In space, no one can hear you d'oh.
Written by David Mirkin
Directed by Carlos Baeza
Also starring: Maggie Roswell, Pamela Hayden
Special guest voices: James Taylor, Buzz Aldrin (as themselves)
Premise: NASA decide they need to rekindle public awareness of the space programme by sending an average guy into space. Homer is chosen.
Features: Lenny, Carl, Smithers, Mr Burns, Barney, Grampa, Patty, Selma, Kent Brockman.
Couch: A very fat man occupies the sofa.
Homage: Among the shows received by NASA from space are alien versions of Married, With Children and Home Improvement. Homer's chip-crunching in zero gravity to the strains of the Blue Danube is another take on 2001. The astronaut-testing sequence comes from The Right Stuff (Geoffrey Kirkland, 1983). Homer and Barney's fight is lifted from the Star Trek episode The Gamesters of Triskelion, and comes complete with that series' stock fight music.
Itchy and Scratchy in: Scar Trek: The Next Laceration.
Look out for: The violence warning after the Itchy and Scratchy cartoon has aired. Homer's sudden understanding of the climax to Planet of the Apes.
Notes: More of a handful of gags than a story - but very memorable for the chip-crunching sequence and Kent Brockman's reaction to a feared ant invasion.