The Simpsons frequently utilizes an elastic and cartoonish setting to make all kinds of jokes and references to pop culture. However, sometimes those references have a real impact on the world around the family, and in Season 8, Episode 2, “You Only Move Twice,” it shows just how dangerous things can get for one famous pop culture figure. Here, a throwaway gag implies that Homer’s responsible for this world’s James Bond‘s death.
“You Only Move Twice” introduces the town of Cypress Creek, a seemingly peaceful new home for the Simpsons after Homer is offered a cushy job with the Globex Corporation. Moving his family to the town, Homer befriends his employer, Hank Scorpio. Homer becomes management for a group of engineers working on a nuclear reactor, and he quickly fits into the company standard. However, Homer is blissfully unaware of Scorpio’s true nature as a global supervillain — with Globex being a front for his plans and Scorpio having machinations to take over the entire world.
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Perhaps the most surprising moment comes when Scorpio is preparing to kill a secret agent named Mr. Bont, an obvious stand-in for international super-spy James Bond. Using a laser similar to the one deployed against Bond in Goldfinger, Scorpio intends for Bont to meet a gruesome end. However, Bont is able to escape his restraints by flipping a coin in the way of the laser.
Bont may have succeeded in getting away if Homer hadn’t been trying to get a snack from a vending machine in the main lab. Unaware of the full situation but hearing Scorpio order his capture, Homer tackles Bont and brings him down. Scorpio congratulates Homer on his good work and promises an additional floor for Homer’s house, while Scorpio’s henchmen surround the fallen Bont and shoot him.
It’s a funny sequence for the sheer absurdity of it, but within the context of The Simpsons universe, it’s a terrifying moment. If Bont was indeed this world’s equivalent of James Bond, then his capture and execution could play a role in Scorpio’s plans for world domination.
By the end of the episode, Homer is forced to quit his job at Globex to appease his family, and he speaks to Scorpio about it during a raid by the UN. The final moments even suggest that Scorpio is able to at least briefly take control of the East Coast of the United States, likely leading to numerous deaths over the course of his campaign of terror. Homer’s interference allowed the villain to win, and he was even rewarded for it with his own football franchise.
It’s also a nice reminder of just how dangerous James Bond’s missions really are. One unexpected wrinkle in them — such as a loyal member of the villain’s organization being quick on his feet — could be the difference between Bond saving the world and meeting an unremarkable death. It’s even been a recurring element in recent Bond films, with a slightly-off shot in Skyfall actually coming close to killing Bond in the film’s opening. It’s a thin line between success and failure for people like Bond and Bont, and even someone as nominally unremarkable as Homer could be the key to beating him.
It’s also not the only time Homer has doomed a super-spy. In a deleted scene from Season 5, Episode 10, “$pringfield (or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling),” Homer’s poor card dealing leads to the capture — and likely death — of someone directly identified as James Bond. The scene is cut from the episode, but it’s featured in Season 7, Episode 10, “The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular.” Bunt’s demise and the likely death of James Bond make Homer one of 007’s greatest adversaries across fiction.
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