[9F22] Cape Feare

Cape Feare                                                 Written by Jon Vitti
                                                         Directed by Rich Moore
Production code: 9F22                        Original airdate in N.A.: 7-Oct-93
                                                  Capsule revision K, 22-Feb-97

Title sequence

Blackboard :- The cafeteria deep fryer is not a toy.
              The cafeteria d/ at cutoff.

Lisa's Solo:- Traditional -- recycled

Couch scene:- Chorus line -- recycled from 9F08

Did you notice...

    ... the mouse that ran into the room from a mousehole under the
        stairs when Homer hands Bart the second letter?
    ... the song dedicated to Bart is "Wipeout"?
    ... Sideshow Bob is writing to "Life in These United States" in
        "Reader's Digest"?
    ... having only three fingers, Sideshow Bob has to spell "LOVE" and
        "HATE" using "LUV" and "HAT" (bar over the A)?
    ... one of the FBI agents has a "WRP" (Witness Relocation Program)
        coffee mug?
    ... the Simpsons use a "U-TOW" trailer to move?
    ... the family are singing along to "Three Little Maids" from "The
    ... Homer wears a WRP hat and shirt while playing incognito?
    ... the "Playbill" Bart was reading has Sideshow Bob on the cover?

Don Del Grande:
    ... Bart's clock radio is set to 97.3 FM?
    ... the version of "Wipeout" isn't by the Surfaris?
    ... Moe's phone number ends in 39943?
    ... Bart's bedtime on the houseboat is 7 PM?
    ... Maggie isn't mentioned by name the entire episode?

Scott A. Mankey:
    ... there is a picture of President Clinton behind the parole board
        and in the WRP office?
    ... the sailboat painting was behind the couch on their houseboat?
    ... the little sign when the cops arrest Sideshow Bob says
        "Springfield City Limits"?

Juha Terho:
    ... Scratchy has his hands in his pockets (even when he doesn't have
        any pockets)?
    ... when Ned is cutting the hedge, his glasses slide down and he
        pushes them back up with his finger razors!
    ... the panda boxes have Chinese characters on them?
    ... the panda guys are Burns' hired goons?
    ... there is a crate of Duff in the panda room?
    ... Jasper is the only one in the parole board audience who doesn't
        raise his hand?

Brett Davinger:
    ... Sideshow Bob doesn't mention Rod and Todd Flanders when he was
        mentioning the people he was not going to kill?

Voice credits

- Starring
    - Dan Castellaneta (Homer, Abe)
    - Julie Kavner (Marge, Patty, Selma)
    - Nancy Cartwright (Bart, Nelson)
    - Yeardley Smith (Lisa)
    - Hank Azaria (General Krull, Marty, Wiggum, Lou, Moe, Snake, parole
      officer, Ernest, vigilante, FBI Agent)
    - Harry Shearer (McBain's announcer, McBain, Flanders, Lawyer,
      parole officer, FBI Agent, Jasper)
- Special Guest Voice
    - Kelsey Grammer (Sideshow Bob)
- Also Starring
    - Pamela Hayden (Anya, Milhouse, parole officer)
    - Marcia Wallace (Mrs. Krabappel) [not credited - ed]
    - Russi Taylor (Martin, Sherri & Terri) [not credited - ed]

Movie (and other) references

    Late night talk show wars (see below)
  + "Say Anything" with John Cusack {rc}
    - the title of the I&S cartoon
  + "Goldfinger"/James Bond
    - the spaying method in the I&S cartoon
    - the music in the background
  + "Nightmare on Elm Street"/"Edward Scissorhands"
    - Flanders' hedge clippers
    "Night of the Hunter" {ar}
    - LUV and HAT on Bob's hands
    - several people said this was from Rocky Horror Picture Show, but
      Night of the Hunter predates Rocky Horror
  + "Cape Fear"
    - episode title
    - Hawaiian shirt worn by Sideshow Bob
    - laughing loud in the movie theater, smoking a cigar
    - bodily tattoos
    - string tied through house (attached to a doll)
    - the Robert Mitchum-lookalike vigilante
    - concealing oneself by being strapped under a moving car
    - the Bernard Herrmann-esque music score {slp}
  + "The Naked Gun" {bd}
    - Bob gets trampled by a parade, just like the bad guy at the end of
      "Naked Gun"
  + "Psycho"
    - lots of bird's-eye camera shots
    - Sideshow Bob at the Bates Motel in Terror Lake
    - the stuffed animals in Sideshow Bob's room
  + "Texas Chainsaw Massacre"/"Friday the 13th"
    - Homer's new chainsaw and hockey mask

Previous episode references

- [7G12] A-113, and Bart to cops: "Take him away!"  {jt}
- [8F20] Bart and Lisa: "Aah!  Sideshow Bob!"  {jt}
- [8F20] The brief marriage of Selma and Sideshow Bob
- [9F01] Scratchy's extending tongue {jt}
- [9F03] Scratchy gets sliced to pieces {jt}
- [9F14] The stamping of the "PAROLED" on Bob's record is straight from
  9F14 - "VOID" on Homer's driver's license {jt}
- [9F16], [9F18] Abe cross-dressing
- [9F18] Bart the chimney-sweep (c.f. cockney bootblack in 9F18)
- [9F18] Abe's adoration of Matlock {jt}

Freeze frame fun

- Sideshow Bob's "Things to do..." list:
    - Threaten Bart
    - Do Laundry
    - Buy Corn Holders
- Notes on the kitchen table: {rc}
    - DIE!  DIE!
    - I KILL YOU SCUM (in black ink, not blood)
    - DIE!  DIE!  DIE!  {jt}
    - YOU ARE GOING TO DIE!  {jt}
    - YOU'RE DEAD BART {jt}
    - I'M GOING TO KILL YOU {jt}
    - BART WILL DIE {jt}
- Sideshow Bob's prisoner number is 1211
- Snake is reading "PlayDude" {rc}
- The sign outside Springfield Penitentiary: "America's Fastest Growing
- Marge's coupon reads "DIET COLA 75c OFF!"  {jt}
- The Springfield seal (in a heraldic shield): {rc}
    - star in upper left
    - ear of corn (!!!) in upper right
    - beaver in lower left
    - radiation symbol in lower right
    - laurels left and right sides, crossed swords center top
- Sideshow Bob was booked under number A113
- The movie was "Ernest Goes Somewhere Cheap": the library
- Homer's cigar was from "Knoxville World's Fair 1983"
- Sideshow Bob's tattoos:
    - "Die Bart, Die"
    - skull and crossbones on left arm
    - Bart's head on a skateboard; "Ouch Man!"
    - LUV one one hand, HAT (long A) on the other
- "The Aristocrat bar" is where the vigilante whines at Bob {rc}
- Homer's John Elway fantasy: {rc}
    - Stadium signs:
        - Laramie
        - KBBL
        - KNBO
        - Duff Beer
    - Fans' signs
        - Hi Mom
        - Go Elway
        - I Like Football
        - John 3:16
        - Go Denver
    - Final score of Superbowl XXX: Denver 7, San Francisco 56
- "Ma's and Pa's" (OPEN) store in Terror Lake {jt}
- When the elephant steps on Sideshow Bob's head, his eye becomes
  completely unattached from his body for one frame.

Animation, continuity, and other goofs

How come Bart doesn't age through Sideshow Bob's two prison sentences?
(True, robbing the Kwik-E-Mart is only a 30-day sentence...) {ddg}

The prison name changes from "Springfield Prison" to "Springfield State
Penitentiary".  {ddg}

Moe's phone number ends in 39943, but the tones emitted from the phone
while Lisa dials it don't match the numbers she dials.  {ddg}

Sideshow Bob's prison uniform has number 1211, but the picture on the
form stamped "PAROLED" is numbered A113 (wasn't that Krusty's prison
number in "Krusty Gets Busted"?  And I thought only Brad Bird episodes
used A113).  {ddg}

What are Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa doing watching the same movie?
(Remember "Colonel Homer"?)  And where's Mag-er, uh, "little baby
Simpson"?  {ddg}

Sideshow Bob's "LUV" and "HAT" tattoos only appear when he's bench
pressing weights.  {ddg}

When the detective pours liquor into his shot glass, shouldn't the image
of Homer through it change?  (Besides changing color...) {ddg}

When Homer drives through the cactus patch, why don't the cacti puncture
the tires?  {ddg} (Dave Schaumann says, "While some varieties of cacti
do have very stout thorns, the majority would not be able to puncture a
steel-belted radial.")

How does the houseboat manage to maneuver the bends in the river if
nobody is steering?  {ddg}

Bart requests "The H.M.S.  Pinafore" and Sideshow Bob doesn't correct
him; there's no "The" in the title (unlike "The Pirates of Penzance" and
"The Mikado").  {ddg}

No wonder Marge growls a lot - her shoes are much longer and narrower
than her feet.  (Unlike, say, in "Selma's Choice"...) {ddg}

Maggie's clothes keep getting lighter (the sea air?), but her hair bow
is always the same shade of blue.  {ddg}

Russi Taylor and Marcia Wallace do not get credited for doing voices,
yet it sounded like their voices.  {ddg]

When we first see Sideshow Bob (at the end of Act One), from one angle
(during the pan from his hands to his face) Snake is nowhere to be seen.
(In the next scene, he appears ["Use a pen, Sideshow Bob."].)  {jt}

How does the guy load his gun in the "I can be very persuasive" scene
with one hand?  {jt}

When the Thompsons drive through the cactus patch, the path they create
is visible before they drive over it.  {jt}

What is Mrs. Glick doing at Terror Lake?  (She drives the car Bob was
hiding under in the parade scene.)  {jt}

In the rake scene, the same cactus burr flies off Bob twice.  {jt}


Andrew Ross: Used to be, this was a funny show.  Now, it's one big
    inside joke.  Like someone posted before, not ha-ha funny.

Ron Carter: I loved this one...Lots of refs, not too many awkward
    moments at all, and a second show opener (The Thompsons) with
    another couch gag(!) was a nice touch, especially after I groused to
    myself about the repeat in the first couch gag ("Only the second
    show, and they are already doing repeat couch gags!")
    I give it a grade of: "A" Superbly done...

Ray Charbonneau {rc2}: (Re: Boy did that rake sequence suck!)  That is
    the developing 'problem' with The Simpsons.  Too many jokes
    unrelated to plot development.  No matter how funny these jokes are,
    they disrupt the flow of events that draw you into the show.  And
    when they're not funny (like the rake incident), ouch!  (I liked the
    toilet seat joke though.)
    Soon, if this continues, the show will only be two or three times as
    good as anything else on TV.

Scott A. Mankey: I also thought the rake sequence went on waaaay too
    long.  I thought this whole episode was a little too cartoonish, and
    not enough "Simpsonish".  Impossible, silly things like all the
    props for singing HMS Pinafore (including the playbill), driving
    thru the cactus patch, everybody menacing Bart (e.g., Ned Flanders
    ala Freddy Krueger), etc., etc.  I also thought it was unsubtle
    cartoon humor when Sideshow Bob was announcing who he wasn't going
    to kill, and when he got stomped on by the parade.  I don't want
    "Bugs Bunny", I want the Simpsons.

Marc Y. Wasserman: This was a very good episode, and I liked the Cape
    Fear references, but what was that with the rakes?  First off, where
    did the rakes come from, and secondly, why was it over a minute

Jacob Weinstein: I thought this was a damned funny episode, which was a
    relief, since I was disappointed by the season premiere.  I watched
    Cape Feare twice, with two different groups of people, and the rake
    sequence had me and everybody else in hysterics both times.  I have
    no idea why it was so funny, but it was.  I thought they kept the
    HMS Pinafore thing fresh by making various gags with what Bart was
    I also loved the "The Thompsons" opening sequence.

Juha Terho: B-.  Would have been B+ without some unrealistic scenes and
    the rake sequence.  The funniest thing must be Ned pushing his
    glasses back with the razors!

Yours truly: I laughed hard at certain parts, but overall I wasn't
    impressed -- at first.  Then, after watching it a couple more times,
    it grew on me.  I particularly liked the Gilbert and Sullivan, being
    a fan of their stuff.  Overall, then, not bad.

Comments and other observations

The episode's official title

Matthew Kurth received the following in email from Bill Oakley: "The
    complete, official title of this is (if I recall it correctly):
    `Cape Feare: Not Affiliated with the Film "Cape Fear."'"

Up Late with McBain

There are disagreements on which talk show this most closely resembles.
    Many say Conan O'Brian show (obvious since Conan is affiliated with
    the Simpsons), some say Chevy Chase (since he was on FOX), I say
    Arsenio Hall (stage layout).  It could even be Johnny Carson (the
    announcer says, "Heeee'res McBain!", the curtains in the
    Ron Carter comments, "It has all the earmarks of the old Tonight
    Show (a sidekick) as well as Arsenio (touching fingers with the
    bandleader) but you just know that OFF writers couldn't pass up a
    chance to make a joke about one of their own..."
    Torsten Kracke also notes, "This is one of the unaired episodes in
    Germany, maybe because of the Announcer of `Up Late with McBain'
    having a swastika on his uniform.  It's not allowed to use this
    symbols in Germany without historic background.  That is also the
    reason why games as `Castle Wolfenstein' or the american version of
    `Doom II' are _forbidden_ in Germany!"

Squirrels in pants

David Evans gives insight into this joke by quoting from Harper's, Nov.
    1992, an article entitled "In Praise of Ferret Leggers": "Basically,
    ferret-legging involves the tying of a competitor's trousers at the
    ankles and subsequent insertion into those trousers of a couple of
    peculiarly vicious fur-coated, foot-long carnivores called ferrets.
    The brave contestant's belt is then pulled tight, and he proceeds to
    stand there in front of judges as long as he can, while animals with
    claws like hypodermic needles and teeth like number 16 carpet tacks
    try their damnedest to get out."

Sideshow Bob's German

Torsten Kracke points out that "Sideshow Bob's German is quite bad,
since `Die Bart, die' is complete nonsense in German.  The praeposition
`die' declares the gender of the following word as female or plural.
E.g.  `The Simpsons' is called `Die Simpsons' here and you could say
`Die Lisa, die', but it would still sound very strange.  `The Bart, the'
would translate as `Der Bart, der'."

The infamous "rake sequence"

Opinions on the how funny the long sequence of Sideshow Bob stepping on
    the rakes was were VERY polarized.  Much discussion took place.  In
    the end, here's how some people stood:
    Those against: Andrew Ross, Scott Mankey, Ray Charbonneau, Steve
    Portigal, Tom Wood, Carl Wuebker, Neil Hepburn, and Charles Don
    Those for: Jason Miller, Jacob Weinstein, J. Paschel, Josh Bliss,
    John Kupec, Scott Hollifield, Anil Prasad, and John Wood.

Alan Rosenthal comments in email, "Regarding the rake sequence: The
    basic premise seems to be that just as Sideshow Bob was a slapstick
    stooge in Krusty's show, he ends up getting into slapstick kinds of
    trouble in real life."

Juha Terho says, "The first rake scene lasted 26 seconds - in the whole
    episode, Bob got hit by a total of ten rakes.  Yawn."

Grampa Simpson and his pills

This is the third time Grampa's feminine side has been alluded to.
    Once, he was a belle from the Old West, and another time, he was a
    cabaret singer in Nazi Germany.  This time was more extreme than the
    last two: instead of just cross-dressing, Grampa appeared to have
    actually become a woman.  In any case, Peter Cucinell notes, "they
    always end his little cross dressing piece with the theme from
    something really American tacky.  I think it's the dating game, or
    Love American Style," and Ron Carter says it's the latter theme.

Quotes and scene summary

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

On the TV...

Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, it's "Up Late with McBain".  I'm your
           announcer, Corporal Obergruppenfuehrer Wolfcastle.  And
           heeere's McBain!
   McBain: Ja, thank you, ja, that's nice.  Let's say hello to my music
           guy, Skoey.  [Skoey bows] That is some outfit, Skoey.  It
           makes you look like a homosexual.
            [Audience boos]
           Whoa, maybe you all are homosexuals too!
     Bart: This is horrible.
     Lisa: The FOX network has sunk to a new low.
-- Thank God for FOX, "Cape Feare"

Marge comes in with the mail.

Marge: Lisa, you got a letter.
 Lisa: It's from my pen-pal Anya!  [reads]
 Anya: [voice over] Dear Lisa, as I write this, I am very sad.  Our
       president has been overthrown and
        [voice changes to that of a man]
       replaced by the benevolent general Krull.  All hail Krull and his
       glorious new regime!  Sincerely, Little Girl.
-- Hmm, sudden tone change, "Cape Feare"

Bart gets a letter as well.  Except it's only five words: "I'M GOING TO
KILL YOU", scrawled in thick red ink.  Bart quakes.  Scene switches to a
pair of hands, the left one holding a pointed knife.  The knife is used
to prick a finger on the right hand, drawing blood.  A "Things to do"
list shows "Threaten Bart" and "Do laundry" written in blood, and both
items get checked off -- in blood.  As an afterthought, "Buy corn
holders" is added to the list.

Just then, an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon, "Spay Anything", comes on the
TV.  Itchy stands in front of a sign, "WE PAY YOUR PETS $75", at
"Itchy's Cat Hospital", and Scratchy walks by.  Envisioning a quick
profit, Scratchy rushes into the building.  Itchy follows him in, to
reveal an "S" in front of "PAY" that was formerly concealed.  Scratchy
is shackled onto a table by two big canine orderlies, and Dr. Itchy
turns on the spay ray!  Slowly, slowly, the ray inches closer to
Scratchy's doodle.  Frantically, he glances over and sees the plug
nearby!  Magically, his tongue extends towards the plug, pulling it from
the wall in the nick of time.  Just then, Dr. Itchy returns and
reinserts the plug.  The spay ray slices Scratchy to bits which slide
off the table...Scratchy's eyes blink twice, convulsively, as the life
seeps from his body.

Lisa is very amused, but Bart feels the specter of the letter writer
cast a shadow over his heart.

Homer reads another letter and panics for a moment, but then he realizes
it's for Bart: "DIE BART DIE", again in red ink.  Many letters are shown
laid out on the table, all in red ink, except for one conspicuous
letter, which says "I KILL YOU SCUM" in black ink instead of red.  Homer
confesses having written it after Bart somehow put a tattoo reading
"WIDE LOAD" on Homer's butt.  Everyone laughs hard, even Marge.  Nelson
happens to be at the window, and he laughs too.

But who'd want to hurt me?  I'm this century's Dennis the Menace.
-- Bart, "Cape Feare"

Homer suggests, "It's probably the person you least suspect," but Lisa
doesn't think much of that idea.

 Abe: I say we call Matlock.  He'll find the culprit.  It's probably
      that evil Gavin MacLeod or George "Goober" Lindsay.
Bart: [dismissively] Grampa, Matlock's not real.
 Abe: Neither are my teeth, but I can still eat corn on the cob, if
      someone cuts it off and smushes it into a fine paste.  Now that's
      good eatin'!
-- Matlock and corn: good by themselves, twice as good together, "Cape

Um, I checked around.  The girls are calling you "fatty-fat fat fat",
and Nelson's planning to pull down your pants, but...nobody's trying to
kill ya.
-- Milhouse the informer to Bart, "Cape Feare"

Just then, Nelson pulls down Bart's pants, and a horde of kids suddenly
appear, chanting "Fatty-fat fat fat!" in unison.

[cheerfully] All right, this is dedicated to Bart Simpson, with the
message, "I am coming to kill you slowly _and_ painfully."
-- Marty, the wacky radio DJ, "Cape Feare"

          [Scene shows Marge in the kitchen]
   Marge: [threateningly] Bart, I am going to _get_ you...[brandishes
          some scissors]
    Bart: [gasps]
   Marge: [cheerfully] ...some ice cream at the store, since I'm saving
          so much money on Diet Cola!  [holds up a coupon]
           [Scene switches to Flanders outside]
Flanders: [threateningly] Say your prayers, Simpson...[brandishes a
          glove with knives on the fingers]
    Bart: [gasps]
Flanders: [cheerfully] ...because the schools can't force you like they
          should!  [clips the hedge] Maude, these new finger razors make
          hedge trimming as much fun as sitting through church.
           [Scene switches to Bart's classroom]
    Edna: [threateningly] You're going to be my murder victim, Bart...
    Bart: [gasps]
    Edna: [sweetly] ...in our school production of "Lizzie Borden",
          starring Martin Prince as Lizzie.
           [Shot of Martin in drag]
  Martin: [with an axe] Forty whacks with a wet noodle, Bart!
-- They're all out to get you, "Cape Feare"

Marge appeals to Chief Wiggum for action, but the Chief is reluctant.

Wiggum: I'd like to help you ma'am, but, heh heh, I'm afraid there's no
        law against mailing threatening letters.
 Marge: [indignantly] I'm pretty sure there is.
Wiggum: Hah!  The day I take cop lessons from Ma Kettle --
   Lou: Hey, she's right, Chief.  [shows him "Springfield Law"]
Wiggum: Well, shut my mouth.  It's _also_ illegal to put squirrels down
        your pants for the purposes of gambling.
         [Shot of Eddie the cop with squirrels running around in his
        pants, and a bunch of cops watching and laughing]
        Boys, knock it off!
-- The perks of being a man in blue, "Cape Feare"

Meanwhile, Lisa's been thinking.

Lisa: Bart, I figured it out!  Who's someone you've been making
      irritating phone calls to for years?
Bart: Linda Lavin?
Lisa: No, someone who _didn't_ deserve it.
-- As long as it's cheaper than 555-CORY, "Cape Feare"

It's Moe!  Lisa calls up, tells Moe that they know he's behind it, and
curtly informs him to knock it off.  Moe assures her he'll take care of
it.  He releases the pandas he's been holding captive.

Bart thinks more on his predicament.  "You're out there somewhere," he
says, but implores, "Where?  Where?"  That "somewhere" is the
Springfield State Prison, and the someone is...

...Sideshow Bob!

Bob is writing another letter, "SEE YOU SOON BART".  Afterward, he
decides to write to "Reader's Digest".

  Bob: [narrating aloud] Dear "Life in these United States", a funny
       thing happened to me...uh...[faints]
Snake: Use a pen, Sideshow Bob.
-- The pen is mightier than the sword -- except when it runs out of
    blood, "Cape Feare"

[End of Act One.  Time: 6:08]

At the parole hearings, the committee grants parole to Snake, the
reformed convict.  Next up is "Bob Terwilliger, a. k. a.  Sideshow Bob."
Sideshow Bob says goodbye to his cellmate.

  Bob: Take care, Snake.  May the next time we meet be under more...
       _felicitous_ circumstances.
Snake: [not understanding] Guh?
  Bob: Take care.
Snake: Buh.
-- Never made it to grade 10, "Cape Feare"

In the court room, Sideshow Bob's parole hearing is underway.  Chief
Wiggum takes the stand.

Wiggum: [miffed] Sideshow Bob has no decency.  He called me "Chief
         [everyone laughs]
        Heh, now I get it.  That's good.
-- Guess you _didn't_ have to be there, "Cape Feare"

Selma's up next, and she explains, "Sideshow Bob tried to kill me on our
honeymoon."  The crowd whispers among themselves, shocked at the
revelation.  But Bob's lawyer asks craftily, "How many people in this
court are thinking of killing her right now?"  A few spectators glumly
put their hands up.  "Be honest," he admonishes, and many more hands go
up, even a priest's.  Even Patty raises her hand: "Aw, she's always
leaving the toilet seat up."

 Lawyer: Robert, if released, would you pose any threat to one Bart
    Bob: [barely in control] Bart Simpson?  Ha!  The spirited little
         scamp who twice foiled my evil schemes and [maliciously] sent
         me to this dank, urine-soaked hellhole?
Officer: Uh, we object to the term "urine-soaked hellhole" when you
         could have said, "peepee-soaked heckhole".
    Bob: Cheerfully withdrawn.
-- We aim to please, "Cape Feare"

But the lawyer presses on.

 Lawyer: But what about that tattoo on your chest?  Doesn't it say, "Die
         Bart, Die?"
    Bob: [conciliatorily] No, that's German for "The Bart, The."
          [The spectators laugh, understanding]
Officer: No one who speaks German could be an evil man.
-- Remember World War II?, "Cape Feare"

Sideshow Bob's parole is granted.  With his new-found freedom, Bob
decides to catch a movie, "Ernest Goes Somewhere Cheap."  Showing
flagrant disregard for the other patrons, Bob smokes a cigar openly and
cackles loudly at the inanity on the big screen.

The Simpsons, too, are at the movie.  Marge is nonplussed: "That man is
so rude."  Homer concurs, moving his own cigar deftly with his lips from
the right side of his mouth to the left.  Homer taps Bob on the
shoulder, warning him, "If you don't mind, we're trying to watch the
movie!"  Just then, Ernest gets his head stuck in a toilet, and Homer
can't contain his mirth.  Now it's Bob's turn to be nonplussed.  He
turns angrily to Homer to berate him.

Bart+Lisa: Aah!  Sideshow Bob!
     Bart: _You_ wrote me those letters.
    Marge: You awful man!  Stay away from my son.
      Bob: Oh, I'll stay away from your son, all right.  [evilly] Stay
    Homer: [quaking] No!
      Bob: Wait a minute, that's no good.
            [Starts to walk away, then runs back]
           Wait!  I've got a good one now.  Marge, say, "Stay away from
           my son," again.
    Marge: [angrily] No!
      Bob: [groaning] Oh...
-- I hate it when that happens, "Cape Feare"

Bob angrily prepares to carry out some dastardly plan.  He pumps iron
and even participates in a TV exercise program, turning, flexing,
shaking, and bouncing.

Meanwhile at the Simpson home, Chief Wiggum helps the family set up an
elaborate network of trip strings attached to a Krusty doll.  He assures
them the trap is infallible.

  Wiggum: Now Sideshow Bob can't get in without _me_ knowing.  And once
          a man is in your home, anything you do to him is nice and
   Homer: [nefariously] Is that so?  [calls out window] Oh, Flanders!
          Won't you join me in my kitchen?  Heh, heh, heh...
  Wiggum: Er, it doesn't work if you invite him.
Flanders: [effusively] Heidily hey!
   Homer: [truculently] Go home!
Flanders: [congenially] Toodily doo!
-- Coulda worked, though, "Cape Feare"

Homer decides to enlist the help of a local vigilante.

Man: Now don't you fret.  When I'm through, he won't set foot in this
     town again.  I can be very, _very_ persuasive.  [reloads his gun]
      [Scene change to a bar]
Man: [whining] C'mon, leave town!
Bob: No.
Man: I'll be your friend?
Bob: No.
Man: Aw, you're mean!
-- How to Win Arguments and Influence People, "Cape Feare"

Sideshow Bob becomes more daring.  He drives through the neighborhood in
an ice cream truck, naming the people he won't kill.  When he gets to
the Simpson house, he mentions every name except Bart's, even "that
little baby Simpson".  Homer is overjoyed his life won't be snuffed out,
and he races up to impart the good news to Bart, but Bart only looks

Finally, the Simpsons resort to the FBI's Witness Relocation Program.
They promise the Simpsons a new name, a new job, and a whole new
identity.  Homer fantasizes about becoming John Elway, but Marge isn't
sure it's such a good idea.  Homer tries to convince her: "It's a chance
to turn around all our stinkin' lives."  Bart has his own ideas for a
new identity.

 Bart: I'll be Gus, the lovable chimney-sweep.  Clean as a whistle,
       sharp as a thistle, best in all Westminster.  Yeah!
Homer: Shut up, boy.
-- So much for _that_ new identity, "Cape Feare"

The agents being suggesting possible new locations for the family.

Agent: We have places your family can hide in peace and security: Cape
       Fear, Terror Lake, New Horrorfield, Screamville --
Homer: [enthusiastically] Ooh, Ice Creamville!
Agent: Er, no, Screamville.
Homer: [scared] Aah!
-- A fertile imagination, "Cape Feare"

One agent suggests a new identity for Homer.

Agent: Tell you what, sir.  From now on, you'll be, uh, Homer Thompson
       at Terror Lake.  Let's just practise a bit, hmm?  When I say,
       "Hello, Mr. Thompson," you'll say, "Hi."
Homer: Check.
Agent: Hello, Mr. Thompson.
Homer: [stares blankly]
Agent: Remember now, your name is Homer Thompson.
Homer: I gotcha.
Agent: Hello, Mr. Thompson.
Homer: [stares blankly]
        [A long time later]
Agent: [sighs in frustration] Now, when I say, "Hello, Mr. Thompson,"
       and press down on your foot, you smile and nod.
Homer: No problem.
Agent: Hello, Mr. Thompson!  [stomps on Homer's foot a few times]
Homer: [stares blankly]
        [to other agent] I think he's talking to _you_.
-- Some things just won't stick, "Cape Feare"

The details are finally arranged.  The FBI agents give Homer the keys to
a new convertible.  Lisa is delighted to discover "The FBI Light Opera
Society Sings the Complete Gilbert and Sullivan" series of cassettes in
the car.  The whole family sings joyously along to "Three Little Maids"
from "The Mikado".  Little do they know that Sideshow Bob has strapped
himself under their car...of course, the ride isn't so easy for the
villain, what with the speed bumps and scalding coffee Homer throws over
the side of the car.  Even worse...

Homer: Hey kids, wanna drive through that cactus patch?
 Bart: Yeah!
 Lisa: Yeah!
  Bob: [disguising his voice from under the car] No!
Homer: Well, two against one!
-- That's democracy, "Cape Feare"

Homer drives recklessly through the cacti, much to Sideshow Bob's

[End of Act Two.  Time: 12:52]

We see an intro sequence very similar to that from "The Simpsons",
except it's for a show called "The Thompsons".  Instead of showing
Springfield looming over the horizon, we see a sign saying, "Welcome to
Terror Lake" and a pier with houseboats.  A red convertible skids to a
halt, and the Thompson family jump out and rush into one of the
houseboat.  Inside, they all rush to sit on a couch, but once they do, a
load of fish crashes through the roof and covers them.

Homer exclaims, "Wow, a houseboat!"  He notes that a great advantage of
houseboats is, if you don't like your neighbors, you can pull up the
anchor and sail some place else.  All the neighbors do just this while
the family laughs.

Sideshow Bob has meanwhile extricated himself from under the car.  He
has the misfortune of stepping onto ground where someone has left a
bunch of rakes lying around.  He steps on several with his oversized
feet; the bone-crunching smash of the rake handle flying into his face
makes him groan.  {The last two rakes he steps on are cut in

Marge is concerned about the location of Santa's Little Helper, but
Homer has resourcefully tied him up out back -- to a post that has been
sunk into the floor of Terror Lake.

Marge: [ruefully] We've left it all behind.  How can you make a clean
       break with your life?
Homer: Relax, Marge, I tied up all the loose ends before we left.
        [Scene change to Simpsons' old house]
  Abe: [knocking] Hello-o?  Hello-o!  You have my pills!  Hello-o?
        [meekly] I'm cold, and there are wolves after me.
        [Howling is heard in the distance]
-- All the loose ends except one, "Cape Feare"

Bart walks down the street, when he hears a voice say coldly, "Hello,
Bart."  It's Sideshow Bob strapped to the bottom of another car.  Bart
asks what Bob wants, but Bob plays innocent: "Surely there's no harm in
laying the middle of a public street?"  Bob didn't figure on the parade
that comes marching along, complete with elephants, as "Terror Lake
celebrates Hannibal crossing the Alps."  Bart rushes home to tell his

Homer: [cracks a beer] Ahh!
 Bart: Mom, Dad, I saw Sideshow Bob and he threatened to kill me!
Homer: Bart, don't interrupt!
Marge: Homer, this is serious!
Homer: Oh, it is not.
-- "Cape Feare"

Sideshow Bob sits in his motel room, plotting his revenge.

[dictating while writing] Roman numeral three: surprise boy in bed...
[sips his tea] ...and, er, disembowel him!
No, I don't like that "bowel" in there.  [erases it] Gut him!  Ah, le
mot juste.
-- Sideshow Bob plots his revenge, "Cape Feare"

Bart tosses and turns in bed, unable to sleep.  He eyes pop open as his
door opens stealthily and a knife blade appears.  A madman jumps in,
yelling incoherently, and Bart screams.  But it turns out to be Homer,
offering Bart a warm brownie.  Bart admonishes Homer for frightening him
so, and Homer realizes, "Oh, the Sideshow Bob thing."  He apologizes,
kisses Bart and leaves.

No sooner has Bart closed his eyes that another madman springs into the
room!  But again, it's just Homer, asking Bart if he wants to see his
new chainsaw and hockey mask.

The lights go out, one by one, on the Thompson's houseboat.  A single
hand appears from the water, grasping at the railing on the boat, as
Sideshow Bob pulls himself aboard, only to step on another rake that
someone has left carelessly lying about.  He tosses it over the side,
brandishes a machette, and cuts the boat loose from the dock.

He walks into Bart's room and greets him.  Bart calls out to his
parents, but Sideshow Bob has tied everyone up -- even Santa's Little
Helper and Snowball II.  Lisa sees Homer drooling and snoring and
mistakenly thinks he's been drugged.

Sideshow Bob advances menacingly.  Bart opens the window behind him and
jumps out just as Bob's machette whicker-snickers through the air,
slicing a pillow in two.  Bart runs desperately from one end of the boat
to the other, only to find the water inhabited by alligators and
electric eels.  At last, Bart is trapped.

 Bob: Well, Bart...any last requests?
Bart: Well, there is one, but...nah.
 Bob: [curious] No, go on.
Bart: Well, you have such a beautiful voice.
 Bob: [arrogantly] Guilty as charged.
Bart: Uh huh.  Anyway, I was wondering if you could sing the entire
      score of the "H.M.S.  Pinafore".
 Bob: Very well, Bart.  I shall send you to heaven before I send you to
-- "Cape Feare"

Bob grabs Bart, sits him down, and breaks into song: "We sail the ocean
blue/And our saucy ship's a beauty./We are sober men, and true/And
attentive to our duty..." What Bob doesn't realize is that shortly
before, they passed a sign reading, "Springfield 15 Mi."  If Bart can
stall Bob long enough...

Bart eats popcorn as Bob sings "I'm called little Buttercup..." The two
do a duet: "What, never?  No, never.  What, never?  [together] Hardly
ever!  He's hardly ever sick at sea..." Bob finishes off with "For He Is
an Englishman", and the audience gives him a standing ovation and some
flowers.  But the fun is over.

   Bob: And now [draws his sword] the final curtain...[walks towards
         [The boat hits a rock and Bob is sent flying]
         [Chief Wiggum and other policemen are on shore in their
Wiggum: [cocks his gun] Hold it right there, Sideshow Bob.  You're under
   Bob: By Lucifer's beard!
Wiggum: Uh, yeah.  It's a good thing you drifted by this brothel.
-- Depends on who you ask, "Cape Feare"

Bart explains how he tricked Sideshow Bob.

 Bart: I knew I had to buy some time.  So I asked him to sing the score
       from the "H.M.S.  Pinafore".
Homer: Ooh, a plan fiendishly clever in its in-tric-asies.
-- Homer, literary scholar, "Cape Feare"

Bart orders the police to dispose of the crook.

  Bart: Take him away, boys.
Wiggum: Hey, I'm the chief here!  Bake him away, toys.
   Lou: What'd you say, chief?
Wiggum: [quietly] Do what the kid says.
-- Yeah, what he said, "Cape Feare"

At last, the family can return home.  Unfortunately, without Abe's
pills, his hair has grown long, he's wearing lipstick, and he's sprouted
generous breasts.  Marge tells Bart to run upstairs to get Grampa's
medicine, but Jasper has his own ideas: courting the fair young maiden.

[End of Act Three.  Time: 19:59]

Over the credits, Abe tries to tell Jasper what happened, but when
Jasper mentions his Steve and Eydie tickets, Abe decides the truth can
wait.  "I'm all yours!" he exclaims joyously, and kisses his new friend.


   {rc}  Ron Carter
   {bd}  Brett Davinger
   {slp} Steve L. Portigal
   {ar}  Andrew Ross
   {jt}  Juha Terho
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.)