Catch 'Em If You Can

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"Catch 'Em If You Can"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no. 331
Production code FABF14
Original air date April 25, 2004
Showrunner(s) Al Jean
Written by Ian Maxtone-Graham
Directed by Matthew Nastuk
Couch gag The couch is a white cake. The Simpsons are squeezed out like icing on top of the cake.
Matt Groening
Al Jean
Ian Maxtone-Graham
Matt Selman
Kevin Curran
Tom Gamill
Max Pross
Mike Reiss
Jeff Nathanson

"Catch 'Em If You Can" is the 18th episode of The Simpsons' fifteenth season, first broadcast on April 25, 2004.


Bart lectures the other students on the bus on the topic of water balloons. After hitting Lisa with one he fights with her all the way home. Marge stops them and tells the pair that they are going to Dayton, Ohio to celebrate Uncle Tyrone's birthday. Bart and Lisa are not thrilled with the idea: they get to stay home. As a family activity they all rent the film Love Story; Bart and Lisa are bored by it such that they ruin any moment the film might have created for Homer and Marge. Homer and Marge look forward to their trip without the children. At the airport, they see people in another queue, dressed in Hawaiian shirts and skimpy tops, going to Miami. On a whim, they decide to forego the visit to Uncle Tyrone and get on the plane to Miami as a second honeymoon.

Lisa and Bart are watching TV with Grandpa, when they learn that the hotel in Dayton where Marge and Homer are supposed to be staying has been completely wiped out by a tornado. They suddenly get a call from Marge, informing them that all is well: "Just checking in." Suspicious, Bart uses last-call return to find out the last incoming phone number and discovers their parents are in Miami. They get Grandpa to take them there, promising him that many single beautiful pensioners will be available. Marge and Homer see the children waiting for them outside their hotel room door, so they run away again, but Bart and Lisa are on their trail. They will not have any trouble paying for their chase, considering Homer has Ned Flanders' credit card and Bart has Rod Flanders' credit card. Meanwhile in Miami Abe has not found any woman interested in him, but he found companionship with a gay man named Raoul who "appreciates" his rambling stories by turning his hearing aid off.

Homer and Marge are in Atlantic City when they spot the children once more, so they go on the run from them in an instrumental musical montage and an animated sequence. Homer and Marge finally find themselves at the Niagara Falls, but the children are there as well. Bart and Lisa confront them and Homer and Marge finally give up and allow the children to stay with them. The children start to mess about in the room, making Homer and Marge even more despondent.

That night, Bart and Lisa, feeling a little guilty, decide to give their parents their space and go to an amusement park, only to find their parents are already there. Homer and Marge, thinking the children are chasing them again, run from the pair to find refuge in a giant inflatable castle (which is not a good idea, as it is under repair), which their lovemaking antics cause to fall into the Niagara River. The rescue teams who are Canadian and American start to fight over who is to rescue. The couple floats towards the falls and certain death, only to be saved by their large flotation device. Later they pass by the Maid of the Mist, whose captain asks them if they need help. A naked Marge and Homer shout they do not need any from inside the inflatable castle, as it floats away, and they engage in marital sex underneath The Falls. Bart and Lisa, watching from a telescope, decide that everything worked out all right.

Later back in Springfield, Ned and Rod Flanders receive their monthly credit card bills and gasp at the charges Homer and Bart have run up.

Cultural references[edit]

The title of the episode is a reference to the film Catch Me If You Can, which is also parodied in the musical montage.

Homer is traveling by air in first class and says "Look at me, I'm reading The Economist. Did you know Indonesia is at a crossroads?" and when questioned by his wife, he simply replies "It is!" Four days later, The Economist indeed had an article about Indonesia referring to the "crossroads", and mentioned the Simpsons episode in short weekly commentaries. The title of the issue was "Indonesia's Gambit".[1][2] About seven months later, The Economist ran a cover headline reading "Indonesia at a Crossroads."[3]


The episode was well-received with critics. It won a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Animation Screenplay in 2005.[4]


  1. ^ "The electoral week — On the trail". April 29, 2004. Retrieved 2006-12-28. 
  2. ^ "Investing in Indonesia". April 29, 2004. Retrieved 2006-12-28. 
  3. ^ The Economist, December 11–17, 2004, cover
  4. ^ "Awards Winners". Writers Guild of America. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 

External links[edit]