[1F01] Rosebud

Rosebud                                            Written by John Swartzwelder
                                                         Directed by Wes Archer
Production code: 1F01                       Original airdate in N.A.: 21-Oct-93
                                                  Capsule revision L, 21-Jul-96

Title sequence

Blackboard :- None due to shortened intro.

Lisa's Solo:- None due to shortened intro.

Couch      :- The family runs in, only to see identical copies of
              themselves already seated on the couch.  The families look
              at one another in confusion.

Did you notice...

    ... Smithers wears his power plant ID badge in Burns' house?
    ... the Marshall amplifiers behind the Ramones?
    ... Milhouse's face is on the side of the milk cartons?
    ... the first four numbers of Mr. Burns' telephone number are 3237?
    ... Snowball II is helping the family restrain Homer from dialing
        Burns' number?
    ... Burns and Smithers have katanas and are dressed like ninjas when
        attempting to steal Bobo?
    ... some of the channels Burns cornered show Barney the Dinosaur,
        "The Soul Mass Transit System", and Chespirito the Spanish Bee?
    ... the man eating popcorn next to Homer at his station in the power
    ... Dave Shutton, the reporter, is one of the members of the angry

Dave Hall:
    ... everyone eyes each other in the couch scene?  (Note Maggie's
    ... the winged gargoyle outside Burns' bedroom window?
    ... Burns' real parents call him Happy?
    ... Burns' real brother holds the cigar with pinky extended?
    ... Smithers doesn't bother to knock before entering Burns' bedroom?
    ... where Smithers places his hands in order to wake up Burns?
    ... Smithers changes Burns' bedpan?
    ... everyone stood away from Homer and Burns in Homer's flashback?
    ... the same expressions on Marge & Lisa's faces when Homer told
        them about pulling down his pants?
    ... the stylish look to Homer's hair strands when he was getting
    ... the SNPP cooling tower-shaped vases on the tables at Burns'
    ... Otto is watching TV while driving the school bus around a
    ... Maggie looks up to where Burns pointed?

Ron Carter:
    ... The US presidents at Burns birthday bash are Ronald Reagan,
        Richard Nixon, George Bush, and Jimmy Carter.
    ... The charicature of Burns is a Hirschfeld, with the traditional
        "NINA" (Hirschfeld's daughter) in hair.

Scott Mankey:
    ... a painting of "Whistler's Mother" in Burns' bedroom after we see
        Smithers distorted image in the broken snow globe?
    ... the fire truck that arrives to rescue Burns & Smithers knocks
        down part of the fence?
    ... there's a diagonal "HS" on the musicians' podiums in Homer's
        recording studio dream?

Elson Trinidad:
    ... rhe background music to the slide show scene is "Do You Know
        Where You're Going To?"

Don Del Grande:
    ... The two guards who stop Homer's act have atom symbols on their
        hats, so they weren't policemen but plant security.  (You could
        also tell they weren't Springfield police because they seem to
        be competent...)
    ... A "scratching the record" sound is made right after the
        "dramatic chord" of music when the "100% COTTON" label is shown
        on the bear.

Ricardo Lafaurie:
    ... Burns remembers "Sheriff Lobo"?

Voice credits

- Starring
    - Dan Castellaneta (Homer, Abe)
    - Julie Kavner (Marge, Patty)
    - Nancy Cartwright (Bart, Nelson)
    - Yeardley Smith (Lisa)
    - Hank Azaria (George Burns, Door guard, Jimmy Carter, Man talking
      to Lindy, Arctic explorer, Apu, Man at Homer's work station, Carl,
      Barney the Dinosaur, Moe)
    - Harry Shearer (Burns, Happy, Burns' Dad, Smithers, Flanders,
      George Bush, Man at party, Hitler, Man at recording studio, Man at
      Homer's work station, Lenny, Otto, Jasper, Dr. Hibbert, Skinner,
- Special Guest Voices
    - The Ramones (themselves)
        - Joey Ramone
        - Johnny Ramone
        - Marky Ramone
        - C. J. Ramone
- Also Starring
    - Pamela Hayden (Burns' Mom, Woman at party, Jimbo)
    - [not credited: Russi Taylor (Martin) - ed]

Movie (and other) references

  + "Citizen Kane"
    - Opening music and camera shot
    - the crate of unbreakable snow globes {dmw}
    - title is reference to the name of the sled Kane lost for ill-
      gotten power {rl}
  + "Wizard of Oz"
    - Burns' guards and their chant
  + George Burns
    - Monty's brother
  + Marilyn Monroe
    - Smithers' birthday fantasy (similar to Marilyn, "Happy Birthday,
      Mr. President" to JFK)
    - slide of Burns in skirt over grate (same shot from Marilyn's
      "Seven Year Itch")
  ~ John Glenn's space mission {ddg}
    - the people of Perth left their lights on as a signal to Glenn
    "Robocop", "Frankenstein" {rc}
    - Robot present for Burns
    - "No!  Bear want to live..."
    "Conan the Barbarian"
    - Homer turning the Wheel of Pain
  + "The Mind's Eye" {rl}
    - scene with the aquarium, with Jan Hammer-esque music
  + "Soul Train" {rl}
    - "Soul Mass Transit System"
  + "Planet of the Apes"
    - the scene from 1,000,000 A.D.

Previous episode references

- [7F20] Burns spies on Homer and Marge through a portrait of himself,
  while Smithers looks through the eyes of its dog (cf. robot Smithers
  is a dog in 1,000,000 A.D.)  {rl}
- [9F07] The broken snowglobe in Homer's Mr. Plow commercial {rl}
- [9F07] "Malaki Island: `It's not just for lepers anymore!'"  (cf.
  "Good islands, not the leper one.")  {rl}
- [9F20] Homer's obsession with "Sherrif Lobo" {rl}
- Previous episode references to "Citizen Kane": {rl}
    - [7F01] Two Cars in Every Garage, Three Eyes on Every Fish
        - Homer's boss running for governor
        - "Is your boss governor yet?"
        - huge poster of Burns in the background while he campaigns
        - "You can't do this to me!  I'm Charles Montgomery Burns!"
        - Burns tossing over furniture in Homer's house
    - [7F22] Burns near death (with the flowing drapes)
    - [8F18] The torn playbill Homer uses as a fan
    - [9F05] Smithers sings a "Kane"-like song at the retirement party
      for Burns, complete with Wellesian camera angles
    - [9F07] The broken snowglobe in the Mr. Plow commercial
- Famous person appearances/references in other episodes
    - Hitler:
        - [7F02] Homer thinks the capital of North Dakota is Hitler {rl}
        - [8F17] Homer says Hitler's dog is one of the dogs in "Doggie
          Hell" {rl}
        - [9F03] Itchy and Scratchy trash him in a WW2-era cartoon (cut
          in syndication) {rl}
        - [9F14] Hitler's head in a jar
        - [9F18] "Das ist not eine boobie!"
        - [9F22] "No one who speaks German could be an evil man."
    - Reagan:
        - [9F21] "This is time I could be working, Mommy."
    - Nixon:
        - [9F14] "I'd also like to express my fondness for that
          particular beer."
        - [9F18] Whacking the snakes in Springfield
        - [1F02] "You'll pay, don't think you won't pay!"
    - Bush:
        - [8F01] "This should make my bosses very happy..."
- [7F14] NEV-R-SNAP dog leash (cf. NEV-R-BREAK globes) {ar}
- [8F10] NEV-R-DULL knife {jt}
- [9F10] SELD-M-BREAK hose {jd}
- [9F05] "Citizen Kane"-like song which Smithers sings at the retirement
  party in 9F05 (cf. Citizen Kane refs in 1F01)
    - Carter: {rl}
        - [9F20] Town riot after Springfield had to pass up Lincoln
          statue for one of Carter

Freeze frame fun

- Signs on Burns Manor: {rc}
    - Burns Manor
    - Keep Out
    - Danger Electrified Fence
    - Trespassers Will Be Shot
    - (hand written) Free Kittens Inquire Within
- Nev-R-Break (brand) Snow Globes
- The Springfield Shopper headline:

         B U R N S
      B I R T H D A Y
         T O D A Y
    - Photo of Burns presenting a vanity check for $1 billion to Satan
- Slides of Burns: {rc}
    - Burns on a "high wheeler" tricycle
    - the raising of the flag emblazoned with Burns' face on Iwo Jima
    - Burns' face taped on top of triumphant boxer (Ali vs. Frazier KO?)
    - Burns as Marilyn Monroe
        - "Seven Year Itch" Scene where Marilyn's skirt lifts up
    - Burns as child with "Bobo"
- Burns' birthday gifts: {rc}
    - 100s of ties
    - Live unicorn [eating the ties - ed]
    - Gold bars and coins
    - Stacks of money
    - Jewels including a diamond as big as his head
    - Antique oil lamp
    - Grandfather clock
    - Dustbuster (Marge's gift)
- In Burns' collection: {rc}
    - King Arthur's sword Excalibur
    - Only nude photo of Mark Twain
    - First draft of US Constitution which has the word "suckers"
    - (At least) one of Moses' stone tablets (10 commandments)
    - Venus de Milo
    - Mummy [King Tut's sarcophagus - ed]
- The clock in the kitchen after Homer finds Bobo behind the aquarium
  shows the time to be 4:10.
- When the money falls through the ceiling onto Burns, notice the
  stuffed unicorn and gryphon heads on the wall.  {rc}
- Signs held by the angry mob: {rc}
    - Give Burns The Bear
    - Me Like TV
    - We Want Bear
    - We Want Beer
- Included in the mob: {ddg}
    - Moe, Jasper, Dr. Hibbert, Principal Skinner, Herman, Mrs. Quick,
      Apu, Groundskeeper Willie, Barney, Miss Hoover, Sanjay, Mrs.
      Krabappel, Kent Brockman, and Milhouse's parents
- When the mob storms the house, a clock shows that it is 2:00 (am,
- When Grampa Simpson crashes car into the house.  Watch everyone,
  including Maggie, closing their eyes, and some aquarium water spilling
  out.  After the crash, the fish swim about on their business.  {ert}
- Four Homers are pulling a chariot/rickshaw in 1,000,000 AD.  {ddg}

Animation, continuity, and other goofs

In 7F02, Burns showed pictures of his boyhood days in which he had curly
locks of gold, but this episode depicts Burns having straight brown

Burns' real father drops Bobo on the road after the limo drove away, but
the next scene shows Bobo in a snow-drift with the limo driving off.

Monty Burns is ~80 years old, right?  Then why did his parents mention
"His younger brother George [Burns]" when George Burns is about 16 years
older?  {ert}

Smithers' reflection on the broken globe isn't reversed.  {dh}

The calendar in Homer's room has September 31 on it.  {ddg}

Homer's reflection in the mirror isn't reversed.  {dh}

Homer is right handed in this episode.  {dh}

Marge is wearing lipstick before attending the party, yet in a brief
shot of her while Homer does his cheeky impression shows the lipstick is
gone.  Maybe she wiped it off before eating?  {ddg}

Charles Lindbergh actually landed in Paris at night, not in broad
daylight as depicted.  {ddg}

Bobo shouldn't really be that tattered if you carefully note its
condition during the course of its events.  {dh}

Smithers' body seems twisted when Prof.  Frink's robot-bear smashes
through the wall.

The telephone doesn't have a cord attached to it.  {dh}

The car Homer bought Abe in "Homer's Barbershop Quartet" was pink, but
Abe's now driving a red car.  {ert}

Grampa crashes through the house, yet in the next scene the house is
miraculously repaired.  {ddg}

When Homer is in the SNPP dungeon, he's turning a wheel around clockwise
as seen from above.  The axle is connected via one gear to another,
parallel axle which is attached to the pastry tray in the cafeteria.
But the pastry tray is _still_ turning clockwise as seen from above.

Homer eats the first two slices of cheese and the last two relatively
quickly, yet it takes him all night to eat the other 60.  {ddg}

When Maggie is in the sandbox, her arm stretches much longer than it
should when she offers her pacifier to Burns.  {ddg}

Russi Taylor (who does Martin's voice) wasn't credited again; this is
what happened in 1F02 as well.


Elson Trinidad: Aw man, this one was TOO funny!  In light of our recent
    debates on the past three episodes, I'm sure all of us agree that
    "Rosebud" is a great one.  They went all out on this one.  Like the
    TV scene: "Barney," "The Soul Mass Transit System" and Chespirito
    (is he the only person whom Burns was able to slug?)  I think they
    took the Smithers/Burns relationship thing to the LIMIT!  Especially
    that "Ninja rope scene!"  If any of you played the "Simpsons
    Drinking Game" on this one, I hope you didn't spit out your drink in

Darren Prouty: This episode was HYSTERICAL!  The 'Wizard of Oz' bit in
    the beginning threw me off, but as soon as I saw little Burns with
    Bobo I knew it was 'Citizen Kane' - and I almost cried until the
    commercial.  The reference to 'Planet of the Apes' at the end was
    also classic.  The episode was one of the best.

Peter Stein: If nothing else this was a quantum leap ahead of "Homer
    Goes To College".  Come to think of it, that might be why this ep.
    was so good!  Highlights included the Ramones' appearance ("1, 2, 3,
    4!"), the robot teddy bear, and the photographer who popped up at
    the end with Smithers with Maggie's pacifier.  However, there were a
    lot of smaller gags that were almost as good.  Folks, I think this
    one's a keeper...

Chris Corcoran: I was one of the people who absolutely hate Homer Goes
    To College, but tonights episode was great.  I wouldn't say it was
    the best, but it certainly was the best of this season.  The best
    line was when Smithers was commenting on Burns first draft of the
    constitution with the word suckers in it.  I was rolling!  Thank
    God, the Simpsons is back!!!

Donald Wallace: I think "Rosebud" tonight was probably the best episode
    so far this season; it had a little bit of everything, from stupid
    sight gags to really witty, subtle stuff...Overall, "Rosebud" was a
    good one!

Andrew Ross: Simpsons fans rejoice; they're getting good again!  This
    week's episode actually had me laughing *out loud* no less than
    three times, which hasn't happened since Herb Powell II!  An
    enthusiastic two thumbs up and a high five.

Ron Carter: The Simpsons in the best form possible; lots of gags, lots
    of refs, all in the loose framework inspired by a classic...*sigh* I
    give it an: A. I miss the blackboard, the couch gag was weak, the
    warehouse scene and search for Bobo, bad replacements and all could
    have been better, hence no A+ for this episode...Smithers -was-in
    rare form this week, though...Some good quotes here and there,

Joey Berner: Did anyone else not like this episode much?  It had its
    moments but a lot of the animation seems rushed and some of the
    jokes seemed really forced.  I did like the entire Citizen Kane
    opening but the episode seemed to start falling apart after that.
    Oh, well.  After all the good comments from the group this morning,
    I guess I am in the minority.

Yours truly: It's a great one, folks!  Yes, another awesome episode
    written by John Swartzwelder.  The man clearly has talent.
    Smithers' sexuality is continually confirmed as not hetero, not
    homo, not bi, but "Burns-sexual", to use someone on this group's
    adequate phrase from the past.  I laughed my ass off at: Smithers'
    Birthday fantasy, "MONTY BURNS" by the Australians, "chock-full
    of...heady goodness!", "...not the leper one!", Smithers begging for
    Burns "Please, please!", and the Burns & Smithers robots
    gallavanting off into the sunset with the scary music playing.  My
    rating: A-.

Comments and other observations

Viewer discretion warning

In Canada, on Global, there was a warning before the program started:
    "The following program contains language that may be offensive,
    viewer discretion is advised."  Probably this was because of some of
    the things the Ramones said.

The shortened title sequence

As with 1F02, this episode was over 21 minutes long, so there was
    presumably not enough time to include the entire title sequence and
    still have room for commercials.

Burns' guards

The close captioning for the guards had their chant written as "O-E-O,
    E-O."  Some people think it might have been "All we own, we owe"
    instead, which might make sense since they work for C. M. Burns.

"Sheriff Lobo"

Ricardo Lafaurie notes, "This was a horrible spin-off of the horrible
    show `Billy and the Bear' which was around during the '70s and '80s.
    `Lobo' was of the `Dukes of Hazzard' genre (bad sherriff chasing
    around drifters) and was quickly cancelled.  (This is as far as _I_

Milhouse's picture on the milk carton

Elson Trinidad asks, "Why was Milhouse on the milk carton?  Perhaps to
    allude to the fact that he was missing from elsewhere in the
    episode?"  Pamela Hayden, who does Milhouse's voice, did other
    voices on the show, but not that of Milhouse.

Bobo's journey

Ron Carter chronicles the events.

    - 1927, New York, crosses Atlantic w/ Charles "Lucky Lindy"
    - 1945, Berlin, in bunker for Hitler's final day
    - 1957, North Pole, the Arctic ice cap w/ first nuclear sub
    - 1993, Arctic followed by Springfield: Apu's Kwik-E-Mart

Bobo vs. Felix the Cat?

Dean Scungio quotes from "The Encyclopaedia of Animated Cartoons" on the
    history of Felix the Cat: "A Felix doll became Charles Lindbergh's
    companion on his famed flight across the Atlantic."  Perhaps the
    writers inserting Bobo in place of Felix is a reference to this.

The aquarium

This is the first time it has been revealed that the Simpsons have an
    aquarium, as Homer's meta-humorous line, "How long have we had those
    fish?" might indicate.  So now the Simpsons have three types of pet
    in the house: a dog, a cat, and fish.  And, Lisa's had a hamster in
    the house before, too.

Running gags

Andrew Ross notes how this episode is chock-full of heady goodness, I
    mean running gags.  Among them: sexual innuendo between Smithers and
    Burns (Smithers' birthday fantasy, bumping into each other on the
    wire), Burns not knowing who Homer is ("One of the carbon blobs from
    sector 7-G"), Burns being too weak to do anything, Chespirito the
    Spanish Bee, Homer being distracted by simple things (drinkie bird,

Quotes and Scene Summary

[Syndication cuts are marked in curly braces "{}" and are courtesy of
Ricardo Lafaurie.]

It is a dark night outside the Burns Mansion.

An armed guard keeps watch outside Mr. Burns' window, chanting as they
march.  Smithers appears at a window and hushes them, and they resume
their chant more quietly.

Mr. Burns is in bed, but he is restless and fitful.  He thinks back to a
winter in his childhood...he remembers playing with a stuffed bear and
singing.  "I'm the happiest boy there is, aren't I, Bobo?" he asks it,
kissing it.  His parents watch him as he plays.

A limousine pulls up, and a figure in the shadow converses with the
parents.  "Happy!  Come here, Happy!" beckons his Mother.  "Yes, Mumsy?"

"Happy, would you like to continue living with us, your loving natural
parents," his father queries, "or would you rather live with this
twisted, loveless billionaire?"  Happy drops his bear and runs into the
limousine, donning sunglasses and proclaiming, "Let's roll!"  But his
father calls out to the speeding limo, "Wait!  You forgot your bear, a
symbol of your lost youth and innocence!"

Father: [sigh] Oh well.  At least we still have his little brother
George: [singing]
        Bwa bwa bwa bwa,
        Oh the sun shines bright on my old Kentucky Home,
        Bwa bwa bwa bwa...
         [spoken] Trust me, it'll be funny when I'm an old man.
-- Timeless classics, "Rosebud"

Back in the present, Burns holds a glass ball with a snowstorm scene in
his hand.  "I want my teddy," he groans, and drops the ball.  It
shatters, although the balls are NEV-R-BREAK brand Snow Globes.  "Bobo,"
Mr. Burns calls out weakly.  Smithers walks in.

   Burns: Oh, it's you.  The bedpan's under my pillow.
Smithers: [hesitantly] Who's Bobo, sir?
   Burns: Bobo?  Er, um, I meant...Lobo!  Er, Sheriff Lobo, they never
          should have cancelled that show.
-- What were they thinking?, "Rosebud"

Smithers mentions that the preparation for Burns' birthday have begun.
Burns laments that he won't get what he wants, and Smithers sympathizes,
imagining a naked Mr. Burns breaking out of a birthday cake and singing
"Happy Birthday, Mr. Smithers..." Smithers groans in pleasure at the

In the Simpsons' bed, it seems that Homer, too, is calling out for
"Sheriff Lobo" to be brought back.  He wakes up and screams.  Marge asks
what's wrong, and Homer points at the calendar.  It's Mr. Burns'
birthday today!  Marge doesn't see what's wrong with that, and Homer
explains that every time Mr. Burns has a birthday, all his employees
have to help out at the party.  "And I always get some terrible job,"
Homer whines, recalling his turn at holding the pinata while Mr. Burns
swings at it, blindfolded.

That day at work, Homer is surrounded by howls of derisive laughter as
he tries to remove the coat hanger that's stuck in his shirt.  "It's not
funny," says Homer petulantly, "and the one in my pants really hurts."

Mr. Burns watches the spectacle on his monitors.

   Burns: That man who's getting all those laughs, Smithers...who is he?
Smithers: Homer Simpson, sir, one of the carbon blobs from sector 7-G,
          but I don't think --
   Burns: I want this Simpson fellow to perform comedy at my party.  I
          must harness his fractured take on modern life.
Smithers: Fine, sir.  I'll get him started on some snappy Sinbad-esque
-- Better than Diceman, anyway, "Rosebud"

At the kitchen table, Homer snickers to himself as he writes out some

Marge: What are you doing?
Homer: I'm writing a delicious send-up of Mr. Burns for his birthday
       party.  Is "poopoo" one word or two?
-- Better grab a dictionary, "Rosebud"

Marge: I don't think it's a good idea to humiliate your boss on his
 Lisa: Actually, Mom, a tweaking of Mr. Burns' foibles if done with the
       greatest of care could earn Dad a special place in the old man's
Homer: Well, I also do a delightful impression of him.  [laughs] I paint
       a frowny face on my butt and pull down my pants!
-- Going for the subtle approach, "Rosebud"

Marge and Lisa groan.

Homer practises his speech before a mirror that night.

Homer: "Now I'm not saying Mr. Burns is incontinent" --
 Bart: Incontinent.  [laughs] Too rich!
 Lisa: Does either of you know what "incontinent" means?
Homer: Lisa, don't spoil our fun.
-- "Rosebud"

   Marge: Come on, everybody, it's time to go.
   Homer: OK, stupid.
   Marge: Homer, you've got to stop insulting everyone, especially your
   Homer: Marge, the comedy roast is an American tradition.  It's what
          gives us the freedom to criticize our social betters.
           [Outside, Flanders clips the hedge] Hey Flanders!  You smell
          like manure.
Flanders: Uh oh.  Better cancel that dinner party tonight.  Thanks for
          the nose-news, neighbor!
-- Just practising my invective, "Rosebud"

At the party, the guests file into the hall in a grotesque death-march
bearing their gifts.  {Reagan and Nixon march in past the guards, but
Bush is pulled aside.}

 Guard: {Hey!}
        {[President Bush grunts]}
        {No one-termers.  [tosses him out]}
Carter: {You too, huh?  Hey, I know a good yogurt place.}
  Bush: {Get away from me, loser.}
-- One-term Republicans are bigger losers, "Rosebud"

The party has begun.  Smithers introduces a slideshow, "Montgomery
Burns: A Life."  There is a smattering of applause as images of Mr.
Burns' life flash by.  The last slide contains Bobo the bear, and Mr.
Burns sighs wistfully.  Smithers introduces the next act.

Smithers: Here are several fine young men who I'm sure are gonna go far.
          Ladies and gentlemen, the Ramones!
   Burns: Ah, these minstrels will soothe my jangled nerves.
Ramone 1: I'd just like to say this gig sucks!
Ramone 2: Hey, up yours, Springfield.
Ramone 1: One, two, three, four!
           [Abrasive guitar music begins]
          Happy Birthday to you!  (Happy Birthday!)
          Happy Birthday to you!  (Happy Birthday!)
          Happy Birthday, Burnsey,
          Happy Birthday to you!
Ramone 3: Go to hell, you old bastard.
           [The curtain falls]
Ramone 4: Hey, I think they liked us!
-- Silence gives consent, "Rosebud"

   Burns: [toward the Ramones] Have the Rolling Stones killed.
Smithers: Sir, those aren't --
   Burns: Do as I say!
-- The perils of being Smithers, "Rosebud"

Next, Mr. Burns opens his presents.  He's not impressed with any of
them, saying they stink, calling them piffle, and tossing Marge's
present (a Dust Buster [tm]) contemptuously aside.

Smithers: Sir, I've arranged for the people of Australia to join hands
          tonight and spell out your name with candles.  There's a
          satellite hookup on that monitor if you'll just turn your head
   Burns: Bah, no time.  Next!
-- O hallowed gratitude, "Rosebud"

I have some sad news to report: a small puppy, not unlike Lassie, was
just run over in the parking lot.
 [Audience gasps]
And now it's time for the comedy stylings of Homer Simpson!
-- Smithers warms up the audience, "Rosebud"

Homer makes a triumphant entrance, but he is greeted with silence.

Homer: [exaggeratedly loud] Are you ready to laugh?
  Man: Poor dog.
Homer: I said, are you ready to laugh?
Woman: Quiet, you awful man.
-- Homer starts his comedy routine, "Rosebud"

Homer: You know, Mr. Burns is so cheap --
Burns: What?
Homer: I mean, you know, Mr. Burns is so old --
Burns: How dare you!
Homer: Woo hoo, tough crowd.
-- The comedy routine, "Rosebud"

Homer decides to bring out the big guns: a cheeky impression of Mr.
Burns.  He drops his pants, revealing a charicature of Monty's face that
has been painted on his behind.  The audience is aghast.  Before Homer
can get far with his act, Mr. Burns orders for him to be destroyed.  Two
guards approach him menacingly.  A riot squad surrounds the party after
Mr. Burns announces, "This party is over."  Pandemonium breaks loose as
the uniformed men try to subdue the already quiet audience.

Homer laments his failure at home afterwards, feeling the bump on his
bald head.

Homer: Oh, where did I lose 'em?  I'll never wiggle my bare butt in
       public again.
 Lisa: I'd like to believe that this time.  I really would.
-- Hope springs eternal, "Rosebud"

Marge asks Bart to go down to the store to buy some ice for Homer's
cracked skull, and Bart responds, "Yes'm."

 Bart: Dad, I know you're discouraged, but please don't deny the world
       your fat can.
Homer: Don't worry, boy, he'll be ready for your Aunt Selma's birthday.
 Lisa: I knew it.
-- So much for _that_ promise, "Rosebud"

Smithers tries to console his master.

Look at all the wonderful things you have, sir: King Arthur's
"Excalibur".  The only existing nude photo of Mark Twain.  And that rare
first draft of the constitution with the word "suckers" in it.
-- Smithers, "Rosebud"

Burns is unimpressed, however.  Smithers realizes that Burns wants his
bear Bobo back.  Burns calls him a liar, and tries to thrash him, but
he's too feeble.  "Oh God, how I want my bear," he confesses, "but he's
gone, gone forever.  I'd give anything to know what happened to him."

Bobo was covered in snow that first winter when he was dropped by his
first owner, Happy.  During a thaw, he was carried into a river, to be
picked up in 1927 and given to Lindy as he makes a triumphant entrance
to Paris on the "Spirit of St. Louis".  Next, Bobo was with Hitler in
Berlin during the last days of the war in 1945.  Finally, Bobo gets dug
out of the ice in the Arctic and packed in a bag full of ice cubes.

At the Kwik-E-Mart, one of the ice diggers brings the bags to Apu.
"You've gotta start selling this for more than a dollar a bag," he tells
him, "We lost four men on this expedition!"  Apu challenges him to think
of a better way to get ice, and the man can't come up with one.  So he
and his comrades return to the frozen North.

Bart buys a bag of ice from the Hindu sales clerk.  He notices a head in
the bag, and Apu quickly thinks up an excuse about the bags with heads
being chock-full of heady goodness.  Bart slaps it down on the counter,
and realizes it's a teddy bear.  "It's probably diseased or something,"
he says, giving it to Maggie.  A close-up of the tags on the bear show
that it is "100% COTTON" and "Bobo".

[End of Act One.  Time: 9:23]

Burns is morose, pining for his Bear.  Smithers tries another plan to
cheer him up.

Smithers: [dressed in a bear suit] Here's something that should cheer
          you up, sir.  It's me, sir: Bobo!  Hug me!  Squeeze me!
          [suggestively] Tug at my fur...
   Burns: [pushing him aside] Enough!  Stop this grotesque charade.  Now
          find my teddy!  And oh, er, leave the costume.
-- Uh, Hallowe'en is next week, "Rosebud"

Homer watches Kent Brockman on TV.

 Kent: The Burns bear, perhaps the most valuable widdle bear in the
       world, could be anywhere.  It could be in your house...
       You could be looking at it right now.  It could be right in front
       of your face as I'm saying this, waggling back and forth, perhaps
       being held up by a loved one.
Homer: Maggie, I'm trying to watch TV.  Put that moldy old bear down!
       [realizing] Moldy?  Old?
       I'm gonna get something to eat!
-- Right on the tip of his tongue, "Rosebud"

{Professor John Frink has invented a robot bear for Mr. Burns.  "It's
not your original bear, of course," he concedes, "but it is programmed
to be just as cuddly."  He presses a button on the remote control, and
spiked claws pop out of the oversized bear's paws.  Frink is confused,
thinking he requested the bear to do a little dance.  It grabs Burns,
and Smithers runs up to it, "I got it," and smashes a chair over its
head, to no avail.  Frink tries to shut it off, but it intones in a
robotic monotone, "No, bear want to live," crashing through a wall to

Maggie puts the bear behind a fishtank, its head appearing ghostly blue
through the ripples in the water.  Homer trips on Bart's skateboard and
falls down the stairs.  When he lands at the bottom, he glances at the
fishtank: "How long have we had these fish?" he gasps in amazement.  But
then he notices the bear: "Burns' bear!"

 Lisa: Bobo: it's Mr. Burns' bear all right.
Homer: Well, Burns isn't getting _this_ back cheap, I can tell you that.
       {He's gonna have to give me...my own recording studio!}
       {[In a studio, Homer sings]} {Two all-beef patties special sauce,
       lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed bun.  [drools]}
  Man: {Homer, you're drooling on the mike again.}
-- Fifth one today, "Rosebud"

Lisa thinks they should just give the bear back, but Homer and Bart
laugh uproariously at that idea.

Marge: Mmm...I'll sew that eye back on.
 Bart: No!  Let's send Burns the eye in the mail; he'll pay more money
       if he thinks the bear's in danger.
Homer: [in a trance] Yes, we'll send the eye.
-- "Rosebud"

Marge has another suggestion.

 Marge: I'm sure he'll offer a fair reward.  [as an afterthought] And
        then we'll make him double it.
Family: Huh?
 Marge: [defensive] Well why can't I be greedy once in a while?
-- Because you're the nicest?, "Rosebud"

Homer eventually goes with Lisa's idea.  Mr. Burns receives him in his

[tenderly] Bobo, my beautiful Bobo.  I promise I'll never leave you
behind again.
 [to Homer] Ahem.  Ah, yes.  Er, naturally I can't pay you much of a
reward because I'm strapped for cash.
 [The ceiling caves in, spilling gold and jewels on him] As you can see,
this old place is falling apart...
-- It's all cubic zirconium anyway, "Rosebud"

Burns: I'm sure we can come to an understanding.
Homer: Yes, sir.
        [thinking] Reject the first offer.  Reject the first offer.
Burns: May I offer you a drink?
Homer: Sorry, Burns, no deal.
-- A tough bargainer, "Rosebud"

Homer swipes the bear on his way out.  Burns is disheartened, but feels
that Homer won't take long to crack.  At home, Homer sits on the couch
with his family, and Burns is right: Homer cracks, audibly even.  He
grabs the phone frantically: "I gotta call Burns!  I gotta call Burns!
Maybe I can still get that drink."  Bart hangs up the phone for Homer,
trying to get Homer to wait and jack up the reward.  Homer sees the
logic in Bart's proposition -- for a second, anyway.  Then he grabs for
the phone anyway, and the whole family jumps him, trying to restrain

Good thing they succeeded: Burns knocks on Homer's door.

Homer: I knew you'd come crawling back.
Burns: How much do you want?
Homer: A million dollars and three Hawaiian islands.  Good ones, not the
       leper one!
Burns: Done!
-- Plus an option to pick up the leper one later, "Rosebud"

Monty demands the bear.  "Woo hoo, I'm rich!  Rich, I tells ya," Homer
cries, offering Burns the bear.  But Maggie still holds it tight.  "Bad
baby, bad Maggie!"  Homer admonishes her, and yanks it from her clutch.
Maggie whimpers as he does so, and Homer pauses.  "Give me the bear,"
Burns demands, "The bear, the bear!" adds Smithers.  But Maggie looks so
sad, and Homer gives in.  "The deal's off, Mr. Burns: the bear stays
here."  Monty tells Homer he's made a mistake and Smithers only growls
as the two leave.

Homer: Aw, big deal.  Who needs his money?  We're gettin' by OK.
        [Abe drives through the wall into the living room]
  Abe: Son!  You gotta help me.  I hit three people on the way over here
       and I don't have any insurance!
        [congenially] So how's by you?
-- You should have asked ten seconds ago, "Rosebud"

[End of Act Two.  Time: 13:57]

Burns and Smithers decide to abduct the bear.  Under cover of darkness,
they stand atop Flanders' roof, dressed in black.  Smithers shoots an
arrow into the Simpsons' roof, a wire attached to the arrow.  "Excellent
shot, Smithers, I'll be squeezing my Bobo in no time."  Just then,
Flanders' head pops out the attic: "Howdy, gents, what can I diddily-do
ya for?" he asks jovially.  But Monty sprays something in his face, and
he collapses down to the floor.

"Remember, Smithers, in and out in eighteen seconds!"  Smithers puts a
hook on pulleys on the wire, and starts across to the house, but he gets
stuck half way across.  Burns has already started his crossing, and he
slams into Smithers.  The two stay lodged there until the morning when
they are rescued by firemen.  "More cocoa, Mr. Burns?" asks Marge,
offering him some cocoa as he sits wrapped in a blanket on the back of
an ambulance.

Plan two involves using suction cups to traverse the Simpsons' kitchen
ceiling.  But as Burns and Smithers get half way across, Homer snaps on
the light and wanders over to the fridge in his underwear.

Homer: Mmm...sixty four slices of American cheese.
        [Takes the stack to the table and sits down]
       Sixty four...[eats it]
       Sixty three...[eats it]
        [Next morning]
       Two...[eats it really slowly]
       One...[eats it]
        [Marge walks in]
Marge: [incredulous] Have you been up all night eating cheese?
Homer: [slurred] I think I'm blind...
-- All that lactose, "Rosebud"

Burns and Smithers were waiting patiently all night on the ceiling, but
their suction cups finally give out and they fall unceremoniously to the
floor.  "Good day to you," says Burns, as the two of them brush
themselves off and leave.

   Man 1: Excuse me, we wanted to see the geek who valued the happiness
          of his children more than money.
   Homer: [unenthused] Right here.
   Man 2: Aw, you said his head was the size of a baseball.
   Homer: Oh, my life can't get any worse.
Smithers: [over the intercom] Homer Simpson, report for much worse duty.
   Homer: D'oh!
-- Homer, meet Mr. Murphy, "Rosebud"

Homer's much worse duty consists of holding the handle of a large grist
and turning it by running around a track -- while being whipped by a
large man in an executioner's costume.  Homer asks the man if Homer can
whip _him_ after lunch, but his request is flatly denied.  Rather than
grinding wheat, though, the grist is simply attached to the cupcake
display in the cafeteria.  "I wonder what makes it turn?" asks Lenny
pensively, but Carl dismisses it: "Who cares?"

{Homer tries to convince his youngest offspring to relinquish the bear.
"Maggie, I know you like the bear, but wouldn't you be just as happy
playing with...this box?" he says, putting it on his head and singing a
playful tune.  Maggie reaches for it, but Homer has discovered the fun
of the box for himself, and doesn't want to give it up.}

Marge: Mmm, I think we need a new hair dryer.
Homer: Marge, you must hate me for not taking Mr. Burns' money.
Marge: I don't hate you, I'm proud of you!  You came through for your
       daughter when she needed you the most.
Homer: Aw, thanks, Marge.  But it'll take a lot more than that to
       comfort _this_ tortured soul.
        [He reaches for the box and puts it on his head] Hee hee hee,
Marge: [indignant] Gimme that!
-- Simple pleasures, "Rosebud"

Homer watches Barney, that wuvable purple dinosaur, on TV.

Barney: [the dinosaur, that is]
         [singing] Two plus two is four.  Two plus two is four.  Two
        plus two is four...
 Homer: Heh heh heh, I can see why _this_ is so popular!
-- Homer learns addition, "Rosebud"

But Burns' image appears in place of Barney on the screen, demanding the
return of his bear.  Homer switches channels, finding "The Soul Mass
Transit System", but again Burns appears, asking for the bear.  Homer
changes to the Spanish Bee (who happens to be playing with a large
yoyo), but he's pushed out of the way by Mr. Burns.

Burns: As you can see, Simpson, I've taken over all 78 channels.  And
       you won't see any of your favorite shows again until you give in.
 Otto: Woo, that bites.
Patty: Holy crap!
-- Taking over MacGyver is a fate worse than death, "Rosebud"

 Burns: What's that you say?  You can live without television so long as
        you have _beer_?
 Homer: [defiantly] That's right.
 Burns: [ominously] Wrong.  All beer trucks heading towards Springfield
        have been diverted...this town will be as dry as a bone.  And if
        the rest of you beer-swilling tube-jockeys out there have a
        problem with this, talk to Homer Simpson.
         [The doorbell rings, and Homer answers it]
Barney: [brandishing a gun] Homer, give him what he wants!
-- You don't know how far he'll go, "Rosebud"

Homer slams the door absently in Barney's face, discharging the gun by

Bart is getting grief from the schoolyard bullies from Homer's tough
stance.  He is surrounded by Nelson, Dolph, Jimbo, and Kearney.

Nelson: My old man can't get a beer because his old man [points at
        Jimbo] won't give a beer to another old man.  Let's get him!
 Jimbo: Wait!  Why are we gettin' him?
         [Martin walks by]
Martin: Look, gentlemen.  The first snapdragon of the season!
Nelson: Never mind.  Let's just get _him_!  [points at Martin]
-- Bad timing, "Rosebud"

{True to his word, Monty has taken over all the channels.}

          {[A dumb sitcom is shown on TV]}
   Burns: {Smithers, I'm home!  [canned laughter]}
Smithers: {What, already?  [canned chuckle]}
   Burns: {Yes.  [loud canned laughter]}
    Lisa: {[watching] Is it my imagination or is TV getting worse?}
   Homer: {Ehh, it's about the same.  Uh oh!  Look out, Smithers!}
          {[sound of breaking glass]}
          {Heh heh, I love this show.}
-- Homer, discerning TV viewer, "Rosebud"

A angry crowd has formed outside the Simpson home.  Homer thinks they've
come to apologize, but Moe riles the crowd up: "Come on, let's go in
there and get the bear!"  The crowd cheers and everyone storms the
house.  Moe grabs the bear from Maggie, amid cheering, and the bear is
passed out of the house to safety.  But Maggie looks sad again.  "Aw,
geez, will you look at that," says Moe, and everyone feels bad.  "What
have we become?" asks Jasper rhetorically, and Dr. Hibbert notes, "We've
given the word 'mob' a bad name."  So they give the bear back the bear.
"What should we do now?" wonders Moe out loud, and Skinner suggests they
go and sing at the hospital.

The doorbell rings, and Homer answers it.  It's Mr. Burns.  "Look what
you've reduced me to," he implores, and snaps his fingers.  Smithers
appears and begs, "Please, please!"  Homer tries to explain that it's
not his bear: it now belongs to Maggie.  Burns goes out to the sandbox
to talk to her.

To break the ice, he observes, "So, good sand today, hmm?"  Maggie
offers him her pacifier, and Burns sees no way to refuse it graciously.
But when he tastes it, he grimaces, and at that exact moment, a
photographer pops up from behind the fence and snaps his picture.

   Burns: Well, Maggie, I've given this a lot of though.  I'm sure we
          can come to some sort of agreement --
           [Starts trying to pull the bear away, but he's too weak]
          Beaten by an infant...what could be more humiliating?
Reporter: [taking a photo] What a scoop!
-- You had to ask, "Rosebud"

Burns concedes defeat.  "But I want you to do something for me," he
says: "Hang on to that bear.  Don't make the same mistake I made."  He
sighs and starts to walk away.  But Maggie follows him and offers him
the bear.

          [Maggie offers him the bear]
   Burns: For me?  Bobo?
          Smithers, I'm so happy.  Something amazing has happened, I'm
          actually happy.  Take a note!  [resolute] From now on, I'm
          only going to be good and kind to everyone.
Smithers: I'm sorry sir, I don't have a pencil.
   Burns: Ehh, don't worry, I'm sure I'll remember it.
-- "Rosebud"

The family has been watching the events.

Well...we didn't get any money, but Mr. Burns got what he wanted.
Marge, I'm confused!  Is this a happy ending or a sad ending?
-- Homer the prescriptivist, "Rosebud"

Smithers tucks Burns in at home, and Burns seems content.  "Ah, Bobo,
reunited at last.  But I can't help but wonder what the future holds for
you."  Wondering, he drifts off to sleep.

In 1,000,000 A.D., the world looks rather like it might have in
1,000,000 B.C., with apes using men as slaves to pull their carts under
pain of whipping.  The only thing that gives it away is Mr. Burns: his
head has been preserved in a glass ball containing some fluid, but his
body is that of a robot.  "Bobo, I know I say this every century," he
sighs, coming across Bobo's chewed-up form, "but I'll never leave you
behind again."  He bounds off into the distance.  "Wait for me, sir!
Woof!" calls Smithers, his body that of a robotic dog.

[End of Act Three.  Time: 21:27]


   {tkc} Timothy Callahan
   {rc}  Ron Carter
   {ddg} Don Del Grande
   {jd}  Jym Dyer
   {dh}  Dave Hall
   {rl}  Ricardo Lafaurie
   {ar}  Andrew Ross
   {jt}  Juha Terho
   {ert} Elson Trinidad
   {dmw} Donald M. Wallace
This episode summary is Copyright 1996 by James A. Cherry.  Not to be
redistributed in a public forum without permission.  (The quotes
themselves, of course, remain the property of The Simpsons, and the
reproduced articles remain the property of the original authors.  I'm
just taking credit for the compilation.)