The Simpsons: Season 5, Episode 3

Homer Goes to College (14 Oct. 1993)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Animation, Comedy
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,413 users  
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When a surprise inspection of the nuclear power plant reveals that Homer is not qualified to do his job, he is forced to go to college.



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Episode cast overview:
Homer Simpson / Mayor Quimby / Blue-Haired Lawyer / Admissions Officer / Grampa / Student #2 / Construction Manager / Benjamin / Itchy / Krusty the Clown (voice)
Marge Simpson (voice)
Bart Simpson (voice)
Lisa Simpson (voice)
Inspector #2 / Bernie / Man in Commercial / Dean Bitterman / Corey Masterson / Nerdlinger / Student #1 / Dean Peterson / Construction Worker / Nuclear Response #1 / Doug / Snake (voice)
Mr. Burns / Smithers / Bee Guard #3 / Guidance Counselor / Application Reviewer #1 / Commercial Voice-Over / TV Announcer / Movie President / Nuclear Physics Professor / Nuclear Response #2 / Gary / Richard Nixon / Scratchy / Dr. Hibbert (voice)
Power Plant Voice / Inspector #1 / Application Reviewer #2 / Answering Machine (voice)


Naptime at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant is rudely interrupted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is conducting a surprise inspection and employee audit. Homer's skills are tested and not only is he found to be incompetent, he causes a nuclear meltdown! The NRC inspectors demand that Homer (who is found to lack proper certification) either take college courses to obtain the necessary credentials or else Mr. Burns will face criminal charges. Burns gets Homer enrolled at Springfield University, where he acts like an immature adolescent (both in class and around campus) rather than someone needing to study for a college degree. When he continues to act like a know-it-all in physics class, the professor has enough and asks him to demonstrate a proton accelerator; Homer winds up causing another meltdown. Homer is asked to hire a tutor, and does: nerds Benjamin, Gary and Doug. Instead of applying himself, Homer sees the three nerds have no social life and decides to teach ... Written by Brian Rathjen <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Animation | Comedy





Release Date:

14 October 1993 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Both this episode, and the one that followed it, (The Simpsons: Rosebud (1993)), feature a scene with Mr. Burns weakly attempting, and failing, to administer a beating to someone. See more »


When Mr. Burns gets Homer into college, Homer says "I won't be needing my high school diploma anymore!" But Homer has a GED, not a high school diploma (and the document he sets fire to even clearly has GED written on it.) See more »


Nuclear Physics Professor: Welcome to Nuclear Physics 101. I see a lot of new faces, but you know the old saying. Out with the old, in with new-cleus.
[the class laughs]
Nuclear Physics Professor: Now, let's start with... Whoops.
[the professor drops notecards. Homer starts laughing hysterically]
Homer: Oh, do you see that jerk?
[Homer continues laughing]
Homer: He dropped his notes.
[Homer howls with laughter]
See more »


References Room 222 (1969) See more »


Louie Louie
by Richard Berry
Performed by The Kingsmen
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User Reviews

My all time favourite Simpsons episode
17 June 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When it comes to reviewing 'Homer Goes To College' I have to admit, I'm a little bit biased. This was the last episode I watched before leaving home to go to University at the age of eighteen and corny as it may be, each time I watch it I still get a little misty eyed when I think back to that warm September day, sat in the living room watching TV with my packed bags waiting in the corridor, half a mind on the friends I was leaving behind and half on the four years yet to come. But hey if that's corny, then corn me up, because Homer Goes To College is awesome. It's Matt Groening and co at their best.

Taking a slightly objective stance though, I'm sure both of you people that have bothered to look up this page are wondering what makes this (arguably) the best Simpsons episode when there are so many other classics that could easily stake that claim? Well as far as I'm concerned it's because this is the epitome of a strong storyline. The plot this time revolves around Homer being sent to college after a routine safety inspection reveals him to be dangerously under-qualified. Arriving on campus after over-indulging on frat house movies, Homer is expecting three things: jocks, nerds and a crusty, bitter old Dean.

What follows is a brilliantly executed spoof of college stereotypes as Homer finds himself actually having to work rather than simply drinking and attending toga parties. Plus, the crusty, bitter old Dean isn't crusty and bitter at all, he's actually a pretty okay guy. But that's not going to stop the fat lad from making his life hell by ringing his office to call him a 'stupidhead.' Things get even more ridiculous when he is sent for extra tutoring with three Science geeks who make Napoleon Dynamite look like the Fonz, culminating in life lessons, Picard versus Kirk debates and an ill-fated prank that involves running the Dean over.

So yes, while I might rate this episode so highly because I'm a saccharine laced bag of sentimentality, it cannot stop it being one of the most repeatedly funny ones the writers ever produced. As a satire of campus movies it hits the nail on the head and is a perfect example of that bizarre Simpsons universe that manages to be wholly familiar yet uniquely ridiculous. I'd even go so far as to suggest that this is the best account of campus life ever produced and that only the Futurama episode where Fry goes to college comes close. Besides, how can you not love an episode where a good natured professor exclaims "hello, that sounds like a pig fainting" with a totally straight face?

21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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