The Scorpion's Tale
| "The Scorpion's Tale"
| Episode Information
"The Scorpion's Tale" is the fifteenth episode of season 22 of The Simpsons and the four-hundred and seventy-ninth episode overall. It originally aired on March 6, 2011. The episode was written by Billy Kimball and Ian Maxtone-Graham and directed by Matthew Schofield. It guest stars Werner Herzog as Walter Hotenhoffer and Kevin Michael Richardson as the Retirement Castle orderly.
- "During a field trip to the Springfield Desert State Park, Lisa finds a flower that can cause animals to become docile. When she synthesizes a drug out of this, the drug gets picked up by a major pharmaceuticals company and distributed to the population. However, it has a bad side effect."
Springfield Elementary School goes on a field trip to the Springfield Desert State Park and Satan's Anvil. During the field trip, Martin encounters an elderly couple who own a caravan on the land. Meanwhile, Bart, Nelson, and Milhouse find and explore The Woozy Canary Gold Mine. Lisa also explores the state park, reading from a pamphlet. She reads that scorpions are some of the dangerous animals in the park just as she encounters some scorpions herself. Lisa backs away from them but falls into a patch of Springfield Silvertongue flowers. The flowers make the scorpions docile and Lisa decides to take the scorpions and some flowers home to study them for a science project. The field trip is then cut short as Milhouse found the skeleton of a hippie.
On the way back home, Otto stops the bus to see some drama at the Springfield Retirement Castle, where Grampa is being kicked out for being too cranky. Grampa then ends up staying with the Simpsons, but greatly annoys everyone. During this time, Lisa kept studying the scorpions and the Silvertongue and created a spray out of the flower. When Homer found out what the spray did, he came up with an idea to use it on Grampa. The next morning, Homer slips some of the drug into Grampa's coffee and Grampa becomes happier. Lisa is suspicious of this sudden change in mood, but has no proof that Homer did anything.
Lisa confronts Homer over what he did and gets the truth out of him. Lisa and Homer then tell Grampa that he's been drugged, but Grampa doesn't care as he's so happy now. Lisa doesn't like that she has created artificial happiness and decides to flush the drug down the toilet. As it wears off, Grampa goes back to being cranky again. At Moe's Tavern, Homer and Grampa talk with the barflies about this. Walter Hotenhoffer overhears the conversation and introduces himself as being in the pharmaceutical business. He then takes a drop from Grampa's skin to try and synthesize the drug from it. At Hotenhoffer Pharmaceuticals, Grampa tests the compounds until he finds the correct one. The drug MusBeNys is then created from the compound and the family are told that nobody other than Grampa should take it.
Bart steals the drugs and sells it to the people of Springfield to make the elderly people in their lives happier. Soon, all the old people in town are a lot happier. This leads to Lisa getting suspicious of Bart, but he flees from her. When Homer and Grampa get back from a fishing trip, Lisa tells Grampa that she knows that he's still taking the drug and that she's happy that he's happy. Grampa's eyes then pop out of his head. As the family gets over the shock of this, Lisa finds that the scorpions eyes have also popped out of their eye sockets and realizes that it's a side effect of the drug. Bart then reveals that he's sold the drug of many people, who all suffer from the same side effect. The family then goes to Walter Hotenhoffer for help.
At Hotenhoffer Pharmaceuticals, Hotenhoffer first tries to claim no responsibility from what happened, but is then talked around to doing so. A cheerful mob of old people who want more of the drug then forms outside the factory and Hotenhoffer and the Simpsons go down to confront the mob. Hotenhoffer tells them that he can't take advantage of them and decides to destroy the drug. As the crowd processes this, Homer decides to go to Moe's and get drunk. He bursts his car tires going over some spikes and Lenny and Carl convince him to just get a new car instead. Upon seeing this, Grampa tells the crowd that the younger generation are soft and the crowd then works together to fix the car and change the tires. The crowd then realizes that they don't need the drug and disperse. Lisa then asks what the lesson they learned from everything was. Principal Skinner said that you shouldn't wander off on a field trip, and Hotenhoffer says that you shouldn't drink from the river in a chocolate factory.
The original press release for the episode said that Werner Herzog would be playing himself and that Jackie Mason would reprise his role as Hyman Krustofsky. However, Herzog played Walter Hotenhoffer and Krustofsky only had a cameo appearance.
The episode received 6.20 million viewers, and was edged out by the new episode of "Family Guy".
Rowan Kaiser of The A.V. Club found Lisa's varied options annoying, but praised Herzog's performance. He gave the episode a "B-".
As of April 2022, the episode has a 6.7 rating on IMDb.
- ↑ The Futon Critic - "The Scorpion's Tale"
- ↑ Simpsons Channel - "Ratings Catchup: The Scorpion's Tale, a Midsummers Nice Dream" (archived on Wayback Machine)
- ↑ The A.V. Club - ""The Scorpion's Tale"/"Sheesh! Cab, Bob?"/"The Hand That Rocks The Wheelchair"/"The Blue And Gray And Brown""
- ↑ IMDb - "The Scorpion's Tale"
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