Papa Don't Leech
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|"Papa Don't Leech"|
|The Simpsons episode|
|Promotional image featuring Homer (in his "Colonel Homer" attire) and The Dixie Chicks.|
|Directed by||Chris Clements|
|Written by||Reid Harrison|
|Original air date||April 13, 2008|
|Couch gag||A paintbrush dabs paint blobs on the couch, which form into The Simpsons|
|Guest appearance(s)||Beverly D'Angelo
The Dixie Chicks
"Papa Don't Leech" is the sixteenth episode of The Simpsons' nineteenth season. It was first broadcast on April 13, 2008. It features the return of Lurleen Lumpkin (voiced by special guest star Beverly D'Angelo) from the third season episode "Colonel Homer", after an absence of sixteen years (though she appeared in a few quick cameos on such episodes as "Marge vs. the Monorail" and "Team Homer"). The Dixie Chicks also appear as themselves. It was written by Reid Harrison and directed by Chris Clements.
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Lisa tries to sell Girl Scout cookies to Mayor Quimby, but finds the entire town treasury empty. Quimby explains the city spent their money on a new slogan, "Springfield: Good." A town meeting is held to inform the town they have to raise money. They try faking a natural disaster in order to get relief money from FEMA, but the officials turn out to be fakes. They are tricked and end up in more debt than before. Lisa then reveals Springfield has millions in uncollected taxes, and Springfield soon starts hitting up its most notorious tax evaders (save Mr. Burns and Mayor Quimby). In a news report, Kent Brockman reveals that all tax evaders have been caught, and the only one remaining is Lurleen Lumpkin, a country music star who was once managed by Homer and fell in love with him. As the city searches for her, Homer finds Lurleen hiding in his car, and learns that after leaving her, her career had gone into a downward spiral, even though he had advised her not to go into one of those.
Homer comforts the nerve-wracked Lurleen, who says she has no money. Homer agrees to take her home, but Marge remembers how Lurleen caused a huge rift in her marriage, and demands that she gets out. Angrily driving her away, she discovers that Lurleen lives with the homeless. Marge begins to pity her. Marge reluctantly allows her to stay with the family. As a thank you, Lurleen cooks a barbecue for the family, and Marge apologizes about the argument earlier. Lurleen forgives her, and the two become friends. Soon, though, Lurleen is found, arrested, and taken to court. Judge Snyder decides to go easy on her, with one exception: Lurleen must find an immediate way to pay off her debt to society. When the trial finishes, she explains how she cannot pay off her taxes because all her money went to her ex-husbands (who all resemble Homer).
Lurleen becomes depressed, and the whole family soon hears Lurleen singing through the vent about her father. Marge realizes that after Lurleen's father left her, she had given up faith in all men. Marge decides to get the two Lumpkins back on a proper parent-child relationship. Scouring Springfield, she finally finds him. Royce Lumpkin left Lurleen because he realized he could never be a great father. He is now deadbeat. Lurleen forgives him for leaving her, however, and she writes a new song to celebrate their reunion : "Daddy's Back". The two appear to have a newfound happiness, and spend a lot of time together. But Royce eventually decides to leave Lurleen again. Lurleen is now more depressed than ever. Soon, a new song from the Dixie Chicks plays on TV. Lurleen's father is in the music video, and one of the Dixie Chicks claims that he wrote the song, which is a clear plagiarism of the song Lurleen wrote for their reunion. She goes to the basement to sulk. Homer, in his Colonel Homer attire and "Major Marge" come to her, and tell her to take control of her destiny. Lurleen tells the Dixie Chicks that her father stole her song and they proceed to hit him with their instruments (He tried to avoid the beating by pointing out that he was the most honorable music producer they had met. But despite agreeing with him, they refused to forgive him). Lurleen becomes the new opening act for the Dixie Chicks. She has a new husband (who also has a resemblance to Homer), and Marge and Lurleen embrace. Out of earshot, Marge then tells Lurleen that if she ever comes near Homer again, she will strangle her with her own hair extensions.
||This section is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (January 2014)|
- The episode's title is a take-off of singer Madonna's song, "Papa Don't Preach".
- Lurleen is shown singing the song, "Bunk with Me Tonight" (from "Colonel Homer") with Kermit; another Muppet, Miss Piggy, appears and drop-kicks him.
- The opening dream scene where Homer suffocates his father parodies The Sopranos episode "Kennedy and Heidi", in which Tony suffocates Christopher in a similar manner.
- Bart is seen playing with Mr. Potato Head.
- Marge's bodywash is Estée Lauder.
- In the final scene, Marge silently threatens Lurleen that if she ever comes near Homer again she will strangle her with her own hair extensions. This parodies a scene in the HBO series Rome, in which Atia of the Julii, a Roman aristocrat, whispers death threats to Queen Cleopatra after an awkward social dinner.
- When everyone is singing the "Daddy's Back" song Lisa is reading Harry Potter.
The episode received mixed reviews by critics. Richard Keller of TV Squad expressed dislike for the episode stating that he hopes the show will reconsider the next time they decide to give a solo opportunity to a supporting character many people don't remember. Robert Canning of IGN said, "there were too few laugh-out-loud moments in this lackluster episode. Overall, it was nice to see Lurleen again, but she'd probably get more laughs in future cameos than in carrying an entire episode." He gave the episode a 6/10. The opening sequence where Homer murders Grampa in a dream was criticized, being called "the least funny thing I've ever seen on the show" by IGN, "very un-Homer-like" by TV Squad.
- "Primetime Listings (April 6 - April 13)". FoxFlash. 2008-03-21. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
- Noted during the credits.
- Keller, Richard. "Papa Don't Leech". TV Squad. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
- Canning, Robert (2008-04-14). "The Simpsons: "Papa Don't Leech" Review". IGN. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
- Hibberd, James (2008-04-14). "Disappointing return for 'Housewives'". Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2008-04-15.