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The Seven-Beer Snitch

Haven't you seen what happens to people who rat in prison movies?
Marge Simpson
Sure, they're on top of the world. Then there's a big riot scene. Then... I don't know. I usually doze off.
Homer Simpson
The snitch is killed! And that could be you! Because you're the prison snitch!
―Marge Simpson

"The Seven-Beer Snitch" is the fourteenth episode of Season 16.


While in Shelbyville, the Simpsons watch a musical about the town, which includes a character from Springfield that acts like he just fell off the turnip truck.

Marge suggests to the Springfield Cultural Activities Board to have a concert hall, built by Frank Gehry (voicing himself).

When it becomes clear that nobody in Springfield likes classical music, the building is sold to Mr. Burns, who turns it into a prison. One of its first inmates is Homer, who is arrested for "abusing litter" when he kicks a can five times, in violation of a decades-old law. When Snake tries to escape, Homer thinks he "accidentally" fell into a garbage truck and tells the guards; Mr. Burns, the warden, thinks Homer has a future as a snitch - and so does Homer, when he gets a large-screen plasma TV for his help. Once word gets out, however, a phony jailbreak is leaked to Homer so the guards won't be around when the prisoners go after him. Meanwhile, Bart and Lisa's attempts to discover why Snowball II is so fat leads them to a shocking discovery; their cat is leading two lives by living with another family - and is able to do tricks for them as well.

Full Story

While the family visits Shelbyville, the citizens of Shelbyville call Springfield's residents "hicks." This angers Marge, who suggests to the Springfield Cultural Advisory Board that architect Frank Gehry design and build a new cultural center for Springfield. Impressed with Marge's suggestion (which she printed on stationery with Snoopy), he submits his own design which the town approves. The $30 million project is eventually finished and it opens and closes swiftly because no one in Springfield (except for at least Marge Simpson) likes classical music (past the first few bars of Beethoven's fifth).

This allows Mr. Burns to swoop in with an idea of his own: take over the space and turn it into a state prison. Although Homer applies for a guard job, he fails the guard test because Otto switches his urine sample (which is made up of crack, smack, uppers, downers, outers, inners, horse tranquilizers, cow paralyzers, blue bombers, green goofers, yellow submarines, LSD, Mach-3, and trace amounts of human urine) and Homer's sample. By contrast, Otto is one of several applicants who gets the guard job. Burns' prison is losing money due to lack of inmates, so at his statement of needing more convicts in the "dungeonarium", Chief Wiggum suggests that he could increase arrests by enforcing some old, forgotten laws from a book entitled "LOONY LAWS, SILLY STATUTES AND WACKY WAR CRIMES" from which Wiggum reads an exert: "It's unlawful for a man to be hat-less during daylight hours.". Upon hearing the law, both Mayor Quimby and Mr. Burns quickly don hats (top-hat and Napoleon respectively), although Mr. Smithers fails to find a hat, Wiggum lets him off.

After Homer kicks a can five times in a row, he is arrested for illegal transport of litter. Homer goes to jail, and when he is there, he (unknowingly) snitches on Snake's escape attempt. Burns makes Homer a prison snitch. Without a doubt, Homer snitches up and gets rewarded by the guards -- even getting a new plasma TV. Fat Tony and his criminal entourage want to determine who's the snitch. During a visit from Marge she loudly exclaims that he was the snitch while other prisoners are getting visits as well. Fat Tony has Snake tell Homer that there's going to be a breakout that night. Every single guard is outside waiting for them, but a riot from the prisoners who want to kill Homer breaks out. It is stopped.

Homer snitches about the prison's conditions. Eventually, he gets released and the governor releases all of the prisoners onto a barge ("where you will bare-knuckle box until one of you emerges as king of your floating hell").

Meanwhile, Bart and Lisa find out that Snowball V has been gaining weight due largely in part to eating food from another family's house. They also reveal that she has another family. The new family adopts her and names her "Smokey". Smokey likes her new family, and Bart attempts to get her out, but the family fills up Bart with good food. At the end when Homer sneaks out to Moe's he sees Snowball V headed to the bar as well. And all he said was "I won't tell if you don't tell."

During the credits, we see Homer running into the concert, claiming the building is a death trap. But Bart says that Homer had fallen asleep in front of the TV watching The Towering Inferno and that his claim is only a dream. At that rate, Homer gets outraged at Bart for understanding the name of his "prophetic vision".

Behind the Laughter


Frank Gehry is the first (and so far only) architect to do voicework for The Simpsons.


According to Neilsen ratings, 7.3 million people tuned in, making this Season 16's least-watched episode.


Season 15 Season 16 Episodes 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