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Recap / The Simpsons S 11 E 13 Saddlesore Galactica

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In this Bizarro Episode written by Tim Long, Homer and Bart rescue a horse from a cruel sideshow attraction and train it to be a badass on the racetrack, which irks a secret society of jockey elves. Meanwhile, Lisa files a complaint to President Bill Clinton over an unfair judgment at the county fair's Battle of the Bands.

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  • Absentee Actor: Maggie never appears once in this episode.
  • Aluminium Christmas Trees: "Diving horses" were a popular sideshow attraction in North America from the 1880s to the 1970s.
  • As Himself: South African horse racing announcer Trevor Denman, who wasn't credited for his appearance, is the announcer for all of Duncan's/Furious D's races. He even uses his real-life Catchphrase - "AND AAAAAAAWAY THEY GO!" - at the start of each race.
  • Audience Surrogate: The Comic Book Guy becomes one in this episode, pointing out that it recycles old plots and character traits (such as the Simpsons having a horse and Marge's gambling).
  • Bait-and-Switch: "That horse better win, or we're taking a trip to the glue factory... and he won't get to come!"
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Double Subverted. The Ogdenville band cheats by using visual aids, then is stripped of their win by the President.
    • Subverted by Furious D; he bumps his fellow horses out of the way like he's in a NASCAR race, and is never disqualified.
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  • Cryptid Episode: The third act twist is Homer discovering that all of the other horse jockeys in Springfield are members of a secret society of elves that give him an ultimatum: Duncan must lose the next race or else.
  • Curse Cut Short:
    Nelson: Oh, man, that horse don't take no guff from nobody.
    Jimbo: Guff?!
    Nelson: I mean sh— (Jimbo and Keaney pummel him.)
  • Didn't We Use This Joke Already?:
    • When the Simpsons are mulling over taking Duncan in or not:
      Marge: Hmmm. Should the Simpsons get a horse?
      Comic Book Guy: Excuse me, I believe this family already had a horse, and the expense forced Homer to work at the Kwik-E-Mart, with hilarious consequences.
      Homer: (pause) Anybody care what this guy thinks?
      Crowd: No!
    • Later:
      Marge: Okay, Lisa, I've got Furious D across the board, boxed with the three and the eight and wheeled up and down.
      Lisa: Mom, I think you might be developing a gambling problem.
      Comic Book Guy: (while wearing a "Worst Episode Ever" t-shirt) Hey, I'm watching you.
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  • Everyone Chasing You: Jockey-sized trolls chase after Homer after Homer breaks his promise to throw the horse race so they can win.
  • Heart Beats out of Chest: Parodied and deconstructed. Moe meets a beautiful woman at a horse racing track, and his heart starts beating out of his chest like in the older, wackier Golden Age of Animation cartoons (particularly the Looney Tunes and MGM cartoons directed by Tex Avery). When he notices this, he identifies this as the symptom of a serious medical problem, and says he has to leave for the hospital.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Lisa is right that the Ogdenville band cheated, though few appear to care.
  • Shocking Swerve: The aforementioned reveal that the jockeys are a secret society of elves. Lampshaded In-Universe with Homer believing for a few seconds that he's hallucinating or that the encounter was a dream and later on when he casually says that the jockeys are elves Marge reacts by saying a Big "WHAT?!"
  • Sore Loser: Lisa. It is clear that the other hand cheated and Springfield Elementary's band pulled an awesome performance by playing "Living In America", but it still takes her "whining" about her loss all the way up to the President of the United States in order to find an authority figure that cares about this injustice.
  • Spoof Aesop: Bill Clinton says that if you don't win something, complain until you get it. Marge even points out that that's a lousy lesson...
  • Take That!: ...which Clinton counters by stating he's a lousy president.
  • Take That, Audience!: "Anybody care what this guy [the Comic Book Guy] thinks?"
  • That Was Not a Dream: After the scene in Jockey Town, Homer is sent back to the surface.
    Homer: Did that really happen, or was it all just a wonderful dream?
    Jockey: [popping up] No dream. Lose the race, fat boy.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: Because of Bart's training, Duncan does rough things to win such as getting a hold of a rival horse's jockey with his teeth and tossing him away. He gets to the point that all he needs to keep the other horses from racing is to give them a Death Glare.
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!: Comic Book Guy criticizes the episode, which recycles old plots and character traits ("Excuse me, I believe this family already had a horse", Marge's gambling). As the episode proceeds, he wears a "Worst Episode Ever" shirt. When the credits end at the Gracie Films production logo, he says, "Worst. Episode. Ever."

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