- "They say he's five hundred pounds of bottom-dwelling fury, don't you know. No one knows how old he is, but if you ask me, and most people do, he's a hundred years if he's a day."
- ―The worm man tells The Legend of General Sherman[src]
| General Sherman
| Animal Information
General Sherman is a freakishly big catfish.
Local legend has it that General Sherman is a very old fish—"a hundred years if he's a day"—and weighs upwards of five hundred pounds. He resides in Catfish Lake where he competes with wives for their husbands' time, as the location is popular for couples' retreats as well as fishing. A photo of General Sherman is on display in the local service station, where the shopkeeper, the worm man, tells the legend of the fish to the store's customers.
Homer caught General Sherman by accident. He saw a fishing pole that another fisherman left behind, and picked up to give it back to him. At that moment, General Sherman bit on the hook, yanking Homer off of the pier and into a boat, and then dragging the boat (with Homer) out onto the lake. After a lengthy struggle, Homer managed to haul General Sherman into the boat and knock him unconscious with an oar. He then triumphantly returned to the dock. When he got there, however, he saw that Marge was upset with him for spending time fishing instead of with her, especially because they were attending a marriage counseling retreat at the time. As Marge stood on the dock glaring at Homer, it dawned on him that she was seeing the fish as a symbol of his selfishness. Homer then realized that he had to choose between the fish and his marriage to Marge, and he decided to let General Sherman go.
Homer's encounter with General Sherman (colorfully exaggerated into a tall tale) later became part of the local legend about the fish, as told by the worm man: "Well, one fella came close [to catching General Sherman]. Went by the name of Homer. Seven feet tall he was, with arms like tree trunks. His eyes were like steel, cold, hard. Had a shock of hair, red like the fires of Hell ..."
Behind the Laughter
- The photo of General Sherman in the service station is a reference to the famous hoax picture of the Loch Ness Monster.
- Near the end of the episode, as Marge and Homer reconcile and embrace on the pier, General Sherman rises out of the water and winks at the camera. Matt Groening allegedly hated this shot and reportedly fought to remove it.
|Factfiles from Simpsons World the Ultimate Episode Guide: Seasons 1-20
| Season 14
| Rock Stars • Audrey McConnell, Third Grade Teacher • Dr. Velimirovic, Plastic Surgeon • Mitch Hartwell, the Reality Channel Producer • Junior (AKA Frank Grimes, Jr.) • Teacher of the Year Award Nominating Committee • Dexter Colt, Private Eye • The Mugger • Larry H. Lawyer, Jr. • Baby Stink-Breath • Booberella • Sara Sloane, Hollywood Movie Star • Cookie Kwan, Red Coat Realtor • Stark Richdale • Declan Desmond • Julio and Grady • Luke Stetson, Junior Wrangler • Suds McDuff, Spokesdog/Mascot for Duff Beer • Marriage Counselor • Jim Proudfoot • Don Castellaneta