Recap / The Simpsons S 5 E 17 Barts Gets An Elephant
Bart wins a radio contest and picks the gag prize (a full-grown African elephant) instead of the cash prize ($10,000), which puts the family in financial turmoil once again.


  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: Chief Wiggum's reaction after several reports of a rampaging elephant and a liquor store robbery with an officer down.
  • Bait and Switch: When Homer, Marge, and Lisa are looking for Bart and Stampy, they follow a trail of destruction that seemed to be caused by the elephant. But then it's revealed it was because of a tornado, much to Homer's chagrin...until he sees that it had swept up Patty and Selma.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor:
    Blackheart: Little girl, I've had lots of jobs in my day: Whale hunter, seal clubber, president of the Fox network, and, like most people, yeah, I've dealt a little ivory.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Lisa says that Bart and Stampy were gone thanks to Homer making a deal with Blackheart, Homer thinks she means the ivory dealer took Bart too.
  • Crazy-Prepared: More on the crazy side, but the manager of a peanut butter factory insisted the workers spent two hours a day preparing themselves for elephant raids. Too bad he wasted time bragging to the workers.
  • Electric Torture: Snake does this to Chief Wiggum and the other police officers when he takes over the department and restrains the officers while taking their uniforms, guns, and tasers. Bill and Marty don't take it seriously.
    • Worth noting that Wiggum doesn't seem to mind much either, actually enjoying it after a moment.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Bart got an elephant.
  • Get Out:
    Homer: Um, Milhouse saw the elephant twice and rode him once, right?
    Luann: Yes, but we paid you four dollars.
    Homer: Well, that was under our old price structure. Under our new price structure, your bill comes to a total of $700. Now, you've already paid me four dollars so that's just $696 more that you owe me.
    Kirk: ...Get off our property.
  • Giant Eye of Doom: Marge is horrified when she wakes up and sees Stampy's eye peeking through her bedroom window.
  • Go to Your Room!: When the family discusses taking the elephant as the prize:
    Lisa: You all seem to be forgetting the most important thing! Which is, that it's wrong to imprison an animal!
    Homer: Lisa, go to your room.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: When Stampy charges through the Flanders' yard:
    Ned: (wakes up) It's the Four Elephants of the Apocalypse!
    Maude: That's Horseman, Ned.
    Ned: Well, getting closer. (goes back to sleep)
  • Insane Troll Logic: When Homer was considering selling Stampy the Elephant to an ivory dealer, he pointed the dealer's ivory-made stuff as evidence he'd be less likely to harm Stampy than one whose ivory reserves were low.
  • Major Injury Under Reaction: Barney barely reacts after setting himself on fire.
  • Noodle Incident: How did Barney end up in the tar pit anyway?
  • Obviously Evil: The ivory dealer's name is Mr Blackheart
  • Reality Ensues: As outlandish as this episode was accused of being at the time, the episode did have glimpses of realism, like The Simpsons (a lower-middle-class family) not having the money to keep a full-grown African elephant as a pet and Stampy getting sick from eating just peanuts (which, in most cartoons, wouldn't happen).
  • Shout-Out:
    • The original 1950s version of The Price Is Right: A contestant was told he had won an African elephant and then told he could decide (later) whether to take a $4,000 cash substitute. The contestant much like Bart did more than 35 years later chose the elephant, and when legal and other threats arose, the producers complied.
    • The Sound of Music: The "Do-Re-Mi" song when Homer crashes the car into a statue of a deer.
    • The shot of Stampy looking through Marge's window parodies the T-rex looking through a car window in Jurassic Park.
  • Shown Their Work: The bird that lands on Stampy to groom him is a cattle egret, a species that is known to have a symbiotic relationship with large land mammals such as elephants.
  • Skyward Scream: "That wasn't part of our deal, Blackheart! THAT! WASN'T! PART!"
  • Take That!:
    • The Republicans convention has them describing themselves as "plain evil" people who "want what's worse for everyone" and the Democrats are showing brawling while signs proclaim they "can't govern" and "hate life and our[them]selves".
    • Mister Blackheart lists among his previous occupations whale-hunter, seal-clubber and President of the Fox Network.
  • Too Dumb to Live: While he might not have been able to free himself anyway, Homer's method for getting out of the tar pit only made him sink faster.
  • Up to Eleven: When the family has finally finished cleaning the house, how long does it take for it to get messed up again? The time it takes for the double hinged kitchen door to swing open.
  • Waxing Lyrical: When Homer hits a deer statue, the dialogue quotes the "Do Re Mi" song from The Sound of Music.
    Homer: D'oh!
    Lisa: A deer!
    Marge: A female deer!
  • Your Television Hates You: Bart turns on the radio while doing household chores to get the song "Sixteen Tons".
    Tennessee Ernie Ford: You load sixteen tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt.
    Bart: Amen, Ernie.