The Simpsons

Season 3 Episode 9

Saturdays of Thunder

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Nov 14, 1991 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
252 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Bart becomes deeply immersed in competitive soapbox racing while Homer begins to realize that he's not as good a father as he thought. After attending a lecture at National Fatherhood Institute, Homer becomes a more attentive father, helping Bart build the ultimate soapbox racer. But Bart decides not to use it in his big race against Nelson Muntz, instead opting to borrow Martin Prince's scientifically engineered aerodynamic racer.moreless

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  • Another classic.

    Bart becomes deeply immersed in competitive soapbox racing while Homer begins to realize that he's not as good a father as he thought. After attending a lecture at National Fatherhood Institute, Homer becomes a more attentive father, helping Bart build the ultimate soapbox racer. But Bart decides not to use it in his big race against Nelson Muntz, instead opting to borrow Martin Prince's scientifically engineered aerodynamic racer.

    10 out of 10moreless
  • perfect

    what i liked- homer realizing he knows squat about his son and proclaiming he is a bad dad, and then selma reminds him that he's 'also fat', the ending of the episode, someone being trapped in nelson's car (hey what was that?), martin crashing, bart and homer bonding, amongst other things.

    good episode. i like when homer and bart bond and it was handled in a really fun way for the viewer to enjoy. great episode from a great season, overall grade going to be an A+moreless
  • this was a good ep of the simpsons

    in this ep of the simpsons bart is excited about the race car derby and is being very competive and homer wants to help but he realizes he does not know his son very well so he goes to a father instituet and then comes back to be very acetive for his son but bart and homer build a race car thing is bart does not use it at all insted he uses marten scientific race car instead and bart is just happy for his father to come out and root him onl this was a good ep i thought good father and son epmoreless
  • Another Homer and child episode, following the last one.

    Last episode was Homer and Lisa, now it's Homer and Bart. After Homer gets a zero on a good father sort of test, he decides to spend more time on Bart and his hobby. His hobby is apparently racing cars, and Homer and Bart build there own car together. But, after seeing an oppurtunity to use a better car to win against Nelson, he ends up using a more high tech car instead of the one Homer and him making Homer sad.... but in the end after Homer gets a 100 on the test after a re-take he still goes and cheers Bart on, and Bart wins. I thought this episode was slightly better than the last one because it had more comedy in it, as well as the emotionally touching develoment between Homer and Bart.moreless
  • This season is very emotional thus far; so many touching episodes. This one relates to father and son.

    After Homer fails a National Fatherhood test, he concludes that he's a bad father. He spends more time with Bart, helping him build a Soapbox Derby racer. At the qualifying race, Bart's car doesn't even cross the finishing ling. Martin's model easily wins, but he loses control and crashes. He breaks his arm and cannot enter the final race against Nelson. He asks Bart to race for him and Bart accepts. Homer feel's betrayed, deciding to ride Martin's car rather than the car the two built together. Homer takes the test again, but this time passes. He runs to the final race and cheers Bart along in Martin's racer. He blasts past Nelson and wins the race.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

Larry McKay

Larry McKay

TV Announcer

Guest Star

Jo Ann Harris

Jo Ann Harris

Additional Voices

Recurring Role

Pamela Hayden

Pamela Hayden

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

Recurring Role

Russi Taylor

Russi Taylor

Martin Prince, Sherri, Terri and others

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • The scene in which Bart welds with his mask up caused a battle between the show creators and the network censors. The censors were concerned that children would imitate Bart by misusing welding tools. The show creators were able to convince them that very few kids would use welding tools anyway.

    • Music from this episode
      "Watching Scotty Grow" by Bobby Goldsboro
      "Cats In The Cradle" by Harry Chapin
      "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler

    • Tapes at the video shack include: "Du Du Du", "Border Siesta", "The Bad Football", "Speed Boat Bloopers", "Frisbee", "Super Jock 3", "Death By Knockout", "Bench Clearing Brawls", "Blood On The Ice", and "Football's Greatest Injuries".

    • The head of the National Fatherhood Institute drinks from a Super Dad mug.

    • Homer double parks at the VHS Village.

    • The sign at the video store reads: ''VHS Village, Formerly the Beta Barn.''

    • Marge and her sisters read ''Idle Chatter'' and ''Peephole'' magazines at the beauty salon.

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Bart: Dad, I don't know how to say this. I don't want to drive your car. It's slow, it's ugly; it handles like a shopping cart.

    • Martin: What is the matter with you?
      Bart: It's my dad. Lying there on the couch, drinking a beer, staring at the TV... I've never seen him like that.

    • Bart: Oh, I don't know if I should do that. My dad and I build our car together, and if I drove somebody else's it'd kill him! On the other hand, I'll do it!

    • Homer: Thank you, Bill Cosby. You've saved The Simpsons!

    • Homer: What's the quickest, cheapest, easiest way to do something with you?
      Lisa: Uh, take us to the video store?
      Homer: Anything for my little girl.

    • Nelson: Hey, Simpson, where's your loser-mobile!
      Homer: Loser mobile…hehehe…wait a minute!
      Bart: Uh, It's over there Nelson.
      Nelson: Whoa, talk about your pieces of crap!

    • Homer: Goodbye son!
      Milhouse: Hey, Bart, I think they're finally hauling your dad away!
      Bart: Maybe it's for the best.

    • Marge: Question 2: "Who is your son's hero?"
      Homer: Steve McQueen.
      Marge: That's your hero! "Name another dad you talk to about parenting."
      Homer: Next
      Marge: "What are your son's hobbies?"
      Homer: Well, he's always chewing on the phone cord.
      Marge: He hasn't done that since he was two!
      Homer: Then he has no hobbies!

    • Marge: Question 1: Name one of your child's friends.
      Homer: Lets see uh, Bart's friends, well there's the fat kid with the thing, uh, the little wiener who's always got his hands in his pockets!
      Marge: They want a name, Homer, not a vague description!
      Homer: Okay....Hank?
      Marge: Hank? Hank who?
      Homer: Hank....Jones!
      Marge: Homer, you made that up.

    • Homer: Oh my god, I don't know jack about my boy! I'm a bad father!
      Selma: You're also fat.
      Homer: I'm also fat!

    • Troy McClure: I'm actor Troy McClure. You may remember me
      from such TV series as: Buck Henderson: Union Buster and Troy & Company's Summertime Smile Factory.

    • Homer: Patty! Selma! What a pleasant surprise!
      Patty: Whaddya know, he's wearing pants!
      Selma: I owe you a lunch!

    • Barney: (To Patty) My friend and I have a bet. Are you Mary Tyler Moore?
      (Patty sprays mace in Barney's eyes.)
      Barney: Ow! Wow, it really is you!

    • Homer: (reading) No matter what you tell your child to do, you will always do the opposite, huh?
      Homer's Brain: Don't you get it? You've got to use reverse psychology!
      Homer: That sounds too complicated!
      Homer's Brain: OK, don't use reverse psychology!
      Homer: All right, I will!

  • NOTES (4)

    • Harry Shearer based the voice of Dave, the director of the Fatherhood Institute, on actor Mason Adams.

    • This episode premiered November 14, 1991 and got high ratings due in part to the fact that it was immediately followed by the premiere of Michael Jackson's infamous "Black or White" music video.

    • ''Deathrace 2000'' was another inspiration for the episode.

    • Blackboard Joke: I will not fake rabies.
      Couch Gag: The family does not realize the bottom cushions are missing until it's too late, and are compressed into the couch.


    • The Natural
      Homer stands up in the crowd to cheer Bart on, and shouts, "Do it for your old man, boy!" As he does this, the theme from the 1984 baseball film The Natural plays.

    • McBain: Mendoza!!!
      The McBain movie pokes fun at both films Lethal Weapon and Colors.

    • Selma: You can turn the world on with your smile.
      Selma's statement is one of several references contained in this episode that reference The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which Jim Brooks was the creator of.

    • Ben-Hur
      In the final race Nelson's car has blades attached to its wheels just like those attached to the wheels of Messala's chariot in the chariot race scene in the 1959 film Ben-Hur.

    • Days Of Thunder
      The title of this episode is a reference to the 1990 Tom Cruise film Days Of Thunder, which is about a race car driver.

    • The Late Summer Early Fall Bert Convy Show
      The forgettable variety series starring Troy McClure is a reference to Bert Convy's short-lived 1976 variety series The Late Summer Early Fall Bert Convy Show.