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Recap / The Simpsons S 20 E 20 Four Great Women And A Manicure

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While at a nail salon, Marge and Lisa argue over whether or not a woman can be smart, beautiful, and powerful all at once, which leads to yet another Simpsons anthology show, featuring four stories of women trying to survive in a man's world: Aunt Selma defending England as Queen Elizabeth I, Lisa in a non-copyright-infringing retelling of Disney's Snow White, Marge pushing Homer to be a great Shakespearean actor in a modern-day version of Macbeth, and Maggie fighting against conformity in a parody of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead.

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Tropes:

  • Absentee Actor: Bart does not appear at all.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Sort of. In the original Macbeth, Lady Macbeth ends up so racked with guilt over the murders she convinces her husband to commit that she kills herself. Marge-as-Lady Macbeth feels no such guilt and dies because the vengeful ghosts of her husband's victims attack her.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Homer's acting is so bad that every single other member of the play, including those playing objects and the stage crew are in line to play the lead role before him.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • At the diamond mine, the dwarves use their pickaxes to hit the buttons of the panel that controls the mine's machinery.
    • The King of Spain justifies his interest on Krusty by claiming he likes a man that makes him laugh, but he'll open an exception for Krusty.
    • When Snow White is trying beds at the dwarves' home, she says the first one is too hard and the second one is too soft. Upon trying the third bed, she smiles and say it's just (her smile changes into a frown) as hard as the first one and settles for the too soft.
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    • At the start of the 3rd story, it appears that it will be a Simpsons style retelling of Macbeth. It furs out that Marge is just wearing a blanket and washing costumes on a castle set.
  • Daycare Nightmare: The daycare center on Maggie's short is run by a man who forces kids to conform to be all alike... that is, mediocre and accepting it. When Maggie wishes to keep making pretty art and structures with anything at hand, he goes to war with her.
  • Die Laughing: Fittingly enough, Homer kills Dr. Hibbert by flooding his room with laughing gas in the "Macbeth" segment.
  • Driven to Suicide: Homer, when Marge suggests he start a career as a Shakespearian actor.
    Homer: The real murder would be having to read all those plays.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The evil witch is gored to death by the forest animals in the Snow White story. The camera points off screen to show their shadows on the wall.
  • Jerkass: The daycare center guy in Maggie's story decides to be a complete jerk to Maggie when she proves herself to be exceedingly talented unlike the other babies.
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    • Marge was at her worst in the Macbeth story. She was obsessed with making Homer the lead of the play and she selfishly orders him to murder every single person in it, ignoring her sisters warning and Homer's unhappiness. Even as a ghost, she still didn't learn her lesson until Homer shoots himself.
  • Kill 'Em All: Marge demands Homer kill everyone in the play who is ahead of him to take the lead role, which as his acting is so bad, is literally 'everyone'. Including those who weren't actually actors.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Based on the author's photo for The Fountainhead, Agnes Skinner thinks Ayn Rand is a really hot guy.
  • Lady Macbeth: Marge acts like this during her story. She wants Homer to succeed as an actor, but she encourages him to kill people to achieve that success.
  • Off with His Head!: One of Elizabeth I's suitors was Ralph Wiggum, who shouted "Off with my head!"
  • Public Domain Character: Discussed before the "Snow White" segment; a lawyer insists that Lisa's telling would be infringing copyright because, according to him, the story is owned by Disney. Lisa retorts that "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" is a classical fairy tale and thus no one actually owns it.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Lenny asks why Grumpy needs a pickaxe if he works at marketing. Grumpy says Lenny would know if he worked at marketing.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: A really brutal example. After Homer manages to act his ass out as "Macbeth", Marge's ghost praises him and then shows him all of the other Shakespeare works she wishes him to do. Homer blows his brains out right then and there.
  • Shout-Out: While looking for the seven dwarves' home, Snow White sees a house of gingerbread and Grandma's house. The wolf is already at the second one. Later, when she's trying beds at the dwarves' home, she says the first one is too hard and the second one is too soft.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: While singing a song that's Suspiciously Similar to "Heigh-Ho", the dwarves claim that it's not like any song the viewers have ever heard before.
  • Take That!: Lisa calls The Fountainhead "The bible for right-wing losers."
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: King Julio, who kills one of his servants for showing typical Springfieldian idiocy.
  • The Voiceless: Subverted with Maggie in her story. She has a scene where she actually speaks in fluent English (with the voice of Jodie Foster). This is one of the few scenes where she speaks.
  • You Wanna Get Sued?: The version of the Dwarves song that plays over the closing credits has them singing "if Disney sues we'll claim fair use."
  • Writing Around Trademarks: The dwarves in Lisa's version of Snow White don't have the same names the dwarves in Disney's version have. There's a close call with Doc... tor Hibbert.
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