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Recap / The Simpsons S 19 E 17 Apocalypse Cow

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Bart tries to save his new cow from the slaughterhouse — and ends up nearly married to a hillbilly girl named Mary.

Tropes:

  • Bait-and-Switch: During the montage of Bart and Lou bonding, Bart is handling a branding iron, making it look like he's about to brand Lou...but he's actually making a collar sign for him.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Transclown-O-Morphs. As their theme song says, the transclown-o-morphs are "transforming clowns that morph".
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  • Meaningful Name: Mary got her name because she's the one her parents expected to get married. Yes, the Spucklers were that crazy.
    Cletus: Isn't that right, Stabbed-in-jail?
    Stabbedinjail: (wielding a whittled spear) We'll see who stabs who.
  • Merchandise-Driven: The transforming clowns that morph use their show to sell their cereal. When they're losing, one of them says it's because someone isn't buying it.
  • Name That Unfolds Like Lotus Blossom: One of the Spuckler's kids is called Stabbed-in-jail.
    Cletus: We always figured someday Mary would marry. That's why we called her Mary. We name all our kids after what we think's gonna happen to 'em. Ain't that right, Stabbed-in-jail?
    Stabbed-in-jail: [sharpening and wielding a spear] We'll see who stabs who.
  • Shout-Out: Tress MacNeille gets mentioned a couple times in this episode, which leads to a Celebrity Paradox—the woman who voices dozens of characters on The Simpsons is famous enough In-Universe that Bart and Homer can recognize her voice.
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  • Show Within a Show: Bart and Lisa watch an animated show Transclown-O-Morphs.
  • Spit Take: Upon hearing about Bart getting married, Homer's sock puppet does this.
  • Take That!:
    • "4-H: It's still a thing."
    • When Bart is bundling manure, the bundles come out as Pirates of the Caribbean 3.
    • Similarly, the opening gag is a dig at Merchandise-driven franchises such as Transformers, and product placement in general.
    • The way cows are farmed takes a pretty hard hit.
      Bart: Wow, Lou, what happened to you? You got fat.
      Lisa: Of course he got fat. The food he ate was laced with growth hormones.
      (Lou licks Bart's arm, which then grows hairy)

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