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The Psycho Reference You Might Have Missed On The Simpsons

"The Simpsons" has never been afraid of playfully parodying cinema. Even from the show's first season, it's drawn parallels between its characters and what people have already seen on the big screen. For starters, in Season 1's "Bart the General," there are numerous scenes that draw from "Patton," including the infamous moment where Bart slaps one of his own for "being a disgrace." 

From there, the parodies have only grown larger, with the show mocking everything from "Citizen Kane" to "Parasite." Some of them are fairly obvious, such as the countless James Bond parodies found in Season 8's "You Only Move Twice," when Homer starts working for a James Bond-esque villain. Then there are the parodies that are a bit more obscure and make people wonder what precisely they're watching on first viewing. That appears the be the case with one such reference that spoofs one of the best horror-thrillers of all time — Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho."

Skinner's 'Mother' moment works even if you don't know the reference

The bit recently resurfaced after Redditor u/terr0rbee posted the clip on social media. It's a relatively straightforward spoof of "Psycho," as Principal Skinner has a meeting with Marge and Lisa, he begins to ponder his relationship with his own mother. He looks outside, and there's what looks like the house featured prominently in "Psycho." Skinner then starts talking to his "Mother" just like Norman Bates would, and one user comments why this moment is so effective for comedy: "When [I] saw this clip the first time [I] found it really funny but [I] was a kid , but when [I] was a young adult [I] saw Psycho for the first time, after [watching that], this scene is 1000000 times funnier."

This isn't the only time "Psycho" has been used for comedic fodder on "The Simpsons." Clearly, there are many Hitchcock enthusiasts on the writing staff, seeing how the movie's popped up time and time again, including in the episodes "Bart the Fink," "Black Widower," and "Marge in Chains." 

Who knew something so terrifying could inspire this many laughs?