Catch 'em if You Can

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"Catch 'em if You Can"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.Season 15
Episode 18
Directed byMatthew Nastuk
Written byIan Maxtone-Graham
Production codeFABF14
Original air dateApril 25, 2004 (2004-04-25)
Episode features
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
Episode chronology
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"My Big Fat Geek Wedding"
Next →
"Simple Simpson"
The Simpsons (season 15)
List of episodes

"Catch 'em if You Can" is the eighteenth episode of the fifteenth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. 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 he hits 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 as Tyrone complained last year about why he is still alive. Homer and Marge relent and allow the kids to stay home; but Marge insists they do one family activity together. They all rent a romantic film; Bart and Lisa are unimpressed 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 as they ruin every possible chance of intimacy for them. At the airport the next day, they see people in another queue, dressed in Hawaiian shirts and skimpy tops, going to Miami. This causes them to reminisce on their less-than-stellar honeymoon at a beach billboard in a run-down area of Springfield. On a whim, they decide to forego visiting Tyrone and get on the plane to Miami as a second honeymoon. As the flight is overbooked, they are upgraded to first-class, much to their delight.

Bart, Lisa and Grampa learn on the news 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. Suspicious, Bart uses last-call return to find out the last incoming phone number and discovers their parents are in Miami. He and Lisa 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 a hot pursuit of their parents in an instrumental musical montage and an animated sequence. 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 finds companionship with an old man named Raúl who responds by turning his hearing aid off.

Homer and Marge finally find themselves at the Niagara Falls, only to find the children are already there. When Bart and Lisa confront them, they agree to let them mess about in the room, making them even more despondent. The next day, Bart and Lisa, feeling a little guilty, decide to give their parents some space, and go to an amusement park, inadvertently running into Homer and Marge who snuck off for some time alone. Refusing to allow Lisa to explain, an angry Homer and Marge start running away again and find refuge in a giant inflatable castle, which their lovemaking antics cause them to fall into the Niagara River. The Canadian and American rescue teams start to fight over who is to rescue as the couple floats towards the falls and certain death, only to be saved by their large flotation device. They pass by the Maid of the Mist, whose captain asks them if there is anyone alive. Homer and Marge shout they are more alive than any of the boat's squares from inside the inflatable castle, as it floats away, and they engage in martial artistic sexual intercourse underneath the falls. Bart and Lisa, watching from a telescope, decide that everything worked out just 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.

When Bart and Lisa arrive in Miami, an excerpt of the Miami Vice theme song is heard.

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]