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$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)

Wikisimpsons - The Simpsons Wiki
Season 5 Episode
090 "The Last Temptation of Homer"
"$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)"
"Homer the Vigilante" 092
"Remember when I let that escaped lunatic in the house because he was dressed like Santa Claus? Well, you have a gambling problem."
―Homer to Marge
"$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)"
Episode Information
Episode number: 91
Season number: S5 E10
Production code: 1F08
Original airdate: December 16, 1993
Chalkboard gag: "I will not say 'Springfield' just to get applause"
Couch gag: The family runs in, crashes into each other, and shatters into pieces; Santa's Little Helper wanders in and examines the pieces.
Guest star(s): Gerry Cooney as himself
Robert Goulet as himself
Showrunner: David Mirkin
Written by: Bill Oakley
Josh Weinstein
Directed by: Wes Archer
DVD features

"$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)" is the tenth episode of season 5 of The Simpsons and the ninety-first episode overall. It originally aired on December 16, 1993. The episode was written by Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein and directed by Wes Archer. It guest stars Gerry Cooney as himself and Robert Goulet as himself.


"During a town meeting, Principal Skinner pitches the idea of opening a casino. Mr. Burns adopts this notion and builds the "Mr. Burns' Casino." Homer takes a job as a blackjack dealer and Marge takes up gambling. At home, Lisa is having difficulties with her school project and Bart opens a treehouse casino."


$pringfield promo.jpg

In the past, Grampa and Jasper watch News on Parade Corporation News at the Aztec Theater. The film talks about how the economy of Springfield has never been better. In the present day, Grampa and Jasper walk down a derelict street to go to the Social Security Office to get their money. At the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, Henry Kissinger visits and drops his glasses down the toilet. Homer finds them and keeps them for himself. Meanwhile, Smithers tells Burns that the town is going through economic hardship. Back at the Simpson house, the news talks about the economic crisis the town is going through. A town meeting is then held where Principal Skinner gives the idea to legalize gambling. The town agrees and Mr. Burns decides to open up a casino on the Waterfront.

Mr. Burns gets people in to give him designs for the casino but ultimately decides to design it himself. The Mr. Burns' Casino is then opened up and Homer gets a job as a blackjack dealer. At the Simpson house, Lisa asks Marge for her help to make a costume for the geography pageant at school. At the casino, people flock in to spend their money and the casino proves to be a success. Bart tries to gamble at the casino but is kicked out for being underage. The attendant who kicks Bart out suggests that Bart could open his own casino if he didn't like it, which Bart then does, opening up Bart's Casino in his treehouse. Marge also goes to see Homer at his new job and finds a quarter on the floor. She then decides to use it in a slot machine and wins some quarters back. Marge then decides to keep gambling.

At Bart's Casino, Milhouse attempts to perform magic tricks as a stage act. At Burns' Casino, Homer encounters Raymond Babbitt, who he catches counting cards. Instead of kicking him out, Homer demands that Raymond shows him the trick because he's interested in it. Meanwhile, Mr. Burns hasn't slept since the casino opened up and has been obsessed with watching everyone on the cameras. He also becomes obsessed with staying clean from germs. Whilst Marge is gambling, Maggie gets lost trying to find her pacifier and is almost attacked by Anastasia, the white tiger owned by Gunter and Ernst. Barney returns Maggie to Marge, who keeps on gambling.

After Homer finishes his shift, he's surprised to see Marge still at the casino and assumes that she waited for him. Homer then tries to take Marge home, but she refuses and decides to stay at the casino. At home, the family starts to feel the absence of Marge as the kitchen is a mess and they're running low on groceries. The family goes to see Marge but Homer backs off when Marge gives him the sixty dollars she won that night. In Burns' apartment, Burns reveals to Smithers the model plane he made of the Spruce Moose, which he insists isn't a model but a fully functioning plane. That night, Lisa has a bad dream and goes to her parents room to find Marge. However, Marge hadn't come home yet s she tells Homer about the dream. Homer panics over the Boogeyman and decides to barricade the family in the bedroom and grabs the gun to keep them safe. When Marge gets home, she promises to be there more for the family.

When Robert Goulet comes to town to perform at Burns' Casino, Bart poaches him for his own casino and takes him there instead. Lisa panics as the geography pageant is that night and Marge still hasn't made a costume for her, so Homer decides to make one instead. Lisa hates the costume and starts to cry, so Homer goes to find Marge at the casino again. When Burns sees Homer acting crazy on the CCTV, he remembers the power plant and decides to go back there instead. Homer then finds Marge and makes her realize that she has a gambling addiction after telling her that she let Lisa down. Meanwhile, Robert Goulet performs at Bart's Casino and Lisa gets a special award for having a costume that obviously had no parental help to make. Homer and Marge then leave the casino as Homer mentions bad stuff he's done in the past, but claims they mean nothing as Marge has a gambling addiction.


The episode idea came around when episode writers Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein found a news article about riverboat gambling being made legal in a town in Mississippi.[1] Another inspiration behind the episode was that Oakley and Weinstein thought that there weren't a lot of episode about how crummy the town was, so they dedicated a whole act to how crummy Springfield is.[2] Episode director Wes Archer did the layout on a lot of the Mr. Burns parodying Howard Hughes scenes himself.[3]

There was a brief period where the episode was going to feature a different subplot based around Planet Hollywood, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, and Sylvester Stallone were going to guest star. This came to be when a publicist for Planet Hollywood called the show and told the producers that they could make this happen. However, this ended up not coming to pass and the subplot was scrapped.[4][5] Another scene that was cut was the scene where Homer deals cards to James Bont. The producers liked this scene so it got included in "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular".[4]

The episode features the first appearance of Gunter and Ernst, who are parodies of stage magicians Siegfried & Roy. In the episode, Gunter and Ernst are mauled by their white tiger, Anastasia. Ten years after the episode aired, on October 3, 2003, Roy of Siegfried & Roy was attacked by one of their white tigers. The producers dismissed this "prediction", saying that it was "bound to happen".[4]


Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club calls the episode "a brilliant exploration of the impact legalized gambling has on all segments of society". He also praises the episode for being "overflowing with inspired subplots".[6]

As of June 2023, the episode has an 8.6 rating on IMDb.[7]

In other languages[edit]

Language Name Translation
Germany.png Deutsch "Vom Teufel besessen" Possessed by the devil
Italy Flag.png Italiano "$pringfield" $pringfield
Flag of Japan.png 日本語 "マージプッツン物語" Marge's Impetuosity Story


The Saga of Carl - title screen.png Wikisimpsons has a collection of images related to "$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)".
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