Lottery fever grips the Simpsons.
Written by John Swartzwelder
Directed by Jim Reardon
Also starring: Maggie Roswell, Frank Welker
Premise: Lottery fever grips Springfield. When Homer blows a large amount of cash on duplicate tickets the Simpsons are left penniless after financing a life-saving operation performed on Santa's Little Helper. He runs away - and becomes one of Mr Burns' slavering hounds.
Features: Patty, Selma, Jackie Bouvier, Grampa, Mr Burns, Smithers, Ned Flanders, Moe, Barney, Kent Brockman, Apu, Sunjay, Ms Krabappel, Principal Skinner, Elizabeth Hoover, Chief Wiggum, Lou, Eddie, Lenny, Otto Mans, Krusty the Klown, Sideshow Mel.
Couch: The Simpsons rush in - and the others sit on Homer.
- Marge's regular lottery numbers are 3, 6, 17, 18, 2 and 29.
- The eldest of Burns' hounds is called Crippler.
Homage: Santa's Little Helper's odyssey recalls The Incredible Journey (Fletcher Markle, 1963), while his aversion therapy at the hands of Mr Burns and Smithers owes a lot to A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971), complete with eye-opening clamps, distressing film footage, and Beethoven's 9th Symphony. There are nods to the Lassie film series in his rescuing of a child from a burning house. Shirley Jackson's novel The Lottety has no clues on winning the lottery at all but is in fact a chilling tale of conformity gone mad.
Notes for Brits: The medic seen at the beginning of this episode is very similar to Ben Casey, the central character in a US TV medical show of the same name.
Notes: Great things about 'Dog of Death' - Homer's dream of winning the lottery, the list of dogs in Doggie Heaven and Hell, Mr Burns' anti-niceness therapy on Santa's Little Helper. And the closing caveat that "No dogs were harmed in the filming of this episode. A cat got sick, and someone shot a duck. But that's it."