ByCary Hill, writer at
Writer, Filmmaker, Keymaster @lostarkraider
Cary Hill

This past Halloween, the Simpsons made a grand homage to Stanley Kubrick, in the form of their 25th Treehouse of Horror. It included send ups of A Clockwork Orange, Eyes Wide Shut, Full Metal Jacket, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and even Barry Lyndon. The show has a long running history of parodying Kubrick (among others) and, after recently doing a marathon of episodes, have compiled (my) top 5 references of the show.

I've decided to start off 2015 with a simple, fun article and move on from there.

Now on to the bullet points!

5. Homer Rides the Bomb ('Homer the Vigilante' Season 5)

In an attempt to purchase arms for his posse of vigilantes, Homer is shown a 'miniature version of the A-bomb designed for use against beatniks,' out behind Herman's Military Antiques. Homer then daydreams a shot-for-shot re-enactment of Dr. Strangelove, including riding the A-bomb all the way down. "Take that Maynard G. Krebs!"

4. Spinemelter 2000 ('Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?' Season 3)

My God, it's full of stars
My God, it's full of stars

2001: A Space Odyssey was the most parodied of Kubrick's films (at least through the first 13 seasons...I kind of gave up after that), thanks in large part to the 'Homer in Space' episode. After Bart and Lisa destroy the living room couch, Homer tests out the Spinemelter 2000 massage chair. When turned all the way up, it causes him to experience the Stargate sequence from 2001. We even get closeups of his eye changing colors a la Dave Bowman.

3. Santa's Little Helper's Re-education ('Dog of Death' Season 3)

After costing the family their savings to get an operation, Santa's Little Helper ends up being shunned and runs off. Mr. Burns takes him in as a new attack hound. Because he's so playful and loving, he undergoes re-education by Burns and Smithers where he's forced to watch an angry film reel (including the hilariously random shot of a dog house being run over by a tank) in a send up of Alex's Ludovico treatment in A Clockwork Orange.

2. Deep Space Homer ('Deep Space Homer' Season 5)

This one, of course, has to be included. The entire episode is rife with 2001 references, including Homer as the Star Child seen above (shortly after this frame he takes a Fox Network satellite to the head). Other homages include Homer eating chips in zero gravity, recreating the docking sequence of Heywood Floyd's shuttle to the tune of the 'The Blue Danube,' as well as Bart throwing the marker into the air like the monkey and bone in the 'Dawn of Man' sequence, and an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon where they're astronauts in a ship that looks just like the Discovery.

The episode also parodies The Right Stuff, Planet of the Apes, and the original Star Trek series. It's also the episode responsible for this amazing gag:

And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords
And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords

1. Shhhh...Do You Want To Get Sued? ('Treehouse of Horror V' Season 6)

The top spot belongs to an entire segment of the Treehouse of Horror devoted to Kubrick's The Shining. The plot is nearly the same, with Homer filling the Jack Nicholson role ("Can't murder now...eating"). Having Moe replace Lloyd the Bartender and Willy as Scatman Crothers is genius, and who could forget "No Beer and No TV make Homer something...something..."

Honorable Mention: The Dawn of Man ('Lisa's Pony' Season 3)

This episode in particular opens with Homer dreaming while asleep at work. The other monkeys (Homer being the only bald one) quickly develop intelligence while Homer uses it to sleep.

Honorable Mention 2: Cupcakes...Sweet Cakes for All ('Duffless' Season 4)

I really wanted to work this one into the list because it's such a great reference to A Clockwork Orange. After a series of experiments with cupcakes leading to him being zapped by Lisa repeatedly, Bart -- much like Alex in Clockwork Orange -- is now unable to bring himself to touch them and collapses onto the floor. Bonus points for the cherries as nipples in the perspective.

What favorite Kubrick reference of yours didn't make the list? If there're any good ones in episodes newer than season 13, feel free to list them below!


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