The Simpsons: Season 3, Episode 9

Saturdays of Thunder (14 Nov. 1991)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Animation, Comedy
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After Homer fails a fathering test, he decides to help Bart build his Soap Box Derby racer. But Bart dumps Homer and their racer after Martin's far superior vehicle suddenly becomes available.



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Episode cast overview:
I Can't Believe They Invented It Announcer / Homer Simpson / Dave Jr. / Race Announcer / Barney Gumble / Mayor Quimby (voice)
Lisa Simpson (voice)
Dr. Nick Riviera / Skowie / Joe Theisman / Race Official / Emcee (voice)
McBain / Video Rental Clerk / Dave / Dr. Julius Hibbert / Ned Flanders (voice)
Weasel (voice)
Larry McKay ...
Football's Greatest Injuries Narrator (voice)
Martin Prince / Ronnie Beck (voice)
Troy McClure (voice)


Feeling inadequate as a father, Homer helps Bart get involved in the soap box derby with a flimsy car, especially compared to the ones used by Nelson Muntz and Martin Prince. When Martin is injured from a race(despite winning), Bart is so impressed that he visit's him in the hospital, where Martin urges him to take his superior car and use it to defeat Nelson, even though he knows it'll cause a rift between him and his father. Written by Daniel Timothy Dey

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Animation | Comedy

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Release Date:

14 November 1991 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Homer's hero is Steve McQueen and Bart's is Ronny Beck. See more »


When Homer is being taken to the institute, Milhouse assumes he is finally being taken to a mental institution. Bart replies that this is perhaps for the best, both seemingly forgetting that not very long ago, Homer was committed. See more »


Homer's Brain: Use reverse psychology.
Homer: Oh, that sounds too complicated.
Homer's Brain: Okay, don't use reverse psychology.
Homer: Okay, I will.
See more »


References Days of Thunder (1990) See more »


Watching Scotty Grow
by Mac Davis
See more »

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User Reviews

The Simpsons win because they do it together
31 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Couch gag rating: 7/10 A very short one, similar to many, but not without its charm.

The episode: Homer fails a fatherhood test which spurs him into spending quality time with Bart. Bart's current project happens to be soap box derby. They work together and build a racer. Things become more complicated when Martin's racing hopes end with injury and his much better racer becomes available to Bart.

Favorite moment(s): Homer tearing up at Cat's in the Cradle. The Watching Scotty Grow montage. Homer's confrontation at the doctor's office with Martin. The fatherhood institute. Bill Cosby's Fatherhood book. Homer's use of reverse psychology.

This is a very good Homer/Bart episode from the 3rd season. Nelson and Martin each have significant parts, which certainly benefits the episode. Many sight gags in this episode are completely unrealistic, proving that sight gags were a staple of The Simpsons long before people consider the show went downhill.

Overall rating: 9/10 This is a solid episode. It doesn't stand up to some of the better ones from this season but if you're a fan of Homer and Bart's relationship, check this one out.

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