The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson

"The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.Season 9
Episode 1
Directed byJim Reardon
Written byIan Maxtone-Graham
Production code4F22
Original air dateSeptember 21, 1997 (1997-09-21)
Guest appearance(s)

Michael Dees sings "Theme from New York, New York"[1][2]
Joan Kenley as woman on the phone

Episode features
Couch gagThe Simpsons are dressed as the Harlem Globetrotters, showing off elaborate basketball tricks to the tune of "Sweet Georgia Brown".[1]
CommentaryCommentary 1:
Bill Oakley
Josh Weinstein
Jim Reardon
Commentary 2:
Ian Maxtone-Graham
Dan Castellaneta
Episode chronology
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"The Secret War of Lisa Simpson"
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"The Principal and the Pauper"
The Simpsons (season 9)
List of The Simpsons episodes

"The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson" is the first episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It was originally broadcast on the Fox network in the United States on September 21, 1997, as the 179th episode of the series. The episode features the Simpson family traveling to Manhattan to recover the family car, which was taken by Barney Gumble and abandoned outside the World Trade Center, where it has been repeatedly posted with parking tickets, and disabled with a parking boot.

Writer Ian Maxtone-Graham was interested in making an episode where the Simpson family travels to New York to retrieve their misplaced car. Executive producers Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein suggested that the car be found in Austin J. Tobin Plaza at the World Trade Center, as they wanted a location that would be widely known. Great lengths were taken to make a detailed replica of the borough of Manhattan. The episode received generally positive reviews, and has since been on accolade lists of The Simpsons episodes. The "You're Checkin' In" musical sequence won two awards. Because of the World Trade Center's main role, the episode was taken off syndication in many areas following the September 11 attacks, but returned to syndication by 2006.


The World Trade Center, seen here in February 2001, was prominently featured in the episode.

At Moe's Tavern, Moe informs Homer and his friends that one of them must be a designated driver, and Barney loses the choosing draw. After Barney drives the drunken men home in Homer's car, Homer allows him to use it to drive himself home, expecting Barney to return it the following morning. In his distressed state, Barney disappears with the car. Two months later, Barney returns to Moe's Tavern, unable to recall where he left the car. Homer later receives a letter from the New York City government, which informs him that his car has been found parked in the World Trade Center plaza and will be destroyed if not picked up in 72 hours. Homer reveals to the family that he had once been to New York before when he was 17 years old, and had a horrible experience. Marge and the children persuade Homer to go retrieve the car, and he reluctantly agrees.

When the family arrives in Manhattan, they decide to split up. Upon arrival at his car, Homer discovers it has been issued many parking tickets and has been wheel clamped. While waiting for parking officer Steve Grabowski to come and remove the clamp, Homer drinks an excessive amount of crab juice from a food vendor and needs to urinate, but is afraid to leave his car behind. After several hours of holding it in and failing to urinate in a mailbox, he finally goes to the restroom at the South Tower's indoor observation deck, but discovers that it is out of order and must use the one at the top of the North Tower. While he is doing that, the officer arrives at the car and, finding no one present, issues another ticket and leaves; Homer's subsequent "D'oh!" echoes across the city. Meanwhile, the rest of the family tours the Statue of Liberty, Little Italy, Chinatown, and the Empire State Building. Bart leaves the group to visit the offices of Mad magazine, and is in awe when he sees Alfred E. Neuman. The family attends a Broadway musical about the Betty Ford Clinic, and then takes a carriage through Central Park to where they are planning to meet Homer.

Upon returning to the car, Homer realizes he must make it to Central Park to find his family and leave before it gets dark. Ignoring the wheel clamp, he tries to accelerate and in the process destroys the car's fender. Homer stops by a road construction crew and steals a jackhammer so he can use it to remove the clamp. The car is freed from the clamp, but further damaged as a result. Homer races to Central Park and reunites with his family. While driving back to Springfield, the family reflects on their wonderful time, while Homer's hatred for New York remains.[3][4]