Catch 'Em If You Can

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"Catch 'Em If You Can"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.331
Directed byMatthew Nastuk
Written byIan Maxtone-Graham
Showrunner(s)Al Jean
Production codeFABF14
Original air dateApril 25, 2004
Couch gagThe couch is a white cake. The Simpsons are squeezed out like icing on top of the cake.
CommentaryMatt 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. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 25, 2004.


Bart lectures the other students on the bus on the topic of water balloons. After hitting Lisa with one she fights with him all the way home. Marge stops them and tells the pair that they are going to Ohio to celebrate Uncle Tyrone's birthday. Bart and Lisa are saddened with the idea: they get to stay home. As a family activity they all rent a film; Bart and Lisa are depressed 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 Grampa, 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 Grampa to take them there. Homer and Marge see the children waiting for them outside their hotel room door, so they run from the ready-to-track-them-down pair, causing Bart and Lisa to summon an hot pursuit of their parents. They will not have any trouble paying for their chase, considering Homer has borrowed Ned Flanders' credit card and Bart has borrowed Rod Flanders' credit card. Meanwhile, in Miami, Grampa found companionship with an old man named Raúl who responds 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, only to find the children are already there. Bart and Lisa confront them, allowing the parents to let them start to mess about in the room, making them even more despondent.

That night, Homer and Marge decide to sneak up to an amusement park out 'n' away from Bart and Lisa, feeling a little guilty, deciding to give their parents their space, making them re-find their parents. Homer and Marge, now turly super-duper angry of that, start running away again with Marge refusing to allow Lisa to finish talking, in order to find refuge in a giant inflatable castle, 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 there's anyone alive. Homer and Marge shout they're more alive than any of the boat's squares from inside the inflatable castle, as it floats away, and they engage an martial artistic sexual intercourse underneath The Falls. Bart and Lisa, watching from a telescope, decide that everything worked out just so fine.

Meanwhile, 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 running gag continued with a direct reference on Sept. 22nd, 2013[4] and an indirect one on Oct. 4th 2014.[5]


The episode was well-received with critics. It won a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Animation Screenplay in 2005.[6]


  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. ^ "Is Indonesia at a crossroads?".
  5. ^ "The empire strikes back".
  6. ^ "Awards Winners". Writers Guild of America. Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. Retrieved 2010-01-23.

External links[edit]