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Recap / The Simpsons S 20 E 2 Lost Verizon

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Bart gets a hold of Dennis Leary's cellphone while working at a country club to buy his own, but when Dennis Leary himself confronts Marge about Bart tricking him into playing in crappy roles, Marge becomes a more controlling mother and Bart runs off to the ancient South American city of Machu Picchu.


Tropes:

  • Aesop Amnesia: Marge learns yet again not to be so smothering and overprotective towards her children.
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  • Both Sides Have a Point: Marge isn't wrong in monitoring Bart since he regularly played pranks and put either himself or others in peril for his own amusement, hell, he even got the phone by stealing it in the first place. However, Marge still invaded his privacy, violated his rights and restricted his personal life because she was being overcautious and overprotective of him.
  • Broken Aesop: Yes, Marge keeping an eye on the boy who did a transparent act of vandalism the whole episode is smothering.
  • Easy Come, Easy Go: Bart tries to earn enough money for a cellphone by finding lost golf balls at the golf course, only for Willie to confiscate his haul, stating that it's his territory.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Marge violating her son's privacy is treated bad, but that first thing she spotted was Bart driving a forklift with Milhouse on it — he really needed supervision. It's not even Bart's phone — he stole it from Denis Leary and profited from it to give the actor grievance.
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  • Mood Whiplash: "Night is scary. DAY IS AWESOME!"
  • My Beloved Smother: The B-plot has Marge learn not to be so smothering toward Bart.
  • Mythology Gag: It's not the first time Australia hears it from Bart.
  • Nice Day, Deadly Night: Parodied; Bart is left home alone and becomes afraid of nature at night, resulting in an Overly Long Gag of Bart afraid in the dark and happy in the day ("Night is scary." "Day is awesome!")
  • Something We Forgot: The family goes to and from Machu Picchu looking for Bart, and once they are back on Springfield Lisa asks if they feel like they missed something. Gilligan Cut to Maggie, who was left behind in Machu Picchu, being worshipped by an indigenous cult.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Swedish bar that Bart prank calls is a reference to Swedish film-maker Ingmar Bergman. When the bartender calmly threatens Bart over the phone, the camera angle of him with a bar patron in the background looking straight into the camera references Bergman's 1966 film Persona.
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    • In addition, the Australian bar is a shout-out to Crocodile Dundee, complete with a bartender who resembles the title character.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Marge, she mistook a bird wearing Bart's tracking chip as him. All well and good but the bird was able to reach the Shelbyville Bird Sanctuary in mere minutes and was able to reach another country entirely. If she had been monitoring Bart for a week then she'd know this is an impossible feat and out-of Bart's character.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
    • Bart starts using Dennis Leary's phone to cause a ruckus while pretending to be Dennis Leary, drives a forklift with Milhouse on it, tricks Leary to play bad roles, and finally leads his family on a search for him and enjoys his time alone at home without being concerned over how worried his family are over him.
    • Marge activates the GPS in Bart's phone and uses it to spy on him around the clock and feels absolutely no shame for violating her son's privacy whatsoever.
    • Lisa learns her family was chasing a bird called a Scarlet Tanager and its migration pattern leads to Machu Picchu, which Lisa had expressed interest in visiting earlier in the episode. She "conveniently" neglects to tell her family this so she can go on the trip she wants.
    • Although it's a quick gag before the end and Negative Continuity (or them racing back) will fix it, the Simpsons still left Maggie (a baby) in Peru, and don't really start to catch up on that until they are back in the United States.

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