| "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)"
| Episode Information
"E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)" is the fifth episode of season 11 of The Simpsons and the two-hundred and thirty-first episode overall. It originally aired on November 7, 1999. The episode was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham and directed by Bob Anderson. It guest stars The B-52s as the "Glove Slap" performers and Frank Welker as barnyard animals.
- "Homer begins challenging everyone around him to duels after seeing it happen in a film. Most people back down, until Homer meets an old-fashioned Colonel who takes him up on his dare. Unable to get out of the contest with the Colonel, Homer and his family flee to the country, where they become farmers. Farm life is difficult until Homer creates a new crop called Tomacco."
The Simpson family go to the Springfield Googolplex Theatres where they watch The Poke of Zorro. During the film, Zorro challenges the Scarlet Pimpernel to a duel by slapping him with a glove. After the film has finished, Snake insults Marge, leading Homer to slap him with a glove and challenge him to a duel, like in the film. Snake declines the challenge and flees, with people celebrating Homer's victory. Homer then goes round town challenging other people to duels too, with everyone declining him. Eventually, at the Kwik-E-Mart, Homer glove slaps a southern colonel, who accepts the duel and challenges Homer to a pistol shootout at dawn.
Homer gets scared as he didn't expect anyone to accept the duel challenge. The next morning, the southern colonel arrives in an RV, along with his wife. To get Homer out of the duel, the family takes an old Christmas tree out to be thrown away, with Homer clinging onto it from behind. The Simpsons then flee town and drive out into the countryside. After Jimmy Carter refuses to build a house for them with Habitat for Humanity, the family end up at the Old Simpson Farm where Homer grew up.
The family immediately try and settle into their new lives around the farm. Homer then goes to Sneed's Feed & Seed to buy seeds to plant and is insulted by the farmers there. Homer then buys an assortment of seeds and other things to plant on the farm. However, nothing grows after several days, despite the neighboring farms doing well. Homer then calls Lenny at the Power Plant and asks him to send some plutonium to the farm. Lenny agrees and the next day, Homer sets to work spreading the plutonium over the land, causing it to glow green. The next day, Homer is upset to find that nothing has grown still. Lisa then finds a sprout of a plant, which excites Homer. Over the next few days, the crops grow into something that looks like a tomato. However, when Bart tries it, he hates it and they find that it's brown inside. Bart then wants more, despite it tasting horrible, and Lisa realizes that the plant is a cross-breed between tomatoes and tobacco.
Homer starts to sell the Tomacco plant at a roadside stall. Chief Wiggum buys a basket of the crop from them after he and Ralph get addicted to it. Executives from Laramie Cigarettes then show up and want to buy Tomacco from Homer. They offer the family $150 million, but Homer demands $150 billion instead. The family are then kicked to the curb and they go back to the farm where they find that farm animals have eaten nearly all the Tomacco crop. Homer rescues the last crop from the crazed animals and they hide in the farmhouse. However, the animals then start to break in, wanting the Tomacco. Homer throws the plant into the animals, where it is caught by Mindy who takes it back to the Laramie helicopter. As the helicopter takes off, the pilot says that they have extra weight. A crazed sheep then attacks the executives and causes the helicopter to crash.
After this ordeal, the Simpsons go back home, forgetting the reason they left in the first place. They find the southern colonel still there waiting for them and he gets ready to duel Homer. Before he shoots, the southern colonel smells Marge's mincemeat pies and wants one. Homer gets annoyed at the wait so the colonel shoots him in the shoulder. Homer tells the family that his bone stopped the bullet and Lisa tells Homer that he should go to hospital. Homer agrees to do so, but only after he's eaten pie.
The producers had wanted to do an episode with the family working on the farm for a while before they came up with this episode. The Tomacco idea came from Julie Thacker. Larry Doyle wanted the crop to be a mix of corn and tobacco rather than tomatoes, but the producers decided Tomacco was better. The credits for The Poke of Zorro were put into the episode after Hank Azaria improvised the lyrics to the "Zorro Rap" and the producers wanted to play the song over the movie's credits.
After the episode aired, Rob Baur from Oregon, a fan of the show, tried growing Tomacco in real life. He grafted a tomato plant onto tobacco roots and created a real version of the plant. Ian Maxtone-Graham got in contact with Baur about the Tomacco and invited him and his family to a table read. Rob Baur sent one to the producers, with a warning that it could be poisonous. The producers were therefore reluctant to eat it but they eventually tried it and found that it didn't have any nicotine in it at all.
- Maxtone-Graham, Ian (2008). Commentary for "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)", in The Simpsons: The Complete Eleventh Season.
- Scully, Mike (2008). Commentary for "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)", in The Simpsons: The Complete Eleventh Season.
- IMDb - "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)"
- Baur, Rob (2008). Commentary for "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)", in The Simpsons: The Complete Eleventh Season.