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:
* BaitAndSwitch: At first, Poochie's debut episode gave the impression something would happen at a fireworks factory.
* BusCrash: Poochie's fate.
* CharacterShilling: Homer suggests doing this as one way to boost Poochie's popularity.
* GreenAesop: Spoofed -- "Always recycle -- '''to the extreme'''!"
* RememberTheNewGuy: The Simpsons' house guest, Roy.
** WhatCouldHaveBeen: Originally, Roy was supposed to appear in "Time and Punishment" from "Treehouse of Horror V" as part of an alternate reality where Homer is the father of an annoying teenager.
* 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.)
* 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".
* WagTheDirector: Homer attempts this in his last ditch effort to save Poochie.