Don't Fear the Roofer
The Heartbroke Kid
A Star is Torn


  • Spangler's car is a Volvo.
  • The montage near the end of the first act spoofs Bart's shots in the show's opening; additionally, Barney appears in place of the now-deceased Bleeding Gums Murphy, in the same place where Murphy would have appeared.
  • One of the candies that Bart eats is named Cop Killaz.
  • This episode reveals that Bart is allergic to cauliflower (adding to the other food allergies he has: shrimp, butterscotch, and imitation butterscotch).
  • In the Itchy & Scratchy cartoon, the medical questionnaire that Scratchy fills out asks "Have You Ever Been:" followed by a list of catastrophic events, all of which happened to Scratchy in previous Itchy & Scratchy episodes (see "Kitty-Kill Condition").
  • Bart is the second character to have a heart attack (as well as the first kid).

Previous Episode References

  • The last time Homer attended fat camp was in The Way We Weren't.
  • The last time Bart gained weight was in Hungry, Hungry Homer (when Marge forces the kids to eat Homer's weight in food now that he's on a hunger strike).
  • The last episode that revolved around a Simpson gaining weight was King-Size Homer (in Bart's fantasy of being a lardo on workman's comp, just like Homer).
  • The last time Groundskeeper Willie had Bart's skateboard occurred in Girly Edition.
  • Bart's line "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger" was also said by Homer in "Homer's Triple Bypass" following one of several heart attacks. Dr. Hibbert quickly proved that statement to be false.
  • Homer has a fantasy about a robotic Marge, a reference to "Gump Roast" where "Marge becomes a robot" is suggested as a future plotline.
  • Homer's half-brother Herb Powell is mentioned in this episode, marking his only appearance or even mention since his starring roles in "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" and "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?".


  • The distance from Spangler's compound to the Simpson house is inconsistent. Earlier in the episode it's only an hour's drive; later, as Homer and Tab are out on the highway, Tab wants to stop at a motel overnight. It could be that he's trying to hit on Homer.
  • When Dr. Hibbert shows Bart's radiograph, there's a switch under the image, but when Marge points Bart's liver, there's a plate in the switch's place. When Dr. Hibbert says to Bart follow a diet, the switch's again in its place.

Cultural references

  • The title of this episode is probably a spoof of the 1972 film The Heartbreak Kid starring Charles Grodin. It may also reference World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Superstar Shawn Michaels whose nickname is "The Heartbreak Kid."
  • The song Homer sings for change to the German students on vacation is "99 Luftballons" by Nena.
  • The song played during Bart's junkfood sequence is "Yummy yummy yummy" by The Ohio Express.
  • The line "raged against the machine" is a reference to the political rap-rock band Rage Against the Machine.
  • The Shawshank Redemption:
    • Bart uses a poster of Krusty the Clown to conceal the junk food stash in his room. Andy DuFresne puts a poster of Rita Hayworth (later followed by Marilyn Monroe and Raquel Welch) on the wall of his cell to conceal his escape tunnel.
    • Bart opens a package of candy, throws it in the air, and lets it fall down onto and around him, echoing the scene where Andy stands in the rain after his escape.
  • Bart's candy-tossing scene could also be considered a reference to the scene in Pleasantville where David stands in the rain and transforms from black-and-white to color.
  • Homer says (regarding the milkshakes from the festival), "They're melting," in a style reminiscent of The Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz.
  • This episode's storyline is likely a satire of the real-world problem of vending machines in schools (which was briefly mentioned in the 2004 Morgan Spurlock film Super Size Me). In fact, some states have made it illegal for public schools to sell junk food to students during school hours.

Season 15 Season 16 References/Trivia Season 17
Treehouse of Horror XVAll's Fair in Oven WarSleeping with the EnemyShe Used to Be My GirlFat Man and Little BoyMidnight RxMommie BeerestHomer and Ned's Hail Mary PassPranksta RapThere's Something About MarryingOn a Clear Day I Can't See My SisterGoo Goo Gai PanMobile HomerThe Seven-Beer SnitchFuture-DramaDon't Fear the RooferThe Heartbroke KidA Star is TornThank God It's DoomsdayHome Away from HomerThe Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star