Recap / The Simpsons S 1 E 12 Krusty Gets Busted

Episode - 7G12
First Aired - 4/29/1990

Local kids' show host Krusty the Clown is arrested and convicted of robbing the Kwik-E-Mart after Homer (who was buying groceries there) identifies him in a line-up, but Bart and Lisa do some sleuthing of their own to clear their hero's name.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Agony of the Feet: Bart whacks Sideshow Bob's foot with a wooden mallet to prove it was he who robbed the Kwik-E-Mart and not Krusty (who's "got little feet like all good-hearted people").
  • All Part of the Show: When Krusty has a heart attack, the kids think his wild contortions and screaming in extreme pain are all part of a comedy act. Even Kent Brockman chuckles as he whimsically remembers the incident.
  • Ascended Extra: Sideshow Bob is given a substantial role in an episode for the first time, after having popped up as a background character in "The Telltale Head".
  • Blah Blah Blah: While arresting Krusty, Chief Wiggum starts reciting the Miranda Rights, only to quickly regress to this trope.
  • Conviction by Contradiction: Bart and Lisa's investigation basically comes down to this. First Lisa realises that Krusty wouldn't have used the Kwik-E-Mart microwave because he has a pacemaker, then that he couldn't have been reading the Springfield Review of Books at the magazine rack because he can't read. When Bart brings these points up on Sideshow Bob's show, Bob argued that Krusty wasn't one to follow medical warnings, and didn't need to be able to read to enjoy the Springfield Review of Books, thanks to the cartoons. Finally, in a Eureka Moment, Bart remembers that Homer stepped on the ends of fake Krusty's long shoes, causing him to exclaim in pain. Although Krusty usually wears oversized shoes, his feet don't fill them, so he wouldn't have felt a thing; Sideshow Bob, however, has feet long enough to fill the shoes.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Within the Itchy and Scratchy continuity, the theme tune contains cartoon sound effects and the cartoon itself wasn't as violent and bloody as later installments.
    • Krusty is a happy, upbeat clown who means well for all children and is even grateful to Bart after he saved him. This is a sharp contrast with his later more careless persona (though the fact that Krusty has been entertaining kids for years and has to deal with idiot executives, sycophantic fans, the excesses of fame, and competition from other shows may have made him bitter and cynical).
      • At one point before getting arrested, he was drinking liquor. Later episodes would have him hooked on everything from sex to gambling to shoe polish to moon rocks ground up and smoked like crack cocaine.
      • Also in later episodes, Krusty doesn't remember who Bart or Lisa is, despite meeting him and helped him on several occasions. And he usually doesn't care.
    • In this episode we also see him without make-up, something the animators avoided in later episodes because it made Krusty look too much like Homer, indeed, later episodes would suggest that Krusty isn't wearing make-up at all.
      • Krusty making a commercial to sell pork rinds is very weird, considering he would later be identified as being Jewish (though "Like Father Like Klown" revealed that Krusty was trying to run from his Jewish upbringing because his father disowned him).
    • Reverend Lovejoy's voice sounds very hammy compared to later episodes.
      • Lovejoy is shown to be a passionate Moral Guardian, in contrast to his best known characterization as an extremely apathetic figure with the moral crusades being handled by his wife.
    • The "whodunit" plot is rather simple and easy to solve, compared to the more complex detective plots of later episodes, such as the Who Shot Mr. Burns? two-parter.
    • Chief Wiggum is shown to be more competent. He was even angry at Homer for laughing at the clowns when he's supposed to identify Krusty.
    • Judge Schneider and Lou the police officer are colored with the same yellow skin as the Caucasian characters. In their later appearances, both of these characters are black.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: When Bart realized that is was Sideshow Bob who framed Krusty the Clown. And it caused Sideshow Bob to go into a meltdown when he got arrested for framing Krusty the Clown. He hated those meddling kids (Especially Bart).
  • Eureka Moment: When Sideshow Bob tells Bart that Krusty left big shoes to fill, this causes The Boy to realize something that everyone else missed- that the Krusty at the robbery yelled in pain when Homer stepped on his shoe, but Krusty has normal sized feet- Bob, on the other hand, has feet big enough to fill those shoes!
  • Evil Laugh: Sideshow Bob debuts a classic one at the second act break.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Slowing down the footage of Krusty's heart attack shows him grabbing the grill while collapsing, before quickly reaching over to the handle instead.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Lisa slaps Bart across the face to try and convince him that Krusty's in jail and he should get over it.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: At one point we see a cover of "Newsweekly" magazine with a picture of Krusty and the headline "Rhymes with Dastard".
  • Happy Birthday to You!: Every time it's the birthday of a kid in the live audience, the kid may pick up one of two options: have Krusty sing a birthday song; or shoot Sideshow Bob off a cannon. To Bob's dismay, all kids seem to prefer the cannon.
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: During Kent Brockman's report reviewing Krusty's career, a clip is shown of the clown suffering a massive heart attack while performing on live television. Krusty begins clutching his chest and screaming in pain as the children laugh and cheer wildly at what they think is part of a comedy routine.
  • Imposter Forgot One Detail: Actually, two details, which are pointed out by Lisa and Bart. In Sideshow Bob's eagerness to frame Krusty and send him to jail forever, he forgets a number of key facts that he knew about his co-star: he knew Krusty is illiterate, yet he is seen (via the security camera) reading a magazine at the counter, waiting for the store to clear out, and Bob (as Krusty) stood near a microwave oven, which Krusty can't do because he has an artificial pacemaker implanted in his heart (which was also captured via security camera). Naturally, when Bart points this out, Bob tries to bluff an explanation that Krusty was never very smart and liked to look at the pictures, but it sets up Bob's downfall.
  • Ironic Echo:
    Krusty: Don't blame me, I didn't do it!

    Krusty doll: I didn't do it!
    Bart: I wish I could believe you, Krusty.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Many of Sideshow Bob's later appearances mention that he's the one who framed Krusty.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When Marge finds Bart, Lisa, and Maggie watching Itchy and Scratchy:
    Marge: Oh, my. All this senseless violence. I don't understand its appeal.
    Bart: We don't expect you to, Mom.
    Lisa: If cartoons were meant for adults, they'd put them on in prime time.
  • Magical Security Cam: Averted by director Brad Bird, who took care to stage all the actions of the robbery so they could be captured from one angle, at a spot where a security camera would realistically be.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Intentionally invoked, but also subverted. Sideshow Bob's Krusty disguise looks very uncanny, making it look as though the clown's only using a flimsy mask to hide his identity.
  • Shout-Out
    • To Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: as Sideshow Bob is carted off to jail, he says, "I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for these meddling kids".
    • Krusy's number on his prison uniform is A113, which appears in a number of works created by alumnus of California Institute of the Arts' character animation program (the number was the room where the character animation classes took place). Brad Bird, who directed the episode, was one of those alumnus.
  • Special Guest: Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob.
  • Start of Darkness: This was the first full appearance of Sideshow Bob — who would later become Bart's Ax-Crazy Arch-Enemy.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Sideshow Bob speaks for the first time since his Early-Bird Cameo in "The Telltale Head."
  • Villainous Breakdown: Bob has a very subtle one when he gets taken to jail. He starts out relatively mildly annoyed, during his "meddling kids" rant, then shouts out to everyone to treat kids as equals in a more operatic tone, before his voice finally breaks into panic knowing that his plan crumbled.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist / Think of the Children!: Sideshow Bob. He genuinely cares about the education and future of the children watching the show and hates the kind of lowbrow humor Krusty is corrupting them with. After framing Krusty, he introduces high culture and good morals (not exactly entertaining for kids, but still a positive influence) and when he's arrested, he screams "Treat children as equals! They're smarter than you think!". Later episodes would phase this out in favor of his straightforwardly villainous schemes and obsession with getting revenge on Bart (although he would still retain his Wicked Cultured attributes).