Simpsons: anticipation and the unexpected

Don’t you mean… Blockoland? wink wink

This line really took me by surprise, but maybe others saw it coming, so I don’t know if it counts:

Homer: Oh, I hate my job. I mean, what’s the point when your boss doesn’t even remember your name?
Marge: I have an idea.
Homer: What? What’s your idea?
Marge: When my father was first trying to catch my mother’s eye, he sent her a box of candy with his photo in it. After that, she never forgot him.

Now I expected Homer to say something to indicate he doesn’t get it, as usual. Like, “That’s all well and good, but where are we going to find rubber pants in our size?” Here’s what he actually said:

Homer: That’s all well and good, but it’s not really your idea, is it now, Marge?

In the Superbowl ep, the group is trying to sneak into the lockerroom. They see a rack of uniforms (“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”) and you assume they’re going to go in disguise. Then they push the rack hard into the security guards and run for it.

I think it was the prohibition episode, where Homer and Bart are brewing bear in the basement. Homer’s carrying out the latest shipment of bowling balls with beer hidden in them when he drops them on the floor and Marge walks by.

Marge: Is that beer? What’s going on??

Homer: Sigh, I won’t lie to you Marge. … walks away

In any other show the husband would come up with some wacky lie that would get him into more trouble later, but Homer just walks away.

there are a couple which ring a bell.

In the one where Homer steals Moe’s car for insurance fraud and he gets locked up. hans moleman comes in with a book trolley. Homer picks up one that says “How to tunnel out of prisons” he say “this gives me an idea” so he whacks Hans over the head with the book and runs off.

Another is with the episode with the angel. When the towns folk are at the door and want to see it

Lenny:Awww come one Homer, pay you a buck?
Homer: A buck eh? That gives me an idea…
(cut to Homer in the garage next to a big bottle of coins)
Homer: 50 cents please!

I love that, I think something similar happens in the \Stampy episode.

I think this was from the episode where Homer tries to become a hippie:

A couple of policeman have their guns drawn on Homer and his hippie friends, and Homer takes a flower and places it in the gun. At that moment, the officer shoots. We cut to a shot of the funeral home or something equally death-related, but then pan over to the hospital where Homer is sitting in the bed. The flower is sticking out of his forehead and Doctor Hibbert says that it just barely stopped the bullet.

Is anyone thinking of Wile E. Coyote(sp?) and Roadrunner? In one part the Roadrunner gets chased to the edge of a cliff that looks like its just about to snap off as so many others have in those cartoons. Wile E. looks smugly at the roadrunner, then uses a jackhammer to cut the edge of the cliff off. SNAP And the whole plateau that Wile E. was on falls down, leaving the little piece of rock the roadrunner was standing on hovering in mid air. I loved that. Pardon the slight hijack.

Actually, I think Malcolm in the Middle is the real king of the unexpected anticipation. They manage to pull it off in just about every episode.

The 4 boys are home alone, and Francis wants to invite some friends over, and he tells them “don’t tell anyone, we don’t want a party to get started.” … cut to a shot of the house completely trashed…followed up by the line of “who would’ve thought that 3 guys could do so much damage?”

Hal goes to a poker game. The other 4 players happen to be fat, black guys with glasses…and Hal is a skinny white guy. He finds himself being harrassed during the game…thinking that they’re teaming up against him…and then he annouces “I see what’s going on here. I’m getting singled out because I’m the only non-professional here!”

Malcolm is sitting at a table with a can of compressed air, and him holding a nail to it. He takes a swing at the nail with a hammer…and ends up smashing his other hand.

To hijack even more, one of the few funny things on Oliver Beene was a gag that started sounding like a obvious joke, then hits you in the face. It made me laugh.

In the first episode, Oliver is playing with a very geeky kid named Bill. Later on, the adult Oliver says “His full name was Bill Gates, and I think he turned out okay.” We then cut to…

A geeky guy at an electronic store saying “May I interest you in our extended warranty?” Adult Oliver comments, "Okay, so he isn’t that Bill Gates, but I think the job at Radio Shack did him a lot of good.

Patty: Hello, is this A. Aaronson? It might interest you to know that Marge Simpson is pregnant again.
[fade to black]
Patty: Just thought you’d like to know, Mr. Zykowski.
There. Aaronson and Zykowski are the two biggest gossips in town. In an hour, everyone will know.
Of course, most jokes are a surprise somehow, but this one was one of my favorites.

What I hate is when they do a gag more than once in a row in a scene, then you wonder if they are going to do it again. If it happens a THIRD time, its funny, sometimes, but not the fourth or fifth time. By that time, I’m thinking “okay, lemme count the number of times they repeat this.”

The writers are obviously thinking that the audience is thinking “i BET that THIS time something different will happen,” so it’s unexpected when the same thing happens.

The most egregious was when homer+bart were carnies and


the other carnies take over their house. They open the dog door or somesuch and laugh at them. Then they open it again and you think “okay, they will probably say something this time,” but they laugh again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat…geesh it was funny the first and second repeat but it gets old quickly.

When Homer was a boxer and sitting in Doctor Hibbert’s office looking at his head X-ray and the extra layer of fluid around Homer’s brain. Hibbert says that he could whack Homer in the head with this “medical 2x4 and he wouldn’t feel a thing” (pulls board out of surgical wrapping and winds up)… “but of course that would be professionally derilict of me to do so” and puts the board down.

Another where Springfield Elementary is on a field trip to Fort Springfield looking at the cannon. Tour guide says something along the lines of “this is a XXXXX cannon that we’ve fully restored to working condition… but it’s a good thing we’re not firing it because it happens to be aimed at the supporting leg of that tower”. Someone comes screaming up in a vehicle, and bumps the cannon so a wheel falls off and it thuds into the ground - and does nothing. “But of course for safety reasons we don’t keep the cannon loaded… it’s just common sense.”

When Homer is sneaking out of the Power Plant to go on the Duff Brewery tour and comes upon the giant spider, reads the map: “To overcome the spider’s curse, simply quote a bible verse… Um, thou shalt not… uh” then just throws a little rock at it and the 20 foot spider simply collapses dead.

When Bart decides to stop seeing the evil reverend’s daughter Jessica, and starts crossing off days on his calendar. 1 day, 7 days, 1 month, 4 months all Xed off. “There; if I can just go this many days without seeing her I’ll be fine… ok, Day 1” and circles the first day he Xed off. Jessica’s head appears in the window.

I love that one. Kids are pestering Homer to let them see the elephant. “I’ll give you a dollar”

Homer: “That gives me an idea” - see Homer hammering sign into lawn. Pans down to sign which reads “Go Away!”

Bart: “That’s great Dad, but how about we try a different sign?”

Homer: “I’m too busy to read it, just give me the gist”

Actually, I believe it’s because he had a one o’clock appointment.

This only sort of fits, but I find it an incredibly funny and creative line. In the “Lisa the Tree Hugger” episode, Krusty pulls up to a Krustyburger to check on the protesters on the roof. He’s in a limo and a whole bunch of his clown friends come climbing out. He stops them by saying something like, “Stop it guys. The gag only works with a small car.”

Maybe this fits, maybe it doesn’t, but its damn funny.

Bart meets Milhouse’s new stepdad, the gladiator “Pyro.” Pyro invites him to break a chair of his back. Bart does.

In the next scene Homer is singing in the bathtub. Bart comes up behind him and breaks a chair over his back. Homer cries out in pain for awhile, then asks Bart, “Why did you do that?”

“Its a standard stunt,” says Bart. There’s something about the delivery of those lines that is just gold.

When Bart and the class are at the box factory Bart decides to escape. He leaps into a laundry cart and hides beneath the laundry. After a few beats he leaps out again and walks out the EXIT door.

I just caught this one yesterday:

Bart & Homer are breaking into the school to steal grease from the traps in the kitchen. Groundskeeper Willie disturbs them (and after taking an Army-shower with Ajax and a Brillo pad) has this exchange:

Willie: Eek! I mean, ach! I mean … what are you doin’ here?
Homer: Uh, buh, buh, we’re new foreign exchange students from … uh, um … Scotland!
Willie: Saints be praised, I’m from Scotland! Where do ya hail from?
Homer: Uh … North … Kilttown.
Willie: No foolin’! I’m from North Kilttown! Do you know Angus McCloud?
Homer: Wait a minute! There’s no Angus McCloud in North Kilttown! Why, you’re not from Scotland at all!

Perfectly ironic!
btw, I hope I don’t get flamed for resurrecting (my own) 3 year old thread, but I’ve been noticing more and more of these types of gags in my endless re-watching of episodes. I don’t think the timeliness of this type of thread matters all that much and there are likely to be a few more Simpsons fans out there.

“Hello, this is Hugh Jass.”

A great joke. And I guess the greatness is the reason they reused it in a more recent episode (this season or last). :stuck_out_tongue:

“Marge, may I play Devil’s Advocate for a moment?”

Of course you can, says Marge – and so Homer heads downstairs, and starts trying to beat his high score on the pinball machine with those little painted demons on it.