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

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 (YMMV tropes can be found here):

  • Anvil on Head: Chester J. Lampwick tells Bart and Lisa the story of how Roger Myers, Sr. dropped an anvil on him after he requested royalties for his creation. Luckily, he says, he was carrying an umbrella at the time.
  • 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.
  • Genre Savvy: When Snowball the cat hears that Chester Lampwick is an animator she quickly runs away in panic...
  • 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.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Kirk Douglas voices Chester Lampwick.
  • 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."
  • Lost Forever: The only copy of the first Itchy cartoon is destroyed when the film catches fire and burns up.
  • Mr. Alt Disney: Roger Myers 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.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Except for Teddy Roosevelt in the Itchy cartoon.
  • Parody Assistance and Hey, It's That Voice!: 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. Cause that doesn't let his father off the hook for stealing a character that wasn't his.
    Roger Myers, Jr.: TV 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.
  • 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?
  • Shout-Out:
    • "The Day the Violence Died" is a reference to "The Day The Music Died", the official nickname for February 2, 1959, when rock 'n' roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper all died in a plane crash. The nickname was thought up by Don McLean in his song "American Pie".
    • "Itchy & Scratchy Meet Fritz the Cat" is a reference to Fritz the Cat.
    • The very first Itchy cartoon is a stylistic parody of silent animated cartoons like Felix the Cat and Gertie the Dinosaur.
    • Bart and Lisa watch a rerun of Schoolhouse Rock on tv.
    • The final Itchy & Scratchy cartoon where Itchy chases Scratchy in a desert landscape over a road brings Wile E Coyote And Road Runner to mind.
  • Time Marches On: Nowadays the idea that Chester Lampwick had created Itchy way back in 1919 and is still alive to this day seems even less likely than it did in 1995.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: The "Schoolhouse Rock" parody is never identified as such.