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Recap / The Simpsons S 29 E 02 Springfield Splendor

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In this episode co-written by Tim Long, Lisa and Marge get a broadway musical performed after their graphic novel Sad Girl becomes a hit, but their creative differences start to tear the two apart. Guest-starring Martin Short as eccentric theater director, Ferdel.


  • Animation Bump: Ferdel is animated in a more full, fluid manner compared to the other characters.
  • The Bechdel Test: Comes up during the Comic Con panel. Marge finds it interesting and says she'll discuss it with her husband. The crowd boos her, and Alison Bechdel herself plays an animation on the projection screen declaring that Marge failed the test.
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  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Ferdel, a self-described “impish genius”.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Marge, seeing how upset Lisa is over the liberties Ferdel took with the Sad Girl musical, attempts to make the representation of the title character less abstract by painting Sad Girl's face on the spotlight and having it beam on the stage instead of the aisles. Ferdel tries to change the spotlight back, but it ends up blinding a technician and causing the performance to turn into a disaster.
  • Fetish: Kumiko, feeling ashamed for publishing Lisa's private art therapy comic as a graphic novel without her knowledge, declares that she'll "commit furry cosplay" and promptly puts on a panda suit. Comic Book Guy is noticeably turned on by this.
    Kumiko: There's nothing sexy about shame!... except in my native Japan, where it's our own thing.
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  • Hands in Pockets: Conversed. Marge warns Lisa that she’s not good at drawing turtle feet, so if there’s any turtles in Lisa’s comic, they’ll be wearing sneakers.
  • Head Desk: Lisa does this when she's struggling with her art therapy, due to her bad drawing skills.
  • In Name Only: What makes Lisa upset over the Sad Girl musical is that it favors visuals over storytelling.
  • The Musical: The adaption of Sad Girl according to Ferdel becomes a broadway musical.
  • Mustache Vandalism: Bart does this to several portraits in a restaurant.
  • Precision F-Strike: Invoked when Lisa discovers her therapy comic being sold as a graphic novel:
    Lisa: Mom, can I have permission to swear?
    Marge: Okay, as long as it's a Tier 1.
    Lisa: Dammit! (beat) That didn't work. Can I go to Tier 2?
    Marge: I'm afraid not.
    Lisa: Dammit!
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  • Shout-Out: To The Andy Griffith Show, whose theme plays when Homer and Bart appear to go fishing, only for Andy and Opie to take back their fishing rods, with which they attack Homer and Bart.
  • The Voiceless: Director Ferdel adapts Sad Girl to be "a red spotlight shining in the aisles."
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: During a Comic-Con panel, the audience has more questions for Lisa than for Marge.
    Lisa: Does anyone have any questions for my mom? She does draw every panel.
    (Shauna stands up)
    Shauna: Yeah, I have a question for Marge... How lucky are you to work with Lisa?
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