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Recap / The Simpsons S14 E11 "Barting Over"

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In the (episode advertised as the) 300th episode, Bart discovers that he was once a child star in a string of embarrassing commercials, but when Homer reveals that all of Bart's money went to buying back incriminating photos, Bart petitions the court to have himself emancipated and moves to a loft apartment next to Tony Hawk and blink-182.


Tropes:

  • Abusive Parents/Jerkass:
    • While Homer was never a saint to begin with, this episode takes a more serious view on his callous and abusive behaviour, resulting in Bart deciding to emancipate himself.
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  • Ambiguous Syntax: Lisa finds the video tape titled "Bart Sad", which intrigues her, and so, she puts it in the VCR. However, when she finds a commercial starring Bart as a baby, she realizes that this should have said "Bart's Ad"
  • Artistic License – Law: Bart's emancipated from his parents at the age of 10—in real life, you have to be 14 to 17 to be legally emancipated from your parents and/or legal guardians.
    • Everyone Has Standards: Judge Constance Harm is the one takes up Bart's case against his dad. Despite being known for her cruelty and harshness—as well as acknowledging the fact that is Bart is technically too young to be emancipated from his family—even she feels that Bart's probably better off living on his own than being forced to live with a Jerkass like Homer.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Judge Harm says no judge would send a pre-teen on his own, prompting Homer to celebrate until she describes this case as an exception.
  • Blackmail: The reason Homer no longer has the money from Bart's ad is that he had to use it to buy back incriminating photographs.
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  • Continuity Nod: When Judge Harm rules that half of Homer's salary is to be given to Bart, Homer complains that half his salary is already going to his Vegas wife.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • Homer shows Bart the pictures that he was being blackmailed with: him dangling baby Bart over a balcony and dropping him. He seriously thinks that flipping the photos in reverse (so Bart "flies" back into Homer's arms, making Homer a "hero") will make Bart hate him less.
    • The climactic fight between Homer and Tony Hawk happens, for the most part, because Homer thinks that beating Tony will make Bart come back to their home. Bart makes it clear that what he wants from Homer is an apology and the ad money Homer lost.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Upon being informed that half of his salary must go to Bart. Homer complains that the other half is already going to his Vegas wife and he won't have anything to spend on Moe's.
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  • Hoist by His Own Petard: This is one of the few (if not the only) episode where Bart returns the favor to Homer. Unlike Homer strangling Bart with his hands, however, Bart (being too small to wrap his hands around his father's neck) strangles Homer in a considerably more violent manner: using Homer's belt.
  • Hypocrite: It's somewhat hard to take Bart's complaints of Homer cheating money from him seriously given the endless cases throughout the show that he has lost, exploited, tricked or plain out stolen large sums of money from Homer (and the rest of his family). Homer's own ascension into fortune was ruined by Bart's stupidity.
    • To be fair, Homer did this to Bart since the latter was a baby—also, it's implied that Homer was being blackmailed at the time or at least desperate for money to buy certain photos.
    • Another fair point is that Bart has gone through a lot with Homer's abuse. At this point, Bart may had honestly believe that he is just a problem. However he now learns that it wasn't his fault all at and its Homer and always has been and this is when he was a baby.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall
    • During the skating competition and Lisa tallies the number of Homer's schemes at 300, Marge notes she thought it was 302. Lisa quickly shushes her. This references how the episode is actually the 302nd Episode, but was advertised by Fox as the 300th.
    • Bart says he doesn't remember doing a commercial...while munching on a Buttterfinger.
  • Rattling Off Legal: The end of Homer's ad about a product for bald and impotent men has a quick warning about users losing hair and manhood.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The incriminating photos that Homer purchased back from his blackmailer using Bart's ad money are an ever worse version of the event when Michael Jackson dangled his (then) 9-month-old son Prince Michael II from a Berlin hotel balcony in November 19, 2002.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Upon arriving at his new loft, Bart enthusiastically throws his baseball cap in the air, announcing that he's "gonna make it" a la The Mary Tyler Moore Show...only for it to get ripped into a million pieces by the ceiling fan.
    • Homer thinks the "J" from WWJD is for "Gepetto" instead of "Jesus".
  • Skewed Priorities: The men's product Homer advertises at the end of the episode has side effects of losing hair and manhood. Homer is more worried about the hair part.
  • Stock Audio Clip: During the "anger management problems" scene, the exact same audio of Homer saying "Why you little...!" is used three times in a row.
  • Take That!:
    • Another dig at Michael Jackson, this time of his infamous public showing of his baby to the media. This episode parodies that with Homer pulling the same stunt during Bart's babyhood...only he winds up dropping him.
    • Marge describes the Kennedy Center Honors as a "low rated annual event".
  • Tempting Fate: Bart says probably nobody will remember Homer's ad fifty years later. A Time Skip shows Homer's tombstone describing him as an "impotency spokesman" and an elderly Nelson haw-hawing at the tombstone.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Based on a comment by Bart in this episode, it's in a state where murder is illegal.
  • Who's on First?: When Bart goes to the Blue-Haired Lawyer and explains that he wants to be emancipated from his parents, the lawyer seems to go "you WHAT?!" Bart explains himself again, but the lawyer says that he understood Bart the first time and that he was just calling for his secretary—a woman who happens to be named "Yuwa."
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