The Simpsons

Season 6 Episode 25

Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One)

3
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM May 21, 1995 on FOX
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
283 votes
25

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One)
AIRED:
The entire town of Springfield is enraged at Mr. Burns after he steals oil from the school, destroys the retirement home, closes down businesses and plans to block out the sun. After the town meeting, Mr. Burns is found shot. Who was the gunman?

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The sixth season ends with Springfield Elementary striking oil. However Mr. Burns soon plans to steal the newly discovered riches.

    8.0
    Part one of "Who Shot Mr. Burns" is quite good. As I have said many times about previous episodes of this series the dialogue is sharp and there are a lot of laughs. The final scene of everybody at the Town Hall was very well done. Mr. Burns' sun blocking device was just the icing on the cake. Just when you thought he could not be even more evil. However the one criticism I have of this was it was obvious who pulled the trigger almost immediately. An issue of "Entertainment Weekly" magazine did a very good job of pointing out the subtle clues that indicated who committed the shooting. However that aside this is still a very good episode well worth seeing.moreless
  • "Who Shot Mr. Burns" was a big deal for SIMPSONS viewers. Not only was it a cliffhanger (the only one in the show's history) it was genuinely funny with an epic plot involving Burns and his plan to blot out the sun.moreless

    9.5
    You knew I was going to include this, didn't you?



    As a entertainment-obsessed youth, there were few things more important than THE SIMPSONS. When we kids heard that Mr. Burns was going to be shot we all became detectives. Who could do it? Homer, finally seeking revenge for a crappy job? Smithers, sick of being pushed around by an ungrateful boss? Maybe it's Bart or Lisa, striking down Burns to save their beloved Springfield.



    I guess none of us realized that this was THE SIMPSONS and that it was going to be a funny, inconsequential pay-off. Regardless, "Who Shot Mr. Burns" was a big deal for SIMPSONS viewers. Not only was it a cliffhanger (the only one in the show's history) it was genuinely funny with an epic plot involving Burns and his plan to blot out the sun. I remember watching a VHS with the episode taped on it during the summer hiatus. Over and over and over again I watched, hoping to discover new clues. Yeah, I was kind of an idiot.



    Admit it, you had your own theories too.moreless
  • The school becomes rich when oil is found underneath it, until Mr. Burns taps the oil deposit, then blocking out all sun to Springfield, in the process earning him the hatred of the town. At least until he gets shot in the end, creating a cliffhanger.moreless

    9.4
    Great episode, does a great job showcasing Burns' character traits. Very funny, like in the scenes where he tries to pass himself as Jimbo or when he steps on a replica of the power plant while destroying a model of the town in his office. Though to ruin the episode, it was Maggie who shot Burns, but this is still a great episode.
  • Loved this episode!!!

    10
    I loved this episode! The first (and so far) only time that I have seen it was in History class. This episode was pretty funny and it made you think, especially at the end because pretty much everyone was capable of doing it. They all had a reason to do it so it was hard to decide who really shot Mr. Burns. I liked this episode because instead of the town being divided between each other, it was the town against Burns. I also liked that they made it almost impossible to figure out exactly who did it and they left you hanging till the next season.



    Overall, this episode is definately a classic. 10/10!moreless
  • Really good episode with a nice drama effect

    9.5
    I don't usually watch the Simpsons often, but I watched this one for the fact that it's one of the show's highest rated episodes, and I can see why. In this episode, Mr.Burns steals oil from the town school, and then plans to block out the sun, and after doing so, he is shot by unknown assialant. I liked how pretty much everyone was a suspect like Homer (For not knowing his name) Smithers (Not agreeing with his actions, and firing him) or Principal Skinner (Stealing the school's oil). I liked the cliffhanger at the end and the joke about breaking the fourth wall at the end. Overall, this is an episode that shows exactly why the Simpsons is such a classic show. 9.5/10 A+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

Tito Puente

Tito Puente

Himself

Guest Star

Doris Grau

Doris Grau

Lunchlady Doris

Recurring Role

Maggie Roswell

Maggie Roswell

Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others

Recurring Role

Pamela Hayden

Pamela Hayden

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

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Groundskeeper Willie is seen reading a Weekly Reader magazine.

    • While Mr. Burns is walking in the twilight following the town meeting, comments made and shots shown reveal who is missing and leads the viewer to believe that they are prime suspects:
      -Carl says that Smithers left his jacket behind.
      -Otto states that Skinner left his mother behind.
      -Marge doesn't know the whereabouts of Bart, Lisa, Homer, and Grampa.
      -Grampa's buried gun has been dug up in the front yard.

    • Grampa's gun is an old Smith and Wesson.

    • Mr. Burns is dressed as Jimbo Jones when he tries to convince Skinner to give the oil money to the nuclear plant.

    • The students and faculty make the following suggestions for spending the oil money:
      - Groundskeeper Willie: Crystal bucket for his slop water, a brand new filthy blanket.
      - Lunchlady Doris: A new staff
      - Lisa: A jazz program for the music department with Tito Puente as the instructor.
      - Ralph: Chocolate microscopes
      - Otto: Double guitars
      - Principal Skinner: More rubber stamps
      - Bart: Bring the Three Stooges back to life. (This idea was rejected)

    • When Mr. Burns collapses onto the sundial, you can see the gun is missing from the holster inside his suit.

    • Mr. Burns is said to be 104 years old. This age is inconsistant throughout the series.

  • QUOTES (21)

    • (At Moe's)
      Barney: These fumes aren't as fun as beer. Sure, I'm all dizzy and nauseous, but where's the inflated sense of self-esteem?
      (A man at the end of the bar slumps to the floor.)
      Moe: Hey, if you guys are getting loaded off them fumes I'm gonna have to charge you.
      (Two scientists walk into Moe's Tavern wearing gas-masks.)
      Male Scientist: Man alive! There are, uh, men alive in here.
      Female Scientist: (Holding a beeping detector) I'm detecting over twenty different toxins in the air.
      (Barney belches and the detector beeps faster.)
      Male Scientist: All right, everybody out! As long as Burns is pumping oil, this bar is closed!
      Moe: Damned Burns. Let me just get one thing. (Pulls shotgun from behind the bar.)
      Barney: Me too! (Pulls gun from his side.) Ah, now there's the inflated sense of self-esteem!

    • Captain McAllister: Arr...Burns, yer scurvy schemes have earned ye a one-way ticket to the boneyard.
      Ned: Uh, I'd like to hear from Sideshow Mel.
      Sideshow Mel: I'll see to it that Mr. Burns suffers the infernal mechanations of Hell's grim tyrant! (Holds up a switchblade)
      Otto: Yeah!

    • (Burns has a gun under his jacket)
      Mr. Burns: I decided to take the liberty of protecting myself after being attacked in my office by some unidentified assailant.
      Homer: (off-screen) D'oh!

    • Bart: Yuck, what reeks?
      Nelson: Smells like one of Van Houten's.
      Milhouse: It does not!

    • Groundskeeper Willie: What in the name of St. Episiocritus?

    • Principal Skinner: (sniffs the air) Hmmm, the school doesn't normally smell so rank… (sniffs his armpit) Ahhh, wash basin fresh.

    • (Deleted Scene - After Homer screams the "F" word the phone rings and Homer picks it up)
      Homer: Yes, Dad, that was me.

    • Burns: (stomping on model of Springfield) Take that Bowl-o-rama! Take that quickie store! Take that nuclear power plant... (pauses) Oh, fiddlesticks.

    • Smithers: This isn't some rival company you're battling with, sir; it's a school. People won't stand for it.
      Mr. Burns: Pish posh. It will be like taking candy from a baby. (spots a baby with a candy cane) Say, that sounds like a larf… Let's give a try right now!

    • Mr. Burns: (unveiling his sun-blocking machine) Imagine it, Smithers… Electrical lights and heaters running all night long!
      Smithers: But, sir! Every plant and tree will die, owls will deafen us with incessant hooting, the town's sun dial will be useless! I don't want any part of this project; it's unconscionably fiendish.
      Mr. Burns: (startled at what Smithers says) I will not suffer your insubordination! There has been a shocking decline in the quality and quantity of your toadying, Waylon. And you will fall into line now!
      Smithers: (irritably) No… No, Monty; I won't! Not until you step back from the brink of insanity.
      Mr. Burns: I'll do no such thing. You're fired!

    • Mr. Burns: Ever since the beginning of time, man has yearned to destroy the sun. I shall do the next best thing: block it out.

    • (Skinner covers criticism of his school in newspaper's headline with his hand)
      Superintendent Chalmers: What's that your hand's covering?
      Principal Skinner: It's . . . an unrelated article.
      Chalmers: An unrelated article in the middle of the front page headline?
      Skinner: Uh, yes.
      Chalmers: May I see it?
      Skinner: No.

    • Smithers: Well, sir, all your major enemies have been destroyed: the school, the local tavern, the old folks' home. You must be very happy.
      Mr. Burns: No, Smithers, I can't be truly happy, not as long as my greatest enemy still provides people with free light, heat, and energy. I call this enemy... the sun.

    • Mr. Burns: I want that oil. I've got a monopoly to maintain! I own the Electric Company and the Water Works, plus the hotel on Baltic Avenue!
      Principal Skinner: That hotel's a dump and your monopoly is pathetic! The school's oil well is not for sale, particularly to a black-hearted scoundrel as yourself!
      Mr. Burns: I see. Well, I guess I'll have to... attack you! (flails his arms like a sissy at Principal Skinner) I must have that oil! (pants for breath) Smithers... Smithers, help me subdue this beast!
      Smithers: (walks in with a stapler) Sorry, sir. This was all I could find. (fires stapler at Principal Skinner) Take that! And that!
      (The staples land harmlessly on Principal Skinner's desk.)
      Principal Skinner: Please don't waste those.

    • Bart: (sees gun in cigar box) Wow!
      Grampa: That's my old Smith and Wesson. If you're gonna play with it, be careful 'cause it's loaded.
      Marge: (walks into the room) Aah! Bart! Guns are very dangerous and I won't allow them in this house! (takes gun away from Bart)
      Grampa: How can you have a house without a gun?! What if a bear came in through the front door?
      Marge: I'm going to bury this in the back yard where little hands can't get to it! (walks away)
      Grampa: (to Bart) Geesh! You should have fired it into the air! Then she would have run off!

    • (At Town Hall)
      Carl: That's odd; Mr. Smithers left his jacket here.
      Otto: That's odd; Principal Skinner left his mother here.

    • Lisa: (on phone) Oh, no! That's awful, Mr. Puente! What? Oh, he owns the nuclear power plant. Yeah, I'd like to settle his ass, too! (hangs up the phone) Dad, how can you work for a man like Mr. Burns?
      Homer: Well, he's not all bad, Lisa. He even sent me this nice 'Thank You' card.
      (Lisa looks at the card.)
      Lisa: (reading) "To Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie". (gives card back to Homer) Dad, this doesn't have your name on it.
      (Homer looks at the card and lowers it slowly; his pupils shrink in anger.)
      Homer: Kids, would you step outside for a second?
      (Bart and Lisa run outside as Homer stands up.)
      Homer: (inhales deeply) F---!
      (church organ plays a chord; birds fly away and everyone looks at the Simpson house.)
      Ned: Dear Lord! That's the loudest profanity I've ever heard!

    • Principal Skinner: I'm afraid we have no legal recourse against Mr. Burns and his slant-drilling operation. The oil belongs to whoever pumped it first.
      Groundskeeper Willie: What about all the expensive stuff we wanted? Can we still have it??
      Principal Skinner: No!
      (Groundskeeper Willie rips his shirt open and yells angrily, then begins to sob; the school staff begin to murmur.)
      Groundskeeper Willie: (pounds fist on desk) Blast it!
      Principal Skinner: In fact, to pay for the construction, operation, and demolition of our derrick, the school will have to eliminate all nonessential programs: music…
      (Tito Puente gasps, then punches his bongos in angrily.)
      Principal Skinner: …and maintenance.
      Groundskeeper Willie: Aargh! (stands up) I'LL KILL THAT MR. BURNS!!! And, er, wound that Mr. Smithers! (storms out) Out of my way!

    • Mr. Burns: (after seeing Homer spray-painting all over his office) Who the devil are you?
      (Homer loses it, then runs at Mr. Burns and grabs him by the neck, shaking him involuntarily.)
      Homer: Homer Simpson!
      Mr. Burns: What?
      Homer: Homer Simpson!
      Mr. Burns: What are you talking about?
      Homer: Homer…
      Mr. Burns: You're not making sense, man!
      Homer: Shut up! Homer Simpson!
      Mr. Burns: I can't understand a word you're saying!
      Homer: My name is Homer Simpson!
      Mr. Burns: You're just babbling incoherently…
      Homer: My name is Homer… (two guards rush in, restrain Homer, and drag him away) Oh, you're a dead man, Burns. Oh, you're dead. You're dead, Burns!

    • Smithers: (drunk) Mr. Burns was the closest thing I ever had to…a friend. But he fired me! So now I spend my days drinking cheap scotch and watching Comedy Central!
      Dr. Hibbert: Oh, dear god!
      Smithers: Eh, it's not all that bad… I never miss "Pardon My Zinger".
      (Ned puts a blanket around Smithers.)
      Groundskeeper Willie: Burns cost me my groundskeeping job at the school! And I'm too superstitious to take the one at the cemetery…
      Grampa: Because of him, I lost my room, my things, and my buddy's collection of old sunbathing magazines.
      Old Jewish Man: You bastard!
      Moe: I lost my bar!
      Barney: (pointing to Moe) I lost his bar!
      Lisa: He robbed the school of music!
      Principal Skinner: He robbed the school of financial security!
      Tito Puente: He robbed the school of Tito!
      Homer: He can't remember my name!
      Marge: He's causing us all to yell!
      (Maggie sucks on her pacifier angrily.)
      Bart: Look what he did to my best friend!
      (Everyone gasps and sees Milhouse eating a bag of cheese puffs messily.)
      Milhouse: Huh?
      Bart: No; my dog!
      (Everyone gasps again and sees Santa's Little Helper wheel into the building.)

    • Mr. Burns: Let me ask you something. Have you ever seen the sun set…at 3 p.m.?
      Captain McAllister: Aye, once. When I was sailing 'round the arctic--
      Mr. Burns: (interrupting) Shut up, you! (takes out a remote) Take one last look at the sun, Springfield!

  • NOTES (2)

    • A few hours after this episode had aired, a college student found out the identity of the shooter and posted his theory on the internet. The staff couldn't give him the prize in the "Who Shot Mr. Burns Contest" because they weren't allowed to contact him during the contest (as he hadn't entered) and afterwards, he couldn't be identified.

    • Blackboard Gag: This is not a clue...or is it?
      Couch Gag: The family run across a repeating panning shot of the couch and TV.

  • ALLUSIONS (4)

    • Simon and Garfunkel
      The 1966 song "59th St. Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy)," from Simon and Garfunkel, is referenced with slightly different lyrics. Mr. Burns sings, "Hello lamppost, whatcha knowin'? I've come to watch your power flowing." The original song is "flowers growing" instead of "power flowing".

    • Goldfinger
      The model of Springfield that comes out of Mr. Burns' floor is a reference to the 1964 James Bond movie, Goldfinger, when Goldfinger explains his plans to raid Fort Knox.

    • Mr. Burns: "I own the electric company, the water works, and that hotel on Baltic Avenue!"
      These are all pieces on the board game "Monopoly." And Skinner's follow-up: "That hotel's a dump", is correct. Baltic Avenue is the cheapest property on the board.

    • Dallas
      The whole idea of this episode is a spoof on the 1991 episode of Dallas entitled: "Conundrum (1)." The character, J.R., is shot and the episode ends as a cliffhanger. The catchphrase "Who Shot J.R.?" was used all summer. This is where the episode title "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" alludes from. There were also many other elements of the story which are similar to the ones found in the classic TV series Dallas: Mr. Burns gets everyone angry by stealing the school's oil, as JR gets people angry by shutting down someone else's oil field to make his own. Smithers is afraid that he shot Mr. Burns in a drunken stupor, like Sue Ellen was. Homer's fingerprints were found on the gun, like Sue Ellen's were, and the search is narrowed down to someone close to the Ewing family, like it was with the Simpson family. Also, Smithers' dream sequence in which Mr. Burns is in the shower is taken from an episode much later in the Dallas series where Bobby is brought back from the dead and the entire previous season turned out to be a dream.

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