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Recap / The Simpsons S 16 E 9 Pranksta Rap

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Bart fakes his own kidnapping to get out of being punished for going to a rap concert without his parents' permission, but the ruse goes too far when Milhouse's father is implicated as the kidnapper and Chief Wiggum sees this as an opportunity to make a name for himself as a competent police officer.


  • Actor/Role Confusion: When Barney Fife gives advice to Wiggum:
    Barney Fife: Well, I'm wanted back on the set.
    Wiggum: "Set"? Are you the character or the actor who plays him?
    Barney Fife: (ominously) Now I must goooo!
    Wiggum: Wait a minute, now you're a ghost?
    Barney Fife: Avenge me.
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  • Alien Geometries: Somehow, Alcatraz has a wax museum in the basement of his limo
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Kirk becomes popular with women after being arrested for kidnapping. For that reason, he's among the people who don't want the truth to be revealed.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: There's a scene with Milhouse throwing a Frisbee without anyone to catch it. He says it's not the same without Bart because Bart usually watches him doing it.
  • Broken Aesop: Lisa continuously tries to prove to everyone that lying is bad and they need to come out and have Bart confess the truth, but nobody takes her lesson to heart and would rather prefer everything would be left as it is. All of this is undone without explanation by the next episode, though.
  • Crooks Are Better Armed: When Lisa obtains a recording of Alcatraz's concert and Wiggum knows there is no other choice, he barges into Alcatraz's house with his revolver to try to take away the tape at gunpoint. Alcatraz and his entire entourage draw semi-automatics and sub-machineguns on him, many of them as Guns Akimbo. Wiggum accepts he's beat and whines about how his career is over.
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  • Dance Party Ending: The episode culminates with a moral situation: should the truth behind Bart's Faked Kidnapping come out or remain covered up? Alcatraz suggests there's only one solution to the dilemma: house party!
    Lisa: I don't understand. After all the corruption and deceit we've witnessed, how can everyone just party?
    Homer: Lisa, the world is a very complicated place. When you get right down to it... cannonball!
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: When Chief Wiggum is promoted to Commissioner, he promotes Lou to Chief and Eddie to "Lou". The new "Lou" asks who the new "Eddie" will be and Wiggum says they don't need an Eddie.
  • Fiery Coverup:
    Lisa: A shirt from that rap concert. Bart must've gone to the show. But that means Bart was never kidnapped!
    Homer: Lisa, I'm very glad you brought me this. I'll see that it gets to the proper authorities. (throws it in the fireplace)
    Lisa: Dad! Why did you do that?
    Homer: Hollywood producers have paid me a fortune, which I've already lost, for the rights to Bart's story. So I have to destroy anything that proves that story's not true. (takes off his shirt and throws it in the fireplace)
    Lisa: Why did you burn up your shirt?
    Homer: What shirt? I don't see any shirt. Burn the truth! Burn the truth!
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  • A Fool and His New Money Are Soon Parted: When Lisa asks Homer why he's destroying evidence that Bart wasn't really kidnapped, he tells her that he already sold the rights to Bart's tale for a fortune he already lost.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Homer tells Marge that when Bart gets home, he's gonna be N.W.A.: "Not without ass-welts."
  • Gasshole: One of Bart's impromptu raps:
    Bart: You can trace my remorse to its supersized source: / A hungry, hungry hypocrite named Homer, of course / My old man's pathetic, damn, is his head thick, / the gas from his ass is carcinogenic!
  • GPS Evidence:
    • Variation: Wiggum is able to figure out the popping sound on the background of Bart's "proof of life" call is a very specific brand of popcorn that Apu says is so crappy only two men in the whole town of Springfield are stupid enough to purchase it. One is Wiggum himself and the other one is Kirk Van Houten.
    • The concert video that showcases Bart singing also has two rappers wearing as bling a gigantic clock that shows the exact time and an equally massive necklace that says the exact day.
  • Honor Before Reason: Lisa wishes to showcase the truth about Bart's "kidnapping" even if it means destroying Wiggum's promotion, kick Kirk back out to the streets to suffer his Straw Loser life and put everybody else in a legal nightmare. It says quite a lot that Skinner is the only person who wants to help her, and it's solely for the potential pleasure of seeing Bart suffer.
  • Irony: Despite being framed for kidnapping Bart, Kirk is much happier in prison: It's nicer than his crappy apartment, and he suddenly has a fanbase of women attracted to prisoners.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: When Wiggum pulled his gun on Alcatraz only to have the rapper's entourage drawing their guns on him, he comments that his gun is not even loaded.
  • Mexican Standoff: Defied at the climax. Alcatraz and his entourage outgun Wiggum tremendously, so he accepts (and whines about) his defeat immediately.
  • Noodle Incident: The viewers are given no clue to how Homer lost the fortune he got by selling the story about Bart being kidnapped.
  • Piss-Take Rap: When Homer and Marge forbid Bart from going to the rap concert, they put in a way he can understand: Rap.
    Homer: You did it on the straight, got your dad's permission / But your mom dropped a bomb, so I flipped my position!
    Marge: Don't argue with Marge, I know what's best. / The only rap in this crib keeps sandwiches fresh! / Fresh, fr-fresh for Mommy's baby boy!
    Homer: Ba-ba-ba-baby boy!
  • Potty Failure: After Milhouse complains that Bart framed Kirk for kidnapping:
    Bart: if you tell anyone, I'll tell the world you wet your pants watching Harry Potter.
    Milhouse: I wasn't scared, I was just peeing!
  • Principles Zealot: Lisa wants to make the truth about Bart's faked kidnapping known, even if everybody else (who has benefited from it in one way or another and has a lot to lose as a result) wishes to keep it buried. The only person willing to help her, Principal Skinner, does so out of sheer spite for Bart (and he says so at the very moment he accepts her request).
  • Snowball Lie: Bart lying about being kidnapped by Milhouse's father: it makes Chief Wiggum rise to Commissioner, Milhouse's father becomes popular with the ladies (while at prison) and receives more meals a day, and Bart becomes friends with Alcatraz.
  • Straw Loser: Kirk's traits as one of these actually become an important plot point: he's so flat broke that he's only able to buy an incredibly crappy brand of popcorn (that is most "made" out of unsanitary stuff like loose human teeth) that Wiggum is capable of recognizing by sound on the recording of Bart's "demand" call (because he's the only other person in Springfield who purchases that brand — which, as Apu clearly states, doesn't says much about Kirk's or Wiggum's intelligences, either). As well, Kirk's pad is so shitty that living in prison gen-pop is an actual improvement (plus he gets three free meals and ladies that love dangerous convicts want to meet him), which makes him quite willing to help maintain the lie.
  • Subculture of the Week: "Gangsta" Rap. Bart starts his fanaticism by wearing a hoodie and improvising lyrics a la 8 Mile and escalates to running away from home (which then escalates to faking being kidnapped) to go to a concert.
  • Take a Third Option: An absurd invocation: rather than having to deal with the hard moral dilemma of exposing the truth about the faked kidnapping, Alcatraaaz triggers a Dance Party Ending that solves nothing but makes everybody (but Lisa) happy.
  • Took A Level In Jerk Ass: Homer and Marge do this by refusing to let Bart go to the Murder 4 Life concert and even intend to spank him when he comes home.
    • Lisa and Skinner have also done so by planning to expose Bart's lie. It's made pretty clear from the get-go that if she continues the investigation, everybody from the Chief of Police down to her parents are all going to be in trouble, but she insists on exposing the truth. As for Skinner? If the truth comes out Bart will suffer, and that's all the motivation he needs.

Example of: