14 Tales from the Public Domain

Homer is told that he has an overdue book from the library, which he checked out when Bart was a baby. He says that he had intended to read to Bart every day, but various things had gotten in his way. Before he returns it, he reads from the book, telling three stories.

In this story, Homer is Odysseus, and delivers the King of Troy (Ned Flanders) a Trojan horse. He and his crew, including Apu, Lenny, Moe, Professor Frink and Carl, kill all of Troy's citizens and win. However, he refuses to sacrifice a sheep, angering the gods, Zeus (Mayor Quimby), Dionysus (Barney), and Poseidon (Captain Horatio McCallister). Dionysus tries to destroy Odysseus with a lightning bolt, but misses and instead destroys the island of Atlantis. Poseidon literally blows Odysseus and his crew to the Sirens (Patty and Selma) and visit Circe (Lindsey Naegle), who turns his crew into pigs, whom Odysseus eats. Circe orders Odysseus to go through Hades, crossing the River Styx (which has the Styx song "Lady" playing during the crossing), in order to go home so he can see Penelope (Marge) and Telemachus (Bart). When he arrives back to Ithaca, he spears all of the suitors (Krusty the Klown, Kirk Van Houten, Groundskeeper Willie, Mr. Burns, and Sideshow Mel) trying to please Penelope. Penelope decides to take him back, though he leaves to go to Moe's (even though Moe is killed and eaten by Odysseus earlier in the episode).

Lisa is Joan of Arc, who leads the French against the English in the Hundred Years' War, which Homer implies was also called "Operation Speedy Resolution". Despite her family's concern, she joins the army, where she has new ideas about defeating the enemy. She meets the King of France (Milhouse). During a battle, the English capture Joan and put her on trial. She is accused of witchcraft, and sentenced to death. When Lisa claims that she was following God's will, Groundskeeper Willie reveals that he too was chosen by God, but to lead the English armies against the French. God's voice then excuses himself by revealing that the two were never supposed to meet.

The use of Groundskeeper Willie (Scottish character) and the flag of the English army (Union Flag of Great Britain) are obvious inaccuracies, as England and Scotland were separate states and many Scottish fought with France during the Hundred Years War.

As they read the end, Joan of Arc is being burnt at the stake, still waiting for God to save her (the real Joan had said several days earlier that her voices had spoken to her of martyrdom). Shocked, Lisa asks Homer if she was really burned to death. Marge then interrupts, claiming that Joan of Arc was rescued by Sir Lancelot, and they get married and live in a spaceship. She then rips out the last page and eats it, remarking that it is easier to chew than the video of Bambi.

Bart is Prince Hamlet in this Simpsons version of William Shakespeare's classic. His uncle Claudius (Moe) marries Gertrude (Marge) after killing King Hamlet (Homer) by way of poison. The King returns to his son as a ghost, telling him of the betrayal and requesting that his death be avenged. Prince Hamlet (Bart), with the help of a professional actor (Krusty), puts on a play to make Claudius reveal himself to be guilty; however, Hamlet's reaction leads everyone to believe that he is crazy, so Ophelia (Lisa) decides to "out-crazy" him by prancing around and singing a stupid song, eventually jumping out the window and into the moat where she drowns. Because Hamlet knows what he did, Claudius attempts to kill him. Hamlet, aiming to kill Claudius, accidentally kills Polonius (Chief Wiggum). His son, Laertes (Ralph Wiggum), proposes to duel Prince Hamlet for revenge. As his "practice stab," Laertes kills himself, and Hamlet proceeds to murder Claudius. Rosencarl and Guildenlenny (Carl and Lenny), meanwhile, have been covered in poison and kill each other with a high five. Hamlet walks away to celebrate, but he slips on some blood and dies. Seeing a big mess she does not want to clean up, Gertrude commits suicide by hitting herself in the head with a mace.

Bart thinks Hamlet was boring despite every character being murdered, but Homer tells him that the story led to the film Ghostbusters, and all the Simpsons dance to the theme.

Watch The Simpsons Season 13 episode 14 Tales from the Public Domain online for free