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Recap / The Simpsons S 21 E 3 The Great Wife Hope

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Marge protests against Mixed Martial Arts after Bart gets in trouble for fighting in school.

Tropes:

  • Action Girl: Marge turns into one, as well as Lisa at the end of the episode.
  • Artistic License – Martial Arts: Marge shows her fellow Moral Guardians a MMA clip in which a fighter pounds another on the ground for a ridiculously lengthy amount of time (the clip is sped forward and it still doesn't end). In reality, MMA referees are ordered to stop the match at the moment one of the fighters is perceived as unable to defend himself anymore and, depending on the individual referee, they might only allow a few unanswered strikes before stopping the match. Prolonged beatings on an already beaten opponent did happen in the old times of the sport, most notably in the Brazilian vale tudo and the first days of the UFC, but nowadays it's more probable to happen the other way around and have a referee prematurely stop the match when the "victim" could have gone for more time (or so they often claim). It's not unsubtly implied by the time the audience gets a better understanding of what kind of a man he is that this is only because Chett Englebrick allows it (or even encourages it).
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  • As Himself: Real life MMA champion Chuck Lidell appears signing autographs.
  • Domestic Abuse: Implied when Chett says he feels odd for hitting a woman he doesn't love.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: At the climax of the episode, Bart charges into the ring to try to stop the fight when it looks like Chett is going to continue beating up on Marge after he already knocked her out, even challenging Chett. He gets smacked around for his trouble, which triggers Marge's Mama Bear Heroic Second Wind.
  • Fan Hater: In-universe with Marge, who's main motivation to have Mixed Martial Arts banned is because she hates it and is appalled by people liking it.
  • Frivolous Lawsuit: After Homer and Bart watch a fight, Homer tells Bart not to do it at home but at school where they can sue over eventual injuries.
  • Hidden Depths: Turns out that Charles Montgomery Burns used to wrestle back when he was in college and tries to teach Marge a few moves for her fight with Chett (emphasis on tries).
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  • Impending Clash Shot: The final scene of the episode is Bart and Lisa getting ready to fight each other and the scene pausing and cutting to credits just as they are swinging a la Rocky III. Then the credits cut back to the fight after a few seconds, showing Lisa knocked out Bart with a single punch.
  • It's All About Me: One of Marge's lines states that if she hates something, no one is allowed to like it.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Chett used this strategy to trick Marge. It didn't work.
  • Made of Iron: Fredrich Tatum decides to teach Marge some boxing moves for her fight with Chett and makes a cell phone call mid-training while fully ignoring Marge using his abs as a punching bag.
  • Mama Bear: Marge becomes an instant martial arts expert when she sees Chett about to hit Bart.
  • Moral Guardians: Marge and the group protesting mixed martial arts. She even flat out says that "If something isn't to my taste then no one should be allowed to enjoy it"
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  • Murderous Thighs: Marge finds Bart holding Nelson in an inverted triangle choke in the schoolyard.
  • Negative Continuity: A few prior episodes have showcased that Marge's age has done a number on her body (such as trying to learn Ballet ending with one of her legs stuck in an awkward position), but on this one she can do a passable rhythmic gymnastics routine with no problem.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Chett Englebrick seems to be a mix of real life personalities related to mixed martial arts. He is part Dana White, president of Ultimate Fighting Championship, for leading an UFC expy and being outspoken and brash; part Nobuyuki Sakakibara, chairman of PRIDE Fighting Championships and currently of RIZIN Fighting Federation, for his glasses and smug attitude; and, oddly enough, part Vince McMahon, president of WWE (which has nonetheless employed several MMA fighters over the years), for his hair and face design.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Bart (a little kid with absolutely no training) tries to challenge Chett (a fully-grown man with some experience in Mixed Martial Arts) to a fight to prevent Chett from hurting Marge anymore. A Curb-Stomp Battle ensues.
    • Marge accepts Chett's challenge and decides to practice a non-combative sport (gymnastics) because she wants to maintain her moral righteousness. Even if she turns out to be good at it, Bart and Lisa immediately point out that not knowing how to fight is gonna get her creamed and look for someone who can teach Marge.
    • Just because Marge won the fight, it does not stop the sport. Especially since she tried to stop violence with violence.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Marge's reason (or so she says) that she dislikes MMA is because she thinks it's morally unwholesome. It's made clear that it's just something she's saying to try to sound like she's on the right. And then it turns out that Chett Englebrick, the creator of the tournament, is a colossal asshole and domestic abuser that allows absurd amounts of cruelty to happen on the ring For the Evulz.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Soapbox Sadie: Marge Simpson dislikes Mixed Martial Arts and goes on the warpath to get the sport shut down in Springfield, even accepting a challenge that may get her hurt badly with the stake that if she wins Chett Englebrick (the chairman of the MMA company) will shut the whole thing down. It's made perfectly clear (by herself, even) that she is doing it just because she hates the sport and once she wins she immediately makes another attempt at speechifying her moral outrage even if 1) she already won and 2) everybody already left the stadium to watch a couple of drunken hobos beat the crap out of each other in the parking lot (she doesn't notices this, even, until Lisa of all people points this out).
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Marge's Moral Guardians beliefs became worse as the years go by, but here, she won't allow anyone to like what she hates.
    • Her simple request for Chett is for him go out of business and give all of his money to charity.
  • With Friends Like These...: Marge's friends talk about her behind her back.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Chett had no trouble with the notion of hitting Marge. He even mentioned he'll fight anyone except a man his own size.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Chett said he'll fight anyone weaker than him when Bart challenged him to a fight in an attempt to protect his mother. Seeing that was enough for Marge to get angry enough to wipe the floor with him.
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