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Recap / The Simpsons S 23 E 19 A Totally Fun Thing Bart Will Never Do Again

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The Simpsons are going on a cruise vacation — one that Bart doesn't want to end, as he fears his life on land is boring, so he fakes a viral pandemic on land.

Tropes:

  • An Aesop: "Stop complaining about not having fun, and instead, actually have fun."
  • Apocalypse Anarchy: The cruise doesn't lasts a single week before degrading to a gigantic mess where people are implied to have killed and eaten each other because of the lack of food, horribly unhygienic, and the games room has been turned by Lisa and the other smart kids into a monastery to try to preserve knowledge and pop culture for future generations.
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  • Big Eater: Bart's day starts with Homer always stealing his breakfast.
  • The Cameo: Treat Williams as the actor of the B-Movie Bart uses to keep the cruise wandering. And later appearing as one of the passengers of the boat.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: It turns out that Treat Williams, the actor that plays the man who delivers the "pandemic" message, is actually on the boat. The other passengers actually ask him why the hell didn't he came forward to say that it was a fake message, preventing the whole mess. Turns out Williams didn't recognized himself, saying that "he does a lot of movies" (he gets a Death Glare as a result).
  • Deal with the Devil: When Bart suddenly found himself with enough money for the cruise vacation, he initially thought the Devil agreed to the deal.
  • Did Not Think This Through: While it can be argued that Bart is a ten-year-old kid, even he should've realized that lying to the ship that a pandemic had broken out was a bad idea in the long run. If he wanted to prolong the vacation, at least think of a way to keep it going for another week without scaring the passengers and crew.
    • When you're entertaining your guests, maybe not remind them of how miserable they will be once the cruise is over and they have to return to their boring, monotonous dead-end lives?
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  • Disproportionate Retribution: Bart's prank was pretty horrible but that's no reason the whole family has to be stranded in Antarctica because of it. At the most they could've just thrown Bart in the brig on the return trip. Given the poor state of the ship in the end, it is heavily implied that the Simpsons were the sole survivors.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: At the end when the Simpsons get stranded in Antarctica. They cause Bart to realize that enjoying the best moments in life can make it fun. The family ends up joining the penguins playing on the ice.
  • Face Death with Dignity: The flash-forward at the end has old Bart on his deathbed, saying he had a fun ride. This is contrasted to a previous scene where he was unsatisfied, showing how things had changed.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Treat Williams, the actor that appears on the pandemic movie Bart airs to fool the cruise into staying off shore, is one of the passengers on the cruise. He doesn't recognizes his own face and when the other passengers get angry at him, he says that he does a lot of movies.
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  • I'm a Humanitarian: One of the cruise guests freaks out because she thinks she ate "people meat" during the time the ship was isolated from land. Its never confirmed, but judging by the general state of the boat, it's entirely possible.
  • Irony: Homer was briefly reading a magazine titled "Magazine Hater".
  • Ironic Echo: The cruise director's Catchphrase is "always have fun!". When he and the rest of the cruise passengers leave the Simpsons stranded in the middle of the Antarctic as payback for Bart's scam, he ruefully tells them to "never have fun!".
  • The Magazine Rule: This episode features a magazine for magazine haters.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The vacation was going fine with no hitches whatsoever (they even got two upgrades for free). Then Bart panics when he realizes that it'll eventually end within the week. So he fakes a pandemic on the mainland just to keep it going. The ship falls to hell by the time the second week hits.
    • As mentioned before, also the cruise director, singing people of how fun the cruise is, whilst reminding them about how boring and monotonous their everyday lives are. For Bart, who just had to go through an extremely stressful and boring week at school, it's the breaking point.
  • Reality Ensues: The cruise quickly runs out of food and falls into disrepair as a result of Bart's prank, due to the fact that ships need to dock in order to restock supplies. It is heavily implied that this lead to cannibalism.
  • Shout-Out:
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