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Recap / The Simpsons S 30 E 18 Bart Vs Itchy And Scratchy

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Season 30, Episode 18

Original Airdate: 03/24/2019

When Krusty the Clown announces that Itchy & Scratchy will be portrayed as girls, Bart and the other boys pledge to boycott the cartoon by not watching it. Lisa is stoked and records a reaction video of herself, and ends up catching Bart laughing in enjoyment when he gives in to the temptation to take a peek. Bart gets called out for his hypocrisy on the internet, which turns him into a social pariah among the boys at school. This leads to him to hanging out with a group of rebellious sixth-grade girls who fight for women's rights. The escalation between the boys and the girls ultimately leads to the girls trying to destroy the master tapes of every Itchy & Scratchy on live TV, which causes Bart to reconsider his views.

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This is the first episode of The Simpsons produced by Disney as the buyout of 20th Century Fox finalized the Tuesday prior to the episode airing.

Tropes

  • All Part of the Show: Among Krusty's published bloopers, there's one where Legs and Louie are beating him up and he pleads to the kids to call the cops because it's not part of the show, and one where a piece of scenery falls on Sideshow Mel and Krusty plays along.
  • All There in the Script: The Bossy Riot members' names are only given the script.
  • An Aesop: Sometimes the best action is inaction, everything could have been avoided if the boys had just ignored the Itchy and Scratchy reboot instead.
  • Bile Fascination: Invoked when Nelson decides to "hate watch" the new Itchy & Scratchy, but Bart counters with the more radical notion of not watching it at all.
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  • Both Sides Have a Point: Lisa calls Bart out on joining a protest for a cause he doesn't believe in. Bart fires back that Lisa hasn't joined the protest while believing in the cause.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In retaliation to the all-female reboot being cancelled, Bossy Riot attempts to destroy every single episode of the original Itchy & Scratchy.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The episode is clearly referencing the controversy surrounding Ghostbusters (2016) and the latest Star Wars movies featuring a female lead.
  • Fetish: Learning that Milhouse, the leader of the Boys Rights Alliance, actually has friends, ends up being a major turn on for Kirk and Luanne.
    Luanne: Say it again!
    Kirk: Milhouse. Has. Friends.
    (Luanne moans in delight before kissing Kirk again)
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Boys Rights Alliance all wear shirts that spell out "BRA".
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  • Grey and Gray Morality: The Boys Rights Alliance and Bossy Riot are both portrayed as being in the wrong and the episode doesn't portray either side as having the moral high ground. B.R.A are just wasting their energies on something trivial, whereas, Bossy Riot are just using feminism to justify their crimes. This matches the overall lesson of the episode, some things are just not worth fighting about.
  • Hypocrite: Bart gets called out for being a hypocrite for watching the female Itchy & Scratchy cartoon. Lisa uploads his reaction to the internet and turns him into a meme.
  • I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham: Bart has this reaction when he actually sees the pilot for the female Itchy & Scratchy.
  • Instant Humiliation: Just Add YouTube!: Lisa uploads the video of Bart laughing at the female Itchy & Scratchy. Bart thinks he's built enough street cred to counter the humiliation but is then cornered by the other boys, who label him a traitor.
  • Karma Houdini: Lisa never gets in trouble for uploading the video of Bart online. Likewise, Bossy Riot suffers no repercussions for their extremist activities.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Milhouse becomes the leader of B.R.A after they discover Bart laughing at the Itchy and Scratchy feminized reboot, so they assault and exile him. In the end, B.R.A disbands after being publicly humiliated by Bossy Riot.
  • No Sympathy: When the TV show host shows the viral video of Hans Moleman being crushed by a boat, he says he's upset... at Moleman for not wiping his bloodstains.
  • One of the Guys: Gender inverted: Bart gets all hyped up for feminism without actually doing any research for what it is, and tries to pass himself off as one of the Bossy Riot gang.
  • Only in It for the Money: Krusty doesn't even try to hide that the change of Itchy and Scratchy into girls was just to cash in on feminism rather than actually being for it.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spit Take: Bart spits out his soda when watching the Itchy & Scratchy cartoon.
  • Straw Feminist: Bossy Riot are a trio of feminists who use extremism to prove a point. However, it's very clear that they are just using feminism to justify their actions, as they commit vandalism, publicly humiliate the boys and even admit to using Bart as their scapegoat.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: In-Universe, Bart and the other boys react badly at the new all-female Itchy & Scratchy. However, Bart finds it just as funny.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Hans Moleman gets crushed by a boat, as seen in a viral video.
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