The Simpsons

Season 11 Episode 15

Missionary: Impossible

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Feb 20, 2000 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
153 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Missionary: Impossible
Homer tries to anonymously pledge $10,000 to PBS to end the pledge break and get his favorite program back on the air. When PBS comes collecting, he goes on the run. Reverend Lovejoy helps Homer out by sticking him on a plane to do some missionary work in the South Pacific. It doesn't take long for Homer to corrupt the native population. Since he doesn't know anything about religion, he has the natives build a casino. Soon the island then turns from a tropical paradise into Atlantic City.moreless

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  • Mission failed

    The first half was decent, enough to pull one or two wackiness; the PBS pledge and Homer pledged just to make PBS to shut up, scene in the bank was hilarious until Homer got chased. Teletubbies and Sesame Street’s appearance was really awkward. I thought the whole missionary thing was going great with a girl who has Lisa’s voice; Lisa Jr.(that was new), Homer’s casino was a blast, and that’s it. Things were going downhill after Bart replaced Homer as the man of the house and at the nuclear power plant. This was a disastrous subplot and even Lenny and Mr. Burns thinks Bart IS Homer, how cartoonish can you get! Added up to a sloppy ending. Another Homer’s wackiest adventures, which didn’t workout. The writers should’ve added more havoc on Homer’s missionary plan.moreless
  • Funny in so many ways. Had a great ending too

    Homer anonymously pledges $10,000 to PBS to save Do Shut Up, his favorite British sitcom. When Betty White and her PBS cronies track him down, Homer is forced to flee for his life. Seeking sanctuary at the Springfield Community Church, Homer begs Reverend Lovejoy to save him from the violent PBS posse that has grown to include Mr. Rogers, the Teletubbies, and Oscar the Grouch. Reverend Lovejoy smuggles Homer out of the Church parking lot inside a bag labeled "Children's Letters to God" and deposits him on a Christian Relief plane bound for the South Pacific. When he arrives on a lush tropical island, Homer is forced to act as a missionary, teaching the ways of the Lord to the natives. Back in Springfield, Bart becomes the man of the house and takes Homer's place at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Mr. Burns pokes Bart with a stick for over an hour during his first day on the job. On the island, Homer brings civilization to the natives in the form of casino gambling and beer. But Homer's newly opened Lucky Savage Casino does not lead to progress. Instead, it leads to violence and alcoholism. Attempting to repent for his mistake, Homer tries to finish the construction of the island's first chapel. After he completes the building with the help of the natives, Homer and a native girl he has named Lisa, Jr. ring the church bell so loudly that they cause an earthquake. The earthquake opens up a fissure in the island's floor that unleashes a deadly river of lava. Will Homer and Lisa, Jr. survive? It's up to Bart--and a well-placed phone call to FOX--to save the day.

    Guest Star: Betty White as herselfmoreless
  • Great

    Homer fails to have money for PBS after paying to get back to a show he was watching. So Lovejoy sends him to an island where he becomes a missionary.

    A pretty strong offering. Very funny. The only real downside is the ending, whilst funny, was a cop out.

    They didn't show a lot of the family in this one, which I usually complain about, but it was perfectly acceptable in this episode, because it was actually funny, unlike many others.

    So, ending aside, a great episode. The ending isn't even really that big a deal, it's just really abrupt. Strong offeringmoreless
  • After failing to pay PBS the money he owes them, Homer becomes a missionary in the South Pacific.

    Wow what an episode! This episode was clearly just a gut busting episode from start to finish. I loved Bart's role as the man of the house, and wether it was Homer licking toads to get a buzz, or proclaiming "Save me Jebus!" Homer always delievered his famous punch lines that kept the audience in stiches. I loved when the shows of PBS were chasing Homer, and the bank scence. Also, when Homer leaves the money as anonomous but the phone company tracks him down. This is a very entertaining episode that will not disappoint. One of the best of the season. Amoreless
  • Absolutely Hilarious!

    If the entire episode were as funny as the first 15 minutes, I'd have given this a 10!

    During the first 15 minutes of the show, Homer makes a bogus pledge to Public TV and is then chased down by the "pledge enforcement van" filled with angry PBS characters like Big Bird, Elmo, Mr. Rogers, Yo-Yo Ma, and more. This entire bit was so hilarious that I simply could not stop laughing! My stomach muscles literally hurt from the hard laughter.

    The rest of the episode is funny - but not as funny as the first part.

    I can't wait until this is released on DVD so I can watch it whenever I need a "pick-me-up".moreless
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

Betty White

Betty White


Guest Star

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Agnes Skinner, Brandine Del Roy, Dolph and others

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • At the end of the episode, Bender from Futurama can be seen, along with Mulder and Scully from the X-Files (and The Springfield Files) and also Rupert Murdoch. These people are associated with the Fox Network in some form or another.

    • Music From This Episode
      "No Feelings" by The Sex Pistols (Played during the PBS show featuring the British men.)

    • At the department store, Marge is scooping greeeting cards onto a scale from a barrel labeled "Greeting Cards $5.00/lb."

    • When Homer gets to the island and tries to give the islanders Bibles, they state they cannot read. Later, when the casino is revealed, one of the natives slowly reads "The Lucky Savage".

    • In this episode, the PBS logo has an overbite. This is not the actual PBS logo, it was redesigned to look more like the characters on the Simpsons.

    • When Homer looks at his wrist and says "The banks are closed by now," he's not wearing a watch.

    • "Do Shut Up", the show Homer watches on PBS, is probably based on "Men Behaving Badly".

  • QUOTES (21)

    • Homer: Gather round, I am going to teach you about religion.
      Natives: Oh God, oh God, oh God.
      Homer: Please, please. I am just God's messenger and, lo! What a wonderful message it is. Like this one, from the book of P-salms.

    • Homer: But what should I do?
      Craig: Well, we taught them some English and ridiculed most of their beliefs. You can take it from there.

    • White: Folks, we've just reached our goal of ten thousand, seven hundred dollars, and it's all thanks to one generous caller ... who didn't leave his name.
      Homer: [laughs]
      White: But thanks to Insta-Trace, we've learned it's Homer Simpson of 742 Evergreen Terrace. [a picture of Homer appears on the screen]
      Homer: [screams] Oh, why did I register with Insta-Trace?

    • You can't leave Homer home alone for a second ...
      Lisa: Mom, Dad's on PBS!
      Marge: Hmm? They don't show police chases, do they?
      Homer: (fumbling for the right words) Um, it's an honor to give $10,000. Especially now, when the rich mosaic of cable programming has made public television so very, very unnecessary.
      the crowd claps
      Marge: (knowingly) From now on, one of us always stays home.
      Lisa: Agreed.

    • Homer: What?! But I don't even believe in Jeebus!

    • Homer: Bart, what do I do?
      (Bart runs out the window)
      Homer: That's right, boy! Go get help.
      (Homer sees Bart swing on his swing)
      Homer: D'oh!

    • Ak: Homer, why are you building a chapel?
      Homer: Because you are all terrible sinners.
      Ak: Since when?
      Homer: Since I got here. Now either grab a stone or go to Hell.
      (Natives panic and rush to build the chapel.)

    • (Homer is running away from the PBS people and he gets in the church.)
      Homer: Sanctuary! Sanctuary!
      Rev. Lovejoy: Oh, why did I ever teach him that word?

    • Homer: Now, if The Flintstones has taught us anything, it's that pelicans can be used to mix cement. Come on, now make a funny retort. 'It's a living.'
      (The pelican falls over, dead.)

    • Betty White: And if you watch one minute without contributing, you're a thief! A common thief!
      PBS Man: Okay, Betty White, calm down.
      Betty White: I'm sorry. It's just that these thieves make me so damn mad. You know who you are - THIEVES!

    • (The ground begins to shake)
      Homer: What was that?
      Native: We call that (makes crazy native-sounding guttural throat noises) Sorry, I had a bone stuck in my throat. We call that "Earthquake."

    • Homer: OH SAVE ME JEBUS!!!!!!

    • Homer: Craig and Amy…Craig and Amy…why don't you MARRY Craig and Amy?

    • Native Man: How many times must we go to church to avoid hell?
      Native Man 2: Every Sunday morning for the rest of our lives.
      Native Man: No, really, how long?

    • Mr. Rogers: It's a beautiful day… TO KICK YOUR ASS!

    • Homer: I can see the house is falling apart without me, so here's the new order. Bart, you're the man of the house. Lisa, I'm promoting you to boy. Maggie's now the brainy girl. The toaster can fill in for Maggie. And Marge, you're a consultant.

    • Oscar the Grouch: Give us the money!
      Elmo: Elmo knows where you live.

    • Homer: Great, now my testicle's got ants on it.

    • Homer: We in Springfield are simple folk. We like our cars fast and our banks closed.

    • Homer: God is powerful, but insecure. Like Barbra Streisand before James Brolin.

    • Homer: I'm not NOT licking toads.

  • NOTES (3)

    • When Homer is asked by one of the natives about which religion is the correct one, Homer says, "Well, not the Unitarians. If that's the one true faith I'll eat my hat!" Creator Matt Groening is an Agnostic Unitarian Universalist.

    • This is the first time Yeardley Smith has voiced a different character (Lisa Jr.) besides Lisa.

    • Blackboard Joke: A belch is not an oral report.
      Couch Gag: The family rush in and sit on the couch. The scenery is the Evergreen Terrace Subway Station. A subway train comes and then stops. The family gets on, and the train leaves.


    • Yo-Yo Ma launching his cello bow towards Homer using one of the cello's strings as an "archery bow" is very similar to a stunt Curly Howard did in the 1936 Three Stooges short Disorder in the Court, when he wound up launching the bow from his bass fiddle in a similar fashion.

    • Homer: ...made possible by a grant from the Chubb Group!
      This is a parody of the funding credits required to be shown for 40 seconds on the beginning and end of most PBS shows. Also, the Chubb Group is a play-on of The Chudwig Group.

    • The PBS Pledge Enforcement Van – which arrives with shocking quickness to the Simpsons to collect Homer's $10,000 check – makes several references to Publisher's Clearing House, including:

      • The minivan is a similar model.
      • A large entourage of TV crew members (armed with TV and 35-mm cameras, balloons, etc.), reporters and other taggers-along.
      • Surprising people at home on "live TV" (as they do with Homer when they come for the check).

    • Burns: ... and worst of all, you took the Hamburglar's birthday off!
      Burns (chastizing Bart for Homer's poor performance and lame excuses for being absent) is referring to McDonald's residential hamburger thief. The Hamburglar is one of several characters who populate children's advertising for the fast-food chain, as well as other kid-oriented aspects of the restaurant (e.g., McDonaldland cookies, playground equipment, child-sized drinks, etc.).

    • Various references to The Flintstones:

      • Animals pressed into service on the island of Microatia.
      • Homer's quote, "If the Flintstones have taught us anything ..."
      • Homer wearing a tortoise shell as a hard hat while using a pelican as a cement mixer.

    • The episode's title is a play on Mission: Impossible, the futuristic crime drama series from 1966-1973 and again in 1988-1989.

    • :
      The PBS personalities who join the two brothers from "Yo Yo Ma" in pursuing Homer after it's revealed he doesn't have the $10,000 to end another of those pesky pledge drives: Fred Rogers (from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood); Big Bird, Elmo and Oscar the Grouch (from Sesame Street); the Teletubbies (from their self-titled program); and cellist Yo Yo Ma. Of course, the chase would be no fun without Betty White and the PBS pledge enforcement crew joining the chase.

    • Marge (when talking into radio to Homer): Helloooooooo, is there anybody in there?
      This is a reference to Pink Floyd's song "Comfortably Numb" from their album The Wall. Quite amusing if you've heard the song.

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