Recap: The Simpsons S 4 E 19 The Front

After watching a mediocre episode of The Itchy and Scratchy Show, Bart and Lisa decide that they know enough about the show and what's funny to pen their own episodes, but after getting rejected by Roger Meyers, Jr. because of their age, the duo use Grampa Simpson as a front. Meanwhile, Homer and Marge go to their high school reunion, where Homer is revealed to have never graduated because he failed remedial science (all the more disturbing when you realize that Homer is a nuclear plant safety inspector) and goes to night school to make up the lost credit.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Comical Overreacting: Homer screaming and morning at the teacher burning a donut for a science experiment.
    Homer: This is not happening. This is not happening!!
  • Creator Backlash: In-universe, Though subverted: Abe accepts an Outstanding Writer Award for an episode of Itchy & Scratchy even though Bart and Lisa actually wrote it. During his acceptance speech, he clarifies that he hadn't even seen Itchy & Scratchy until he saw a clip of the episode nominated, and goes on a rant on how disgusted he was that such a violent cartoon passes off for entertainment in the modern era.
  • Filler: "Everyone Loves Ned Flanders" was added precisely because the episode was running short.
  • Imagine Spot: Bart has one about hijacking Santa's sleigh.
    • Homer has one about carting Abe to a loony bin after he says that in his job, he's paid "to tell a cat and mouse what to do".
  • Kick the Dog: Roger Meyers Jr. really likes humiliating that poor Harvard grad.
  • Limited Animation: "Strong-Dar, Master of Akom: The Wedding Episode".
  • The Reveal: The viewers and Bart and Lisa learn that Grampa Simpson's given name is Abraham.
  • Shout-Out: The Itchy & Scratchy ending logo is a parody of the Stephen J. Cannell Productions logo.
    • "Master of Akom" is a reference to AKOM, which did the animation for several Simpsons episodes, including this one. When the episode was dubbed for Brazilian audiences, Strong-Dar was renamed "He-Man".
  • Take That: To The Ren & Stimpy Show; specifically, the John K. episodes, which took much longer to make than your typical animated show. Hence the "clip not done yet" title card at the award ceremony.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Grandpa delivers one after winning at the Annual Cartoon Awards and is booed off the stage (though it seems to wake up a couple of guys).
  • Wraparound Background: Lampshaded when Roger Meyers Jr., Bart, and Lisa walk down the hallway.
    Roger Meyers Jr.: Sometimes, to save money, our animators will re-use the same backgrounds over and over and over again.