- "Previously on 24... I mean The Simpsons."
- ―Jack Bauer
| "24 Minutes"
| Episode Information
"24 Minutes" is the twenty-first episode of season 18 of The Simpsons and the three-hundred and ninety-ninth episode overall. It originally aired on May 20, 2007. The episode was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham and Billy Kimball and directed by Raymond S. Persi. It guest stars Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer and Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe O'Brian.
- "In a parody of 24, Bart and Lisa join forces to sabotage the school bullies' plan to set off a stink bomb at the school bake sale."
Principal Skinner opens a CTU – Counter Truancy Unit – at Springfield Elementary School with Lisa heading up the operation over Milhouse, Martin, and Database. When the bullies Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney play truant, Milhouse is assigned to spy on them. An expired and highly pungent container of yogurt at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant is found to belong to Homer, who is ordered to dispose of it by Mr. Burns. After failing to persuade Apu to take it, the yogurt falls into the hands of the bullies. Homer then unwittingly gives away Milhouse to the bullies, who throw both Homer and Milhouse into a dumpster.
Meanwhile, Marge had forgotten about the bake sale, and only has a half hour to make her raisin sponge cake. She has to go to the market to buy raisins but there's only one box, which Helen Lovejoy refuses to give up. Marge is seen purchasing the raisins as an apparently semiconscious Helen is seen being taken to the hospital by EMTs. At home, to save time, Marge drastically increases the oven temperature to 1,200 degrees, burning the cake and making it rock-solid. She attempts to cover it up with pink and white frosting before leaving for the bake sale. She accidentally drops the cake when getting out of the car (which makes it fall onto the car hood, denting it, and eventually the ground). She cannot repair it, so she just pats a bit of the icing flatter. Unsurprisingly, no one shows any interest in her cake.
At Jimbo's house, the three bullies make a powerful stink bomb from the expired yogurt (referred as TCBY) (along with other ingredients such as roadkill, burnt hair, Jimbo's sister's retainer case, six weeks of bottled farts, possum placenta and sweat from a walk-around Goofy-suit), and plan on detonating it at the bake sale. After Milhouse's failed attempt to track the bullies, Lisa suggests that Bart help them, which he does after negotiating immunity from punishment for all his past and future pranks. Bart breaks in to Jimbo's house but can't find the roller coaster room. During his investigation, Bart's phone call is accidentally crossed with a call from Jack Bauer of 24 and turns it into a prank call against him. After finding out about the stink bomb, Bart returns to the school to tell Lisa, but is knocked out and captured by Martin, who turned out to be the bullies' mole.
At the bake sale, the bullies start the three-minute timer for the bomb. Bart, locked in the ventilation room, contacts Lisa by his cell phone and shows her a picture of the stink bomb, telling her to have Principal Skinner dump the hot dog water and short circuit the ventilation fan. Skinner fills up the room with the water. Running out of air, Bart attempts to swim out, but cannot break through the room's only window. Chief Wiggum tries to shoot through the glass (accidentally aiming at Bart's face each time), but the glass is bulletproof.
Marge helps him, breaking the glass by throwing her burnt and incredibly solid cake through the window. Lisa then defuses the bomb (which turns out to have a rather simplistic off switch), saving the bake sale from the stench. However after that, Jack Bauer & several Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) field agents break inside the bake sale, destroying it, and start to arrest Bart for his "annoying prank call". A nuclear bomb then goes off in the distance, but everyone sighs with relief after Bauer reassures them that the nuclear bomb went off in Shelbyville.
The episode aired as part of the one hour season finale, alongside the episode "You Kent Always Say What You Want". It was originally promoted as being the 400th episode, but aired as the 399th. It is an obvious parody of the TV series, 24, and even contains Jack Bauer and Chloe O'Brian from the TV as guest stars on this episode.
Robert Canning on IGN named "24 Minutes" the best episode of the season, citing "this smart, funny, spot-on parody of 24 was so good that it came very close to redeeming the entire season."
"24 Minutes" won the 2007 Annie Award for Writing in an Animated Television Production.
- Anthony C. Ferrante. Exclusive: 'THE SIMPSONS' AL JEAN CELEBRATES 400 EPISODES (AND A '24' PARODY) AND THEY STILL HAVEN'T RUN OUT OF IDEAS. iF Magazine. Retrieved on 2007-06-14.
- Robert Canning (2007-06-14). The Simpsons: Season 18 Review. IGN.com. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.
- The Annie Awards - "Legacy: 35th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2007)" (archived on Wayback Machine)