Recap: The Simpsons S 7 E 20 Bart On The Road

Episode - 3F17
First Aired - 3/31/1996

While stuck with Patty and Selma at the DMV as part of "Go to Work With Your Parents Day" (which Principal Skinner cooked up in order to accommodate his vacation to Hong Kong) Bart creates a fake driver's license that says he's 25 years old, and, with the help of Martin's $600 he got from his father the stockbrocker, Bart, Martin, Milhouse, and Nelson go on a road trip. Meanwhile, Lisa and Homer spend time together at the nuclear plant, and Marge must deal with being left alone.

Tropes:

  • Angrish/Dissonant Serenity: Homer seems okay after Lisa tells him about Bart's trouble, but his face turns red. Then he puts on a radiation helmet and rants so much that the helmet fogs up. And immediately afterwards, he composes himself and very calmly states:
    "All right, I have thought this through. I will send Bart the money to get home, then I will murder him."
  • Captain Obvious: Milhouse on seeing Bart's driver's license.
    Milhouse: Twenty five years old? You're not twenty five years old. This I.D. is completely fake.
    Bart: Yes, you're right, Milhouse. It is a fake, which makes it a fake I.D.!
  • A Fool and His New Money Are Soon Parted: Martin made one million dollars on the stock market. As soon as he's told that, he lost all but $600 and is reprimanded by his father for being greedy. Not bad, considering he only started with ten dollars.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The boys might not have gotten in as much trouble had Milhouse seen that the AAA guide was from 1982.
  • Hidden Depths: Nelson loves Andy Williams so much that he bashes the back of Bart's head to stop and attend a concert in Branson, MO.
  • Human Mail: This is how Bart and his friends travel home in a shipment crate.
  • I Resemble That Remark: Milhouse, when Martin appears.
    Bart: We're having the best spring break of our lives, and we don't need you around nerding it up.
    Milhouse: That job is taken.
  • Motor Mouth: When Lisa reveals to Homer how Bart's in trouble. For those who don't know what Lisa said, here is what she told Homer: "Bart rented a car with a phony driver's license and drove Milhouse, Nelson, and Martin to a wig outlet in Knoxville and the car got crushed and they're out of money and they can't get home and Bart's working as a courier and just came back from Hong Kong."
  • Newhart Phonecall: Two examples. One when Bart calls Lisa for help and she listens to how he and the others got stranded in Nashville, another when Marge gets phone calls related to Bart's misadventures at the end (from Principal Skinner, the Tennessee State Police, and the courier boss who wants Bart to deliver a human kidney to Amsterdam).
  • Non-Indicative Name:
    • Nelson and Bart go to the cinema to see a film named "Naked Lunch".
    • The National Grammar Rodeo in Canada.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Patty and Selma at the DMV.
    Patty: Some days, we don't let the line move at all.
    Selma: We call those weekdays.

    (later, when Selma takes Cletus' photograph for his driver's license) Selma: I just gotta go laminate your license; you'll get it in two to three weeks.
  • Oh, Crap: Bart when Lisa suggests to Marge that he go with Patty and Selma to the DMV for "Go Work With Your Parents Day", instead of staying home as he had planned.
  • Riddle for the Ages: How does Homer know that Branson, MO is "Vegas, if it were run by Ned Flanders"? Has he ever been there? Did Flanders tell him about it?
  • Road Trip Episode: Just the main plot. The B-story focuses on Homer and Lisa bonding at the nuclear plant and the scant C-story focuses on Marge trying to find something to do while her husband is at work, Bart is on the road, and Lisa is with Homer.
  • Smart People Know Latin: To cover going on a road trip, Bart tells his family he's going to the National Grammar Rodeo.
    Lisa: I'm the best student in school, how come I never heard about this competition?
    Bart: Maybe because you are, as we say in Latin, a "dorkus malorkus."
    Lisa: That's not Latin. Mom, Bart's faking it.
    Marge: Lisa, you've had your glory. Now it's Bart's turn.
  • Spill Stain Sabotage: To have Bart be able to get his friends home, Homer orders a new control console from the nuclear plant supplier. Informed over the phone that his console is still working, Homer pours soda on it and the alarmed representative makes the order.
  • Swivel-Chair Antics: Lisa decides to liven things up by spinning in swivel chairs wearing hazmat suits. Homer replies that, "This is a lot more fun with a second person."
  • Tranquil Fury: Homer after he finds out about what Bart did, until he gets hazmat headgear on and rants loudly for a bit. Afterwards he's tranquil again and says he'll give Bart the money to fly home so that he can kill him. Lisa gets him to come up with a better idea.
  • Who Is Driving?: At one point, Bart joins Milhouse, Nelson, and Martin in the backseat. When they ask who is driving, Bart casually answers "cruise control", mistaking cruise control for some form of auto-pilot. The car then plows right into a cornfield.
  • X Meets Y: Bart says that Branson, Missouri is "Vegas if it were run by Ned Flanders," which is Truth in Television.
  • You Don't Sound Like You: Lisa's and Nelson's voices are deeper and scratchier than usual in this episode.