Recap / The Simpsons S 6 E 4 Itchy And Scratchy Land

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Episode - 2F01
First Aired - 10/2/1994
The Simpsons are going to Itchy and Scratchy Land — a new theme park based on the violent antics of Bart and Lisa's favorite cartoon series.

This episode contains examples of:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: One flash from a camera is all it takes to screw up the AI for the Itchy and Scratchy robots.
  • Aluminium Christmas Trees: Bart finds itridiculous that the gift shop has no "Bart" vanity license plates, but they do have "Bort" ones. "Bort" is a real name.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Itchy & Scratchy Land has dangerously unsafe attractions and, after a power breakdown, everything gets even worse.
  • And This Is for...: In the Latin American translation of the episode, the Itchy-suited employee that Bart smoke-bombs earlier in the episode and kicks the Simpsons out of the evacuation helicopter shouts "go to Hell, and this is for Itchy!" as he does so (in the original audio, he says "When you get to Hell, tell 'em Itchy sent ya!").
  • Bait-and-Switch: Marge tells Homer to find a hotel for the night; Homer tells her, "I'm not tired, I'm not tired at all." A car that appears to be the Simpson's then crashes into a telephone pole, but Smash Cut to the Simpsons watching from a nearby hotel room.
    Bart: Whew, glad that wasn't us.
  • Beat: There's a strange one after Homer gives his approval to go to Itchy & Scratchy Land: Bart and Lisa gasp and stare at each other with excited expressions before finally shouting "YAY!" a few seconds later.
  • Blatant Lies: In Pinichio, Itchy promises Scratchy that he will never hurt him. His Pinocchio Nose lengthens and stabs Scratchy in the eye.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: A typical Itchy & Scratchy short at the beginning of the episode stops in its tracks to let its titular characters plug Itchy & Scratchy Land to the viewers.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Homer mistakenly claims the group is one adult and four children when buying their tickets. After he gets arrested by the park security, they refer to him as Marge's "older, balder, fatter son" (having also arrested Bart).
    • The souvenir shop running out of Bort license plates.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Itchy-suited employee that Bart smoke-bombs earlier in the episode notices them when the family is racing to get on the last evacuation helicopter left and kicks them out, leaving them to die.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Homer repeatedly ducks the cleaver of a mad robot while insisting that nothing is wrong, but loses the two hairs on top of his head when it gets too close ("Ah! My hair!").
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: Invoked by Lisa, as she and Bart calmly watch Scratchtasia, wondering if all the violence has desensitised them. Cue a Scratchybot bursting through the screen, and its head bursting off shooting fake blood everywhere, to no reaction from Bart or Lisa (or indeed anyone in the film's audience).
  • Crush. Kill. Destroy!: The Itchy and Scratchy robots have a protocol that ensures that they only attack each other; their HUD commands them to "KILL" their opposite number. Inevitably, they malfunction, and the "KILL" command is demanded on human targets.
  • Cue Card Pause: Bart and Lisa's method of persuading their parents to go to Itchy & Scratchy Land.
    Lisa: (pulling Bart's seemingly lifeless body into their parents' room in the middle of the night) Mom, Dad! Bart's dead!
    (Homer and Marge gasp in terror)
    Bart: (getting up with a huge showman smile on his face) That's right! Dead serious about going to Itchy & Scratchy Land!
  • Description Cut: When the robots start attacking people, Marge murmurs they should have gone to the bird sanctuary. Cut to the birds attacking the visitors.
  • The Dog Bites Back: The park employee with the Scratchy suit that Bart stink-bombed earlier in the episode is the one that kicks the family off the evacuation helicopter, leaving them to die.
  • Driven to Suicide: The waiters at "T.G.I. McScratchy's", a dance club that celebrates "New Year" almost every hour. Becomes a Brick Joke during the scene in the security station, where one worker notices "another jumper on the roof of T.G.I. McScratchy's".
  • Eye Scream: A clip from Pinichio shows Scratchy getting stabbed through the eye with Itchy/Pinichio's Pinocchio Nose. ("OWCH-A!")
  • Foreshadowing: Cletus takes a picture of one of the robots, which immediately malfunctions.
    Park exec: No flash photography, please.
  • Goofy Suit: This episode is one of the few stories where the goofy suit guy gets revenge Homer is locked up because "I kicked a giant mouse in the butt!", and Bart torments another Itchy-suit by kicking him in the balls and shooting smoke bombs into the mouth. Later, when the Itchy and Scratchy robots start rampaging through the park, the guy in the mouse costume makes sure that the Simpsons are kicked off the last escape helicopter.
  • Grey Goo: In Scratchtasia, Scratchy chops Itchy into dust, which reforms into a horde of microscopic Itchies who dissolve Scratchy.
  • Growing Muscles Sequence: In the opening Itchy & Scratchy sketch, Scratchy lifts weights for a few seconds which makes his muscles grow huge instantly.
  • Hostile Animatronics: And how! They try to Kill All Humans at the climax... and unfortunately for the Simpsons, they are the only humans left.
  • If My Calculations Are Correct: Spoofed when Dr. Frink is informing his coworkers that the Itchy and Scratchy robots will "eventually turn against their masters and run amok, in an orgy of blood and the kicking and the biting with the metal teeth and the hurting and shoving." But he adds that "According to my calculations, the robots won't go berserk for at least 24 hours." Immediately, all the robots start attacking the humans. Frink says in a slightly embarrassed tone, "Oh. I forgot to Carry the One."
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: Marge's idea of an interesting vacation spot is the Highway 9 Bird Sancutary, because she wants to check out their new bird feeder.
    Marge: I understand they installed a new bird feeder this year.
    (Bart and Lisa stare in horror)
    Marge: It's shaped like a diner! And it's on this really tall pole!
    (Bart and Lisa continue to stare in horror)
  • Instantly Proven Wrong:
    • Professor Frink is informing his coworkers that the Itchy and Scratchy robots will "eventually turn against their masters and run amok. But he adds that "According to my calculations, the robots won't go berserk for at least 24 hours." Immediately, all the robots start attacking the humans. Frink says in a slightly embarrassed tone, "Oh. I forgot to Carry the One."
    • Marge complains in the middle of the animatronic attack that it would have been safer to go to the bird sanctuary. We get an instant Gilligan Cut to the Sanctuary, where all of the birds are running amok in a manner similar to The Birds.
  • It's All About Me: Marge shows several shades of this given that she complains throughout the entire episode about how she's embarassed by Homer and Bart and thinks only of herself.
  • It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: How the Simpsons perceive their vacation.
  • Jerkass: Bart (and apparently) Homer act this way towards the suit guys in the park.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: At the end Bart remarks that the violence they were exposed to would be funny to somebody who was watching them.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again:
    • Said by Homer when his shortcut to Itchy & Scratchy Land put them far off the beaten path.
    • Towards the end of the episode, Bart and Lisa think their trip to Itchy & Scratchy Land was the best vacation ever. Marge disagrees:
    Marge: Are you two bonkers? We almost got killed! Not to mention all the embarrassment I suffered.
    Lisa: But mom, it's exactly what you wanted in a vacation: it brought us closer as a family, we got a lot of good exercise outdoors, and we have so many memories!
    Marge: ...You know, you're right. This truly was the best vacation ever. Now let us never speak of it again.
  • Lifesaving Misfortune: For Marge, the visit to Itchy and Scratchy Land was one of the most embarrassing experiences of her life (and she doesn't really changes her mind when the rest of her family says otherwise, even ordering Let Us Never Speak of This Again) but they were the heroes of the day when the animatronics attacked. Had they gone to the Bird Sanctuary like Marge wanted, they would have been just another handful of casualties.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Bart is arrested for harassing the Itchy performer. Turns out Homer was arrested for doing the same thing.
  • Literal-Minded: When Marge goes to pick up Homer and Bart in jail:
    Marge: I'm so embarrassed, I wish there was a hole I could just crawl into and die.
    Guard: Okay, throw her in the hole.
    Marge: Oh, please. It was just a figure of speech.
  • Look Behind You: A man tells Marge that, at Itchy & Scratchy Land, they're also concerned about violence and always show the consequences of such actions. Marge asks when they show the consequences, giving an example where Itchy pulled out Scratchy's lungs yet was breathing fine in the next scene. The man answers "Just like in real life" before running away when he tells her to look.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Homer's first assumption about the murderous robots is that they're hitting on him.
  • Mr. Alt Disney: Roger Meyers, the antisemitic cartoon genius, is an obvious stab at Walt Disney, who was accused of having rather xenophobic opinions about certain ethnicities, though not worse as many other people at that time.
  • Narrating the Obvious:
    • Lampshaded. When the family are being attacked by the robots, Lisa points out to Homer that the camera flash scrambled the robots' circuits. Homer retorts: "What are you, the narrator?"
    Lisa: (a robot approaches Lisa) Just keep taking pictures!
    • Also Marge when the robots start attacking.
    Marge: Oh, my. It looks like we're doomed.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Homer taking a shortcut to I&S Land, which ends with their car in shambles, a missile stuck in Marge's hair, and a chicken flying out the car window.
    Homer: Alright, we're here. Now let us never speak of the shortcut again.
    • After seeing a robot's circuits, Marge comments that this is why Homer's robot never worked. This is never elaborated on.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Most of the attractions at the park.
  • Not What It Looks Like: While at the "Tavern on the Scream" restaurant, Marge assumes Bart and Homer's food requests are them acting out in public:
    Bart: (to the waiter) I'll have a Brain Burger with extra pus, please.
    Marge: Bart!
    Homer: (to the waiter) Eyeball Stew.
    Marge: Homer! We just got here and already I'm mortified beyond belief by your embarrassing behavior!
  • Now Buy the Merchandise: After the blatant Product Placement episode of ''Itchy & Scratchy":
    Krusty: Kids, you heard the cartoon rat. If you haven't already run to your parents begging to go, do it now. You won't be missing anything funny: I'll just be sitting here reading this grownup's newspaper. ''(laughs; reads a racing form, then l
  • Old Shame: In-Universe, Roger Meyers' controversial 1938 cartoon "Nazi Supermen are Our Superiors" is a jab at Walt Disney's suspected racist and antisemitic opinions, which, in reality, were not that much worse than most of the people who lived back then. Also, the Walt Disney Company only made anti-Nazi propaganda cartoons during World War II. Other gags reveal more about Roger Meyers' racist opinions: the park's German security guards resemble The Gestapo a lot and that one of the characters in the Itchy & Scratchy franchise is even revealed to be named Ku Klux Klam.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. There were two people named Bort on screen, and there were enough Borts at the park for their license plates to sell out.
  • Parody: Itchy & Scratchy Land is an extensive parody of the Disney Theme Parks, particularly Walt Disney World (Orlando, Florida). When the robots run amok, the episode also spoofs Michael Crichton's film, Westworld. Even Marge's bird sanctuary isn't as calm as she thought it might be — The Birds are wreaking havoc there in a cutaway! Also, Euro Itchy & Scratchy Land was such a failure the employee working at the ticket booth feared for his wage.
  • Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner: Bart says in Schwarzenegger-esque voice "Hey mouse... Say cheese." followed quickly by "With a dry, cool wit like that, I could be an action hero." It's played with even further when moments later, Homer emerges from a pile of defeated robots, saying "Die, bad robots, die!... With a dry, cool wit like that, I could be an action hero."
  • Rapid Aging: Scratchy, when millions of Nano-Itchies destroy him from the inside.
  • Robot War: The Simpsons have to fight murderous robots.
  • Robo Vision: "Identify Scratchy — KILL!"
  • The Runt at the End: The cute little baby ax has trouble keeping up with the marching pace.
  • Screw the Rules, It's the Apocalypse!: Bart uses the fact that it's a life-or-death situation in the climax to smash the windows of a couple of souvenir shops: one to get the cameras the family needs to fight the robots off, and a totally unnecessary one that sells snow globes that he presumably steals.
  • Shark Fin of Doom: When the family took a vacation at Sandy Beach, Homer terrorized other tourists by pretending to be an approaching shark. Bart was doing the same thing, and he accidentally terrorized Homer, who saw him with his fake fin and screamed "Aaaah! Shark boy!"
  • Shear Menace: In the opening sketch, Itchy stabs Scratchy in the head with a pair of scissor.
  • Shoe Slap: Marge points out that violence isn't so funny what it happens to you. Bart says that it is funny watching it happen to someone else, which Lisa demonstrates by tossing her shoe at Bart. Marge does find it funny, before sending Lisa to her room.
  • Shoo Out the New Guy: Long before Poochie came along, there was a previous attempt to add new characters to the I&S universe with "the short-lived Itchy & Scratchy & Friends Hour", as Bart explains it. Among the now-forgotten characters whose merchandise still hasn't been sold off: Disgruntled Goat (whom Bart actually liked), Uncle Ant, and Ku Klux Klam.
  • Short Cuts Make Long Delays: Homer's idea to take a shortcut route to Itchy & Scratchy Land only leads to disaster. See Noodle Incident.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Bart and Homer chasing off beach tourists with a fake shark dorsal is a reference to Jaws.
    • The helicopter bringing The Simpsons to Itchy & Scratchy Land is very similar to Jurassic Park
    • The robots attacking reference both Westworld and The Terminator.
    • Two Itchy & Scratchy cartoons spoof Disney's Pinocchio and Fantasia (specifically, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" segment).
    • The bird sanctuary references Hitchcock's The Birds.
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: The death traps during the log ride.
  • Souvenir Land: Itchy and Scratchy Land is a straight Disneyland/Walt Disney World parody, and surprisingly thorough in spoofing real stuff at the parks in The '90s, like Disney Dollars, the Pleasure Island adult nightclub complex at the Florida resort, and even the Walt Disney Story attraction. The episode also briefly showed "Euro Itchy & Scratchy Land" in a cutaway gag; it's completely abandoned, save for a French ticket master calling out for customers because his last paycheck bounced and his "children need wine" a reference to the (then-topical) disastrous early years of what is now called Disneyland Paris.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Averted. When Marge is grabbed by the arm by two guards twice her size, she breaks free within fifteen seconds.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Bart and Lisa are already gone for another log ride while Marge thinks they are still right next to her.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: John Travolta allows the people who mistake him for someone who merely looks like him to think they're right.
  • Take That!:
    • To Euro Disney. Euro Itchy and Scratchy Land was a Ghost Town so the employee at the ticket booth was afraid of losing his job.
    • When Marge orders the "Baby Guts", the waiter promptly declares she disgusts him and walks off. Lisa quietly explains that she'd just ordered veal.
  • Tempting Fate: Marge is purchasing T-shirts that say "Best Vacation Ever" when park security announces that Bart and Homer have been arrested.
  • Theme Naming: Itchy & Scratchy Land does this for both its rides and the restaurant entrees ("Brain Burger with extra pus", "Eyeball Stew").
  • Wasn't That Fun?: After a rather deadly roller-coaster that ends in the family jumping out of the way of a buzz saw onto mattresses, Bart and Lisa title-drop the trope.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Itchy and Scratchy robots were easily subdued by flashing cameras.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: The family is taking a helicopter into the park when the pilot comes over the PA: "Welcome to Itchy & Scratchy Land, where nothing can possibligh go wrong... Possibly go wrong. That's... the first thing that's ever gone wrong."
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: During their road trip to Itchy & Scratchy Land, the Simpsons see a sign reading "Highway to Some Other State".
  • Whole Plot Reference: The entire part of the plot about the robots copies Michael Crichton's film Westworld (even emulating the looks of the film park's maintenance section for the scenes that take place there, like Marge going to fetch the Simpson males from security and Frink talking about his (horribly miscalculated) prediction).
  • Your Costume Needs Work: Homer and Marge visit Itchy's '70s Disco ("Est. 1980") on Parents Island:
    Homer: It is The '70s! Down to the smallest detail!
    Marge: Look! The bartender even looks like John Travolta!
    Travolta: Yeah..."Looks like".


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