Recap / The Simpsons S 7 E 11 Marge Be Not Proud
You really screwed up this time, Bart Simpson.

Episode - 3F07
First Aired - 12/17/1995

In the second Christmas Episode, Bart gets busted for shoplifting the season's must-have video game and Marge decides to cut him out of everything the family is doing for Christmas, out of depression and the realization that he's not the little boy she loves anymore.


  • The Atoner: Bart becomes guilt-ridden when Marge becomes heartbroken by his shoplifting and tries to make it up to her.
  • Badass Santa: In the video game commercial.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Bart feels smothered by Marge's babying of him and wishes she would back off. Not too long after he's caught shoplifting...
  • Black Sheep: Bart after he's caught shoplifting, saying that everyone thinks he's one.
  • Bowdlerization: The original FOX broadcast cut out the store detective's line, "If I wanted smoke blown up my ass, I'd stay at home with a pack of cigarettes and a short length of hose." This line is also cut on the UK's Sky One channel. (Unusually, the original US broadcast was the only time this line wasn't heard apart from that. The syndicated version and the DVD have the line intact)
  • Brick Joke: When Bart tries to rent a copy of "Bonestorm" from The Android's Dungeon, Comic Book Guy doesn't have any but tries to convince Bart to rent "Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge" since no one was buying it, which is what Bart ends up getting for Christmas.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Marge buys Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge because she thought it was the one Bart wanted.
  • Disappointed in You: Both Homer and Marge when they find out about Bart's shoplifting. Homer is outraged, while Marge goes into a Heroic B.S.O.D.. Even Lisa says she wouldn't have expected Bart to do such a thing.
  • Easily Forgiven: While Marge is initially upset with Bart's activities, she does actually start acting like her usual self toward him before the reveal of the picture. She even got him a video game she thought he'd love.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: What leads Bart to feel guilty and try to atone for the shoplifting is seeing how badly it hurt Marge.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Bart has a coat on when he's outside, but his shorts make his legs clearly exposed to the bitter cold.
  • Foil: Gavin, the spoiled brat at Try-N-Save, is Bart sans any and all redeeming qualities, with a few he doesn't even display revved up. Arguably, he's Bart if Marge had completely given up on raising Bart at an early age.
  • Gotta Have It, Gonna Steal It: Bart is caught trying to steal a copy of Bonestorm from the Try-N-Save.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: The news of her son's shoplifting leaves Marge quite numbed.
  • High-Pressure Emotion: Parodied. When Bart hears the family will be going to the Try-N-Save for their Christmas photo (the family don't know about his shoplifting yet, and Bart was told he would go to juvenile hall if he was caught in the store again), steam appears to shoot out of his ears. It turns out to come from kettles on the stove behind Bart's head.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • When Milhouse has Bart kicked out of the Van Houten house for "swearing", Bart can be heard saying "dammit, I wasn't swearing" as Luann shoves him out. Doubles as Not Helping Your Case.
    • As Bart is led away after being caught shoplifting:
    Gavin's mother: That boy's parents must've made some big mistakes.
    Gavin: Shut up, Mom!
  • Jerkass: Detective Don Brodka. He has every right to be pissed about Bart's shoplifting, (attempt to) notify his parents, and ban him from the store...but when Bart and his family come back to get their picture taken, Brodka could have at least waited until their picture was done before he chastises the boy again. But he doesn't, and the picture shows a husky arm grabbing Bart.
  • Karma Houdini: Nelson and Jimbo don't get busted for stealing, but Bart does and suffers the consequences for it.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Zigzagged, Nelson is shown wearing a turtleneck instead of his usual shirt.
  • Literary Allusion Title: A play on famous sonnet by John Donne "Death Be Not Proud".
  • Mama Didn't Raise No Criminal: Marge and Homer's initial reaction when Bart is confronted for shoplifting during the family photo. But when the security guard shows her the undeniable proof...
    Homer: He's a thief...
    Marge: Oh, Bart...
  • Must Make Amends: Bart, after seeing how upset Marge is when she find out about his shoplifting. He makes it up to her by getting her a framed photo of himself (making sure he has the receipt as well to show he paid for it this time).
  • My Beloved Smother: Marge, to Bart. At first, at least.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Bart's reaction when he sees how much his shoplifting has hurt Marge.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: "Lee Carvello's Putting Challenge" is a parody of "Lee Trevino's Fighting Golf".
  • Off-Model: Marge is missing part of her left arm when she and Homer are chastising Bart for shoplifting.
  • Oh, Crap!: Bart, when he's told the family will be having their Christmas photo done at Try-N-Save. This is after he was told he would go to juvenile hall if he was caught there again. Uh-oh...
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Homer's reaction to Bart's theft has a rare instance of him being utterly outraged (and not in the normal hammy style Homer usually has, either). Granted, he forgets what he's angry at Bart about when he gets sidetracked.
  • Pun: Based on Troy McClure's documentary, the word "shoplifting" came from ancient times when shops were small stands thieves literally lifted to steal from.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Bart sees a TV commercial for a wildly popular and ultra-violent video game called Bonestorm, and decides he wants it for Christmas. The musclebound Santa Claus who is the ad's pitchman demands in a "professional wrestler" voice, "Tell your parents: 'Buy me Bonestorm or GO TO HELL!" Bart walks into the kitchen and tries just that—and it doesn't work. Instead, Marge scolds him for using profanity... and Homer scolds him for not saying "please."
    • Having no money of his own to buy Bonestorm, Bart goes down to the shopping center and sees some other kids stealing merchandise. After struggling against temptation, he finally gives in to it and swipes a copy of Bonestorm from the rack. He hides it under his coat and dodges the lenses of the security cameras, somehow managing to make it outside undetected. As he steps out into the street, he gloats about having gotten away with his crime—only to be immediately grabbed by the store's security guard, who had apparently witnessed the theft on a security camera.
    • Following Bart's arrest, Marge temporarily loses all respect for him. He decides to make amends by getting her a special Christmas gift of a framed photo of himself (which he does pay for, keeping the receipt to prove it), hoping that by doing this he'll earn his mother's forgiveness. And in fact, Marge does begin respecting him again, and to show her gratitude for the holiday photo gives Bart a video game wrapped in Christmas paper, saying that the store told her it was the game all the boys want. Bart eagerly opens it, expecting to see Bonestorm—but instead it's a boring golf-putting game.
      • In that same scene, when Bart walks in with his present, he's hiding it in his coat. Naturally, a distrusting Marge and Homer immediately assume that he's stolen something else and try to catch and punish him.
  • Shout-Out
    • The Bonestorm video game is a Mortal Kombat parody. The characters in the commercial even resemble Goro.
    • Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, and Sonic the Hedgehog all appear in Bart's fantasy and convince him to steal a copy of Bonestorm.
      • This gets homaged in LEGO Dimensions when Sonic and Bart interact. "Remember, Bart: If you see a Gold Brick, just take it! Takeittakeittakeittakeit! TAKE IT!"
  • Skewed Priorities: When Marge scolds Bart for saying "Buy me Bonestorm or go to hell", Homer seems more concerned with the fact that his son didn't say "please" than that his son told his mother to go to hell if she wouldn't buy him a video game.
  • Spoiled Brat: Bart meets one (named Gavin) when he goes to Try 'n Save to stare at the game.
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: Detective Don Brodka. He calls the Simpson household to report that Bart was arrested for shoplifting. There are "uh-huh" and "that's right"s in his phone call, suggesting that he's talking to someone on the other end, but after he hangs up:
    Don: They weren't home, uh-huh. But I left a message on their answering machine, that's right.
  • Take That!: As Homer reprimands Bart for stealing:
    "We live in a society of laws! Why do you think I took you to all those Police Academy movies?! For fun?! Well, I didn't hear anyone laughing! Did you?! Well, except for the guy who did sound effects..."
    • Bart hides the tape with Brodka's message in the place no one would look for it: a tape cassette cover for Allan Sherman's "Camp Granada".