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Recap / The Simpsons S13 E15: "Blame it on Lisa"

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The Simpsons go to Brazil to find a lost orphan after Lisa confesses that she ran up the phone bill with calls to her sponsored orphan.

The country was visited again in the episode "You Don't Have To Live Like A Referee" (2014).


  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Simpsons Confidential, John Ortved's oral history of the show, former showrunner Mike Reiss describes the Brazilian Tourist Council's complaint about this episode:
    "When the Simpsons came to Rio, they encountered grinding poverty, rat-infested slums, pickpockets, kidnappers, and wild monkeys. There are no wild monkeys in Rio."
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  • Artistic License – Geography: The kidnappers take Homer from Rio to the Amazon Rainforest and back to Rio again in a single day, before sunset. As Rio de Janeiro is located on Brazil's southeast, while the rainforest is on the north, in real life those travels would take several days.
  • Bait-and-Switch: "The Simpsons are going to Antarctica!... Next year. This year, Brazil."
  • Blindfolded Trip: Parodied. After Homer is kidnapped, we see him on a boat with a bag over his head.
    Homer: Where are you taking me?
    Kidnapper #2: Shut up... and take that stupid bag off your head.
    Homer: No. It smells like cinnamon.
  • The Capital of Brazil Is Buenos Aires: Several references are made to Brazilian National Stereotypes: soccer, sweet drinks, the favelas, bikini bottoms, Copacabana Beach, the Amazone, the Christ of Rio statue, the fact that it's one of the few Portuguese speaking countries in Latin America, the conga, the Lambada, the samba, spider monkeys, the anaconda, the Carnival of Rio, entertainer Xuxa, The Boys from Brazil, Blame It on Rio, the song "Aquarela do Brazil", the more open sexuality compared to other countries and the cable car over Sugarcoat Mountain.
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  • Chekhov's Gun: Lisa warns that getting into an unlicensed cab is something you never do in Brazil. Doing so is exactly how Homer later gets kidnapped.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • Homer's shirt shows Uncle Sam devouring the world with the phrase "Try And Stop Us" and he doesn't understand how the lifeguard realized he's American.
    • When Homer entered an unlicensed taxi, the driver pulled a gun and told him it was an abduction. Homer then asked if that meant he wouldn't have to pay for the ride.
  • Comical Overreacting: Homer's reason for choking Bart is even flimsier than usual.
    Homer: Boy, did you make a prank call to Brazil?
    Bart: No sir, I didn't.
    Homer: CHOKE ON YOUR LIES!!!
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Renaldo said he had the money to help the Simpsons because he didn't have parents to take it from him, like so many child stars in America do.
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  • Dress Code: Parodied. At one point, Homer and Bart visit a beach that requires them to wear ludicrously skimpy bathing suits.
  • Expy: The Brazilian kidnappers are a lot like César and Ugolin from "The Crepes of Wrath", though they're a lot friendlier.
  • Fanservice: Xoxchitla (a parody of Brazilian entertainer Xuxa) and her children's television programme, "Teleboobies". She wears skimpy outfits and is the source of many Gag Boobs.
  • Fan Disservice: Homer's fat, lumpy butt in a Brazilian Speedo (which rides into his ass crack), which causes one woman to make a cross sign with her fingers, another to blind herself by throwing sand in her eyes, and another to stick a jellyfish on her head.
  • Goofy Suit: Ronaldo wears one when acting on "Teleboobies," in the role of Flamenco Flamingo (complete with stilts to give him the long legs flamingos are known for.)
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: While the Simpsons are in Rio it's Carnaval season. Of course, it is!
  • Left the Background Music On: During the cable car ride, Marge comments that the tension is killing her, so Bart switches the music player in the cable car to another theme, but Marge says that it's making light of the situation, so they switch to another theme which satisfies Marge.
  • Mating Dance: Marge and Lisa walk by a samba school, showing several suggestive dance pairs, with an instructor claiming they want to push things even further.
    Dance Instructor: This is where we invented the lambada and the macarena. Now we are working on our most powerful dance: the penetrada! It makes sex look like a church!
    Marge: I don't think my daughter should be hearing this.
    (Marge and Lisa walk away)
    Dance Instructor: You cannot protect her forever! You stupid lady!
  • My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: Homer wears a "Try to Stop Us" T-shirt with Uncle Sam devouring the world on it.note 
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: It's revealed that the businesswoman/TV executive Lindsey Naegle keeps changing jobs because she's a sexual predator.
  • Parodies for Dummies: The tape series Bart learns Spanish from is called "Spanish for Dummies".
  • Seldom-Seen Species: At one point, Marge and the kids come across (live) coatimundis being sold at a stand.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: For all of their flaws on Brazilian culture and life, the writers did get one thing right: Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, not Spanish (in fact, Brazil is one of four South American countries in which Spanish is not the main language. The others are Guyananote , Surinamenote  and French Guiananote ).
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Homer bonds with his kidnappers, who develop Lima Syndrome towards him, even compiling a scrapbook.
  • Subverted Kids Show: "Teleboobies".
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: A Brazilian waiter looks like the Costington employee who always says "Yeeeesssssssss" (only here, he says "Siiiiiiiimmmmmmmmm," which is Portuguese for "Yes").
  • Swarm of Rats: The family come across multicolored rats running through the slums, painted by the government so tourists wouldn't be offended.
    Homer: Ooh, they look like Skittles!
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The orphan Lisa sponsored couldn't send her a letter because he didn't know which state Springfield was located in.
    Lisa: It's kind of a mystery, yes. But if you look at the clues, you should be able to figure it out.
  • Zany Scheme:
    Marge: Homey, what are you going to do?
    Bart: Crazy scheme, crazy scheme, crazy scheme...
    Homer: Get me tools and beer!
    Bart: YES!


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