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22 Short Films About Springfield
Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"
Much Apu About Nothing

"There, Simpson: seven gone. As soon as you're in your press board coffin, I'll be the sole survivor and the treasure will be mine."
Mr. Burns to Abe Simpson

"Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"" is the twenty-second episode of Season 7. It is also the 150th episode overall.


Abe Simpson and Mr. Burns fight over who gets to be the rightful owner of a collection of paintings looted during World War II. Bart comes along for the ride after learning that this isn't one of Grampa's crazy stories brought on by senility and being desperate for attention.

Full Story[]

When Abe comes to Springfield Elementary School for Grandparents' Day (A Low Cost Outing For Seniors), he embarrasses Bart in front of his classmates with his ridiculous stories (which go from 19-dickety-2 to his "turlet invention"). When Abe gets back to his retirement home, he gets a letter informing him that someone called Asa Phelps has passed on, which means a fortune will almost be his own.

When Reverend Lovejoy holds a funeral, Abe and Mr. Burns are the only people there, after the Reverend leaves. They open a safe with keys and pull out a piece of paper with nine names on; they cross Asa Phelps's name, which only leaves Grandpa Simpson's name and Monty Burns's. Burns and Abe then start discussing the 'Hellfish Bonanza' (while doing so, Abe humiliates himself three times).


When back at his mansion, Burns orders assassin Fernando Vidal to kill Abe so that he can get his key to the safe. Several attempts at killing Abe fail, including a Simpson family impersonation and just straight trying to gun him down with a machine gun in the retirement castle. Abe runs to the family's house and comes in. He tells the family the story of his near-deaths without explaining why. Lisa, Marge, and Homer agree that he will stay in Bart's room, much to his disappointment since he wanted him sleeping in the garbage. In Bart's room, Abe apologizes and explains to Bart why Burns is trying to kill him.

Abe tells Bart about his unit in World War II (The Flying Hellfish), which included Burns and several other men from Springfield. The group discovered some valuable paintings in a German castle near the end of the war and Burns suggested taking them. To avoid being caught for theft, the soldiers set up a tontine and locked the paintings in a strongbox to be hidden away. Whoever outlived the rest of the men would inherit the paintings and become rich, and with Asa's passing, only the two remain.


Much to Abe's disappointment, Bart thinks he is telling another tall tale, until Burns crashes through Bart's room using a crane to get the key. Abe hands over his key in fright. Bart jumps up to him on his crane and asks if he can come to see the treasure, but Mr. Burns refuses due to the "Child Labor people watching [Burns] like a hawk." He then leaves the house laughing (although not before accidentally smashing the adjoining wall into Lisa's room). Bart then reveals that he stole the keys from Burns.

After some persuasion, Bart finally convinces Abe to get the treasure. When they tell Homer what they are doing, he asks if he can come, but after Abe tells him about the danger, Homer declines. Bart and Abe find their safe at the graveyard where after Abe, in his role as Sergeant, gives a brief speech to his old unit, he turns all the keys. A light on the top of the memorial points out to the sea. Bart goes to 'borrow' some diving equipment while Abe steals a Speedboat from the Flanderses' house (although Flanders's reaction implied that he loaned it to them willingly).

They race out in a Speedboat towards the light. When they arrive at the light, Abe tells Bart to tug on the rope '63 times if he's out of air' and '64 times if he's got the treasure'. Bart finds the treasure and tugs the rope 64 times. Abe opens the treasure and finds the treasure. Suddenly, Mr. Burns arrives on the boat and steals the paintings. He kicks Bart into the empty crate, which then sinks to the bottom of the lake. Abe goes down and successfully rescues Bart.


They then chase Burns and catch him on the shore, where Burns begs for his life. At this point, 'Sergeant' Abe charges 'Private' Burns with the attempted murder of a superior officer and dishonorably discharges him from the army and the Hellfish, thus Burns is no longer eligible for the tontine, meaning Abe gets the paintings, but then the State Department intervene and take the paintings away, having been searching for 50 years to return them to Baron von Herzenberger, their rightful owner.

Abe tells Bart "That at least he got to show he wasn't always a pathetic old kook". Bart replies by saying, "You never were". They then embrace as the episode finishes (although the Baron stops to tell the pair to "get a room").

Behind the Laughter[]


Jonathan Collier got the idea of the episode after reading about how famous paintings have been rediscovered years after their so-called disappearance. Jeffrey Lynch had assistance with the episode from Brad Bird, a former animation director who worked on the Simpsons who is now known for his work with Pixar Animation Studios and his films The Incredibles and the Iron Giant.

The episode was heavily praised for its animation, much of which was underwater. The "ripple" effects were added in post-production.

The episode is also the first time we see the fathers of many Springfield men.


The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, wrote that the episode is "notable for Mr. Burns's impersonation of Marge, some spectacular action sequences, and some good underwater scenes - but it is not especially brilliant."

Others said: "It's the best episode of the season."

See Also[]


Season 6 Season 7 Episodes Season 8
Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part Two)Radioactive ManHome Sweet Homediddly-Dum-DoodilyBart Sells His SoulLisa the VegetarianTreehouse of Horror VIKing-Size HomerMother SimpsonSideshow Bob's Last GleamingThe Simpsons 138th Episode SpectacularMarge Be Not ProudTeam HomerTwo Bad NeighborsScenes from the Class Struggle in SpringfieldBart the FinkLisa the IconoclastHomer the SmithersThe Day the Violence DiedA Fish Called SelmaBart on the Road22 Short Films About SpringfieldRaging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"Much Apu About NothingHomerpaloozaSummer of 4 Ft. 2