The Wettest Stories Ever Told is the eighteenth episode of The Simpsons’ seventeenth season. It originally aired on April 23, 2006.
A dinner at the Frying Dutchman gone wrong turns into an excuse for another anthology show, this time with a nautical theme—Lisa
tells about the Mayflower
tells about mutiny
while going to Tahiti
, and Homer
tells about capsizing cruise ships
Marge, Bart, and Lisa board the Mayflower to head for the new world, but just as they do, Homer runs ahead of them and hides in a barrel. They see the police (Lenny and Carl) looking for him (as he made the mistake of questioning why this era is called the Jacobean era when the king is named James and not "Jacob"), and they take pity on him. Marge immediately grows on Homer, but Moe likes her as well (having gone as far as to kill her husband) and is instantly jealous of their friendship. To get Homer out of the way, Moe takes him down to the storage room where all the beer is held and tells him to drink whenever a wave hits the boat. He gets drunk, and Captain “Flandish” (Flanders) and Reverend Lovejoy find him and other passengers partying. Moe blames Homer, and they place him in a stock. Then, a storm approaches, and Flanders gets knocked out. Homer claims that he steers better when he is drunk, and while drinking a bottle of wine while still trapped in the stock and shirtless, he leads them safely out of the storm. He and Marge get together, and they all make it to the New World.
The Whine-Bar Sea
The Bounty sets sail from England in 1789, commanded by Captain Bligh (Skinner). During the first 718 days of the voyage, Bligh severely mistreats his crew, by not giving them water at last day in order to save water and tossing off their mail because they had drawn a picture of Bligh making off with a sailor. Willie warns him of a mutiny if he mistreats them too much, but Bligh ignores him. They arrive in Tahiti, where Homer and Marge are the rulers of island and the crew has a wonderful time until it was time to leave. The crew wanted to stay at Tahiti, but Captain Bligh tells them that it was wonderful vacation but they must forget it and sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" in-a-round while working. Eventually, First Mate Bart Christian, who is angered by this, leads a mutiny with the help of the crew and sends Bligh and Willie off in a lifeboat. Bligh mistreats Willie, calling him a spineless coward, because Willie cannot sing in canon because he is only one. In response, Willie forces Bligh off the lifeboat (proving that he is not a coward) and rows away while Bligh holds onto on a sea turtle, who then submerges into the sea. Bart, as the new Captain of the Bounty, orders the crews to set sail for Tahiti...then he throws away the ship’s helm and they crash into Antarctica.
Homer’s story takes place on the luxury liner Neptune on New Year’s Eve during the 1970s. It is a parody of The Poseidon Adventure. At midnight, Captain Burns fails to notice a massive freak wave which hits the bridge and kills him and First Officer Waylon Smithers and the ship capsizes. A lot of people die. Led by Selma, survivors Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Lenny, Carl, Comic Book Guy, Old Jewish Man (and his wife), and Sideshow Mel ignore Purser Wiggum’s advice to stay put in the ball room and decide to climb up the decks to the engine room. While climbing up through the smokestack, Lenny panics and takes a dive. They encounter rooms in flame, tigers, and Homer doing his business in an upside-down bathroom, knowing that he has great ass-suction. Comic Book Guy swims through a flooded deck to help the others get to the engine room, but he has a heart attack and dies. The group makes it to the engine room, but Sideshow Mel’s hair is set on fire because of a blowtorch from the rescue team and he falls unconscious. The rest of the original group makes it off the ship, at which point they encounter the walking skeletons of the Bounty crew, who are still trying to get back to Tahiti.
This episode’s title spoofs the title of the film The Greatest Story Ever Told
. Marge mentions the restaurant chain Red Lobster
when told their food will be from another seafood restaurant.
Although the construction of the Mayflower
the rigging changes throughout the journey - notably the mizzen-mast, the presence of a staysail
, and the shape of the spanker
. This episode also references Samuel Taylor Coleridge
’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
”. In the first story, after the storm breaks off, Homer notices an albatross which he eats. Unlike the poem, this action does not lead to unfortunate incidents.
- The title is a reference to The Wine-Dark Sea.
- One-eyed “Admiral Nelson” is a reference to Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, British hero of the Battle of Trafalgar.
- Nelson, playing Admiral Nelson, conveys a message using International maritime signal flags, spelling "BLIGHE..." Skinner reads the flags as "Bligh eats dolphin boogers"
- “Island in the Sun” by Weezer plays during the montage of the Bounty crew in Tahiti and Easter Island.
- When the Bounty crew is in Tahiti, the theme instrumental music that is played is similar to that written in the musical movie South Pacific.
- Scenes of Bart standing on the mast of the Bounty, and the use of music by Luigi Boccherini, are references to the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.
- When Skinner is holding onto the sea turtle, it is probably spoofing the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, for they often use sea turtles to escape island in those films.
- In the end of the third segment, when the crew of the Bounty reappears as skeletons, it is definitely a parody of Pirates of the Caribbean, specifically, the crew from the Curse of the Black Pearl.
- The title is a reference to Watership Down.
- Homer’s story is a parody of The Poseidon Adventure, a 1972 action film. A few weeks after the airing of this episode Warner Bros. releases a remake of the film in theaters called Poseiden.
- The ship in Homer’s story is called the Neptune. “Neptune” was the Roman god of the sea; the equivalent Greek deity was named “Poseidon”.
- The song played at the beginning of Homer’s story is “Rock the Boat” by the Hues Corporation.
- Disco Stu calls Capt. Burns "the Leroy Neiman of Seamen". Leroy Neiman is an American artist who is noted for his expressionist style portraying athletes and sports action.
- One of the 70's catchphrases called out is (by Barney) Willie Stargell (March 6, 1940 – April 9, 2001). He was a professional baseball player who played his entire Major League career (1962-1982) with the Pittsburgh Pirates as an outfielder and first baseman.
- Lisa sings a parody of The Morning After from The Poseidon Adventure, which (exaggeratedly) foreshadows the upcoming destruction of the S.S. Neptune.
- Burns makes references to Earthquake, The Towering Inferno, and The China Syndrome, which were popular disaster films of the 1970s. The Apple Dumpling Gang is a Disney western film which was also a popular film during the 1970s.
- Comic Book Guy’s “inspirational music” is “Alone Again (Naturally)” by Gilbert O’Sullivan.
- In the final segment, as the survivors leave the ship (just before the Bounty appears) a trumpet plays the melody of "The Morning After", from the film The Poseidon Adventure, which became a hit single for Maureen McGovern. Lisa also sings a parody of this in the beginning of the story.