Recap / The Simpsons S 16 E 17 The Heartbroke Kid

Springfield Elementary signs a deal with a snack company to install vending machines in the schoolsówith Bart taking advantage of the situation to the point that he becomes obese and suffers a heart attack.


  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Towards the end:
    Bart: I've learned that even made-up corporate mascots can lie to you.
    Homer: (holding up stuffed animal) Did you hear that Foxie, the Fox Network fox?
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Tab Spangler is extremely mentally unstable, but is an effective weight loss coach anyway.
  • Call Back: Homer tries to weasel out of fat camp by suggesting other family members, including "My seldom-seen half-brother Herb [Powell]", who was last seen in season 3's "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?".
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Tab. One fat camp exercise is making the patients pull him on a chariot while he whips them.
    Bart: This can't be legal!
    Tab: It's legal enough! (cracks whip)
  • Gratuitous German: Zig-Zagged. One German backpacker calls Bart a "strudel-sucking globenheimer", which isn't a real German word. Later, Homer sings "99 Lüftballons" by Nena in the original German lyrics.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: When the family stages an intervention for Bart, Bart says "What the f-amily!"
  • The Man Is Sticking It to the Man: Scammer and Z-Dawg, the hip-hop themed snack mascots. Lindsey Naegle describes them as "Spokesrebels".
    Scammer: Yo, don't flava hate, participate!
    Ralph Wiggum: It's fun to obey the machine!
  • Mythology Gag: When Bart is having a heart attack, Homer tells him to "Do the Bartman".
  • Opening Shout-Out: In one scene, a variation of the opening sequence is played, only it lasts much longer now that Bart had become slower because of his extra weight.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Parodied when Rainier Wolfcastle throws some ice cream away as an exercise at the fat camp.
    Rainier: Here's the scoop: Your Haagen days are over! (throws scoop into trash) I'm Baskin' in your pain as I'm Robbin' you of life!
  • Rule of Drama: Lampshaded and Played for Laughs as Tab Spangler takes Bart home to show the sacrifices his family is making.
    Tab: Young man, there's something I have to show you. In one hour. We have to drive there. No talking along the way, it'll hurt the drama.
    (later, while driving)
    Bart: Can I just...
    Tab: Shh, drama!
  • Shout-Out:
    • When Tab takes Bart home to show the youth hostel it became, Bart asks if the guests can see them and the coach says that they obviously can since he's not the Ghost of Christmas Past.
    • One excuse Bart gives about his obesity is being "Big boned." Unsurprisingly, Tab refuses to accept that.
    • Bart hides candy in his room in a hole covered by a poster, showering himself with some of it, parodying The Shawshank Redemption.
  • Staging an Intervention: The Simpsons do this to convince Bart to lose some weight. When he tries to make a break for it, he is taken by "professional child snatchers" to the fat camp.
  • Temporary Bulk Change: Bart becomes obese after eating too many snacks.
  • Vengeful Vending Machine: Bart attacks the school vending machines and they retaliate by firing their contents at him.
    Scanner: Yo, I'm gonna cap a pop in yo ass!")
    (vending machine shoots soda cans with Bart blocking them.)
    Bart: (smashes the machine, taking its money) I'm ending your vending, dawg.