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Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others
Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others
Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier
Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others
Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others
Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others
Martin Prince, Sherri, Terri and others
The song Otto hums while driving the bus to the Kwik-E-Mart is the 1973 rock instrumental "Frankenstein" by The Edgar Winter Group
Radioactive waste leaks out of a trash can outside the plant coffee room.
Mr. Burns wears Smithers' radiation suit during the meltdown.
Magic Johnson is the first athlete to ever appear on The Simpsons.
The running gag of Mr. Burns' feebleness begins with this episode; he barely manages to give Homer a "Thumbs-up" during the award ceremony.
Mr. Burns' file photo shown on the news features a bad wig over his scalp to hide his baldness.
Otto drives the school bus at 70mph.
The coffee mugs at the plant are shaped like cooling towers.
Goof: Bart writes in Milhouse's birthday card, "To me bestest bud Milhouse, Happy Birthday, Bart." But when Lisa opens it, there's no sign of it; only the punchline to the joke on the front of the card.
(Homer saves Shelbyville power plant after performing "Eenie, meenie, miney, mo" as before)
Aristotle Amadopolis: Thank you, Homer, for saving my plant... (becomes angry, throws down his sunglasses) ...with that idiotic rhyming!!! Do you even know what button you pushed?!?
Homer: Sure! Mo!
Mr. Burns: Oh "meltdown". That's one of those annoying buzz words. We prefer to call it an un-requested fission surplus.
Otto: Bye little dudes. Don't learn anything I wouldn't learn!
Kent Brockman: Eenie meenie miney mo. Is Homer a hero? The answer is no.
Barney: I had to give a speech once. I was pretty nervous, so I used a little trick. I picture everyone in their underwear. The judge, the jury, my lawyer, everybody.
Homer: Did it work?
Barney: I'm a free man, ain't I?
Homer: Yeah, you know, boys, a nuclear reactor is a lot like a woman. You just have to read the manual and press the right buttons.
Milhouse: Bart, my mom won't let me be your friend any more. That's why you couldn't come to the party.
Bart: What's she got against me?
Milhouse: She says you're a bad influence.
Bart: Bad influence, my ass.
Homer: Who'd have thought a nuclear reactor would be so complicated!
Bart: They're official Krusty the Clown walkie-talkies! I'll keep one and you keep one. Now, whenever you want to talk to me, just call me on the phone and tell me to turn on my walkie-talkie.
Homer: Here's good news! According to this eye-catching article, SAT scores are declining at a slower rate!
Lisa: Dad, I think this paper is a flimsy hodgepodge of pie graphs, factoids and Larry King.
Homer: Hey, this is the only paper in America that's not afraid to tell the truth, that everything is just fine.
Luanne: Well Marge, the other day Milhouse told me my Meatloaf sucks! He must have gotten that from your little boy, because they certainly don't say that word on TV.
Homer: What's your problem, boy?
Bart: I had a fight with Milhouse.
Homer: That four eyes with the big nose, you don't need friends like that.
Computer Voice: 30 seconds to core meltdown.
Mr. Burns: Oh, Smithers, I guess there's nothing left to do but kiss my sorry butt goodbye.
Smithers: May I, sir?
Mr. Burns: Ew.
Mr. Burns: So, what did you do this weekend, Smithers?
Smithers: Well, I caught up on my laundry, wrote a letter to my mother, oh, here a kicker, and I took Hercules out to be clipped.
Mr. Burns: Who the devil is Hercules?
Smithers: Oh, he's my Yorkshire terrier, sir. He's kind of tiny, so you know, it's a joke. Here's a picture of Herky. (shows a wallet sized photo of Hercules)
Mr. Burns: Ugh. Well, Smithers, don't you know how to paint the town red!
Homer: It's showtime! Okay, okay, think back to your training...
(Flashback to Homer's training)
Trainer: Now, Homer, this may very well save your life one day. This... Homer?
Homer: (playing with a Rubik's cube) Yeah?
Trainer: Please pay attention. This button here controls the emergency override circuit. In the event of a meltdown, push this button and only this button.
Homer: (paying more attention to the cube) Ooh, a side!
Trainer: You see which button I'm pushing?
Homer: (not looking) Yeah, yeah, yeah. Push the button. Got it.
(Back to present)
Homer: (to the Rubik's cube) This is all your fault! (throws it away) OK, gotta pick a button, pick a button, pick a button... uh, one potato, two potato, three potato, four... no, wait! Bubble gum, bubble gum, in a dish, how many pieces do you wish? No, no!
Computer Voice: 90 seconds to core meltdown.
Smithers: Sir there may never be a better time to say...I love you, sir.
Mr. Burns: Well, hot dawg. Thank you for making my last moments on earth socially awkward.
Smithers: Sir, where's my radiation suit?
Mr. Burns: How the hell should I know? (as he covers the "Smithers" label on the suit he's wearing)
Homer: Okay, okay, don't panic, whosever problem this is, I'm sure they know how to handle it... (realizing) Aah! It's my problem! We're doomed!
Martin: Milhouse, I'd like to express my appreciation for Saturday. Jelly bean basket, personalized noisemakers. But the little touches are what made it enduring!
Bart: What's he talking about?
Milhouse: Uh... Hey! Look at that dog! Isn't that something!
Bart: Wow, brown!
Bart: One, two, three... Community Chest.... nah, nah... ah! I've won second prize in a beauty contest, collect ten bucks, ha ha, you're losing!
Marge: Bart, don't feed your sister hotels.
Bart: Don't worry, there's tons of these things.
Apu: Did you notice that there is a kid on your bus?
Otto: Glad you told me. I was about to go to Mexico.
The first Simpsons episode to outsource the animation production to Anivision in Korea. Anivision would animate several Simpsons episodes from this season up until Season 10, after which, Akom and Rough Draft become the main overseas animation studios for The Simpsons.
In the premiere of this episode, there are two lines by Bart and Mr. Burns, which respectively are "Bad influence, my ass!" and "I had better kiss my sorry butt goodbye." The censors apparently got complaints from the "Mothers Against" groups, so in all of the repeats on FOX, the words were swapped. That is, from then on, Mr. Burns said "I had better kiss my sorry ass goodbye," and Bart's line was now, "Bad influence, my butt!" In syndication, however, the lines have returned to normal. The DVD has both scenes intact, but with the words reversed.
Howard Gewirtz was brought in by Jim Brooks as a freelance writer for Season 3. This is the only episode he has written for the series.
Itchy & Scratchy: "My Dinner With Itchy." At Itchy's restaurant, Itchy pours drinks for himself and Scratchy. Scratchy drinks his down and realizes that he drank acid. As Scratchy's body burns away, Itchy throws his glass of acid into Scratchy's face. Blinded, Scratchy runs out of the restaurant, only to have a streetcar run him over.
First Appearance: Luann Van Houten
Blackboard Joke: I will not squeak chalk.
Couch Gag: The family runs to the couch, but they find themselves already seated there, looking puzzled.
Contestant: I'd like to solve the puzzle. "Three Loins in the Fountain?" (BUZZ)
The TV show Grampa and others watch during the crisis at Springfield Nuclear Power Plant is none other than Wheel Of Fortune.
Skinner: They called me old-fashioned for teaching the duck-and-cover method, but who's laughing now!
The method taught – by Bert the Turtle – to students to supposedly protect themselves in the event of a nuclear attack was immortalized in the Civil Defense short, Duck and Cover. Students were taught this method (crouching below a desk or other barrier) during the height of the Cold War, when it seemed war would break out at any time.
Headline: AMERICA'S FAVORITE PENCIL: #2 IS A #1
The newspaper U.S. of A Today (and lightweight stories sometimes contained within) is an obvious pun on the USA Today daily newspaper.
The countdown for the meltdown stops at 007. In the 1964 film Goldfinger James Bond defuses the nuclear bomb at Fort Knox and the counter stops at 007.
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