The Simpsons

Season 3 Episode 21

Black Widower

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Apr 09, 1992 on FOX



  • Trivia

    • The sound of grumbling shudder that Sideshow Bob makes when he has to consummate his marriage with Selma was reused later in the fifth season episode Cape Feare when Bob steps on the rakes.

    • This is the first episode in which Patty and Selma mention MacGyver.

    • License plates Sideshow Bob makes in Prison: "DIE BART", "RIP BART", "I H8 BART", and "BART DOA."

    • At prison, Sideshow Bob's number is 24601. This is also Principal Skinner's prisoner number seen on the helmet, in a later episode, at the Springfield Elementary Carnival (The Happiest Place on Earth).

    • In the scene where the family drives off to save Selma, there is a sign opposite their house that reads: "Shelbyville 34 miles"

    • Goof: Even though Sideshow Bob was number 24601, his shirt was numbered 1211.

    • When Krusty totals up the pledges at his telethon, the total displayed on the counter behind him is $385,382.35. A few seconds later, when he's kicking Bob, the counter has mysteriously gone down to $311,011.11.

  • Quotes

    • Selma: That MacGyver's a genius.
      Sideshow Bob: First of all, he's not a genius. He's an actor. And second, he's not much of an actor.
      Selma: You're lying! You're lying!
      Sideshow Bob: No, Selma, this is lying: (puts on an absurd smile) That was a well-plotted piece of non-claptrap that never made me want to retch. (Selma leaves in tears)

    • Sideshow Bob: (winning an Emmy in prison, to Krusty) This is one more Emmy than you'll ever win, you bantering jack-in-the-box!
      Krusty: Just don't drop that thing in the shower, Bob!
      Sideshow Bob: No-talent shill!
      Krusty: Second banana!
      Sideshow Bob: Panderer!
      Krusty: Bore!

    • Sideshow Bob: Bart, I must know. How did you untangle my web?
      Chief Wiggum: Yeah, Bart, pull us in!
      Bart: Well, I'd hate to tell the number one cop in town how to do his job.
      Chief Wiggum: No, no, please. It's the only way I'll learn.

    • Homer: Gee, if some snot-nosed little kid sent me to prison, the first thing out, I'd find out where he lives, and tear him a new belly button!

    • Sideshow Bob: Ah, Mr. Simpson, you're forgetting the first two noble truths of the Buddha.
      Homer: I am not!

    • Bart: Her only hopes were a clucky young boy and his slow-witted father.

    • Bart: Aunt Selma has one hour to live!
      Homer: Hey, down in front!

    • Selma: And here's another breathtaking sight... my brand new hubby!
      Sideshow Bob: I wanted a room with a fireplace you blasted monkey... Oh Selma dear... I was just chatting with my good friend... Dennis! Now, smile for the camera, there's a good lad!

    • Chief Wiggum: If he was going to commit a crime, would he have invited the number one cop in town? Now where did I put my gun? Oh yeah, I set it down when I got a piece of cake.

    • Marge: Krusty, say something funny!
      Krusty: Uh, gee, a joke, uuh…umm…eh ah funny, okay, this guy walks into a bar, he takes out a tiny piano, and a twelve inch pianist, oh, no, wait, I can't tell that one!

    • Lisa: I could have been the flower girl; I wouldn't keep falling down, either!
      Bart: Hey, they chose Maggie, okay?
      Lisa: Yeah, well if you wanna go for cutesiness instead of competence, fine.

    • Selma: What did I miss?
      Patty: MacGyver was wearing a tank top!
      Selma: Dang!
      Sideshow Bob: Well Selma, I thought I was the only man in your life?
      Selma: Sit down and shut up!

    • Homer: Ooh, appetizers!
      Sideshow Bob: Well Homer, what should we serve?
      Homer: Well, you can't go wrong with cocktail weenies. They taste as good as they look, and they come with this delicious red sauce, it looks like ketchup, it tastes like ketchup, but brother, it ain't ketchup.

    • (vision test at the DMV)
      Hans Moleman: A, G, Q, 7.
      Selma: Close enough. May you drive safely, and find true love.

    • Sideshow Bob: Selma, would you mind if I did something bold and shocking in front of your family?
      Selma: All right, but no tongues.
      Sideshow Bob: Although kissing you would be like kissing some divine ashtray, that's not what I had in mind. Selma, will you marry me?
      Bart: Don't be a fool, Aunt Selma. That man is scum.
      Selma: Then call me Mrs. Scum.

    • Selma: Enclosed is a photo of us on a bike. I forget which one I am.

    • Papa Dinosaur: Would you turn off that Rock and Rock music?
      Baby Dinosaur: Hey, don't have a Stegosaurus, man!
      Lisa: These talking dinosaurs are more real than most real families on TV!
      Homer: Look Maggie, they have a baby too!

  • Notes

    • Snake is given a name in this episode. Previously, he was only mentioned by name in the script and referred to by the writers as "Jailbird".

    • Blackboard Joke: Funny noises are not funny.
      Couch Gag: Two thieves are carting the couch away when the family gets in, but they sit down anyway, only for the thieves to dump them onto the floor.

  • Allusions

    • Jerry Lewis
      The caricature of Krusty on the telethon is based on the Al Hirshfeld caricature of Jerry Lewis that has become the symbol of his MDA telethon.

    • Scooby-Doo
      The ending where Bart and Selma explain how they figured out Sideshow Bob's plan to kill Selma and Chief Wiggum explaining how he accidentally blew up the hotel room, followed by a lame joke ("Now let's get out of this gas-filled hallway before we all suffocate!") and everybody laughing as it fades out is a parody of the ending of countless Scooby-Doo episodes where the gang explains how they figured out the mystery and what the villain's plan was.

    • Sideshow Bob: Bye, bye Snake. I'll miss you most of all.
      This is a take on one of the last lines in the 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz," when Dorothy is leaving Oz she says "Bye, bye Scarecrow! I'll miss you most of all."

    • Bart: Oh fiddle dee dee! Tomorrow is another day!
      Scarlett O'Hara constantly says this when the going gets rough in the book and film Gone With the Wind.

    • Sinatra: Krustila, there's an old friend backstage who wants to say hello.
      The meeting between Krusty and Bob is a parody of when Frank Sinatra brought out Dean Martin on the Jerry Lewis telethon for them to both make up in 1976.

    • Dinosaurs
      The show the family is watching at the beginning of the episode is a parody of the ABC show Dinosaurs.

    • Homer: To the Simpson-mobile!
      A quick and funny parody of a line from the 1960's version of Batman.

    • Cool Hand Luke
      Bob picking up trash along side the road is a parody of the film Cool Hand Luke.

    • Psycho
      When Bob returns to the room, he turns the chair around expecting to see Selma's corpse, but instead sees Bart, startled, Bob stumbles back and hits a hanging lightbulb. This parodies the final scenes from the 1960 film Psycho.

    • Black Widow
      The title of the episode and some key points in the plot are taken from the 1987 film, Black Widow.

    • Sideshow Bob: Inspired by the love of a good woman, I resolved to be the best darn inmate number 24601 I could be.
      In his retrospective of the change that Selma brought about in him, Sideshow Bob is portrayed serving inmates a Thanksgiving turkey dinner resembling the Norman Rockwell painting "Freedom From Want."

    • The Maltese Falcon
      At the end of the episode, Sideshow Bob is escorted away by the Springfield Police, descending out of frame in an old-style elevator. This is a reference to the 1941 film The Maltese Falcon.

    • Les Miserables
      Sideshow Bob's prison number, 24601, is the same as Jean Valjean's prison number in the novel/musical/movie Les Miserables.

    • Bob & Selma: And then I went and spoiled it all by saying something stupid like "I love you."
      Sideshow Bob and Selma do a duet of the song "Somethin' Stupid," which was recorded as a duet for Frank Sinatra and Nancy Sinatra in 1967.