Episode Fact File: Goo Goo Gai Pan

Another event based on an episode has been released by EA. On Sunday, March 13, 2005, Fox aired “Goo Goo Gai Pan”, the 12th episode of Season 16 and the 347th episode to date. This Episode Fact File will recap the episode with all the infos we’ve on this episode. Get the scoop right after the jump!

Goo Goo Gai Pan

Episode Description:

Selma has a severe hot flash while giving Mr. Burns his driving test. Dr. Hibbert explains (with help from a video starring Robert Wagner) that Selma is experiencing the onset of menopause. Selma, decides she wants a baby rather than grow old alone. Adoption is suggested, but the Springfield orphanage is empty. Lisa suggests adopting a baby girl from China. One problem: the Chinese government only allows married couples to adopt. No problem; Selma writes down a name for her husband – Homer’s – and “The Simpsons are going to China!” (with Marge acting as Bart and Lisa’s nanny) so Selma and Homer can pick up the baby together.

Episode Details: ‘Goo Goo Gai Pan’ is the 12th episode of Season 16 as well as the 347th episode of The Simpsons. The episode aired on FOX on March 13, 2005 and was written by Lawrence Talbot (pseudonym for Dana Gould) and was directed by Lance Kramer.

COUCH GAG!: The family comes into the darkened living room. The lights go up; the living room is set up with balloons and streamers and a group of recurring characters yell out “Surprise!”. Homer then has a heart attack and collapses.


Selma gives Mr. Burns his driving test to replace his old license, which expired in 1909. During the test, she experiences a hot flash and is later taken to the hospital. She learns that she is experiencing menopause (which is explained in a video with Robert Wagner). She is saddened that now she can’t have children. Lisa suggests that she adopt a child. However, after her first choice, one of Cletus‘ children, is taken back, Selma decides to adopt a child from China. Although her forms are in order, Selma learns that she has to be married to legally get a child. She puts down the second name she thinks of, after asking the agency if they knew who MacGyver was, and being told yes, she puts down Homer Simpson.

While on the plane to China, Selma informs Homer that he must pretend to be her husband. Shocked, he later decides to do it for Marge. When they arrive, Selma claims that Bart and Lisa are their own children and Marge is their nanny. The Chinese adoption agent, Madam Wu, tells them that they will get a baby in a few days. Reasoning that he has no chance of being outed, Homer claims he is an acrobat when asked and is later called to perform a stunt when the main performer in a show suffers a “bullet-related death” from questioning the Communist Party; Homer is told to perform to forestall a riot brought on by the audience’s realisation that the CCP is not infallible. Homer himself gets severely hurt performing and is treated in a hospital. There, Selma gets her daughter, whom she names Ling and who is fond of grabbing Homer‘s eyes. When everyone leaves, Homer and Marge snuggle and are caught by Wu, who takes back Selma‘s baby.

The Simpsons decide to bring back Ling. At the nursery, they dress and spray paint Homer as a golden Buddha statue. The Chinese guards bring him in, although Homer can hardly keep in the pain they are causing trying to move him by inserting a hook into his nostril. He is able to find Ling and get her out. In Tiananmen Square, they are confronted by Madam Wu in a tank and Selma is able to convince her that she should keep Ling, although she needs to sign a form just to talk to her, from bureaucrat to bureaucrat. Wu says that she herself had to be raised by her mother, as her father choked to death the day before the Heimlich maneuver was invented, explaining her leniency (though she does stop Homer from smuggling a panda cub in his luggage). The Simpsons, Selma, and Ling then depart China via junk.





  • The sack of 10,000 dollars must have been all one dollar bills, as there is no other way that it could have so many bills. Also, the ridiculously huge sack of money appears right next to Wu at first. However, it is gone the next time she is shown. But the way this was shown indicates that this was intentional.
  • Selma‘s signature is almost as bad as you’d imagine Homer‘s would be.
  • Although Selma wants to take care of a child in this episode, she had earlier decided not to bother with kids after trouble with Bart and Lisa in Selma’s Choice.
  • Robert Wagner is the second celebrity this season to host a Troy McClure-esque video. The first was Gary Busey in the previous episode.
  • Maggie Simpson inexplicably does not appear in this episode while the rest of the family is halfway around the world. However, it is possible that they left Grampa in charge of her while they’re gone, as he also does not appear in this episode either.
  • Dana Gould was in the middle of adopting a daughter from China when this episode was made. Fearing the episode’s content might have a negative effect on the process, Gould was credited as “Lawrence Talbot” (the name was taken from The Wolf Man).
  • This episode has been banned from China (much like “Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo” was banned in Japan and “Blame It on Lisa” was banned in Brazil) for the unflattering references to the country, including the scene of Homer saying that Mao Zedong was “like a little angel that killed 50 million people.”


  • When Selma says the car is too hot, Mr. Burns says it is actually cooler than Guy Lombardo, a famous Canadian band leader.
  • Mr. Burns says his car once outraced the Flying Finn, Paavo Nurmi, an athlete who won 9 Gold Medals at the 1920, 1924 and 1928 Summer Olympic Games. Both this and the afore mentioned references are among the many Burns age jokes that have been used throughout the series.
  • The dragons Homer imagines are white, gold, and red, but at the end the white one is green. That first dragon also resembles the one who appears in Spirited Away.
  • One of the monks pulls out Homer’s heart referencing Kano from the Mortal Kombat series.
  • The Simpsons watch a bad performance of Death of a Salesman with a dragon in the back that has ‘American dream’ written on it.


  • The title of this episode is a pun on moo goo gai pan, the name of a popular pseudo-Chinese American recipe, based on the Cantonese dish mah gu gai pin, which is composed of fresh button mushrooms and other vegetables with sliced chicken.
  • China (except for Hong Kong and Macao) uses the Simplified Chinese characters, but many signs in this episode are clearly using Traditional Chinese. However, there are still signs that use Traditional Chinese in China.
  • The correct spelling of the place would be “Tian An Men”, not “Tien An Men” (as this is the Wade system).
  • When Selma stands in front of the tank piloted by Wu, the shot is highly reminiscent of the famous image of the Unknown Rebel blocking the line of tanks during the Tiananmen Square protests.
  • While flying to China, the plane passes over a monument to “Warrior and spicy chicken pioneer” General Zuo Zongtang.
  • The original broadcast portrayed the body of Mao Zedong covered by the flag of the Communist Party of China with the hammer and sickle (as is the case in the actual mausoleum). However, in later broadcasts the flag was substituted for the Flag of the People’s Republic of China.
  • In the Chinese consulate there is a map behind the consulate official showing Taiwan as a separate country, extremely unlikely given the PRC’s position regarding Taiwan.
  • There is a plaque reading, “On this spot in 1989, nothing happened”, in Tiananmen Square, a reference to the Chinese Government’s denial of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. It is also a reference to the year The Simpsons first aired.
    • In addition to being a sardonic reference to the massacre, it is a parody of real signs. Available from catalogues, they are mock-historical plaques that say: “On this site in 1897, nothing happened.”
  • What’s written on the adoption paper is gibberish, not Chinese, though this may be a play on the fact that computers which do not have Chinese text support installed may transcribe gibberish and random symbols in its place (mojibake).
  • The Simpsons leave on a Junk from Hong Kong, as evident from the background.


  • The aircraft the Simpsons and Selma take to China is not capable of a China to America trip.
  • When Homer falls from the chairs he is falling face-down. When he lands on the chairs, he is on his back.


That is all from this two special Episode Fact Files, see you all next later for the next new episode! I would like to thank WikiSimpsons for the information for this post and Nathan for the base design of it.

WikiSimpsons: Season 16 Page, Goo Goo Gai Pan

Till next time, Happy Tapping everyone!

fox_broadcasting_companyThis pictures and videos are from the “Goo Goo Gai Pan” episode of FOX show The Simpsons. Their use is believed to qualify as fair use under United States copyright law.


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