|"New Kid on the Block"|
|The Simpsons episode|
|Episode no.||Season 4|
|Directed by||Wes Archer|
|Written by||Conan O'Brien|
|Original air date||November 12, 1992|
|Chalkboard gag||"I will not bring sheep to class"|
|Couch gag||The Simpsons sit on the couch and the couch falls through the floor.|
"New Kid on the Block" is the eighth episode of The Simpsons' fourth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 12, 1992. After meeting his new neighbor, Laura, Bart develops a crush on her, only to later discover that she has a boyfriend, Jimbo Jones, whom he attempts to scare off so that he can have a relationship with Laura. Meanwhile, Homer sues the Sea Captain Horatio McCallister after being kicked out of his all-you-can-eat restaurant while still hungry.
The Simpsons' neighbors, the Winfields, finally relocate because of Homer's bad habits. Bart and Lisa explore the old house while it is empty and up for sale, but Bart scares Lisa away from the basement. Bart turns around to see his new neighbor, Laura Powers. Surprised, he falls down in shock and is helped back up by her and the two become acquainted. Bart instantly develops a crush on her.
After Marge visits Ruth Powers to welcome her to the area, she tells Marge that she has divorced, and both become friends. Meanwhile, after seeing a television advertisement about an all-you-can-eat diner, Homer forces Marge to come with him, so Laura decides to babysit Bart and Lisa. Homer quickly enrages the Sea Captain, devouring nearly every food in the buffet, and is eventually banished despite not being satisfied. Much to Marge's embarrassment, Homer sues the restaurant for false advertising. Lionel Hutz is employed to represent him in court and the case is successful after Hutz convinces the mostly overweight jury that a similar buffet mishap could befall them. To avoid further legal trouble, the Sea Captain and Homer eventually agree that Homer shall be displayed in the restaurant as "Bottomless Pete: Nature's Cruelest Mistake" to draw in more customers to the restaurant and offset the cost of his eating.
Meanwhile, Bart is delighted at having Laura babysitting him and attempts to impress her. She later asks him to come to his treehouse, as she has important news. She tells him she is dating Jimbo Jones, one of the bullies from his school, which dismays Bart. When Laura invites him over to the household, Bart, in an attempt to break them up, prank calls Moe's Tavern, giving his name as "Jimbo Jones", and telling Moe where he lives. Mistakenly believing Jimbo was the one who had been pranking Moe all the time, he rushes into the Simpson house with a razor sharp knife looking for Jimbo, causing Jimbo to burst into tears and beg for his life. Laura breaks up with him for not being the tough "outlaw" she thought he was. She tells Bart that she would date him if he was older, and the episode ends with the pair laughing after prank-calling Moe again.
The episode was written by Conan O'Brien and directed by Wes Archer. The episode's original subplot was intended to include American actor and comedian Don Rickles as a guest star presenting a comedy show and Homer laughing excessively at his jokes, until Rickles ridicules him. The pair were intended to start fighting and end up having to go to court. Despite O'Brien and other production staff being sure that Rickles would appear in the episode, he was reportedly upset by the concept of the storyline, as he did not wish to be portrayed as a "mean guy".
When attending a Fox Broadcasting Company publicity event in New York City with Rupert Murdoch, show producer Matt Groening was introduced by Murdoch to Rickles. Rickles began shouting at Groening, accusing him of spying on his Las Vegas act and using material from that for the episode. The cast actually had been receiving recordings from Rickles from the 1950s to use as ideas on how to get the style for his animatic portrayal. Another side story the writers produced was for Homer to become an outstanding barber and hair dresser, but this was never used.
The courtroom scene in which numerous sacks of letters to Santa Claus are delivered to court is a parody of the 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street. "Hunks", the game show Homer is watching at the beginning of the episode, is a parody of Studs. The music playing while the moose eats the Simpsons' garbage is a reference to the TV show Northern Exposure.
In its original broadcast, "New Kid on the Block" finished 23rd in ratings for the week of November 9–16, 1992, with a Nielsen rating of 14.4, equivalent to approximately 13.4 million viewing households. It was the highest-rated show on the Fox network that week, beating Beverly Hills, 90210.
Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, the authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide commented that it was "a fun episode, introducing the Powers family [and featuring] the last appearance of the Winfields".
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