On a Clear Day I Can't See My Sister
Goo Goo Gai Pan
Mobile Homer


  • Although Selma wants to take care of a child in this episode, she had earlier decided not to bother with kids after trouble with Bart and Lisa in Selma's Choice. However, she might have changed her mind at some point.
  • Robert Wagner is the second celebrity this season to host a Troy McClure-esque video. The first was Gary Busey in the previous episode.
  • Jub-Jub would likely not eat Selma after she dies as iguanas are mainly herbivorous, meaning they mostly eat plants. Specifically, they are folivores (an animal that feeds on leaves). In the wild, they feed almost entirely on the leaves of trees and vines, plus some fruits or flowers.
  • In a private adoption the birth parents have thirty days to change their minds.
  • The main reason parents in China prefer a male child is, when parents retire it is the custom that the oldest male child takes them in and takes care of them
    • As the first generation of law-enforced only-children came of age for becoming parents themselves, one adult child was left with having to provide support for his or her two parents and four grandparents. Called the "4-2-1 Problem", this leaves the older generations with increased chances of dependency on retirement funds or charity in order to receive support.
    • Being excluded from the family register means they do not possess a Hukou, which is "an identifying document, similar in some ways to the American social security card, as such up until 2015 china had a one child policy which caused multiple problems like unclaimed, unregistered children (which meant they didn't exist and as a result cannot access most public services, such as education and health care, and do not receive protection under the law).
    • A large amount of single lonely men, in China there are 42 million more men than women in 2020 which has led to mental health problems
    • the program that was intended to curb China's out of control population growth ran from 1979-2015
    • There were some exceptions for a second child added in the mid 80's if you had a girl as a first child or if you had enough money to pay a large tax for a second child, for instance, in Guangdong, the fee was between 3 and 6 annual incomes for incomes below the per capita income of the district, plus 1 to 2 times the annual income exceeding the average. The family was required to pay the fine.
    • In 2015 when they ended the 1 child policy they changed it to a 2 child policy
    • As part of the policy, women were required to have a contraceptive intrauterine device (IUD) surgically installed after having a first child, and to be sterilized by tubal ligation after having a second child. From 1980 to 2014, 324 million Chinese women were fitted with IUDs in this way and 108 million were sterilized. Women who refused these procedures – which many resented – could lose their government employment and their children could lose access to education or health services. The IUDs installed in this way were modified such that they could not be removed manually, but only through surgery.
    • Some parents may over-indulge their only child. The media referred to the indulged children in one-child families as "little emperors". Since the 1990s, some people have worried that this will result in a higher tendency toward poor social communication and cooperation skills among the new generation, as they have no siblings at home.This is coupled with lack of uncles and aunts for next generation. No social studies have investigated the ratio of these so-called "over-indulged" children and to what extent they are indulged.
    • The one-child policy has been challenged for violating a human right to determine the size of one's own proper family. According to a 1968 proclamation of the International Conference on Human Rights, "Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and the spacing of their children."
  • This is the second episode where a panda attacks Homer. The first was Homer vs. Dignity (only in this episode, the panda doesn't sexually assault him).
  • This episode has been banned from China (much like "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo" was banned in Japan and "Blame it on Lisa" was banned in Brazil) for the unflattering references to the country, including the scene of Homer saying that Mao Zedong was "like a little angel that killed 50 million people."
  • Dana Gould was in the middle of adopting a daughter from China when this episode was made. Fearing the episode's content might have a negative effect on the process, Gould was credited as "Lawrence Talbot" (the name was taken from The Wolf Man).
  • This is the second time the Comic Book Guy gets lodged in Mr. Burns' cowcatcher, the first time in Monty Can't Buy Me Love.

Cultural References

  • When Selma says the car is too hot, Burns says it is actually cooler than Guy Lombardo, a famous Canadian band leader.
  • Mr. Burns says his car once outraced the Flying Finn, Paavo Nurmi, an athlete who won 9 Gold Medals at the 1920, 1924 and 1928 Summer Olympics. Both this and the afore mentioned references are among the many Burns age jokes that have been used throughout the series.
  • The dragons Homer imagines are white, gold, and red, but at the end the white one is green. That first dragon also resembles the one who appears in Spirited Away.
  • The Simpsons watch a bad performance of Death of a Salesman with a dragon in the back that has 'American dream' written on it.

China References

  • The title of this episode is a pun on moo goo gai pan, the name of a popular pseudo-Chinese American recipe, based on the Cantonese dish mah gu gai pin, which is composed of fresh button mushrooms and other vegetables with sliced chicken. "Goo goo" is what babies say.
  • China (except for Hong Kong and Macao) uses the Simplified Chinese characters, but many signs in this episode are clearly using Traditional Chinese. However, there are still signs that use Traditional Characters in China.
  • The correct spelling of the place would be "Tian An Men", not "Tien An Men" (as this is the Wade system).
  • When Selma stands in front of the tank piloted by Wu, the shot is highly reminiscent of the famous image of the Unknown Rebel (dubbed in the international press as the "Tank Man") blocking the line of tanks during the Tiananmen Square protests.
  • While flying to China, the plane passes over a monument to "Warrior and spicy chicken pioneer" General Zuo Zongtang.
  • Lisa mentions the Great Wall of China was built to repel invaders, though historically it was unsuccessful.

The Flag of the Communist Party of China (first United States broadcast of Goo Goo Gai Pan.)

  • The original broadcast portrayed the body of Mao Zedong covered by the flag of the Communist Party of China with the hammer and sickle (as is the case in the actual mausoleum). Later broadcasts of the episode has the flag substituted for the Flag of the People's Republic of China.
  • In the Chinese consulate there is a map behind the consulate official showing Taiwan as a separate country, extremely unlikely given the PRC's position regarding Taiwan (Republic of China).
  • There is a plaque reading, "On this spot in 1989, nothing happened", in Tiananmen Square, a reference to the Chinese Government's denial of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. It is also a reference to the year The Simpsons first aired.
  • In addition to being a sardonic reference to the massacre, the sign in the square ("On this site in 1989, nothing happened") is a parody of real signs. Available from catalogues, they are mock-historical plaques that say: "On this site in 1897, nothing happened."
  • What's written on the adoption paper is gibberish, not Chinese, though this may be a play on the fact that computers which do not have Chinese text support installed may transcribe gibberish and random symbols in its place (mojibake).
  • The Simpsons leave on a Junk from Hong Kong, as evident from the background.


  • When Homer falls from the chairs he is falling face-down. When he lands on the chairs, he is on his back.
  • There are no fortune cookies in China they are only found at Chinese restaurants.

Season 15 Season 16 References/Trivia Season 17
Treehouse of Horror XVAll's Fair in Oven WarSleeping with the EnemyShe Used to Be My GirlFat Man and Little BoyMidnight RxMommie BeerestHomer and Ned's Hail Mary PassPranksta RapThere's Something About MarryingOn a Clear Day I Can't See My SisterGoo Goo Gai PanMobile HomerThe Seven-Beer SnitchFuture-DramaDon't Fear the RooferThe Heartbroke KidA Star is TornThank God It's DoomsdayHome Away from HomerThe Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star
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