An Unreasonably Thorough Analysis Of The Legal Career Of Lionel Hutz
Vote up the cases from ‘The Simpsons’ for which you'd hire Lionel Hutz as your attorney.
Springfield's best law-talkin' guy only graced our screens for seven seasons but provided the very best era of The Simpsons with some of its greatest moments. Played by Phil Hartman until his untimely passing in 1998, Hutz was usually shown to be wildly incompetent but actually won a fair number of cases, albeit fortuitously. This collection looks back at the less-than-distinguished legal career of Lionel Hutz AKA Miguel Sanchez AKA Dr. Nguyen Van Phuoc.
- Photo: Fox130 VOTES
The Frying Dutchman v. Homer Simpson
Episode: “New Kid on the Block” S4 E8
Homer sues an all-you-can-eat buffet after he's thrown out after eating all the shrimp and two plastic lobsters. Hutz is actually strangely competent here. He skillfully uses Marge's honesty to paint a damning picture of the restaurant and garner sympathy from the rotund jury. When Marge confesses they went fishing after trying to find another all-you-can-eat seafood buffet, Hutz asks the jury, “Do these sound like the actions of a man who had all he could eat?” It works.
On agreeing to take the case:
Hutz: Homer, I don't use the word “hero” very often. But you are the greatest hero in American history.
Out-of-court settlement in Homer's favor. [WIN]
- Photo: Fox217 VOTES
Kwik-E-Mart v. Marge Simpson
Episode: “Marge in Chains” S4 E21
An exhausted Marge accidentally carries a bottle of bourbon outside the Kwik-E-Mart without paying for it and is promptly arrested and tried for shoplifting. Lionel Hutz is hired to defend Marge, but given his track record of repeatedly running over Judge Synder's son, a successful outcome was always going to be a tall order.
Attempts to discredit Apu’s testimony go nowhere and things go from bad to worse when he gives his closing argument minus his pants. A last-ditch attempt to change the verdict via sleight of hand also falls flat.
Hutz: I move for a bad court thingy.
Judge: You mean a mistrial?
Hutz: Yeah, that's why you're the judge and I'm the law-talking guy.
After the foreman passes the verdict to the judge, Hutz performs a sleight of hand to swap it with his own:
Judge: This verdict is written on a cocktail napkin. And it still says “guilty.” And guilty is spelled wrong!
Marge is sentenced to 30 days in prison. [LOSS]
- Photo: Fox317 VOTES
Sideshow Bob v. The City Of Springfield
Episode: “Sideshow Bob Roberts” S6 E5
After Sideshow Bob wins an election for mayor of Springfield with a suspiciously hefty margin of victory, Bart and Lisa are tipped off that’s something’s amiss by Smithers. They discover that long-deceased residents of Springfield, along with their late cat Snowball I, voted for Bob. Hutz doesn't have much luck extracting a confession from Sideshow Bob, but Bart and Lisa manage to cajole him into admitting it all. In a rather unrealistic twist, a public figure actually faces consequences for criminal activity.
Hutz: Mr. Mayor, is it true you rigged the election?
Sideshow Bob: No, I did not.
Hutz: [pause] Kids, help.
Sideshow Bob: Because you need me Springfield. Your guilty conscience may force you to vote Democratic but deep down you secretly long for a cold-hearted Republican to lower taxes, brutalize criminals, and rule you like a king. That's why I did this: to protect you from yourselves.
Sideshow Bob is arrested immediately after his confession. [WIN]
- Photo: The Simpsons / Fox416 VOTES
C. Montgomery Burns v. Bart Simpson
Episode: “Bart Gets Hit By a Car” S2 E10
After Bart is hit by a car driven by Mr. Burns, Hutz literally chases after the ambulance to convince Homer to sue Mr. Burns for damages. With inventive testimony enhanced by the equally shady Dr. Nick Riveria, the Simpsons are well on their way to a hefty cash settlement until a combination of Homer’s greed and Marge’s honesty on the stand leaves them with nothing.
Blue-haired lawyer: Your honor my client has instructed me to remind the court how rich and important he is and he is not like other men.
Mr. Burns: I should be able to run over as many kids as I want!
When Marge is asked for her opinion on Dr. Nick in court:
Marge: I'm sorry but my mother always said if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
Homer to Hutz: Will that hold up in court?
Hutz: No, I've tried it before.
Settled out of court for $0. [LOSS]
- Photo: Fox521 VOTES
Krusty The Clown v. Bart Simpson
Episode: “'Round Springfield” S6 E22
Bart eats a piece of jagged metal in a bowl of Krusty-O's cereal and suffers severe stomach pain, which is ignored by Homer and Mrs. Krabappel (the school charter specifically states no teacher will be held accountable if Bart dies or if Milhouse is eaten by a snake). With Hutz as his attorney, he successfully sues Krusty for $100,000 but doesn't actually get very much of it.
At a press conference over Krusty's unsafe products:
Krusty: To prove that this metal O is harmless, I will personally eat one. [Takes a mouthful.] See? There's nothing… [Starts screaming and writhing.] Oh, boy! This thing is shredding my insides.
Mel: Er, Krusty, that wasn't the metal one. That was a regular Krusty-O.
Krusty: It's poison!
$100,000 settlement to the plaintiff (Hutz pockets all but $500) [WIN]
- Photo: Fox618 VOTES
Itchy & Scratchy Studios v. Chester Lampwick
Episode: “The Day the Violence Died” S7 E18
Bart helps the original creator of Itchy and Scratchy, a homeless man named Chester Lampwick, sue the studio for damages. Without compelling evidence, the case seems to be going nowhere until Bart has an idea. Hutz buys time by calling his witnesses again (including a cameo by writer John Schwarztwelder) so Bart can procure an autographed still that proves Chester is the original creator.
Judge: Mr. Hutz, we've been in here for four hours. Do you have any evidence at all?
Hutz: Well your honor, we've got plenty of hearsay and conjecture. Those are kinds of evidence.
$800 billion awarded to the plaintiff. [WIN]