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Marge Simpson in: A Recipe for Disaster
Homer's Run
The Secret Origin of Sideshow Mel


"Homer, Lenny and Carl think they will be living the sweet life when they all opt for Mr. Burns' early retirement plan. However, they soon discover that this "golden parachute" does not have a silver lining, and Mr. Burns' tropical island retirement community is for the birds... literally!"[1]

Full Story

The story begins with Reverend Lovejoy in a panic over a ball that was ricocheting and destroying the church's windows. Later Bart and Milhouse explain that the incident had been due to Bart's idea of using a superball while Milhouse tried to learn cricket, because it was going "kinda slow."

Reverend Lovejoy speaks about the broken saints demanding vengeance, and the church ends up charging the Simpson family two thousand dollars.

Upon finding out, Marge says that they would have to "cut back on luxuries," giving way to a series of comical events such as her dying her hair "sky blue," making it invisible against the actual sky and having birds get stuck on it, Maggie sucking on a nicotine-laden pacifier that came free from Laramie Cigarettes , and Lisa getting her saxophone pawned, leading to her having to borrow one from the school, which hadn't had its spit valve emptied since the fifties.

Bart was walking down a street complaining about the unfairness of people being mad at him because of the accident, when a falcon lands on his arm. He's startled, but Captain McCallister walks up to him and tells him not to be afraid, explaining that it is a trained falcon of his, Falco. Bart tells him how much he'd love to have one, and the Captain says he's selling it. When Bart asks why, he starts acting suspicious, but eventually the subject is dropped, and Bart ends up buying it for the lint in his pocket.

He goes home hoping that everybody would forget they were mad at him now that he has Falco, which Homer momentarily does, until Lisa reminds him that Bart had cost him two thousand dollars. When he proceeds to strangle him, the bird jumps to defend Bart.

The next day, Homer takes a lift to work from Lenny and Carl , since he can't afford gas now. He asks whether Lenny and Carl rode to work together everyday, and when they tell him yes, he starts mocking them for carpooling, saying it's for losers. Lenny replies that at least they "losers" wouldn't have to work again after the next week, because they were retiring. When Homer argues they're too young, they explain that Mr. Burns had sent out a memo saying that he wanted to keep the company "young and vibrant," and that he gave them the option to retire at forty to live in a Hawaiian island, rent-free, for the rest of their lives.

Homer, not being forty yet, fakes an ID that states he was born in 1941 and presents it to Smithers , who distrusts him. Homer then sarcastically answers that next "you'll accuse me of making a fake I.D. in the eighties to get out of fighting in the Cola Wars"[2]. He continues by arguing that he's obviously older than Flanders , who is sixty years old. Smithers, tired of his incompetence, clamps a gem to his left hand and tells him to report to the cafeteria for "karousel" as soon as it glows red[3].

Meanwhile, Bart tries to train Falco while fantasizing about the things he'll do with the bird under his command, but it refuses to comply, and eventually Bart ends up doing everything the Falcon wants instead of the other way around[4], to the point that it has him on a pager.

When the day the gem on Homer's hand glows red arrives, he is called to a chamber reminiscent of Logan's Run's sleep shops, along with Lenny and Carl, who were sporting gems of the same kind. There Mr. Burns activates the "karousel," not before pointing out the spelling with a "k" of the word done to avoid copyright infringement[5]. When they don't float into the air and explode as expected because, as Smither explains, the Union wouldn't allow it, Burns orders that they were given their plane tickets and escorted out of the place.

Homer gives the news to his family, and along with Lenny and Carl, they take a plane that ends up landing on the "Garbagio" island, that they discover is completely made of trash. This is confirmed when they find a TV, via which Burns explains that the island was made entirely of garbage from the surrounding Hawaiian islands, and that he meant to plant inhabitants there so it'd become a city, thus earning him a "substantial tax break." He tells them that escape is impossible, and that they couldn't use the autogyro, as the ticket self-destructed after one flight.

Homer falls into a fit of desperation before the lack of cable TV, and asks to be thrown to the sharks, but Lisa points out they were too sick because of the pollution of the water.

A week later they had built homes out of the garbage and were focusing on survival, when Homer suggests that, as they were now "castaways," they needed to start having "wacky adventures" in order to remain sane. This said, he starts assigning roles from "Gilligan's Island" to Bart, Lisa and Himself, leaving the "Harlem Globetrotters" to Carl[6].He then tells them to cower from various dangers, all of them taken from Gilligan's Island too. This makes Bart worry about Homer, but Lisa says she's more worried about the origin of the typical sitcom laugh track that sounds.

By week seven they're dinning on stuff that Marge "scraped from the bottom of cans," when Homer appears to start hallucinating about Lenny and Carl being turned into giants hamburger and hot dog, respectively. As it turns out, those were "fast food mascot outfits" they were wearing while their clothes dried. Right then Bart's pager beeps, giving Lisa the idea of reversing the wiring, so they could send an S.O.S. message with their location.

As a result, Falco comes to the island accompanied by hundreds of seagulls, just as Lenny and Carl were about to drown Homer in a supposed breath-holding contest, as part of a deal in which Lenny would make Marge his bride, to be in turn assassinated by Carl, who would then keep Marge to himself. The seagulls eat the entire island, leaving the seven of them floating on a raft.

Falco approaches floating on top of the TV, cawing for them to turn it on. Mr. Burns appears on the screen, and sees the island has disappeared. Smithers, upon seeing this, leaves to "alert the coast guard to pick the former citizens up."

Back in Springfield, Burns had them gathered up while going on a rant about the destruction of his island, promising he'll make them pay. Just then he notices Falco perched on Bart's arm, and immediately takes to it as it reminded him of himself. Bart tells him he can keep it, and Lisa intervenes saying that he could do so on the condition that he gave Lenny, Carl and Homer's jobs back to them. Bart quickly asks for an additional two thousand dollars, and Mr. Burns accepts.

A week later Marge is on the phone talking to Homer, who was at the plant, telling him how good it was to have their luxuries back, like her hair back to normal, and that Maggie missed the Laramie pacifiers, but that she thought she'd get over it. When she asks about Homer's work, he tells her that things were way more efficient over there, and that he'd doubled his napping and snack time.

Just then, Smithers is shown having an argument with Mr. Burns over the amount of power he was giving Falco, Mr. Burns telling him that profits had increased by 75%, and that whatever the bird was doing, it worked. Smithers keeps complaining. A wider shot of the same scene follows to show Mr. Burns perched inside a giant bird cage as he orders Smithers to shut up, and bring him water and a change of newspaper, to which he complies.


  2. A reference to the advertisement campaign war between the Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo.
  3. Another reference, this time to William F. Nolan's novel, Logan's Run, which spawned a movie of the same title.
  4. Possible reference to an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called "The force of Nature," on which Data attempts to train his pet cat Spot, only to have the animal "train" him.
  5. As opposed to "carrousel" with a "c," as shown in Nolan's original work.
  6. An allusion to the 1981 TV film, "The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island."
Simpsons Comics Stories 151-200
Simpsons Comics
Greek to Me:Aesop's Fables | Simpson-Sideshow Sibling Smackdown | Marge Simpson in: A Recipe for Disaster | Homer's Run | The Secret Origin of Sideshow Mel | Day of the Nerd | Bummer Vacation Laughter is the Worst Medicine | Down Home Doctorin' Time, with Dr. Hibbert | The Permanent Record Room! Pranks, But No Pranks! | The Permanent Record Room! And The Beatings Go On! | The Permanent Record Room! Truant or False? | The Permanent Record Room! What About If... Skinner Was Scottish? | Bard Boiled:Antony and Cleopatra | Bard Boiled:Julius Caesar | Bard Boiled:Henry V | Bard Boiled:Romeo and Juliet | Bard Boiled:The Two Gentlemen of Verona | Bard Boiled:Richard III | Bard Boiled:Itchy & Scratchy in Titus Andronicus | Bard Boiled:King Lear | The Many Faces of Bob | Homer vs. The Raccoon | Homer vs. The Raccoon II | The Buck Stops Everywhere | Homer For The Holidays:Bart the Red-Nosed Reindeer | Homer For The Holidays:Frostee the Snowmom | Homer For The Holidays:The Gift of the Maggie | Homer For The Holidays:Jingle Bells, Bartman Smells | Homer For The Holidays:Tree's Company | All Fired Up| Lisa Simpson's Book Club:Rhyme of the Middle-Aged Mariner | Lisa Simpson's Book Club:The Little Engine That Couldn't Care Less | Lisa Simpson's Book Club:Little Women | Lisa Simpson's Book Club:The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Kwik-E-Mart Employees | Lisa Simpson's Book Club:The Lion, The Wardrobe, and the Snow Queen | Lisa Simpson's Book Club:Lisa Longsocks | Lisa Simpson's Book Club:Something Pretty Bad This Way Is Coming! Ned the Simpson | Lisa Goes to Camp | The Homer Effect | How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Lisa Simpson To Hell and Back by Bart Simpson | Homer Simpson in Brain Drain | The Principal of the Thing | The Simpson Family Circus | ...Crap That No One Wanted. | Yellow Crush | Hail to the Cat | Who's Who in the New Revolutionary War? | Plaid to the Bone!