The Simpsons

Season 9 Episode 20

The Trouble with Trillions

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Apr 05, 1998 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
148 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Trouble with Trillions
Homer realizes too late that taxes are due, so he cheats on his taxes and files them just in the nick of time. When the IRS subjects Homer to an audit, they agree to let Homer off if he will agree to help the FBI and become a tool of government oppression. He tries to rat on his friends about their illegal conquests and the government enjoys his work so much that they have him attempt a very special assignment. Mr. Burns has a trillion dollar bill that he stole from the government long ago. Homer tries to find it in his mansion, under the guise of writing a magazine article on Burns. When he finds it, the feds bust in and arrest Mr. Burns, but Homer foils their attempt and runs away with Burns and Smithers. They decide to leave the country with the bill and they wind up in Cuba, where they try to buy the country from Fidel Castro. Castro steals the bill and they have to return in disgrace. Mr. Burns vows to bribe the jury and get them all off scot-free.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • fair

    what i liked- milhouse taking pictures of himself in the photo booth with no shirt on, trying to look tough, the video homer and the man watch, the end of act 2, "Who needs college mom? We're trillionaires. Let's buy dune buggies!" (OOC for Lisa, but it's still funny i think), homer trying to infiltrate burns' mansion for the trillion dollar bill, etc.

    it was alright. not great not terrible. the ending is kind of rushed and there are parts that are boring, but listed above are some jokes i liked, so at least i laughed at some of it. Final grade is going to be in the C range, i think is fairmoreless
  • The plot was far too silly to be taken seriously.

    The last-minute tax scene in the beginning was kind of funny but then everything after that became too nonsensical and cartoony for me to enjoy. On top of that, hardly any of the dialogue was funny or interesting. Why does Homer become a government spy just because he messed up his taxes, or why would the government barely start being concerned with the trillion dollar bill almost fifty years after it was made? The Cuba ending was very rushed and unnecessary, though I did like the "assassinate Castro" joke. The episode ends with Homer, Burns, and Smithers in the middle of the ocean; what kind of ending is that!? This is my least favorite Scully episode (so far, I haven't seen all of them), but the good in this season far outweighs the bad.

    Grade: D-moreless
  • Another class Mr. Burns caper.

    Bobo. That is Mr. Burn's great dessire. But, so is the trillionth dollar. So, when Homer and the goverment are after it, trouble brews from this.

    This is a fine episode. Mr. Burns is my favorite character, so I feel like he is classic in every way.. This episode proves how great he can be with the right situation. And Homer was just perfect in the CIA. The best line was from Mr. Burns about Cuba and its goverment. It just sounded hillarious to me. A great episode, leading up to the classics of Season 9; Girly Edition and Trash of The Titans.moreless
  • Somebody kill Mr Burns!

    Grat, antoher ultra whacky story. This is so insane that I think it is insane, and that is something hard to do. I mean seriously, Castro? Ok, at the same time as I feel all these insane emotions rushing through my body I recognize that the writers actually manage to deliever and enjoyable and insae episode at the same time. Not very serious, only serious enough to watch it but not serious enough to call it a serious episode.

    I really think Mr Burns should be dead by now, buy nobody has the guts to do it. Ok Springfield you have to do it or this guy is going to destroy you first.moreless
  • Burns has stolen 1 Trillion dollars... A very successful episode to say the least, but let me tell you this season is no strnger to success

    In order to avoid an audit, Homer serves as an IRS spy in a sting operation targeting Mr. Burns. We learn that, many years earlier, a younger Burns was entrusted with the task of delivering the only one trillion-dollar bill ever minted to a shattered post-war Europe. The government's logic was that America's wealthiest man would never steal the money; of course, they were wrong. Now it's up to Homer to recover the trillion, but when he realizes that he's working for the agency that has exploited him all these years, he joins up with his boss and flees to Cuba with the money. While there, Homer, Burns and Smithers meet with Fidel Castro, who swipes the trillion-dollar bill and sends the men packing. Floating back to America on a refugee raft, Burns decides that he'll simply buy his way out of this most recent problem and everything returns to normal.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

Paul Winfield

Paul Winfield

Lucius Sweet

Guest Star

Maggie Roswell

Maggie Roswell

Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others

Recurring Role

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

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • In Moe's Tavern, Lenny tells the bar gang (when asked by Moe) that if he was granted one wish by the Pope, he always wondered what it would be like to wear something ironed, to which Moe and Carl also marvel at the thought. Later, in the same episode, Mr. Smithers is ironically seeing ironing his socks, of all things, when Mr. Burns and Homer arrive seeking his assistance.

    • The movie that Homer and the FBI agent saw in the photo booth is rated TV-PG.

    • We find out that the Sailing Boat painting that hangs above the couch was painted by Marge.

  • QUOTES (31)

    • Homer: (On the phone) Oh, you're going to love it in Cuba, Marge. There's shredded pork everywhere.
      Cuban Boy: Es carne de burro.

      (Translation: "It's donkey meat")
      Homer: Nice to meet you!

    • (After flying to Cuba)
      Mr. Burns: Sorry about the landing, boys. This fog is so thick I can't see my own cataracts.

    • Homer: (Filling out his tax return) Okay, Marge, if anybody asks, you require 24-hour nursing care, Lisa's a clergyman, Maggie is seven people and Bart was wounded in Vietnam.

    • Mr. Burns: I'm not the thief; the government is. Every year you make hardworking Joes like my reporter friend pay income taxes. And for what? Aid to ungrateful foreigners, do-nothing nuclear missiles, tomb polish for some unknown soldier.

    • Mr. Burns: That intrepid lad is my great-grandfather, Franklin Jefferson Burns, tossing that without a care for what the caffeine would do to the Finway Flounder.
      Homer: Is that a fish?
      Mr. Burns: It was.

    • Mr. Burns: (Pointing to a display case) Oh, you'll find this amusing: the suit Charlie Chaplin was buried in.

    • Homer: (Wearing an FBI listening device.) Hey, see you're watching the ball game. Looks like a good one. Any of you involved in any illegal activity? Cause I could sure go for some. How bout you, Lenny? Testing, testing. Lenny?
      Lenny: You saying you want to commit a crime, Homer?
      Homer: Maybe. But first I need to hear about some other crimes to get me fired up.
      Carl: You mean like the time you was running moonshine out of your basement?
      Barney: Or that telemarketing scam you pulled?
      Homer: Uh . . . like those, but involving you.
      Moe: Oh, you mean like the time Barney beat up George Bush?
      Homer: Barney!? That was me! And I'd do it again.
      Charlie: Why stop there, Homer? My militia has a secret plan to beat up all sorts of government officials. That'll teach them to drag their feet on high definition TV!
      FBI Agent: You're under arrest for conspiracy!
      Moe: How'd they finger Charlie? Somebody must have ratted him out.
      Homer: Oh, that's ridiculous, Moe. End transmission.

    • Homer: Does this make me look fat?
      Lisa: No, it makes you look like a tool of government oppression.
      Homer: But not fat?

    • Lisa: The government has no right to use you this way.
      Homer: Quiet, honey, you don't know how big this government is. (whispering) It goes all the way to the President.

    • Gil: Oh, this is bad, this is really bad. You work and you slave and you steal just enough for a sweet lick at that shiny brass ring. Don't I get a lick? Doesn't Gil get a lick!?
      IRS Agent: Simpson, Homer J.
      (Homer whimpers)
      Gil: Hey, put in a good word for old Gil would ya?

    • Chief Wiggum: (addressing a crowd) All right, people, listen up: the harder you push, the faster we will all get out of here.

    • Rod: Daddy, what do taxes pay for?
      Ned: Oh, why, everything. Policemen, trees, sunshine. And let's not forget the folks who just don't feel like working, God bless 'em.
      Maude: Neddy, it's 8:45; the post office is going to be opening soon.
      Ned: 8:45!? Here I am yapping away like it's 8:35!

    • (Homer checks out the trillion dollar bill)
      Homer: Wow, that must be worth a fortune.

    • (Agent Johnson asks Homer to go for a walk with him)
      Homer: Walk? That wasn't part of the deal!

    • FBI agent: You won't be seeing any prison movies where you're going--Prison!

    • Homer: If I don't hear you, it's not illegal!

    • (Homer is confronted by the IRS)
      Homer: I know sir, I'm sorry sir, an older boy told me to do it.

    • Homer: Look at those morons! I paid my taxes over a year ago!

    • Mr Burns: See with your eyes, not with your hands!
      Fidel Castro: Please! We are all amigos here!
      Homer: Mr. Burns, I think we can trust the President of Cuba!
      (Mr. Burns reluctantly hands over the money)
      Mr. Burns: Now give it back.
      Fidel Castro: Give what back?

    • FBI Agent: (In photography booth) Mr. Simpson, please cover your eyes while I say the secret access word. Cheese!

    • Moe: Hey Lenny, let's say you pull a thorn out of the Pope's butt and he grants you one wish. What'll it be?
      Lenny: Uh...only one huh? Well, I've always wondered what it would feel like to wear something that's been ironed.
      Carl: Oh that would be sweet!

    • Marge: I put the tax forms on the top of your "to do" pile a month ago!
      Homer: I have a "to do" pile!?

    • Kent Brockman: Sir, why did you wait until the last minute to pay your taxes?
      Otto: Taxes!? Isn't this the line for Metallica?
      Kent Brockman: Sir uh...why did you wait until the last minute to pay your taxes?
      Krusty: Because I'm an idiot! Happy!?

    • (All of Springfield is watching the ball drop and counting.)
      Springfield: 10, 9, 8...
      (The ball gets stuck)
      Springfield: 8, 8, 8!
      Homer: Oh will this horrible year never end!?
      Chief Wiggum: We've never lost a year before, and I'll be damned if we're gonna lose one on my shift!
      (Wiggum shoots the ball and it falls)
      Springfield: (Rapidly) 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!

    • Smithers: But, sir, what about your criminal charges?
      Mr. Burns: Well, if it's a crime to love one's country, then I guess I'm guilty as charged. And, if it's a crime to steal a trillion dollars and hand it over to communist Cuba, then I guess I'm guilty of that, too. And, if it's a crime to bribe a jury, God help me, I'll soon be guilty of that as well!
      Homer: God bless America!

    • Mr. Burns: That's odd; a pack of vicious dogs should be tearing you to pieces by now.
      Homer: I don't know what to tell you.
      Mr. Burns: Well, come inside. Maybe I can scald you with something.

    • (Mr. Burns, Smithers and Homer are looking for an island to create a new country in.)
      Mr. Burns: Look at that island. That looks free enough.
      Smithers: Sir, that's Cuba!

    • Agent Johnson: We believe Burns still has the bill hidden somewhere in his house, but all we've ascertained from satellite photos is that it's not on the roof.

    • FBI Agent: From now on, you're working for us.
      Homer: Okay, but could you pay me under the table? (Whispering) I've got a little tax problem.

    • Mr. Burns: Take her down, Smithers.
      Smithers: Sir, you're flying the plane!
      Mr. Burns: Excellent!

    • Castro: We all knew from day one this mumbo jumbo wouldn't fly!

  • NOTES (1)

    • Blackboard Joke: I will not demand my worth.
      Couch Gag: The TV room is used as a sauna by three old men. One of them pours water over the hot rocks. The family come in with towels on, notice the men, and leave.


    • Wiggum: We've never lost a year before, and I'll be damned if we're gonna lose one on my shift!

      This is similar to a line from the 1995 movie Apollo 13, in which Flight Director Gene Kranz (Ed Harris) says, "We've never lost an American in space and we're sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch!"

    • Smithers: (singing to himself) You'll be swell! You'll be great!

      This is a line from the song "Everything's Coming Up Roses" from the musical/movie Gypsy.

    • Star Trek
      The title of the episode alludes to the title of a famous Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles."

  • 10:00 pm