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Recap / The Simpsons S 26 E 21 "Bull-E"

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In this episode written by Tim Long, Marge pushes for anti-bullying legislation and Homer is (finally) arrested and sent to rehab for his bullying of Ned Flanders.

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  • 0% Approval Rating: Averted. When asked why he hates Ned, he tries brushing it off by saying everybody hates Ned Flanders, only for Chalmers to shoot it down by saying only Homer does.
  • Bad Boss: Krusty's treatment of his employees causes him to be arrested for bullying after the new anti-bullying legislation is approved.
    • Wiggum arrests Lou under the new law because he tried to stop the chief from stealing his lunch.
  • Brick Joke: Early on the episode, Otto hallucinates that he's driving a train instead of the school bus. At the end of the episode, he hallucinates again.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When the counselor talks about doing work "inside", Homer thinks of vacuuming.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The anti bullying law allows you to have anyone arrested for even the slightest grievance. Homer has Apu arrested for putting too much ice in his drink, a motorist for cutting him off, and Wiggum arrests Lou for trying to stop the chief from taking his lunch.
  • Freudian Excuse: People sent to rehab for bullying are asked to reveal theirs. Superintendent Chalmers explains that his upbringing was influenced by a philosophy set by B. F. Skinner. Chalmers even shouts "Skinner" the same way he does while talking to Principal Skinner.note 
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    • Agnes Skinner was apparently never told by her own mother that she loved her.
    • Homer finally admits that he hates Ned because he is jealous of the man.
  • The Grovel: Homer comes crawling on his knees to say sorry to Ned.
  • High-School Dance: Bart goes to a school dance and winds up with the "Best Dancer" award.
  • Karma Houdini: Homer and the other reformed bullies are somehow treated as heroes because they promised not to do it again.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Abusing a poorly written law to have people who are not bullies to jail? No problem. Being arrested by those same laws for blatant bullying yourself? He never saw it coming.
  • Mushroom Samba: Experienced twice by Otto.
  • Rogue Juror: Parodied. The anti-bullying legislation's approval becomes unanimous after the one person who opposes it is bullied into changing his mind.
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  • Jerkass Realization: Homer finally realises he treats Ned the way he does because he's jealous of how much better than him he is.
  • Jury Duty: At the end of the episode, Otto wakes up from a dream and finds himself as a juror in the middle of a trial.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: "Stup...endous Flanders."
  • Loophole Abuse: Due to how vague the anti-bullying law is, the police can arrest virtually anyone. Which Homer uses to have anyone who inconveniences him in any way sent to jail.
  • Perp Walk: A couple of them are shown. Lampshaded by Wiggins in the scene when Homer is arrested and walked for being a bully.
  • Shout-Out: Otto has a dream where a teacher, her students and a school bus shrink down and try to get inside him.
  • Time Passes Montage: Of Homer sitting tight in front of the Flanders house as the days go by.
  • Trampled Underfoot: Otto does this to the pupils in his second Mushroom Samba sequence.
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