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Recap / The Simpsons S 15 E 13 Smart And Smarter

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When Maggie does better than Lisa on an IQ test, Lisa becomes so despondent over no longer being the smart one that she tries to change her identity.

Tropes:

  • Always Someone Better: Maggie to Lisa. Later subverted when it turns out Maggie only appeared smarter because of clues and hints Lisa was giving her. Double subverted when Maggie starts playing the saxophone.
    Marge: All of my children are smart. Some are just smarter than the others.
    (Bart smiles ominously and puts his hand on Lisa's shoulder.)
    Bart: Welcome to the others!
    (Lisa screams.)
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  • Awaken The Sleeping Giant: Parodied. When Maggie starts up the human body exhibit, Homer cries "Oh, no! The giant is waking up!".
  • Cain and Abel: Lisa has a dream where she fulfills this by killing Maggie out of jealousy.
  • Call-Back: To "Lisa's Substitute" when Marge gives Lisa a note that says "You are Lisa Simpson".
  • Disappointed in You: Marge and Homer when they see Lisa trying to sabotage Maggie's mental development. Homer in particular says this by playing with the Phonic Frog toy.
    "I agree with your mother. You are a disappointment to Huh-Oh-Muh-Eh-Er."
  • Eureka Moment: After Homer gets Phonic Frog to say "This is Huh-Oh-Muh-Eh-Er's doctor. He's too sick to work today", Homer momentarily laughs before he pauses in consideration and slyly excuses himself, no doubt to call Mr. Burns with the Phonic Frog.
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  • Failure Montage: After Lisa's first two attempts at creating a new identity, we get a montage set to "Who's That Girl?" by Eurythmics... only to come to an abrupt end when Lisa gives up on the idea three attempts into the montage.
  • Goth: One of Lisa's attempts to create a new identity has her dressing in a black and purple dress, wearing platform heels, and having black hair and nail polish and identifies herself as Ravencrow Neversmiles. She has second thoughts to this identity when Milhouse claims to Ravencrow that "We can be Goth together" and "We can summon the Dark Lord by kissing and junk!". Lisa tells Milhouse to start slow by practicing on a rock and then running off!
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Lisa does not handle the possibility of Maggie being smarter than she is well at all to the point where she tries to sabotage her mental development and even gets an Imagine Spot of trying to kill her.
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  • Jerkass Ball: Lisa grasps onto it at the threat of Maggie being smarter than she is since she feels her very nature is being an Insufferable Genius.
  • Papa Wolf: Simon Cowell learns that insulting Maggie in front of Homer is a bad idea.
  • Police Are Useless: When Homer and Marge report that Lisa is missing Chief Wiggum's response is to give them a form about police effectiveness, when Marge writes (generously) "somewhat satisfied" he implies he won't look for Lisa, when she changes it, satisfied, he takes Lou and Eddie out for smoothies, they spend the rest of the episode looking at optical illusions.
  • Reverse Psychology: Homer uses this in an attempt to get Maggie to push the red button to get him, Marge, and Bart out of the animatronic human body. It doesn't work.
  • Shout-Out: Lisa has a Whatever Happened To Baby Jane inspired nightmare with her and Maggie in the characters' roles.
  • Spoof Aesop: When Homer, Marge, and Bart are saved from the human body exhibit:
    Homer: Well, I think we all learned a lesson today: Don't try to be something you're not — namely, food.
  • Take That!: When saying that Maggie is no longer allowed at the gifted childrens' school, Simon Cowell says she's as common as an angry woman in an Ibsen play.
    Homer: Ha ha! Zing!
  • Worthy Opponent: Homer calls Bart a "worthy foe" when it looks like they're about to die in the human body exhibit.
  • Zany Scheme: Parodied. Moe and Barney apparently have a Zany Scheme going that involves Moe pretending to be the Simpsons' butler and Barney pretending to be their maid. What this is meant to accomplish, we're never told; they just beg the Simpson family to play along and promise to explain everything later.
    Barney: You told me no one would get hurt!
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