History Recap / TheSimpsonsS3E16BartTheLover

8th Mar '17 8:37:31 AM Briguy52748
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* DisproportionateRetribution: Bart, rather than take responsibility for damaging school property and accept Mrs. Krabappel's punishment (which wasn't that severe), plays a cruel prank (creating a fictional love interest and writing fake love letters to her).

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* DisproportionateRetribution: Bart, rather than take responsibility for damaging school property and accept Mrs. Krabappel's punishment (which wasn't that severe), plays a cruel prank (creating a fictional love interest and writing fake love letters to her). That said, one could argue that Mrs. Krabappel's punishment was straddling the lines of this, although most likely the severe punishment she levies (a month's worth of detention) was out of exasperation from her being fed up with Bart's increasing misbehavior; [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS4E6ItchyAndScratchyTheMovie after all, this is a guy who did things such as smuggle a knife into school, synthesize laxatives into carrots and stuff a lighted firecracker down a classmate's pants]].
6th Mar '17 9:27:31 AM Briguy52748
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After Mrs. Krabappel punishes Bart for breaking the class aquarium, Bart finds a personal ad and writes to his teacher under the guise of Woodrow, an imaginary lover that's everything Krabappel wants in a man. Meanwhile, Homer curbs his swearing after Flanders confronts him about his son, Todd, picking up Homer's profanity while building a dog house for Santa's Little Helper.

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Once in awhile, there will be the occasional sitcom episode where the moral seems to be that it is OK to bluff your way out of having to accept severe consequences after doing something incredibly wrong, stupid, illegal, immature, etc. This was actually lampooned once on another sitcom, ''[[Series/TheHoganFamily Valerie]]'', where one of the main character's sons realizes there indeed can be hell to pay for doing something wrong. [[note]](In that episode, Valerie's 12-year-old son, Willie, takes his father's car without permission for a joy ride, causes a hit-and-run accident and lies to cover it up by allowing his older brother to take the blame. After an ImagineSpot where he virtually gets away with his shenanigans, he confesses and is severely punished.)[[/note]]

Some might view '''''Bart the Lover''''' as one of those episodes with a head-scratching moral: Bluff your way out and things will be OK.

And it all starts with a yo-yo. There had been a school assembly where a traveling troupe of yo-yo performance artists dazzle and wow the student body of Springfield Elementary School, and Bart is caught up in the craze. During a class break, Bart -- having perhaps been told already, along with his classmates, that the yo-yo is an after school toy, not to be played with in the classroom -- is showing off and being a general nuisance, and when demonstrating one of his tricks, he swings it too wide, and the plastic disk crashes into an aquarium.
Mrs. Krabappel punishes is justifiably upset and, after confiscating his yo-yo, gives Bart for breaking the one month of detention.

Bart believes he is being unfairly punished and does not consider his antics to be that big of a deal, but there is no negotiating his way out of this punishment. After school, he sees that Mrs. Krabappel is sad ... not because she has to put up with Bart, but because she is lonely. Then, one afternoon, still refusing to reflect on his misbehavior in
class aquarium, Bart finds and resolving to change his behavior, and still determined to one-up his teacher and show her that what he did wasn't that big of a deal -- remember, in most of the real world, he'd also be made to pay restitution -- he goes snooping through her desk to get the yo-yo back. It is there he discovers a personal ad, written by Mrs. Krabappel and ending "Object: SAVE ME."

And this ferments a dastardly idea in Bart's mind: Why not get some revenge on a teacher that you think unfairly punished you by answering her
personal ad by mail? Great idea! So he creates this new adult male alter ego named Woodrow (after President Wilson). Mrs. Krabappel, unaware that Bart had sent the letter, is overjoyed that someone had taken the time to respond and writes sends a suggestive photograph. And thus, a series of response letters are exchanged, with Woodrow eventually revealing himself to be exactly what Mrs. Krabappel dreams of in a man, and eventually Bart -- upon learning his teacher under wants a photograph of "Woodrow" -- sends her a photograph of NHL hockey legend Gordie Howe. Eventually, he asks to meet her in person at the guise Gilded Truffle, a five-star restaurant in Springfield.

Bart, one night having gotten out
of Woodrow, an imaginary lover that's everything the house and going to the movie theater, sees Mrs. Krabappel waiting for Woodrow at the restaurant and cackles evily, without soul or conscience. Of course, "Woodrow" never shows, and when Bart walks past the restaurant, it is almost closing time and Mrs. Krabappel is still at the table, on the verge of tears. Bart finally realizes that what he did was very wrong and feels guilty. Bart eventually confesses to his parents what he did. Homer (surprisingly) is very angry and wants in a man. Meanwhile, to make Bart confess to Mrs. Krabappel and the administrative team, but here is where things go very much south.

While surely not happy, Marge tells
Homer curbs his swearing that Bart can't confess because the truth would humiliate Mrs. Krabappel. (Ya think?) Lisa suggests having "Woodrow" write a letter to tell her goodbye without hurting her feelings, and after Flanders confronts several attempts they produce a romantically diplomatic letter where Woodrow says he must go, but will always remember her. Amazingly, Mrs. Krabappel's letter is a success, and while she is disappointed that "Woodrow" is gone, but still has her spirits lifted and hopeful that one day she will find the love and happiness that she is craving. She even suggests to Bart that they spend his last day of detention outside and he agrees to that.

And so, Bart gets away with something that, in the real world, would have his teacher not only humiliated, crushed and very angry, it would have gotten
him (most likely) permanently expelled, sent to a psychotherapist for counseling and -- if they're lucky -- made to enroll in an alternative school for behavior-problem children. The real Aesop would have, in the real world, been, "Take your lumps like a man in the first place when you break school rules, and if you play a prank like this, you will suffer incredibly severe consequences."

The subplot is a SwearJar-based story
about his son, Todd, picking up Homer's profanity while building habit of swearing every time things don't go his way, annoy him, etc. This happens most prominently as he is (ahem) attempting to build a dog house doghouse for Santa's Little Helper.Helper. Todd is playing outside, overhears Homer swearing, and picks up the habit. When he says "Hell no!" and "I don't want any damn vegetables!" to his parents, Ned punishes him swiftly and surely. Ned eventually realizes that Todd was picking up his new habit from Homer and asks him to stop. Marge steps in and suggests putting loose change in a swear jar every time he uses profanity. Eventually, Homer is able (temporarily, at least) to curb his habit and there is enough money in the swear jar to buy a professionally built doghouse.
5th Mar '17 4:10:11 PM Briguy52748
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* BrokenAesop: It is better to let someone down easy after you've pulled a cruel, perhaps unforgivable prank on (Bart writing prank love letters from a man named "Woodrow" to Mrs. Krabappel). This is what Homer and Marge decide should be Bart's punishment rather than be real parents (force him to admit to both her and the principal, and possibly the superintendent as well) what you had done and accept what surely would be severe consequences).

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* BrokenAesop: It is better to let someone down easy after you've pulled a cruel, perhaps unforgivable prank on (Bart writing prank love letters from a man named "Woodrow" to Mrs. Krabappel). This them. That is what Homer and Marge decide should be Bart's punishment for writing prank love letters to Mrs. Krabappel, rather than be real parents (force and force him to admit to both her and the principal, and possibly the superintendent as well) well what you he had done and accept what surely would be severe consequences).consequences.
5th Mar '17 4:07:51 PM Briguy52748
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* IdiotBall: Couldn't Mrs. Krabappel recognize "Woodrow's" handwriting as being too similar to Bart's? And presuming that she has reasonable pop culture awareness, didn't she recognize the photo of "Woodrow" as ice hockey icon Gordie Howe? And what about his family not catching on that Bart wasn't exactly penning letters to a love itnerest?

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* IdiotBall: Couldn't Mrs. Krabappel recognize "Woodrow's" handwriting as being too similar to Bart's? And presuming that she has reasonable pop culture awareness, didn't she recognize the photo of "Woodrow" as ice hockey icon Gordie Howe? And what about his family not catching on that Bart wasn't exactly penning letters to a love itnerest?interest?
4th Mar '17 11:33:14 AM Briguy52748
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* IdiotBall: Couldn't Mrs. Krabappel recognize "Woodrow's" handwriting as being too similar to Bart's? And what about his family not catching on that Bart wasn't exactly penning letters to a love itnerest?

to:

* IdiotBall: Couldn't Mrs. Krabappel recognize "Woodrow's" handwriting as being too similar to Bart's? And presuming that she has reasonable pop culture awareness, didn't she recognize the photo of "Woodrow" as ice hockey icon Gordie Howe? And what about his family not catching on that Bart wasn't exactly penning letters to a love itnerest?
4th Mar '17 11:00:33 AM Briguy52748
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* WhatTheHellHero: Marge calls Bart out for writing a fake love letter. Homer tries to do the same thing by telling Bart to tell the truth about the letters, but Marge tells Homer that they can't do that since Edna would be humiliated. Homer only said it because he thought Marge would expect him to.

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* WhatTheHellHero: Marge calls Bart out for writing a fake love letter. Homer tries to do the same thing by telling Bart to tell the truth about the letters, but Marge tells Homer that they can't do that since Edna would be humiliated.humiliated (never mind the fact she already was humiliated). Homer only said it because he thought Marge would expect him to.
4th Mar '17 10:58:52 AM Briguy52748
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Added DiffLines:

* BrokenAesop: It is better to let someone down easy after you've pulled a cruel, perhaps unforgivable prank on (Bart writing prank love letters from a man named "Woodrow" to Mrs. Krabappel). This is what Homer and Marge decide should be Bart's punishment rather than be real parents (force him to admit to both her and the principal, and possibly the superintendent as well) what you had done and accept what surely would be severe consequences).


Added DiffLines:

* DisproportionateRetribution: Bart, rather than take responsibility for damaging school property and accept Mrs. Krabappel's punishment (which wasn't that severe), plays a cruel prank (creating a fictional love interest and writing fake love letters to her).


Added DiffLines:

* IdiotBall: Couldn't Mrs. Krabappel recognize "Woodrow's" handwriting as being too similar to Bart's? And what about his family not catching on that Bart wasn't exactly penning letters to a love itnerest?
5th Feb '17 2:13:48 PM The_Glorious_SOB
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* {{Angrish}}: Most of Homer's swearing turns into this

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* {{Angrish}}: Most of Homer's swearing turns into thisthis.



* CostumeTestMontage: Mrs. Krabappel try different outfit for her date.

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* CostumeTestMontage: Mrs. Krabappel try tries a different outfit for her date.
11th Jan '17 4:54:12 PM TitoMosquito
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Added DiffLines:

* IronicJuxtaposition:
-->'''Mrs. Krabappel:''' ''(in deep thought, while looking at Woodrow's picture)'' "''When I read your letters, I feel as if you are right here watching me.''" ''(puts the picture down to see Bart in his desk staring at her)'' Bart, eyes down!\\
'''Bart:''' Yes, ma'am!
11th Jan '17 4:20:52 PM TitoMosquito
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''(Todd runs upstairs, crying)''

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''(Todd runs upstairs, crying)''crying)''\\
'''Maude''': You were being too hard on him?\\
'''Ned''': You knew I had a temper when we married.



-->'''Bart:''' [[CaptainObvious I can't help but feel partly responsible.]]



* WhatTheHellHero: Marge calls Bart out for writing a fake love letter. Homer tries to do the same thing by telling Bart to tell the truth about the letters, but Marge tells Homer that they can't do that since Edna would be humiliated.

to:

* WhatTheHellHero: Marge calls Bart out for writing a fake love letter. Homer tries to do the same thing by telling Bart to tell the truth about the letters, but Marge tells Homer that they can't do that since Edna would be humiliated. Homer only said it because he thought Marge would expect him to.
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