|"Revenge is a Dish Best Served Three Times"|
|The Simpsons episode|
|Episode no.||Season 18|
|Directed by||Michael Polcino|
|Written by||Joel H. Cohen|
|Original air date||January 28, 2007|
|Couch gag||All of the Simpsons are infants who crawl to the couch while "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" plays in the background (replacing the normal music). When they reach the couch, everyone grows up to their normal ages (except for Maggie, who is already a baby).|
Joel H. Cohen
"Revenge is a Dish Best Served Three Times" is the eleventh episode of The Simpsons' eighteenth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 28, 2007. It was written by Joel H. Cohen, and directed by Michael Polcino.
After the Simpsons' car is cut off by the Rich Texan while driving to the airport for their Miami vacation, Homer's motivation for revenge prompts his family to tell three stories concerning vengeance, hoping to convince Homer that pursuing revenge is not a good idea.
Moe, parodying Fernand, breaks up the marriage of Homer and Marge, parodying Edmond Dantès and Mercedes respectively, by framing Homer as an English traitor. When Moe marries Marge, Homer, now in a French prison, swears revenge. His cellmate, Mr. Burns, parodying Abbé Faria, tells Homer to find his buried treasure through a tunnel Mr. Burns dug. After initial failure, Homer finds the riches and becomes the Count of Monte Cristo. Five years later, Homer invites Moe and Marge to a party at his mansion, where Homer kills Moe with a homemade machine, expecting Marge to take him back. However, Marge angrily rebuffs him for killing Moe, asking, "Now who's going to take care of the triplets?" and showing him the triplets she had with him.
At the end of the story, Marge's explanation is that revenge can lead to misery and sadness. However, Homer was listening to the radio at the time and was unintentionally reminded of his revenge.
Tired of being bullied by Jimbo, Dolph, and Kearney, the geeks plan their revenge. In the science lab, Martin reveals his latest creation, The Getbackinator, a weapon that shoots a ray causing the targeted individuals to perform various playground tortures on themselves such as wedgies and wet willies. Milhouse—the only geek with hand–eye coordination—uses the weapon on the bullies, but then begins attacking anyone who has ever (accidentally or on purpose) wronged him, including his own friends, such as Martin for accidentally hitting him with a shuttlecock, Richard for being more popular with girls, and Wendell for not giving him "Chinese cuts" in the lunch line. Milhouse even shoots a first-day student of the school who had never done anything to him, claiming it is "prevenge". Milhouse gives Groundskeeper Willie an Ultimate Noogie, which decapitates him. Lisa eventually convinces Milhouse to stop, and he reluctantly throws the device aside. Afterwards, Nelson, whom Milhouse forgot about, returns from an absence due to mumps and finds the weapon. Nelson ends up using the weapon against Milhouse.
Homer enjoys the story, because it has what he likes in a story: an ending. Lisa claims the moral of the story is that taking revenge makes a person as bad as those who hurt them; Homer claims that the moral is for someone to never put down their weapon, at which point he draws a baseball bat and resumes his pursuit of revenge.
Having missed their flight to Miami, Homer begins to approach the Rich Texan to enact his revenge until Bart offers to recount "Bartman's 'origin story'", based on Batman's origin as revealed in the film Batman Begins.
After leaving the Gotham City Opera House, Homer and Marge, parodying Thomas and Martha Wayne respectively, are killed by Snake Jailbird, parodying Joe Chill, in a dark alley. For his last words, Homer pleads Bart, who is parodying Bruce Wayne, to avenge him "in flamboyant, impractical fashion". Bart does as his father says and swears revenge on Snake, giving birth to his superhero alter ego, Bartman. The alter ego is achieved with the help of his grandfather, who had a past alter ego as the Crimson Cockatoo. Bartman flies around Gotham City, defeating enemies in his way for justice. The villains' Springfield identities are Otto Mann (The Toker), Ned Flanders (The Diddler), Hans Moleman (Mr. Mole), Patty and Selma Bouvier (Sugar and Spice), and Lenny (Poison Lenny), who was not actually a villain, but a transvestite. When Serpent, Snake's alter ego, attempts to steal the "Stealable Jewels of the Orient" from the Gotham Natural History Museum, Bartman arrives, retrieves the Jewels, and kills Serpent by impaling him on the fangs of a snake statue. Afterwards, a reporter, played by Lisa parodying Vicki Vale, reminds Bartman that the Serpent's death won't bring his parents back. Bartman agrees that she has a point, but adds that he feels better since he finally avenged the death of his parents, and has now gained "zillions of dollars" and freedom from said parents.
In conclusion, Bart says that revenge can be satisfying and thus goes against the wishes of Marge and Lisa. However, during the story, Homer is seen to have made amends with the Rich Texan after hearing that they are both from Connecticut.
At the end, the credits read "Dedicated to all who died in the Star Wars films". The list includes Darth Vader, Darth Maul (whose death was later retconned by the Clone Wars series), Greedo, Uncle Owen, Storm Trooper #5, Jango Fett, General Grievous (Droid), Storm Trooper #22, Dak, Obi Wan (Ben) Kenobi, Yoda, "Whoever Jimmy Smits Played", Hutt, Jabba the, Sy Snoodles, "Unfortunately, not Jar-Jar Binks," and "everyone on both Death Stars when they blew up". There are errors in the list, including the names of Jar Jar Binks and Sy Snootles being spelled incorrectly. Also, Sy Snootles was not shown to die in Return of the Jedi.
On TV.com, the episode has a user rating of 8.2 based on 190 votes.
Dan Iverson of IGN gave the episode a rating of 7.7, writing "While there was some really funny material in the episode, "Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Three Times" was still under par for The Simpsons. "The Count of Monte Fatso" showed the fact that the writers can still do a silly parody well, but the other two stories were rather mediocre, relying on gags and humorous visuals to make the segments passable. The trilogy style of episodes continues to be very entertaining, and even though this particular episode wasn't astounding, we will still anticipate the next time that the show gives us parody stories with our favorite television family."