Recap / The Simpsons S 15 E 9 I Annoyed Grunt Bot

Homer and Bart participate in a Robot Wars-style robotic combat game show — with Homer disguised as a robot in order to help his son, as building an actual robot was beyond him. Meanwhile, Snowball II dies and Lisa goes through a string of replacement Snowballs.

Tropes:

  • Attack Its Weak Point: Played With. Bart said Professor Frink's robot had one of these, only to see Frink upgrade it to the robot's strongest part.
  • Call Back: The montage of Homer and Bart winning their fights is set to "Watching Scotty Grow". When Homer is losing the final bout, he deliriously sings a few lines of the song.
  • Combat Pragmatism: Homer's advantage against robot is that he can fight dirty (attacking the controllers in the kid's hands for example).
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The Snowball II subplot is so absurdly over the top that you can’t help but laugh
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Homer has a nightmare where he wins an Oscar and a robot kills him for making a speech that lasts longer than 30 seconds.
  • Loophole Abuse: Averted. When Homer was announced as a robot fight champion despite not being a robot, the one announcing Homer dared everyone to state any rule prohibiting humans from being robots. He was then shown Rule Number One.
  • Non-Protagonist Resolver: Lisa's ready to give up on getting a new cat until an angelic figure approaches the Simpson home... and it's the Crazy Cat Lady, who flings a cat to Lisa.
  • Snap Back: At the end of the subplot, Lisa christened her final cat "Snowball II". When Principal Skinner called her out on this, Lisa mentioned the name Armin Tamzarian.
  • Take That: When Chief Wiggum disguises his car as a pizza car, he uses a Domino's Pizza logo to be sure nobody will want any pizzas from him. Sky 1's airing of the episode in the UK removes this scene, mainly due to the fact that Domino's sponsored the show for 10 years, and having a scene which insults the sponsor would have likely caused trouble.
  • Three-Laws Compliant: Frink’s robot, luckily for Homer.
  • Unrobotic Reveal: In-universe.
    Sideshow Mel: That robot has given birth to a man!
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: “Can robots feel pain? If so, we are horrible, horrible people!”
  • You Should Have Died Instead: After Snowball II's death, Marge tries to console Lisa by saying she coped with the loss of her pet guinea pig, only to break down as she says this.
    Marge: Oh, Cinnamon! It should've been me who chewed through that extension cord.
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