I’ve done a number of posts over the past few week on the Conform-o-meter and how to maximize your conformity bonus. In the most recent post on the Obedience rating (which you can find here), I wrote about how the Stop Signs and the Hail Ants Signs that are unlocked at levels 22 and 23 respectively can help your Obedience rating. The Stop Sign is easy to understand, but a number of people have asked about what the Hail Ants Sign means and just why it helps Obedience. And like the answer to the “What is Whacking day?” question, the answer lies in one of the older episodes of the series.

The “Hail Ants” reference comes “Deep Space Homer”, which was episode 15 of season 5. As Wikipedia summarizes the episode here: “NASA is concerned by the decline in public interest in space exploration, and therefore decides to send an ordinary person into space. Homer is selected and chaos ensues when the navigation system on his space shuttle is destroyed.”

In the course of all that chaos, he breaks an experimental ant farm, letting the ants loose in the shuttle. As they fly close to the shuttle’s internal cameras, Kent Brockman, in a live news feed, mistakes them for giant alien ants arriving to conquer the Earth and surrenders himself to the new ant overlords. In doing so, he posts a “Hail Ants” sign on the studio wall behind him to show them that he’s on their side and will comply with all their orders, only tearing the sign down when he realizes his mistaken interpretation of events aboard the shuttle.

Brockman: One thing is for certain: there is no stopping them. The ants will soon be here. And I for one welcome our new insect overlords. Iā€™d like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.

So, that’s why a Hail Ants Sign promotes Obedience. And that’s another great reason to take a look at the older episodes.

Update: Here’s a clip from the ANIMATION on FOX YouTube channel talking about the episode: