Homer the Father
Homer becomes obsessed with a 1980s family sitcom called Thicker Than Waters and starts acting like the show's father. Emulating this character's values, he refuses to give Bart a mini-bike he wants, because Bart would never learn to appreciate things if they come to him too easily.
Bart then realizes that he could sell secrets about the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant to other countries. He agrees to sell them to China in exchange for a mini-bike. To gain access to the nuclear plant's computer system, Bart begins doing typical father-son activities with Homer, eventually leading to Homer bringing Bart to work. When Homer falls asleep, Bart goes around the plant downloading information onto a USB storage device.
After Bart leaves the flashdrive with the downloaded data at the zoo and takes the bike, Homer reveals to him that he has bought him a mini-bike for being such a good child. Bart, feeling bad for betraying his country and his father, rushes back to the zoo in attempt to recover the flashdrive. There he meets the Chinese agents, who threaten to kill him if he does not cooperate. Homer steps in and offers himself in Bart's place, as he has a lifetime of nuclear experience. In China, he leads the construction of a nuclear power plant, which explodes right after the grand opening ceremony. Back at the house, Bart tells Homer how much he appreciates him, and that they have "the best kind of bonding": sitting in front of the television while making no eye contact at all.
In its original American broadcast, "Homer the Father" was viewed by an estimated 6.50 million households with a 3.1 rating/7% share among adults between the ages of 18 and 49. The number of viewers increased slightly from the previous week and the 18-49 demographic stayed steady in spite of going up against the hugely viewed AFC Championship. In Canada, the episode was watched by 962,000 viewers.
It received positive reviews among fans at NoHomers.net, with many calling it one of the best of the season. Another positive review was from tvfanatic.com, who gave it a 3.8 out of 5 calling it "This week's installment was loaded with plenty of hilarious meta jokes about the television industry, thanks to its storyline about Homer mimicking his favorite 80s sitcom father, who seemed to be a mishmash of every fictional patriarch from that decade."
In the episode, Homer watches many TV shows that serve as parodies of existing series, such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Growing Pains, I Love Lucy, and in the form of Thicker than Waters, generic 1980's family sitcoms. The "A-Team of Finland" are also seen as one of the investigation companies who catch Bart selling nuclear plants secrets; one man says "I pity the fool who messes with B.A Backstrom!"
When aired on the UK TV channel Sky1, the line "Including the dog" following "I slept with everyone in the cast" is cut.
- Seidman, Robert (2007-08-28). "Updated TV Ratings Sunday: CBS Wins With Most Watched AFC Championship Ever That Averaged 54.9 Million + ‘Hawaii Five-0,’ Fox Animations". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. Retrieved 2011-01-24.
- "Ratings across Canada Jan. 17 - 23".