Recap / The Simpsons S 7 E 18 The Day The Violence Died

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Episode - 3F16
First Aired - 3/17/1996

While following an Itchy and Scratchy Diamond Anniversary parade float into the bad side of town, Bart meets a homeless man who turns out to be the original creator of Itchy the Mouse back in 1919 who had his idea stolen from him by Roger Meyers, Sr.

Tropes:

  • Anvil on Head: Chester J. Lampwick tells Bart and Lisa the story of how Roger Meyers, Sr. dropped an anvil on him after he requested royalties for his creation. Luckily, he says, he was carrying an umbrella at the time.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Krusty is put on the stand during the trial:
    Lawyer: Krusty, have you ever seen this so-called animation genius before?
    Krusty: Yes I have.
    Lawyer: [surprised] You have?!
    Krusty: I gave him a couple of blintzes to paint my fence, but he never did it!
  • Charlie Chaplin Shout-Out: Chaplin is seen in the slums when Bart first meets Lampwick. A deleted scene had Homer asking Lampwick to eat a shoe for him, in reference to the Chaplin movie The Gold Rush.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Early on, Bart sees an animation cel for sale in the Android's Dungeon. It ends up being the damning piece of evidence needed to prove that Roger Meyers, Sr. plagiarized Itchy from Chester.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Android's Dungeon has some of the dolls from "Itchy & Scratchy Land". Later on, the Blue Haired Lawyer cites Disgruntled Goat as one of Rodger Mayers Senior's creations.
    • The Itchy & Scratchy parade passes through Bumtown (from "The Springfield Connection"). The abandoned 4-H Club from "The Boy Who Knew Too Little" can be seen as it enters.
    • When Marge is listing Bart and Lisa's accomplishments, she references the events of "Like Father, Like Clown", "Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song", and "Homer's Triple Bypass", as well as the multiple incidents where they foiled Sideshow Bob's evil plans.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: The 1919 "Itchy" cartoon, where Itchy attacks an Irishman, in a parody of the older theatrical cartoons that have racist caricatures in them note 
  • Deus ex Machina: Somewhat of a minor case, since Bart and Lisa likely could have saved the day in the end, but instead of their plan, two characters we have never seen before show up out of nowhere and save the day for not just Roger Meyers, but Apu and Krusty as well. Some viewers perceive this as an Ass-Pull, whereas others see it as a parody of this trope.
  • Did Not Think This Through: Whoever decided the Itchy & Scratchy parade route shouldn't have included Bum Street.
  • God Is Evil: In the Itchy & Scratchy cartoon, Itchy prays to God, whom helps him killing off Scratchy and throws the cat off into the eternal pit of Hell fire. Seems very unethical for a Supreme Being. Then again, he appears to be a mouse.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Theodore Roosevelt appears in Itchy the Lucky Mouse in Manhattan Madness and gets decapitated in Itchy's gruesome tirade.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: Bart tells Chester he can sleep on the floor in the basement, "just remove the bed".
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Roger Meyers, Jr. reacts like this when a bum he never saw before shows up claiming to be Itchy's real creator and expecting 800 million dollars for this in spite of not having any proof of his claim.
  • Mr. Alt Disney: Roger Meyers keeps his father's head inside a fridge, a reference to the urban legend that Walt Disney was cryogenically frozen after his death.
  • Mysterious Middle Initial: Chester J. Lampwick.
  • Mythology Gag: Lester and Eliza are based off the old designs for Bart and Lisa when there were on The Tracey Ullman Show.
  • National Stereotypes: In reference to ethnic stereotyping in old cartoons, Itchy kills off a stereotypically clothed Irishman by sticking him between a trouser press.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: By helping Chester attain the money he was owed for creating Itchy, Bart causes Itchy and Scratchy Studios to go bankrupt and gets his favorite cartoon pulled off the air.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Except for Theodore Roosevelt in the Itchy cartoon.
  • Parody Assistance: That was the real Jack Sheldon as the voice of the Amendment in the Schoolhouse Rock parody, "I'm An Amendment to Be".
  • Plagiarism in Fiction: Roger Meyers, Sr. plagiarized Itchy from Chester J. Lampwick; and Lester and Eliza shown that the U.S. Mail's Mr. ZIP was a plagiarism from a character created by Roger Meyers, Sr. Ironically, Roger Meyers, Jr. points out a number of characters are based on figures from other fiction, just changed to be their own character. Even then, that doesn't let his father off the hook for stealing a character that wasn't his.
    Roger Meyers, Jr.: Animation is built on plagiarism! If it wasn't for The Honeymooners, we would have never had The Flintstones! If someone hadn't made Sergeant Bilko, there'd be no Top Cat! Huckleberry Hound, Chief Wiggum, Yogi Bear? Hah! Andy Griffith, Edward G. Robinson, Art Carney.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The story is inspired by the feud between Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer, whom both claimed to have been the original creators of Felix the Cat.
  • Reality Ensues: When Bart and Chester first go to Itchy & Scratchy to demand a check for Chester being Itchy's real creator in spite of having no proof, Roger Meyers, Jr. takes it as seriously as a real life businessman would do.
  • Reluctant Gift: When Roger Meyers, Jr. presents the check, he refuses to let go for a few seconds and Lampwick struggles with him. When Lampwick finally wrests the check away, he bites it as if testing for a counterfeit coin.
  • Riddle for the Ages:
    • How did Bart and Lisa expect to save the cartoon company? Was it the same way Lester and Eliza did?
    • When did Apu get busted for indecent exposure? And what about Krusty and his estranged wife?
  • Running Gag: Someone offers Chester food for a job, which he never does and complains the food was awful. Then they demand him to do the job he's hired to do, Chester says "Make me!", and a fight ensues.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Special Guest: Kirk Douglas voices Chester Lampwick.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Grampa Simpson and Krusty the Clown. Both of them offered Chester food as payment for chores he refuses to perform because the food was awful and fight Chester when he dares them to make him do the chores.
  • Tempting Fate: After Bart watches the 1919 movie, he says Chester J. Lampwick will become rich and famous as soon as people watch it. The movie then catches fire.
  • The Unreveal: We'll never know what plan Bart and Lisa concocted to help save Itchy and Scratchy Studios, since two lookalikes beat them to it.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: The "Schoolhouse Rock" parody is never identified as such, but it looks, feels, and sounds like one.

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