by Kate Childs Graham | February 22, 2012
This week, The Simpsons aired its 500th episode. Chronicling the life and the hilarity of a working family from the fictional town of Springfield, this animated sitcom has often taken on issues important to workers.
The best work-related episode and arguably the best Simpsons episode EVER, “Last Exit to Springfield,” aired in 1993. In that episode, Homer Simpson becomes the president of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant union and leads the workers in a strike to get their dental plan back. Montgomery Burns, the plant owner, tries again and again to break the union’s spirit, but they remain united.
Here are some memorable lines from that episode:
Carl: What do we want?
All: More equitable treatment at the hands of management!
Carl: When do we want it?
Mr. Burns: We both want a fair union contract.
Homer: (thinking) Why is Mr. Burns being so nice to me?
Mr. Burns: And if you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.
Homer: (thinking) Wait a minute. Is he coming onto me?
Mr. Burns: I mean, if I should slip something into your pocket, what's the harm?
Homer: (thinking) My God! He is coming onto me!
Mr. Burns: After all, negotiations make strange bedfellows. (chuckle, wink)
Homer: (thinking) Aaahh! Sorry, Mr. Burns, but I don't go in for these backdoor shenanigans. Sure, I'm flattered, maybe even a little curious, but the answer is no!
Lisa: Do you really think you can get our dental plan back, dad?
Homer: Well, that depends on who's the better negotiator, Mr. Burns or me...
Bart: Dad, I'll trade you this delicious doorstop for your crummy old Danish.
Homer: Done and done!
In the end, the union wins back its dental plan, but not before Homer’s daughter, Lisa, sings her epic protest song: