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Recap / The Simpsons S 18 E 13 Springfield Up

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Declan Desmond makes a documentary highlighting the progress in the lives of several Springfieldians.


  • A Day in the Limelight: This episode feels a tad bit different from your average Simpsons episode. Almost all of this episode focuses on the perspective of Desmond as he shoots and edits his documentary, instead of the "wacky adventures" the Simpsons (and their friends and enemies) go through. Even the opening and ending of the episode were both quite different from your average Simpsons episode in its initial airing.
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  • Bait-and-Switch: As a mall photographer, Marge is shooting a picture for what appears to be a young Captain McAllister, but when she plays disco music, he suddenly transforms into Disco Stu.
  • Big "NO!": Smithers shouts several of these as a result of being tied up inside a grandfather clock and forced to hear the loud chimes.
  • The Bore: As a child, Lenny was deemed so boring that Desmond decided not to waste film on him. When he talks to Lenny as an adult, apparently the only interesting things he has done lately are consider trying new shampoo and pay his bills.
  • Brick Joke: After interviewing Lenny at age eight, Desmond declared that he was too boring to continue the documentary process on him. Later on, Desmond attempts to confront Homer at his house (since he'd been dodging him about his attempt at appearing wealthy backfired), Lenny shows up to try and be interviewed again. Doesn't take long for Desmond's blatant refusal to talk to him for Lenny to get the hint and leave.
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  • Broken Ace: Eleanor achieved a lot of success in her life...but it left her horribly jaded.
  • Downer Ending: For Eleanor: she got burnt out from her multiple jobs, fell off the wagon, and decided to buy multiple cats, eventually becoming Crazy Cat Lady.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Many of Springfield's adult characters are seen at elementary school together.
  • Funny Background Event: While Homer sings his song to Desmond, a young Carl briefly appears behind him in Frink's time machine.
  • Gilligan Cut: When Desmond asks Homer and Marge if they're considering having kids, Homer said he wouldn't be caught with a couple of rugrats. The next scene is eight years later with Bart and Lisa as babies.
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  • Mock Millionaire: Homer pretended to be wealthy to impress Desmond, but Mr. Burns unexpectedly showed up and ended the hoax.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: Professor Frink tried to tell his past self not to pursue a scientific career. He was ran over in the past, preventing him from getting young Frink's attention.
  • Noodle Incident: Homer once gave Krusty a kidney. Krusty didn't need it and has no idea where it came from.
  • Origins Episode:
    • We see the origins of the Crazy Cat Lady, like her real name Eleanor Abernathy.
    • Similarly, we learn how Disco Stu came to be.
  • Orphaned Punchline: "And that's how I got the vending machine contract for the Kremlin."
  • Overly Long Gag: When the family and Mr. Burns find Smithers trapped in the clock, he screams loudly. Multiple times. Everyone else just stares at him until Mr. Burns rescues him.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: Flanders describes Homer as "the kindest, sweetest, most generous man to ever drive through my living room."
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Two, back to back, happen when Desmond tries to confront Homer at his house: one from Homer about himself, and one from Marge to Desmond.
    Desmond: Then I just want to know why your husband did what he did.
    Homer: (from offscreen) I'll tell you why. (walks up to the door) It's been another eight years, and what do I have? Same job, same house, (pulls out "Pat Summerall's 'Smut Yuks'") same dirty joke book. (reads book and deadpanly laughs; tosses book to the side) I just thought for once I could be the cool guy in your movie. But all I am is the guy who makes everyone else look good. (leaves)
    Desmond: (turns to the camera) Strong words from a dumpy man. (makes "cut off" gesture) And cut.
    Marge: (fed up; to Desmond) Wait just a cotton-swabbing minute! A good man went to a lot of trouble just to impress you. And I went along with it because I love him to pieces. And you made him look like a fool. Well, I don't want you anywhere near my house! (to the camera) Now you can cut! (camera does)
  • Remember the New Guy?: Subverted. At first, it seems like the episode had created the character Eleanor Abernathy, but as we learn by the end of the segment, she actually goes by a more well known alias: Crazy Cat Lady.
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus!: The episode ends with Homer announcing that his new life goal is to become a rock star, and he performs a song with lyrics like "Satan you're my lady, stick me with your pitchfork thing!"
  • Royalties Heir: Homer (falsely) claimed he became wealthy by inventing the condiment pen.
    Homer: I got the idea from the regular pen.
  • Self-Made Man: The sort of wealthy man Homer pretended to be.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Professor Frink tries going back in time to convince his eight-year old self to abandon the field of science... only to get run over by a couple cars when he attempts to cross the road to get to him.
  • "Staying Alive" Dance Pose: Used by Disco Stu once Marge introduces him to disco music.
  • Straw Loser: Discussed In-Universe by Homer when he reveals why he and his family lied to Desmond. He claims that for once he wanted to be the cool guy and laments that he's always the guy who makes other people look cool in comparison.
  • Vignette Episode: The episode starts by showing clips about various characters' childhoods, including Chief Wiggum and Professor Frink. However, it gradually shifts away from this to focus more on Homer and how his life has changed, besides one short about Marge in the second half.
  • Wham Shot: The ending portion of the "Eleanor Abernathy" segment: Crazy Cat Lady tossing cats at the cameraman. And as if the connection wasn't clear enough, she also throws her diploma from Yale.
  • Workaholic: Being both a doctor and a lawyer left Eleanor Abernathy feeling burned out at age 32, and so, she started drinking and acquired her first cat.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In order to make it up to Homer, Desmond went through all of thousands upon thousands of footage he gathered, "twice", in order to find every instance of people talking positively about Homer.
  • Whole Plot Reference: To Up, a documentary series focusing on the lives of several people as they age throughout the decades.

Video Example(s):


"A Devastating Edit"

When newlywed Homer and Marge are asked if they intend to start a family, Homer rebuffs it, saying he won't be tied down by kids. It then cuts to eight years later where Homer and Marge now have Bart and Lisa, despite Homer requesting the interviewer not to make that edit.

How well does it match the trope?

4.94 (17 votes)

Example of:

Main / GilliganCut

Media sources: