Recap: The Simpsons S 7 E 15 Bart The Fink

Episode - 3F12
First Aired - 2/11/1996

While doling out checks to everyone he knows after opening a bank account, Bart accidentally reveals that Krusty the Klown has been hiding his earnings in an illegal offshore account in The Cayman Islands, resulting in his hero's financial ruin note  and apparent suicide.

Tropes:

  • Bait and Switch:
    Kent Brockman: "Ladies and gentlemen, Krusty the Klown!! - was arrested today for massive tax fraud."
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The bankers of the Bank of Springfield, they wear different headgear as gimmicks but they're very competent at their job and even end up getting Krusty busted for tax fraud.
  • Continuity Nod: When "Rory Bellows" was swimming from his boat to the shore, his face colors melted, revealing his "Krusty" face, which goes with the revelation on "Homer's Triple Bypass" that Krusty's "clown make-up" was not make-up (which had something to do with his heart condition), but contadicts "Krusty Gets Busted" and "Brush With Greatness," which reveal that Krusty's clown make-up is temporary and he doesn't wear it when he's off-camera (which the writers stopped doing because they didn't want people thinking Krusty the Clown was Homer Simpson in disguisenote ).
    • When Homer does taxes at IRS Burger, he asks Marge about her gambling losses, a reference to the season five episode "$pringfield (or 'How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling')," in which Marge became a gambling addict and apparently, no effort was made to cure her of her problem.
    • Bart and Lisa irrefutably identify Rory B. Bellows as Krusty in the same manner as in "Kamp Krusty".
  • Conveniently Timed Distraction: Superintendant Chalmers is returning Agnes Skinner from a date when they are greeted by Seymour on an apron. Skinner wishes for a distraction to take attention away from his embarrasing situation, and at that moment Krusty flies by on his airplane, wailing loudly. "That'll do", says Seymour.
  • Epic Fail: When Lisa and Bart find Rory B. Bellows and confront him with the knowledge that they know he is Krusty The Clown, he at first insisted he was Bellows, before trying to escape by boat. Only to find the boat was still docked and tied.
    Rory/Krusty: You know, you kids coulda said something instead of letting me make an ass of myself.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: When Bart and Lisa convince Krusty to come back to his old life:
    Bart: So, Krusty, what are you gonna do about your tax problems?
    Krusty: Don't sweat it. The life of Rory B. Bellows is insured for a surprisingly large amount.
    (Krusty's boathouse explodes; he and the kids laugh.)
  • Fake-Out Opening: The episode initially looks like it will be about the Simpsons spending the night at a haunted house, but that plot ends as soon as it begins (it cuts from their arrival to the next morning, completely without incident). The rest of the episode revolves around Bart issuing checks to everyone (at least until his scheme to get Krusty's autograph leads to Krusty getting exposed for tax fraud).
  • Faking the Dead: Krusty faked his death to start a new life and later faked the death of his alter ego to collect insurance money.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Krusty should be an entertainer just because Bart wants him to be, despite the many unhappy problems he had.
  • Fat Bastard: The guy on the Cayman Islands. He even looks a lot like Sidney Greenstreet.
  • Insurance Fraud: Krusty insures his new identity's life "for a surprisingly large amount".
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: They took 95 percent of Krusty's future earnings (it'd be 75 for the next 40 years but Krusty said he didn't plan to live that long) and took over his show and Krusty Burger (renamed IRS Burger and with a tax theme).
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: Bart getting a check not signed by Krusty the Clown himself → revelation of tax fraud.
  • Move Along, Nothing to See Here: Averted by Chief Wiggum, who invites the crowd to gawk at the plane crash wreckage. (Currently provides the page quote.)
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Bart when he inadvertently gets Krusty arrested.
    Bart: Krusty's my hero. How could I do this to him?
    Lisa: I know it's sad Bart, but you shouldn't beat yourself up over it.
    Bart: Yeah, the other kids will do that for me at school tomorrow.
  • On One Condition: Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie had to spend a night in a haunted house in order to inherit $100 each. The lawyer said that condition was a standard clause.
  • Riches to Rags: Krusty after the Feds caught him.
  • Saying Too Much: See below...
  • Swiss Bank Account: The Cayman Islands version:
    Cayman Islands guy: (on phone) I'm sorry, but I cannot divulge information about that customer's secret illegal account.
    (hangs up)
    Oh, Crap! I shouldn't have said he was a customer.
    Oh, Crap! I shouldn't have said it was a secret.
    Oh, Crap! I certainly shouldn't have said it was illegal.
    (sighs)
    It's too hot today.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Krusty nearly takes Bart up on his offer of a free punch.