Episode - 8F24
First Aired - 9/24/1992
It's the last day of school, and Bart is desperately hoping for C averages on his report card so he can go to Kamp Krusty, as part of a deal Homer made to him and Lisa. Bart's naturally disappointed when he gets a report card full of D-minuses, but Homer lets him go to camp, anyway, since he doesn't want the kids around all summer. With that settled, Bart and Lisa head off to Kamp Krusty, for six weeks of fun.
...at least, that's what they think. Within the first ten minutes of being there, the camp quickly turns out to not be all it's cracked up to be. The junior counselors are school bullies Jimbo, Dolph, and Kearney, and they, under the orders of senior counselor Mr. Black, do everything they can to break the kids' spirits. The cabins are worn down and infested with wildlife, the arts and crafts class is actually a sweatshop for kids to make knockoff wallets, the cafeteria serves nothing but Krusty-Brand Imitation Gruel, the camp is located underneath the appropriately-named Mt. Avalanche, half the equipment breaks in minutes...in short, the summer camp is an absolute hellhole. Bart keeps up hope that Krusty himself will be coming in a few weeks and won't stand for the kids' suffering. Lisa tries to alert her parents to their situation through her letters home, but Homer and Marge, utterly enjoying their extra time alone, don't take her complaints seriously.
The whole thing comes to a head when the kids finally get a visit from Krusty the Clown himself...only for "Krusty" to turn out to be a drunken Barney in a shoddy Krusty costume. Unable to take it anymore, Bart leads the kids in a revolt, driving the counselors out. The kids overthrow the camp and wreak chaos.
Krusty, who's been in England for Wimbledon for the past few weeks, gets a call about the state of the camp, and he rushes back to America to see what's going on. The kids at first don't believe he's the real deal, but after noticing "his pacemaker scar, his cattle-skull-shaped birthmark, and his famous superfluous third nipple!", Bart believes him. Krusty admits he had no input into the camp, and was just paid to endorse it. To make it up to the kids, Krusty takes the kids for a fun-filled vacation in the happiest place on earth
This episode contains examples of:
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Double-subverted:
Bart: Krusty, this camp was a nightmare. They fed us gruel, they forced us to make wallets for export, and one of the counselors was eaten by a bear.
Krusty: Oh my God! (sobbing)
Bart: Well, actually, the bear just ate his hat.
Krusty: Was it a nice hat?
Bart: Oh, yeah.
Krusty: Oh my God! (sobbing)
- Bait and Switch: There are a couple in this episode. One is found at the end of the synopsis above. The other has Homer giving Marge a massage on a hill. When she says they'll miss the fireworks, Homer says they have all the fireworks they need right here (implying that they're going to have sex). He then pulls back a blanket to reveal a picnic basket stuffed with fireworks (which are probably Bart's).
- The B Grade: Lisa had trouble accepting her report card had one B+ instead of only As.
- Comically Missing the Point: Homer and Marge interpret Lisa's letter for help (which outlines how brutal the camp is) as typical homesickness.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Kearney telling the kids, "Here's your cabin. If ya don't like it, T.S." T.S. means tough shit.
- Hypocritical Humor: Homer telling Bart that if you want something out of life, you have to work for it...and then telling him to be quiet, so he can hear the latest lottery numbers.
- Kent Brockman saying, without hyperbole, that the Kamp Krusty revolt is a million times worse than the conflicts he's reported on in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
- Knighting: Krusty is in the middle of receiving one of these when he gets the phone call about Kamp Krusty.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Mr. Black!
- Nice Hat: According to Bart, one of the campers had one of these that was eaten by a bear. This is what truly convinces Krusty that the camp was a nightmare.
- Off Model: Ralph Wiggum looks skinny and misshapen during the scene of Lisa handing out care packages and mail to the campers. This can be justified in two ways: (a) Ralph was in the fat camp and his skinny, misshapen look is from lost weight, or (b) the animators (either overseas or domestic) screwed up and didn't have time to change it.
- Rule of Cool: Bart's argument for renaming the camp "Camp Bart" instead of "Camp Freedom."
- Shout Out:
- Kearney playing the drums while the children are working on their wallets is a reference to Roman slavery ships, where one the guards beat a drum to add tempo to the rowers' movements.
- Lisa giving a letter to a 19th century style horseman is a reference to The French Lieutenant's Woman.
- The children taking over Kamp Krusty and raising their own society is a reference to Lord of the Flies.
- The camp post-revolt is a reference to Apocalypse Now.
- Shower Of Love: Homer and Marge have sex in the shower during their time away from the kids.
- Summer Campy: A darker example of this trope.
- Fat Camp: Kamp Krusty has one of these as well.
- What Could Have Been: This episode (along with season five's "Cape Feare" and season 17's "Bonfire of the Manatees") was supposed to be the plot to a Simpsons movie. Sadly, the writers couldn't make any of these episodes compelling enough for a feature film and a proper Simpsons movie wouldn't come around until 2007. This episode did, however, go on to inspire a Simpsons Gameboy video game.
- Mr. Black was meant to have more appearances in later episodes. He did appear in a couple of Simpsons comic book stories, but hasn't been brought back to the show, which is sad, considering that the show writers at the time loved Mr. Black and wanted to use him again.