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Recap / Star vs. the Forces of Evil S4 E8 "Down by the River"

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Moon and River try to adjust to life after giving up their crowns.


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  • 100% Adoration Rating: In stark contrast to Eclipsa, the Mewmans still love Moon and consider her their queen. Upon discovering she's back and living in the woods, the Maizleys began hovering around her after they lose their home, Moon eventually allowing them to live nearby and taking in other Mewman refugees.
  • All Take and No Give: A major shortcoming in Moon's reign (even just toward mewmans) turns out to be that she inadvertently made her subjects completely reliant on her, simply giving them good jobs and homes without teaching them how to take care of themselves.
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  • Can't Stay Normal: Moon just wants to live a quiet life in the woods, but the mewmans are so inept at surviving without a queen that she ends up falling back into the role, eventually taking in more and more refugees.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • As a result of her Sanity Slippage, Moon starts baking Strawberry Death Pies, the same kind of pie the Pie King tried to use on Star back in ''Escape from the Pie Folk".
    • Moon creates a moat of Alligators to keep away the Maizleys, and reminds River that she can speak gator, going "bwaw" as she did in The Battle for Mewni to get to the Citadel of Magic.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Moon and River are the only recurring characters. The episode also focuses on the Maizleys, a family of Mewmans displaced from their home.
  • Give a Man a Fish...: The overall message of the episode. A good leader shouldn't just do everything for their subjects, they need to show them how to do things for themselves.
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  • Macro Zone: It's lampshaded that the Maizleys should have realized that their home was originally a monster house, given that the place is scaled to inhabitants far larger than Mewmans. Apparently they'd been using the sink as a swimming pool, for example.
  • Made of Explodium: Turns out the reason they're called "Strawberry Death Pies" is because they explode upon contact with something.
  • Mock Meal: In lieu of food, River is reduced to cooking sticks and rocks.
  • Real After All: Played with; the Maizleys have never been in a forest before, and so even the parents still believe in a forest-dwelling boogeyman called "the Hook Man". Later, they claim they ran into for real—except he's actually an unscrupulous salesman who "hooks" people into buying completely worthless products (in their case insurance for a home they don't have).
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  • Sanity Slippage: The Maizleys keeping her up at night leads Moon to start losing her mind, as she soon resorts to baking Strawberry Death Pies, creates a moat filled with Alligators, and builds a catapult and a watchtower, all in the span of one night. She begins getting over it when she realizes the Maizleys are missing and she grows concerned about them.
  • Shout-Out: Moon's Death Pies taste like they were made in a factory. A ''bomb'' factory. They're bombs.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Even though she and River wanted to take some time off and just relax now that Eclipsa is Queen, Moon can't escape being royalty as the other Mewmans are a bit Too Dumb to Live. Since they still love Moon and relied on her for so much, with Eclipsa's reforms upheaving their lifestyle and leaving them unable to adapt, Moon is forced to take charge once more, just on a lesser scale, turning her and River's yurt into the start of a new community for refugee Mewmans.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: The Maizleys end up living next to Moon and River, driving them crazy with their eccentricities. Later on, Moon feels bad for how she treated them, and so she decides to teach them (then later many others) how to survive.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: The Maizleys come back to their home only to find it had been returned to a family of monsters, who were the original owners. The Maizleys should have known they were living on what was originally a monster house, as it was built on a larger-than-mewman scale.

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