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Recap / The Simpsons S 17 E 16 Million Dollar Abie

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In this episode written by Tim Long, After attempting assisted suicide when the town blames Grampa for losing out on an NFL franchise, Grampa decides to get a new lease on life and becomes a matador.

This episode provides examples of...

  • Animal Wrongs Group: Lisa gets irked with the whole "recycle the Springfield Meltdowns field and turn it into a bull-fighting arena" scheme and convinces Grandpa to release the bulls. The "wrongs" part is that they both decided to just allow the bulls to rampage through Springfield, causing massive collateral damage and potential fatalities while they watched from a balloon.
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  • Bait-and-Switch: While helping Grampa train while pretending to be a bull, Bart looks set to crash his bike (with horns attached to it to help Abe practice) into Homer from behind while he's bending down to pick up a penny. Bart manages to put the brakes on, stopping the bike before he collides with his father's ass...and then Homer turns around and skewers his crotch on the horns.
  • Call-Back: The bullfight commentator is the excited soccer announcer from "The Cartridge Family".
  • Charlie Chaplin Shout-Out: Grampa thinks he's dead and thinks he's in Heaven. His notion is further proven when he sees a Chaplin impersonator holding an advertising sign, and is amazed that he can talk.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Of all the houses in town, the football commissioner ended up in front of the Simpsons' house where Abe mistakes him for a thief.
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  • Darker and Edgier: What Homer wants a hypothetical "Cap'n Crunch" movie to be.
    Homer: Will it be "R" or hard "R"?
  • Double Entendre: "Old Man Beats Meat".
  • Even Evil Has Standards: It seems even corrupt NFL executives can't stand Los Angeles.
    Rich Texan: I'm sick of LA. They got earthquakes, wildfires, Benniffers, Brangelinas, and that potty mouth Sarah Silverman. To hell with all of them!
    Female Executive: I didn't kill my husband to get control of his franchise to give a team to Los Angeles!
  • If You Die, I Call Your Stuff: When Grampa is contemplating suicide, Jasper asks him if he can have his blanket and liver if he decides to go through with it.
    Grampa: Blanket? Sure. Liver? NEVER!
  • Interrupted Suicide: Abe's was interrupted by a new law being passed on the nick of time.
  • It Can Think: Used as the final gag: Grandpa and Lisa are safe from the bulls' rampage because they are on a balloon... and then the bulls tie balloons to themselves and fly up to where they are to get them as well.
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  • Mistaken for Afterlife: After the Springfield Police prevented the doctor from assisting Grandpa's suicide (while Grandpa was passed out), Grandpa wakes up believing he's in Heaven (the Chaplin impersonator reinforces this)... and then he comes across the Simpsons at Luigi's restaurant, where he believes for a moment that either Homer or Bart went on a Murder-Suicide spree and killed the whole family.
  • Never My Fault: The town blames Abe for ruining their chances of getting a football team, though they aren't exactly blameless, as it was their decision to change the signs that caused the guy to get lost in the first place. On top of that, no one bother to send him an escort.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Thanks to Abe mistaking the commissioner of pro football for a burglar and holding him hostage, Springfield loses out on their football team. Of course, the town bears as much fault in this, since (a) the town changed the names to ALL the town's streets and (b) did not arrange to either meet the commissioner or tell him of the changes.
  • Noodle Incident: Bart somehow flips the classroom upside down for the chalkboard gag.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The doctor who was about to assist Abe's suicide when he learned one of his previous patients was Chief Wiggum's brother-in-law.
    • Also Luigi when he gets cornered by the bulls while pushing a wheelbarrow holding crates of veal.
    • And Lisa and Grandpa when the bulls figure out how to fly and get them.
  • Overly Long Name: The name of the Springfield Meltdowns' stadium was originally "Duff Beer Krusty Burger Buzz Cola Costington's Department Store Kwik-E-Mart Stupid Flanders Park". After its conversion into a bullfighting stadium, it was renamed to the far more wieldy "Springfield Estadio de Toros".
  • Persona Non Grata: Thanks to Abe costing the town their football team, he is reviled by everyone, to the point where Reverend Lovejoy arranges the sign outside the church to read "Jesus Hates You" as Abe is passing and for a bunch of fireman to throw him into a burning building.
  • Pun: The assisted suicide machine is called the DiePod. With one setting labeled as "MegaDeath".
  • Same Content, Different Rating: Because of the references to assisted suicide and animal cruelty (along with such crude innuendo as "Old Man Beats Meat" and Lenny following Carl's declaration of having "Melt Mania" by saying he has "Down Syndrome"), this episode was given a TV-14 rating in America, while Australia gave this an M rating (which is like a TV-14 in America in that it's the highest rating a TV show can get on free-to-air TV, as the MA-15+ and R-18+ are reserved for cable shows, theatrical releases of movies, and video games) and the UK gave this a 15 rating for discriminatory language (the "Down Syndrome" pun), scenes of bullying and harassment (Abe becoming a town pariah), playing assisted suicide for laughs, and violence centered on animals.
  • Shout Out:
    • The DiePod. With one setting labeled as "Mega Deth". It's not clearly defined whether it's an actual setting on the suicide machine, or the thing has actual Megadeth music on it.
    • The suicide room sequence resembles Sol's assisted suicide on Soylent Green.
  • Suicide as Comedy: Grampa wants to be euthanized and most of it is played for laughs.
  • Suicide Is Shameful: When Marge hears that Grampa wanted to be euthanized, she is quite shocked and says that suicide is a sin.
    Marge: Suicide?! Grampa, killing yourself is a sin. God wants us to die of old age after years of pain and reduced mobility.
  • Tempting Fate: The announcer at the stadium declaring relief that his broadcast booth is up high while the bulls rampage through the streets below. Cue a bull emerging from the lift doors behind him.


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