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Recap / The Simpsons S 30 E 11 Mad About The Toy

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Season 30, Episode 11

Original Airdate: 01/06/2019

When Homer and Marge go out on a date, they fail to find a babysitter for the kids. They turn to Grampa as their last resort, and he accepts. Desperate to find some activity to do, they scrounge around the basement for old toys and games. When Bart opens up a box of green plastic army men, Grampa starts to have old war flashbacks. A little prodding of his memory reveals that Abe was the model who posed for those army men toys, and but he was driven away from the job after learning that the cameraman taking his pictures was gay. After asking the toy company whatever came of him, they reveal he was fired for being gay — It was an acceptable practice in the The '40s. The Simpsons set off to Marfa, Texas, to let Abe make reparations for what he had done.

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Tropes:

  • Anachronism Stew: Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo a la Turk" plays during the 1947-set photoshoot. The song would not be recorded until 1959.
  • Brain Bleach: Bart remarks that the Alamo isn't the only thing he's going to remember on this trip after he sees Grampa giving a kiss to the cameraman in his studio in Texas.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Parodied with the bourbon vending machine seen in the 1947 flashback.
  • Flirtatious Smack on the Ass: The president of the toy company slaps his secretary on the butt in a flashback, and she giggles approvingly. He still does it in the present; when Lisa questions the secretary about it, she reveals that she's slowly poisoning him.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: An overarching issue of the episode is the gay cameraman trying to pursuade Abe that it's okay to be even a little bit sexually fluid, even citing a Cornell research paper that states that there is no such thing as being "100%" straight for anyone. Still, Abe doubles down on his insistence that he's straight, even after giving a thank you kiss to the cameraman for finishing up the photoshoot.
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  • Logic Bomb: Homer is using a smart home device as a babysitter. Lisa tries to short it out with a Liar's Paradox, but the device is programmed to avoid this.
  • Shout-Out: The title is a play on the 1932 song "Mad About The Boy", written by playwright Noel Coward, who was a (semi-)closeted homosexual.
  • Swallow the Key: To stop watching The Geezer Network with Grandpa, Bart takes the batteries out of the remote and swallows them.
  • Take That!:
    • A sign at the veterans hospital reads "Our Draft-Dodging President Salutes You."
    • The Simpsons pass a billboard calling Texas "The Reluctant Home State of Ted Cruz".
    • "...and don't get me started on Young Sheldon."
    • Sipper McTea and Milly is a Shallow Parody of Fibber McGee and Molly and "old-time radio" in general.
    • If you think the traditional correlation of masculinity and heterosexuality is not given enough blows, Abe decides to watch the movie Rio Macho to remind himself what manliness is after being kissed by the photographer. The movie in question stars Rock Hudson (of course, no one knew the truth about him at the time).
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  • Tampering with Food and Drink: The toy company president's secretary is gradually poisoning her boss by putting mercury in his coffee, pouring it straight out of a thermometer.
  • The VJ Day Kiss: Spoofed with Abe in place of the sailor. The woman punches him out, saying that the war was over two years before.
  • Zip Me Up: Marge alluringly asks Homer to zip up her dress. Homer then asks the same of her - closing the tear on the back of his coat with a safety pin.
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