Last Exit to Springfield

Last Exit to Springfield
                                    Written by Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky
                                                      Directed by Mark Kirkland

TV Guide Synopsis

Homer's brain serves him well in negotiations with Burns over the
union dental plan, which is of great importance to the braces-bound
Lisa.  Dr. Joyce Brothers has a cameo.  Other voices: Julie Kavner,
Dan Castellaneta.

Title sequence


    {Mud is not one of / the 4 food groups.}
    {Mud is not one of / the 4 food grou} at cutoff.

Lisa's solo

    Transcribed by Alan J Rosenthal {ajr}, amended by {rjc}, in 4/4

                      .                 . .     .
                   b  b   b b             b     -
              1..887./3__87878_ 1..8888/5_3868_/3.

    Recycled from [8F04].


        Homer yells, ``D'oh!'' when Lisa scoots past.
        Homer yells, ``Waugh!'' when the car closes in on him.


        The couch turns into a tentacled brown monster.

Quotes and scene summary


 McBain proclaims ``Ice to see you'' as he bursts out of a much-too-small
 Venus de Milo ice sculpture.
 This time, Senator Mendoza gets the upper hand.  Bart
 comments, ``That is one evil dude,'' and Homer replies, ``That's
 just a movie, son.  There's nobody that evil in <real> life.''  Cut
 to Monty Burns, laughing with equal maniacal glee at the window
 washer outside his window whose scaffold has broken.  Monty closes
 the shutters, and we hear a falling scream.  Burns waits impatiently
 for the union representative.  Smithers notes that he hasn't been
 seen since he promised to clean up the union.  Meanwhile, a football
 player's progress is impeded by a human-shaped patch of dirt in the
 pitch.  Burns reads the proposed contract.
   Benefits?  Perqs?  A green cookie on Saint Patrick's Day?
   -- Monty Burns reads the proposed union contract, ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 Burns flashes back to simpler days.  Springfield, 1909, back when
 people smashed atoms by hand.  Grandfather Burns catches one of his
 employees trying to steal some atoms and has him taken away.
   You can't treat the working man this way.  One day, we'll form a union
   and get the fair and equitable treatment we deserve!  Then we'll go
   too far, and get corrupt and shiftless, and the Japanese will eat us alive!
   -- The beginning of the end, ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 Modern-day Burns considers the missed lessons of the past.
   If only we'd listened to that boy, instead of walling him up in the
   abandoned coke oven.
   -- Monty Burns, ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 Determined to claim some sort of victory over the unions, Burns
 picks a line at random from the contract to strike out.  He
 selects the company dental plan.

 At ``Painless Dentistry'', the solitary lamp turns Ralph's exam into
 an interrogation.  When he admits that he doesn't brush his teeth,
 Ralph is shown ``The Big Book of of [sic] British Smiles'', depicting
 assorted Brits with crooked teeth.  The picture of Prince Charles
 pushes Ralph over the edge.  Meanwhile, Bart entertains the
 impressionable youngsters in the waiting room.
   Bart:  Dr. Wolfe likes to pull kids' teeth so he can sell 'em.
   Kid:   To who?
   Bart:  Know that rattle when you shake up a can of spray paint?
          That's a kid's teeth!
   -- ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 Dr. Wolfe inspects Maggie's mouth.
   Dr. Wolfe: Maggie's teeth are coming in rather crooked.
              Has she been sucking on a pacifier?
   Marge:     Errrrrmmmmm...  Not to my knowledge.
   -- ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 The good dentist immediately shouts, ``Liar!''

 Marge and the kids await the dentist's verdict.
   Dr. Wolfe: I'm also afraid little Lisa is going to need braces.
   Lisa:      Oh no!  I'll be socially unpopular! ... More so!
   -- ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 With the aid of modern computer imaging, the dentist shows how
 grossly disfigured Lisa's face would become if her dental anomaly
 were to go unchecked.
 Bart wants to take financial advantage of this by exhibiting
 her as a freak in the South.

 Homer's television viewing of pro wrestling is interrupted by
 Marge's announcement that Lisa will need braces.  ``Don't worry.  We
 won a dental plan in the strike of '88.  That's where I got this
 scar.''  Flashback to said strike.
   Carl: What do we want?
   All:  More equitable treatment at the hands of management!
   Carl: When do we want it?
   All:  Soon!
   -- ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 Homer got his scar when the awning of a snack bar slammed down on
 his head while he screamed, ``I want a burrito!  I want a burrito!''
   Then I got <this> scar sneaking under the door of a pay toilet.
   -- Homer, ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 At a meeting of the International Brotherhood of Jazz Dancers,
 Pastry Chefs, and Nuclear Technicians...
   Carl: Welcome, brothers of Local 643.  As you know, our president,
         Chuckie Fitzhugh, ain't been seen lately.  We're all prayin' he'll
         turn up soon, alive and well.
   All:  [laugh]
   Carl: All right, all right.  But seriously.
   -- ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 The latest contract proposal gives them a free keg of beer for their
 meeting ('Ray!) in exchange for giving up their dental plan.  All
 rush for the keg.
   Lenny: So long, dental plan!
   Homer: [thinks...]
   Lenny's voice: Dental plan!
   Marge's voice: Lisa needs braces.
   Lenny's voice: Dental plan!
   Marge's voice: Lisa needs braces.
   Lenny's voice: Dental plan!
   Marge's voice: Lisa needs braces.
   Lenny's voice: Dental plan!
   Marge's voice: Lisa needs braces.
   Lenny's voice: Dental plan!
   Marge's voice: Lisa needs braces.
   Lenny's voice: Dental plan!
   Marge's voice: Lisa needs braces.
   Chuckie: [as a prank, drops a pencil into the crack of Homer's butt]
   Carla: Bull's-eye!
   Homer: Thanks a lot, Carl.  Now I lost my train of throught.
   Lenny's voice: Dental plan!
   Marge's voice: Lisa needs braces.
   Lenny's voice: Dental plan!
   Marge's voice: Lisa needs braces.
   Homer: If we give up our dental plan... ... ...
          I'll have to pay for Lisa's braces!
   -- Surely but slowly, ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 Homer tells everyone they can't give up their dental plan.  He
 points out that without it, Lenny wouldn't have the diamond in his
 tooth.  (Which is promptly stolen.)  ``You know what I think of this
 contract?  This!''  Homer tries to tear it in half, but it's so
 thick, he's reduced to tearing the sheets off one at a time.  The
 handle of the keg-o'-Duff turns... revealing a secretly mounted
 camera.  Burns and Smithers watch on the monitor.
   Burns:    Who is that firebrand, Smithers?
   Smithers: That's Homer Simpson.
   Burns:    Simpson, eh?  New man?
   Smithers: [brief chuckle]  He thwarted your campaign for governor,
             you ran over his son, he saved the plant from meltdown,
             his wife painted you in the nude...
   Burns:    Doesn't ring a bell.
   -- I'd remember if Marge was nude while painting me...
      ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 Carla proposes that Homer be their new president.  ``All in favor?''
 ``Aye!''  ``All opposed?''  A solitary meek voice votes, ``Nay.''
 Homer is elected.
   Homer: Hey, what does this job pay?
   Carl:  Nuthin'.
   Homer: D'oh!
   Carl:  Unless you're crooked.
   Homer: Woo-hoo!
   -- U-S-A!  U-S-A!  ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 [End of Act One.  Time: 7:23]
   Lisa:  This is your chance to get a fair shake for the working man.
   Homer: <And> make life-long connections to the world of organized crime.
          Mmmmm... organized crime.
   -- ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 Don Homer is the master of his domain in Little Italy.

 Whether the dental plan will be reinstated depends on whether Homer
 or Mr. Burns is the better negitiator.  Homer accepts Bart's offer
 to trade a delicious doorstop for his crummy ol' danish.
   Lisa and Marge, these braces are invisible, painless, and periodically
   release a delightful burst of Calvin Klein's Obsession... for Teeth.
   -- Dr. Wolfe, ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 When Marge reveals that they don't have a dental plan...
   These predate stainless steel, so you can't get them wet.
   -- Dr. Wolfe shows Lisa a more affordable set of braces,
      ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 From his monitoring vantage point, Monty Burns admires Homer
 exercising at his station.

 From our vantage point, we see that Homer is twisting his body in an
 attempt to reach a Sugar Daddy stuck to his back.  Lenny peels it
 off for him.  ``But it's the last time!''  Homer takes the Sugar
 Daddy and sucks on it.

 Homer and Burns chat.
   Burns: We don't have to be adversaries, Homer.
          We both want a fair union contract.
   Homer: [thinking]  Why is Mr. Burns being so nice to me?
   Burns: And if you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.
   Homer: [thinking]  Wait a minute.  Is he coming onto me?
   Burns: I mean, if I should slip something into your pocket, what's the harm?
   Homer: [thinking]  My God!  He <is> coming onto me!
   Burns: After all, negotiations make strange bedfellows.
          [chuckle]  [wink]
   Homer: [thinking] Aaaaaagh!
          Sorry, Mr. Burns, but I don't go in for these backdoor shenanigans.
          Sure, I'm flattered, maybe even a little curious,
          but the answer is no!
   -- Wink wink, nudge nudge, ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 To assuage Lisa's fears, Dr. Wolfe shows her some of the tools he'll
 be using.  ``This one is the gouger.''
 It doesn't seem to help.  Before chiseling some teeth out
 of Lisa's jawbone, he puts Lisa under anaesthesia gas...

 Lisa floats happily through the air above a myriad of truly bizarre
 landscapes straight out of ``Yellow Submarine'', except that the
 submarine is purple.  (Mmmm... purple.)
   Look, fellas.  It's Lisa in the sky.
   -- Ringo, ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 When Lisa wakes up, she immediately asks for the mirror.  Dr. Wolfe
 backs away in fear.  Lisa takes the mirror, giggles, then breaks out
 into a cackle.  Her grotesque shadow is cast on the wall.  Lisa
 smashes the mirror.

 Lisa comes home with her new braces.  Santa's Little Helper comes
 bounding into the room, but is scared away when Lisa flashes her
 metallic smile.
   Homer: [answering the door]  Who is it?
   Voice: Goons.
   Homer: Who?
   Voice: Hired goons.
   Homer: Hired goons?  [opens the door]
   Goons: [take Homer roughly away]
   -- ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 The goons take Homer to Stately Burns Mansion, where Monty waits for
 them in the aviary.  (The vulture perched nearby bears a striking
 resemblance.)  Monty shows Homer the world's largest television set
 (now showing:  The bumblebee guy).  A room with a thousand monkeys
 at a thousand typewriters.  (``It was the best of times, it was
 blurst of times.'')
   Burns: And this is my basement.
          [reveals a traditional unfinished basement,
          complete with ping-pong table]
   Homer: Gee, it's not as nice as the other rooms.
   Burns: Yes, I really should stop ending the tour with it.
   -- ``Last Exit to Springfield''
   Burns: Now, let's get down to business.
   Homer: [thinks] Oh, man.  I have to go to the bathroom.
          Why did I have all that beer and coffee and watermelon?
          [water drips in the background, Smithers pours a cup of coffee]
   Burns: Now Homer, I know what you're thinking.
          I want to take the pressure off.
          Now, it doesn't take a `whiz' to know that
          you're looking out for `Number One'.
          Well, listen to me, and you'll make a big splash very soon.
   -- ``Last Exit to Springfield''
   Homer: Which way to the bathroom?
   Burns: Oh, it's the twenty-third door on the left.
   -- ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 Homer reaches a looooong corridor, opening door after door, not
 finding a bathroom.  Homer eventually returns.  ``Find the bathroom
 all right?''  Homer stops.  ``Uhh....  Yeahhhhhhh.''

 Monty Burns literally drops Homer off in his private helicopter.
 Marge rushes out to greet him, but her hair is chopped off by the
 helicopter blades.  (I was waiting for that to happen.)  Monty's
 dramatic and threatening exit comes to a rapid halt when he falls
 out of the helicopter.  After being bandaged and placed in a
 stretcher slung from the helicopter, he resumes his diabolical
 laughter.  (His stretcher bounces into a nearby chimney as the
 copter leaves.)

 Homer wonders why he was elected union president, then realizes that
 all the coworkers have been making fun of him.  So he punches Lenny
 in the back of the head first thing in the morning.

 It's picture day at Springfield Elementary.  Lisa sits with an
 adorable bow in her ahir, but her mouth is glued shut.  The
 photographer cajoles her into smiling, but when she reveals her
 braces, he is taken aback.  ``There is no God!''  Lisa's face falls,
 and the picture is taken.

 Homer tells the union brothers that he's fed up, and they call for a
 strike.  Carl again runs the vote.  ``All in favor of a strike?''
 ``Aye!''  ``All opposed?''  Again, a solitary meek voice votes,
 ``Nay.''  At the back of the room are two men.  One meek and frail,
 the other solid and robust.  The meek one points at the stronger
 one.  ``It was him.  Let's get him, fellas'' The entire union
 membership beat up the strong guy.  The meek guy chuckles.

 [End of Act Two.  Time: 14:54]

 Lisa accompanies the striking employees with a song on her guitar.
 (What a talented girl.  Shame about the teeth.)  Burns tells
 Smithers to get some strikebreakers, ``The ones they had in the
 '30's.''  Grampa and his pals are called in.  ``We can't bust heads
 like we used to, but we have our ways.  One trick is to tell 'em
 stories that don't go anywhere.''  Grampa launches into a story that
 goes nowhere.  Onions on the belt were all the style.

 Burns is ready to hose down the rowdy strikers.  But when Smithers
 turns on the hose, the water pressure throws Burns about like a
 wayward rocket.

 Lisa concludes her song.  Lenny makes a request for ``Classical Gas'',
 which Lisa fills,
 further demonstrating her skill as a guitarist.

 Burns is convinced that he and Smithers can run the plant
 themselves.  And they do, in a phenomenally silly manner.  But
 things run awry when the robot workers turn against their employers.
   Tonight, on Smartline.  ``The Power plant strike.  Argle bargle, or fooforaw?''
   -- Kent Brockman, ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 Guests are Monty Burns, union leader Homer Simpson, and talk show
 mainstay, Dr. Joyce Brothers.
   I brought my own mike!
   -- Dr. Joyce Brothers appears on `Smartline', ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 When Kent mentions the word `dinosaur', Homer freaks out.
   Kent:  Um, my director is telling me not to talk to you any more.
   Homer: Woo-hoo!
   -- ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 Burns is permitted his requested opening tirade.  Burns threatens
 dire events in fifteen minutes.

 Burns and Smithers march down the corridors of power, past numerous
 security measures, eventually leading to a hidden control room.
 ``Oh, for God's sake!''  Burns realizes that they left the (dilapidated)
 back door
 open.  With a ``From hell's heart, I stab at thee!'' Burns pushes
 the button.  Power goes out all around town.  Normal, law-abiding
 citizens instantly turn to looting.  A moving electric billboard
 reads, ``Total blackout in Springfield.''  The strikers are not
 deterred.  Lisa leads them in song.

 On his balcony, Burns cups his ear.  What?  They're spirit is not
   Look at them all, through the darkness I'm bringing.
   They're not sad at all.  They're actually singing!
   They sing without juicers.
   They sing without blenders.
   They sing without flunjers, capdabblers and smendlers!
   -- ``Last Exit to Springfield''
 Burns calls Homer to the negotiating table.  He gives in on the
 dental plan, on one condition:  That Homer resign as union
 president.  Homer celebrates, doing a Three Stooges.  Burns watches,
 perplexed.  ``Smithers, I'm beginning to think that Homer Simpsons
 is not the brilliant tactician I thought he was.''

 Power returns to Springfield.  Including the peep show district.
 And the fake vomit factory.

 Sitting in the dentist's chair, Lisa smiles a toothy grin.  The
 family are gathered around.  Marge is pleased.  ``You can hardly see
 the braces.''  Lisa responds, ``And that's the tooth!''  All laugh
 uproariously.  The dentist notices, ``Whoops.  I left the [laughing]
 gas on.''  He shuts it off.  And they keep on laughing.

 [End of Act Three.  Time: 21:15]

Voice Credits


    Dan Castellaneta        (Homer, Principal Skinner, Grampa)
    Julie Kavner            (Marge)
    Nancy Cartwright        (Bart, Ralph)
    Yeardley Smith          (Lisa)
    Hank Azaria             (Chief Wiggum)
    \:    and
    Harry Shearer           (Burns, Smithers, Kent Brockman)

Special Guest Voice

    Dr. Joyce Brothers       (herself)


Michael Neylon {mn}: Although slow at first, there were finally tons
of refs near the end.  A cute episode.

John R. Donald {jrd}:  Overall, a very good episode.

Ted Frank {thf}: A solid episode, though nothing spectacular.  The
return of Burns and Smithers was welcome, but the animation of them
wasn't the best.  Burns was also a bit out of character; is this the
first time Homer's gotten the best of him?

Yours truly @{rjc}: Yes!  Not a classic, but a fine episode
nonetheless.  A nice remembrance of gags from episodes past, like the
constant repetition of ``Dental plan / Lisa needs braces'' (compare
``Will you take us to Mount Splashmore?''), and the David Letterman
music (compare the incomparable ``Land of Chocolate'' scene).  Even
Yeardley's singing was tolerable this time.

Didja notice...

    ... //

Movie (and other) References

    + Last Exit to Brooklyn
        - The episode title is a pun on the movie title.
          (The movie was in turn based on the eponymous book
          by Hubert Selby, Jr.)
        - One of the main movie characters is a union functionary
          who finds out he has homosexual tendencies. @{br}
    + How the Grinch Stole Christmas
        - The workers stand in a circle, holding hands and singing.
        - Monty Burns' nonsense rhyme, complete with distorted animation,
          and with Smithers playing the role of the dog.
        - In the original cartoon, the Grinch's speech is devoid
          of nonsense words.  The Simpsons writers seemed to be trying
          to out-Seuss Seuss. @{lc}
    ~ Marathon Man
        - Lots of people claim the dentist character was taken from the movie.
          I see no evidence to support this claim.
    + Batman (Michael Keaton movie)
        - Lisa asking for the mirror.  Cf. Jack Nicholson (the Joker)
          doing the same.  And laughing.  @{thf}
    ~ Get Smart
        - The interminable chain of security doors.
          (I think they were just poking fun at spy movies in general.)
    + Batman (old Adam West tv show)
        - The batpoles (Batman and Robin),
          plus the revolving door (Batgirl).
    + Yellow Submarine
        - Lisa's phantasmagoric trip.  Plus an appearance of the Fab Four
          One notable difference is that the word ``love'' in the original
          changed to ``hatred'' in Lisa's dream.
      Lost in Space
        - ``Crush!  Kill!  Destroy!''
    + Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan

Freeze Frame Fun

Painless Dentistry

    . formerly Painful Dentistry

Homer's union

    . The International Brotherhood of Jazz Dancers, Pastry Chefs
      and Nuclear Technicians
    . Insignia is a stylized dancing figure, holding a cake in one
      hand and an atom in the other.

Peep show district

    . The Horny Toad
    . Nudes at Eleven
    . Adam and Adam

Animation and continuity goofs

Comments and other observations

References from the obvious to the obscure

Previous episodes

    [7[FG]01] ``He thwarted your campaign for governor.''
    [7[FG]10] ``You ran over his son.''
    [8[FG]04] ``He saved the plan from meltdown.''
    [7[FG]18] ``His wife painted you in the nude.''

Gangster buried in a football field

There is a long-standing urban legend that the body of Teamsters boss 
Jimmy Hoffa is buried under the end zone of Giants Stadium in New Jersey.

A thousand monkeys...

The saying goes that a thousand monkeys on a thousand typewriters will
eventually produce the works of William Shakespeare.  W. Robert Glover
@{wrg} makes the additional observation that Burns' monkeys couldn't
even come up with Shakespeare; they had to settle for (erroneous)

And didja notice that the monkey looked like a tired hack writer,
complete with cigarette and coffee?

Homer's whoop-whoop floor dance points out that Donald O'Connor performs this stunt
in the ``Make 'Em Laugh'' scene in ``Singin' in the Rain''.

Additional research required...

Shane Roach's girlfriend ( suggests that the
running-the-plant scene derives from a Fred Astaire movie, in which
Fred and somebody else (Bing Crosby?  Gene Kelly?) singlehandedly run
a ship or naval base or something like that.  This propsal has merit,
because there is a gratuitous scene of Smithers dancing with a straw
hat and cane atop a control panel.

The USENET ``Biggest stretch for a reference'' award goes to...

... my former classmate Vincent Lai (, for
suggesting that the ping-pong table in Burns' basement is a reference
to the term ``Ping-Pong diplomacy'' which had been applied to Nixon's
negotiations with Red China.

Ten times more addictive than marijuana

John R. Donald {jrd} does some quick arithemetic:
Ten times zero equals zero.

Braces for eight-year-olds?

Alan Barclay ( explains that it is important
for baby teeth to grow straight, lest the adult teeth that follow also
grow in crooked.

Lisa's guitar-playing

Lukas Kendall @{lk} was present for the scoring session for this
episode and reports that Alf Clausen and friends took pains to
synchronize the guitar track to the motion of Lisa's fingers.
Yeardley Smith even came in to re-record the vocals.  ``I didn't say
anything to her as I didn't know who she was until she starting
singing!  Oh, well, live and learn.''

Monty Burns' age

Ted Frank @{thf} points out that, if Monty Burns was an ambulatory lad
in 1909, that would put him at around age ninety.  Note, however, that
Burns claims, ``I'm only eighty-one'' in [7[FG]02].

The art of negotiation

Eliot Friedman @{ekf} recalls that Jimmy Hoffa attributed much of his
success as a union negotiator to bladder control.  That is, his
ability to go for hours without having to leave the bargaining table
to answer Nature's call.  Supposedly, the first man to succumb yields
a psychological advantage to his opponent.

If true, then Homer broke Hoffa's rule and still managed to prevail in
the negotiations.

Distribution notice and Acknowledgments

Blah blah.

HTML conversion by
Howard Jones( on Sat 10 Sept 1994