathers to see the fallen satellite, Bernice Hibbert can be seen with yellow skin briefly.
  • The car that Krusty and the other clowns are inside is decorated with orange stars and pink spots during most shots. However, in the shot when Krusty is shown from behind, the stars are purple and there do not appear to be any spots.
  • The Springfield Elementary School gym was never in a separate building prior to this episode. However a separate gym building could have been constructed since then. 

Season 10 Season 11 References/Trivia Season 12
Beyond BlunderdomeBrother's Little HelperGuess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner?Treehouse of Horror XE-I-E-I-D'ohHello Gutter, Hello FadderEight Misbehavin'Take My Wife, SleazeGrift of the MagiLittle Big MomFaith OffThe Mansion FamilySaddlesore GalacticaAlone Again, Natura-DiddilyMissionary: ImpossiblePygmoelianBart to the FutureDays of Wine and D'oh'sesKill the Alligator and RunLast Tap Dance in SpringfieldIt's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad MargeBehind the Laughter
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