The Simpsons

Season 14 Episode 5

Helter Shelter

2
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Dec 01, 2002 on FOX
7.3
out of 10
User Rating
109 votes
8

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Helter Shelter
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When Homer is injured at work, his compensation is use of a luxury sky box. The family enjoys the luxuries, but Lisa is bored and joins the masses rink side. She gives one of the players some score tying advice and is rewarded with Kozlov's hockey "tree". The stick is mounted in Lisa's room where later that night termites break out of the stick and do much damage to the family home. Until the Russian no-wood-nick termites can be thoroughly exterminated, 6 months from now, the Simpson family is homeless. The family tries a number of options but settle upon trying out for a home where they are required to live like its 1895. They pass the audition and start living the lifestyle. When the "1895 Challenge" sinks in the ratings, the producers try to stir things up by adding Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley. When even that doesn't work, they relocate the house to a river and watch it float downstream. Eventually the house comes to shore and falls apart. Now the family finds themselves without food and shelter as the TV crew eats away. The encounter and tribe of refugees from another reality program and together they fight to return to civilization, where they can find quality scripted television. When even that fails them, they start to entertain themselves.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • started good, got bad

    4.5
    what i liked- "We need a family who hasn't been on TV forever. Let's try The Simpsons", everyone being disappointed that the game was hockey and not basketball, the people in the skybox supposedly knowing who would win the game, the scene at lenny's place, "That's Lenny?! Oh, I wanted the black one!", the bullies thinking the simpson's home was a circus and are carried out, the King of the Hill reference to end act 1. Like i said up top, this episode started off pretty funny, but it got bad. The last act was random filler and not very funny. They should have come up with something else I think. It's pretty uneven because I really liked the first half, but what can you do. I'd have to give this a 1/5 or so, probably a D+/C-, that's how much I disliked the last half.moreless
  • Helter Shelter

    8.5
    Walking through the plant, a section of pipe falls on Homer and damages his brain. Afraid he might sue, Burns offers him the company's skybox tickets for a hockey game. The Simpsons enjoy the luxuries of high sports life, including sushi, hot tubs and massages. Annoyed with the classism, Lisa heads down to ice level to watch the game. She advises a Russian player on how to beat the goalie. He scores and gives her his stick in thanks.

    At home, Homer nails Lisa's stick above her bed. During the night, an army of termites pours out of the stick. In the morning, the family finds their house falling apart. An exterminator fumigates the house and tells the Simpsons the house is uninhabitable for six months. Homer decides to move everybody into a hotel. Finding every room in town sold out, the family moves in with Lenny. But he shares a wall with a jai alai court, so they move in with Comic Book Guy. But he freaks them out, so they move into a house on a reality program that simulates life in 1895.



    The family has a rough time adjusting to the lack of modern day amenities, but Homer says they have to stick it out because they're on TV. They begin to bond and enjoy their new, austere lives, which TV audiences find boring. The network execs decide a guest star is necessary to revive the show, so they send Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley into the house. That doesn't do it, so the execs pick up the house with a crane attached to a helicopter and dump it into a fast moving river. Eventually, the house goes over a waterfall and washes up on shore. The Simpsons escape just before the house collapses.moreless
  • The Simpsons go on reality TV.

    8.0
    When Homer injures himself at work, Burns and Smithers give the family free skybox tickets to a hockey game. Lisa gives one of the players a pointer which scores a goal. She is given the Russian player's termite-infested hockey stick which is hung on her bedreem wall. The next morning the house is falling apart and is to be fumigated for six months. Without a home, the family participate in a reality tv show in which they live in a house based around the year 1895. A ratings hit, the family soon find it hard to cope with the conditions. With some motivation they live their life best as they can, and ratings drop. The producers lift the house and dump it in a river. The house floats ashore on an island which is inhabited by the producers and a 'Survivor' group. The family and Survivor tribe join forces to attack the producers, and are sent home. A pretty average episode. Nothing special at all. Give it a watch.moreless
  • Not my favorite episode...

    8.2
    Walking through the plant, a section of pipe falls on Homer and damages his brain. Afraid he might sue, Burns offers him the company's skybox tickets for a hockey game. The Simpsons enjoy the luxuries of high sports life, including sushi, hot tubs and massages. Annoyed with the classism, Lisa heads down to ice level to watch the game. She advises a Russian player on how to beat the goalie. He scores and gives her his stick in thanks. At home, Homer nails Lisa's stick above her bed. During the night, an army of termites pours out of the stick. In the morning, the family finds their house falling apart. An exterminator fumigates the house and tells the Simpsons the house is uninhabitable for six months. Homer decides to move everybody into a hotel. Finding every room in town sold out, the family moves in with Lenny. But he shares a wall with a jai alai court, so they move in with Comic Book Guy. But he freaks them out, so they move into a house on a reality program that simulates life in 1895. The family has a rough time adjusting to the lack of modern day amenities, but Homer says they have to stick it out because they're on TV. They begin to bond and enjoy their new, austere lives, which TV audiences find boring. The network execs decide a guest star is necessary to revive the show, so they send Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley into the house. That doesn't do it, so the execs pick up the house with a crane attached to a helicopter and dump it into a fast moving river. Eventually, the house goes over a waterfall and washes up on shore. The Simpsons escape just before the house collapsesmoreless
  • reality and the simpsons a great combonation

    8.1
    the episodes starts off when homer is severly injured when a pipe falls on his head to insure that homer does not sue Mr.Burns gives homer skybox tickets to a hockey game while there lisa gets a hockey stick from a member of the team that hockey stick causes termites to swarm in house forecing the simpsons out of there home for six months they then take up a offer to be in a reality show where they live in a home made in 1895 for six months but once they adapt to the life style the producers start to get angry and then bring a even bigger twistmoreless
Julie Kavner

Julie Kavner

Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier

Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

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

Dan Castellaneta

Dan Castellaneta

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

Nancy Cartwright

Nancy Cartwright

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

Yeardley Smith

Yeardley Smith

Lisa Simpson

Hank Azaria

Hank Azaria

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

David L. Lander

David L. Lander

Squiggy

Special Guest Star

Larry Holmes

Larry Holmes

Himself

Special Guest Star

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Agnes Skinner, Brandine Del Roy, Dolph and others

Recurring Role

Pamela Hayden

Pamela Hayden

Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others

Recurring Role

Karl Wiedergott

Karl Wiedergott

Additional Voices

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (9)

    • Apu says that Oreos weren't invented until 1896, but they were invented in 1912.

    • When the Simpsons are in the 1895 house, the background music is "The Entertainer" by Scott Joplin. This is anachronistic because "The Entertainer" was not published until 1902. In fact, Joplin's first published piece ("The Great Crush Collision March") was not published until 1896.

    • When the Simpsons asked the executives to share their lunch, they said they weren't allowed to interfere with the reality of the show, yet they just sent the Simpsons and their house down river.

    • Other shows on the reality channel included Suckerpunch, Mystery Injection, and Tied To A Bear.

    • Oreo cookies were invented in 1912, despite the fact that Apu said they were invented in 1896.

    • When Marge saw Ned through the hole in the kitchen cupboard, his garden was positioned directly in front of the Simpsons' house, but his house is to the left of theirs.

    • Mutt and Jeff was not around in 1895; it first came out in 1907.

    • When the two hockey players start fighting, the guy on the left (in the purple) does not have anything written on the back of his jersey. Then a few punches later, when we go to another "camera angle", he has his last name and number on the back of his shirt. (I think his name was "Kelly", although only the "elly" showed; and his number was 7)

    • Lenny had a house in "Reality Bites" but now he has an apartment. Also he is living in better conditions than he was in "Reality Bites."

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Ned: Well, cock-a-diddily-doo! What a Marge-alicious way to start my Flander-rific day.

    • (Homer mounts the hockey stick Lisa got on her wall)
      Bart: This sucks! How come Lisa gets something and I don't?
      Homer: Because she took the trouble to wander away and talk to a stranger.

    • Crew Member #1: Gee, now I know what if feels like to be tormented.
      Crew Member #2: And yet I learn nothing!

    • Homer: (sobbing) I can't remember the last time I cried like this.
      Lisa: Uhhh, when you put your shirt on backwards.
      Homer: (sobbing) Oh yeah.

    • Homer: That's Lenny? Oh, I wanted the black one!

    • Marge: Your school chums are going to be so jealous of your little outfit!
      (Jimbo, Kearny, and Dolph are seen outside)
      Jimbo: (punching hand) God, I wish I had that little outfit.
      Kearny: Yeah, those golden curls are to die for.

    • Moe: Telegram for Heywood U. Cuddleme. Heywood U. Cuddleme? Big guy in the back, Heywood U. Cuddleme? (finally getting it) Oh, that little… (responding on the telegraph) I'm gonna drive a golden spike were your Union meets your Central Pacific, stop!

    • (The Simpsons are in Moe's trying to figure out where they can live while their house is being fumigated)
      Barney: You know, I heard of a new reality show where they let you live in a home for free.
      Carl: Oh, yeah. The gimmick is it's a house from 1895 and you gotta do everything like they did back then.
      Homer: 1895? Forget it. We'd be too late to save Lincoln and too early to save Kennedy.
      Moe: You could save McKinley.
      Homer: It's not a time machine, Moe.

    • Bart: Our crap-shack's going to hell.
      Marge: Bart, watch your potty mouth!
      (ceiling falls in with Homer on the toilet)
      Homer: Hey!! Get out, I'm in here!!!

    • Network Executive: We need a family that hasn't been on TV forever. Let's try the Simpsons.

    • Bart: Is it just me, or are you getting sick of crazy adventures?

    • Moe: Otto, what are you waiting for? Get your ass on my neck.

    • Cletus: All right! A people tooth!

    • Bart: This has been the worst week of my life. I miss my toys and my video games. Mutt and Jeff comics are NOT funny! They're gay, I get it!

    • Homer: Don't worry; we'll just hang out in front of the house beside these garbage cans. The time'll just fly by. (King of the Hill theme plays with a similar fast speed opening) Eh, that was boring, let's get a hotel.

    • Bill Cosby: You see, I gotta get back on the TV, 'cause with the Osbournes and the soft core porn and the dogs poopin' and nobody's scoopin'...

  • NOTES (3)

    • The name 'Helter Shelter' was the name of a homeless shelter that Homer and Flanders volunteer at in 'Homer loves Flander'

    • The bottle of termite poison has actor James Coburn's face on it. James Coburn died two weeks before this episode first aired.

    • Blackboard : Milhouse did not test cootie positive.
      Couch Gag: The family sits on the couch and a cursor comes down and picks Homer up and places him on the other side of the couch next to Bart. Then the cursor clicks on the wall and changes the wall's color to green. Finally the painting of the sailing ship on the wall is clicked upon and replaced by the Mona Lisa.

  • ALLUSIONS (13)

    • Mitch: Hi, i'm Mitch Hardwell, creator of the 1895 challenge, and by creator i mean i saw it on Dutch television and tweaked the title.

      This is a reference to Big Brother, which was created by John de Mol, the show became such a hugh succes in the Netherlands that there soon were Big Brothers all over the world, however there were also many reality show who just "tweaked" the show a little bit and made it a "new" show.

    • Homer: (to Marge) Maybe I could wuther your heights.

      Wuthering Heights is a novel by Emily Bronte that was written in 1847. Homer doesn't seem like the type to read classic novels, but there have been several movie versions of Wuthering Heights, which is probably where his reference comes from.

    • Buster Brown
      Bart says that he "looks like Buster Brown—whoever that is". Buster Brown was a comic strip character from the early 20th century. It makes sense that he would not know who Buster Brown is since it is from long before Bart's time.
      More Information

    • Moe:: I'm gonna drive a golden spike where your union meets your central pacific!
      The first U.S. Transcontinental Railroad was completed when the Union Pacific Railroad building west from Omaha, Nebraska and the Central Pacific Railroad building east from Sacramento, California met at Promontory Summit, Utah on May 10, 1869. In a famous ceremony, a golden spike was driven in the last tie plat to commemorate the joining together of the two tracks.

    • Homer: 1895? Forget it. We'd be too late to save Lincoln and too early to save Kennedy.
      President Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Moe says, "You could save McKinley." President Mckinley was assassinated in 1901.

    • na: Law & Order - Elevator Inspectors Unit
      This is making fun of the NBC franchise which has put on a number of shows with the "Law & Order" opening, but with different formats.

    • :
      The "Russian no-wood-nicks" are a parody of the "nogoodniks" from the "Rocky & Bullwinkle" show, Boris & Natascha.

    • :
      This episode's title, Helter Shelter, is a parody of the Beatles song "Helter Skelter".

    • :
      The couch sequence refers to "Kid Pix," a children's paint program for the Mac featuring wacky paintbrushes and sounds.

    • none: The 1895 House
      The reality show that the family participates in is based on the 2000 PBS documentary series "The 1900 House," where a British family lived in the Victorian Era.

    • :
      When the Simpsons' house was being fumagated, they stood out front and while Homer drank a beer we see various things happening in fast motion just like the opening credits of "King of the Hill."

    • Marge: "This looks like Moby's apartment on MTV Cribs!"
      When MTV showed Moby's Apartment on "Cribs" Moby's place had a lot of Simpsons stuff in his apartment.

    • :
      The logo for A Bug's Death Exterminators is a parody of the logo and name for the 1998 Disney film "A Bug's Life".

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