A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love
- "So, what shall we do tomorrow? Go grousing? Or, if you'd rather stay home you could sing, while I accompany you on the clavichord."
- ―Mr. Burns
| "A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love"
| Episode Information
"A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love" is the fourth episode of season 13 of The Simpsons and the two-hundred and seventy-third episode overall. It originally aired on December 2, 2001. The episode was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Lance Kramer. It guest stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Gloria and George Takei as the waiter.
- "Homer's new job as the author of fortune cookies assures Mr. Burns that love is on the horizon. Mr. Burns finds it in a woman named Gloria, whom he loves so much that he wants to marry. But as he proposes to Gloria, her ex shows up - which happens to be Snake, and he's just broken out of prison."
The Simpsons take in the sights and sounds of Chinatown and dine at a Chinese restaurant. As they finish the meal, Homer opens a fortune cookie and reads his fortune aloud. When Homer voices displeasure with his fortune, and informs the restaurant manager it doesn't make any sense, he makes up some of his own. Impressed, the manager hires Homer to write fortunes. One evening, Mr. Burns orders Chinese takeout. His fortune cookie contains one of the fortunes that Homer wrote: "You will find true love on Flag Day." Inspired, Mr. Burns has Smithers accompany him for a night on the town. But their attempts at finding Burns a mate prove fruitless.
At the power plant the next day, Mr. Burns heads for a catering truck, where he takes an interest in Gloria, an attractive, vivacious woman who serves food from the truck. Despite their age difference, Gloria accepts Burns' offer to go out. But as the date progresses, Gloria has second thoughts about dating the old man. Thinking quickly, Burns tells Gloria that he and Homer are old friends who have enjoyed many youthful exploits together. Homer lists Burns' various "accomplishments," impressing Gloria and rekindling her interest. Later, Homer accompanies Burns and Gloria on their next date, which includes a stop at a single's bar. Burns and Gloria retire to the mansion, where Burns injects himself with a powerful aphrodisiac. Before Homer leaves the mansion, he injects himself with the stimulant, then returns home and makes love to Marge.
On their next date, Burns and Gloria go bowling. Homer again accompanies them. When Gloria sticks her fingers into a ball, she notices something unusual and pulls them out. On one of her fingers is a large diamond ring. Mr. Burns proposes...and Gloria accepts. A few moments later, Snake enters the bowling alley, gun in hand, intending to rob the cash register. Instead, he notices Gloria, an old flame, and insists they run off together. When Gloria refuses, Snake kidnaps her. Homer comes to Gloria's rescue, but he's taken hostage as well, and the threesome drive off in Mr. Burns' car. Snake takes Homer and Gloria to his hideout, but police pinpoint their location thanks to a security device hidden in Burns' vehicle.
As Wiggum waits out the crisis, he places some wintergreen Lifesavers in his mouth and then passes the mint around to his men. Sparks fly out of everyone's mouth and Snake's hideout soon catches fire. Burns decides to save Gloria himself. He injects the rejuvenating potion into his arm and races inside the burning building. He appears to have rescued Gloria, but then it is revealed that Gloria saved Burns. As Snake is rearrested, Gloria admits her desire for him and allows herself to be arrested too. Burns is disappointed as to how she couldn't love him, saying that he is "evil" as he walks down the road with the Simpsons.
In the episode's first draft, Gloria worked as a food truck driver, however this was later changed so that she instead worked as a police lady. Mike Scully said that when Homer carries Burns and Gloria up the stairs, there were originally a lot of jokes about Homer "taking care of business" for Burns, however the staff decided to leave it out since it would make Homer "unlikable". In the episode, Snake's mailbox reads "Snake (Jailbird)", because the writer couldn't decide whether it should read "Snake" or "Jailbird".
Burns is seen very happy in this episode, which doesn't happen too much in the series. To make him look happier, the writers changed Burns design, including taking out his eyebrows during much of the episode.
The episode received positive reviews from critics. Writing for Project:Blu, Nate Boss was favorable, describing it as "A hilarious episode, with some fantastic one liners", and went on to say that the episode was "so far the best in the season". Ron Martin of 411Mania was also positive towards the episode, writing "The antics of Mr. Burns and Homer trying to woo a young police officer are at worst amusing, at most hilarious". He wrote that Snake Jailbird was "a welcome side character", and went on to write that the episode was the best of the first disc of The Simpsons´ thirteenth season on DVD.
Jennifer Malkowski of DVD Verdict gave the epsiode a B+ rating, and wrote that the episodes highlights were "Burns' reaction walking into a strip club" [sic] and "a fortune cookie Homer writes, 'You will be aroused by a shampoo commercial'." Colin Jacobsson,writing for DVD Movie Guide, stated that, while it was not as good as the previous episode, "Homer the Moe", "A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love" still "offers a reasonably solid episode". He liked the parts related to the fortune cookies, and stated that "Burns' attempts to woo a much younger woman fare pretty well". He concluded his review by saying that "enough smiles and snickers emerge to make this an enjoyable show". Obsessed With Film's Adam Rayner, in his review of The Simpsons thirteenth season, wrote that Julia Louis Dreyfus' appearance in the episode was "arguably the best [cameo] of the season.