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Recap / Back To The Future The Animated Series S 1 E 12 Retired

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Jules and Verne take advantage of April Fool's Day to play a number of mischievous pranks. However, their actions wind up being no laughing matter when their sabotage of Doc's Brain-Wave Analyzer convinces him he's used up most of his brain capacity. Depressed at being deprived of his career as a scientist and convinced that he's a burden to his family, Doc wanders off to find something else that he can do with his cerebral deficit. Can his family stop him before the prank gets too far out of hand?

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Tropes:

  • April Fools' Plot: The episode takes place on April Fool's Day and centers around Jules and Verne's April Fools' prank convincing Doc that he has only a tiny amount of his brain capacity left.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In the beginning, one of the pranks Jules and Verne play is switching the sugar in the sugar bowl for salt. It quickly gets forgotten thanks to the fallout of their other pranks but comes up again when Doc puts "sugar" in his cup of coffee at the end of the episode.
    • Early in the episode, Verne packs worm-filled apples for Principal Strickland. Later, when his mother and Marty turn up at school to tell the boys about Doc's disappearance, Verne asks if the reason they're here in the middle of the school day has anything to do with Principal Strickland going home with a stomachache around lunchtime.
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  • Heroic BSoD: Doc becomes depressed after finding out that he can no longer continue his career in science, to the point of simply sitting around in a bathrobe watching television.
  • Hypocritical Humor: The depressed Doc is watching a soap opera where one character is pleading with another to "do something with [his] life" and not waste it. Doc calls it "unrealistic", but a few moments later, he and Clara have the same exchange word for word.
  • I Gave My Word: Inverted; Clara asks Marty if he's sure Doc will turn up at the Pinheads concert so Jules and Verne can confess their sabotage. Marty answers that he's positive, because Doc promised he would be there, "and he's never broken a promise to me yet."
  • The Last Dance: At the end, Doc is thrust into the position of coming up with a clever idea to deal with the flooding caused by the out-of-control weather machine. He protests, given that he only has one or two ideas left, but decides he may as well "go out with a bang."
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  • Never My Fault: When they have to explain to their father that his mistaken idea is the result of their sabotage, Verne tries to pin the blame entirely on Jules.
  • Not So Above It All: Jules may be a Child Prodigy, but as proven by his cheerfulness as he and his brother are setting up their tricks at the beginning, he still enjoys childish pranks.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Jules and Verne kick off the entire plot by sabotaging one of their father's inventions. While this was intended as a simple April Fool's Day prank, it spirals into the events of the rest of the episode.
    • Clara, upon failing to snap Doc out of his Heroic BSoD and watching him accidentally break two things, says she's going to get Marty to talk to him "before [he] destroys the entire house." This convinces Doc he needs to strike out on his own to avoid being a burden to his wife and sons.
    • Finally, Marty uses Doc's weather machine to provide special effects for the concert, not knowing that Jules and Verne sabotaged that too, which results in heavy flooding.
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