Captain Tenille was the captain of the Springfield Naval Reserve submarine during its annual war games.
A man of few words, he takes an instant shine to Homer because of misunderstanding of naval jargon. He later invites Homer to eat with him and, misunderstanding what he was actually saying, concludes Homer's views on peace are the same as his and thus Homer is "like the son I never had." When informed that there is a blockage in a torpedo tube he goes to clear it, but leaves Homer in command. He comments this decision may have been influenced by the saltwater in his veins and the nitrogen bubbles in his brain.
Tenille finds the blockage was caused by an unattentive and asleep Barney who had filled it with contraband. As Tenille begins to clear it out, an enemy sub approaches. With Homer in command, he opts to do what the captain would and decides to fire the torpedoes, not realizing that Tenille is inside the tube and thus actually wants the exact opposite to happen. Tenille is fired into the enemy sub and is presumably killed, leaving Homer in charge for good. The enemy sub also considered doing the same thing with their sub commander due to his saying that they'll "respond in kind" to this action, before specifying that he meant firing a real torpedo.
Behind the Laughter
- Tenille is based on Captain Frank Ramsey, a character from the 1995 film Crimson Tide, who was portrayed by Gene Hackman. Similarly, the episode title was derived from the same movie.
- His name is a reference to the musical duo Captain and Tennille.