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Recap / The Simpsons S 18 E 22 You Kent Always Say What You Want

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Original air date: 5/20/2007

Production code: JABF-15

In the 400th episode, Homer wins the 1,000,000th ice cream cone and gets interviewed by Kent Brockman, who had to sacrifice his editorial on the War in Iraq to do it because Channel 6's sponsor is the ice cream shop from which Homer bought the ice cream, but Kent ends up demoted when he blurts a horrible curse word live on air after Homer spills some coffee on his lap and then gets fired when his boss accuses him of being a drug addict. After moving in with the Simpsons, Lisa encourages him to stand up to mainstream media.

Features the The Tracey Ullman Show short "Family Portrait" as the opening.

Last episode to air before the theatrical release of The Simpsons Movie in the summer of 2007.


  • Bowdlerization: Discussed when Grampa talks about all the words that couldn't be said on TV back in the 1950s.
  • Broken Aesop: In-universe. Menace Tooth Society is meant to be against tooth decay, but Lisa thinks the movie glamorizes it instead.
  • Call-Back: The Simpsons' "Wall of casual acquaintances who came to stay for a while".
    Homer: Apu sang a song, what are you (Kent) gonna do?
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Bart shoving his hand down Skinner's throat, jamming a prop tooth into his mouth, and turning on an X-ray machine and putting it on Skinner's groin shouldn't be funny, yet...
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: "Goldarn it. I worked hard to ill-get those gains!''
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Kent Brockman.
  • Daywalking Vampire: Dracula is just fine in the outdoors when the Republican Party rehires Kent, though whether he's actually a vampire or just some wacko who thinks he's one is unclear.
  • Destination Ruse: Bart complains that Marge is taking him to the dentist when she said she'd take him to ride dirt bikes around the cemetery. Lisa groans, "You fall for that every six months".
    Homer: [in full motocross gear] Hey, suckers! Check it out! Marge is taking me to ride dirt bikes around the cemetery!
    Lisa: You're going to the dentist too, Dad.
    Homer: "Why the cemetery", I wondered. But my dreams were too strong.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Ned Flanders started a crusade to get Kent Brockman fired for swearing on television, even though Brockman apologized for it shortly afterwards and hardly anyone was watching the news during the moment he swore.
    • The FCC fines Channel 6 $10 million for Brockman swearing once on a talk show hardly anyone was watching.
    • Ludacris threatens to shoot a dentist since the embarrassing commercial he was in aired outside Canada and multiple times. He is seen later coming back with a gun to make good on his threat.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Lisa's comments about Menace Tooth Society obviously are meant to sound like the criticism of the original film and the usual controversies over works accused of reveling in Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!.
    Lisa: This film is against tooth decay, but it also kind of glamorizes it. Mixed signals...hmmm.
  • Downer Ending: Kent shamelessly abandons his crusade against the FCC and rejoins Channel 6 once he is offered more money, much to Lisa's disappointment.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Kent can't say no to the raise he is being offered, closest thing he can do is ask Lisa to turn around when he accepts the deal.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Even Rod and Todd feel that Ned's constant vigilance for their well-being by reporting Kent to the FCC is too much.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: Not only is this episode A Day in the Limelight for Kent Brockman and the 400th episode overall, but it's the first time since season seven's "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" to feature a Tracey Ullman Show Simpsons short.
  • Funny Background Event: When Bart walks down the dentist's hallway and sees Skinner, Ludacris passes by him with a gun, apparently making good on his statement that he is gonna give the doctor a chat with his glock.
  • Gag Dub: Due to the network cutting the budgets thanks to Brockman's scandal, The Itchy and Scratchy Show can't afford sound, so Krusty dubs it:
    Krusty: I'm a cat walking down the street, swinging my arms. Look, a lady made of dynamite! Wait, I don't know that yet. How about a smooch? Kablooey! Here comes the mouse, what's-his-name. That was me that done that. But it ain't enough, so here's this. That's what you get for, uh, I don't know, messing with my wife. And it goes on.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: While Homer is at the dentist, a kid can hear his screams from the waiting room.
    Mother: Don't worry, darling. I'm sure that man has a special tooth problem.
    Homer: I don't even have a special tooth problem! This is just a routine check-up!
  • Japandering: Ludacris says that Menace Tooth Society was only meant to be shown once, in Canada. But it opens up with an announcement that it's a presentation of the US Dental Association, suggesting that the filmmakers lied to him.
  • Jaw Drop: The kids (and pets) do this when they hear Kent's swear.
  • Logo Joke: In a way. When Homer tries to explain to Lisa at the end of the episode what Fox is up to, both his and Lisa's dialogue is overdubbed by a man promoting Fox. When Homer gets up to tell the viewers the truth, he's immediately cut off by the 20th Century Fox Television logo. He then appears again after that on a plain white background, trying to tell the viewers the truth, albeit more quietly, and he's immediately shushed by the Gracie Films logo.
  • Money, Dear Boy: In-Universe. Kent reveals to Lisa that the Fox network deliberately makes indecent programs to pay huge fines to the FCC, dominated (at the time of broadcast) by the Republican Party, which would profit from them.
  • Moral Guardian: Ned, who calls himself "God's little bellyacher".
    Ned: (typing) To online Christian soldiers. Subject: televised super-swear.
    Rod: Daddy, what are you doing?
    Ned: Imploring people I never met to pressure a government with better things to do than to punish a man who meant no harm for something nobody even saw. That's what I'm doing.
    Rod: (beat) Daddy, we think you need a new Mommy.
    Ned: First thing's first!
  • Parenting the Husband: Marge has to use the exact same "dirt bikes in the cemetery" ruse to get Homer to go to the dentist, that she uses on Bart.
  • Rule of Three: Bart's kicks to Skinner's face.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Kent stating the editorial on the War in Iraq being passed over in favor of interviewing Homer for the ice cream has nothing to do with the ice cream parlor being owned by Channel 6's sponsor.
  • Status Quo Is God: Kent gets to become an anchorman again by the end of the episode.
  • Take That!: Not only the episode does feature the most intense jabs at Fox (and Fox News) the series has ever done, but it also takes several shots at the FCC's excessive censorship and the power politics and Moral Guardians have on the organization.
  • Truth in Television: Sadly, there are Moral Guardians who are just as obsessed with indecency as Ned Flanders and the Comic Book Guy's line about people under 70 getting their news through the Internet is true as well.
  • The Unreveal: The swear note  and Fox's secret.
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: When Lisa tells him about Media Watchdogs who look through TV shows to complain about them, Bart asks "Who'd be lame enough to do that?". Gilligan Cut to Flanders in front of his set recording programs and sorting them out as "Naughty" and "Nice". The latter pile consiting only of The 700 Club and a test pattern.
  • Who's on First?: Homer and Lisa reacting to the dental video.
    Homer: This is the greatest movie ever!
    Lisa: Dad, that's Ludacris!
    Homer (defensive): I have a right to my views.
    Lisa: No! I mean Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, right here in the dental plaza!