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Recap / The Simpsons S 12 E 16 Bye Bye Nerdie

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When Otto picks up a new girl named Francine (voiced by Kathy Griffin), Lisa tries to befriend her, only to end up getting bullied by her. Meanwhile, Homer becomes a babyproofer and causes mass unemployment in all child-related health businesses.

Tropes of this episode:

  • Adjacent to This Complete Breakfast: Parodied in the Stabby-Oh's commercial at the beginning, where one of the plates Scratchy lifts up near the end is filled with broccoli.
  • Adults Are Useless: As far as the school goes. Although Willie tries to help, he could've at least stayed with Lisa and not worried about the paper towels.
    • Francine's parents are entirely complacent about their daughter beating up all the scientists in the auditorium, and only comment that she will sleep better that night.
  • Amazon Chaser: Nelson, Jimbo, Dolph, and Kearney sometimes fall in love with female bullies.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Homer had a bully problem when he was a kid. No, he wasn't bullied by others; he was the bully, and it was a problem for others.
  • Being Watched: Groundskeeper Willie shows Lisa a room full of security camera footage of the school.
    Lisa: Why does the school need to watch us?
    Willie: School?
  • Blatant Lies: This exchange between Lisa and Willie.
    Lisa: Willie, I need to see the school's security tapes.
    Willie: (gets wide-eyed) Security tapes? There's no security tapes!
    Lisa: It's hard to miss the cameras. (points out an obvious one watching them)
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  • The Bully: Francine and teenage!Homer.
  • Bully Brutality: This episode is one of the few cases that Lisa gets the "constant No-Holds-Barred Beatdown" kind of bullying throughout the show.
  • Bullying the Dragon: When Lisa swabs Dredrick Tatum with the chemical that makes bullies pick on nerds, Nelson starts uncontrollably picking on him, much to his absolute horror as he begs the former boxing champion not to hurt him while giving him a wedgie.
    Tatum: You leave me little recourse.
  • Clothing Switch: Marge accidentally dresses Bart and Lisa in each other's clothes during the morning rush in the beginning of the episode. This lasted for one shot before they're inexplicably back in their usual clothes.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Homer listens to a speech Lisa makes about bullying being chemical, a speech that was so simplified a dumbass like him would be able to understand it. His response?
    Homer: So all her bullying was just to get some attention.
    Lisa: No, Da—
    Homer: Just to get some attention.
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  • Dumbass Has a Point: Homer actually does make a good point about baby safety.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The last shot of the episode is Francine sniffing about in her rampage before apparently catching the audience's nerd scent and lunging at the camera.
  • Hate at First Sight: Francine brutalizes Lisa from the very first instance Lisa gets within arm's reach of her. Turns out that there's a reflexive reason for this — if not for the nerd pheromone, Francine probably would have at least treated her in a civil fashion otherwise.
  • Hate Plague: The entire reason why bullies exist at in the first place is because of this. Certain individuals (nerds) produce a chemical in their sweat that causes those who can detect it (bullies) to act aggressively towards them.
  • Human Subspecies: Lisa discovers that bullies are this, as a natural predator.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Homer is a bully and Lisa is a nerd. Conversely, Francine's parents are nerds and Francine herself is a bully.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Homer is greatly remorseful that his babyproofing has put so many people out of work and goes running down the street shouting for babies to hurt themselves again.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: When Francine is eating lunch alone, Lisa goes over and introduces herself to her. She is promptly punched by her.
  • Noodle Incident: Lisa asks Milhouse if he remembers what his first day of school was like, and whatever happened resulted in Milhouse taking memory-repressing medication to ensure that he doesn't remember it.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Lisa looks through the Elementary School's security tapes to try to find information on Francine and notices that on one occasion (at the pool during swimming lessons) Francine (who up to that point had beat the living shit out of Lisa every time she's been within arm's reach) casually passes by and even waves hello while Lisa reflexively braced for the pounding to come. Lisa becomes puzzled about why this happened... and then notices that Francine was wearing a nose clip, meaning she wasn't able to detect her scent and bully Lisa like she always did up until that point.
  • Pheromones: Lisa discovers a pheromone given off by nerds, geeks, and the like, which attracts bullies of all shapes and sizes to beat them up. She experiments by spraying Drederick Tatum (the show's version of Mike Tyson) with the scent, which compels school bully Nelson Muntz to beat up on Tatum, even though Nelson doesn't want to. Lisa names the new discovery "Poindextrose".
  • Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title: The title references Bye Bye Birdie.
  • Safety Worst: Homer gets obsessed with baby-proofing everything.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Turns out that because of the "Poindextrose" pheromone, which is emitted from nerds, geeks, and the like, The Nose Knows, so in one instance, where Lisa manages to hide under a cafeteria table long before Francine enters the room she's in, Francine is still able to detect her and yanks her out of her hiding spot for some more beating. Lisa actually wondering how Francine was able to know she was there to begin with is one of the things that leads to her finding out about this pheromone.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: On the tape of the swimming lessons, Lisa is wearing a one-piece and Francine is wearing a bikini.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Turns out that bullies exist because they have literally evolved as a natural predator sub-species of human that is programmed to hunt down and brutalize other people if they smell certain kinds of pheromones wafting off of them... which also implies that nerds are a prey human sub-species, but Lisa doesn't dwells on that detail at all.
  • Spoof Aesop: Homer realizes that you can't baby-proof everything... because children not being injured means doctors make less money and child injury greeting card factories close down.
  • Take That, Audience!: The final shot of Francine lunging at the camera. In other words, calling the audience nerds!
  • Too Dumb to Live: Homer giving Maggie a nail gun while trying to keep her safe.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: When Lisa tells Nelson and company about Francine, they refuse to do it because girls fight dirtier and they may fall in love with her.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Upon seeing the baby-proofer's pricey estimate, Homer literally kicks her out of the house, ala Uncle Phil and Jazz.


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