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Recap / The Simpsons S 11 E 16 Pygmoelian

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Realizing that he's ugly after his face gets censored on the new Duff calendar, Moe gets plastic surgery and gets back at everyone who thought he was too ugly — which lands him a role on Springfield's most popular soap opera, It Never Ends. Meanwhile, Bart and Lisa chase after Maggie's runaway pink elephant balloon.


  • Always a Live Transmission: When Moe receives a script in which his character is killed in a skydiving accident, he flips out and teams up with Homer to take revenge on the show. During a live broadcast, Homer arrives in the guise of Moe's character's "guardian angel" and proceeds to spoil every major plot point for the next year.
  • Cheated Angle: One of the few times Moe is intentionally shown facing front. After Moe wins the competition, his picture is taken for the calendar, but it has him facing forward and giving an uneasy grin. After the Duff workers berate the ugly photo, Moe (still facing front) gives them a sheepish thumbs up.
    Duffman: That's a mug you don't wanna chug!
    Phil Angelides: Knock it off, Larry. We can't put this face on our calendar!
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Titania slept with Duffman so he would let her win a beer-related contest. Too bad for her Duffman lied about that.
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  • Disproportionate Retribution: After the covering-up of his face on the new Duff calendar, Moe takes out his indignation on... Duff-Man, the mascot.
    Duff-Man: (watering his lawn) That brown patch could use a little H2 OH YEAH!
    (Moe pulls up, and gets out)
    Moe: Let's see how you like having a sticker on your face! (slaps a sticker over Duff-Man's face big enough to cover it completely)
    Duff-Man: Duff-Man can't breathe! Oh no!
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: When Moe and Homer get their hands on future plot developments for It Never Ends, they find out that Moe's character is slated to be killed off in a sky-diving accident, complete with a thorough description of his autopsy. This pisses Moe off and he and Homer try to get revenge for it by spoiling an entire year's worth of plot twists while they're in the middle of a live broadcast, only for them to find out that Moe's character's death is All Just a Dream, which naturally gets him fired.
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  • Easily Forgiven: Inverted. Moe calls out an old high school classmate who turned him down when he asked her out to a dance. His classmate immediately apologizes for hurting his feelings, which he wasn't expecting at all.
  • Everybody Cries: When Moe is believing himself to be ugly, Carl tries to reassure him by pointing out Homer, Lenny, and Barney's flaws in comparison to Moe's. This results in Homer, Lenny, Barney, and Moe breaking down in tears. Carl lampshades the situation, Breaking the Fourth Wall in the process.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Titania forfeits the Drunk Toss because she refuses to touch the drunk and Duffman lied that she wouldn't have to do that after she slept with him.
  • Flair Bartending: One of the challenges of the contest. Michael performs a gravity-defying pour, Titania splashes beer on her breasts while jumping up and down, and Moe arranges mugs in the shape of the Duff logo. Titania wins.
  • Gag Boobs: Titania. She has extremely large breasts.
  • Gay Conservative: The runaway balloon resembling a pink elephant that Bart and Lisa are chasing after happens to fly through a window into a roomful of gay Republicans who're trying to come up with a mascot for their party:
    Republican: [upon seeing the balloon] Isn't that a bit too on-the-nose?
  • Golden Snitch: Even though Titania appeared to be dominating beforehand, Moe ultimately wins the contest by doing the best in the Drunk Toss.
    Duff-Man: Now the final round, which counts for 98% of the total score, making the previous rounds a complete waste!
  • Hollywood Homely: Discussed In-Universe by the producers of It Never Ends after rejecting Moe's audition for being 'actually' ugly.
    Producer: What were you thinking?
    Casting: Well, you said you wanted gritty. In other words, ugly.
    Producer: I wanted Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island ugly, not Cornelius on Planet of the Apes ugly. TV-ugly, not... ugly-ugly.note 
    • After plastic surgery makes him handsome, he wears an eyepatch on the show, which apparently makes him Hollywood Homely.
  • I Lied:
    Titania: Hey you said I wouldn't have to touch the drunk if I slept with you!
    Duff-Man: Duff-Man says a lot of things.
  • Interrupted by the End: Moe questioning the outcome of the episode:
    Moe: When my face was crushed, why'd it go back to my old face? I mean, shouldn't it have turned into some third face that was different? It don't make no— ("Executive Producer: Mike Scully")
  • Loophole Abuse: As his prize for winning a Duff-sponsored contest, Moe gets his face on the new Duff calendar. The company's executives don't want to show Moe's ugly face but, not allowed to go back on the terms of the contest, they merely cover it up with several stickers.
  • Not So Above It All: Marge eagerly starts writing down the spoilers Homer reveals on It Never Ends when Bart, of all people, questions how and why Homer's on the show to begin with.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: When Moe realizes how ugly his photo is, Carl tries to console him.
    Moe: Am I really that ugly?
    Carl: Moe, it's all relative. Is Lenny really that dumb? Is Barney that drunk? Is Homer that lazy, bald, and fat?
    Moe: Oh, my God, it's worse than I thought!
    (Moe, Lenny, Barney, and Homer start sobbing)
    Carl: (to camera) See, this is why I don't talk much.
  • The Other Darrin: In-universe. Moe replaces the actor who portrays Dr. Tad Winslow in a soap opera.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Moe refers to his competition in the opening contests as "the Micknote  and the chick with the rack, there."
  • Running Gag: When Homer is giving the spoilers for the soap opera, he always ends by saying "with sexy results."
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Upon reaching the "drunk toss" stage, Titania decides the prize isn't worth touching the drunk.
  • Shout-Out: It Never Ends seems to be one of Days of Our Lives. An actress (Andrea Hamilton) is credited in its title credits as playing both a nun and a rebellious, sexy young woman, which was actually a plot in Days.
  • Show Within a Show: A soap opera titled It Never Ends.
  • Skewed Priorities: During the false fire drill Homer puts the family through, while the family saves the majority of the important things (Lisa saves Snowball II, Bart saves Santa's Little Helper and Marge saves Maggie), Marge also saves the vacuum cleaner and Lisa spent some time deciding which of her trophies she should save.
  • Status Quo Is God: In the end, a set-piece falls on top of Moe's face, undoing the plastic surgery. Lampshaded later on as Moe wonders why his face hadn't turned into something completely different.
  • Tears of Joy: Subverted. When Moe first sees his new beautiful face, he smiles and seemingly sheds a tear. The doctor tells him it's just a bit of leakage and grabs a drill to cauterize it.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • While using a beer tab, Homer says it's not even nearly as complicated as Moe makes it out to be. The tab then breaks, spraying beer at his face. Subverted when Homer gleefully opens his mouth to catch the beer.
    • After being fired from the soap opera It Never Ends, Moe says he doesn't need the role because his beautiful face can get him any role in Springfield. A set piece then falls on his face, reverting it back to its pre-surgery self.
  • The Unseen: Marge, oddly enough, is never shown reacting to any of the things Homer does in the car on the way to Duff Days like removing the rear window handles or the loud polka music being blared.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Lenny notes that Moe's liquor license is only good in Rhode Island, which is the wrong state.


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