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Recap / The Simpsons S 21 E 9 Thursdays With Abie

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Just when Grampa realizes that no one wants to hear his stories, Marshall Goldman, a feature writer for the Springfield Shopper takes interest in him. Soon, the column "From the Mouth of Abe" becomes a national phenomenon. However, Homer discovers that Marshall also wants to kill Grampa to win awards.

Meanwhile, Bart is forced to take care for the weekend of Larry, the class' lamb doll, much to his chagrin, so he gives him to Lisa, who ends up losing him. Now it's up to them to save the lamb from the sewers.


This episode includes examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Marshall is voiced by Hank Azaria, who also appeared as Mitch in Tuesdays with Morrie. He was also to appear on a movie version of Grampa's memoirs.
  • Animated Actors: Invoked by Abe, who tells Marshall about the time he was swallowed by an elephant while on the set of... a Warner Brothers cartoon.
  • Artistic License – History: A newspaper headline in a 1930s flash-back sequence mentions that bicycle wheels "are now the same size". "Safety" bikes had replaced penny-farthings in the 1880s-1890s.
  • As Himself: Mitch Albom (author of Tuesdays) attempts to snatch Abe from Marshall.
  • Award Bait: Goldman decides to kill Grampa so that his death will win him a Pulitzer.
  • Down the Drain: Larry the Lamb ends up in the sewers after Lisa looks away for a second. When Bart falls himself looking for the doll, she asks Wiggum for help, but he tells her that it's up to the "water police", which he admits it doesn't really exist.
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  • Epic Fail: When Mitch Albom shows up at the asylum, the residents decide to throw him out. They're so slow it takes them six hours to do it.
  • Irony: Bart is the only one at class who doesn't want to take Larry for the week-end. Guess who gets Larry... Lampshaded by Martin.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: When Lisa loses Larry, she finds out that Nelson is looking forward for it, mentioning that it's the thing that keeps him sane.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Bart disguises the notes from school by taping pieces of paper with other words over the original text. Marge doesn't see through the ruse.
  • Parental Issues: Homer only begins to take Abe seriously after he becomes famous. Meanwhile, Marshall wants a Pulitzer to win his mother's respect.
  • Rambling Old Man Monologue: Abe does not only tell his fair share of them, but also lets Homer try his hand on it—Homer's story involves Godzilla, Colonel Tom Parker, the Rolling Stones, the British Museum (although not that one, being located in France, but not that France), and Gracie Films.
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  • Reality Ensues: Grampa looks at "Hoover-villes" and closed banks thinking that they are re-staging The Great Depression as a side attraction to the "Tinseltown Starliner"'s heritage trip (just like the "bulls" that beat up Moe while singing), only for Marshall to tell him that those are actual shanties and failing banks in the wake of the Great Recession, much to Abe's consternation.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The episode is a Whole Plot Reference to the book Tuesdays with Morrie.
    • Passengers at the "Tinseltown Starliner" include Will Rogers, Shirley Temple, Fred Astaire, W.C. Fields, Laurel and Hardy, Boris Karloff (in character as Frankenstein) and most important of all... Clark Gable.
    • A newspaper headline of the 1930s mentions Shemp leaving The Three Stooges. Indeed, he left the trio in the early 30s, only to return in 1946 after his (and Moe's) brother Curly became incapacitated.
    • Slimu is a parody of Shamu.
  • Take That!: There are two potshots aimed at newspapers: First, Abe tells Marshall that at least something will die before him. Later, when Homer wonders if the world has gone upside-down (as a result of Grampa being interesting), he decides to check if Cathy is funny for once. It isn't.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Mr Burns is so pleased with the time he spent with Homer, that he releases one hound to chase after him.
    Homer: Isn't that cute? He thinks he's a pack. (Runs for his life)

Example of: