In the episode “Brother from the Same Planet,” Homer engages in a long, drawn-out fist fight with Bart’s Bigger Brother, Tom. It wasn’t until I bought the DVD set of season 4 in 2004 that I learned this was a direct reference to the 1952 John Ford film.
Showrunner Al Jean explains in the episode’s audio commentary:
“We were looking to rewrite the ending of the show, and [Sam Simon] suggested that we look at the movie ‘The Quiet Man,’ the John Wayne movie where he and Victor McLaglen have this huge fight that goes all the way across Ireland. And I remember we came in on a Saturday to watch that movie, or to watch at least the fight sequence, which goes on for a long time.
It’s a great fight. Just two huge guys pounding each other all the way across Ireland. And the people in the community really love the fight. John Wayne, at one point, is dragging his wife across town, and a woman comes up and goes, ‘Here’s a stick for you to beat the pretty lady with.’ It’s these attitudes you certainly couldn’t put in a movie now.”