Simpsons, lawyer, necktie

In the Simpsons episode “Marge in Chains” from Season 4 (or 5…), there’s a courtroom scene where Lionel Hutz test’s the witness’ (Apu’s) memory, by turning his back and asking him what color necktie he’s wearing. Of course Apu nails it, and Hutz tries to wriggle out of it by removing his tie.

This rings all sorts of bells with me as being a parody of a famous movie scene. But doesn’t mention it, and the DVD commentary doesn’t help.

Anyone recognize the reference?

Maybe its just a generic homage to Perry Mason-style courtroom shows, where the true evil-doer was always caught out while testifying against the innocent man in the witness chair. It also sort of reminds me of a critical scene in the '80s movie The Bedroom Window where a “witness” is forced to reveal that they really didn’t witness anything through clever questioning, though there wasn’t a necktie or memory involved. Lionel Hutz fails to rattle Apu, because, naturally, he is the World’s Worst Lawyer.

"That’s why you’re the judge, and I am the law … talkin’ … guy. "

Wallace Shawn was questioning Steve Guttenberg about the object he was holding in his hand - he couldn’t see it b/c he didn’t have his glasses on. The killer saw the woman trying to mouth to Steve that it was a book, revealing that she was the real witness to the murder, so the killer knew whom to target next. (I had an Elizabeth McGovern phase there for a while)

“Free consultation? No! Money Down! That bar association logo probably shouldn’t be on there either…”

It’s been a staple of courtroom drama for a long time, and almost cliche by now.

In the movie of the musical CHICAGO, Richard Gere pulls something similar with the older woman witness.

Guys and Dolls: Nathan Detroit tried to get Sky Masterson into a sucker bet about whether Mindy’s sells more cheesecake or strudel (Detroit has acertained the answer in advance). Masterson refuses, puts his hand over Detroit’s tie, and says he’s willing to bet Detroit can’t name the color of his own tie. Detroit declines.

This is the same scene with the classic quote: "One of these days in your travels, a guy is going to show you a brand-new deck of cards on which the seal is not yet broken. Then this guy is going to offer to bet you that he can make the jack of spades jump out of this brand-new deck of cards and squirt cider in your ear. But, son, do not accept this bet, because as sure as you stand there, you’re going to wind up with an ear full of cider. "

Actually, IIRC, the tie tactic, though obviously transparent, actually works, and Apu admits he could’ve been wrong about what he witnessed.

But then Marge goes to jail…

Yes. Apu remembers the tie correctly, but with much effort Hutz hides it- it’s obviously in his sleeve, but nobody sees it. The tactic works, which is in itself ridiculous.

This kind of evidence was also the clinching piece of evidence in 12 angry men.

What, a tie up his sleeve? :wink:

Guys and Dolls! That’s it! So it wasn’t exactly a courtoom scene…
And the “earful of cider” quote is one of my favorite movie lines ever.

That’s one of my favourite Simpsons scenes ever.

Judge: “Mr Hutz, this verdict is written on a cocktail napkin, and it STILL says guilty…and guilty is SPELLED WRONG” :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

In late 1989, there was a multi-episode subplot on L.A. Law in which Micheal (Harry Hamlin) tries to defend an accused rapist/murderer, Earl Williams (Carl Lumbly). There are racial overtones since the accused is black and the victim was white. At one point Micheal confronts a witness who reported seeing a black man leaving the scene, tries to paint her as a bigot, then turns his back to her and challenges her to describe his tie. She gets the pattern wrong, letting Michael make the snarky remark “At least you got the colour right.”

Is that the episode with “I accidentally ran over his dog once.” then “well replace the word accidentally with repeatedly, and dog, with son.”?