Creamed Cherries, a.k.a. Steamed Hams, but It Stars Bambi and Doesn't Actually Have Any Steamed Hams in It is a 2018 fanfic by Bagel Brain.
The story is a lighthearted retelling of the popular and memetic "Skinner and the Superintendent" skit (more famously known as the "Steamed Hams" skit) from the Simpsons episode "22 Short Films About Springfield", but in a twist, it's set in the universe of Bambi.
The plot is centered on Bambi having a lunch date with Faline at the insistence of his friends (which he insists is just a "bonding exercise") and spends the whole morning gathering berries for them to eat. But an accident involving Thumper and some bees ruins the berries, forcing Thumper to lie to Faline about what happened and forcing Bambi to improvise with apples for their lunch, trying his best not to let anything spoil the occasion for them.
You can read it here.
- Adaptation Expansion: The fic adds a couple new scenes that weren't in the original skit and expands a couple others.
- Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: In the original skit, it was a Dinner with the Boss scenario where the neurotic Skinner tries his best to not bungle a luncheon with his boss Superintendent Chalmers. The story here completely alters the context into a gentler story with light romantic undertones as the shy and demure Bambi tries his best to make his lunch date with Faline go well, and the situation isn't kicked off by a character's negligence (Skinner leaving his roast to burn) but by a mistake Thumper caused that was initiated by an outside force (accidentally smashing Bambi's berries while trying to swat some bees away from him).
- Adapted Out: The sitcom song parody in the original skit is dropped, presumably because it would be difficult to get it to work in the context of the setting the characters live in.
- Affectionate Parody: Of the famous "Skinner and the Superintendent" Simpsons skit.
- Agony of the Feet: Thumper stubs his toe against a rock while trying to attack some bees that are annoying him.
- Alliterative Title: Creamed Cherries.
- Artistic License Biology: Lampshaded in the ending when Thumper and Flower are carried off by a swarm of angry bees, with the story noting that bees probably wouldn't be strong enough to do that.
- Body Horror: Thumper and Flower get attacked by a swarm of angry bees, and eventually get so swollen from the stinging that they're rendered immobile.
- Book-Ends: The story starts and begins with the line "But that's nature for you—it's everything you least expect."
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: The opening starts off peaceful enough, describing birds singing, daffodils swinging and spiders eating trapped flies for breakfast.
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Played for Laughs as Bambi tries to pass off some mushed up apples as "Creamed Cherries" to Faline, and falsely claims it's something he learned from his father.
- Either/Or Title: The story has two titles: "Creamed Cherries" and "Steamed Hams But it Stars Bambi and Doesn't Actually Have Any Steamed Hams in It".
- Exercise Excuse: This is a Bambi fanfic, parodying the "Skinner and the Superintendent" skit from The Simpsons episode "22 Short Films About Springfield". Like the actual skit, a character (in this case, Bambi) lies that he is stretching his legs because he doesn't want another character (in this case Faline) to realise the lunch is spoiled. However, unlike the actual skit, Bambi is climbing a log to reach a tree, whereas in the skit, Skinner was climbing out of his window.
- "Fawlty Towers" Plot: Like in the original skit, Bambi is constantly forced to keep improvising one lie after another in an attempt to keep his date with Faline from going pear-shaped.
- Insistent Terminology: Bambi insists to Thumper and Flower that he's not going on a date, but rather a "bonding exercise". He completely drops the pretense by the end.
- It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: The story opens with this, before immediately clarifying that it was dark and stormy the night before, but it's now a beautiful summer afternoon.
- Lampshade Hanging:
- The title is up, front and center that there are no steamed hams present in this retelling.
- The ending humorously acknowledges that bees probably shouldn't be able to lift a rabbit and skunk into the air under their own power.
- Lighter and Softer: Not that the "Steamed Hams" skit was that dark to begin with, but the all around tone of this retelling (save for the opening gag about the spider and Thumper and Flower getting immobilised by bee stings) is gentler in humor so as to more closely match the tone of the Bambi series.
- Mythology Gag: Bambi explicitly identifies the forest he lives in as being set somewhere in Maine. This is a nod to the fact that a significant chunk of wildlife research for the original movie was done in the Mt. Katahdin region of Maine.
- No Antagonist: The story is set into motion by some angry bees, but they aren't evil and are only acting in retaliation for Thumper trying to swat at them. Otherwise, the conflict is just Bambi trying to keep his lunch date from going awry.
- Not a Date: Bambi insists on calling his lunch date with Faline a "bonding exercise", but gives up on it by the end.
- Overly Long Title: The larger version of the title is a bit of a mouthful.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: Given the story is set in a forest with normal woodland critters, several of the original story elements are tweaked to match the setting. For starters, the eponymous hams are replaced with apples, since it would be rather nonsensical (and disturbing) for Bambi and Faline, who are deer and thus herbivores, to eat meatnote . The threat of Skinner's oven being left unattended is replaced by the threat of a swarm of angry bees terrorizing Thumper and Flower. And most of the lines are completely rewritten to better suit the characters.
- Recycled In Space: It's "Skinner and the Superintendent" WITH BAMBI!
- Scary Stinging Swarm: A bee's nest located near the lunch spot unwittingly sets off the conflict when Thumper, trying to swat away the bees, accidentally smashes the berries Bambi gathered for Faline, forcing Bambi to get creative. They continue terrorizing Thumper and Flower and eventually whisk them away, forcing Bambi to go after them.
- Slice of Life: The whole story is just about Bambi and Faline having a lunch date.
- Short Story: The story is less than 3,000 words long.
- Shout-Out: When he's complimenting Bambi, Thumper exclaims "Bambi, your genius is showing!".
- Truth in Television: As audacious as Bambi's aurora borealis claim is, it actually is possible to see the Northern Lights in Maine at a certain point in the year.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Averted. Bambi explicitly identifies the forest they live in, the location of which is left ambiguous in the films, as being set in Maine. Doubles as a Mythology Gag, as the animators on the original Bambi film travelled to Maine (specifically, the Mt. Katahdin region) to research the deer there for the film, and even allegedly based the thicket Bambi was born in on a real spot there.
- Whole Plot Reference: The story is a retelling of the "Steamed Hams" skit in the Bambi universe.