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Recap / The Simpsons S25 E9: "Steal This Episode"

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After he had enough with the theaters, Homer learns the act of piracy from Bart, but he soon finds trouble when the FBI learns of them.

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  • And Some Other Stuff: Bart actually showing Homer how to pirate films is cut off by Fox (using an old logo to boot) for obvious reasons, and gets pre-empted by a NASCAR race (something also often shown by Fox).
  • Annoying Laugh: Seth Rogen all throughout the episode.
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  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: Homer did have his reasons.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The FBI appears to devote all their resources to fighting digital piracy instead of domestic terrorism.
  • Artistic License – Music: Judas Priest is not death metal.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Most of the episode demonstrates the absurdity of cracking down on media pirating, with heavy fines and a prison sentence given out for someone who just wanted to see a movie. But when Homer has a personal stake in the success of the movie, he immediately condemns pirating and tells his friends and neighbors to watch it legally. The end message became that appreciating art is more important than if you paid for it, but supporting artists for their work should not be ignored either.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: At the end of the episode, after listening to Lisa, Bart comes to the conclusion that "[e]veryone's a pirate". And right as Lisa is about to reveal who the worst one is, she looks at the camera... and is cut off by NASCAR footage again, playing behind the credits.
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  • Canon Discontinuity: Parodied when the Opening Crawl for the latest Cosmic Wars explains that a Cosmic Retcon occurred meaning the prequels never happened.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Troll Twins of Underbridge Academy has apparently been turned into a trilogy of movies as the theater the Simpsons go to has a listing for the third movie in the series.
    • Once again, Homer airs his frustrations with the cinema-viewing experience in front of everybody in the audience.
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil: Heavily parodied, with the FBI task force dealing with media pirating akin to a Seal Team deployment.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The FBI arresting Homer for digital piracy is rather proportionate... the "disproportionate" part is them loudly announcing that after Homer's sent to prison they will kill him and make it look like he committed suicide.
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  • Dyeing for Your Art: invoked Appears in-story. Channing Tatum plays Homer in a film and he gains weight by getting "gravy milkshake injections".
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The prisoners on the bus were upset with Homer’s piracy; the studio executives also enjoy an underdog story.
  • Expy: Bootleg Bay is a clear parody of The Pirate Bay, a Swedish-based website that offered torrent files and magnet links which got the sites owners in trouble for facilitating illegal downloading of copyrighted materials.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Homer downloading movies for free is treated as more horrific than the killers and bank robbers on the prison bus he is put on.
  • Finding Judas: Parodied. Homer is unable to notice nor believe that Marge was the one that turned him in to the FBI until she flat-out tells him, and so blames other people during the raid and actually asks Marge to look for the one that did it. Marge unwillingly turned him in because she was too concerned about the illegality of watching pirated movies to think whether or not it would be a good idea to tell those with power that Homer was doing just that.
  • Gender Flip: The judge at Homer's trial is a woman in the film, but a man in the actual event.
  • #HashtagForLaughs: One of the movies listed in the movie theater's marquee is called "The #Hashtag Games".
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Homer. At the end, he releases a movie about him tackling big movie corporations abusing the FBI's valuable resources (that could be used for significantly greater crimes such as serial killers and domestic terrorism) to push the population into purchasing legal content, but then he starts acting one like himself ordering the people of Springfield to pay money for his movie so that his family can eat.
  • Honor Before Reason: Honorable thing: not looking at digitally-pirated movies. Unreasonable thing: sending a letter to the production company with 1) a signed check with the exact amount that would pay a ticket for the movie (which is used to snort coke) and 2) full information about why the check is enclosed, which includes the fact that Homer is pirating movies and is thorough enough to give the FBI an iron-clad case.
  • Hypocritical Humor: After Homer's piracy travails are made into a movie, he objects to it being pirated because he is included in profit sharing.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Homer has to stand up to explain why he pirated the films.
  • Jerkass Realization: The charges were dropped after the studio executives understood what they were doing and they enjoy an underdog story.
  • Karma Houdini: Zig-Zagged, while Homer's gets charges against his bootlegging racket and evading arrest over that, the riot he started on the prison bus and its subsequent crash is completely overlooked and never even brought up once, not even during the trial. The other prisoners on the bus also escape Scot free, at least as far as the episode is concerned.
  • Lawful Stupid: Marge is against Homer pirating videos because it's a crime, which is understandable. It takes the FBI barging into her home, arresting Homer, being dragged into living in an embassy Julian Assange-style, having Homer continuously (and obliviously) flinging guilt at her and finding out that the only other member of the family as law-abiding as she is (Lisa) thinking that what she did was stupid for her to finally accept that sending that letter so she would feel with a clean conscience was not one of her brightest moments.
  • Misplaced Retribution: While it's understandable why Homer is in legal trouble for digitally pirating movies, he seems to be perceived as being worse than the website operators who put those very movies on the Internet for free in the first place.
  • Movie-Theater Episode: In the first act of this episode, the Simpson family go to the movie theater to see Radioactive Man Re-Rises. Homer puts up with various annoyances in the theater, prompting him to screen pirated movies in his backyard so he won't have to deal with them.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Marge comes to this after sending a check to the studio executives with a letter of apology for watching a pirated film ends with Homer being arrested by the FBI.
    • And it only gets worse after she finds no one, not even Lisa, agrees with her.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Marge gets this from Homer continually pointing out that he trusts her and he expects anybody else to be the one who betrayed him.
  • Only the Leads Get a Happy Ending: The episode works out well for Homer in the end, but not for everyone else who are now being ordered by Homer to buy a ticket to see his movie rather than see it online.
  • Police Brutality: The FBI doesn't just barge in on the Simpson house with a fully-armed assault team to arrest Homer, but actually tell those present that they will stage a suicide for Homer in prison later. They even apprehend Chief Wiggum when he proclaims they're just watching a movie.
  • Serious Business: The FBI seems to be devoting most of its resources on film piracy instead of terrorism or serial killers.
  • Spoiled by the Merchandise: In-universe example; a Krusty Burger promotion for the Radioactive Man Re-Rises movie has toys of characters from the movie, including The Collider, the film's villain. The Collider's phrases are, "I turn out to be a good guy." and "I die, but I come back to life after the credits.", much to the chagrin of Homer, who had not seen Radioactive Man Re-Rises at the time.
  • Take That!: To IMAX's movie enhancement gimmicks. When Homer finally goes to see Radioactive Man Re-Rises with his family, thr Squeaky Voiced Teen informs them that they can either pay $72 for the 3D show, or pay ten dollars more to see it in "IMAX Hobbit-Frame-Rate Virtual-Reality-Vision". The camera then cuts to a crowd exiting the "IMAX HFR VRV Theater", clearly looking sick from disorientation.
  • Underdogs Never Lose:invoked "Based on a True Story" movies where this happens bring in more money, so the studios let Homer go free and immediately try to get his story rights.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The fate of the unseen prison bus crew is never elaborated on, and neither Homer, or the other convicts get charged for the incident on the bus or its aftermath.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Homer hearing that Marge confess she was the one who turned him in to the FBI (and then Marge defending her actions even without intending to land Homer in jail) is enough to make him walk outside to surrender.

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