Recap / The Simpsons S 2 E 16 Barts Dog Gets An F
Episode - 7F14
First Aired - 3/7/1991

Santa's Little Helper is forced to go to obedience school after ruining Marge's heirloom quilt, Homer's new Assassin sneakers, and Homer's giant macadamia nut cookie, and, if he doesn't pass, he'll be given away.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Big "NO!": Homer did this when he saw that Santa's Little Helper had chewed up his Assassins. It coincided with SLH howling, causing every dog in the neighborhood to start barking.
  • Blah Blah Blah: How SLH interprets most human speech, until he clearly hears Bart saying "sit."
  • Continuity Nod: While Santa's Little Helper is chewing the remote, he changes the channel showing a new reporting on the Babysitter Bandit and a Duff commercial from "Homer's Odyssey".
  • Dramatic Irony: Played for Laughs when the Simpsons' neighbor calls to complain about SLH being in her pool while Homer claims it isn't him as he's outside, unaware that he had escaped until he looked out the window.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Homer tried to calm Marge down about SLH eating the Bouvier family quilt by saying that you can't get too attached to things. But when he saw that Santa's Little Helper had also eaten his giant macadamia nut cookie, he went nuts.
  • Jaw Drop: Bart slowly drops his jaw when he realized what Homer is trying to say.
  • The Last Straw: Homer considers Santa's Little Helper eating his giant macadamia nut cookie this and decides to get rid of him.
  • Law of Disproportionate Response: Santa's Little Helper eats Marge's old quilt, which was a family heirloom for centuries. She is understandably very upset and Homer tries to comfort her by telling her it's just a quilt. Then he discovers the dog also ate a cookie he wanted to eat, which sends him into a hysterical despair. This also turns to be the final straw for him to get rid of the dog.
  • Murderer P.O.V.: During the moments when Santa's Little Helper eyed Homer's cookie and attacked Marge's quilt, this was used, complete with ominous music.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Emily Winthrop is a parody of Margaret Thatcher in her mannerisms. She was actually based on British dog trainer and author Barbara Woodhouse.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Normally in situations like this, when Lisa fails to do so, Marge is often the Voice Of Reason when it comes to Homer's demands be it comically ridiculous or heart wrenching decisions. However when he decides Santa's Little Helper has to go, Marge is on his side, much to the kids' shock and Homer's delight. Justified as she was very upset about the quilt.
  • Oh, Crap!: Homer's reaction when he sees that Santa's Little Helper had escaped. What makes it worse besides being annoyed that SLH got out and he now has to retrieve him, he called the neighbor on the phone an idiot and claimed it wasn't SLH in her pool when it was.
  • Parental Neglect: It's stated in the epilogue that SLH bit Bart and Homer didn't mind.
  • Potty Failure: SLH did this at obedience school, and Ms. Winthrop forced Bart to clean it up.
  • Rocky Roll Call: When Homer brings home his new Assassin sneakers:
    Marge: Those are very elaborate sneakers.
    Bart: They better be for a hunderd and twenty-five big ones.
    Homer: D'oh!
    Marge: $125?!
    Homer: Bart!
    Bart: Aah!
    Marge: Homer!
    Homer: D'oh!
    • This isn't the last time Homer would make a major purchase without constituting Marge. "Mr. Plow" is one future example.
  • Shout-Out: To the famous "touching fingers' scene from E.T. The music was even the same.
  • Sound Effects Bleep: When Homer started yelling that Santa's Little Helper had to go, it immediately switched to the dog's POV, so all we hear is Blah Blah Blah.
  • Special Guest: Tracey Ullman as Emily Winthrop; Frank Welker as the dog noises/animal walla.
  • The Unreveal: How Marge managed to get Dr. Hibbert's home phone number.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The end showing what happened to all the dogs after they graduated obedience school.