Tales From The Public Domain
Production Code
Episode Number
17 March 2002
Andrew Kreisberg
Josh Lieb
Matt Warburton
Mike B. Anderson
Executive Producer
Al Jean
Jimmy Heenan
Plot Homer is told that he has an overdue book from the library, which he checked out when Bart was a baby. He says that he had intended to read to Bart every day, but various things had gotten in his way. (“Mostly car-related,” he remarks. “Piece of crap.”) Before he returns it, he reads from the book, telling three stories. Reading the title of the first story, Homer wonders if it is about the Honda Odyssey he had rented. Lisa tells him that it has nothing to do with the car, but Homer goes on saying that it had “the biggest cup holders, and change slots for every coin...from penny to quarter.”

D'OH BROTHER WHERE ART THOU?: Odysseus (Homer) delivers the King of Troy (Ned Flanders) a Trojan horse. He and his crew, including Apu, Lenny, Moe, Professor Frink and Carl, kill all of Troy’s citizens and win. However, he refuses to sacrifice a sheep, angering the gods, Zeus (Mayor Quimby), Dionysus (Barney), and Poseidon (the Sea Captain). Poseidon literally blows Odysseus and his crew to the Sirens (Patty and Selma) and visit Circe (Lindsey Naegle), who turns his crew into pigs, whom Homer eats. Circe orders Odysseus to go through Hades, crossing the River Styx, in order to go home so he can see Penelope (Marge) and Telemachus (Bart). When he arrives back to Ithaca, he spears all of the suitors trying to please Penelope.

HOT CHILD IN THE CITY: Joan of Arc (Lisa), who leads the French against the English in the Hundred Years’ War. During a battle, the English capture Joan and put her on trial. She is accused of witchcraft, and sentenced to death. When Lisa claims that she was following God’s will, Groundskeeper Willie reveals that he too was chosen by God, but to lead the English armies against the French. God’s voice then excuses Himself by revealing that the two were never supposed to meet.

As they read the end, Joan of Arc is being burnt at the stake. Lisa asks Homer “Do they actually burn her?” Marge then interrupts, and rips out the last page of the book, claiming that Sir Lancelot rescues her, and they escape and live in a spaceship. (Marge then eats the page, remarking that it is easier to chew than the video of Bambi.)

DO THE BARDMAN: Bart is Prince Hamlet in this Simpsons version of William Shakespeare’s classic. His uncle Claudius (Moe) marries Gertrude (Marge) after killing King Hamlet (Homer) by way of poison. The King returns to his son, telling him of the betrayal and requesting that his death be avenged. Prince Hamlet puts on a play to make Claudius reveal himself to be guilty, and because Hamlet knows what he did, Claudius attempts to kill him. Hamlet, aiming to kill Claudius, accidentally kills Polonius (Chief Wiggum). His son, Laertes (Ralph Wiggum), proposes to duel Prince Hamlet for revenge. As his “practice stab,” Laertes kills himself, and Hamlet proceeds to murder Claudius. Rosencarl and Guildenlenny (Carl and Lenny), meanwhile, have been covered in poison and kill each other with a high five. Hamlet walks away to celebrate, but he slips on some blood and dies. Seeing a big mess she does not want to clean up, Gertrude commits suicide by hitting herself with a mace and everyone is dead.

Bart thinks Hamlet was boring despite every character dying, but Homer tells him that the story led to the hit film Ghostbusters, and all the Simpsons dance to the theme.
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