The Simpsons

Season 2 Episode 21

Three Men and a Comic Book

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM May 09, 1991 on FOX
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Episode Summary

When Bart catches a glimpse of the original issue of Radioactive Man for sale at a comic book convention, he sets out to own the vintage comic book by any means necessary.

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Dan Castellaneta

Dan Castellaneta

Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, 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

Cloris Leachman

Cloris Leachman

Mrs. Glick

Guest Star

Daniel Stern

Daniel Stern


Guest Star

Russi Taylor

Russi Taylor

Martin Prince, Sherri, Terri and others

Recurring Role

Pamela Hayden

Pamela Hayden

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

Recurring Role

Hank Azaria

Hank Azaria

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

  • QUOTES (14)

    • (Bart, Milhouse, and Martin discuss their ownership of the comic)
      Martin: How about this, guys? Bart can have it Mondays and Thursdays, Milhouse will get it Tuesdays and Fridays, and yours truly will take it Wednesdays and Saturdays.
      Bart: Perfect!
      Milhouse: Wait a minute! What about Sundays?
      Bart: (suspiciously) Yeah, what about Sundays?
      Martin: Well, Sunday possession will be determined by a random number generator. I will take the digits 1 through 3, Milhouse will have 4 through 6, and Bart will have 7 through 9.
      Bart: Perfect!
      Milhouse: Wait a minute! What about 0?
      Bart: (suspiciously) Yeah, what about 0?
      Milhouse: Yeah!
      Martin: Well, in the unlikely event of a 0, possession will be determined by rock scissors paper competition, best 3 out of 5, how's that?
      (Bart and Milhouse agree.)

    • Milhouse: (after he sniffed the comic book) It smells like my Grandpa.

    • Bart: We worked so hard and now it's all gone. We ended up with nothing because the three of us can't share.
      Milhouse: What's your point?
      Bart: Nothing, just kinda ticks me off.

    • Marge: So maybe a part-time job is the answer.
      Bart: Aw, Mom, I couldn't ask you to do that. You're already taking care of Maggie, and Lisa is such a handful--
      Lisa: She means you should get a job, stupid.

    • Homer: A hundred bucks?! For a comic book! Who drew it, Micha-ma-langelo?

    • Marge: Homer, it's really coming down! Could you check on the boys?
      (Homer sees Bart and Milhouse fighting in the treehouse as lightning flashes nearby)
      Homer: They're fine.

    • Homer: Hey, when I was your age, 50 cents was a lot of money.
      Bart: Really?
      Homer: Naah!

    • Mrs. Glick: Here, have some ribbon candy. Boys love candy!
      Bart: No thanks!
      Mrs. Glick: Boys love candy!
      Bart: Ueeeh. I think I'd just rather get to work m'am.

    • (To earn money for his comic book, Marge suggests that Bart get a job.)
      Bart: Me!?
      Wonder Years Voice: Get a job? Were they serious? I didn't realize it at the time, but a little bit of my childhood had slipped away...forever.
      Homer: Bart! What are you staring at?
      Bart: Uh...nothing.
      Wonder Years Voice: He didn't say it and neither did I, but at that moment, my dad and I were closer than we ever--
      Homer: Bart! Stop that!
      Bart: Sorry!

    • Bart: Please Dad!
      Homer: No!
      Bart: Please Dad!
      Homer: No!
      Bart: Please Dad!
      Homer: No!
      (And so on until...)
      Bart: Please Dad!
      Homer: No!!! Now look, son, we all know that usually when you bug me like this, I give in, so I'm not mad at you for trying. It shows you've been paying attention. But we all know I'm not going to give you $100! Now are you going to stop bugging me?
      Bart: No!
      Homer: Are you?
      Bart: No!
      Homer: Are you?
      Bart: No!
      (And so on until...)
      Homer: Are you?
      Bart: (frustrated) Okay!
      Homer: (triumphant) Hee hee! I win! In your face! (punches Bart's shoulder) Yeah! How do you like them apples?

    • Buddy Hodges: Any questions?
      Milhouse: When Radioactive Man got injected with shrinking serum in issue 234, how come his costume shrinks too?
      Buddy Hodges: I am sure I don't know.

    • (Mayor Quimby address the comic book convention.)
      Mayor Quimby: You might say I feel like....Radiation Man!
      Jimbo: That's Radioactive Man, jerk!

    • Bart: This looks like a discount for...Bartman!

    • Fallout Boy: Gee, Radioactive Man. When can I smoke Laramies?
      Radioactive Man: (Laughs) Ahh, not until you're sixteen.

  • NOTES (3)

    • This episode marked the first time that The Simpsons pulled in more total viewers than its major competition, The Cosby Show. In fact, the repeat on April 30, 1992 had an extra scene added about the end of the rival program. In the scene, Bart says, "If I ever had a hit show, I'd run it into the ground." to which Homer replies, "That's my boy!"

    • First Appearance: Comic Book Guy, Android's Dungeon Comic Book Store, Mrs. Glick, Radioactive Man, Fallout Boy.

    • Blackboard Joke: (In fancy English script.) I will not show off.
      Couch Gag: The family sits on the couch and it tips over backwards. Maggie peers over the top.

  • ALLUSIONS (10)

    • Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
      The comic book convention sign said "Close Encounter Of The Comic Book Kind Convention". This is a parody of the 1977 movie title Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.

    • Jack Kirby
      The man at the comic book convention known as Jolly Jack Tate is a parody of comic book legend Jack Kirby, who always used to be referred to as "Jolly Jack."

    • Batman
      Bart grabbing the man that collects admission money by the collar and telling him "I'm, Bartman," parodies a similar scene in the 1989 film Batman. In addition, Fallout Boy, Radioactive Man's boy sidekick, is a reference to Batman's boy sidekick Robin.

    • Gone With The Wind
      Bart's silhouetted agony, when the iodine is applied, is taken directly from the 1939 film Gone With The Wind.

    • Martin Prince: This is the stuff dreams are made of.
      This line is a reference to a similar line spoken by Humphrey Bogart in the 1941 film The Maltese Falcon.

    • Three Men and a Baby
      The title of this episode is a parody of the title of the 1987 film Three Men and a Baby.

    • Saboteur
      The scene where Bart is saving Milhouse from falling from the tree house is a reference to the 1942 Hitchcock film Saboteur.

    • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
      The scene of the three boys sitting in the tree house being accusatory, and suspicious of each other, is taken from a similar scene in the 1948 film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

    • The Wonder Years
      The "Adult Bart" voice over, reminiscing about Bart getting a job doing errands for Mrs. Glick is a reference to the same narrative device used in The Wonder Years. Daniel Stern who narrated as the adult version of Kevin in The Wonder Years also lends his voice as the narrator in this scene.

    • Leave It To Beaver
      In this episode, Bart said that there was a rumor that the person who played Fallout Boy was killed in Vietnam. This is a parody of a rumor from the 1960's that the star of Leave It To Beaver, Jerry Mathers, was killed in Vietnam.