Episode - 4F12\\
First Aired - 2/9/1997

''TheItchyAndScratchyShow'' is in a crisis of quality, after Roger Meyers sees a slight drop-off in ratings and Bart and Lisa admit that the show is getting a bit stale, so the writers create a new character (a dog named Poochie) and hire Homer Simpson to be the voice actor. But when Poochie's in-your-face, TotallyRadical style makes the show worse, Homer must do what he can to save the new guy.
!!This episode contains examples of:
* AnswerCut: After Poochie's debut, Lisa comments that what matters is what the fans think. Cut to Comic Book Guy calling it the "Worst Episode Ever!"
* BaitAndSwitch: At first, Poochie's debut episode gave the impression something would happen at a fireworks factory.
* BusCrash: Poochie's fate.
-->''Note: Poochie died on the w[[foldercontrol]]

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* CharacterShilling: Homer suggests doing this as one way to boost Poochie's popularity.
* CoolShades:
-->'''Roger Meyers:''' He's supposed to have attitude!\\
'''Artist:''' What do you mean, attitude?\\
'''Meyers:''' You know! Attitude, attitude, uhh... sunglasses!
* EarlyBirdCameo: The female executive, who reappears in several future episodes, was later reworked into Leslie Neagle.
* ExecutiveMeddling: [[invoked]]Thoroughly parodied.
* GetOnWithItAlready and TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: InUniverse. The ''Itchy and Scratchy'' episode grinds to a halt as Poochie acts all cool and in-your-face.
-->'''Milhouse:''' [crying] When are they gonna get to the fireworks factory?!
* GreenAesop / CatchPhraseToTheMax: Spoofed -- "Always recycle -- '''to the extreme'''!"
* HateDumb: [[invoked]]As stupid as the Poochie ratings stunt is, the fans who complain about it get their fair share of mockery too.
* InkSuitActor: ''Simpsons'' staff members David Silverman, Josh Weinstein, Bill Oakley, and George Meyer cameo as members of the ''Itchy & Scratchy'' creative staff.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: A RunningGag involving Roy:
** When Bart and Lisa learn throung the newspaper that a new character named Poochie is going to be added to ''The Itchy & Scratchy Show'':
--->'''Lisa:''' Adding a new character is often a desperate attempt to boost low ratings.\\
'''Roy:''' ''(walks in)'' Yo, yo! How's it hangin' everybody?!\\
'''Marge:''' Morning, Roy!\\
'''Homer:''' Yeah, hi, Roy.
** When Homer resolves to salvage Poochie:
--->'''Homer:''' I won't let them treat Poochie like dirt anymore just because he's the new guy.\\
'''Roy:''' Right on, Mr. S!\\
'''Homer:''' [[HypocriticalHumor Put a sock in it, Roy.]]
** When Poochie is killed off:
--->'''Bart:''' Tough break, Dad. I guess people just weren't ready for Poochie. Maybe in a few years.\\
'''Roy:''' ''(walks up to the family)'' Good news, everybody. I'm moving into my own apartment with two sexy ladies.\\
'''Marge:''' Oh, then I guess this is good-bye, Roy. [[{{Irony}} Maybe we'll see you in a few years.]]
* MagicRealism: The focus group leader asks the kids if this is what they want out of ''Itchy & Scratchy'' when said kids answer with equal excitement to two proposed premises -- Itchy and Scratchy dealing with real life problems, or Itchy and Scratchy becoming DenserAndWackier. The response to the combination of the two scenarios is lukewarm.
-->'''Milhouse:''' And also, you should win things by watching.
* PutOnABus: Roy's fate.
* RememberTheNewGuy: The Simpsons' house guest, Roy.
** Also parodied in the ''Itchy and Scratchy Show''.
--->'''Itchy:''' Look, Scratchy. It's Poochie.\\
'''Scratchy:''' What was his name? I forgot.
* ShaggyDogStory: No pun intended. Homer makes a very elaborate speech, which gets blasted down when the episode featuring this speech gets hastily edited to make it look like Poochie was really an alien who returned to his home planet and died on the way back. Homer poured his heart and soul into supporting something he liked, but no one else did, and, in the end, it was all for nothing.
* ShooOutTheNewGuy: Poochie's fate. In fact, the trope was originally named "The Poochie". (Poochie would appear twice more on ''Itchy & Scratchy'', though. In the non-canon Treehouse of Horror segment "The Terror of Tiny Toon" he's promptly hit by a police car as he's skating down the street. In another short, he's at Scratchy's funeral.)
* SpoofAesop: At the end of the episode, the family and pets gather around Homer, who says, "Well, I guess I learned my lesson. The thing is, I lost creative control of the project... and I forgot to ask for any money. Well, live and learn."
* TakeThat and BitingTheHandHumor: The entire episode is a burn against TV executives who use cheap gimmicks to keep long-running shows fresh (including putting in committee-created "cool" characters, like Poochie and the Simpsons' unexplained house guest Roy) and the fans who complain when shows either change their dynamic or start to go stale.
** Roy in particular was an explicit reference to Fox at one point having tried to convince the Simpsons writers to add a new character living with the family to "spice up the show".
* TriviallyObvious: After the screening party, Carl tries to compliment Homer's work.
-->'''Carl:''' Yeah, you should be very proud, Homer. You, uh... got a beautiful home here.
* UnpleasableFanbase: Parodied.
-->'''Focus Group Guy:''' Now, how many of you want to see Itchy and Scratchy face real life problems, like the ones you face every day?
-->'''Kids:''' Me! Me! I would!
-->'''Focus Group Guy:''' And how many of you would like to see just the opposite? Getting into far-out situations involving robots and magic powers?
-->'''Kids:''' Me! Me! I would!
-->'''Focus Group Guy:''' (''{{beat}}'') So... You want a realistic down-to-Earth show... that's completely off the wall... and swarming with magic robots?
-->'''Kids:''' Yeah, that sounds good.
-->'''Milhouse:''' And also, you should win things by watching!
* WagTheDirector:[[invoked]] Homer attempts this in his last ditch effort to save Poochie.
* WritersSuck: During the conception of the Poochy character, Roger Meyers asks the writers to come up with a more proactive name than "Poochie". The writers just slack off and [[PermanentPlaceholder kept the name]].