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Recap / The Simpsons S 17 E 21 The Monkey Suit

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When Ned Flanders and Reverend Lovejoy manage to force the schools to teach creationism, Lisa faces jail time for teaching evolution. Her only hope lands in Marge, who comes up with a solution to save her daughter.

This episode contains examples of (YMMV):

  • Accidentally Correct Writing: In 2014, Grease 2 was adapted into the stage musical, Cool Rider.
  • All Musicals Are Adaptations: Parodied with "Grease 2: The Musical Based On the Sequel To the Movie Based On the Musical".
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  • Amoral Attorney: Wallace Brady, the pro-creationist lawyer, goes for weird manipulative tactics like pretending a baby deer is telling him Science Is Bad. He almost succeeds in putting a little girl in jail if not for Marge's own weird manipulative tactic.
  • Armour-Piercing Question: When Lisa's lawyer asks Ned if he honestly thinks that Homer couldn't be related to an ape, Ned reluctantly admits that he can't.
  • Artistic License – Law: McLean vs Arkansas Board of Education in 1981 established that teaching creationism in schools is against the Constitution, so it should have been easy for Lisa to force the issue, though you do hear about states like Kansas trying to replace evolution with creationism and considering how everyone in Springfield is backwards and anti-intellectual (they once tried to burn Principal Skinner at the stake because of his claims that the Earth revolves around the sun), the writers probably thought it would be best just to forget that piece of Supreme Court history.
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  • Badass Bookworm: Marge. She's the one that thinks up the idea of allowing Homer to do his "missing link" act in court for the sake of Lisa's defense.
  • Batman Gambit: Marge's is able to help Lisa win the case by giving her husband a beer without opening it. Homer being Homer his desperation to open it causes him to start acting like an ape, and Ned being Ned gets so feed up with his neighbour acting like that in a courtroom calls him a "Monkey Faced Gorilla.".
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Ned when he yells at Homer to shut up and stop acting like a chimpanzee. Usually it's Homer who orders Ned to shut up.
  • Chewbacca Defense: In the end, both sides use this. Brady uses a baby deer (Bambi, apparently) at one point as a "witness" of Lisa's "evil", and Lisa's defense is to have Homer thrash part of the courtroom with his drunken antics and say that Homer acting like a mad ape is clear evidence of evolution.
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  • Everyone Has Standards: Reverend Lovejoy is the very first man to tell Ned Flanders that the Bible is not a text that should be taken 100% accurately and that going all the way to taking legal action because he thinks creationism is wrong is overkill.
  • Fat, Sweaty Southerner in a White Suit: Wallace Brady, guest-starred by Larry Hagman, is an overweight southern lawyer in a white suit on Ned's side. He opposes Lisa and greatly supports creationism, calling evolution a load of "Hollywood hooey", not to mention he's not afraid of manipulating the audience at the courtroom with a cute baby deer (Bambi apparently) by claiming evolution is what allowed humans to kill his mother, with the intent of siding people against Lisa. Brady also sees no problem whatsoever with sending an eight years old girl straight to jail if it means teaching religion at schools.
  • A God Am I: Snake Jailbird's implied train of though during his killing spree:
    Snake: You live... you die!! (rifle burst)... you live... you die!! (rifle burst)
  • Latex Perfection: Nelson, twice. The first time, he looks like Milhouse poorly disguised as Lisa. The second time, he's impersonating one of Ned's sons, Todd.
  • The Lopsided Arm of the Law: Read below on "Police are Useless". Also bear in mind that Wiggum enforces this law by bringing a SWAT Team to deal with an eight-year-old girl.
    Lisa (while she's being handcuffed): There are worst crimes being committed out there, why do you pursue me?! (and to prove her right, Snake starts a killing spree ten seconds later... which Wiggum tries to ignore).
  • Mama Bear: Marge doesn't stands back and allows her daughter to be run over rough-shod by a corrupt law system.
  • invokedMemetic Mutation: Referenced when Bart watches a Men in Black-like movie where the Jay expy exclaims, "Get outta my face, you raggedy maggots!" This causes Bart to comment, "Oh, so that's why everyone's been saying that all summer."
  • Noodle Incident: Homer's summer to-do list includes "Find, destroy Atlantis."
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: As part of a plan to help Lisa to escape, Bart brings Milhouse wearing Lisa's clothes and wearing a Lisa wig. Subverted when "Milhouse" takes off his mask, revealing himself to be Nelson.
  • Preacher Man: Ned Flanders and Reverend Lovejoy both enforce creationism, but Flanders (as is typical of him by now) is the one who goes all the way to legal action for the sake of his fundamentalism.
  • Police are Useless: Once again, Chief Wiggum uses overkill while having Lisa arrested and on the meanwhile Snake gets off shooting people since they are only able to enforce the last three laws past. He does apologize to her during the case and admits that it's the worst legal system you can get. Snake's shooting is happening right across the street, visible right outside the window, and Wiggum's can only say to (try to) Just Ignore It.
  • Nuclear Option: Homer being ape-like when trying to open a beer bottle, of course.
  • Shout-Out: The episode is a reference to the Scopes Trial of 1925, where John Thomas Scopes was charged for teaching evolution at a state-funded school.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Flanders wants to enforce creationism after a bad trip at a museum. Even Lovejoy tells him that the bible should be taken lightly in this regard.
  • Tour Guide Gag: The audio tour for the museum is narrated by Melanie Griffith, but all she ever says is, "This room's nice", and "This room's nice, too", never once giving a specific detail about anything people are seeing.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Does anyone know why Snake was shooting people or caught doing so?
  • A Wizard Did It: Who ever snitch on Lisa? Because it's never answered, it just looks like when it comes to knowing where to go and apply The Lopsided Arm of the Law, Wiggum is just psychic.
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