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Recap / The Simpsons S14 E12 "I'm Spelling as Fast as I Can"

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Airdate - February 16, 2003

Lisa gets involved in the seedy world of spelling bees while Homer follows around fans of Krusty's latest sandwich.

Tropes featured:

  • The Bad Guy Wins: Lisa attempted to spell 'intransigence' instead of taking a dive. She ultimately lost, allowing George Plimpton's preferred champion Alex to win.
  • B-Movie: Bart watches Frankenstein and the Harlem Globetrotters... Meet the Mummy and the Washington Generals. Unfortunately, he doesn't get to see the full movie since Ray Romano sues to keep it from being shown.
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  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Averted:
    Kent Brockman: In business news, 3M and M&M have merged to form, get this: Ultradyne Systems!
  • Brutal Honesty: When Principal Skinner mentions during school assembly that he was maître d' at the Springfield Country Club, Jimbo Jones tries to insult him:
    Jimbo: My dad says you were a bus boy!
    Skinner: You mean your dad, the raging alcoholic? (cue Jimbo shrinking back while the rest of the kids, bullies included, stare open-mouthed in shock)
  • Epic Fail: Milhouse's attempt at the spelling bee.
    Skinner: Alright Milhouse, your word is "choke".
    Milhouse: I know this one, it's so easy. F... OH MAN!
  • G-Rated Drug: Homer becomes addicted to the Ribwich. It's no coincidence that the scene where he eats his first one is a Shout-Out to Requiem for a Dream.
  • Honor Before Reason: Lisa vocally turns down the generous bribenote  she was offered to throw the spelling bee and attempts to win. She ends up losing naturally and thus gets absolutely nothing.
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  • Instant Fan Club: Marge is impressed that Lisa has her own cheering section. Homer notes he also has one, consisting of Lenny, Carl, and Moe.
  • Milestone Celebration: Parodied with the episode proudly declaring itself the 301st episode.
  • Mystery Meat: Krusty has to announce that they had to stop making the Ribwich since they drove the animal it came from to extinction. The meat didn't come from cows or pigs.
    Krusty: Think smaller, with more legs.
  • Nutritional Nightmare: The Ribwich is so unhealthy that there is a scene where we see barbecue sauce flowing in Homer's bloodstream. The Ribwich has a label with Krusty saying "Will Cause Early Death".
  • Old Shame: The KBBL Booberella show Matine of Blood and Commercials shows Frankenstein and the Harlem Globetrotters Meet the Mummy and the Washington Generals starring a young Ray Romano. The broadcast stops as Booberella warns that Romano sued for a temporary injunction for stopping them from showing the movie, and that they will fight the injunction as they show something else.
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  • Retroactive Recognition: In-Universe by George Plimpton, the host of the Spellympics:
    Plimpton: I also played the evil Dean in Boner Academy.
    Homer: You Monster! Why did you expel Boogerman?!
    Plimpton: He replaced my tennis racquet with a rubber phallus.
    Homer: (laughs) That was awesome.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: When Homer learns about the Ribheads and the Ribwich tour:
    Homer: Maybe I should hook up with you guys. After all, how long do any of us have to live?
    Ribhead: Well, if you like the Ribwich, not very. (holds up a Ribwich box with a warning label for early death)
    Homer: D'oh!
  • Second Place Is for Winners: Lisa gets second place in the Spellympics and is hailed as a winner in Springfield - after all, second place makes her "the biggest winner this town's ever produced". Heck, because she lost honorably instead of taking a bribe to take a dive, they fashion a sign that says: "2 good 2 be #1."
  • Spelling Bee: The main plot of the episode.
  • Tempting Fate: Milhouse is given the word "choke" to spell. After brushing it off as an easy word, he started spelling with an 'F'.
    Milhouse: Oh man!
  • Worst News Judgment Ever: Kent Brockman reports on Lisa getting into the Spellympics before discussing the destruction of Paris.
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