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Recap / The Simpsons S 5 E 17 Bart Gets An Elephant

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Bart wins a radio contest and picks the gag prize (a full-grown African elephant) instead of the cash prize ($10,000), which puts the family in financial turmoil once again.

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  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: Chief Wiggum's reaction after several reports of a rampaging elephant and a liquor store robbery with an officer down. "And I'm Edward G. Robinson!" Which, in fact, he is.
  • Androcles' Lion: Inverted when Stampy lifts Homer out of a tar pit, and Homer, in turn, decides not to sell him to the ivory dealer.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • When Homer, Marge, and Lisa are looking for Bart and Stampy, they follow a trail of destruction that seemed to be caused by the elephant. But then it's revealed it was because of a tornado, much to Homer's chagrin...until he sees that it had swept up Patty and Selma.
    • Also when children coming to the door offer to pay money to see Stampy, Homer, who's just been complaining about how much it's costing them in order to keep him, states that that gives him an idea...to nail a "GO AWAY" sign to the front of the yard to stop people from bothering him about wanting to see the elephant.
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  • Biting-the-Hand Humor:
    Blackheart: Little girl, I've had lots of jobs in my day: Whale hunter, seal clubber, president of the Fox network, and, like most people, yeah, I've dealt a little ivory.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The signs at the Republican party meeting: "WE WANT WHAT'S WORST FOR EVERYONE" and "WE'RE JUST PLAIN EVIL."
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Lisa says that Bart and Stampy were gone thanks to Homer making a deal with Blackheart, Homer thinks she means the ivory dealer took Bart too.
  • Crazy-Prepared: More on the crazy side, but the manager of a peanut butter factory insisted the workers spent two hours a day preparing themselves for elephant raids. Too bad he wasted time bragging to the workers. Amusingly, Stampy just ran through the factory without doing anything to the peanuts.
  • Cruel Elephant: Stampy. The family initially assume he's just unhappy and end up sending him to a sanctuary, but he bullies the other elephants there. Like people, some elephants are just jerks.
  • Didn't Think This Through: For both ends of the deal:
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    • Bill and Marty offer Bart either $10,000 or a full-grown African elephant for winning the radio contest. Bart chooses the elephant. Bill and Marty are caught off guard because they never expected anyone to actually choose the gag prize, and don't have an elephant to give to Bart. This error nearly costs the two their jobs, as they're forced to get Bart an elephant or risk being replaced by the DJ 3000.
    • The same goes for Bart himself, who repeatedly turns down a $10,000 prize for an elephant that neither he nor his family is equipped to take care of.
  • Electric Torture: Snake does this to Chief Wiggum and the other police officers when he takes over the department and restrains the officers while taking their uniforms, guns, and tasers. Bill and Marty don't take it seriously. Wiggum doesn't seem to mind much either, actually enjoying it after a moment.
  • Epic Fail:
    • The family messes up the newly cleaned home in the time frame of the kitchen door swinging back and forth.
    • The police department ends up being overpowered by the inmates to the point of them wearing their uniforms (but given it's the Springfield police, this shouldn't be too surprising).
    • The Springfield Shopper Newspaper Headline about Bart: "KBBL Cheats Straight-A Student".
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Bart got an elephant.
  • Facepalm: Marge does this when Bart and Lisa get stuck to a tar-covered Homer.
  • Get Out!:
    Homer: Um, Milhouse saw the elephant twice and rode him once, right?
    Luann: Yes, but we paid you four dollars.
    Homer: Well, that was under our old price structure. Under our new price structure, your bill comes to a total of $700. Now, you've already paid me four dollars so that's just $696 more that you owe me.
    Kirk: ...Get off our property.
  • Giant Eye of Doom: Marge is horrified when she wakes up and sees Stampy's eye peeking through her bedroom window.
  • Go to Your Room!: When the family discusses taking the elephant as the prize:
    Lisa: You all seem to be forgetting the most important thing! Which is, that it's wrong to imprison an animal!
    (Beat)
    Homer: Lisa, go to your room.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: When Stampy charges through the Flanders' yard:
    Ned: (wakes up) It's the Four Elephants of the Apocalypse!
    Maude: That's Horsemen, Ned.
    Ned: Well, getting closer. (goes back to sleep)
  • Insane Troll Logic: When Homer was considering selling Stampy the Elephant to an ivory dealer, he pointed the dealer's ivory-made stuff as evidence he'd be less likely to harm Stampy than one whose ivory reserves were low.
  • Intoxication Ensues: While cleaning the basement, Homer ignores the "Use only in a well-ventilated area" warning on the Mr. Cleanser bottle. Sure enough, the fumes cause him to hallucinate Mr. Cleanser and other cleaning products mascots attacking him.
    Mr. Cleanser: (in a Russian accent) I must destroy you!
  • Jerkass: When introduced to other elephants, Stampy's first reaction was to headbutt them until they pass out.
  • Major Injury Under Reaction: Barney barely reacts after setting himself on fire.
  • Mood Whiplash: Stampy coils his trunk around Bart as he goes to sleep. It's a sweet moment... which goes right to comedy as Stampy yanks Bart into his mouth for a second and puts him back.
    Bart: (shaken) Thanks, bud. 'Preciate it.
  • Noodle Incident: After Stampy rescues Homer from the tar pit and Bart and Lisa go to hug him, Bart explains that they're stuck to him. As Marge goes to pry them off of him, she mutters, "This is just like what happened at the caramel factory." Although Homer fantasizes about the food, no further details are given.
    • There's also the matter on how Barney ended up in the tar pit in the first place, who after being rescued by Stampy (right before he rescued Homer) then lights a cigarette and his whole body catches on fire. His only reply to this is "Ouch!"
    • Also, after Stampy pulls Homer into his mouth, he then says in amazement that he has now had his head in the mouth of an elephant, a hippo and a giant sloth.
  • Obviously Evil: The ivory dealer's name is Mr Blackheart.
  • Papa Wolf: While Homer was all for giving Stampy to Mr. Blackheart, he is pissed when he thinks he took Bart as well.
    That wasn't part of our deal, Blackheart. That! Wasn't! Part!
  • Reality Ensues: As outlandish as this episode was accused of being at the time, the episode did have glimpses of realism, like The Simpsons (a lower-middle-class family) not having the money to keep a full-grown African elephant as a pet and Stampy getting sick from eating just peanuts (which, in most cartoons, wouldn't happen).
  • Riddle for the Ages: How did Barney end up in the tar pit anyway?
  • Sheet of Glass: Parodied. A pair of workers carrying a big piece of glass across the street narrowly dodge both Bart and Stampy, and bring it to its destination: a recycling bin.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The original 1950s version of The Price Is Right: A contestant was told he had won an African elephant … and then told he could decide (later) whether to take a $4,000 cash substitute. The contestant – much like Bart did more than 35 years later – chose the elephant, and when legal and other threats arose, the producers complied.
    • The Sound of Music: The "Do-Re-Mi" song when Homer crashes the car into a statue of a deer.
    • The shot of Stampy looking through Marge's window parodies the T-rex looking through a car window in Jurassic Park.
  • Shown Their Work: The bird that lands on Stampy to groom him is a cattle egret, a species that is known to have a symbiotic relationship with large land mammals such as elephants. It also shows that elephants can be intelligent and dangerously aggressive towards people (though putting people in their mouth is not an elephant habit, and Stampy's hostility to other elephants can be explained as being a result of the inadequate care he got from the Simpsons).
  • Skyward Scream: "That wasn't part of our deal, Blackheart! THAT! WASN'T! PART!"
  • Take That!:
    • The Republicans convention has them describing themselves as "plain evil" people who "want what's worse for everyone" and the Democrats are showing brawling while signs proclaim they "can't govern" and "hate life and our[them]selves".
    • Mister Blackheart lists among his previous occupations whale-hunter, seal-clubber and president of the Fox Network.
  • Taking Advantage of Generosity: Moe offers free peanuts to his customers, so Homer brings Stampy to the bar to feed him unlimited peanuts. Even Moe lampshades how unfair this is.
  • Tempting Fate: Lisa, after Helen Lovejoy notes that Stampy seems ill-tempered, comments that "you'd be grumpy too if you were taken out of your natural habitat and gawked at by slack-jawed yokels." Cue a debuting Cletus pointing at Lisa and laughing at her pointy hair.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • While he might not have been able to free himself anyway, Homer's method for getting out of the tar pit only made him sink faster.
    • Barney. Not only did he also sink into the tar pit, but the first thing he does after Stampy saves him is light up a cigarette while he's still covered in highly flammable tar. Three guesses as to what happens next.
  • Trash of the Titans: The beginning of the episode has the home in complete disarray, including a messy sandwich left on the stairs, underwear in the refrigerator and footprints on the ceiling.
  • Up to Eleven: When the family has finally finished cleaning the house, how long does it take for it to get messed up again? The time it takes for the double hinged kitchen door to swing open.
  • Waxing Lyrical: When Homer hits a deer statue, the dialogue quotes the "Do Re Mi" song from The Sound of Music.
    Homer: D'oh!
    Lisa: A deer!
    Marge: A female deer!
  • Your Television Hates You: Bart turns on the radio while doing household chores to get the song "Sixteen Tons".
    Tennessee Ernie Ford: You load sixteen tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt.
    Bart: Amen, Ernie.

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