The Simpsons/New Kid on the Block
New Kid on the Block is the eighth episode of the fourth season of The Simpsons, and the sixty-seventh episode overall. When the Simpsons' neighbors move away, they're replaced with a single mother and her teenage daughter, whom Bart falls madly in love with.
Homer's neighbors (not Flanders) are moving away and ask of Homer that he put on pants and throw out his old jack-o-lanterns so that they can sell their home despite him. Of course, Homer can't be bothered to do such things and winds up scaring away potential buyers by sitting naked in a child's swimming pool outside. He also steals the Winfields' prescription medicine and wire coat hangers before seeing an all-you-can-eat seafood restaurant commercial and declaring his intent to follow up on their offer.
In the Winfield basement, Bart and Lisa sneak around in the dark. Bart feeds his sister a line about a mutated boy living there and scares her off by flipping his eyelids up. He chuckles to himself, but before long he's confronted by a person shambling towards him, moaning "friend, friend!" Bart faints and sees his attacker and new neighbor, Laura Powers, when he comes to. He immediately falls in love with her, but fails to make a good first impression.
While Marge greets Ruth, Laura's mother, with a basket of homewarming gifts, Bart spends the afternoon with Laura, who is well aware of his entire repertoire of tricks. She also scares off two bullies and reads Bart's palm to see his future (which results in her spitting in his hand). He decides to never wash that hand again. That evening, Bart suggests that Laura babysit him and Lisa while Homer and Marge go to The Frying Dutchman. Of course, he takes his opportunity to try to be a ladies man and woo is new love interest, although Laura clearly isn't interested in his bubble pipe advances. She orders Iraqi food and teaches Bart how to waltz.
Meanwhile, Homer cleans out the all-you-can-eat buffet and is forcefully ejected from the premises even though he hasn't eaten all that he could. He vows to fight them on this and compares himself to Don Quixote. He goes to see Lionel Hutz, who says that it's the most blatant case on false advertising since his suit against The Neverending Story. While Homer seeks legal advice, Bart tries to get advice on women from his grandfather and later his father, but neither have much to say. He laments in bed about how he can't get Laura to notice him, but late that night, she taps on his window and bids him to come to the treehouse.
In the treehouse, Laura appears wearing a dress instead of the army jacket she's usually seen in and informs Bart that she has a boyfriend now: Jimbo Jones. Jimbo, the notorious bully, shows up outside the treehouse on his dirtbike and the two take off while Bart stands looking heartbroken. The next night, Laura is left to care for the kids while Homer sues the sea captain. They eventually settle for all the food he can eat, as long as Homer allows to become a freakshow for patrons under the name "Bottomless Pete."
Bart still isn't happy about this situation with Jimbo, but he's come up with a solution. He prank calls Moe and tells him that Jimbo Jones lives at his house. Moe runs straight to Evergreen Terrace with a rusty, dull knife to cut him with. Jimbo bursts into tears and pleads for his life, which sucks all of the fun out Moe's homicidal rampage. He runs back to the bar to find Barney sucking beer directly out of the tap.
Laura admits that if Bart were a little older, she'd go out with him and the two share another prank call to Moe's before the night is over.
- Blackboard: "I will not bring sheep to class." The final line cuts off at "sheep."
- Couch Gag: The family jumps on the couch, but their collective weight causes it to fall through the floor.
- First Appearance: This episode marks the first appearance of Captain Horatio McCallister, otherwise known as the sea captain.
Behind the Scenes
- Don Rickles Loses It: The original B Story was that Homer heads that Don Rickles is in town and excitedly goes to see him, but gets into a fight with Rickles when he becomes the subject of Rickles' insult comedy (although he was laughing uproariously at all of the other jokes). After the fight, the two are forced to settle things in court. Not only did Don Rickles not go along with the idea, but he was violently opposed to The Simpsons. When Matt Groening was at a FOX publicity event, he was introduced to Rickles by Rupert Murdoch and Rickles violently shook him, screaming that the Simpsons writers had stolen his Las Vegas act and transcribed it in the script.
- Second B-Story: After the Don Rickles subplot fell through entirely, Conan O'Brien had prepared as second one where Homer discovers that he's a gifted barber and starts taking night classes to becomes a certified hair stylist but it was cut by Sam Simon for unknown reasons.
- New Kid on the Block: This is the first episode of the series written by Conan O'Brien. Although, it wasn't written from one of his ideas, the story was dictated to him by Al Jean.
Allusions and References
- Studs: The television program Homer is watching at the beginning of the episode is a parody of the game show Studs. Much like its predecessors Love Connection and The Dating Game, the series took two men and had them go on dates with three different women. Then, when they're all brought back to the studio, the men have to guess which woman said what about him. The syndicated series was produced by Fox Television Studios and ran for three years in the early 90s.
- Northern Exposure: In the scene where Mrs. Winfield tells Homer that his garbage is attracting animals, a moose is seen rifling through the trash cans. This, and the music that plays when the moose tries to attack Homer, is a reference to the long-running dramedy Northern Exposure, which used a moose as something of a mascot because the series took place in Alaska.
- Miracle on 34th Street: During the trail against the sea captain, the blue-haired lawyer calls in several men with bags full of children's letters to Santa Claus. This stunt was pulled in the movie where a man claiming to be Santa Claus appealed a court order to have him permanently committed for his delusions.
- Moe: Yeah, just a sec; I'll check. Amanda Hugginkiss? Hey, I'm lookin' fer Amanda Hugginkiss. Why can't I find Amanda Hugginkiss?
Barney: Maybe your standards are too high!
Moe: [to phone] You little S.O.B. Why, when I find out who you are, I'm going to shove a sausage down your throat and stick starving dogs in your butt!