In “Steal This Episode,” Homer satiates his jealousy of not yet having seen the latest Radioactive Man Re-Rises by illegally downloading it. That transgression kicks off a serial tirade of piracy until Marge sends a confessional letter to Hollywood (including a check), spurring Homer’s arrest by the FBI (who shut down one of his backyard screenings), followed by escape and immunity offering by the Swedish embassy.
It was unadulterated cultural commentary on piracy, mainlined through Homer’s naïve one-liners (“Illegally download it? Is that legal?”). The most-watched Simpsons episode in three years, it set Reddit ablaze with several threads and hundreds of comments and was praised by critics, who called it a return to form for the show. Shortly after the Google Glass incident, the episode’s prescience was proved yet again in ironic fashion: Fox ordered a man to pay $10.5 million in damages for hosting links to watch The Simpsons.