Recap / The Simpsons S 7 E 2122 Short Films About Springfield

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Episode - 3F18
First Aired - 4/14/1996

While spitting on cars from a bridge, Milhouse and Bart begin to wonder if anything interesting ever happens to the people of Springfield — and soon the episode shifts into several vignettes about the lives of everyone in town, from Apu leaving work to go to a party to Lisa getting gum in her hair to several "wacky sitcom" style set pieces (Principal Skinner and Superintendent Chalmers having lunch and Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel getting boots for Brandine) to Milhouse desperately searching for a bathroom to Nelson learning a lesson about laughing at others.

Tropes:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Almost everyone for the residents of Springfield such as Smithers, Dr. Nick, and others (except for Professor Frink, whose chance at his own story gets cut off by the closing credits).
  • Adult Fear: Homer getting Maggie stuck inside a newspaper vendor. His panic is not helped by a newspaper article headlined, "Deadbeat Dad Beat Dead".
  • Blatant Lies: Skinner tells some during the "Skinner and the Superintendent" short but the most blatant is his attempt to have his kitchen fire dismissed as Aurora Borealis.
    Chalmers: Aurora Borealis? At this time of year? At this time of day? In this part of the country? Localized entirely within your kitchen?
    Skinner: Yes.
    Chalmers: May I see it?
    Skinner: No.
  • Book Ends: Bart and Milhouse sitting at the overpass.
  • Buffy Speak:
    Smithers: I-I'm allergic to bee stings. They cause me to, uh, die.
  • Continuity Nod: The Kwik-E-Mart is closed for the second time ever (third, if you count the short scene in "Homer the Vigilante" where Apu is on the roof of the Kwik-E-Mart and shoots at a customer who stops by the store), and Apu eats a tofu dog at Sanjay's party.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: When Homer accidentally locks Maggie inside a newspaper dispenser, he writes a note on a scrap of paper with spray cheese and tucks it to Santa's Little Helper's collar. Unfortunately, SLH eats it.
  • Dinner with the Boss: The segment of Principal Skinner having Superintendent Chalmers over for dinner.
  • Hydrant Geyser: Parodied when Chief Wiggum, on foot, recognizes Snake at the wheel of his car at a light and in the ensuing attempt to flee Snake crashes into a mailbox which results in a geyser of letters spewing forth from the ground.
  • I Am One of Those Too: Skinner tells Chalmers that he calls hamburgers "steamed hams" because it's a dialect from upstate New York.
    Chalmers: Really. Well, I'm from Utica and I never heard anyone use the phrase, "steamed hams."
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Nelson points and laughs at the Tall Guy. The Tall Man pantses him, and parades him through the town, getting everyone to laugh at him.
  • Mugging the Monster: Nelson is horrified by how tall the Tall Guy actually was.
  • Non-Indicative Name: There are actually 19 segments in the episode.
    • Barely 19, actually. Frink rushed in and tried to squeeze his segment in, only for the credits to start up.
    • Barely 17, if you count Lisa's three segments as one.
  • Not Hyperbole: Barney comments that the people at Moe's had a good laugh when Moe said he'd need to send Barney's tab to NASA to calculate. Moe reveals that he did and the results have just arrived.
  • Parrot Expo What:
    Lou: You know, I went to the McDonald's in Shelbyville on Friday night—
    Wiggum: The McWhat?
  • Potty Emergency: Milhouse's story when he's at the Comic Book Guy's store and the antique shop where Snake and Chief Wiggum are held hostage.
  • Running Gagged: The "Hi, Dr. Nick!" part of the usual "Hi, everybody! Hi, Dr. Nick!" exchange is less enthusiastic than usual.
  • Shockingly Expensive Bill: When Moe sent Barney's bar tab to NASA to calculate, the total came back as $14 Billion.
  • Shout-Out: The salon where Lisa goes to remove the gum (and everything else added during the failed attempts to remove the gum) is named Snippy Longstockings.
    • Snake and Chief Wiggum's segments parody the Marsellus-Butch storyline from Pulp Fiction. Wiggum and Lou also do a version of the film's "Royale with cheese" scene.
  • Something Completely Different: A Vignette Episode-cum-Pulp Fiction parody.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: The Tall Man leads the people of Springfield in laughing at Nelson, complete with "Ha-ha!".
  • Vengeful Vending Machine: Homer tries to get a newspaper from a vending booth while carrying both Maggie and the groceries. He gets the newspaper, but gets Maggie trapped inside the booth.
  • Vignette Episode: Invoked when Bart and Milhouse discuss whether or not the people in town have their own adventures.

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