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Context Recap / TheSimpsonsS8E24TheSimpsonsSpinOffShowcase

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1[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_simpsons_spin_off_showcase.jpg]] ²Episode - 4F20\²First Aired - 5/11/1997²²A ThreeShorts episode.²²Troy [=McClure=] reveals that Fox is desperately trying to create new shows for their Sunday night line-up, believing the "only" popular shows on the network were ''Series/MelrosePlace'', ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' and ''Series/TheXFiles''.[[note]]With the likes of fellow hit shows ''Series/{{Martin}}'', ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'', and ''Series/LivingSingle'' were either on their way to being canceled or already gone.[[/note]] ²²Initially, this episode was made due to FOX asking Creator/MattGroening and his crew from ''The Simpsons'' to come up with a brand-new show. They didn't come up with any[[note]]though they would later with ''Futurama''[[/note]], but they ''did'' supply three pilots for ''Simpsons'' spinoffs:²²'''Chief Wiggum P.I.''' (Police action shows from the 1970s and 1980s) -- The corrupt, now-former Chief of the Springfield Police Department, Clancy Wiggum, has gone into business for himself in New Orleans with Seymour "Skinny Boy" Skinner (aching to return to his Big Easy roots) along for the ride. In this episode, Chief Wiggum's son gets kidnapped by a Southern crime lord and Clancy and Skinner must find him.²²'''The Love-matic Grampa''' (Cheesy fantasy sitcoms of TheSixties, ''My Mother, the Car'' in particular) -- Having "got lost along the way" to Heaven, Abe Simpson's spirit now inhabits the "love tester" machine at Moe's Tavern and gives the bartender tips on how to win over women.²²'''The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour''' (Variety shows of TheSeventies, specifically ''The Brady Bunch Hour'' and ''Laugh-In''): The Simpsons, minus Lisa -- who declined to participate and is replaced by a blonde teenager -- host a cornball 1960s sketch comedy show, with special guest star Tim Conway.²²[=McClure=] ends the show with a mock preview of the upcoming ninth season, which will include magic powers, multiple weddings, long-lost triplets, and Homer befriending a tiny, green space alien named Ozmodiar that only he can see [[note]]It should be noted that although none of those plots happened in season 9, all of these came true in later episodes to some extent: the magic powers were mostly seen in the Halloween episodes, episodes such as "There's Something About Marrying," "Wedding For Disaster," and "Rome-Old and Juli-Eh" featured crazy weddings, "Double Double Boy in Trouble" had Bart meet a boy who could be his long-lost twin, and the season 12 episode "HOMR" featured a brief appearance by Ozmodiar[[/note]].²----²!!This episode contains examples of:²* AbsenteeActor: With the ADayInTheLimelight structure of the first two segments and Lisa falling victim to TheOtherDarrin in the last segment, Creator/YeardleySmith only has one line in the episode, during ''Chief Wiggum, P.I.''²-->'''Lisa''': Chief Wiggum, I can't wait to hear about all the exciting, sexy adventures you're sure to have against this colorful backdrop!²* {{Acrofatic}}: Big Daddy rather handily escapes from the parade while being chased by Wiggum and Skinner.²* AmbiguousSyntax: Troy [=McClure=] comes back from a commercial break sitting in a chair next to a distinguished-looking man. He says "Welcome back. I'm talking with the Curator of the Museum of TV and Television, Mr. John Winslow," leading you to think he's going to start asking Winslow questions. Instead, Troy stands up and starts walking the other direction, while he introduces the next segment.²* ArtShift: ''The Love-Matic Grandpa'' changes to a more [[LimitedAnimation simplistic, limited art style]] to resemble an AnimatedCreditsOpening.²* BackdoorPilot: Parodied with all ThreeShorts being alleged pilots for spin-offs but everything about them screaming that they wouldn't last long even ''if'' they were approved.²* BackstoryOfTheDay: Seymour Skinner was suddenly born and raised in UsefulNotes/NewOrleans. Too bad he can't seem to pronounce the city's name the same way twice, and he remembers Mardi Gras as "Marty's... something".²* TheBigEasy: The setting of ''Chief Wiggum P.I.'', and according to its backstory, Skinner's birthplace. Wiggum uses two other nicknames for New Orleans: "Sweet Lady Gumbo" and "Old Swampy".²* BitingTheHandHumor: The end of ''The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour'':²-->'''Homer:''' I wish our special guest Tim Conway didn't have to leave so soon.\²'''Tim Conway:''' I'm still here. Fox wouldn't spring for a decent hotel room.\²'''Marge:''' ''(laughs)'' He's just kidding. We'd like to thank Fox and the good people at Budget Lodge.²** The Fox prime-time schedule is shown at the beginning of the show. Except for ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', ''Series/TheXFiles'' and ''Series/MelrosePlace'', every slot is a question mark.²* BlackComedyBurst: ²** Twice in ''The Love-matic Grandpa'' Grandpa Simpson makes comments that really clash with the short's mood. Notably they pass without a laugh track.²--> ''That's the second time he's pulled the plug on me.''\²''I've suffered for so long. Why can't I die?''²** Not quite BlackComedy, but this exchange in ''Smile-Time Variety Hour'' is a similar MoodWhiplash burst.²--->'''Homer''': Well, I know one thing in this world that's still pure and good. ²--->'''Marge''': Christian love? ²--->'''Homer''': No. Candy! Sweet, sweet candy!²* BrainlessBeauty: The replacement Lisa seems to have been held back in school... multiple times.²-->'''Fake Lisa:''' I'm Lisa, peppy, blonde, and stunning! Sophomore prom queen five years running! Go-o-o-o, Lisa!²* CallingCard: Played with in ''Chief Wiggum P.I.''. Near the beginning, while Wiggum and Skinner are discussing about their current situation, a skull is thrown through the window, and the duo realise they have an enemy. Later on, another skull was left behind after Ralph was kidnapped. Cue Skinner: "Big Daddy's trademark calling card... it's right here inside the skull."²* ChairReveal: Played with in ''Chief Wiggum P.I.'', as we see Big Daddy run into his office and get into position so he could pull off this trope when Wiggum comes in a moment later.²* CutTheJuice: In ''The Love-Matic Grampa'' Homer pulls the plug and shuts down Grampa to shut him up as he's berating Homer... [[WorseWithContext for pulling the plug on his life support]].²* ADayInTheLimelight: For Chief Wiggum, Skinner and Ralph in ''Chief Wiggum P.I.'', plus Moe and Abe in ''The Love-Matic Grampa''.²* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: The FramingDevice takes place in the "Museum of TV and Television".²* DinnerWithTheBoss: The beaver sketch in ''The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour''.²* EverybodyLaughsEnding: ''Chief Wiggum P.I.'' ends with one.²* ExpositoryThemeSong: ''The Love-matic Grampa''.²* FatSweatySouthernerInAWhiteSuit: Big Daddy. The first two words on the trope name are even something he laments at one point when he has to run from Wiggum.²* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Beaver Bart taking advantage of the fact he lives in a dam [[note]]A common misconception: Beavers actually live lodges[[/note]] in order to be able to say, "Hey, could you two close the damn door?".²* GreatGazoo: Ozmodiar is a parody, and the original TropeNamer for this trope.²* GunsAkimbo: Parodied in the opening credits sequence of ''Chief Wiggum, P.I.'', in which Wiggum goes gunzerker with a pair of revolvers and wrecks a whole street as collateral damage as he can't hit jack.²* ImpossibleThief: Big Daddy was somehow able to steal the Louisiana Governor's Mansion and relocate it to a swamp without being caught.²* ItsAlwaysMardiGrasInNewOrleans: And the Simpson family makes their cameo in ''Chief Wiggum P.I.'' at a Mardi Gras parade.²* LaughTrack: ''The Love-matic Grampa'' has a particularly obnoxious one, overreacting to every line with either loud laughs, hoots or "awww"s.²* MandatoryLine: The original Lisa only has one line in this episode, and it's during her appearance in ''Chief Wiggum P.I.''²* MissingMom: Sarah, for some reason, is nowhere to be found in ''Chief Wiggum P.I.''²* NeverSmileAtACrocodile: Chief Wiggum gets menaced in his room by an alligator sent by Big Daddy, which gets taken out by Skinner.²-->'''Skinner''': Lucky for you this was just a warning gator. The next one won't be corked. ''(points to the gator's teeth, which have bottle corks stuck on them)''²* NonSequiturThud: Along with the below mentioned ShoutOut, after being beaten, the Love-Matic Grampa advised Moe to tell his date that "Her rump's as big as the Queen's, and twice as fragrant". Moe takes this situation seriously and ends up getting a bowl dumped on his head.²* NotAllowedToGrowUp: See BrainlessBeauty.²* OhCisco: At the end of ''Chief Wiggum, P.I.''²-->'''Ralph''': Daddy, when I grow up, I want to be just like you!²-->'''Skinner''': Better start eating, kid.²-->'''Chief Wiggum''': Start eating?!²-->(''Extremely forced laughter from everyone'')²-->'''Ralph''': I didn't mean it ''that'' way!²* OverlyNarrowSuperlative: After the Love-Matic Grampa's advice results in Moe getting a bowl of food dumped on his head, Moe calls him the ''dumbest'' haunted love tester he has ever met.²* PoesLaw: Some fans mistook the StylisticSuck throughout the episode for actual bad writing. Creator/MattGroening was worried that fans would react this way.²* RequiredSpinOffCrossover: Parodied by the family showing up in New Orleans in ''Chief Wiggum, P.I.'' and Homer dropping by the bar in ''The Love-matic Grampa''.²* ShoutOut: After being beaten up by the bully trio (for calling Kearney gay), the Love-Matic Grampa sings ''Music/{{Daisy}}'' ala [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey HAL 2000]]. ²* ShownTheirWork: ²** ''The Love-matic Grampa'' is a good replication of ''Series/MyMotherTheCar'' in how it starts with a crazy premise and then is forced to get really contrived to keep the gimmick going. The gags and the story structure (romantic {{Farce}} building up to a HappyEnding) owe more to ''Series/LoveAmericanStyle'', and also hits that mark really well.²** ''The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour'' isn't much of an exaggeration of ''The Brady Bunch Hour'' at all. The Brady show really ''was'' that corny and over-the-top. It helps that ''Simpsons'' musical director Alf Clausen had worked on ''The Brady Bunch Hour'''s sister show ''Donny & Marie''.²* SmellySkunk: Homer's boss (Tim Conway) on the Beaver Family sketch in ''The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour''.²* SpecialEditionTitle: This is one of the few episodes between the first season and the high-definition episodes to not have the traditional opening with Bart [[WritingLines writing lines]] and/or a CouchGag.²* StylisticSuck: All three segments are deliberately badly scripted bland and cheesy TV spin-off shows. The idea of "The Love-matic Grampa", for instance, is an obvious parody of the awful concept of ''Series/MyMotherTheCar''.²* TakeThat: Pretty meta with ''The Love-Matic Grampa'', because ''Series/MyMotherTheCar'' is an old shame for series producer James L Brooks.²* ThemeTuneRollCall: ''The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour''.²* TheOtherDarrin: In-universe and parodied with Lisa in ''The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour''. Specifically, she's a parody of the fake Jan from ''Series/TheBradyBunchVarietyHour''²-->'''Troy [=McClure=]:''' [[BlatantLies Thanks to some creative casting, you'll never know the difference!]]²* TheParody: The spin-off shows are mostly spoofs of ''Series/MiamiVice'', ''Series/MagnumPI'', ''Series/StarskyAndHutch'', ''Series/MyMotherTheCar'', ''Series/RowanAndMartinsLaughIn'', Music/TheOsmonds, ''Series/ThePartridgeFamily'', ''Series/TheBradyBunch'', the Smothers Brothers and ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones''. ²* ThisIsGonnaSuck: Big Daddy has this reaction when he is spotted by Wiggum and Skinner and has to run.²-->'''Big Daddy:''' Lord have mercy, I wish I weren't so fat.²* ToBeContinuedRightNow: "''Chief Wiggum P.I.'' will return... right now!"²* VarietyShow: ''The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour''.²* VillainExitStageLeft: Parodied in ''Chief Wiggum P.I.'', in which Big Daddy swims away through the river... slowly.²-->'''Skinner:''' He's gradually getting away, Chief.²-->'''Wiggum:''' Ah, let him go. I have the feeling we'll meet again, each and every week. Always in more sexy and exciting ways.²* VillainsOutShopping: Big Daddy. ²-->'''Big Daddy:''' New Orleans is my town. I got interests, and I ain't talkin' about stamp collecting, though I do find that extremely interesting.²-->'''Skinner:''' Oh yeah? That makes two of us. ²* WhatsAHenway: In ''The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour'', when Homer learns that their special guest is Tim Conway:²-->'''Homer:''' What's a Tim Conway?²-->'''Tim Conway:''' Oh, about 120 pounds.²* WritersCannotDoMath: The Roman numeral copyright date for ''The Love-matic Grampa'' appears to be MCXIIILMCL, which doesn't equate to any actual year in Roman numeral dating. It could be taken as a really convoluted attempt to write the year 2313 (which would actually be MMCCCXIII). In the DVD commentary, the writers admit they just threw random numerals together for RuleOfFunny.

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