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Recap / The Simpsons S16 E11 "On a Clear Day I Can't See My Sister"

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Lisa files a restraining order against Bart after years of putting up with his antics. Meanwhile Homer becomes a greeter of a Walmart-esque department store known for treating the workers like dirt and selling shoddy items.

Tropes of this episode:

  • Adults Are Useless: Homer and Marge could easily have overturned Lisa's restraining order and Judge Harm was incredibly unprofessional and unethical by increasing the restraining order just because Bart insulted her.
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  • Aesop Amnesia: On the final act, Lisa declares that if she can remember three good acts that Bart had ever done for her, she would remove the restraining order. This would have been a good moment to remember any of the good things that Bart had done for her during the seriesnote , but she cannot remember any (and when she does, it is none that the audience had seen before).
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  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: When Bart is sent to live into the woods outside of the house, he thinks that the rest of the family will miss him. One Exposition Cut later, the rest of the family are playing Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass' Tijuana Taxi inside the house, celebrating that he's gone. The family plays Tijuana Taxi again at the end of the episode when Lisa destroys the restraining order.
  • Bad Boss: The Sprawl Mart manager literally treating his workers like slaves. Making Homer take a position that will force him to work overtime and by forging Mexican citizenship to blackmail him into taking the job, then locking everyone in the store to do work he just made up for them, and swallowing the bathroom key so they can't go to the restroom for the next several hours.
  • Berserk Button: Do not prank Lisa more than once.
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  • Big "NO!": Parodied.
    Grampa: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO—(he's about to run into a pile of lawn gnomes)—OOOOOOOOOMES!!!
  • Big "OMG!": While pranking Lisa using a radio stolen from the Park Ranger, Bart inadvertantly tunes into the police radios and hears one of these from Lou while he and Chief Wiggum are out tracking a serial killer.
  • Blatant Burglar: An employee at the store explains to Homer things that aren't bolted are easy to steal, hence why he never left, even removing the chips themselves. Homer uses this to his own “shopping”. With a forklift.
  • The Cameo: Gary Busey is the host of the instruction video explaining how restraining orders work. He says that he has to do so because the court ordered him to (considering he says that the video's example situation was his own situation, that explains it).
  • Comically Missing the Point and Dramatically Missing the Point: The third good thing that Bart does for Lisa (that she can recall) is a straw effigy that he builds on the back yard. She thinks that it was to show that he misses being part of the family. In reality he was going to set it on fire as a symbol of his spite for her (although he's quick to say that it was out of love, when Lisa tells him she's moved by it. Lisa sees through the lie easily... but she then says that she missed Bart's lies).
  • Composite Character: Gary Busey invokes this in the restraining order instructional video.
    Gary Busey: Now Joe can't come within 500 feet of Mary. He also can't call her or burn his name in gas on her lawn. I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Joe is me. And Mary is a composite of 12 different women and a small independent film company, all of whom couldn't deal with me because I'm too real.
  • Continuity Nod: The last time Grampa was seen working as a Sprawl-Mart greeter was in "The Fat and the Furriest".
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Lisa gets a restraining order against Bart after he humiliated her on a field trip. Later, Judge Harm extends the order from 20 to 200 feet after Bart makes cracks at her marriage (Marge also has to insist to Lisa to remove the order but Lisa just says she doesn't thinks Bart has learnt his lesson before negotiating the "remember three things" condition... which means that she doesn't believes turning her own brother into a homeless man that has started to think he's a dog is enough punishment). Chief Wiggum arrests Lou for bringing him a cold coffee.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Well, it's probably not really surprising, but once Bart starts embracing his freedom of being outdoors all the time, he no longer wears shirts, shoes or socks.
  • Hollywood Restraining Order: The plot of the episode relies on this, and wouldn't work in real-life for several reasons;
    • Lisa is only a child. In real life, a child cannot petition a court themselves in any type of legal proceeding so Lisa couldn't have taken a restraining order against Bart in the first place.
    • A restraining order can only be administered after an investigation into the defendant's behavior and circumstances (which didn't happen in the episode).
    • Status quo indicates the Simpson family is struggling financially, let alone Lisa who doesn't have an income or barely any savings. Where did Lisa get the money to pay the legal fees for a trial and a restraining order?
    • Bart could have gotten the order lifted instantly by showing evidence that Lisa was following him around to force him out of places outside of the restraining order distance with a device that she pokes Bart with (it's implied he has permanent nerve damage because of it), as it shows willful abuse of the restraining order, which is also illegal.
    • Finally Marge, being an adult and Bart and Lisa's legal guardian, could've just gone to court and had the restraining order overturned.
  • It's All About Me: Lisa is right to be upset at Bart's prank, but when she gets the restraining order she uses it to torture and abuse him to the point that he's forced to live in the far back yard and become a Wild Child. But all that matters to her is that she was wronged by Bart and can't be bothered to try and remember anything nice Bart's ever done.
  • Jerkass:
    • Skinner makes the kids pull the bus up the hill with chains to the field trip and manipulate Edna into getting back together.
    • Lisa for abusing her restraining order to torture Bart just for giggles to the point that he sustained heavy nerve damage and prevented him from even just sitting in the kitchen or finishing his milk. It gets to the point that at the end of the episode, he's terrified to even be near her.
    • The Sprawl Mart manager, literally treating his employees like slave labor and torturing Homer with a compliance chip.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Bart's pranks to Lisa are cruel, yes, but Lisa spent the entire field trip nagging at her classmates to stop being kids and focus only on the environment. It is quite hard to sympathize with either one of them.
  • The Metric System Is Here to Stay: Parodied when Judge Harm issues the restraining order.
    Judge Harm: From now on, the restraining order is set at 200 feet.
    (Everyone in the room gasps)
    Judge Harm: That's 61 meters.
    (a Dutchwoman, a Frenchman and a German in the back row gasp)
  • Nature Tinkling: Because the restraining order ends up requiring Bart to be a considerable distance from his own home, he at one point decides to pee outside.
  • Only Sane Man: Zig Zagged Trope with Marge: on the one hand, she is so distraught about Bart having to live outside of the house (and turning more feral by the second) that she begs Lisa to reconsider the restraining order (which is why Lisa decides to accept if she can remember three things Bart has ever done for her). On the other hand, on the first night that Bart has to live outside of the house, she is seen being part of the family's playing of "Tijuana Taxi", with no sign whatsoever (up until the scene where she begs Lisa, which opens with her looking out the window at Bart and seeing him acting like a dog) of her being sad about the situation. You would think that she would have helped Bart when he was talking to the judge, at least.
  • Restraining Bolt: The microchip implanted on Homer's skull to keep him within the perimeter of the Sprawl Mart. When he removes it, he does some damage to his brain.
  • Stalker with a Crush: "Joe Spaghettios" is this in full spades. He drifts dangerously close to Yandere levels with him painting his marriage proposal on the girl's mirror while wearing a Slasher Smile. Can you blame her for getting that restraining order?
  • Soapbox Sadie: Lisa preaches at the other kids for daring to be kids and eat snacks on a field trip before Bart pranked her.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Lisa does this by filing a restraining order on Bart after he pranks her one time too many.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It is unclear on what happened to the Sprawl Mart manager after Homer and his fellow co-workers break free from the supermarket.
    • It is quite possible that he was arrested for treating his co-workers like slaves in addition to forging a Mexican citizenship for Homer and locking them inside the building in the night.
  • Wild Child: Bart becomes one after being forced to live outside due to the 500 ft. order, taking dog-like mannerisms. The episode ends with him running after a dog while barking as the family celebrates the destruction of the order.


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