Recap: The Simpsons S 13 E 15 Blame It On Lisa

The Simpsons go to Brazil to find a lost orphan after Lisa confesses that she ran up the phone bill with calls to her sponsored orphan.

The country was visited again in the episode "You Don't Have To Live Like A Referee" (2014).

Tropes:

  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Simpsons Confidential, John Ortved's oral history of the show, former showrunner Mike Reiss describes the Brazilian Tourist Council's compliant about the episode "Blame It On Lisa":
    "When the Simpsons came to Rio, they encountered grinding poverty, rat-infested slums, pickpockets, kidnappers, and wild monkeys. There are no wild monkeys in Rio."
  • Banned in Brazil and Banned Episode: The Brazilian government was mad over the show's depiction of the country and had it banned after only two airings. When FOX released season 13 of the show to Brazil, there was still contention on whether or not the episode can be shown on the Brazilian DVD version. The episode did end up being released on DVD in Brazil (compare with Japan and "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo", in which the episode was so insulting to Japanese culture that it was banned from airing on TV and being released on DVD, meaning, in Japan, the last episode on the season 10 DVD set is "They Saved Lisa's Brain"). It probably helped that the showrunners did apologize for it and meant the jokes only in jest.
  • Brazil: Several National Stereotypes references are made to things the country is famous for: soccer, sweet drinks, the favelas, bikini bottoms, Copacabana Beach, the Amazone, the Christ of Rio statue, the fact that it's one of the few Portuguese speaking countries in Latin America, the conga, the Lambada, the samba, spider monkeys, the anaconda, the Carnival of Rio, entertainer Xuxa, The Boys Of Brazil, Blame It On Rio, the song "Aquarela do Brazil", the more open sexuality compared to other countries and the cable car over Sugarcoat Mountain.
  • The Capital Of Brazil Is Buenos Aires: Quite some Brazilian stereotypes are shown here.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Homer entered an unlicensed taxi, the driver pulled a gun and told him it was an abduction. Homer then asked if that meant he wouldn't have to pay for the ride.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Renaldo said he had the money to help the Simpsons because he didn't have parents to take it from him, like so many child stars in America do.
  • Critical Research Failure: The dance instructor claims to be thinking of a new sexy dance, even sexier than the Lambada or the Macarena. While the Lambada was indeed Portuguese the Macarena was sung by a Spanish group. The confusion probably stems from their group name, Los del Rio, which doesn't refer to Rio de Janeiro, but to the Spanish word for "river".
  • Fan Disservice: Homer's fat, lumpy butt in a Brazilian Speedo (which rides into his ass crack), which causes one woman to make a cross sign with her fingers, another to blind herself by throwing sand in her eyes, and another to stick a jellyfish on her head.
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: While the Simpsons are in Rio it's carnival. Of course, it is!
  • Left the Background Music On: During the cable car ride, Marge comments that the tension is killing her, so Bart switches the music player in the cable car to another theme, but Marge says that it's making light of the situation, so they switch to another theme which satisfies Marge.
  • My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: Homer wears a "Try to Stop Us" T-shirt with Uncle Sam devouring the world on it.
  • Shout-Out: Homer asked a nun to fly carrying him.
  • Shown Their Work: For all of their flaws on Brazilian culture and life, the writers did get one thing right: Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, not Spanish (in fact, Brazil is one of four South American countries in which Spanish is not the main language. The others are Guyananote , Surinamenote  and French Guiananote ).
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Homer bonds with his kidnappers, even compiling a scrapbook with them.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: A Brazilian waiter looks like the Costington employee who always says "Yeeeesssssssss" (only here, he says "Siiiiiiiimmmmmmmmm," which is Portuguese for "Yes").
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The orphan Lisa sponsored couldn't send her a letter because he didn't know which state Springfield was located.
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Linsday Naegle was asked that. Her answer: she's a sexual predator.