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America's Favorite Non-prehistoric Cartoon Family - The Simpsons Thread

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Starting with me continuing me watching the entire series and talking about it.

Homer Alone

Looking after kids is tough. Duh. But knowing something via osmosis and observation is a bit different. Being a nanny to my niece and nephew, I'm surprised how many times as "the cool uncle" (aspirational, not fact) I've had to raise my voice. I've never been good at discipline as a teacher and its still not something I'm entirely comfortable with, not only because I don't like to be "mean" but also because I sometimes worry about when to get tough and when to ease off and finding just the right place to do it. Not even in the heat of the moment, but also in looking back and not being sure. So it can be stressful. They are great but they are hard to corral, even if my niece didn't have developmental issues that makes communication a bit harder. Then there's navigating responsibility with my sister and her partner about how to handle things properly (and sometimes getting contradictory approaches from them). So even though I love my work, I sometimes feel like I'm working for the weekend. So I can't imagine not having the sanctuary of home and being on 24 hours a day. I would like to be a parent some day but I just hope I have the proper mindset for it.

In this episode, Marge, during an extra stressful day, flips out on the Springfield Expressway, causing a huge traffic jam. Homer eventually talks her down and Marge is freed thanks to shady backroom dealings, but Marge realizes she needs a vacation from her family. The family agrees and Marge goes and has an amazing vacation away from it all with hula dancing and a king-sized bed she doesn't have to share and an ice cream sundae in a warm bath with a movie. The rest of the Simpsons don't have it so well. Bart and Lisa are sent to stay with their aunts and are disgusted at every turn by their gross foods and habits. Meanwhile, Homer looks after Maggie and even while half-assing it finds it exhausting, a situation made worse when Maggie, missing her mommy, runs away from home.

A lot of the Simpsons I've discussed so far are either relatively simple and almost Old Testament morality plays or, in more recent episodes to this point, raise questions it does not fully answers but still has a satisfying and funny arc for the characters. This one is neither, really, and is more about an experience. In a way, it makes it similar to "Homer Simpson Vs. The City of New York", which is a comedy about the two differing sides of the city. Here, ostensibly, the characters learn to appreciate Marge and what she does more but its less through a conventional plot with twists and turns but "a bunch of stuff that happens". And I think that's perfect: Marge is broken because of a bunch of stuff and a lack of empathy for what she is going through. But through Homer and Marge's situations, we capture the building feeling of stress as things keep snowballing and through the kids we re-experience that weird feeling of having to stay in an alien home where the rules and tone are different. Its drabber, there's daytime TV (the media equivalent of drab) and the food is inedible (I used to be a very picky eater as a child, so I can relate).

The first act of an increasingly messy juggling act for Marge is very relatable to me. I certainly have never had an outright flip out but I have snapped at my niece at times, which I feel bad about, and I've certainly felt on edge. I love that we get to spend some time with Marge's uber-relaxing vacation and nothing goes wrong. The scene where she sinks into the tub and emerges with her hair down is the exact kind of nirvanan bliss I wish I could achieve. Really enjoying a lack of productivity (not I'm under the delusion that "consuming media" counts as productive) and just melting away.

I also like how Homer is used in the episode. Slightly more than usual, he's selfish but not malicious, just oblivious to Marge's pain. Once he is made aware, he earnestly tells her he'd do anything to help her. But this reminds me of one of my favourite Paul F Tompkins quotes: "Its a wonderful sentiment. I'm sure you mean it when you say it." But its obvious Homer is going to forget the whole thing unless Marge does something, which she does. I also love Homer being aware of how annoying he can be ("Marge, can I have another sandwich? Marge, can I have another sandwich?"). Homer does want to make his wife happy but his obliviousness, laziness and happiness with the status quo makes him pretty ill-equipped to keep those kinds of promises.

Homer Alone is a great comedy of building tension in Homer's situation, despair in Bart and Lisa's and relaxation in Marge's and it comes together very well. Everything is silly and heightened but the feelings, particularly in the first act, are very relatable. And now, I'm off to enjoy my kid free weekend. So long, suckers!

Jokes I missed the first time:
So Homer says "Just promise you'll come back" and Marge says "I will" but I never notice that the camera lingers on her a little extra few seconds. Its not just the joke that Homer has just gone right to sleep, is it?

Other great bits:

"The finest R-rated movies Europe has to offer." *chef kiss* I love that. That's how a little kid thinks about saucy movies. Reminds me of looking for softcore movies on French TV (which was a thing. "Blu nuit" helped young, prudish Johnny through high school)

The "prank call" bit is fucking hilariously dark.

"I think I'll hit the hay"
"Its 12:30 in the afternoon"
"I'm aware of the time"

I love the lack of explanation of why Barney was sleeping on a conch shell except its for the visual gag. Why was it even there?

"Oh my God! I can't even put a bag over my head!"
"Yes you can."
There's something inherently funny to me about bald-faced contradiction of a statement. Its like anti-improv.

Other observations:

There are two instances of meta-references to Bart's catchphrases. Now, using them is starting to get more ironic (though "Aye carumba" will remain more utilitarian for now).

Arnie Pie is starting to get some play here. I love that his segment is called "Arnie in the Sky".

Marge, in the middle of a bath, says she'll be home in an hour. She took a train to get there. How short a distance is Ranch Relaxo?
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
It’s such a non joke that it doesn’t even enter your brain.

My own rewatch has gotten up to the end of season 10. And not only have they started to release a few episodes that have been a bit joke free, there’s also been a few episodes that history has been unkind towards.

The one where they go to Japan in particular has... issues.
 
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Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Yeah, I imagine that a lot of the "Simpsons Go To _____" are not going to look so hot, particularly in countries that are largely non-Caucasian.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Bart the Lover

Its been a while since I've been a teacher but as a caretaker for kids, this episode speaks to me. I've personally never been in a relationship thanks to a mix of shyness and non-adventurousness, only have a small handful of beloved friends and a lot of alone time. This was even more evident when I was teaching in China. Though I did end up making a friend outside of work, I spent a lot of time with myself (especially in Beijing, where I thought I would have more opportunity to meet other expats). Of course, part of this I like: after a workday, there's some virtue in not engaging. But I do feel lonely and sometimes I wish I had someone to spend my life with. I've had very little luck with online dating (partially my fault, as sometimes I'm slow to respond) and some people who have wanted to see more of me, while nice people, I just didn't click with in a way where I wanted to continue anything (and if I did, I was afraid I would be leading them on). So my heart goes out to Edna in this episode, one of the Simpsons strongest characters and despite her often cynical attitude towards her work, the second best teacher (after Mr. Bergstrom of course).

In this episode, Bart accidentally upsets Mrs. Krabappel, already on edge with the school's new yo-yo obsession, when he breaks the class fish tank with the aforementioned toy (RIP Stinky and Wrinkles). Bart is given a month's detention to act as class maintenance man. He soon discovers that Edna has put an ad in the personals of a magazine and decides to prank her as revenge. The game: make her fall in love with him as a character and then dump her butt. He pulls the prank off perfectly... too perfectly. Edna falls completely in love with a fabrication designed to appeal to her and when Bart springs his trap, he is aghast at how much he hurt her and wishes to make it right without her finding out the truth.

This episode does a great job fleshing out Edna as a character. A lot of the earlier episodes this season have... I won't go far as to saying that they are slut shaming her BUT the joke does seem to be this school marm is surprisingly sexually aggressive. I don't think its quite treated as a bad thing except the time she continued to hit on Homer after he mentioned he was married but I feel that's sort of where the joke begins and ends. Here I think because we spend time with her, we see that outside of the classroom she is a sexually outgoing person but also a very vulnerable one emotionally, which is why when Bart finally sees that in her, it really does hurt him to see how he hurt her.

I have been kicking this idea around for a while but there hasn't been an episode that allowed me to properly address it but Bart actually reminds me a lot of one of my other favourite TV characters in recent years: Jimmy McGill, AKA Saul Goodman before Saul Goodman. In Better Call Saul, Jimmy is still a conman but he's a much more complicated one morally. He has a cycle which shows both his good and bad qualities: 1) he has something he wants to accomplish, 2) to do it he needs to put into play his skills for wit and deceit (often the 1 is really just an excuse to do 2), 3) he puts in a lot of effort and ingenuity into pulling off his plan, 4) he gets the desired results 5) there is an unexpected victim of his games 6) he tries to undo the damage, often with another ruse. They are both characters who love mischief, are good at it and despite people's expectations, put in a surprising amount of effort. But they are both characters who are morally flexible but at the same time still moral. They don't have a "code", but they can see right and wrong, though sometimes they have the tragic flaw of seeing it in the real world. Bart loves to be bad, he's good at being bad but he's also good, in many ways. This episode is a great example of that: when the thrill of revenge goes away, he wants to make something right, even if he has a hard time admitting wrong ("I can't help but feel partially responsible").

Another growing trend in the series is the family working as a unit. There was a sense of familial togetherness in the "out to dinner" scene in Lisa the Greek and here the episode climaxes with the family working together in a scene so sweet (and funny, as the family brainstorms ridiculous reasons "Woodrow" can't see Edna anymore) that they felt they had to put a little elbow in it with the Simpsons looking at each other lovingly and then even the cat and dog licking each other's fur. And it leads to a sweet ending for Edna. Yes, she's still alone, but she feels like she has been loved and can be loved and that means a lot by the episode's end. In the end, Bart's cruel prank ends up turning into something that helps someone through a hard time.

Edna remains an often cynical character on the show, both in her outlook and her attitude towards the kids and teaching. In this episode, she grades all the remaining tests "B" when its time for "happy hour in the teachers lounge". I can tell you as a teacher in Korea, this feels less like a joke than a fact of life. No, there was no happy hour, but it wasn't uncommon for the teachers to use the school nurses office to nurse their hangovers, or so I was told. But Edna is also a surprisingly moral and hardworking person. In the strike episode, her strike isn't just about teacher pay (I don't even remember if that comes up), its about the shabby working conditions and the fact that it effects the teacher's ability to educate. There's an episode in one of the later seasons where she spends an entire afternoon tutoring Bart to the point where even he is inspired by her. She's a strong character and has a lot of great episodes. In the Simpsons, REAL teacher apathy is in the form of Mrs. Hoover, a teacher who seems genuinely checked out and does the bare minimum she can get away with. Like, Lisa would be THRILLED to get a Mrs. Krabappel: she's shown favoritism (a flaw, I admit, but its hard not to praise an enthusiastic student) with apple polishing Martin Prince and her punishments are relatively fair compared to Mrs. Hoover. Like, there would still be tension there as Lisa can be disruptive in her own way and there's still a personality differences that could set them against each other, but she would probably be more nurturing of Lisa's gifts than someone who seems to give only the fucks that allow her to keep her job. It so sad the character is gone but I think that retiring her makes the most sense. It made sense for Phil Hartman's characters to go away since they are so tied to his comedic tone but Mrs. Krabappel seems so tied to Marcia Wallace's humanity, the way Julie Kavner is tied to Marge's.

Jokes I forgot about:

Homer trying to remember people who became famous for yoyomanship and coming up empty. The list includes Donald Trump, Arnold Palmer and Bill Cosby, so basically two monsters and the greatest summertime beverage did not make their names with yo yos.

The conversation between Flanders and Lovejoy. I feel like it must have been cut short for syndication but I forgot about Lovejoy suggesting whoever taught Todd to swear to be directed "to the bible". "What part of the bible?" "Uh, page 900."

Not a joke but Edna's personal ad suggests ages "18-60". There is something so sad about that. I'm not trying to be ageist but I feel like her going for someone in her late teens or early 20s is kind of sad. In the words of Edna in a future (literally) episode "We can both do better."

Other great bits:


I'm curious who wrote that World Without Zinc bit. I can see several writers but the failed suicide attempt feels like it might have been Conan O'Brien.

The Twirl King Champions being shoved into the back of a van with boxes of yo-yos weirdly also brings some flashbacks to the field of education, as I've also had to help several of the educational companies overseas with promotional stuff. Just replace yo yos with pamphlets and its the same experience.



"Fiddle-dee-dee, that will require a tetnus shot."

"If you look inside the doghouse, there's a little surprise."
"Oh. Maggie. Cute."
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
I wished I lived in a world without zinc.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Ah, so it's like Krudler. The joke is that the intended joke completely misfires.
I would say that the characters within the joke completely missed the obvious wordplay-based title despite coming so very close.

“That’s the Old Sparkle” is a punchline that raises so many questions

One is that she looks like the Old Sparkle has a very sixties haircut so.... how long was her tenure as Sparkle.

I wished I lived in a world without zinc.
But how would you protect your nose from the sun's harmful rays (for the purpose of this response, imagine this conversation is taking place in 1990).
 

Tegan

dirtbag lesbian
(She/Her)
I would say that the characters within the joke completely missed the obvious wordplay-based title despite coming so very close.
The joke behind Krudler was that a horse named after Midler and Krusty should have been named "Misty", a gag that I am only just realizing right now.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Funny, because I read that and was like "wait, the horse should have been Musty? That's a weird horse name." Though it is accurate to horse smells.
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
And the Japan episode was followed up immediately by the Mel Gibson episode. The early 2000s was... just a hell of a time for the show.

on the plus side, the episode was full of jokes (good ones, even!), and Homer winds up making the very picture of an Octo-Good movie by the end, but it’s all about aggrandizing a misogynistic anti-Semite so... not... the best choice of guest star.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Homer at the Bat

Another sports episode? Usually I try to fit something about how I relate to the messages and themes of the episode at the top but its not just that I have no particular feelings about baseball outside of some great manga and anime (LICENCE TOUCH, DAMMIT!). But I can talk about guest stars in context of this show. Early on, they were of the relatively humble variety. Albert Brooks is a comedy legend but he's not a household name, despite writing, directing and starring in some of the most acclaimed comedies of the 80s. In season two, after phony Bartmania had bitten the dust, some REAL guest stars started popping in. Danny DeVito, now a film star after spending the previous decade as a TV fixture. Dustin Hoffman and Michael Jackson, also appeared, though the ghettoization of cartoons at that point must have been weirdly entrenched as neither's actual name appear. One of the Beatles, appeared. Yes, it was Ringo Starr, the one that's easiest to get, but still, that's an amazing get for any TV show. But by this time, the Simpsons is a big deal beyond any fad and big names are as honored to guest as the show is honored to have them, if not more so. With guest stars becoming an actual fixture to the show with many playing themselves, how will it settle in to the show's new tone? Other contemporary sitcoms at the time often had some cringe-inducing stuff and even a good show might trip up in trying to shoe in a celebrity. In the Simpsons, the jokes generally felt more like a roast seasoned with irony, as I am given to understand this one is.

In this episode, Homer joins the plant softball team. Homer becomes that star player with some powerful homers (we will NOT discuss this pun) which he attributes to a homemade bat. But when Mr. Burns makes a bet with another plant owner for a million dollars, he calls in a team of ringers: 9 all-star major leaguers. Homer is soon shut out of the big game.

That's a slim description and that's because very little in terms of REAL plot happens in this episode. There's not a lot going on in themes, either. No morals or big questions about life. I certainly won't say there isn't a message but I really don't know what it is. This is one of the few episodes that truly is a bunch of jokes. Even some of the non-canonical meta episodes are about something. Behind The Laughter is a parody episode but in being that it repeats the themes of the show it is parodying and showing the effect of celebrity.

This is NOT a complaint. Especially with an episode this funny. Swartzwelder has written a lot of great episodes but this one feels free from a character arc (I guess it's "Homer doesn't get to play, then he does") and is really a series of skits mocking the players who appear in the episode. I feel certain elements of the bit are written with the assumption that you might know the players personalities (as I'm given to understand, some of the "nice" characters in the episode where known to be real jerks and their portrayals were intended as humourous counterpoints). but even without that, its pretty accessible on the surface level.

But more than previous episodes, it feels like the show is feeling free to become less grounded. This is common the longer comedy shows go on; is there a comedy that becomes MORE grounded as the seasons role by? Bojack Horseman on an emotional level but not so much on a "what can happen" level. But now they are giving Ken Griffey Jr. gigantism and one guy is up and thrown into another dimension. Wild stuff can happen, though I feel the rule is "the REALLY weird stuff like magic or sci-fi can happen as long as their no direct impact on the plot.

The players aren't exactly actors but they are competent enough for what they are asked to do, particularly in a comedy context. I will say Daryl Strawberry does great work as a sycophant to Burns and gets some good lines ("Are you better than me?" "I've never met you, but yes.") The writers must have had a blast coming up with reasons for players to be waylayed and some of them are hilariously dark, including radiation poisoning and false imprisonment. I love that while other shows are doing some ego stroking for their guest stars, the Simpsons is giving them some terrible and/or humiliating fates.

I wouldn't put this episode among the best of the season but it is a funny episode that takes out the characters and instead of exploring them, is just having fun playing with them. I don't give a crap if Homer gets a win in the end of this one, there's no real investment in the stakes for me. There's just the enjoyment of some brilliant comedy by some of the sharpest TV writers of the era.

Jokes I missed as a kid:

I feel like I got more baseball ones this time. Like the "Talkin' Softball" is a parody of an actual song I've never hear.

Great bits:
This is a pretty quotable one. One of the most quoted by JBear is "Lord Palmerstone!" I love that this is the argument the two men are so passionate about.

The "110% hypnosis" gag.

Lenny imagining Homer mowing down the competition with a ray gun.

Marge calling any baseball game would make the sport much more appealing me.

“Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness made us smile”

"Can't... lift... arm... or... speak... at... normal... rate...."
 
One of my favorite jokes in the series that goes over the a lot of people's heads is from the episode where they go to Japan.

"Come on Homer, Japan will be fun! You liked Rashomon!"
"That's not how I remember it."
 

Red Silvers

Pokemon Red w/ 1 Nidoran
Homer at the Bat will always be a little special because it aired during the brief point in time that I actually collected baseball cards. I didn't ever watch the actual sport, but I knew all the guests from their cards.
 

Tegan

dirtbag lesbian
(She/Her)
Daryl Strawberry being an asshole suck-up with a single moment of vulnerability when the kids heckle him make him one of my favourite guest stars. "No hustle either, Skip" is such a perfect line.
 

MetManMas

DNM-123
(He, him)
I've mentioned it before, but a docufiction was made for the 25th anniversary of Homer at the Bat and its induction into the baseball hall of fame. It's not perfect (at least one line from one (non-baseball) guest made me really angry), but they managed to get most of the baseball players* back for commentary and it's fun to hear them talk about their roles in the episode like something that actually happened to them.

* Sadly the one holdout was Daryl Strawberry.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Separate Vocations

I had big plans when I was a kid. Something creative, like a video game maker or a comics writer. Turns out you actually have to work at it and take initiative. Don't get me wrong, I value the stuff I learned in University about literature and writing but I guess as a kid I was under the misapprehension that I'd figure it all out in the class room instead of augmenting it with the actual hard work of doing the writing on my own time and finding my own way. I was a bit privileged and used to hand holding in my life, so I've never been that good at feeling comfortable finding my own way. But I guess I just assumed having ideas was enough and never developed the actual writing skills that takes working on every day on top of the work you might already be doing. I was really more passionate about the idea than the job. But I definitely had people who supported me and I did find a calling I was happy with as an ESL teacher. It didn't pay a lot but I developed my own set of skills and was thrilled to see people growing with my help. Still, I can't help feeling sometimes if past me could see me now, he might be disappointed that he didn't get to see his dreams come true and he was too blame.

In this episode, the kids of Springfield take the Career Aptitude Normalizing Test (or C.A.N.T.) and discover their futures; Lisa is expected to be a homemaker and Bart a police officer. Lisa is upset and it gets worse when a musician tells her she has a physical quality that won't let her live out her dream as a jazz musician. Meanwhile, after a ride-along with the cops that gets exciting, Bart relishes the idea of becoming a cop and soon becomes Springfield Elementary's top hall monitor. Meanwhile, disillusioned with her lack of future, Lisa becomes a rebel and is getting bad grades and a worse attitude. When she steals the teacher's editions from the teachers, the school is thrown into chaos and only Bart and Principal Skinner can save the day.

The series is really starting to marry its new more absurdist tone with the more emotional tone of the second season. Most of the episode is silly but Lisa's side contains a lot of genuine pain for the character. Bart's is just silly up until the two plots of the episode finally collide and Bart makes a very sweet sacrifice for his little sister. Early on, Marge is both trying to convince Lisa that there's nothing wrong with being a homemaker and that she can do anything she wants to do. She's right but Lisa doesn't want to be a homemaker and Marge's good ideas and support are marred by unfortunate news and some convoluted messaging about women astronauts (which is very funny). What Marge is saying seems like platitudes and while they aren't wrong, they bounce off the despondent Lisa.

It's Bart's actions that really get through to Lisa; he sacrifices a pretty cushy gig where he has power, respect and authority because he refuses to let his little sister through away her future. Its a truly touching moment and it works. Usually I feel like there would be a seed placed in the plot in regards to the Bart and Lisa's relationship but the show doesn't feel the need to do that. They don't even talk to each other for most of the episode, even when they are in the same room. Still, the ending really sells Bart's love and faith in his sister's ability to get by any limitations placed on her by others while being sweet, concise and funny.

Bart's story is far less sentimental and feels like the writers were having a ball with cop and detective show cliches. But I still think there's a lot going on here. Bart as a cop isn't a good guy, he's an antihero. He's the cop who doesn't play by the rules but beyond that, he's not looking for justice, he just enjoys the thrill of it. I've been rewatching the early seasons of Brooklyn Nine-Nine recently and while I still like it, there are moments that make me cringe. Cop-based entertainment has been hit pretty hard in the wake of clear deep-seated systemic problems that make having police protagonists in an ongoing series a little questionable (something apparently that has been taken very seriously by the cast and crew of B99). But when I think of the Simpsons episodes about the police, the main ones that spring to mind are weirdly perfect, because Springfield cops are pretty much bastards. Heck, in some of their earlier appearances, Eddie and Lou come across as more sinister figures, even more than Chief Wiggum. But even when those characters are softened to be lovably dopey, we see some bad signs about the state of corruption within the Springfield police. They seem to love the perks of the job and throwing their weight around but are far less interested in actual crime stopping. And when they do in this ep, its wildly irresponsible. As a hall monitor, Bart proves himself to be tough, resourceful and clever, but its all a fun game rather than something to believe in.

Its also interesting that its an episode where the kids switch roles but they both do it in their own way. Bart is in good with Skinner but less by being a good student (though he grades do go up a bit) and more by using the kind of energy he puts forth into pranks into a new activity, which can net him fake butts, crossbows and issues of Mad, Cracked and the occasional issue of Crazy (there's a deep cut Marvel book). Meanwhile, Lisa's rebellion is a lot more acid-tipped than the irreverent Bart. Bart loves chaos but Lisa is just pissed at order. Both are willing to make the faculty look bad but Lisa specifically wants Skinner's feelings to be hurt when she tells the "bad girls" (who I wish would have returned in some fashion) how to really get to him. That said, I absolutely don't by it when Bart says stealing the teachers books would be a step too far for him. Like, I definitely feel like Bart has lines he won't cross, but this isn't one of them.

Separate Vocations has a lot going on but it would be easy to not pay attention to it... because its just a blast from beginning to end. There's the cynical and downright dystopian first act of kids being assigned their futures that's just hilarious and also sets up in a line Lisa's meritless faith in school ("School is never a waste of time." "Since we have 15 minutes until recess, please put down your papers and stare at the front of the room"), followed by Bart's rollicking ride along that culminates in a cop show parody including a Quinn Martin-style act break. It only gets more delightful as Bart and Skinner's crime fighting team gets more ridiculous to the point where we have the Batman scene transition followed by "Axel F" being used in a locker checking scene. Its episodes like this that show mastery over the satirical, the absurdist and the emotional elements. I felt like this show was so effective to me because is utilized a number of different comedy styles and introduced me to things like anti-comedy. I haven't watched this one in years and I've always remembered it fondly, but watching it again I'm impressed at the number of ways this is a strong episode.

Jokes I missed before:

I'm used to the Sleep Eazy Motel being the go-to Sleazy Motel on the show so I was surprised Quimby was in the "Who's to Know Hotel". Its not a particularly strong "wacky name" but... I didn't notice it before.

Other Great Bits:

The resolution to Bart's first act cliffhanger is pure Simpsons: the alley was just designed to be narrower for no reason.

"Damn boxes" is among one of my most used Simpsonisms.

This also has the first time we see Bart have a fantasy sequence where he has some sort of bleak future and decides its cool. This time, he's a drifter whose been kicked out of town by the sheriff.

"We are in pursuit of a speeding individual, driving a red *squints*... car"

Julie Kavner plays all the characters in Marge's flashback and kills it, particularly in Marge's cloudy message to Lisa.

Steve Allen, playing himself, is also killing it as a super casual voice of Bart Simpson accusing someone of murder.

"Did I ever tell you kids about the 60s?" I had this teacher in High School. He was awesome.

"They'll be no more mockery of your name Mr. Glasscock." Between this and Bart the Lover, the Simpsons writers are finding ways to get "cock" in the show wherever it can.
 
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