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Three Men and a Comic Book

Wikisimpsons - The Simpsons Wiki
Season 2 Episode
033 "The War of the Simpsons"
"Three Men and a Comic Book"
"Blood Feud" 035
"Wow, Radioactive Man #1! I bet it's worth a million bucks!"
Bart Simpson
"Three Men and a Comic Book"
Three Men and a Comic Book.png
Episode Information
Episode number: 34
Season number: S2 E21
Production code: 7F21
Original airdate: May 9, 1991
Chalkboard gag: "I will not show off."
(Written in a fancy font)
Couch gag: The family sits; the couch tips over backwards, and Maggie pops up from behind.
Guest star(s): Cloris Leachman as Mrs. Glick
Daniel Stern as the narrator
Showrunners: James L. Brooks
Matt Groening
Sam Simon
Written by: Jeff Martin
Directed by: Wes M. Archer
DVD features

"Three Men and a Comic Book" is the twenty-first episode of season 2 of The Simpsons and the thirty-fourth episode overall. It originally aired on May 9, 1991. The episode was written by Jeff Martin and directed by Wes M. Archer. It guest stars Cloris Leachman as Mrs. Glick and Daniel Stern as the narrator.


"Bart becomes obsessed with buying the first issue of Radioactive Man, but can't scrape together the $100 he needs to make it his own. Enlisting Milhouse and Martin Prince, Bart is finally able to buy the comic, but ends up fighting with his two best friends over who gets to keep it."


Bart and Lisa go to the "Close Encounter of the Comic Book Kind" Convention in the hopes of getting some new comic books. Whilst at the convention, Bart attends a session with Fallout Boy actor Buddy Hodges and ends up making him cry. After this session, Bart is shown a copy of Radioactive Man 1 by Comic Book Guy and is told it costs $100 for him to buy. After leaving the convention, the family goes to Krusty Burger where Bart repeatedly asks Homer for $100 for the comic. Homer refuses and Bart starts to try and get the money together to buy it.

Bart searches around the house for loose change, drains bottles to take to the Kwik-E-Mart to exchange for cash and trades in his foreign coin collection for American money. However, this doesn't get him very much. He then tries to open a lemonade stand outside of his house but fails to attract any customers, only getting people laughing at him. Bart then starts to sell cheap beer until Homer gets home and stops him.

Meanwhile, Marge is at Jake's Unisex Hair Palace where she speaks to Alice Glick, who wants someone to come to her house to do chores. Bart accepts and ends up doing many hard and unpleasant chores, such as clearing the weeds out of the garden and cleaning the sludge out of the gutters. Bart hates it, especially when he gets hurt doing the chores as Mrs. Glick puts iodine on his wounds. Finally, pay day comes along and Mrs. Glick gives Bart two quarters for all his work, which annoys Bart greatly.

Bart goes to The Android's Dungeon anyway to try and get the comic for $35, but Martin is already there, also trying to buy it. Milhouse then comes into the store wanting to buy a Carl Yastrzemski trading card. Bart then decides that the three of them should put their money together to buy the comic book. However, as the three of them try and go home, they realize that they have a problem as they all want to take the comic with them. They then go to Bart's treehouse to read the comic and discuss who gets the comic on each day. Martin tries to come up with a plan which Bart and Milhouse weren't happy about. They then decided to have a sleepover in the treehouse instead.

During the night, Martin tries to go to the toilet but Bart stops him and ties him to a chair. As tempers start to pick up between Bart and Milhouse, strong winds and rain start up outside. This causes the comic book to fly to the side of the treehouse. Bart and Milhouse's fight causes Milhouse to dangle out of the treehouse, with Bart holding onto his sleeve. Bart has to choose between saving the comic or saving Milhouse, with him ultimately choosing Milhouse. The comic book then gets ruined. The next morning, the three of them try and piece the comic back together but decide they can't do so. The final page of the comic was seen lying in a bird's nest.


This episode featured the first appearance of Comic Book Guy. The producers wanted to come up with a name for him later, but Comic Book Guy ended up sticking. In earlier seasons, the producers were worried with clearance for copyrighted characters, so they used a lot of their original characters as costumes in the comic convention.[1]

Mrs. Glick is based on an old woman that writer Jeff Martin knew from his childhood, who would get Martin and his brother to pull weeds in her garden until their hands bled.[2] The name of The Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop came when they threw a bunch of words in, and Mike Reiss thought the name was "clunky".[3] The original act 3 for the episode had Bart form a union with kids, which then became corrupt. Martin decided that it didn't work and they ended up going with a The Treasure of the Sierra Madre instead.[2]


This episode was the first episode of The Simpsons to beat The Cosby Show in ratings.[2]

In other languages[edit]

Language Name Translation
Germany.png Deutsch "Drei Freunde und ein Comic-Heft" Three friends and a comic book
Spain flag.png Español "Tres hombres y un cómic" Three Men and a Comic
Hispanic America.gif Español "Tres hombres y una historieta" Three Men and a Cartoon
Italy Flag.png Italiano "Tre uomini e un fumetto" Three men and a comic book
Brasil Flag.png Português "Três Homens e um Gibi" Three Men and a Comic Book
Hungary flag.png Magyar "Három férfi és egy képregény" Three Men and a Comic Book
Flag of Japan.png 日本語 "幻の創刊号" The Illusionary First Issue


  1. Jean, Al (2002). Commentary for "Three Men and a Comic Book", in The Simpsons: The Complete Second Season.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Martin, Jeff (2002). Commentary for "Three Men and a Comic Book", in The Simpsons: The Complete Second Season.
  3. Reiss, Mike (2002). Commentary for "Three Men and a Comic Book", in The Simpsons: The Complete Second Season.

The Saga of Carl - title screen.png Wikisimpsons has a collection of images related to "Three Men and a Comic Book".
Season 2 Episodes
Bart Gets an "F" Simpson and Delilah Treehouse of Horror Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish Dancin' Homer Dead Putting Society Bart vs. Thanksgiving Bart the Daredevil Itchy & Scratchy & Marge Bart Gets Hit by a Car One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish The Way We Was Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment Principal Charming Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? Bart's Dog Gets an "F" Old Money Brush with Greatness Lisa's Substitute The War of the Simpsons Three Men and a Comic Book Blood Feud