Episode - 2F24
First Aired - 4/30/1995In this partial Very Special Episode, Lisa discovers that her friend and jazz mentor, Bleeding Gums Murphy, is in the hospital, and when he dies on the night of her recital, Lisa works to keep the musician's memory alive. Meanwhile, Bart comes down with appendicitis from eating Krusty the Clown's new cereal, which comes with a jagged metal "O", and sues the clown for personal harm.
This episode contains examples of:
- Affirmative Action Girl: In-universe, Krusty's forced to add "Ms. No-Means-No" to his cast due to an expensive sexual harassment suit. Krusty immediately hits on her.
- Amoral Attorney: Lionel Hutz pretty much stole all but $500 of Bart's $100,000 settlement.
- Artistic License – Medicine: Eating jagged metal doesn't cause appendicitis. It would have given Bart horrible internal bleeding and possibly killed him, but that's not very family-friendly, is it? It doesn't help that an actual medical consultant (who was related to Al Jean) was called in for the show and the writers had to resort to a ridiculous excuse to make Bart come down with appendicitis.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Bart buys Lisa the rare Bleeding Gums Murphy album because she was the only one to believe he was really ill.
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: In-universe, Krusty accidentally does it when he speaks ill of Percodan in his show right before learning that the company that makes it became his new sponsor.
- Blind Musician: Bleeding Gums' mentor, Blind Willie Witherspoon. Subverted in that, for 30 years, he thought he was playing the saxophone...when he was actually playing an umbrella. No one said anything because they thought it was funny.
- Call Back: After the news of Bleeding Gums' death, Lisa cries on the bridge where the two first met.
- Cassandra Truth: No one except Lisa believes that Bart is truly sick, knowing his tendency to try to get out of tests. Though Marge was close to believing Bart too.
- Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Trope Namer. Groundskeeper Willie, due to budget cuts, is forced to teach French, and he calls the students this.
- Crazy-Prepared: Springfield Elementary's school charter states that no teacher is to be held accountable if Bart dies or if Milhouse gets eaten by the school snake.
- Dead Artists Are Better: Lisa finds Bleeding Gums Murphy's only album at Comic Book Guy's store, costing $250. But when Lisa mentions that Bleeding Gums has recently died, he immediately doubles the price to $500.
- Description Cut: Lisa decides she needs to talk to someone with more experience about Bleeding Gums Murphy's death. Cut to Grandpa Simpson telling her "Death stalks you at every turn!"
- Drunk on Milk: Bleeding Gums somehow gets drunk on Fabergé eggs of all things. It's even treated like a drug addiction, where he lost his fortune due to his "$1500 a day habit" of buying them.
- Embarrassing Tattoo: See Take That.
- Free Prize at the Bottom: The jagged metal "O" on Krusty-O's, which Bart accidentally eats, giving him appendicitis. At the end the new prize is flesh eating bacteria.
- Gambler Groupies: Bart has an Imagine Spot in which he's in a casino, surrounded by attractive woman.
- Here We Go Again: Bart plans to re-earn the $500 dollars he spent on the jazz album by suing the Krusty corporation over their new Krusty-O's cereal...with flesh-eating bacteria.
- Imagine Spot: Bart has two: what he could do with $500 (losing it immediately on roulette) and torching the school after he's reincarnated as a butterfly (and watching Principal Skinner get blamed for it).
- Incurable Cough of Death: Bleeding Gums.
- It Always Rains at Funerals: Although it clears up when Lisa decides to find a way to honor Bleeding Gums' memory.
- Last Disrespects: No one showed up at Bleeding Gum's funeral because no one knew him.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Like increase a radio station's broadcasting range.
- Long-Lost Relative: Apparently, Bleeding Gums and Dr. Hibbert are brothers... not that either of them realize it.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
Homer: Oh, I blew it again. (Maggie puts her pacifier into Homer's mouth) Mmm...
- Homer tries to comfort Lisa when she cries over Bleeding Gum's death. Only to say something stupid which made her feel worse.
- Lisa prompts the Comic Book Guy into doubling the price of Bleeding Gums' album after revealing he died.
- No OSHA Compliance: Krusty's cereal had metal in it. Krusty ends up in severe pain just by eating a regular piece of cereal.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Mrs. Krabappel only believes that Bart's really in pain when he completely finishes his test before asking to go to the nurse again. She still lets him suffer a few more seconds of pain before sending him off, though.
- Running Gag: The hot-dog vendor that always shows up at events where Homer wants a hot dog.Vendor: Lady, he's putting my kids through college!
- Bleeding Gums was a special guest on The Cosby Show in 1986. The scene parodies the fact that quite some famous jazz musicians like Dizzie Gillespie, Tito Puentenote and Lena Horne were once guests on the show. It also references Bill Cosby's tendency to clown around, talking gibberish and focus most of the attention to himself, exaggerated here to the point that Bleeding Gums doesn't even have a line.
- Bleeding Gums appears in the sky to Lisa, together with Mufasa from The Lion King, Darth Vader from Star Wars and Steve Allen saying This is CNN, all references to the fact that James Earl Jones voiced these characters.
- The song Jazzman by Carole King is covered by Lisa and Bleeding Gums near the end of the episode.
- Bleeding Gums mentions he's got a date with Billie Holiday.
- The episode's name is a reference to 'Round Midnight, a film about an unappreciated jazz musician, which got its title from a jazz standard by Thelonious Monk.
- Sky Face: The finale of the episode about Bleeding Gums Murphy, Lisa's short-lived mentor figure, features his visage in the clouds over Lisa's head. Along with Mufasa, Darth Vader and James Earl Jones.
- Sucky School: This episode truly shows how bad Springfield Elementary is (along with this season's "The PTA Disbands").
- The school's charter has a rule stating that they are not responsible if Bart dies (or if Milhouse gets eaten by the school's pet snake). Bart can be a bad student at times, but having a rule stating that is straight up "Boys of Bummer"-style cruelty against Bart.
- Lunchlady Doris works as Springfield Elementary's nurse due to budget cuts (even though "Whacking Day" revealed that Lunchlady Doris took the school nurse job so she can get two paychecks).
- The very Scottish Groundskeeper Willie is now a French teacher.
- Take ThatHomer: Lisa, honey, if you really wanna preserve his memory, I recommend getting a tattoo. It preserves the things you love...(Homer rolls up his sleeve to reveal a heart with the words...) "Starland Vocal Band"?! They suck!
Crosby: "Jazz is like the New Coke. It'll be around forever."
- "You must avenge my death, Kimba...dah, I mean Simba!
- One against New Coke, in Bleeding Gum's flashback, courtesy of Bill Cosby.