The Simpsons

Season 3 Episode 24

Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Aug 27, 1992 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
249 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Homer's half-brother Herb Powell returns. After Homer wrecked his car company, Herb now lives as a bum, but with a little help from Maggie, and financial support from Homer, he thinks he has come up with an invention that will put him back on top.

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  • The third season ends with the return of Homer's half-brother Herb Powell. Herb has a great idea that could very well restore his fortune. The fortune Homer was responsible for losing. However, Herb might just have to turn to Homer to make things work.moreless

    This episode is not great, but it's well written and entertaining. Danny DeVito once again does a very good job as Homer's half-brother. As is usually a staple with The Simpsons this episode has very sharp dialogue. The episode also starts on a very high note with Homer's settlement which turned into an "award." Mr. Burns explanation to Homer is probaby the best written scene in the episode. The awards ceremony is a hoot. Former heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier's cameo is very well done. Frazier's scene at Moe's is just as good if not better. An episode worth seeing.moreless
  • perfect

    what i liked- Herb thanking the mother for helping him come up with his idea, and the mother saying 'please don't hurt me', and herb saying 'you got it', herb punching homer as soon as he got to the Simpsons house, Herb getting rich again, the ending of the episode with Herb getting Homer the massage chair he wanted, amongst other things.

    I almost wish Herb returned in an episode, but the goal of him was to get rich, and get rich he did, so returning would be kind of pointless. Alas, good episode. A+, great end to a great season of a great showmoreless
  • Herb returns

    In this episode, Homer is given $2000 as kind of a bribe in order for him not to sue the plant for making him sterile. He even gets his own fake award/award ceremony for it. Later, Homer's half-brother, Herb Powell, learns of Homer's money, and decides to ask him to fund his newest invention, a baby translator. He agrees, and Herb then has huge success with the invention. He then gives the family gifts, like Bart an NRA membership and Marge a new washer and dryer. And, then he tells Homer he forgives him for ruining him before (and gets him a new couch.) Overall, pretty good episode, like first episode with Herb it wasn't amazing, but decent nonetheless. 9/10 A-moreless
  • this was a great ep i thought

    in this simpsons season final homer is presented a award by joe fraiser from mr burns and herb is back in town after his car company really took a hit and he is living as a bum. and from support from homer and the family herb decided to come up with a idea that can make babies talk to adults and homer thinks the idea wont work but it does and thye test it out on maggie and it works and herb is back in bussiness and makes back alot of money and is no longer a bum this was a great ep to end the 3rd seasonmoreless
  • Herb Returns in a better than ever episode. Great season finale!!!!

    Homer "wins" the first annual "Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence", a fictional $2000 prize awarded by Montgomery Burns. The name of the "award" was hastily concocted by Burns on the spot in an attempt to convince Homer to sign a waiver freeing the nuclear plant of all liability for Homer's recently discovered sterility. Joe Frazier is the host of the award ceremony, which features extraordinary extravagance (including a lengthy opening) but only the one $2000 prize is awarded to Homer. Despite planning on using the money for the Spinemelter 2000 vibrating chair, Homer agrees to loan the money to his bitter half-brother Herb Powell who, ruined by Homer previously, is now a hobo. Herb's idea to become rich again is by making a machine to translate a baby's words into actual English. He uses Homer's money to develop his invention, which is an instant money-making success. Herb becomes rich once again. Along with returning the money to Homer, he buys several gifts for the Simpson family, including a new washer-dryer for Marge (the old, broken washer and dryer are sold to Moe's Tavern where they are subsequently engaged in racing), an honorary membership to the NRA for Bart and a subscription to the Greater Books of the Western Civilization for Lisa. Herb then tells Homer that his gift to him is that he forgives him for ruining him in the first place, and he and Homer re-establish a brotherly relationship. Finally, Homer is rewarded for his generosity and faith when Herb has a truck pull in with Homer's vibrating chair.moreless
Dan Castellaneta

Dan Castellaneta

Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others

Hank Azaria

Hank Azaria

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others

Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others

Julie Kavner

Julie Kavner

Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier

Nancy Cartwright

Nancy Cartwright

Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others

Yeardley Smith

Yeardley Smith

Lisa Simpson

Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito

Herb Powell

Guest Star

Joe Frazier

Joe Frazier


Guest Star

Maggie Roswell

Maggie Roswell

Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

  • QUOTES (19)

    • Lisa: Why didn't you write Unckie Herb?
      Herb: Hey, if I wrote to you what was I suppose to say? "Dear Lisa, last night I used a rat for a pillow thanks to your pop?"

    • (After being thrown upside down into a trash can.)
      Barney: Alright, a peanut!

    • Homer: Herb, this is the stupidest thing I've ever seen. I can't believe we blew 2,000 bucks on it when right now rollers could be kneading my buttocks.
      Herb: Homer, could you stop thinking about your ass?!
      Homer: I tried, but I can't.

    • Homer: Give me full power.
      Salesman: But, sir…?
      Homer: Damn it! I said full power!

    • Herb: Lady, you just gave me the idea of a lifetime! How do I thank you?
      Woman: Please don't hurt me.
      Herb: Consider it done.

    • Homer: Marge, there's an empty spot I've always had inside me. I tried to fill it with family, religion, community service... but those were all dead ends. I think this chair is the answer.

    • Homer: Why did this have to happen now during prime time, when TV's brightest stars come out to shine?

    • Hobo: I used to be rich. I owned Mickey Mouse massage parlors and those Disney sleaze balls shut me down. I said "Look, I'll change the logo, put Mickey's pants back on." Some guys you just can't reason with.

    • Herb: Maggie...who brought me my fortune. I'll give you anything you want in the world
      Maggie: -(machine)- I want what the dog's eating
      Herb: I'll get you something nice.

    • Professor Frink: This radio controlled plane gives your baby the chance to fly, just like my son here, he can execute the barrel roll, loopy loop, and bring it in for the perfect landing *smash*. Oh dear... my wife is going to kill me.

    • Maggie: Blablueeeh. (with the machine Herb invented) I have soiled myself…how embarrassing.

    • Herb: (On his back, holding Maggie up) The pitch is insufficient for "burp me", and this jigsaw motion is something I've never…(Maggie throws up on him) Eureka.

    • TV Announcer: Except for huge gaps in the western states, "Hands Across America" was a complete success.

    • Doctor: This can't be right; this man has 104% body fat! Hey, no eating in the tank!
      Homer: Go to hell!

    • Lisa: This award is the biggest crock I ever saw.
      Bart: What about the Emmys?
      Lisa: I stand corrected.

    • Homer: I miss my couch.
      Joe Frazier: I know how you feel, you lost the couch, I lost the heavyweight championship.
      Homer: Pfft…Heavyweight Championship, there's like, three of those!

    • Homer: All right, Herb. I'll give you the money, but first you have to forgive me and treat me like a brother.
      Herb: Nope.
      Homer: All right, then just give me the drinking bird.

    • Marge: How was your day at work, dear?
      Homer: Oh, the usual...stand in front of this, open that, pull down this, bend over, spread apart that, turn your head that way, cough...

    • Bart: Unckie Herb, what advice would you give to a young boy who would most likely become a bum like yourself?
      Herb: Discarded pizza boxes are an inexpensive source of cheese.

  • NOTES (3)

    • One of Bart's original lines was that he was a part of the Soviet Union. But the USSR had broken up before this episode aired. The line was taken out and changed to the "Stain-Master" line.

    • When Joe Frazier and Barney go outside to fight, Barney was originally going to win, but Joe Frazier objected. Therefore, it was changed so that Barney lost.

    • Blackboard Joke: I will not fake seizures.
      Couch Gag: Everyone cartwheels onto the couch and sticks their hands out. Maggie falls so Bart and Lisa help her onto the couch as she sticks her hands out.


    • Episode Title: Brother Can You Spare Two Dimes?
      The episode title is a parody of the film title Brother Can You Spare A Dime?

    • Davey and Goliath
      Flanders' doorbell plays the song "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God", which is the opening theme for the show Davey and Goliath.

    • Television: That's right... I shot J.R!
      A quick and funny reference to one of the greatest storylines in television, "Who Shot J.R?" from the show Dallas.

    • Hands Across America
      When Homer is reliving his memories of the couch, we see him not participating in Hands Across America. Hands Across America was a benefit event staged on May 25, 1986 in which millions of people held hands in a human chain for fifteen minutes along a path across the continental United States. Participants paid ten dollars to reserve their place in line; the proceeds were donated to local charities to fight hunger and help the homeless.

    • Homer: There's no vibrating chair in that bag for me?
      A quick and funny parody of the line "There's no brain in that bag for me?" said by the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.

    • Homer: Now s'cuse me while I kiss the sky!
      A quick and funny reference to the song "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix.

    • The Gold Rush
      In the scene below the train bridge, hobos are sitting in a circle reminiscing. One of them who looks like Charles Chaplain is eating a boot like The Little Tramp did in a scene from the 1925 film The Gold Rush.

    • 2001: A Space Odyssey When Homer is sitting on the vibrating chair and the attendant turns it on full power, Homer's eyes become colored and change with every blink. This happens to Dave Bowman in his journey 'Beyond Jupiter' in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.