You can't get Homer, he's part of the Union.
Written by Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky
Directed by Mark Kirkland
Special guest voice: Dr Joyce Brothers (as herself)
Premise: Lisa needs braces - but Mr Burns has withdrawn the dental plan from his workers' rights. Homer becomes leader of the union to win it back. But can he come out on top in negotiations with Mr Burns?
Features: Mr Burns, Smithers, Ralph, Lenny, Carl, Bumblebee Man, Principal Skinner, Grampa, Jasper, Kent Brockman.
Couch: The Simpsons rush in - but the sofa has turned into a monster.
Homage: Lisa's given gas, and ends up in the Yellow Submarine alongside the Beatles - her dream ends with the final chord of their song A Day in the Life. Mr Burns' monkeys are working on A Tale of Two Cities. Lisa's reaction to the first sight of her brace in the mirror recalls the Joker's reaction to his deformed face in Batman (Tim Burton, 1989).
Mmmmm: ...organised crime.
Song: Lisa sings a folk protest song, They Have the Plant But We Have the Power.
That's Homer Simpson, sir: 'He thwarted your campaign for governor, you ran over his son, he saved the plant from meltdown, and his wife painted you in the nude.'
Notes: This fine episode contains several of our favourite sequences - Mr Burns' fantasy of he and Smithers running the plant for themselves, Homer's fantasy of becoming Mafia boss Don Homer, Lisa's fantasy flight with the Beatles. And one of our favourite one-off characters - the dentist who bays 'Liar!' at his patients and relaxes them by explaining the function of his tools ('This is the gouger, which I'll be using to hack out teeth from your jaw'). A classic, and the series' most marked expedition into the surreal - up to this point.