Dumbbell Indemnity: Wikis


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"Dumbbell Indemnity"
The Simpsons episode
The Simpsons 5F12.png
Moe and Renee on the charity cruise.
Episode no. 194
Prod. code 5F12
Orig. airdate March 1, 1998
Show runner(s) Mike Scully
Written by Ron Hauge
Directed by Dominic Polcino
Chalkboard "Silly string is not a nasal spray"
Couch gag The Simpsons sit on the couch, and hydraulic presses crush them into a cube.[1]
Guest star(s) Helen Hunt as Renee
Matt Groening
Mike Scully
George Meyer
Ron Hauge
Ian Maxtone-Graham
Dominic Polcino

"Dumbbell Indemnity" is the sixteenth episode of the ninth season of the animated television series The Simpsons, which originally aired March 1, 1998.[2] It was written by Ron Hauge and directed by Dominic Polcino.[2] The episode sees Moe trying to keep his girlfriend by using a large amount of money, but when it runs out, he decides to commit insurance fraud. Homer helps him, but is caught and sent to jail, and attempts to take revenge on Moe when he does not bail him out. With this episode, The Simpsons passed the 1987 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in episode count, giving it the largest episode count of any American animated series.



While at Moe's Tavern (after a botched attempt at fixing his home water heater), Homer notices that Moe is depressed because he can't get a date. Homer decides to take Moe out to meet a woman. The trip proves to be unsuccessful, but on their way home, a woman named Renee starts a conversation with Moe, and he ends up asking her out.

Moe and Renee seem to form a strong relationship, but Moe is insecure about his hold on her and he feels he must spend large amounts of money on an extravagant lifestyle. Upon maxing out his credit card, Moe comes up with a scheme to commit insurance fraud by having Homer steal his car and park it on train tracks so it would be destroyed. The night the scheme is supposed to take place, Moe and Renee attend a police charity event aboard a yacht; the event's attendance by all the officers in town ensures Homer will not get caught perpetrating the scheme, and gives Moe an alibi so that no one will suspect he was behind the act. Homer botches the plan by stopping to watch a drive-in movie, while the train they were counting on to destroy Moe's car passes by. Deciding all is not lost, Homer drives the car over a cliff — but his attempt to exit the car before it sinks into the water below fails. The car ends up sinking just near the yacht where the police charity event is taking place, and when Homer swims to the surface, he is arrested.

Moe speaks to Homer through the bars of his jail cell window and promises to bail him out, but changes his mind when Renee talks about wanting to vacation in Hawaii. He uses the insurance money to book the trip instead of bailing Homer out of jail. While packing, Moe is confronted by his own conscience, in the form of Homer, who makes him feel bad for his betrayal. Moe ends up telling Renee the truth about the insurance fraud scheme, and she is at first happy he was honest. However, when Moe starts scheming again for a way to get Homer out of jail without paying the bail, Renee is disgusted and leaves him.

Moe's idea involved burning down his own bar, which he ends up doing by accident before he realizes Renee has left. Meanwhile, Homer escapes jail by attacking Hans Moleman, who was delivering books to the inmates. He enters the burning bar to confront Moe, and the two start fighting. They are both soon rendered unconscious from smoke inhalation, but Barney, who has been in the toilet for the duration of the scene, appears and saves them (but not before saving two kegs of beer). The bar, however, is completely destroyed, and during their reconciliation Homer promises to help Moe get back on his feet. In the final scene, we see that Homer has allowed Moe to relocate his bar to the Simpsons' home.[2][3]


The episode was written by Ron Hauge, who has said he thought of the episode while attempting to make a story involving general illegal activity.[4] Originally, Hauge had a different title for the episode, "Mutual of Moemaha", parodying the name of the Mutual of Omaha insurance company.[5] The episode was going to add to the development of Moe's character in the show, though the staff did not think they were able to develop him more until later episodes.[4]

Homer escapes Moe's car, only to be thrown back in when sliding over a boulder.

Director Dominic Polcino and the animators of the episode were praised for their efforts by the other staff members, especially during the scene where Homer is driving down the cliff and attempts to escape Moe's car. Polcino and his animators went to great lengths to correctly time Homer's rolling and create a vivid and detailed lake, as well as animate Homer sinking to the bottom of the lake.[6][7] Show runner Mike Scully commented that, "It's hard enough for us to come up with the ideas, but when Dominic and the animators can make it, it's really fantastic."[6]



The episode guest starred Helen Hunt as Renee, Moe's girlfriend. Hunt has said she have liked the design of her character, who was named after Hauge's wife.[5] During the making of the episode, Hunt and Hank Azaria, who voices Moe, were dating.[6] In an interview with People Magazine in 1998, Mike Scully stated "Hank and Helen got along so well it's hard to believe they are a real couple."[8] In 1999, the couple married, but were divorced the next year.[9]

Cultural references

The title of the episode is a reference to the film Double Indemnity, which also had a plot involving an insurance scam.[1] In the scenes where Moe and Renee are seen dating, the song "I'm a Believer" by The Monkees is playing.[1] The movie Homer watches is the fictional Hail to the Chimp, in which a chimp is President of the United States; the title is a play on the Presidential anthem "Hail to the Chief". The scene where Homer watches the movie is set up as an homage to the famous railroad photographer O. Winston Link's portrait Hotshot Eastbound.


The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, enjoyed the episode, commenting "A case perhaps of life reflecting art as guest star Helen Hunt is now married to Hank Azaria, who is, of course, Moe, which is rather nice as you can't help but feel sad that, by the end of this rather clever and charming episode, Moe has been unlucky in love once more."[1] However, it should be noted that the book was released early 2000, shortly before Hunt and Azaria filed for divorce. In a 2006 article in USA Today, "Dumbbell Indemnity" was highlighted among the six best episodes of The Simpsons season 9, along with others including "Trash of the Titans," "The Last Temptation of Krust," "The Cartridge Family," "The Joy of Sect," and "Das Bus".[10] Show runner Mike Scully greatly enjoyed the scene where Homer attempts to escape Moe's car when it is going down the cliff, and has said that it is one of his favorite scenes from the show.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d Martyn, Warren; Wood, Adrian (2000). "Bart Star". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/simpsons/episodeguide/season9/page16.shtml. Retrieved 2007-11-11.  
  2. ^ a b c Gimple, Scott (1999). The Simpsons Forever!: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family ...Continued. Harper Collins Publishers. pp. 30–31. ISBN 0-06-098763-4.  
  3. ^ "Dumbbell Indemnity" The Simpsons.com. Retrieved on November 11, 2007
  4. ^ a b Hauge, Ron. (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Dumbbell Indemnity". [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.  
  5. ^ a b Polcino, Dominic. (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Dumbbell Indemnity". [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.  
  6. ^ a b c d Scully, Mike. (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Dumbbell Indemnity". [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.  
  7. ^ Meyer, George. (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Dumbbell Indemnity". [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.  
  8. ^ Knight Ridder (January 21, 1998). "Cartoon Imitates Life". The Buffalo News: pp. Page D4.  
  9. ^ "Hunt files for divorce". BBC News. 2000-12-20. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/1080344.stm. Retrieved 2007-08-16.  
  10. ^ Clark, Mike (2006-12-22). "New on DVD". USA Today (Gannett Co. Inc.). http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/reviews/2006-12-21-new-on-dvd_x.htm?csp=34. Retrieved 2007-10-24.  

External links


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