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Recap / The Simpsons S3 E23 "Bart's Friend Falls in Love"

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Bart's friendship with Milhouse is strained when Milhouse falls for a new girl in school. Meanwhile, Marge orders subliminal weight loss cassette tapes for Homer, but ends up getting vocabulary builder tapes that makes Homer Sophisticated as Hell.


  • Accidental Misnaming: Principal Skinner accidentally pronounces Samantha's last name as "Stinky".
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The "French" used at the convent. The nun's rendition of "Dominique" is complete gibberish (although the tune is accurate).
  • Beware the Nice Ones: When Bart confesses that he squealed on Mr. Stanky, the normally meek and mild-mannered Milhouse starts whaling on him.
  • Big "NO!": Mr. Stankey does this when he sees his daughter Samantha and Milhouse together, complete with Disturbed Doves flying out of the treehouse.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Milhouse after Bart admits that he snitched to Mr. Stankey.
  • Buffy Speak
    Homer: Marge, where's that metal dealie you use to
    Marge: You mean a spoon?
  • Characterization Marches On: Considering later episodes show Milhouse being easily terrified from watching G-rated movies, it would seem odd that Luanne would even allow him to watch a movie involving mutants eating humans onscreen after having sex with them.
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  • Chekhov's Gun: Bart uses the Magic 8-Ball that which told him and Milhouse that them they won't be friends at the end of the day, to subdue Milhouse when they fight.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Milhouse's parents walk in on him at Bart's throat. Their reaction?
    Luanne: (gasps) Milhouse is out of bed and full of beans!
    Kirk: Whoa, it's a miracle!
    (they leave)
  • Cultural Blending: Samantha ends up at a convent run by "French-Canadian nuns," but the writers don't seem to know anything specific about that culturenote . The scene does feature references to a few other cultures:
    • The song "Dominique" is originally from Belgium.
    • When Samantha says "They're very nice, except they never let me oot," she exhibits Canadian Raising, a feature of Canadian English phonetics that has nothing to do with Canadian French (and is not seen nearly as often as is suggested in Canadian English).
    • When Milhouse and Samantha kiss, the score briefly quotes "La Marseillaise", the national anthem of France. This song has absolutely no connection to Canada or French Canadiansnote , and its use here is equivalent to using "Rule, Britannia!" to suggest "American-ness". (This is also a reference to the ending of Casablanca.)
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  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Invoked at the end of the sex ed film "Fuzzy Bunny's Guide to You-Know-What":
    Troy McClure: Now that you know how it's done... don't do it.
  • Food Porn: The food ads Homer watches are narrated by a woman in a seductive voice.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Lisa reads an article that says humans will develop an extra finger in a million years.
    Bart: Five fingers? Ew! Freak show.
  • Friend Versus Lover: The main plot of the episode, with Bart feeling sidelined when Milhouse and Samantha do stuff together, then scheming to break the two up.
  • Harmful to Minors: The sex ed film apparently shows the honeymoon in explicit detail.
    Children: EWWWWWWWW!
    Mrs. Krabappel: She's faking it.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Just to emphasize the wretchedness of American public schooling in Springfield, Krabappel grants Samantha an introduction to the class, warmly telling her there's no judgement there.... then spills out how her presentation will be graded for grammar and posture.
  • Imagine Spot:
    • Lisa has one of Homer's funeral after watching a news report about the dangers of obesity. It ends with Homer's coffin crushing his family and some workers.
    • Marge also has one of Homer as a hostage negotiator. It ends with Homer getting killed after ignoring all demands of the hostage taker.
  • Indy Escape: With Homer in place of the boulder.
  • Indy Hat Roll: Parodied by Bart.
  • Kissing In A Tree: Bart performs a sinister version.
    "Samantha and Milhouse kissing in a tree, about to lose their privacy. He-he-he!"
  • Mood Whiplash: Skinner interrupting his welcoming Samantha to Springfield Elementary to go off on PTSD flashbacks to his days in 'Nam.
    Skinner: Samantha, I've always been suspicious of transfer students. Other principals unload problem cases that way. Lord knows I do.
    Samantha: I'm a good student.
    Skinner: (darkly) Yeah, sure, and they told me I'd get a big parade when I got back from 'Nam. Instead, they spat on me. I can still feel it searing. (brightly) So, let's just see what the permanent record has to say. No detention, fairly good attendance...oh, I see you beat that bed-wetting problem in the second grade.
    Samantha: (mortified) That's in there?!
    Skinner: (warmly) Don't worry, they'll forget...(darkly again) just like they forgot about me in that tiger cage for 18 agonizing months! Every night I wake up screaming! (brightly) Well, let's meet your classmates!
  • Nutritional Nightmare: Homer sees a commercial for the Good Morning Burger. which consists of an eighteen ounces of sizzling ground beef patty, creamy butter, bacon, ham, and a fried egg. Needless to say, Homer's interest in this is what pushes Lisa into trying to get Homer to live healthier.
  • Off with His Head!: Itchy cuts off Scratchy and his bride's heads with his sawblade hat in the Itchy & Scratchy episode "I'm Getting Buried in the Morning".
  • One-Gender School: Mr. Stankey sends his daughter to one.
  • Overprotective Dad: Mr. Stankey's response to Samantha being in a relationship with one of her classmates? Put her in a school for naughty girls, equaling her not being to meet with Milhouse again.
  • Raiders of the Lost Parody: Bart steals Homer's change jar from his dresser, Homer wakes up and gives chase, but trips and rolls down the stairs after him for an Indy Escape. This is followed by an Indy Hat Roll with the garage door.
  • Reaction Shot: Bart's class watches a sex-ed film, Fuzzy Bunny's Guide to You-Know-What. In it, Fuzzy marries his girlfriend Fluffy, and the film graphically shows what happens on the honeymoon. We only see the reaction of the students, who all shout "EW!", and Mrs. Krabapple, who snarks, "She's faking it."
  • Reality Ensues: In a news report about obesity:
    Kent Brockman: Americans have grown up with the image of the jolly fat man: Dom De Luise, Alfred Hitchcock, and, of course Santa Claus. But in real life, Santa would be suffering from gall stones, hypertension, impotence, and diabetes.
  • Referenced by...: William Shakespeare: After Samantha's father takes her away:
    Milhouse: How could this happen? We started out like Romeo and Juliet, but it ended up in tragedy.
  • Relationship Sabotage: Bart does this to Milhouse and Samantha so her father will take her away and he'll have Milhouse to himself. He ends up regretting it.
  • Screw Destiny: A bit of foreshadowing after Bart's great escape on the bus to school. While Bart has Homer's jar of change for the show and tell project at school, Milhouse shows him his magic 8 ball he got from the thrift store. For laughs, the two ask questions of their friendship together into the future.... and none sound promising. Later on, when Bart goes to Milhouse to make amends which turns into a fight, Bart ends up grabbing (aside from the other wide varieties of deadly weapons like broken bottles and a knife) said 8 ball, and uses it to wack Milhouse upside the head into sanity, breaking it into pieces.
    Bart: Bet it didn't see that comin'.
    Milhouse: (exasperated) Yeah.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Homer speaks this way as a result of listening to vocabulary-builder tapes.
  • Sex Miseducation Class: Bart's class watches a sex ed video called "Fuzzy Bunny's Guide to You-Know-What", which shows an anthropomorphic rabbit dating, marrying, and eventually knocking up another one. It ends with Troy Mc Clure saying, "And now you know how it works, don't do it."
  • Shout-Out
    • The famous opening scene where Bart steals Homer's pennies parodies Raiders of the Lost Ark.
    • The final shot is a reference to Casablanca.
    • The magazine Lisa is reading throughout the episode, Eternity, may be a reference to the Science Fiction and parapsychology magazine Omni, published from 1978 to 1995.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Samantha and Milhouse spend a great deal of time together kissing, making Bart feel left out in the process.
  • Sleep Learning: Lisa tries to get Homer one of these tapes so he can subconsciously lose weight, but the company was all out, so they send him a vocabulary-builder tape instead.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: Parodied, the sex-ed video shows the rabbit couple eating carrots in bed after sex.
  • The Stinger: The show ends with a message from Homer to "increase your wordiness", giving his own definitions of words.
    Satiety: Belt-popping fullness.
    Triumvirate: Three guys giving orders.
    Gourmand: Like a gourmet, only fatter.
    Machiavellian: I don't know.
    Boudoir: Where a French guy does it.
  • Take Our Word for It: The sex ed film shown to the students features a graphic sex scene, though we don't see it.
    Krabappel: She's faking it.
  • Visual Pun: Check out the image above. Don't see it? 
  • Weaponized Headgear: Itchy does this in the Itchy & Scratchy cartoon the kids are watching.
  • Within Arm's Reach: After Bart confesses that he's the reason Samantha's dad won't allow Milhouse to see her anymore, he starts to strangle Bart. Bart then reaches around the floor, choosing from a brick and a broken glass bottle, before bashing the "Lucky 8-ball" on Milhouse's face.
  • Word Schmord
    Bart: How would I go about creating a half-man, half-ape-like creature?
    Mrs. Krabappel: I'm sorry, that would be playing God.
    Bart: God-schmod, I want my monkey man!
  • Worth It: When Milhouse visits Samantha at the school for wicked girls, she's initially reluctant about kissing him because of the school's penalty for kissing but eventually decides it's worth it.

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