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Homer's Barbershop Quartet
Cape Feare
Homer Goes to College

"I was wondering if you could sing the entire score of the H.M.S. Pinafore."
"Very well, Bart. I shall send you to heaven before I send you to hell."
Bart and Sideshow Bob

"Cape Feare" is the second episode of Season 5 (Originally going to be the final episode of Season 4 but pushed to Season 5 along with the previous episode) and the last episode written by the original Simpsons writers who have been on the show since season one.


Sideshow Bob is paroled and out for Bart's blood again, so the Simpsons go into Witness Protection/Relocation and become The Thompsons.

Full Story[]

I am going to kill you

While watching the dreadfully unfunny comedy show, Up Late with McBain (where the show announcer is a former SS officer and Rainier Wolfcastle gets booed for making a homophobic remark about his band leader's outfit), Bart and Lisa get mail. While Lisa worries over her pen pal, Anya, living in a country that's been overtaken by a dictator known as General Krull, Bart begins receiving threatening letters written in blood. Soon, Bart grows paranoid when the letters keep coming, except for one written in black ink that reads, "I Kill You Scum", which was from Homer, after Bart inexplicably wrote "WIDE LOAD" on Homer's rear end.

Meanwhile, Sideshow Bob is at a parole hearing, represented by the Blue-Haired Lawyer. Selma testifies against Bob, recalling he tried to kill her on their honeymoon. Bob's lawyer justifies his actions in "Black Widower", asking the room if they too wanted to kill Selma. At first, there are only a few hands, but at the lawyer's encouragement, more raise their hands, including Selma's sister, Patty. She explains this was because Selma leaves the toilet seat up in the bathroom. The parole board are concerned about Bob's tattoos of Bart with a broken neck and "Die Bart Die" on his chest. But Bob counters by claiming the threat is actually German for "The Bart The". Bob has convinced the parole board and he gets out on parole.

The Simpsons see a movie at Aztec Theater, but are disturbed by an obnoxious man sitting in front of them, laughing very loudly and blowing cigar smoke in their direction. Homer, although he's smoking an even bigger cigar and laughing just as loud, asks the man to stop. The family discover the man is Sideshow Bob, shocking Bart and Lisa ("Aah! Sideshow Bob!"). Bob reveals he wrote the death threats and an outraged Marge goes to the police. Chief Wiggum places the entire family in the Witness Relocation Program. The Simpsons' new surname is Thompson and they will now live in Terror Lake. A new opening sequence takes place, called "The Thompsons".

The Thompsons

Driving to their new home in a convertible, the family sing "Three Little Maids" in triumph. They're unaware Sideshow Bob has strapped himself underneath their car. But Bob is hit by speed bumps, splashed with hot coffee that Homer flings out of the car, and injured as the family impulsively drives through a field of cacti. Once in Terror Lake, the family move into their new houseboat. Bob is still stalking the family, but steps on and is hit in the face by twelve rakes (aka "meeting his raker"). Away from the rest of his family, Bart hears Bob's voice and sees him climb out from under a car. Bob is coy and claims "there's no harm in lying in the middle of a public street." But a street parade arrives, including a marching band and elephants which trample Bob, injuring him once more. At home, Bart alerts Marge and Homer to the Bob sighting but they don't take him seriously.

A fearful Bart goes to bed, but he's disturbed twice by Homer bursting into his bedroom, first waving a kitchen knife - to offer Bart a tray of brownies - and then wearing a hockey mask, screaming, "BART-DO-YOU-WANT TO-SEE-MY-NEW-CHAINSAW-AND-HOCKEY-MASK?" and frightening Bart.

I kill you right now

Sideshow Bob sneaks aboard the family's houseboat and cuts the rope with a machete and the boat floats off into the swamp. After tying up the rest of the family to prevent them from interfering with his plan, he goes to murder Bart in his room. Bart escapes and looks for a way to get off the boat, but alligators and electric eels block him. Bob catches up with Bart and offers him a last request. Seeing a sign that shows the boat is drifting to Springfield, he stalls by asking Bob to sing the entire score of the H.M.S. Pinafore.


Sideshow Bob puts a lot of effort into the performance, improvising props and even somehow changing into the opera's outfits as Bart applauds. Once he's done, Bob raises his machete to kill Bart. But the boat hits a rock just in time, knocking Bob off balance and the police discover the scene and intercept Bob, arresting him. After Bob is sent back to jail again, the Simpsons return to Evergreen Terrace and everything is back to normal...until they arrive home and find that Grampa is now a woman because his pills were locked in the house (despite that the Springfield Retirement Home usually has all the medication he is supposed to take). Before anyone can go inside the house to administer Grampa's meds, Jasper Beardley asks the newly-feminized Grampa Simpson out on a date to a Steve and Edie concert and he accepts.

Captain Bob Tapped Out

Captain Bob

Broadcast History[]

United States[]

Broadcast date(s) Channel aired
  • October 7, 1993
  • January 20, 1994
  • June 30, 1994
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  • December 29, 2020
Freeform Logo


The episode was banned in Germany until 1999

Broadcast date(s) Channel aired
  • October 2, 1999
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Behind the Laughter[]


In 2003, Entertainment Weekly named this the third greatest episode in the history of the show. It won Outstanding Dramatic Score in a Series-1994. Al Jean described Cape Feare as his favorite Sideshow Bob episode and his favorite Simpsons episode.


Sideshow Bob Episodes
Krusty Gets BustedBlack WidowerCape FeareSideshow Bob RobertsSideshow Bob's Last GleamingBrother from Another SeriesDay of the JackanapesThe Great Louse DetectiveThe Italian BobFuneral for a FiendThe Bob Next DoorThe Man Who Grew Too MuchTreehouse of Horror XXVIGone BoyBobby, It's Cold OutsideTreehouse of Horror XXXIV
Season 4 Season 5 Episodes Season 6
Homer's Barbershop QuartetCape FeareHomer Goes to CollegeRosebudTreehouse of Horror IVMarge on the LamBart's Inner ChildBoy-Scoutz 'n the HoodThe Last Temptation of Homer$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)Homer the VigilanteBart Gets FamousHomer and ApuLisa vs. Malibu StacyDeep Space HomerHomer Loves FlandersBart Gets an ElephantBurns' HeirSweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss SongThe Boy Who Knew Too MuchLady Bouvier's LoverSecrets of a Successful Marriage