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Recap / The Simpsons S1 E7 "The Call of the Simpsons"

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Episode - 7G09
First Aired - 2/18/1990

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/6130aa22f89d08a8339bbd4c5da6a9ba.jpg
The Simpsons go on vacation in a rickety RV — and end up lost in the woods when the RV goes over a cliff.

This episode contains examples of:

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  • Adult Fear: Homer desperately searching for Bart after they both go over a waterfall. Thankfully, Bart turns up safe and sound. Meanwhile, Maggie runs into some bears in the woods and she is mistaken for one of their cubs.
  • The Alleged Car: The RV that Homer purchases is the cheapest vehicle in the lot and it shows with its incredibly rickety looks and being much smaller than Ned's RV to the point that the family's packing fills the entire inside (what it actually has in terms of gadgets is never shown, but it's easy to guess it lacks even the satellite TV that was one of the things Homer envied the most from Ned's RV). Homer doesn't does it any favors by driving it too roughly through the forest (including straight through a river, flooding the inside) and then accidentally having it fall down a cliff.
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  • Are We There Yet?: Between Bart and Homer when they're lost in the woods.
  • Base on Wheels: The "Ultimate Behemoth" RV, in a nutshell. Two stories tall with the luxury to match... and so does the outrageous price.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Pretty much why the bears babysat Maggie when they could have mauled her.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: Homer gets mistaken for a bigfoot.
  • Cool Car: The whole plot occurs because Ned purchases a top-of-the-line RV (with satellite TV, even) and Homer gets envious and exaggerated with the "Ultimate Behemoth", a two-story RV with an interior that resembles a manor and a gigantic TV with its own satellite.
  • Cryptid Episode: Variation played for laughs with Homer being mistaken by Bigfoot and having people out to capture him.
  • Denser and Wackier: This is easily the most surreal season 1 episode, which makes sense considering John Swartzwelder wrote it.
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  • Driven by Envy: The plot is started by the envy Homer feels upon seeing Flanders' RV.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: This is the first episode in production order to feature Ned Flanders, who the creators seem to have envisaged at this point as having Elmuh Fudd Syndwome; during his conversation with Homer about his new RV he noticeably has a slight lisp, and pronounces "credit" as "cwedit."
  • Exact Words/False Reassurance: When Cowboy Bob said Homer couldn't buy anything better than the rickety RV he was selling, he didn't mean it in a nice way.
  • Horrible Camping Trip: Homer's new RV fall off a cliff, and after a string of disasters, he eventually ends up covered in mud and mistaken for Bigfoot. On the other hand, Marge and Lisa (who were asked to just stay put while Bart and Homer searched for help) were able to clean up their camping site and turn it downright paradisiacal (and Maggie, who had been missing and taken by bears, turned out to have been found by "kind" bears).
  • Macho Disaster Expedition: Bart and Homer decide to venture into the woods to seek help and tell Marge and Lisa to stay put at camp. Their experience is torturous and embarrassing. Marge and Lisa, who have absolutely no knowledge of how to camp, manage to create a pretty pleasant experience for themselves (they even lampshade that it got much easier once they managed to clean up the campsite of all debris). Maggie also finds her own experience easy, courtesy of the bears.
  • Skewed Priorities: The news report about the "Bigfoot sighting" ends with the anchor saying, "We return you to the President's address."
  • Special Guest: Albert Brooks as Cowboy Bob (credited as A. Brooks).
  • The Talk: Discussed.
    Lisa: I heard a disgusting rumour on the schoolyard.
    Marge: Well, it's true, I'm afraid.
  • Tree Buchet: Homer's attempt at making a branch trap for obtaining some small game for dinner results in a bunny rabbit being flung well past the horizon.
  • Vacation Episode: Though just going camping in the woods is almost downplaying the trope compared to all the times the Simpsons will visit other states, countries, and continents Once a Season or more.
  • Women Are Wiser: Marge and Lisa manage to competently build shelter in the wild; while Bart and Homer, the latter being (allegedly) a more experienced woodsman, spend the night frozen, mauled, naked and starved.

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