The Dad Who Knew Too Little

The Dad Who Knew Too Little
"The Dad Who Knew Too Little"
The Simpsons episode
Homer's final showdown with Dexter Colt.
Episode no. 299
Prod. code EABF03
Orig. airdate January 12, 2003
Written by Matt Selman
Directed by Mark Kirkland
Couch gag In a parody of the black and white photograph, Lunchtime atop a Skyscraper, the family is dressed as construction workers of the early 20th century and are sitting on a girder watching TV.
Guest star(s) Elliott Gould as himself
Al Jean
Matt Selman
Ian Maxtone-Graham
Carolyn Omine
Matt Warburton
Yeardley Smith
Mark Kirkland
David Silverman
"Weird Al" Yankovic

"The Dad Who Knew Too Little" is the eighth episode of The Simpsons' fourteenth season which aired on January 12, 2003.



Bart and Lisa are watching a TV and they see a commercial for a new & improved personal diary, the Turbo Diary, which does not allow anyone else to read it and shocks them if they attempt it. Lisa, tired of Bart reading her diary, asks Homer and Marge to get her the diary for her birthday and they agree. The next day, Homer and Bart go to the mall to get the diary for Lisa. Homer gets sidetracked and when they finally go to the toy store all the diaries are sold out, he finds Mr. Burns who bought the last diary and tries to steal it from him but shocks Homer as the diary is already in use by Mr. Burns.

On Lisa's birthday, Bart gives her a laser pointer. Homer gives Lisa a personalized movie he made for her. She is disappointed that she did not get the diary she wanted, nevertheless she watches the movie, which is a story about Lisa as a sheriff in a Western movie. The dialogue in the movie helps Lisa realize that Homer knows absolutely nothing about her. She runs upstairs crying, making Homer feel bad.

The next day, Homer gets an idea from Moe to hire Dexter Colt, a private detective to find out facts about Lisa so he can appear to know things about her. Colt begins to spy on Lisa and build up information to produce a report. Using the report, Homer starts to bond with Lisa by playing the songs that she likes and going to a protest against animal testing at a research lab. Homer and Lisa's relationship is good again as she feels he does know her after all. Homer goes to see Dexter Colt to thank him for all his work. When Colt gives him a bill for $1000 Homer refuses to pay the incredible amount. Colt swears revenge as Homer runs off into the night.

The next morning, Lisa, Homer, and Bart are watching the news. They see that someone has vandalised the research lab and stolen all the animals. Chief Wiggum says that, based on the clues collected, Lisa Simpson is the main suspect. Lisa says she is innocent and Homer knows she has been framed by Dexter Colt. Homer and Lisa escape as a fugitives and disguise themselves. While on the run Homer comes clean about the report and Dexter Colt and Lisa is angry with him once more. The police track Homer and Lisa to the motel but they escape again and find themselves at a circus. There they find all the stolen animals, it seems Dexter sold them to the circus as a petting zoo and sideshow attractions. Dexter Colt shows up and chases Homer into a hall of mirrors. As Colt is about to kill Homer, Lisa shows up. Colt wonders how she heard them, and Homer says that Lisa's hearing is very good and that one day when she was very young, she had heard him quietly sobbing in the closet. Lisa, impressed that Homer actually remembered something about her, flashes Colt in the eye with the laser pointer that Bart gave her, temporarily blinding him. Later, Colt is arrested and Lisa is exonerated, finally getting the personal diary she wanted from Homer.

During the credits, Bart steals Lisa's new diary (with the help of a pair of tongs) and shows it to Homer, saying it is a bedtime story and asking him to read to him. The episode ends with Homer getting shocked by the diary and Bart laughing at him.


In the episode, Homer's e-mail was said to be Episode writer Matt Selman registered the e-mail and received thousands of messages after the episode aired.[1] He responded to some of them in the character of Homer, but gave up after being swamped with e-mails.[2]

Cultural references

  • The title is reminiscent of the 1956 movie "The Man Who Knew Too Much" starring James Stewart and Doris Day, and more recently, the 1997 movie "The Man Who Knew Too Little" starring Bill Murray. This is not the only time this title has been parodied; see "The Girl Who Slept Too Little" and "The Boy Who Knew Too Much".
  • Elliot Gould (65 years old in 2003, but juvenile-looking, slim in tracksuit) appears at length in the beginning, and has a neighbourly brawl with Krusty : his son has been bitten by Krusty's tame chimp.
  • PETA actions, i.e. freeing laboratory and circus animals, are a main action line. As for the freed animals, they have been consigned to the Spuckler family : while Cletus and Brandine are resting on their porch, a dozen smoking spider-monkeys are rampaging on the roof, and the chidren are running after the pigs (formerly labelled in the zoo : "The Sultry Sows from the Southern Seas"). But when Brandine sees a garishly make-upped sow whizz by, she warns her husband : if she finds makeup on his collar again, she won't allow him to sleep in the pig-sty anymore. Cletus agrees, but smiles slyly : one more clear hint at his alleged zoophilia.
  • The sleuth tips off Homer about Lisa's cultural tastes, which he had, until then, fully ignored. So he is able to put Birth of the Cool (Miles Davis 1957 compilation album) on the record-player, which enthralls her.


External links

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