Recap / The Simpsons S 5 E 12 Bart Gets Famous

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Episode - 1F11
First Aired - 2/3/1994

While on a boring field trip to the box factory, Bart makes a break for it to Channel 6 Studios, home of Bart's favorite show, Krusty the Clown, and gets a job as Krusty's assistant — then becomes an accidental star after screwing up during a live sketch and blurting, "I didn't do it!"

This episode contains examples of:

  • Analogy Backfire: Bart is willing to listen to Homer's advice about not caring what others think until Homer says that's what made him what he currently is.
  • And This Is For...: Nelson when he thought Bart was lying about being Krusty's assistant.
  • As Himself: Conan O'Brien (the only Simpsons writer ever to come back and voice himself. Also, the only Saturday Night Live writer to voice himself on The Simpsons)
  • Big Fancy House: Lisa has one in her imagine spot.
  • Bowdlerization: Thanks to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the parts where Kent Brockman is trying to read a report about a tidal wave in Kuala Lampur, then changes it to France because he can't pronounce Kuala Lampur and the Mexican Bumblebee Man reading the tidal wave report after Kent Brockman refuses to do it because his cheese danish was stolen are cut on the UK's Channel 4.
  • Catch Phrase: This episode makes fun of the fact that people who become famous for blurting a catchphrase are only famous for a short time. Lisa even says that if she ever becomes famous, it'll be for something more substantial.
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: Bart at first loves the fame and attention it gets him, but eventually gets sick of the fact that he's treated as a one-trick pony.
  • Credits Pushback: Done to Krusty's show; this results in Bart's name being hard to read when the tape is paused, and his friends don't believe that he actually works on the show.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    Bart: It's my job to be repetitive. My job. My job. Repetitiveness is my job! I'm gonna go out there tonight and give the best performance of my life!
    Marge: The best performance of your life?
    Bart: The best performance of my life!
  • Hypocritical Humor: At the end of act three:
    DJ 1: And that was "Kung Fu Fighting". Speaking of "one trick ponies", whatever happened to that "I didn't do it" kid?
    DJ 2: Boy, did that get old fast! WHOA! Y'know, if you wanna last in this business, you gotta stay fresh! (plays recycled sound effects)
  • I Can't Believe I'm Saying This: When Bart's entire class is waiting for him to say his new catch phrase.
    Bart: I can't believe I'm saying this, but... shouldn't we be learning something?
  • Imagine Spot:
    • Lisa has a rather disturbing imagine spot where she kills Bart with her Nobel Peace Prize.
    • Bart has one when he tries to imagine a place he'd rather he instead of the box factory. It backfires when he can't think of anything else.
    Skinner: Class, instead of the box factory, today we'll be going to the..... box factory.
    Bart: Damn TV, you ruined my imagination, just like you ruined my ability to... to um... oh well. (pulls out a mini-TV and laughs while watching it)
  • I'm Standing Right Here: Lisa gives a disgusted tirade on Bart's popularity and claims she'd loathe to be remembered for a mere obnoxious fad. When a hurt Bart is revealed to have entered the room, she awkwardly looks away and reads.
  • Ironic Echo: "I wish I was dead."
  • Shout-Out: For this episode's chalkboard gag, Bart writes that his homework wasn't stolen by an one-armed man.
  • Technology Marches On: Bart taking a cell phone call during class while working as Krusty's assistant. Back then, the joke was that only important people had cell phones (and that cell phones in the 1990s were big and unwieldy). These days, with smaller cell phones and kids as young as ten having them (due to their parents trying to make sure where they are at all times or the kids themselves wanting to be hip and cool), the joke isn't all that funny or revolutionary, and comes off as odd that a ten-year-old would have such a big cell phone.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Lisa fantasizes about killing Bart in her fantasy.
  • You, Get Me Coffee: This is what Bart's career amounted to at first, nearly driving him to quit. Then he has to fill in for Sideshow Mel and the rest is history.
    Krusty: This is a dream factory, the birthplace of magic — an enchantment! Now I need you to go clean out my toilet.
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