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Simpson Tide
The Trouble with Trillions
Girly Edition

Shut up, SHUT UP! If I don't hear you, it's not illegal!
Homer Simpson

"The Trouble with Trillions" is the twentieth episode of Season 9.

Synopsis

When Homer's unfastidious tax return accidentally falls into the severe audit bin at the IRS, he is promptly nabbed by the government. Forced to go undercover for them, Homer finds himself on a mission to retrieve a trillion dollar bill stolen by Mr. Burns.

Full Story

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After a bit of trouble with the final countdown, the residents of Springfield celebrate the start of a new year. Absent from the proceedings are the Flanders family, who are all tucked up in bed sleeping. Woken by the commotion, Ned realize's that it's January 1st and declares it's time to complete his yearly taxes. Staying up all night, Ned carefully processes each and every one of his forms. By 8:45, the forms are completed and placed carefully in their envelope (alongside some complementary mints). Ned is the first person through the doors and at 9:00 a.m, the letter is posted, leaving Ned's taxes taken care of for another year.

Three months and two weeks later, on the evening April 15, everybody else has left their tax forms to the last minute. As such, they are all scrambling to get them posted before midnight, leaving the Post Office overcrowded and mobbed. Amongst those present are Principal Skinner, Edna Krabappel, Julius Hibbert, Lenny Leonard, the Sea Captain, Professor Frink, Otto (who thinks he is in the line for Metallica) Krusty the Clown, and Kent Brockman. Several of these people have not even completed their forms and are desperately trying to fill them out on the spot.

Back at the Simpsons residence, the family are watching a live broadcast. Seeing the turmoil, Homer mocks everybody else's foolishness, smugly saying that he has already taken care of his taxes, having paid them over a year ago. Hearing this, Lisa tells her father that he is referring to last years taxes, and that he needs to pay again this year. Homer's tries to reassure that that isn't the case, only for his attempt to fall short when he realizes that she is right!

Hearing this Marge angrily tells Homer that she put the taxes on his to do pile a month earlier. Homer did not even know that he has a to do pile, despite it being right next to him and having put his beer can on top of it. With less than an hour to go before closing time, Homer scrambles to fill out his forms. In spite of Marge's protests, he enters a huge amount of fraudulent information, (stating that it's not illegal if he didn't hear her). He then stuffs the "completed" forms haphazardly into their envelope, leaving it overloaded and misshapen. He then hightails it down to the post office, causing and crash along the way, whilst also stopping for a hot dog and drink despite the deadline. By the time he reaches the office, the gates are closing. With literally seconds to spare, Homer launches his envelope through the doors into the waiting container, getting them posted by the skin of his teeth.

Unfortunately, Homer's triumph is short lived. At the IRS, his overstuffed envelope gets jolted from said container for 'quick refunds' into one labeled 'severe audit'. The IRS discovers Homer's fraud and arrests him. Held by the government, Homer says he will do anything to stay out of prison. Agent Johnson of the FBI agrees that Homer can be useful. With a hidden microphone under his shirt, Homer uncovers that his co-worker Charlie leads a group planning to assault all government officials.

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With his superiors impressed, Johnson sends Homer on a secret mission. They reveal that in 1945, President Harry Truman printed a one trillion-dollar bill to help reconstruct post-war Europe. He handed the vital cargo over to Charles Montgomery Burns to transport to the Europeans. However, the money never arrived, and this is made out to be why Europeans are snooty to Americans. The FBI suspects Burns still has the money with him. As satellite photography can only confirm that the trillion-dollar bill is not on the roof, Homer is sent in to investigate. Arriving at Burns' estate, Homer searches for the money before Mr. Burns does. Burns believes that Homer is a reporter from Collier's Magazine, and he reveals that he kept the bill on his person. Agent Johnson and Agent Miller burst in and arrest Burns for grand-grand-grand-grand-larceny. Burns shouts how the US government oppresses the average American and tells Homer to write, "Don't let the government push you around!" in his "article." Moved by Burns' speech, Homer knocks out the FBI agents and frees Burns.

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The two men hurry to obtain Smithers for help, who suggests they leave the country. Burns takes Smithers and Homer in his old plane, setting off to find an island and start a new country. Over the Caribbean, Burns finds a fine island, although it already has a name and is in fact a country, Cuba. Going before Fidel Castro (after learning, much to the surprise of both Burns and Homer, that Fulgencio Batista is no longer leader of Cuba), Burns fails to buy the island when Fidel asks to see the trillion dollar bill, and is handed the bill. When Burns asks for it back, Castro immediately responds: "Give what back?". Then, the episode immediately cuts to a scene where Burns, Smithers, and Homer are on a makeshift raft sailing back to the USA. Burns announces he will merely bribe the jury when Smithers, Homer, and himself are put on trial, prompting Homer to exclaim "God bless America!" and salute.

Behind the Laughter

Production

The episode was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham. The original idea was Homer was to learn that he was a Native American, and would try to exploit it to not have to pay taxes. The idea had been going well for a few days, but the staff did not actually know whether Native Americans had to pay taxes. When the writers found out that they did, the whole plot had to be discarded. Executive producer Mike Scully's brother Brian pitched the idea of the trillion-dollar bill, which they accepted, as they were out of ideas.

Reception

The episode received mixed reviews from fans and critics. It has been named: "Boring", "Dull", "Unfunny" and "A mediocre episode at best that makes Burns out to be altruistic (which he is not) and very stupid in letting Castro have his money (which he so wouldn't)."

Videos

Citations

Season 8 Season 9 Episodes Season 10
The City of New York vs. Homer SimpsonThe Principal and the PauperLisa's SaxTreehouse of Horror VIIIThe Cartridge FamilyBart StarThe Two Mrs. NahasapeemapetilonsLisa the SkepticRealty BitesMiracle on Evergreen TerraceAll Singing, All DancingBart CarnyThe Joy of SectDas BusThe Last Temptation of KrustDumbbell IndemnityLisa the SimpsonThis Little WiggySimpson TideThe Trouble with TrillionsGirly EditionTrash of the TitansKing of the HillLost Our LisaNatural Born Kissers
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