|"Stop! Or My Dog Will Shoot"|
|The Simpsons episode|
The episode's promotional image, featuring Rudy Giuliani.
|Episode no.||Season 18|
|Directed by||Matthew Faughnan|
|Written by||John Frink|
|Original air date||May 13, 2007|
|Chalkboard gag||"Pearls are not oyster barf".|
|Couch gag||The family sits down in the couch. Then, another Simpson family sits down on them. Then another one, and so on.|
"Stop! Or My Dog Will Shoot" is the twentieth episode of The Simpsons' eighteenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 13, 2007. When Santa's Little Helper rescues a lost Homer, he becomes a local hero and the Simpsons decide to enroll him in Police Dog Academy, where he is teamed with Lou and they become a crime-busting duo. Bart's excitement quickly vanishes after an incident with a jaded Santa's Little Helper, so to appease Bart's depression after the loss of his dog, Marge agrees to buy him a huge pet snake, which causes a life-threatening situation at Bart and Lisa's school. It was written by John Frink and directed by Matthew Faughnan. Friend of the show Stephen Hawking makes his third guest appearance on the show as himself, while Maurice LaMarche does the voice of the Horn Stuffer. Rudy Giuliani makes a guest voice appearance as himself, although not in the original airing. The fan-favorite song "Freak On a Leash" by metal band, Korn, is featured when Santa's Little Helper is trying to find Homer in a corn-stalk maze. The episode was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award.
Homer, excited about going to Oktoberfest, is disappointed when he discovers that Marge has tricked him and the kids into going to a Harvest Festival which allows no alcohol. While attempting to leave, Homer accidentally leads the family into a cornfield maze. Lisa crafts an escape plan with Tremaux's algorithm, a real life maze-solving method, but Homer is left behind.
Santa's Little Helper is called upon by Bart to find Homer. The dog manages to sniff out Homer and drag him out of the maze. Santa's Little Helper becomes a hero and the Simpsons, persuaded by Chief Wiggum, enroll him in the Springfield Animal Police Academy, where he is teamed with Lou, managing to help fight crime in Springfield.
Santa's Little Helper catches Snake Jailbird who is taken to court, but freed on a technicality. This makes Santa's Little Helper jaded, and when he returns home, he bites Bart on the leg out of frustration. Considering the fact that the pressure from the fight against crime is what led to the dog's actions on Bart, the Simpsons send the dog away to live with Lou. As a replacement, Marge buys Bart an African rock python, which he names Strangles. Bart takes Strangles to show and tell at school, where Strangles escapes into a school lab and unintentionally knocks over beakers of ethanol and nitric acid, mixing both substances and creating a toxic cloud.
Bart, being the only person still stranded in school trying to find Strangles, collapses from the smoke, (remarking "It smells like some chemicals cut one"). Both Santa's Little Helper and Strangles arrive to save Bart, who chooses his faithful dog to save him. Santa's Little Helper goes back to living with the Simpsons. Groundskeeper Willie adopts Strangles, and places him in the fire hose coil.
Rudy Giuliani was originally announced in the official press release as appearing in this episode. As a result, several images of him recording his part as well as a promotional image of him in Simpsonized form, were released. However, his appearance was not included in the final version of the episode. According to executive producer James L. Brooks in an interview with Charlie Rose, the show was not allowed to use Giuliani's appearance because he had become a presidential candidate.
However, Giuliani's appearance is present in the syndicated version of the episode where he gives the commencement address at the police animal academy graduation ceremony. His speech to the trained animals includes a large amount of condescending "animal talk" such as talking about their fluffy tails and stomachs. He also said they should get a treat, prompting Homer to wish someone had said that on his graduation day.
Robert Canning of IGN describes the episode as "average", and was only a buildup to next week's 400th episode. He does, however, say the episode had bright bits, including Stephen Hawking's appearance.
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