Twenty one years ago today, one of my favorite, therefore one of the best, The Simpsons episodes premiered. On October 14, 1993, the second Thursday of the month, Homer Goes To College was aired for the first time and was also the last episode Conan O’Brien was involved in. He went on to host a show or something after that.
It might not have the same Simpsonesque appeal as Marge vs. the Monorail or Last Exit to Springfield (Dental Plan!/Lisa Needs Braces), but the notion of Homer going back to college in his ultra warped reality of higher education replicating a typical Delta Chi weekend gets me every time.
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The episode starts out with a surprise inspection of the power plant. By the way, those never go well in Springfield. Homer is ushered away with other plant dimwits to hidden from the inspectors. Their job is to guard a bee. It does not go well.
Eventually, Homer is discovered by the inspection team, not shockingly fails miserably at his job, and is sent to Springfield College to properly learn the job he has been assigned to work for years.
Predictablly, Homer takes the same approach to higher education that a blue-chip recruit would, meaning without a care in the world. His perception of college is somewhere in between Animal House and Revenge of the Nerds, although the entire episode is a parody of the National Lampoon’s smash hit.
He brings his preset ideas to Springfield University, however they turn out to be a bit outdated or not true. He befriends three nerds, his “sworn enemy”, and hates “that crusty old dean”, who is actually quite young and very nice.
Quickly, Homer becomes quite bored with his studies and help from the nerds and becomes obsessed with living out the reality of adolescent movies like School of Hard Knockers and decides to steal the mascot from rival Springfield A&M, Sir-Oinks-A-Lot the pig. The pig gets sick after Homer gets it loaded and trouble begins. After the pig passes out and hits the floor, the dean immediatlety is aware because he knows that disticnt sound of a pig hitting the floor. The guy is good.
Well, apparently,that pig had some pretty powerful friends.
The nerds take blame for the pork abduction and are booted from school. But, Homer hatches a plan to fake a rescue by the nerds as Homer will pretend to run him over with a car. I guess rolling him up in a carpet and throwing him off a bridge was not an option.
Even with all the chips on the table, the nerds miscalculate the timing and Homer runs down the dean. So, in the midst of Dr. Hibbert explaining to the dean how his new hip will work with some medieval steel contraption, the nerds and Homer admit their hi jinx.
Graciously and insanely, the dean forgives them and readmits them into school. And after a montage of Homer kind-of studying, he fails the test. But with a few keystrokes, the nerds use their computer to change the grade on the exam. Much to Homers amazement, computers can change grades on a test. The episode ends with various shots of “college life” and “Louie,Louie” by The Kingsmen playing in the background.
It’s a lazy narrative, but I’ll say it anyways. This was the golden age of America’s greatest television program. We were just being introduced to season five with this episode and the greatness was beginning to cement itself in tube lore. It’s hard to imagine it was so long ago.
Because I couldn’t fit it in anywhere in the review,here’s my favorite clip of this whole episode.