Blood Feud

Blood Feud                                              Written by George Meyer
                                                    Directed by David Silverman

Title sequence

Blackboard :- `I will not sleep / through my education'.
              `I will n' at cutoff.

Driveway   :- no oil on the driveway.
              Homer does not shake his fist at Bart.
              Homer says `D'oh!' when Lisa scoots past.

Couch:     :- All fit, but the couch falls through the floor.

Didja notice...

    ... Maggie was eating the `lemur' flashcard?
    ... Burns and Bart have the (nonexistent) blood type `Double O negative'?
        (And how could Smithers have donated that kidney if he's the wrong
        blood type?)
    ... there was a green rat on the conveyor belt along with the rocks and
        stuff? [Ray Charbonneau]
    ... Bart says `D'oh!' when trapped into giving blood?
    ... Homer gets everything wrong about the story of Androcles and the lion?
        (It's not a Bible story, the hero is not Hercules, and he has the
        plot COMPLETELY wrong!)
    ... the licence plate on the bloodmobile was `PLASMA1'?
        And the tire flaps had a girlie picture on it?
    ... Otto was humming `Iron Man' by Black Sabbath when he was wiping
        his hands with the handi-wipe? [Paul Naas]
        And he got the handi-wipe out of a bucket of Shakespeare's
        Friend Chicken?
    ... the blood goes `slurp' as the last few drops are transfused?
    ... when Burns recovers and visits his employees, there's
        a sign that says `Sector 7-G'? [Brian Scearce]
    ... when Homer yells, ``Jackpot!'' upon seeing Mr. Burns alive,
        he pulls his hand out of the debris sorter, and we see
        a bright flash and hear a crashing sound?
    ... the Triceratops head on the wall in Burns' office?
        [Philip J. Flores (am110@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)]
        I guess Burns is older than we thought.
    ... Bart writes with his left hand?  And he stuck his tongue out of
        the corner of his mouth?  (Just like Charlie Brown does...)
    ... Marge does `the hand thing', which we saw first in ``Simpsons
        Roasting on an Open Fire'' [7[FG]08]?
    ... for breakfast, Homer was eating pancakes, which is what he dreamed
    ... Barney was carrying a Crate-O-Duff?  (Buildings near the mailbox
        were `Springfield Hardware', and a building whose sign
        read, `Apartments'.)
    ... Burns uses Smither's back as a table to sign Homer's pink slip?
    ... Burns was writing with a quill pen?
    ... how the outside weather mirrored Mr. Burns' mood?  (The thunder
        and lightning, then the storm clears up.)
    ... the Flanderses (Mom, Todd, and Rod) were on the escalator in front
        of Mr. Burns and Smithers at the mall? [Jym Dyer]
    ... Burns' nose mushed up against the store window?
    ... Santa's Little Helper was, er, marking his territory on the
        moving crate? [Jon Sterling Lindberg]
    ... we never see how they got the huge Olmec head through the tiny
        front door?
    ... when Bart opened the crate, the falling sides broke a lamp?
    ... Snowball II was all over everything, including the Cool Olmec Head?
        [Jym Dyer]
    ... at the very very end, the oil spot is back in the driveway?
    ... Maggie's food dish was empty?  (Since when did babies ever
        eat everything in their dish?  Maybe she dumped it on the floor.)

And what was it that fell out of the corn starch can?

Dave Hall {dh}:
    ... Smithers doesn't knock, but barges in on MB's bedroom?
    ... The birds perched on the cooling towers?
    ... in Homer's dream, a safe fell out of MB's jacket?
    ... the suit of armor (complete with codpiece) in MB's home?

That seems to be an a lot of blood to be taken out of a 10 year old.
Why did Homer wait until nightfall to open his mail?

Favorite parts of the episode, according to...

[me]  Homer's attempt to tell the story of Androcles and the Lion.

[Tom Almy]  When they were trying to decide what the moral of the story was,
as though they realized that they were at the end of the program. Sort of a
Gary Shandling type of thing.

[Anneliese D. Heiner (adh@po.CWRU.Edu)] Smithers playing the banjo in the
Sweet Home Alabama store.  The expression on his face was hysterical!

[Bob Hogue (] Smithers' banjo playing was a scream
also.  So out of character for Smithers.  My second favorite scene was Lisa
teaching Maggie about a dodecahedron.  What a child.

[Craig Stacey (] Homer's visit to the post office.

Catherine C. Huse ( observes:

Smithers was JAMMIN'! and on the `Simpsons Sing the Blues' album, on
Mr. Burns' number (one of the best on the album, IMHO) `Look at All Those
Idiots', Smithers plays a rocking `impromtu' guitar solo and can hardly be
stopped even by Burns!  Smithers is obviously a great guitar player.

The sign on the podium reads, ``Mayor `Diamond' Joe Quimby'', so I guess
this establishes that ol' DJ is the town mayor.

The Things Marge Knows About Her Family

Homer: Marge!  What's my blood type?
Marge: B Positive.
Homer: Aw, nuts, extremely rare blood and I don't have it...
Lisa:  You know his blood type?  How romantic!
Marge: A mother knows everything about her family.
Lisa:  Oh yeah?  What's my shoe size?
Marge: 4B.
Bart:  How many teeth do I have?
Marge: 16 permanent, 8 baby.
Homer: Earmuffs.
Marge: XL.
Lisa:  Rings?
Marge: I don't want you wearing rings.  It looks cheap.  But three.
Bart:  Allergies.
Marge: Butterscotch and imitation butterscotch.
Bart:  And...?
Marge: Glow-in-the-dark monster make-up.
Bart:  Ooh, impressive.
Homer: [covers Marge's eyes]  How many hairs on my head, without looking.
Marge: Oh, you've got lots of hair.

Brian Scearce ( observes that Mr. Burns <invents> a

bunch of the insults that Homer mailed him.  After the sarcastic part of
the letter, Homer writes, ``You stink!  You are a senile, buck-toothed old
mummy with bony girl arms and you smell like an elephant's butt!''  When
Burns is storming around his study, he shouts, ``Senile, eh?  Buck-toothed,
am I?  Bony arms, are they?  Liver spots, did I?  Chinless, will you?''  No
doubt Burns has had similar letters sent to him in the past, and he's
confused some of them.

When Homer grouses over Burns' letter, observe that the kitchen cabinet door
is conspicuously open.  The reason for that is so that Homer can slam it shut.

Animation goofs

Theron Stanford notes that when Homer checks his watch, it reads `7:02A', yet
when he leaves the office, the clock over the door reads five minutes to 3.
[Or a quarter past ten.  Hard to tell which hand is smaller. --rjc]
When the nurse mounts the packet of Bart's blood (appropriately labelled,
``HUMAN BLOOD'') on the stand, it is about four-fifths full.  When Smithers
says, ``Go ahead'', the packet is completely full.  Then it drains as the
blood transfusion progresses.
Brian Scearce observes that when Smithers is giving Larry his instructions
on beating Homer, his (Smithers') suspenders vanish from the front of his
body when he bawls, ``He saved Mr. Burns' life!''
When Smithers shakes hands with Mr. Burns, he is clean-shaven.

Movie references

    Metamorphosis (Kafka)
        - Burns on his back, flailing his arms and legs like a dying
          insect. {bkt}
    Citizen Kane
        - The windows an curtain behind his death bed match those in
          the death scene at the beginning of the movie. {jg2}
    Creation, by Michelangelo (Sistine Chapel)
        - the painting at the Springfield Post Office
  ~ Kids in the Hall
        - `I could crush him like an ant'. {jcj}
    Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan
        - `Revenge is a dish best served cold'.  Khan calls this a Klingon
           proverb.  Star Trek fans have done considerable research into the
           origin of this aphorism.  I won't attempt to repeat it.
    Sweet Home Alabama
        - is the title of a Lynyrd Skynyrd song. {jes}
        - Smithers' banjo playing.  ``If you've seen the movie you know what
          I'm talking about'' claims {bk}.

Freeze Frame Fun

Signs posted in the coffee room...

    You don't have to be crazy to work here... but it helps.
    We've got to get OrGaNizEd.  [the word `organized' is all wacko]

    Homer covers this last sign with his ``You want it WHEN?'' sign.

Mr. Burns' letter (Harley Privitera) reports:

Here's the address on the letter; spelling and capitalization are intact:

        Mr M BUrNS
        1000 MAMMON LN.
        SPriGFEiLD, )t

The zip code looks like 31649; Bart's finger is sorta in the way...
There's one frame where Sprigfeild is spelled Sprigfeld.

Douglas Krause took a good look at the envelope, and here's his report:

I forget the street [Mammon Lane] but the state and zip
were squiggles.  The best I could make for the state is JI.  The state
for the To: address was even a worse squiggle.  And the Simpsons live on
Evergreen Terrace.

The stores Mr. Burns visits at the Springfield Mall

Monty Burns' commentary is parenthesized, my comments are bracketed, and Dave
Hall's {dh} are just plain included without embellishment.

    The Brushes Are Coming, The Brushes Are Coming
        (Ooh, too practical.)  [I guess Burns forgot Homer's hair condition.]
    The Jam O'Shanter Collection
        (Too cutesy-poo.)
        Jimbo is in the shop and Smithers' thumb and finger are bandaged.
    Sweet Home Alabama, ``The store with things from Alabama''
        (Too corn-ball.)
    Wicked Excess
        (A pool table?  I'm not going to turn his home into a saloon!)
        Smithers sinks only one ball---the cue ball.
    Plunderer Pete's
        (Eureka!  We've found it!)
        The large safe from the HMS Titanic is among the artifacts.

References to other episodes

    * [7[FG]10] The fe-mail-carrier.

Quotes and scene summary

 Mayor `Diamond' Joe Quimby inaugurates the new Nuclear Disaster Warning Sign
 which contains the caption `Nuclear Plant Conditions' atop an electronic
   Diamond Joe Quimby:  Chief Wiggum, Archbishop McGee, distinguished guests,
          I am pleased to dedicate this emergency warning system.  In the
          off-chance of a nuclear disaster, this sign will tell you, the
          good citizens of Springfield, what to do!
          [sign lights up, ``Relax.  Everything is fine.'']
   Crowd: Aah. [applause]
          [sign lights up, ``Minor leak.  Roll up window.'']
   Crowd: Ooh. [mild applause]
          [sign lights up, ``Meltdown.  Flee city.'']
   Crowd: [scattered applause]
          [sign lights up, ``Core explosion.  Repent sins.'']
   Crowd: [stunned silence]
   Homer: Hee hee.  Joke's on them.  If the core explodes, there won't be any
          power to light that sign!
   -- Homer jokes with his coworkers about the Nuclear Disaster Warning Sign,
      ``Blood Feud''
 But Burns isn't present.  Smithers finds Burns flat on his back.
   No quack sawbones is going to apply his leeches to me.  As long as there's
   an ounce of strength left in me, I... [passes out]
   -- Monty Burns collapses from hypohemia, ``Blood Feud''
 Dr. Hibert diagnoses Burns with hypohemia.  Smithers offers his own blood,
 but he's the wrong blood type.
   Smithers, don't feel so bad.  After all, that kidney you donated to me
   really hit the spot.
   -- Burns, consoling Smithers, who is unable to give the blood necessary
      to save his life, ``Blood Feud''
 When Smithers announces Burns' situation over the company PA system, nobody
 wants to help, and Homer scolds them.
   I can't believe you guys.  There's a human being out there with millions
   of dollars who needs our help.  And you don't want to cash in?
   -- Homer tries to take the moral high ground when none of his coworkers
      wants to donate blood to save Mr. Burns, ``Blood Feud''
 At home, Lisa shows Maggie flashcards with exotic animals like the lemur
 and zebu.
   [showing Maggie flashcards] Maggie, look!  What's that?  Lemur.
   [slowly]  Le-mur.  [next card]   Zebu.  [slowly]  Ze-bu.
   -- Lisa tries to enlighten Maggie, ``Blood Feud''
   Marge: [watching Lisa show Maggie flashcards] What's a zebu?
   Lisa:  It's like an ox, only it has a hump and a dewlap.
          [indicating to Maggie]  [sweetly] Hump, and a dewlap!  Hump and dewlap!
   -- Lisa shows Maggie animal flashcards, ``Blood Feud''
 Homer comes in and asks Marge what his blood type is.  Marge impresses the
 family with her knowledge of everything about them, and mentions that Bart
 has the rare double O negative that Mr. Burns needs.  Bart refuses to give
 his blood, but Marge tells him it's the right thing to do.  And Homer tells
 Bart he'll be showered with gifts if he does...
   Homer: Don't you know the story of Hercules and the lion?
   Bart:  Is it a Bible story?
   Homer: Yeah, probably.  Anyway, once upon a time, there was a big mean lion
          who got a thorn in his paw.  All the village people tried to pull it
          out, but nobody was strong enough!  So, they got Hercules.  And
          Hercules used his mighty strength, and Bingo!  Anyway, the moral is,
          the lion was so happy, he gave Hercules this big... thing... of riches.
   Bart:  How did a lion get rich?
   Homer: It was the olden days!
   Bart:  Oh.
   -- ``Blood Feud''
 The next day, Homer takes Bart to the Bloodmobile to donate the blood.
 The blood is rushed to the hospital, sort of.  As the blood transfusion
 is made...
   Burns:    [weakly] Smithers, I'm not going to make it.  I want to
             dictate my epitaph.
   Smithers: [choked with tears] Go ahead.
   Burns:    Charles Montgomery Burns.  ... American...  Patriot... American...
             Patriot...  [gaining energy] Master of the atom. ... Scourge
             of the despot!  [really on a roll] Oh, tyrant!  Hear his
             mighty name, and quake! [gets up]  Smithers, I'm back!
   -- Burns receives a badly-needed transfusion, ``Blood Feud''
 Burns arrives at work, bright and cheery.
   Burns: Oh, top of the morning to ye!  Why, look who's here!
          It's ... good old... You!
   Man:   Hi, Mr. Burns.
   Burns: Oh, hey there, Mr. uh... Brown-Shoes!  How about that ..
          local sports team!
   -- Mr. Burns is full of energy after his transfusion, ``Blood Feud''
 Burns also beats his opponent at jai alai.
   Smithers, I'm back in the pink!  Full of pith and vinegar!
   -- Mr. Burns is full of energy after his transfusion, ``Blood Feud''
   You know, it's funny, Smithers.  I tried every tincture and poultice and
   tonic and patent medicine there is, and all I really needed was the blood
   of a young boy.
   -- Mr. Burns is full of energy after his transfusion, ``Blood Feud''
   Burns:    By the way, what was the lad's name?
   Smithers: Uh, Bart Simpson, sir.
   Burns:    Who?
   Smithers: He's the son of Homer Simpson, sir.  One of your stiffs
             in sector 7-G.
   -- Burns leans who donated the blood to save his life, `Blood Feud''
 Burns says Bart will be receiving a surprise in the mail.  At home...
   Bill.     [tosses into wastebasket]
   Bill.     [tosses into wastebasket]
   Summons.  [tosses into wastebasket]
   Bill.     [tosses into wastebasket]
   -- Homer goes through the daily mail, ``Blood Feud''
 He then finds a letter from Burns.
   Homer: Marge, Lisa, Maggie, let's do this out in the yard where the neighbors
          can see.  Lisa, dim the lights.  No, turn on more lights.  Oh, do
   Lisa:  Yes, Dad. [turns on the sprinkler]
   -- Homer prepares to open the letter from Mr. Burns, ``Blood Feud''
 But it's just a card that reads, ``Dear Bart, thank you kindly for the
 blood.  Yours truly, Montgomery Burns.''  Lisa turns off the sprinkler.
   Some way to show your gratitude!  No gold, no diamonds, no rubies, not even
   a lousy card!  Wait a minute... there <was> a card...
   -- Homer is mad at Mr. Burns, whose only expression of gratitude was a
      thank-you card, ``Blood Feud''
   Marge: Homer, you don't do things like that to be rewarded.  You do
          them because a fellow human being needs a helping hand.
   Homer: Marge, you're my wife, I love you very much, but [condescendingly]
          you're living in a world of make-believe!  With flowers and bells
          and leprechauns and magic frogs with funny little hats.
   Bart: Yeah, Mom, we got hosed.
   -- When Bart saves Mr. Burns' life with his donated blood, ``Blood Feud''
 But Homer is mad because he promised Bart lots of riches.
   Homer: Bart!  Take a letter!
          Dear Mr. Burns...  [heavy sarcasm] I'm so `glad' you enjoyed my
          son's blood.  And your `card' was `just great'.  In case you can't
          tell, I'm being sarcastic.  You.. Stink!  Could you read that last
          part back to me?
   Bart:  `You stink!'
   Homer: Heh heh heh.  Good.  `You are a senile, buck-toothed old mummy,
          with bony girl-arms, and you smell like...'
   Bart:  An elephant's butt?
   Homer: Hee hee.  `An elephant's butt.'
   -- Homer writes a nasty letter to his boss, ``Blood Feud''
 Homer is about to mail the letter, but Marge convinces him to sleep on it.
 Homer's dream defies description.  The next morning, Homer thanks Marge
 for stopping him.  We see Bart walking down to the corner mailbox and
 putting the letter in.

 [End of Act 1.  Time: 9:35]

 Homer turns the house upside-down to find the letter, then learns Bart
 mailed the letter.  Homer attacks Bart, but Marge scolds him.  ``You
 should be strangling yourself.''  Homer and Bart try to retrieve the
 letter from the mailbox, with no success.
   I'm with you, Homer!  Fight the Power!
   -- Barney provides encouragement as Homer kicks the mailbox, ``Blood Feud''
   Homer: I'll get our letter so wet, the ink will run and no one will
          be able to read it!
   Bart:  Yeah, but don't other people have mail in there?
   Homer: So a few people won't get a few letters, boo hoo!
          You know the kind of letters people write. ``Dear somebody you've
          never heard of, How is so-and-so?  Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah.
          Yours truly, some bozo.''  Big loss.
   -- On watering the mail to prevent a letter from being mailed, ``Blood Feud''
 Before Homer can execute his plan, he's caught.
   Homer: I guess it wouldn't do any good to run 'cause you're a mail-lady and you
          know my name and address and everything, huh?
   Postal Worker: That's right.
   Homer: Well.. I'm still going to run. [runs away]
   -- Homer is caught tampering with a mailbox, ``Blood Feud''
 Meanwhile, Burns hires a ghost writer to help him write his story of his
 hypohemia incident.
   Mr. Roman: First question.  Have you slept with anyone famous?
   Burns: Well, Countess von Zeppelin and I...  [catches himself] What in blazes!
   -- Burns hires a ghost writer, ``Blood Feud''
 Burns decides to write it himself.  Homer goes to the post office pretending
 to be Mr. Burns...
   Homer: [trying to disguise his voice]
          Hello, my name is Mr. Burns.  I believe you have a letter for me.
   Postal Clerk: Okay, Mr. Burns, uh, what's your first name?
   Homer: [brief pause] I don't know.
          [outside on the steps of the post office] Great plan, Bart.
   -- Trying to intercept a letter, ``Blood Feud''
 Back at the house...
   Lisa:  Ooh, look, Maggie!  What is that?  Dodecahedron!  Dodecahedron!
   Homer: Lisa, I don't know what you're doing, but it's very strange, and
          your father is trying to worry.
   -- Lisa shows Maggie some very peculiar flashcards, ``Blood Feud''
 Burns continues writing his book as Homer sneaks into Burns' office
 to steal the letter.  Burns finds him...
   Burns:  Who are you?
   Homer:  [thinks] Don't tell him.  Give him a fake name.
           [aloud]  Homer Simpson.
           [thinks] D'oh!
   -- Thinking fast on your feet, ``Blood Feud''
 ... and opens the letter.  Homer is taken away.
   I could crush him like an ant.  But it would be too easy.  No, revenge is
   a dish best served cold.  I'll bide my time until...  Oh, what the hell.
   I'll just crush him like an ant.
   -- Burns plans his next move, ``Blood Feud''
 [End of Act 2.  Time: 14:09]

 Burns tells Smithers to have Homer beaten to a pulp.  Back at home,
 Homer bemoans his fate.
   Bart: You always told me I was going to destroy the family.  But I never
         believed it.
   Lisa: That's okay, Bart.  Nobody really believed it.
         We were just trying to scare you.
   -- Bart destroys the family, ``Blood Feud''
 An unshaven Smithers tries to tell Joe to beat up Homer, but can't do it.
 Meanwhile, Burns finishes up his book...
   In closing, gentle reader, I'd like to thank you.
   `What's that?' you say?  Me thanking you?
   No, it's not a misprint, for you see, I enjoyed writing this book as much
   as you enjoyed reading it.  The End.
   -- Burns finishes his book, ``Blood Feud''
 Smithers comes in and says he didn't order the beating, since after all,
 Homer saved his life.  Burns is won over.  At Moe's Tavern, Homer
 drowns his sorrows in drink.
   Moe:  [answers the phone]  Moe's Tavern, where the elite meet to drink.
   Bart: Uh, hello.  Is Mike there?  Last name, Rotch.
   Moe:  Hold on, I'll check. [calls]  Mike Rotch!  Mike Rotch!  Hey, has
         anybody seen Mike Rotch lately? [snickers from the patrons]
         [to phone] Listen, you little puke.  One of these days, I'm going
         to catch you, and I'm going to carve my name on your back with
         an ice pick.
   -- Another phone prank, ``Blood Feud''
   Moe:    What's the matter, Homer?  You're not your normal effervescent self.
   Homer:  I got my problems, Moe.  Give me another one.
   Moe:    Homer, hey.  You should not drink to forget your problems.
   Barney: Yeah.  You should only drink to enhance your social skills. [belch]
   -- But does it work? ``Blood Feud''
 Burns decides...
   We'll get the Simpsons a present.  An extravagant present.  A mad, unthinkable,
   utterly impossible present!  A frabulous, grabulous, zip-zoop-zabulous present!
   -- Monty Burns meets Dr. Seuss? ``Blood Feud''
 After much searching, he finds it, for $32,000.  A huge crate is delivered to
 the Simpsons residence, and Burns gives Homer an advance copy of his
 book, ``Will There Ever Be a Rainbow?''
   Burns: Hello, young fellow.  I haven't forgotten you.  Here.
   Bart:  Wow, a crowbar!
   Lisa:  It's to open the crate, stupid.
   -- Burns gives the Simpsons a gift, ``Blood Feud''
 It's a 3000-year-old carved head of Xtapolapocetl [I definitely spelled
 it wrong, but I can't find it in my dictionary].
   Maggie: [holds up an `Aztec' flashcard]
   Lisa:   No, Maggie.  Not Aztec, Olmec.  [slowly]  Ol-mec.
   Maggie: [falls down]
   -- Lisa tries to enlighten Maggie, ``Blood Feud''
 Burns leaves.  The family eat dinner on TV dinner trays, watching the
 giant head do nothing.
   Homer: Save a guy's life, and what do you get?  Nothing!  Worse than nothing!
          Just a big scary rock.
   Bart:  Hey, man, don't bad-mouth the head.
   Marge: Homer, it's the thought that counts.  The moral of the story is a
          good deed is its own reward.
   Bart:  Hey, we <got> a reward.  The head is cool.
   Marge: Then... I guess the moral is no good deed goes unrewarded.
   Homer: Wait a minute.  If I hadn't written that nasty letter, we wouldn't've
          gotten anything.
   Marge: Well... Then I guess the moral is the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
   Lisa:  Perhaps there is no moral to this story.
   Homer: Exactly!  Just a bunch of stuff that happened.
   Marge: But it certainly was a memorable few days.
   Homer: Amen to that!
          [laughter all around]
   -- We don't need no steenkin' morals, ``Blood Feud''
 [End of Act 3.  Time: 19:45]
   Episode summaries Copyright 1991 by Raymond Chen.  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

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