When Flanders Failed
Bart the Murderer
Homer Defined


  • Fat Tony's prison number was 8F03, the production code for this episode.
  • All the horses in the third race at Shelbyville Downs are named for famous cartoon phrases:
  • There is a large drum of nuclear waste seen in the basement of the Simpson house in this episode.
  • Bart's forgotten permission slip can be seen (just barely) under his pillow before he wakes up at the beginning of the episode.
  • While imprisoned, Bart's cellmate is a seriously pumped-up Sideshow Bob. Sideshow Bob does not speak in this episode, presumably because he may be contemplating how Bart, who got Bob arrested in Krusty Gets Busted, is now an accused lawbreaker himself.
  • During the last scene the Simpsons watch a movie based on this episode. When the narrator lists the actors, the actor playing Fat Tony is Joe Mantegna, who provides the voice of Fat Tony on The Simpsons.
  • The producers attempted to have "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes play midway through the episode. Due to being unable to secure permission, they used "One Fine Day" by the Chiffons instead. Be My Baby was famously used in Mean Streets, Martin Scorsese's breakthrough film.
  • First appearances of Fat Tony, Legs and Louie.
  • On the news, Fat Tony's real name is revealed as "William "Fat Tony" Williams" but would later change to "Anthony "Fat Tony" D'Amico" in "The Homer They Fall," though the different names could be aliases, as Fat Tony is a mob boss and would need fake names to keep law enforcement off his tracks.
  • The Indian shown in the film on the field trip is akin to Chief Yahoo, who allowed his caricature to be used as the mascot for the Cleveland Indians.
  • In this episode Seymour Skinner is shown as having his own house, but later in the series he is shown as living with his mother. He could've later moved in with her, or vice versa.
  • One of the rumors of Skinner's assumed murder is that the cafeteria made his corpse into hamburgers. In "Treehouse of Horror V", many Springfield Elementary students would be turned to food to solve the school's problems with overcrowding and budget cuts to the lunch program.
  • The footage of Smithers showing Mr. Burns the newspaper headline about Bart is recycled from Brush with Greatness.
  • This is the first time since "Krusty Gets Busted" to show Chief Wiggum with black hair.


  • This episode takes a lot of plot points from the film Goodfellas. As in the film, a boy mixes drinks for the mobsters, and there is also a cigarette hijacking. Bart's work for Fat Tony mirrors the rise of young Henry Hill.
  • Psychic Princess Opal's line, "I'm afraid it's splitsville for Delta Burke and Major Dad" is a reference to then-tabloid fodder Delta Burke and her husband Gerald McRaney. Ironically, Delta Burke and Gerald McRaney are still together as of 2016 (they married in 1989).
  • The Itchy & Scratchy episode "The Sounds of Silencers" is a reference to the Simon & Garfunkel song The Sounds of Silence.
  • The episode features references to songs such as "Witchcraft" and "One Fine Day", and the American television series MacGyver.
  • Ahfudge chocolate is a parody of Hershey's Chocolate.


  • In the scene in which Edna Krabappel is grieving over Seymour Skinner's absence, among the students who are there, Becky, is seen wearing green instead of the usual turquoise. She could've chosen to wear green that day.
  • Bart's bruises are healed and clothed are repaired upon arriving at the Legitimate Businessman's Social Club.
  • Bart is imprisoned with Sideshow Bob. Juvenile offenders are never jailed with their adult counterparts. In fact, later episodes even establish Springfield has juvenile detention centers. 
Season 2 Season 3 References/Trivia Season 4
Stark Raving DadMr. Lisa Goes to WashingtonWhen Flanders FailedBart the MurdererHomer DefinedLike Father, Like ClownTreehouse of Horror IILisa's PonySaturdays of ThunderFlaming Moe'sBurns Verkaufen der KraftwerkI Married MargeRadio BartLisa the GreekHomer AloneBart the LoverHomer at the BatSeparate VocationsDog of DeathColonel HomerBlack WidowerThe Otto ShowBart's Friend Falls in LoveBrother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?