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Recap / The Simpsons S 11 E 18 Days Of Wine And Dohses

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Homer finds a discarded giant tiki head while trash rummaging with Bart, but when he re-routes the gas line to make the head spew fire, it ignites the back lawn, and he quickly flees to Moe's until the heat (literally) dies down. He finds Barney in a funk, but when Barney says it was his birthday last week and no-one remembered, Moe produces a video of his birthday party, thrown at the Simpson home; Barney was too drunk to remember it. When it becomes apparent that his friends see him as an alcoholic loser, he resolves to give up booze. He starts going to AA meetings and signs up for helicopter lessons using a coupon Moe gave him for his birthday. However, his new sobriety causes a rift with Homer, who is shunted into the role of the resident pathetic drunk at Moe's Tavern, and feels that Barney now thinks himself too good for his former drinking buddy.
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Meanwhile, Springfield Bell announce a contest for the phone book's new cover photo. Bart and Lisa find an old camera in the closet and try to find the perfect shot for the cover, finally settling on a panoramic view of Springfield as seen from the top of Mt. Springfield. Unfortunately, when Bart ejects the flash bulb after taking the picture, he and Lisa don't notice it set fire to some dry brush, and soon the mountaintop is engulfed in a forest fire, trapping the Simpson siblings. Homer sees the kids' plight on the news, and pleads with Barney to fly him to Mt. Springfield to rescue them. Barney's piloting skills are still sketchy, and he ends up landing in the middle of a bridge, where a Duff truck jackknifes and empties six-packs all over the road. Barney is convinced he needs Liquid Courage to keep flying, but Homer pushes him back and drinks the entire six-pack himself (getting blind drunk in the process). Touched by Homer's "heroism", Barney flies the helicopter to the mountaintop, and Bart and Lisa are saved.

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The siblings are thrilled when Marge says their photo won the contest, but their excitement gives way to horror when they see that the photo on the cover is a black and white picture of the two of them as toddlers, sitting naked on the same toilet; apparently the reel of film in the camera still had some undeveloped pictures on it when they found it. They console themselves with the prize: a new bicycle. Meanwhile, Barney insists to Homer that he has sworn off alcohol, unaware that Moe has manipulated him into becoming addicted to caffeine instead.


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Tropes:

  • The Alcoholic: Barney drinks so much that Duff Brewery workers once posed for a photograph with a sign reading "Thank you, Barney".
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Homer goes to the Kwik-E-Mart and asks Apu for "those potato chips that give you diarrhea". Apu then returns with bags of what appear to be ordinary Ruffles. This was based on a real-life product known as Lay's WOW Chips introduced a couple years before the episode aired, which famously contained the chemical olestra, a known stool loosener.
  • Bait-and-Switch: One scene starts with Barney identifying himself and explaining about his drinking problem only to be informed that he mistakenly entered an AAA (American Automobile Association) building instead of an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meeting.
  • Call-Back:
  • Canines Gambling In A Card Game: Bart and Lisa trying to recreate Dogs Playing Poker in real life for a photography contest.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Just as Bart and Lisa attempt to take their picture of dogs playing poker, Nelson steals their photo at the last second.
  • Evil Laugh: Moe delivers one in the end as he uses coffee to once again have Barney as a customer.
  • Forgotten Birthday: Barney thinks his friends forgot his birthday, but it's him that, due his alcoholism, forgot the party.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: One of the fastest ones yet: the episode opens with Homer and Bart doing late-night trash rummaging, whereupon Homer finds a discarded tiki statue. The next scene sees him playing with it in his backyard, having rerouted the gas line so it could spit fire... only for him to accidentally set it on fire, prompting him to book it to Moe's.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Since Barney won't be purchasing beer anymore, Moe starts selling coffee and get him hooked on double mocha lattes.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Barney is legitimately disgusted with himself when he sees footage of how he acts when he's drunk, such as harassing Lisa and, somehow, breaking into the Simpson house dressed as and thinking he's Marge before he falls off the stairs and tries lapping up spilled beer on the floor.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Barney has an arm handcuffed to a police car door and doesn't remember how or when it happened. His friends say they can't imagine him without it.
    • As mentioned in Paper-Thin Disguise, there's a scene where Barney shows up in the Simpson house dressed like Marge. How he managed to get in and how he ended up dressed like that aren't given specific details other than he was drunk. There's also the mystery of whoever knew to record the moment.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • During a videotape of Barney's birthday party, there's a scene where he's dressed like Marge. Homer initially mistakes him for the real Marge.
    • A TV ad about a photography contest features a "mysterious prize". The wrapping's shape makes it obvious that the prize is a bicycle. A kid shows up and rides the still wrapped bicycle.
  • Status Quo Is God: Subverted. Barney stays sober for several seasons after this.
  • Temporary Bulk Change: Bart insists towards Lisa that the only photos people care about feature celebrities at their worst. As if on cue, a fat Rainier Wolfcastle walks out of the Kwik-E-Mart with an armful of junk food, claiming he's preparing for a fat secret agent role.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: When Barney is trying to go clean and sober, he throws away the picture of the Duff Brewery employees posing with a giant sign reading "THANK YOU BARNEY", no longer seeing it as a compliment.

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