May 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: The Tipping Point”

In which Homer gets addicted to tipping.

So, there’s this trio that do European electronica-style comedy played by Kyle Gordon, Chrissi Poland, and Audrey Trullinger known as “Planet of Bass.”

I have never heard of them before, don’t think I will hear much about them in the future, and I am only mentioning them here because I always mention the guest stars.

But here, all the trouble starts because the Simpson family has crappy insurance.  Thanks to a high deductible and other issues, the family has exactly one day to get a whole lot of medical tests and procedures done, and that’s the sort of thing I expect for this show, unlike the previous episode’s long opening dream sequence.  Afterwards, Lisa asks if the family can at least get snacks, and to that, Homer agrees.  Snacks are good.

It may even make up for the fact Bart was convinced the whole thing was a scam to get a good reaction video when the family really went to Krustyland.

But then, after stops at multiple locations for snacks, Homer notices a pattern:  every place they go to asks for a tip, even the places that let the customers do most of the work.  Now, why the Simpsons went to multiple locations for snacks, I have no idea, but when the family sits down at a nice restaurant for dinner, Homer finds initial relief when Sandee the waitress gives him a (large) bill with what looks like gratuities included.  Having spent the day feeling social pressure to tip everyone, Homer is upset to find out there is still a line for additional money.

Yes, the place that included tips in the bill asked Homer for a tip, and after a day bowing to social pressure, Homer wrote at the bottom on that line “No, thank you.  $1 OK.”

Small problem:  Sandee thought he wrote “$10 K” instead of “$1 OK,” and a ten thousand dollar tip sure is nice.  It’s so nice that the entire restaurant staff comes out to praise Homer’s generosity.  Marge, meanwhile, has to point out that they don’t have that kind of money, but Homer, well…after fantasizing that he’d get beaten up if he asks for the money he doesn’t have back, he instead decides to let Sandee keep the money he doesn’t have and gets a lot of hugs.

That daydream fake-out bit happens three times to Homer in this episode.  It always snuck up on me, and it got worse for Homer each and every time.

However, for the purposes of this episode, it means Homer now has a new addiction:  the warmth he gets from people for tipping them, and he then goes around town tipping everyone, including the ATM machine that gives him more cash when he runs out.  Now, Homer can’t have that much money, can he?  Well, no.  Marge is getting all kinds of notifications from the bank, and Homer’s solution there is to try to tell Marge how to turn off notifications.   But an intervention from Marge, including how Bart asks why Homer tipped Bart’s bike to someone gets Homer to see the light.  He then tips Bart Lisa’s saxophone.

But it’s only the halfway point of the episode, so Homer won’t be able to quit cold turkey from an addiction like this one.  And Moe, well, he never met an addiction he didn’t try to exploit for personal profit.  Homer is back to tipping, and realizing he can’t go home to Marge, tries Sandee instead.  She just pushes him off her houseboat.  He would have drowned if not for a crab man who won’t take a tip because he’s from Little Europe, where no one tips.

This is just the place Homer needs.  Marge, of course, wants Homer back, but while Patty and Selma start to set up her online dating profile, Bart and Lisa easily find Homer thanks to his online spending.  And hey, Little Europe is great!  Servers get a living wage, health benefits, and no one tips!  No wonder Homer loves it there.  Heck, Bart and Lisa love it there.  And in a nice continuity nod, they got there by sharing Lisa’s bike.

Can Homer convince American servers to do things like they do in Europe?  Um, no.  His appeal at a Servers Award show gets Homer beaten up because how else are American servers supposed to know whose food to spit in?

I wonder what Jimmy does in Canada…

Eh, Marge takes Homer back, and even has a way to fix his tipping addiction while making up the lost money he spent giving cash away all over town:  let Homer be the server in a restaurant that looks like the Simpsons’ basement where cheap jerks like Agnes Skinner will probably give Homer nothing.

Yeah, that tracks, and it’s an ending that works.

Now let us never speak of a tipping addiction again.