Funeral for a Fiend
- "America has a tradition of turning outlaws into legends after their deaths: Billie the Kid. Bonnie and Clyde. Jesus Christ."
- ―Kent Brockman
| "Funeral for a Fiend"
| Episode Information
"Funeral for a Fiend" is the eighth episode of season 19 of The Simpsons and the four-hundred and eighth episode overall. It originally aired on November 25, 2007. The episode was written by Michael Price and directed by Rob Oliver. It guest stars Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob, David Hyde Pierce as Cecil Terwilliger, John Mahoney as Dr. Robert Terwilliger Sr. and Keith Olbermann as himself.
- "Marge dreams that Keith Olbermann chides her for fast-forwarding through television commercials. Marge tries her to make restitution by watching hours of advertisements, and she and the Simpson family take particular interest in an ad for Wes Doobner's World-Famous Family-Style Rib Huts. They drive to the restaurant, only to find Sideshow Bob waiting for them, triumphant in his elaborate hoax to lure them to their doom. When Sideshow Bob's attempt to terminate the family is foiled, he is put on trial, where his father blames Sideshow Bob's psychosis on Bart. During the proceedings, Bart accidentally kills his old nemesis, and Bob's brother Cecil invites Bart to attend the memorial service for Sideshow Bob to bury the hatchet for good."
Bart accompanies Homer to Circuit Circus to purchase a battery. The cashier who rings up Homer's purchase explains that if he signs up for a $200 TiVo and a two year subscription, he will receive his battery for free. Homer quickly complies and in almost a couple of hours, Lisa is busy installing the new TiVo system at home.
The family quickly realizes the capability of their new TiVo device as they skip through the commercials (mostly from former episodes) during the Itchy & Scratchy episode entitled "Spherical on 34th Street". Marge takes a shine to their new TiVo, and becomes a pro at skipping all the commercials and recording all her favorite shows. Her TiVo watching passion quickly becomes an addiction and late one night after falling asleep on the couch watching TV, her guilty conscience gets the better of her in her dreams. Marge dreams of Keith Olbermann speaking to her through the TV and making her feel guilty for skipping all of the television commercials. She makes a vow to Keith that she will be sure to catch up and her advertisement watching.
During a marathon commercial watching session, Marge catches an ad for "Wes Doobner's World Famous Family Rib Huts". With a menu that appeals to everyone in the family, they excitedly visit the new restaurant that night. The family begins to sense that something is amiss when they see an empty parking lot and a restaurant devoid of any tables or chairs or other patrons. Once inside. The doors and windows close and latch behind them and Wes Doobner himself steps in through another door and emits a maniacal laugh. Wes reveals himself to be Sideshow Bob and gloats about his ingenious plan to trap and then kill the Simpsons. "Wes Doobner's World Famous Family Rib Huts" is an anagram of "Sideshow Bob's World Famous Family Style Return". His commercials were subliminally designed to only attract the Simpsons.
With the Simpsons tied up, Sideshow Bob provides a slide show to explain what he's been up to since the last time the Simpsons saw him in The Italian Bob. Sideshow Bob then shows the family how he plans to kill them. He places a laptop computer with a defective battery on top of a pile of TNT so that when the battery overheats and explodes, it will ignite the TNT causing it to explode as well. Bob quotes some Shakespeare and then makes his exit, but Lisa calls out to Bob, teasing him for getting the Shakespeare quote wrong. Sideshow Bob, not wanting to be upstaged, quickly reenters and uses the laptop to check Wikipedia about the accuracy of his quote. But while waiting for the website to load, the defective battery explodes in his lap knocking him unconscious. Within minutes Kent Brockman is reporting on the scene and Sideshow Bob is taken down.
At his trial Sideshow Bob confesses that he did try to kill the Simpsons, but that his plot was a product of his insanity caused by Bart's constant persecution. He calls his father, Dr. Terwilliger, a physician, to the witness stand. Bob's father testifies that Bob was a peaceful, weak and sickly boy due to a congenital heart defect, until Bart began "tormenting" him, which led Bob to full-blown dementia. Sideshow Bob pleads with the jury and begins to successfully paint Bart in a bad light and win sympathy from the court.
An outraged Bart snaps and in an outburst tries to convince the court that Bob is lying. Sideshow Bob then reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out a small vial of nitroglycerin, but before he can do anything with it, Bart snatches the vial out of Bob's hand and flings it out the window. Bob screams, clutches his heart in horror and collapses. Dr. Terwilliger rushes from the witness stand to his son's side and Sideshow Bob's mother emerges from the gallery to explain that the nitroglycerin was actually for Bob's heart defect. Dr. Hibbert rushes forward to check Bob's pulse and then confirms everyone's fears, telling them that Sideshow Bob is dead, blaming Bart in the process.
Most of Springfield turns out to attend Bob's funeral (including Bob's parents, wife, son, and younger brother Cecil, whose been let out of prison to attend) and Kent Brockman covers the scene with live coverage. Krusty leads the funeral in song as well-wishers pay their last respects to Sideshow Bob, lying peacefully in a tailor made coffin that accommodates his tremendous feet. The Simpsons enters the church to hostility and Bart storms off, refusing to pay his respects to Bob.
Later, Bart sits alone out on the sidewalk grumbling about how everyone hates him for supposedly killing Sideshow Bob, when Cecil, accompanied by two police officers, approaches. Cecil tells Bart that he once shared the same disdain for Bob, but tells Bart of felling better if he makes his peace with Bob. Bart reluctantly agrees and heads off to the funeral home to say goodbye before Bob is cremated. Milhouse makes his rounds delivering newspapers and at the Simpson home Marge asks if he has seen Bart. Milhouse mentions noticing Bart a few minutes earlier going for the funeral home to see Sideshow Bob one last time. When Milhouse asks to sit down because his feet are killing him, his words cause Lisa to suddenly realizes that Bart is in grave danger and convinces everyone to rush to the funeral home before it is too late.
At the funeral home, Bart approaches as Sideshow Bob's coffin, which awaits the furnace, and confesses that he didn't mean for Bob to die. Just then, to Bart's surprise, Bob jumps out of the coffin, alive and well, and quickly throws Bart in. He laughs maniacally as he throws a switch that starts the coffin on a very slow journey down the conveyor belt to the furnace, despite other, faster settings being available, which he disregards. As the Simpsons rush to the funeral home Lisa explains how she figured out Bob's plan: she chronicles the fact that Bob would have never misquoted Shakespeare accidentally—as his mother is a noted Shakespearean actress—and that his real plan had been to be caught so that he could stand trial. She also explains that when Bob collapsed in the courtroom, his father must have injected him with a drug to make him appear dead when he quickly rushed to Bob's side.
Back at the funeral home Bob gathers with his entire family, including Cecil and his police escorts, who peel off their latex masks and are revealed to be the brothers' parents, who are as deranged as their sons. Bob then plans for Bart's ashes to be mistaken for his, and by the time police figure it out, Bob and his family will be away scot-free. As they watch Bart slowly head to the furnace, Lisa, Marge and Homer suddenly burst in to rescue Bart in the nick of time. Homer throws some hobo ashes into Bob's eyes, distracting him, and Marge reverses the switch and stops the conveyor belt.
Once Bart is safe, Chief Wiggum and the real police arrive on the scene to arrest Sideshow Bob and his family. As Bob and his family are being led away, Bob questions how Lisa could have figured out the plan he and the rest of his family had come up with. Lisa admits that she actually started getting suspicious when she noticed that the coffin at his funeral had extra room to accommodate his large feet—Lisa figures that Bob's family most likely wouldn't have bothered to pay if he actually were dead. Cecil gets mad at Bob for having that done it despite (presumably) being advised against it by wiser minds.
In a prison cell with the rest of his family, Sideshow Bob sits in a corner, restrained by a strait-jacket, and laughs evilly as he comes to the Simpsons' house for his revenge on and kills the Simpson family, while his father, son, and brother play cards, ignoring his rants.
Robert Canning of IGN gave the episode a 6.2/10, saying "there were some enjoyable scenes, but the half hour lacked in the number of laugh-out-loud moments, and Bob's ultimate scheme wasn't very surprising."