The Simpsons — 3 Kids & No Money

Homer laments of his problem of having no money and three children, but would instead prefer no kids and “3 money.” Kids, thankfully, cannot be used as money, but do represent a tradeoff in that parents could spend their money on other items instead.

Thanks to Nick Covington for the clip!

The Simpsons — Sirloin-A-Lot Challenge

This clips includes a few different economics concepts rolled in to one. The overarching theme is that of consumer choice where Homer appears to experience diminishing returns while trying to eat a 16 pound steak. He’s competing against a previous eating contest winner, who dies at the end from eating too much steak.

In the middle of the clip, Marge asks Dr. Hibbert if that much steak is healthy and Dr. Hibbert exhibits a bit of the principle-agent problem where his interests now align with eating competitions because he owns a portion of the restaurant. The good doctor tells her not to worry because they have a new heimlich machine, which decreases their need to focus on choking hazards.

The Simpsons — Valentine’s Day

Homer forgets its Valentine’s Day so he has to rush off to the Kwik-E-Mart to pick up a last minute gift. Seeing that Home is desperate, Apu takes the chance to raise the price on a box of chocolates to $100. Despite Homer’s annoyance, he pays the higher price because he knows he’ll be in trouble if he comes back empty handed. After threatening never to shop their again, Apu offers him a discount on other products to keep him from shopping next door.

The Simpsons — Bank Run

 

 

Bart must have recently seen It’s a Wonderful Life because he incites a bank run reminiscent of the old classic. The banker tries to explain that the bank doesn’t actually hold everyone’s money, but its instead loaned out to the town. You can see the original clip here on Econ Media Library as well!

The Simpsons — Prohibition

Springfield residents are clamoring to re-enact prohibition in town, but the City Council feels like the positive externalities outweigh the costs associated with alcohol. The County Clerk finds an old law for Springfield ordinance that actually outlaws alcohol. The new Duff Zero (alcohol-free beer) isn’t as popular as the original and the Duff factory has to shut down.

The Simpsons — No Diminishment for Homer

Homer and Marge head to the Frying Dutchman for the all-you-can-eat buffet. Heading late into the night, Homer doesn’t seem to be experiencing any diminishing returns even after eating all of the shrimp and two plastic lobsters. Even though he isn’t experiencing diminishing returns, Homer appears to be optimizing his utility since the marginal cost of each plate (and each plastic lobster) is $0.

The Simpsons — Pay What You Want

Homer and Lisa go to the Springfield Museum, but Homer isn’t sure he understands the entrance policy. He checks with the attendant, but doesn’t know why anyone would want to pay the suggested donation when they could go in without paying anything.

Vox — Homer Simpson: An Economic Analysis

Homer has had about 100 jobs during his many years on television and Vox writers have analyzed his work life. If you plan on using a lot of Simpsons clips throughout your course, they may be a good introduction for students unfamiliar with the show.

The Simpsons — Blinky the Fish

Bart and Lisa are fishing when Bart pulls out a fish with three eyes. The end of the clip reveals they are fishing from a stream close to the town’s Nuclear Power Plant.┬áThis clip displays the concept of negative externalities, as the three-eyed fish was implied to be a product of runoff from the nuclear power plant.

Thanks for the clip and summary Peter Selinsky.

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