The Simpsons

Season 1 Episode 3

Homer's Odyssey

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 21, 1990 on FOX



  • Trivia

    • Waylon Smithers was mistakenly animated in this episode and appears as an African American, this was corrected and in all other episodes he appears with his intended skin color.

    • Homer pens his suicide note on "Dumb Things I Gotta Do Today" stationery.

    • Going to the Nuclear Power Plant the children pass the Springfield Toxic Waste Dump, the Springfield Tire Yard (which is not on fire as of yet), the Springfield State Prison, and Springfield Elementary School.

    • Springfield Shopper headlines: "Simpson Says Safe!", "Dozens Cheer Homer Simpson", "Homer Simpson Strikes Again!", "Watch Out Here Comes Homer" and "Enough Already Homer Simpson."

    • When Bart takes advantage of Homer and has him sign his report card, the report card reads as follows: Science: U, Social Studies: F, Reading: U, Math: F, Writing: U, and Physical Ed: D

    • One of the signs Homer puts up says: "Sign Ahead."

    • A sign inside the nuclear power plant reads: "Our Safety Record: [7] Days Since Last Accident."

    • There is a three-eyed fish swimming in the pond outside the plant. The fish looks much like Blinky from episode 2-4, "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish."

    • Goof: When Sherri and Terri tell Bart that their dad says his dad is incompetent, one of the twins has no body below her neck.

    • Goof: During the montage of Homer making newspaper headlines with his signs, Homer is shown pointing at a diamond shaped "Sign Ahead" sign. But when the picture is taken and shown in the newspaper the sign becomes square shaped.

    • The security guard at the nuclear power plant is watching the Krusty the Clown show.

  • Quotes

    • (Chief Wiggum speaks at the city council meeting.)
      Chief Wiggum: Well, it's no secret. Our city is under siege by a graffiti vandal known as "El Barto." Police artists have a composite sketch to go over and if anyone has any information, please contact us.
      (A sketch is passed around; Bart gets it and sees that the drawing is of an older, stubbly, mean looking version of himself.)
      Bart: Cool, man.

    • Homer: Beer. Now there's a temporary solution.

    • (A depressed Homer prepares to search for a new job)
      Marge: There, there, Homer. You'll find a job. You've caused plenty of industrial accidents, and you've always bounced back.

    • (Mr. Burns offers Homer the new job of safety inspector)
      Mr. Burns: The generous offer I'm making is good for exactly…30 seconds, Simpson.
      Homer's Brain: Me, in charge of safety? This place could blow sky high. Nah. I'll concentrate on my work now. Gee, this guy's desk sure is big. I can't let Marge support the family. This guy's got the cleanest shirt I've ever seen. What should I--.
      Mr. Burns: Simpson, time's up.
      Homer: Mmm, what the hey. I'll take the job.
      Mr. Burns: Excellent.

    • (The cartoon character Smilin' Joe Fission informs Bart's class about nuclear energy.)
      Smilin' Joe Fission: Uh-oh. Whoops. Looks there's a little leftover nuclear waste. No problem.
      (Smilin' Joe tucks the waste under a rug.)
      Smilin' Joe Fission: I'll just put it where nobody'll find it for a million years.

    • (Homer makes a proposal at City Hall.)
      Homer: Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed councilmen, boys and girls, retired people with nothing better to do. Danger comes in many, many forms, from the dinosaurs that tormented our cavemen ancestors, to the--
      Councilman: Simpson, get to the point!
      Homer: I think we should put a stop sign at "D" street and 12th. The other--
      Councilman: All in favor?
      Councilmen: (In unison) Aye.
      Councilman: Approved. Meeting adjourned. Coffee and maple logs in the lobby.
      Homer: (In awe) Wow. They listened to me.

    • Homer: Kill myself? Killing myself is the last thing I'd ever do. Now I have a purpose, a reason to live. I don't care who I have to face. I don't care who I have to fight. I will not rest until this street gets a stop sign!

    • (A depressed Homer lies unresponsive on the couch.)
      Bart: All he does is lie there like an unemployed whale.
      Lisa: I don't know what else to do.
      (Maggie pokes Homer in the eye and he does nothing.)
      Bart: There's only one thing we can do: Take advantage of the old guy. You gotta sign my report card, Dad.
      (Homer signs the report card.)

    • (Homer and a co-worker take a coffee and doughnut break at the power plant.)
      Homer: (Chewing on a doughnut.) You know, I defy anyone to tell the difference between these doughnuts and the ones baked today. Hey, my boy's supposed to be here any second on a field trip. They been through here yet?
      Co-worker: Come on, Simpson. If they wanted the kids to see you sitting around on your butt and stuffin' your face, they'd take them on a tour of your house.

    • (Otto drives Bart's class on their field trip.)
      Lewis: Look, there's our school again.
      Mrs. Krabappel: Otto, are you sure you--
      Otto: It's a shortcut, Mrs. K. Trust me.

    • (Bart's class goes on a field trip.)
      Mrs. Krabappel: Take your seat, Bart.
      Bart: Oh, please, Mrs. Krabappel, not next to Wendell. He pukes on every bus ride. No offense, Wendell.
      (Wendell groans.)
      Mrs. Krabappel: Be that as it may, it's the only seat left, so get in there!
      (Bart takes his seat next to Wendell.)
      Wendell: Please try not to shake the seat like that.

    • Mrs. Krabappel: Now class, I don't want this field trip to be a repeat of our infamous visit to the Springfield State Prison. So, I want you all to be on your best behavior, especially you, Bart Simpson.
      Bart: Mrs. Krabappel, I didn't unlock that door!

    • (Bart prank calls Moe's.)
      Moe: Moe's Tavern.
      Bart: Is Mr. Freely there?
      Moe: Who?
      Bart: Freely. First initials "I. P."
      Moe: Hold on, I'll check. Uh, is I.P. Freely here? Hey, everybody! I.P. Freely!
      (Everyone at the bar laughs.)
      Moe: Wait a minute. Listen to me, ya lousy bum. When I get a hold of you, you're dead. I swear I'm gonna slice your heart in half!
      (Bart and Lisa laugh.)
      Homer: You'll get that punk someday, Moe.
      Moe: Ah, I don't know. He's tough to catch. He keeps changing his name.

    • (Homer thinks in his head as he writes his suicide note.)
      Homer: Dear family. I am an utter failure, and you'll be better off without me. By the time you read this, I will be in my watery grave. I can only leave you with the words my father gave me: "Stand tall, have courage and never give up." I only hope I can provide a better model in death (Sniffs) than I did in life. Warmest regards. Love, Homer J. Simpson.

    • Mr. Burns: (to Homer) You're not as stupid as you look or sound or our best testing indicates.

    • Sherri: Hey, Bart, our dad says your dad is incompetent.
      Bart: What does incompetent mean?
      Terri: It means he spends more time yakking and scarfing down doughnuts than doing his job.
      Bart: Oh, okay, I thought you were putting him down.

  • Notes

    • The elderly couple that makes fun of Homer when he walks past them with the boulder were suppose to be regular recurring characters who would offer off-kilter comments to what they see. But the idea was quickly dropped.

    • In this episode, Bart makes a prank phone call to Moe´s tavern for the first time.

    • Mr. Burns says his catchphrase "Excellent" for the first time in this episode.

    • Otto is designed to look like The Simpsons writer Wallace Wolodarsky.

    • In this episode Homer is promoted and becomes the "Safety Inspector" at the power plant; he stays like that for the rest of the series.

    • The "J" in Homer's full name was inserted by the writers as a tribute to Bullwinkle J. Moose from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.

    • The cartoon at the power plant was given an old-time reel footage feel by having the animation cells dragged across a cement floor to scratch it up. This trick was used several times by the animators for the next 10 seasons.

    • Blackboard Joke: I will not skateboard in the halls.
      Couch Gag: The family runs in and crams onto the couch, causing it to fall apart.

    • First Appearance: Waylon Smithers, Terri and Sherri, Wendell, Otto and Chief Clancy Wiggum. Jasper makes his first appearance in this episode, but he does not speak until episode 1-5, "Bart the General."

  • Allusions

    • Al Jolson
      Mr. Burns makes a reference to Al Jolson as he watches Homer lead a safety rally in front of the nuclear power plant. Al Jolson was a revered and popular singer/Broadway/film star during the early 20th century.

    • They Might Be Giants
      The heading on Homer's small notepad, "Dumb Things I Gotta Do Today," is a funny reference to the band They Might Be Giants and a lyric from a song called "Put Your Hand Inside The Puppet Head."

    • Get Smart
      After Smithers shows Bart's class the film, he leads the class on a tour and they walk through doors that open much like the doors that open during the opening sequence of the 1960's TV show, Get Smart.

    • Homer's Odyssey
      The title for this episode obviously comes from the Greek epic, Homer's Odyssey.

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