- “HEY, YOU! GET OUT OF MY OFFICE!”
- ―Hutz angry at Homer for tipping and being in a phone booth.
- “Mr. Simpson, this is the most blatant case of fraudulent advertising since my suit against the movie, The Neverending Story!”
- ―Hutz proudly to Homer after he tells him his story about the "all-you-can-eat" seafood
- “You're one of a kind, Marge, and nobody deserves this more than you.”
- ―Hutz's final on screen dialogue[src]
Lionel Hutz, also known as Miguel Sanchez, and also known as Dr. Nguyen Van Phuoc, is a lawyer in Springfield, albeit an incompetent one. He was always desperate for cases, few of which he won. Hutz was financially insolvent, extremely poor and willing to do nearly anything for money. The character of Lionel Hutz, along with other Phil Hartman characters, was retired after the actor's death.
He was an inept ambulance chaser and, to quote Lisa, a "shyster", whom the Simpsons nonetheless repeatedly hired as their lawyer (a fact remarked on by Marge in a typically self-aware aside) probably because they could not afford a better lawyer anyway. He claimed to have graduated from Princeton school of law, although Princeton hasn't had a law school since the mid-19th century. His legal practice, located in a shopping mall, was named "I Can't Believe It's A Law Firm!". He often tried to entice potential clients with free gifts, including a "smoking monkey" doll and a business card that "turns into a sponge when you put it in water." Lionel Hutz was an occasional person to appear in The Simpsons's lives and sometimes played central roles in events involving them. Marge distrusted Lionel Hutz because he was an incompetent lawyer, even remarking once during a trial "We really should stop hiring him." This mistrust worked its way to Hutz's rival known as the Blue-Haired Lawyer who is also aware of his incompetence and greed. During cross-examination, Marge testified against Hutz out of spite because he hired Dr. Riviera, a quack to give out false prognosis and made Bart commit perjury by lying about being in intensive pain when he was fine. Hutz was also briefly married to Selma Bouvier, as when Homer asks her to marry Apu for his citizenship she says her name with 3 husband names added (Terwilliger, Hutz, McClure) and was long enough without Apu's long surname.
Hutz is also very greedy and will resorts to any means necessary to make money as well as making attempts to avoid punishments which was shown in "Selma's Choice", where he attempted forgery by editing Glady's will but he was caught by Marge where he then casually admits to forging other people's wills and has been successful (forgery is in fact a very serious crime that can result in 5 years in prison as well as receiving a fine that can range between $250 to $125,000 depending on the seriousness of the crime). Hutz also destroyed his possessions in an attempt to change his identity.
Hutz was a recovering alcoholic; also at one time he hastily left the courtroom after handling a bottle of bourbon in order to consult his A.A. sponsor, musician David Crosby. Also, Hutz referred to bourbon as "brownest of the brown liquors" and offered to share with Marge and Homer "a belt of scotch" at 9:30AM, explaining that he "hadn't slept in days."
Jobs Outside of Law
Beyond the law, he also tried his hand at selling real estate. When Homer hired him to babysit the Simpson children, he renamed himself Miguel Sanchez following some trouble that prompted him to change his identity and burn all his personal papers, and he later changed again to Dr. Nguyen Van Phuoc, a Vietnamese name, in addition to Mr. Sanchez. He also won the role as 'Mitch' in the musical adaption of 'A Street Car Named Desire', whilst simultaneously suing the troupe on behalf of the people who were not cast. He may also be a drug dealer, as when Milhouse lands the role of Fallout Boy, Hutz barged up to him and one of the services offered was "drug deal- errrrrr.... keeper awayer". He also owns Red Blazer Realty, which employs Cookie Kwan "Number 1 on the West Side!", Gil Gunderson (Shelley Levene from 'Glengarry Glen Ross'; as played by Jack Lemmon), and at one point, Marge. As well, he's been shown to take part-time work as a cobbler, fixing up shoes in his clients' presence and even in court ("Uh, Judge, these won't be ready until Thursday...)
Although Hutz lost almost all of his cases, he did win several cases for the Simpsons, for instance representing Homer in his case against Captain McCallister and The Frying Dutchman restaurant over its "All You Can Eat" offer. While the Blue-haired Lawyer tried to show that Homer's eating was far beyond what could reasonably be expected out of an all-you-can-eat offer, Hutz won by putting Marge on the stand and having her reveal the desperate actions she and Homer took after they were kicked out of the restaurant. At Hutz's urging, Marge tearfully admitted that after searching for another All You Can Eat fish restaurant until 3AM, Homer and Marge "went fishing." Considering Marge's honest nature, it is unlikely that she was lying. The case was helped by the fact that the entire jury was made up of obese jurors. Captain McCallister then struck a deal with Homer, offering him all he could eat in exchange for using him as a sort of freak show attraction to get more customers.
Another case he won for one of the Simpsons was when Bart discovered that an old tramp named Chester Lampwick was the real creator of The Itchy & Scratchy Show, which was proved by an old drawing by Lampwick. Roger Myers (who had falsely claimed credit for the creation) then had to pay him $800 billion, which forced the Itchy & Scratchy Studios to temporarily close down. Although none of this had anything to do with Hutz's skills as a lawyer.
Hutz also successfully sued Krusty after Bart got appendicitis after eating a piece of jagged metal that was being given away as a prize in his cereal that wasn't even in the safety package all prizes are held in. The case was won and Bart was given $100,000 in compensation. $99,500 of which was taken by Hutz who'd assembled a team of phony lawyers to make it seem to Bart that it was necessary.
Hutz additionally represented Homer against the Devil (Ned Flanders). At issue was the rightful owner of Homer Simpson's soul. In a hastily assembled courtroom in the Simpsons' living room, before a jury of the damned, Hutz discussed competently the nature of a contract, although his argument ironically was harmful to Homer. Despite the fact that the contract between Homer and the Devil clearly awarded Homer's soul to the Devil upon Homer's consumption of the 'forbidden doughnut', the jury found a note from Homer to Marge saying that he pledged his soul to her for all eternity thus his soul was not to rightfully give up to the Devil causing them rule in favor of Homer. In retribution for losing the court case, Homer was cursed by the Devil and his head was turned into a giant doughnut. The case was not won so much for Hutz's skill as an attorney, but by Marge's introduction of the relevant evidence (the photo with a note from Homer on the back, granting his soul to Marge).
Behind the Laughter
Since the Simpson family frequently appears in court, other characters have represented the Simpsons in legal matters since the retirement, ranging from just as incompetent to actually knowing what they're doing. For example, in "Sweets and Sour Marge", the equally-incompetent Gil stepped in. The Blue-Haired Lawyer has also served as the family's attorney, such as in episodes like "Orange is the New Yellow".
Lionel Hutz still appears infrequently in clip shows and flashbacks, as well as crowd scenes, but only in non-speaking roles (with his last reported appearance being in Season 27 episode "The Burns Cage"). Hutz and McClure still sometimes appear in Simpsons Comics, as a voice actor is not needed.
|The Simpsons: Season Two|
|"Bart Gets an "F"":||"Simpson and Delilah":||"Treehouse of Horror":||"Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish":||"Dancin' Homer":|
|"Dead Putting Society":||"Bart vs. Thanksgiving":||"Bart the Daredevil":||"Itchy & Scratchy & Marge":||"Bart Gets Hit by a Car":|
|"One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish":||"The Way We Was":||"Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment":||"Principal Charming":||"Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?":|
|"Bart's Dog Gets an F":||"Old Money":||"Brush with Greatness":||"Lisa's Substitute":||"The War of the Simpsons":|
|"Three Men and a Comic Book":||"Blood Feud":|
|The Simpsons: Season Three|
|"Stark Raving Dad":||"Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington":||"When Flanders Failed":||"Bart the Murderer":||"Homer Defined":|
|"Like Father, Like Clown":||"Treehouse of Horror II":||"Lisa's Pony":||"Saturdays of Thunder":||"Flaming Moe's":|
|"Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk":||"I Married Marge":||"Radio Bart":||"Lisa the Greek":||"Homer Alone":|
|"Bart the Lover":||"Homer at the Bat":||"Separate Vocations":||"Dog of Death":||"Colonel Homer":|
|"Black Widower":||"The Otto Show":||"Bart's Friend Falls in Love":||"Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?":|
|The Simpsons: Season Four|
|"Kamp Krusty":||"A Streetcar Named Marge":||"Homer the Heretic":||"Lisa the Beauty Queen":||"Treehouse of Horror III":|
|"Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie":||"Marge Gets a Job":||"New Kid on the Block":||"Mr. Plow":||"Lisa's First Word":|
|"Homer's Triple Bypass":||"Marge vs. the Monorail":||"Selma's Choice":||"Brother from the Same Planet":||"I Love Lisa":|
|"Duffless":||"Last Exit to Springfield":||"So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show":||"The Front":||"Whacking Day":|
|"Marge in Chains":||"Krusty Gets Kancelled":|
|The Simpsons: Season Five|
|"Homer's Barbershop Quartet":||"Cape Feare":||"Homer Goes to College":||"Rosebud":||"Treehouse of Horror IV":|
|"Marge on the Lam":||"Bart's Inner Child":||"Boy-Scoutz 'n the Hood":||"The Last Temptation of Homer":||"$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)":|
|"Homer the Vigilante":||"Bart Gets Famous":||"Homer and Apu":||"Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy":||"Deep Space Homer":|
|"Homer Loves Flanders":||"Bart Gets an Elephant":||"Burns' Heir":||"Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song":||"The Boy Who Knew Too Much":|
|"Lady Bouvier's Lover":||"Secrets of a Successful Marriage":|
|The Simpsons: Season Six|
|"Bart of Darkness":||"Lisa's Rival":||"Another Simpsons Clip Show":||"Itchy & Scratchy Land":||"Sideshow Bob Roberts":|
|"Treehouse of Horror V":||"Bart's Girlfriend":||"Lisa on Ice":||"Homer Badman":||"Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy":|
|"Fear of Flying":||"Homer the Great":||"And Maggie Makes Three":||"Bart's Comet":||"Homie the Clown":|
|"Bart vs. Australia":||"Homer vs. Patty and Selma":||"A Star is Burns":||"Lisa's Wedding":||"Two Dozen and One Greyhounds":|
|"The PTA Disbands":||"'Round Springfield":||"The Springfield Connection":||"Lemon of Troy":||"Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One)":|