[1F16] Burns' Heir

Burns' Heir                                            Written by Jack Richdale
                                                      Directed by Mark Kirkland
Production code: 1F16                       Original airdate in N.A.: 14-Apr-94
                                                  Capsule revision H, 22-Feb-97

Title sequence

Blackboard :- The pledge of allegiance does not end with hail Satan
              The pledge of allegiance does not end with hail/ at cutoff

Lisa's Solo:- None due to shortened intro.

Couch      :- OFF, ball-shaped, bounce into the living room, and unform
              when they land on the couch.

Did you notice...

Tony Hill:
    ... Homer blocks the smoke?
    ... Burns uses "harmless tobacco"?  (Aired the same day as the
        tobacco hearings in the U.S.  House.)
    ... Smithers' first reaction is to mourn, not to save Burns?
    ... Krusty hasn't changed in 12 years?

Don Del Grande:
    ... Chief Wiggum tells Ralph, "Now what are the two Es?  Enunciate
        and Energy!"?
    ... at the audition, Marge wears violet lipstick; in court, it's
        closer to red, which is what she usually wears?
    ... Homer's toilet paper rolls from the top?
    ... at dinner, nobody has knives; the only knife is in the middle of
        the table, to cut slices from the meat loaf?
    ... when Burns kicks Smithers, Smithers' glasses fly off -- and in
        the immediately following shot of Bart, his right eye pupil is
        noticeably larger than his left?
    ... the false Homer says "B'oh" and "Duh-oh"?
    ... Lenny is fired?  Who's going to hang out with Carl?

Ricardo Lafaurie:
    ... Homer has to catch ball-Bart?
    ... Burns' bathroom is remarkably brighter than the other areas of
        his manor?
    ... Burns wears a top hat while bathing?
    ... Burns' first words seem to be "You're fired"?
    ... the "dancer" waits while Burns reloads his gun?
    ... like in all previous run-ins with his boss, Homer screams upon
        seeing Burns onscreen?
    ... Burns seems to have completely forgotten that Bart saved his
        life?  (cf. 7F22)
    ... the shadows when Burns leaves the casa de Simpsons to suffer his
        fate alone?
    ... Bart never specified what kind of pizza he wanted?  [Perhaps
        that's a goof]
    ... Burns expects Bart to be able to reach the Jaws of Life even if
        he would be immobilized within the car if he crashed?
    ... when Homer threatens Burns to throw him out, the stairway looks
        like it has a door in it?
    ... Smithers dives into the hole?

Voice credits

- Starring
    - Dan Castellaneta (Homer, Abe, cockney boy, Krusty, midget, Quimby,
      Hans Moleman, actor Homer)
    - Julie Kavner (Marge)
    - Nancy Cartwright (Nelson, Bart)
    - Yeardley Smith (Lisa)
    - Hank Azaria (emcee, men on Greenpeace boat, Wiggum, Steve Austin,
      Moe, deprogrammer)
    - Harry Shearer (Burns, Smithers, Skinner, judge, Lenny)
- Special Guest Voice
    - Phil Hartman (Lionel Hutz)
- Also Starring
    - Pamela Hayden (Milhouse)
    - Russi Taylor (actor Marge, Martin)

Movie (and other) references

  + "Fatal Attraction"
    - Burns appears dead in the bathtub, then attacks Smithers
  + "Wavy Gravy"
    - Burns in the boat
  + George Lucas' "THX" sound
    - beginning of "Siskel and Ebert" movie
  + "Toys" promotional shot with Robin Williams
    - Burns standing in grassy field
  + "Easter Parade" {rc}
  + "Meet Me in St. Louis"
    - Martin's song at the audition -- with the wrong lyrics ("Ring ring
      ring went the bell" instead of the correct "Ding ding ding").
      (Original song written by Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane {th})
  + "The Little Drummer Boy"
    - Milhouse's audition
  + "A Christmas Carol"
    - young cockney boy says, "Why, today is Christmas Day, sir!"
  + "Sliver"
    - giant wall of TVs
  + "Taxi Driver"
    - Moe talking to himself in the mirror (cf. Robert DeNiro)
    "E.  T."  {th}
    - Bart's pulling up to Burns' mansion on his bicycle, set against
      the black driveway
  + "1984"
    - Hans is being deprogrammed in Room 101, just like in the book
  + "Big"/"Silver Spoons"
    - Bart showing Milhouse the house full of toys

Previous episode references

- [7G07] Bart lops the head off statues {ar}
- [8F13] Homer says "No matter what you do there's always someone who's
  better" to which Bart replies "Can't win.  Don't try."  (cf. Homer:
  "The lesson is, never try.")  {rl}
- [8F15], [1F05], [1F11] Quimby's womanizing {rl}
- [9F03] An underage Simpson drives a car (with difficulty) {ddg}
- [1F02] Homer & alliteration on the letter "B" ("The bee bit my bottom"
  cf. "The boot kicked Bart's butt") {ar}
- [1F06] Homer, about the fish: "He'll be back" (cf. Hutz about Skinner)

Freeze frame fun

- Siskel & Ebert, the Movie {rc}
    - "Two thumbs up" - Siskel & Ebert
- THX Sound System, The audience is listening {rc}
    - glasses shatter
    - teeth fall out
    - exit sign explodes
    - ceiling starts to fall down
    - man's head blows up
- Burns' Heir Auditions in Lilly Langtry Theater {rc}
    - All other go to Hell
- Seen on the hidden cameras: {ddg}
    - Homer's bathroom
    - Moe
    - Reverend Lovejoy in church (and in whatever you call what he wears
      in church) drinking from a (wine?) bottle
    - A couple (who look something like Mrs. Krabappel and Jacques from
      a distance) kissing
    - Chief Wiggum in the bath, wearing his police cap and playing with
      a rubber duck
    - Maude Flanders eating ice cream out of the carton
- Things on Bart's wild ride: {rc}
    - Fire hydrant
    - Mail box full of mail
    - Bales of hay
    - Santa's Christmas Village (sign)
    - Giant ornamental candy canes
    - Ornamental reindeer cutouts
    - A faux elf
    - A menorah
- Stores at the mall: {rc}
    - The Creamatorium (ice cream store)
    - Lionel Hutz
        - Also Expert Shoe Repair
    - Gum for Less
    - Shoes for Tots
- Itchy & Scratchy: "The Buck Chops Here"
- Conformco {rc}
    - Brain deprogrammers
    - A subsidiary of Mrs. Fields' Cookies
- The Happy Earwig Motel {rc}
    - Our crawlspace now body free

Animation, continuity, and other goofs

How can Burns be in his manor watching Homer and waiting for 5:00 when
he should be supervising his drones at work?  {rl}

The sponge Smithers puts on Burns' hat sinks instead of floating in the
bath.  {ddg}

How come Burns is strong enough to strangle Smithers?  Do you suppose
Smithers was humoring him?  {ar}

Martin's mother has blonde hair; in 8F24 ("Kamp Krusty"), it's blue.
(With blue hair, she looks something like "the first Marge" as drawn in
the book "Cartooning with the Simpsons".)  {ddg}

Why would Burns, a noted misanthrope, have a 200+ seat theater in his
home?  {th}

At the audition, Maggie is once again nowhere to be seen, yet Marge is
carrying her when they are walking out afterwards.  {ddg}

According to the 1994 World Almanac, the most expensive college
(including room and board) is Sarah Lawrence College; the most expensive
Ivy League school is not Harvard, but Yale.  {ddg}

Krusty reads the teleprompter paper in the 1982 show, but he was
illiterate then [7G12].  {ddg}

Burns' position changes when he walks out of the Simpson house with his
lawyers.  {vj}

How could Homer's voice be heard clearly while eating the flowers?  {vj}

Lionel Hutz is remarkably paler than in previous episodes.  {rl}

When Bart walks out, the plate that was on Maggie's high chair tray
disappears, and her chair moves from Bart's side of the table to
Homer's.  {ddg}

Bart skids his car sideways across a road, but the skid marks are drawn
as if he went straight.  {th}

"I want that thing out of my home" was a very un-Marge-like line.  {th}

Burns liked the movie "Sliver", but he described an "appalling piece of
filth" remarkably similar to that movie in 8F04.  {rl}


Jeffrey Ely: I thought it was much worse than a B-.  What bums me out
    about a lot of the recent episodes is that although there may be
    some great moments along the way, they are all built around a lame
    plot that's totally unoriginal, and doesn't fit with the Simpson's
    characters.  Bart gets an Elephant and Bart loves Burns are

Andrew Ross: BURNS' HEIR gets an A. Consistently funny and slightly
    poignant, like the Thanksgiving episode.  No gags that went on too
    long.  Three or four ROTFLS, and a decent ending, despite the
    mushiness over whether to drop Homer down the pit.

Ron Carter: [D-] Dare I say it?  Uninspired once again.  What was with
    Homer, and the flowers and the Chef Boy-ar-dee stuff?  And yeah,
    make sure we all know it's a ref to "Sliver" for the ref impaired.
    At least there was continuity throughout, and pacing (slow), but not
    much content.

M. Coale: Not nearly enough Burns and Smithers entendres, but I loved
    Lisa's commentary about our phallocentric society.  Us dopey grad
    students live for moments like that.  Overall: Middle of the pack.

Tony Hill: The plot in this episode was strong but somewhat predictable.
    The highlight was seeing Bart as his old nasty self.  The sight gags
    were funny but more contrived than ones from recent episodes.  The
    best line was obviously "I don't know what phallocentric means, but
    no girls!"  The couch gag was definitely the funniest of the season.
    I give it an A-.

Joey Berner: Hmmmmmmm....This one didn't seem to work very well for me.
    There were a few gags I liked (Burns kicking the football!) and some
    others, but the whole tone of this one was just not right.  The
    Simpson family once again doesn't seem to be acting like "The
    Simpsons".  I guess I'll have to give this one a "C".

Don Del Grande: (B+) Another episode where the description had "boring
    episode" written all over it, but the show proved otherwise.  (It
    might have rated an "A" had it not been for the parts that were
    pretty much predictable, like Burns telling Bart to fire Homer.

Yours truly: Maybe it was the fact that I watched it at two in the
    morning after a really hard day, but I found it unfunny.  The
    premise was silly, the jokes slow to develop, and I didn't find it
    satisfying.  I think it's worth an F.

Comments and other observations

Scenes Cut for Broadcast

Ricardo Lafaurie notes, "According to 3F31, one of the scenes cut out
    for this episode involved Burns throwing out Homer using a robotic
    Richard Simmons.  (And then, subsequently, the robot went berserk,
    attempting to attack Burns and Smithers).  This scene was cut,
    presumably because it was too long."

Famous people referred to

This episode featured references to Siskel And Ebert (American movie
    critics), Lillie Langtry (the British actress, 1853-1929), Bob
    Mackie (a clothes designer), Jane and Peter Fonda, Paul McCartney
    and his band "Wings", and Michael Caine (the real-life actor who was
    acting as Homer).  This list is due to Ron Carter {rc}.

Lee Majors

Tony Hill writes, "Lee Majors starred in `The Six Million Dollar Man' on
    TV in the 1970s.  He played a pilot who had two bionic legs, a
    bionic arm, and a bionic eye.  His schtick was jumping onto
    buildings, as Marge fantasized."

Orange Julius

Tony Hill says, "Orange Julius is a chain of fruit drink stores owned by
    International Dairy Queen of Minneapolis.  This is the fourth
    Minnesota reference this season."

"Let's All Go To The Lobby"

  + Ricardo Lafaurie says this is an actual song.  "In the `good old
    days' this song was used before a film to encourage people to use
    the snack bar.  It featured dancing candy boxes."

Quotes and Scene Summary

[Syndication cuts are marked in curly braces "{}" and are courtesy of
Ricardo Lafaurie and Frederic Briere.]

It's another day at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant.  Homer sits
idly at his work station, rolling a donut morosely back and forth.

Homer: [sighs] Lousy job.  Nothing exciting ever happens.
        [A fanfare plays; an emcee and a scantily clad woman appear]
Emcee: Congratulations, Homer Simpson!  You've just won the employee
Homer: Woo hoo!  What do I get?
Emcee: The job of industrial chimney sweep.
        [Silence; a "BIG WINNER!" sign flashes in the background]
Homer: Woo hoo!
-- Delayed reaction, "Burns' Heir"

The job consists of being strung from a crane with batting wrapped
around oneself and dipped into tall smokestacks.  Homer is pulled from
the chimney coughing from the soot -- "Hey!  This isn't such a great
prize" -- but he consoles himself with the fact that the big guys at the
top work even harder.

Cut to Mr. Burns sitting in his bathtub watching Homer on TV.  Burns
sports a top hat and cigar; an open bag of extra fancy potato chips
rests on a stool next to him.  Munching on a chip, he sighs, "Will five
o'clock _never_ come?"

   Burns: Careful, Smithers!  That sponge has corners, you know.
Smithers: I'll go find a spherical one, sir.
-- Mr. Burns takes a bath, "Burns' Heir"

Smithers leaves, putting the sponge on Mr. Burns' hat.  The weight of it
is too much for the feeble Burns, and he sinks slowly into the bath
water.  Fearing his death, his life flashes before his eyes.  A baby
Monty drinks from a bottle in a nanny's arms, but the milk is not to his
liking, and in a fit of pique, he fires her.  As a young man, Burns
shoots a gun at another man's feet, telling him, "Dance!"  The man does
so briefly, then stops while Burns reloads.

Man 1: All right!  We're finally going to stop those corporate pigs from
       dumping that nuclear waste!
Man 2: Oh, no!  Our boat is sinking!
Burns: It was I, you fools!  The man you trusted wasn't Wavy Gravy at
       all!  [tosses a guitar away] And all this time, I've been smoking
       harmless tobacco.
-- Burns foils Greenpeace, "Burns' Heir"

Wavy Burns jumps off the boat, pulls the cord to inflate his life
jacket, and swims off cackling.

Smithers returns to the bathroom.

Smithers: I got a mink chamois, sir, I hope it -- Oh my God!  Mr. Burns
          is dead!  [sobs] Why do the good always die so young?
   Burns: [rising from the water] You almost killed me!  [strangles him]
Smithers: Please...sir...[wraps a towel around him] You'll catch...
-- Devotion to duty, "Burns' Heir"

Later, Mr. Burns sits in front of the fire tended by Smithers.

   Burns: Smithers, do you realize if I had died, there would be no one
          to carry on my legacy.  Due to my hectic schedule and
          lethargic sperm, I never fathered an heir.  Now I have no one
          to leave my enormous fortune to.  No one.
Smithers: Ahem --
   Burns: You, Smithers?  Oh no, my dear friend.  I've planned a far
          greater reward for you.  When I pass on, you shall be buried
          alive with me.  [Opens a miniature coffin containing dead
          Burns and aghast Smithers]
Smithers: Oh...goody.
-- Contagious enthusiasm, "Burns' Heir"

The next scene is at a movie theater where "Siskel and Ebert: The Movie"
is playing.  The movie begins with a promo for THX sound which is
powerful enough to shatter Hans Moleman's glasses, break a man's teeth,
make an exit sign explode, pull plaster from the ceiling, and cause a
man's head to explode.  Everyone cheers anyway, except for Abe, who
calls, "Turn it up!  Turn it up!"

Instead of previews, Mr. Burns is shown in a large green field.

Burns: Hello, I'm Montgomery Burns.
Homer: Aah!
Burns: Now then, I'm looking for a suitable young male heir to leave my
       fortune to when I pass away -- my vast, vast, _vast_ fortune.
        [audience chatters]
Burns: Auditions will be tomorrow at my estate.  And now, our feature
       presentation!  [whispering from off camera]
       Oh, for -- oh, very well.  ["For He's a Jolly Good Fellow"
        [sings] Let's all go to the lobby,
       Let's all go to the lobby,
       Let's all go to the lobby,
       Get ourselves some snacks.
-- Shameless plugs for popcorn, "Burns' Heir"

The next night, at Burns' estate, every young boy in Springfield is
there with his parents, including Martin, Milhouse, Ralph, and Bart.  In
his private auditorium, Mr. Burns sits in a row by himself, the
illustrious Smithers holding a clipboard behind him.  First up on the
tryout list is Milhouse.

Milhouse: I have nothing to offer you but my love.
   Burns: I specifically said, no geeks!
Milhouse: But my mom says I'm cool...
   Burns: Next!
  Nelson: Gimme your fortune or I'll pound your withered old face in!
   Burns: Oh, I like his energy.  Put him on the callback list.
  Martin: [walks out as music begins]
          Clang, clang, clang went the trolley!
          Ring, ring, ring went the bell!
          Zing, zing, zing went my heartstrings -- oof!  [Nelson belts
   Burns: Thank you!  Give the bully an extra point.
-- The tryouts begin, "Burns' Heir"

    Lisa: [clears throat] I propose to you that your heir not need be a
          boy.  In this phallocentric society of ours --
   Burns: Er, I don't know what phallocentric means, but no girls!
Milhouse: [offstage, in drag] So much for Plan B.
-- Lousy four-syllable words, "Burns' Heir"

Next up is Bart.

Homer: That's it, boy: you're our last hope.
 Bart: Aw, I just don't want to be here, Dad.  Besides, I started a fire
       this morning that I really should keep an eye on.
-- Bart gets cold feet, "Burns' Heir"

Marge tries to steel his courage by reminding him that he'll have his
whole future provided for.  In her imagination, Bart walks across the
stage at Harvard to receive his diploma.  Marge watches proudly from the
audience until Lee Majors approaches her and asks her to come away with
him.  She readily agrees, and he carries her in his arms and leaps
bionically into the air.  Back in reality, Marge thinks she should stop
fantasizing about the bionic man, but says, "Ehh, one more."

Homer: OK, boy, I wrote down exactly what to say.  Just read it and
       you're a shoo-in!
 Bart: [walks onstage, squints at cue cards] Hello, Mr. ...Kurns.  I bad
       want...money now.  Me sick.
Homer: Ooh, he card-reads good.
 Bart: So pick please me, Mr. Burns.
Homer: {[calling from offstage] It's "Kurns", stupid!}
Marge: {No it's not!}
Homer: {Disregard.}
-- "Burns' Heir"

Burns is so frustrated at Bart's incompetence that he orders everyone
out except for Bart, who he orders one step to the left.  Bart complies,
only to have Burns turn some giant wheels to manipulate a boot to kick
him.  Homer can't contain his mirth -- "The boot kicked Bart!  It kicked
him right in the butt!" he laughs.

As the family walk down the driveway afterwards, Marge observes her
children's melancholy.

Marge: I think Bart and Lisa are feeling a little upset right now.
       Isn't there something you'd like to say?
Homer: There sure is.  Kids, you tried your best, and you failed
       miserably.  The lesson is, never try.  Heh heh heh -- right in
       the butt.  That was great.
-- A one-track mind, "Burns' Heir"

Burns, too, is dejected.  He sits in his office to mull things over.

   Burns: It's no use.  I guess I'll have to leave all my money to the
          Egg Advisory Council.  Eggs have gotten quite a bad rap
          lately, you know, Smithers.
           [A rock crashes through the window]
          Ooh, look!  A bird has become petrified and lost its sense of
Smithers: I think it's a rock, sir.
   Burns: We'll see what the lab has to say about _that_.
-- Rock, petrified bird...what's the difference?, "Burns' Heir"

Another petrified bird joins the first.  The two men go over to the
window to look for the flock, but instead they see Bart smashing windows
with reckless abandon.  "Why, that rapscallion is breaking all my
windows!" observes Burns.  And that's not all -- Bart wraps a loop of
hose around some statues' heads, puts the nozzle in a car, and turns the
water on, thereby popping the heads right off _and_ flooding the car.
To add insult to injury, Bart removes the "No Solicitors" sign from
Burns' gate; the results are immediate.

Burns: Heh heh, look, Smithers -- a creature of pure malevolence.  He's
       the perfect one to suckle at my proverbial teat.  [opens window]
       You there, boy!  What day is this?
  Boy: [cockney accent] Today?  Sir, why, it's Christmas Day!
Burns: I was talking to _him_.  You!  What day is this?
 Bart: Huh?
Burns: I'll tell you what day this is: today is the day you become my
        [Bart throws a rock which hits Smithers in the head]
       Ooh, I like him a _lot_.
-- "Burns' Heir"

[End of Act One.  Time: 7:56]

Homer signs the legal documents to make Bart Mr. Burns' heir in the
Simpson dining room as reporters look on.

Burns: Just sign here, and your son will stand to inherit my entire
Homer: Woo hoo!  We're rich!  Bart, get over to the mansion and open up
       all the windows.  We want to get the old people smell out before
       we move in.
 Lisa: Dad, Mr. Burns hasn't passed away yet.
Homer: Huh?  Oh, right.  So, I guess you're in OK shape, huh?  No heart
       problems or anything?
Burns: Well I --
Homer: Boo!
        [Abe collapses, struggling and groaning]
  Abe: [from the floor] I'm OK!
-- One way to find out, "Burns' Heir"

Burns leaves; the family see him off.

 Bart: Now that you've agreed to reap the windfall of my death, I must
       return to my large, empty mansion to rattle around and await the
       inevitable -- alone.
Marge: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Homer: Yeah.  Let's push him down the steps.
-- That's not it, "Burns' Heir"

Marge: Bart, since he is giving you all of his money, maybe it would be
       nice if you'd spend some time with him.
 Bart: Well...
Marge: Come on, honey.
 Bart: All right.
Homer: Aw, how come Bart gets to do that and I can't spend one night
       lurking in the bushes outside Chef Boy-Ar-Dee's house?
-- Just because, OK?, "Burns' Heir"

Bart goes over for dinner.  He sits at one end of a long table while
Monty sits at the other.

Burns: Bart, I know you children see me as some sort of "booger man",
       but I'm really not such a bad dude.  Oh, your milk's gone cold --
       I'll ring for the maid.
        [pushes a button; metal bars spring out around Bart's jaw and
       Oh, sorry -- wrong button.
 Bart: Uh...I think I'd like to go home.
Burns: Oh, this day, you can have anything you want to eat.  Even...some
       sort of gelatin dish.  It's made from hooves, you know.
-- Now _there's_ an appetizing thought, "Burns' Heir"

Bart asks for pizza delivered by Krusty the Klown.  Burns makes it so --
Krusty walks in with a pizza, then demands his $400.  Bart wonders how
Krusty can be on TV live and be delivering a pizza at the same time, and
Krusty tells him they just play a rerun, assuring him no one will no the
difference.  Too bad the rerun was the one from when the Falkland
Islands were invaded.

{Bart decides to stick around after dinner, and Burns takes him into a
room with lots of TVs.  Burns explains he has hidden cameras in every
home in Springfield.  "I got the idea from that movie 'Sliver' -- what a
delightful romp!"  He flips a switch, and the TVs light up.}

{One shows Moe talking to himself in a mirror, wearing fatigues.  "Are
you talking to me?  There's no one else here -- you _must_ be talking to
me!"  A gun in a spring-clip whizzes up his sleeve and smashes the
mirror.  Moe laments the destruction of his antique.}

{Another screen shows Homer sneaking into the bathroom, locking the
door, and eating the heads off flowers.  "So _that_ explains his
mysterious trip to Holland," Bart concludes.}

At home that night, Bart describes his evening to his family.

Bart: And I had the greatest time!  Mr. Burns' house has everything -- a
      hedge-maze, a moat, bleached hardwood floors, and a bottomless
Lisa: It couldn't possibly be bottomless.
Bart: Well, for all intents and purposes.
-- Intents and purposes such as?, "Burns' Heir"

The next day, at dinner, Bart is up to his usual antics.

       [Bart flicks a pea at Lisa]
 Lisa: Hey!  Mom!  Bart's throwing peas.
Marge: Bart, don't throw peas at your sister.
 Bart: Mr. Burns throws peas at Smithers.  [flicks another]
 Lisa: Ow!  That was a big one!
Marge: Homer, say something.
Homer: OK.  Lisa, quit getting in the way of your wealthy brother's
 Bart: Oh, yuck: meatloaf.  My most hated of all loafs.  [feeds his
       piece to SLH]
Homer: [gasps] That was the end piece!  That's it -- being abusive to
       your family is one thing, but I will not stand idly by and watch
       you feed a hungry dog.  Go to your room!
 Bart: No!  This family stinks!  Mr. Burns nurtures my destructive side
       -- I'm suffocating here!
Homer: {Bart, you listen --}
 Bart: {Oh, go eat some flowers!  [tosses some at Homer]}
Homer: {Aah!  My secret shame.}
-- "Burns' Heir"

{Bart walks out of the living room and} rides his bike off to Burns' in
a huff.  Burns watches his approach with delight.

Burns: Smithers, my plan worked perfectly.  Bart Simpson will live here
       as my son, and I will mold him in my own graven image.  Who knows
       -- I may even grow to...love him.
        [Bart runs up]
       Bartholomew!  [Bart hugs his legs]
       Smithers, get it off me!
-- Love, maybe, but no touching, "Burns' Heir"

Homer drives up in his car, right over Bart's bike, and orders Bart

Homer: Bart, you're coming home.
 Bart: I want to stay here with Mr. Burns.
Burns: I suggest you leave immediately.
Homer: Or what?  You'll release the dogs, or the bees, or the dogs with
       bees in their mouths and when they bark they shoot bees at you?
       Well, go ahead -- do your worst!
        [Burns slams the door and locks it]
        [disbelieving] He locked the door!  I'll show him -- [rings the
       doorbell and runs away]
-- Swish, "Burns' Heir"

Marge and Homer turn to the Springfield police for help.

 Marge: I'm very concerned.  Mr. Burns has stolen our son and he won't
        give him back!
Wiggum: Oh, for gosh g -- can't you people solve these problems
        yourselves?  I mean, we can't be, er, "policing" the whole city.
-- "Burns' Heir"

That avenue blocked, legal action seems the only recourse.  The Simpson
parents go to Lionel Hutz, who doubles as a law-talking guy and a shoe-
repair guy.

   Hutz: Well, you good folks can rest easy now because you've come to
         the very best in legal representation.
Skinner: Uh, excuse me, is there an Orange Julius stand on this floor?
   Hutz: I'll sell you this one, it's almost full.
Skinner: Well, why don't I drink out of a toilet bowl.
   Hutz: He'll be back.  And as for your case, don't you worry.  I've
         argued in front of every judge in this state -- often as a
         lawyer.  [drinks his Orange Julius]
-- Small comfort, "Burns' Heir"

But the court case does not go well.  The judge rules in favor of
Montgomery Burns, who is clearly the boy's biological father.  Hutz
repairs the judge's shoes despite losing the case.  Marge questions the
wisdom of hiring Lionel Hutz repeatedly.

[End of Act Two.  Time: 13:42]

The scene opens with Milhouse and Bart in a room full of toys.  Milhouse
shoots a basketball into a small hoop as a train chugs by, tooting its

Milhouse: Cool train!  Where does it go?
    Bart: Beats me.  But it won't be back for three hours and forty
          minutes.  Once it had snow on it.
-- The boys play with toys in Burns' mansion, "Burns' Heir"

Milhouse observes how Bart has everything he could ever want, while his
own parent use love as an excuse to deprive him of toys.  Milhouse
starts to leave Bart so he can be alone with his toys, but Bart tries to
bribe him with the Bob Mackie jacket he's wearing.  Milhouse declines.

Mr. Burns walks in and says, "Barthlomew, you don't need him.  I can be
your schoolyard chum."  To prove his point, he dons his old football
uniform and takes Bart out in the yard.  Bart stands back, ready to
catch the ball being held in place by Smithers, but as Burns runs at it,
he loses his energy and kicks Smithers instead.  They collapse in a

Mr. Burns ups the ante.

       [they walk towards a red sports car tied with a bow]
 Bart: For me?  But I don't know how to drive.
Burns: Pish, posh.  There's a Jaws of Life in the trunk.
-- "Burns' Heir"

Although Bart can't see over the dash, he floors it anyway, smashing
into a fire hydrant, a letter box, bales of hay, a "Santa's Christmas
Village" sign, some candy canes, reindeer, an elf, and a menorah.
Screeching to a halt, he sighs, "That was some ride," and the elf pops
up from the back seat: "You're telling me."

Marge and Homer resort to "Conformco Brain Deprogrammers."

Deprogrammer: Mr. and Mrs. Simpson, your son has clearly been
              brainwashed by the evil and charismatic Mr. Burns.
       Marge: Are you sure you can get him back for us?
Deprogrammer: Absolutely.  I'm the one who successfully deprogrammed
              Jane Fonda, you know.
       Marge: What about Peter Fonda?
Deprogrammer: Oh, that was a heartbreaker.  But I _did_ get Paul
              McCartney out of Wings.
       Homer: You idiot!  He was the most talented one.
-- Resting on his laurels, "Burns' Heir"

The deprogrammer speeds off to "The Happy Earwig Motel" and carries a
struggling blanket-covered figure inside.  "You do not love Mr. Burns!
You love Homer and Marge!  You are _their_ son!  What you are doing is
wrong.  Wrong.  Wrong!"  Mayor Quimby, in the next room in bed with a
woman, pounds on the wall.  "Do you mind?  You're killing the romance in

Homer and Marge pace anxiously outside the door of room 101 where the
deprogramming is taking place.

              [Deprogrammer walks out of the room]
Deprogrammer: Well, it was a gruelling two weeks -- but you have your
              son back.
               [Hans Moleman walks out]
        Hans: Mom, Dad, I missed you.
       Homer: Oh -- [kisses him a few times]
       Marge: Homer, that's Hans Moleman.
       Homer: Can I keep in anyway?  Huh?  Huh?
-- A welcome addition to any family, "Burns' Heir"

In Mr. Burns' mansion, he and the boy are seated in front of a giant TV
which shows Itchy & Scratchy in "The Buck Chops Here."

The cat and mouse are outside the US Mint in front of a "Tour" sign.
The two shake hands and walk in.  The first room has large money bags
piled on shelves, and Itchy wastes no time in grabbing one and pounding
Scratchy flat with it.  The nasty mouse throws the stunned cat on a
conveyor belt where he is rolled flatter, stamped with the pattern for a
bill, sliced up into individual notes, and stacked in a tray.  Itchy
grabs the piles of legal-tender Scratchy, throws them in an armored car,
and drives into a tycoon convention, wherein dogs in suits stand around
smoking cigars.  Itchy hands one of them a bill with which to light his
cigar, and the dog lights it.  As the flame burns closer to the pyramid
on the bill, the eye above the pyramid panics and screams.

Burns and Bart laugh uproariously.  Burns, however, continues to laugh
long after Bart has tapered off.  Bart grimaces as Burns asks, "Is all
TV this wonderful?"  Bart asks to go home, and Burns stops laughing

       Bart: Mr. Burns, I don't want to seem ungrateful, but I want to
             go home to my family.
      Burns: [sighs] I was hoping I wouldn't have to tell you this,
             but...I'm afraid your family doesn't want you back.
             [flicks a switch]
              [one of the TV monitors shows the Simpsons in the TV room]
      Homer: [not Homer's voice] I do not miss Bart at all.
      Marge: [not Marge's voice] I am glad he's gone.
       Lisa: [almost Lisa's voice] As am I.
      Homer: [drops a sandwich] B'oh!
       Bart: It's probably my imagination, but something about them
             didn't seem quite right.
      Burns: Really?  Excuse me for just a moment.
              [walks into a nearby room and shuts the door.  A TV set of
             the Simpsons living room has been set up.]
             People, that was all wrong.  Homer Simpson doesn't say
             "B'oh", he says [checks script] "D'oh"!
Actor Homer: [pulls mask off; looks like Michael Caine] Sorry, M.B., but
             I'm having trouble with this character.  Is he supposed to
             have some kind of neurological impairment, like "Rain Man",
             or "Awakenings"?  I mean, what the _hell_ am I doing here?!
Actor Marge: And this dialog has _none_ of the wit and sparkle of
             "Murphy Brown".
 Actor Lisa: [the midget Bart ran into] Hey, you know we are getting
             into golden time.
      Burns: Yes, well just get it right or you'll all be doing "Come
             Blow Your Horn" at the Westport Dinner Theater.
              [walks back out into the control room]
             All right, let's see what the old Simpson family is up to
Actor Homer: [drops sandwich] Duh-oh!
-- A tricky part to act, "Burns' Heir"

Bart is convinced this time.  "I can't believe it," he muses.  "You're
the only one I can trust...Dad," he says, reaching slowly towards Mr.
Burns.  As they hug, a loud snap is heard.  "Mmph, that rib _always_
breaks," laments Monty.

At the real Simpson homer, Marge looks at a baby picture of Bart and

       [Lisa tears off a strip of wallpaper]
Marge: Lisa, what are you doing?
 Lisa: Just trying to fill the void of random, meaningless destruction
       Bart's absence has left in our hearts.
        [Homer walks in; Lisa trips him]
Marge: Oh, that's sweet, honey.
-- "Burns' Heir"

Bart and Burns make a trip to the taylor's, where Bart is fitted out
with a suit just like his "father's".

       [Bart wears a suit and stands in front of a mirror]
 Bart: [strangled] It's a little tight...
Burns: Yes, that's to correct your posture.  Soon you'll have a mighty
       hump!  Now...you really are my son.  This calls for a
       celebration: let's fire some employees.
 Bart: _Ex_cellent.
-- Like father, like..., "Burns' Heir"

At the nuclear power plant, Bart and Burns stand in the latter's office.
Burns pushes a button, opening a sliding door through which Lenny walks.

Burns: OK, let's make this sporting, Leonard.  If you can tell me why I
       shouldn't fire you without using the letter "E", you can keep
       your job.
Lenny: Uh, OK.  Um, I'm a good...work...guy --
Burns: You're fired.
Lenny: But I didn't say --
Burns: [convinced certainty] You will.  [pushes a button]
Lenny: [falling through a trap door] EEEEeeeee!
-- Nostradamus would have been proud, "Burns' Heir"

Bart giggles and says, "Let me try one!"

          [Bart pushes a button; Homer walks in with an armful of
   Homer: Hey, the trail of donuts ended -- [gasps] Bart!
    Bart: [gasps] Homer!
   Burns: [gasps] What a coincidence!  And a perfect opportunity to
          prove your loyalty.  Go ahead, Bartholomew: you may fire when
    Bart: [groans]
   Burns: Hurry...fire him now or I'll disown you.  You'll lose
          everything: the fabulous toys, the lifetime of wealth and
          luxury, the gift certificate from Blockbuster Video -- the
          freedom to do whatever you want!
   Homer: I'll miss you, son.
    Bart: I'm sorry, Dad...you're fired!
   Burns: What?  Fire _me_?  That does it: you can _never_ be my son!
    Bart: A little to the left.
   Burns: Huh?  Oh, very well.  [moves] You can never be my --
           [Bart pulls a lever; Burns falls through a trap door] EEEeee!
Smithers: [jumping in afterwards] Sir, try to land on Leonard's carcass!
-- Cushioning the blow, "Burns' Heir"

At home, shortly afterwards...

Homer: Son, I know you're upset because you thought you saw us on TV
       saying we didn't want you in our family.  But those were just
       actors playing us!
 Bart: How do you know?
Homer: Because one of them hung out with me for a week trying to get my
       character down.
 Lisa: Yeah, me too.  That midget taught me a lot about his native
Marge: The point is, the real Simpson family missed you a lot and we're
       really glad you're home.  [kisses him]
 Bart: I love you guys.
Homer: Right back at you, son.
        [they all hug]
       And now I want you to meet your new brother: Hans Moleman.
        [Hans walks in dressed like Bart, holding a skateboard]
 Hans: Cowabunga, dudes.
        [Homer kisses him repeatedly]
Homer: Try it.  It's like kissing a peanut!  Heh heh heh.
-- An enigmatic simile, "Burns' Heir"

[End of Act Three.  Time: 21:18]

After the scene fades to black, Homer continues to kiss Hans, but Marge
says, "Homer, I want that thing out of my house."


   {rc}  Ron Carter
   {ddg} Don Del Grande
   {th}  Tony Hill
   {vj}  Vaughn Jett
   {rl}  Ricardo Lafaurie
   {ar}  Andrew Ross
This episode summary is Copyright 1997 by James A. Cherry.  Not to be
redistributed in a public forum without permission.  (The quotes
themselves, of course, remain the property of The Simpsons, and the
reproduced articles remain the property of the original authors.  I'm
just taking credit for the compilation.)