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Tales from the Public Domain

Wikisimpsons - The Simpsons Wiki
Season 13 Episode
282 "The Old Man and the Key"
"Tales from the Public Domain"
"Blame It on Lisa" 284
"Tales from the Public Domain"
Tales From the Public Domain.png
Episode Information
Episode number: 283
Season number: S13 E14
Production code: DABF08
Original airdate: March 17, 2002
Chalkboard gag: "Vampire is not a career choice"
Couch gag: The family enters the living room and walks to the couch in flip book form by live-action hands (Al Jean).
Showrunner: Al Jean
Written by: Andrew Kreisberg
Josh Lieb
Matt Warburton
Directed by: Mike B. Anderson
DVD features

"Tales from the Public Domain" is the fourteenth episode of season 13 of The Simpsons and the two-hundred and eighty-third episode overall. It originally aired on March 17, 2002. The episode was written by Andrew Kreisberg, Josh Lieb and Matt Warburton and directed by Mike B. Anderson.


"Homer gets a letter from the library telling him he has an overdue book, which he had checked out when Bart was born to have something to read to him. Lisa finds the book and suggests that he read to them from it now. Homer then reads three stories from the book."


Opening sequence[edit]

Marge brings Homer the mail, which consists of overdue bills and a notice from the library of an overdue book (the latter of which is the biggest shock to Homer). Homer says that he checked out the book when Bart was born, intending to read to him from it every day, but forgot about it: "Stuff kept coming up. Mostly car-related." Lisa finds the book (titled Classics for Children) and suggests that Homer read to them from it now. Homer first goes on a mini-tirade about how he'll decide who reads and when, but then agrees and reads three stories from the book.

D'oh, Brother Where Art Thou?[edit]

Homer cast as Odysseus and other Spingfieldians as the other characters in the Odyssey. Odysseus gives the King of Troy (Ned Flanders) a huge wooden horse, which is actually a trap as Odysseus and his army (including Apu, Lenny, Moe, Professor Frink and Carl) are hidden inside. That night, Odysseus and his men emerge and kill all of Troy's citizens, ending the Trojan War. However, Odysseus refuses to sacrifice a sheep, angering the gods, Zeus, Dionysus, and Poseidon (Mayor Quimby,Barney and Horatio McCallister). Odysseus sails for his home, Ithaca, but Poseidon literally blows Odysseus and his crew far off their course. They end up visiting the island of the Sirens (Patty and Selma), and then Circe (Lindsey Naegle). Odysseus's crew drink from a cauldron on Circe's island and are turned into pigs, whom Odysseus eats in spite of Circe's repeatedly telling him who they really are. Circe then tells Odysseus how to get home: He must sail through Hades, crossing the River Styx, in order to get to Ithaca. He does so and makes it home, where he is reunited with his wife Penelope (Marge) and son Telemachus (Bart). However, he finds a group of suitors (Krusty the Clown, Kirk Van Houten, Groundskeeper Willie, Mr. Burns and Sideshow Mel) seeking Penelope's hand in marriage, since they all believe that Odysseus is dead. He runs them all through with his spear. Penelope asks Odysseus to spend some time with her, but Odysseus complains that she's smothering him and goes to Moe's instead.

Hot Child in the City[edit]

Joan of Arc (Lisa), gets told by God to lead the French to victory. So she leads the French against the English in the Hundred Years' War. During a battle, the English capture Joan and put her on trial. She is accused of witchcraft, and sentenced to death. When Joan claims that she was following God's will, an English/Scottish solider (Groundskeeper Willie) reveals that he too was chosen by God, but to lead the English armies against the French. God's voice then excuses Himself by revealing that the two were never supposed to meet.

As they read the end, Joan of Arc is being burnt at the stake. Lisa asks Homer "Do they actually burn her?" Marge then interrupts, and rips out the last page of the story, claiming that Sir Lancelot rescues her, and they escape and live in a spaceship before eating the page and laughing nervously, mentioning, "Well, at least it was easier to chew than that Bambi video."

Do the Bard, Man[edit]

Prince Hamlet's (Bart) uncle Claudius (Moe) marries Gertrude (Marge) after killing King Hamlet (Homer) by poison. The King returns to his son as a ghost, telling him of the betrayal and requesting that his death be avenged. Prince Hamlet, with the help of a professional actor (Krusty), puts on a play to make Claudius reveal himself to be guilty, and because Hamlet knows what he did, Claudius attempts to kill him. Ophelia (Lisa) thinks Hamlet has gone crazy and boasts that nobody can out-crazy her, ending with her jumping off a window into a pond. Hamlet, aiming to kill Claudius, accidentally kills Polonius (Chief Wiggum). His son, Laertes (Ralph Wiggum), proposes to duel Prince Hamlet for revenge. As his "practice stab", Laertes kills himself (this moment is cut from Channel 4 arings of the episode) and Hamlet proceeds to murder Claudius. Rosencarl and Guildenlenny (Carl and Lenny), meanwhile, have been covered in poison, along with food, curtains and other objects in the room, and kill each other with a high five. Hamlet walks away to celebrate, but he slips on some blood and dies. Seeing a big mess she does not want to clean up, Gertrude commits suicide by hitting herself with a mace and everyone is dead.


Bart says the Hamlet story was boring, but Homer said it was a great story, and later became a great movie, called Ghostbusters. Then the family all dance to the Ghostbusters theme music.

The Saga of Carl - title screen.png Wikisimpsons has a collection of images related to "Tales from the Public Domain".
Season 13 Episodes
Treehouse of Horror XII The Parent Rap Homer the Moe A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love The Blunder Years She of Little Faith Brawl in the Family Sweets and Sour Marge Jaws Wired Shut Half-Decent Proposal The Bart Wants What It Wants The Lastest Gun in the West The Old Man and the Key Tales from the Public Domain Blame It on Lisa Weekend at Burnsie's Gump Roast I Am Furious (Yellow) The Sweetest Apu Little Girl in the Big Ten The Frying Game Poppa's Got a Brand New Badge