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Recap / The Simpsons S 8 E 19 Grade School Confidential

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When Bart catches Seymour (Principal Skinner) and Edna kissing in a kiddie playhouse, the two bribe Bart into keeping their secret by making his permanent record Milhouse's, but when the stress becomes too much, Bart outs them and gets the two fired.

Tropes of this episode:

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  • Bait-and-Switch: When Homer borrows the bullhorn, it seems he's going to lecture Bart. He instead asks about his remote control.
  • Berserk Button: Bart getting ragged on by Martin proves to be the last straw.
  • The Bore:
    • More evidence of it with Skinner's secret messages — which are full of incredibly lame puns that he can't stop himself from explaining.
    • The Prince family's ideas of what makes a birthday party fun are so horrendously bland that Lisa (who is one of the few who could appreciate the educational side of some of them) and Ralph (who is usually too dumb to care) are bored to tears (literally, in Ralph's case) and Lisa even pretends to have food poisoning so she can get the hell away.
  • Chirping Crickets: When Skinner chokes in his denial that he and Edna had relations in the closet.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • Homer does three times
      • Learning the name of Bart’s teacher (thinking it's "Crandall" instead of "Krabappel")
      • Using the bullhorn to ask Bart where the remote is instead of lecturing Bart about the trouble he's causing
      • After Seymour’s explanation (thinking Mrs. Krabappel is a virgin too).
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    • The cafeteria worker thinks that Skinner praised the gravy, when actually he said "Good gravy!" to express shock.
    • The police try using music to discourage Skinner and Edna... only instead of unpleasant music, they choose a gentle love song which the two dance to.
    • "Sex Cauldron?! I thought they shut that place down!"
    • The Chief's response to Ralph's part of Gossip Evolution. "A baby looked at you?"
  • The Dog Bites Back: Bart is used by Seymour and Edna to keep their relationship secret and humiliate him in front of his class. He immediately exposes their relationship after he's humiliated.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Lisa, a hard-core zealot of educational fun (Depending on the Writer), can't stomach the immense nerdity and blandness of Martin's party and pretends to be one of the kids suffering food poisoning so she'll have a reason to get the hell out of there.
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    • Even Ralph, who can usually find something fun and creative out of mundane and out of norm occurrence, cries incessantly throughout the party at how milquetoast and stiflingly off brand substitute vanilla the attractions and entertainment is. Unlike Lisa however, he ate the raw oysters and is last seen hauled out moaning on a stretcher as his stomach feels like burning.
    • Bart Simpson has some pretty good dirt on both of the people on the school that are pretty much his sworn enemies, and Skinner makes it clear that if he keeps quiet he will obtain some good perks. He exposes their affair because he gets fed up with being used as a middle man for their secret messages and being embarrassed as a result.
  • The Food Poisoning Incident: Mr. and Mrs. Prince learn the hard way about why serving raw oysters instead of cake at a children's birthday party is a very bad idea.
  • Friendly Enemies: Edna tries to invoke this with Bart by attempting to have a casual conversation with him at Martin's party, but he only gets weirded out. He does, however, come through for both Edna and Skinner when he saves their jobs.
  • Gaslighting: Upon finding out that Bart saw them kiss, Skinner and Krabappel try to convince the boy that what he saw and heard never happened and he imagined the whole thing. Bart doesn’t believe them for a second, of course, and he even chastises them for not coming up with a better lie.
  • George Jetson Job Security: Upon learning about the secret relationship, Superintendent Chalmers fires both Seymour and Edna.
  • Gossip Evolution: How Seymour and Edna get in trouble:
    Milhouse: ...and then Bart opened the door and Principal Skinner and Mrs. Krabappel were kissing — and swearing!

    Pahusacheta: Father! Uncle Apu! A teacher was in the closet with the principal and he had as many arms as Vishnu and they were all very busy.

    Lisa: I was in the library at the time, but Janey told me that Principal Skinner and Bart's teacher, Mrs. — what's her name?
    Marge: Krabappel?
    Lisa: Yeah, Krabappel. They were naked in the closet together.

    Ralph: Mrs. Krabappel and Principal Skinner were in the closet making babies and I saw one of the babies and then the baby looked at me.
  • Humiliation Conga: Bart gets forced into increasingly embarrassing activities: exchanging love notes, being dragged out of bed to cover for a movie date, having to look after Agnes, and a classroom declaration of love.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Agnes shows Bart her cake collection album, she agrees that Bart can take any picture he wants, only to stop Bart from taking the coconut cake picture.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: Even Lisa finds boring the fact that Martin hired a mathematician with a magician gimmick rather than an actual magician to entertain his birthday party (and then gets annoyed because the guy can't do his job right, handwaving his miscalculations as "magic").
  • Kid Has a Point: Bart pretty much has to help Seymour and Edna, even showing them how to create a scene.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Nelson getting food poisoning from the oysters after punching Martin.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": It happens twice.
    • First, the school when Bart opens the janitor's closet.
    • Second when Seymour admits to being a virgin.
  • My Beloved Smother: Agnes is seen spying on Skinner during Martin's party. Later on, Skinner and Edna have Bart distract her, because she wouldn't approve of Skinner dating.
  • Nothing Personal: Chalmers tells Skinner and Krabappel that he personally wants to support them but as a public servant he's required to take action against them.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Bart's stunned silence upon seeing Seymour and Edna making out.
    • Apu's reaction to Pahusacheta's side of the story is a surprise "Wow."
  • Only Sane Man: Chalmers is incredulous when Edna suggests taking their case to the townspeople.
    Chalmers: Oh, yeah, that'll be real productive. Who do you wanna talk to first, uh, the guy in the bumblebee suit or the one with the bone through his hair?
    Sideshow Mel: My opinions are as valid as the next man's!
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Averted. Originally, Lisa was going to directly participate in the Gossip Evolution, but the writers realized she wouldn't have misunderstood what was actually happening, so they had her say she was in the library and heard the story from Janey.
  • Playing Sick: When kids get sick at Martin's party from eating oysters, Lisa (who, being a vegetarian, never ate any oysters) pretends to be sick just to be taken out of the party.
  • Plot-Induced Illness: The kids getting food poisoning from improperly served oysters.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Bart motivates Skinner by telling Skinner all he's ever done is take orders his entire life and urges him to stand up for himself for once.
  • Rock Bottom: At Martin's birthday party, Seymour and Edna recognize how empty their lives are.
    Seymour: Is this how you imagined your life, Edna?
    Edna: Well, yes, but then I was a very depressed child.
  • Screw the Exchange, I Have Limits: Bart resorts to this despite the agreement to have his records exchanged with Milhouse.
  • Secret Keeper: Bart agrees to be this for Seymour and Edna in exchange for some perks, but they quickly take advantage of him.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Bart isn't fooled by Seymour's attempt at a cover-up and knows it. Then again, Skinner is a really Bad Liar.
  • Shout-Out: The commend Bart gives is a parody to the Star Trek phrase "Set Your Phasers to Stun".
    Bart: Okay, crew, set your faces to stunned.
  • Status Quo Is God: Subverted. When it's all over, Seymour and Edna tell Bart they couldn't take the townspeople gawking at them constantly, so they're going to break up. After Bart leaves, though, Skinner remarks kids believe anything you tell them and heads to the nearest closet with Edna.
  • Teacher's Pet: Bart is forced into this until his limit is pushed.
  • Waxing Lyrical: When Skinner's "bomb" turns out to be fake:
    Wiggum: Wait a minute, these are hot dogs! ARMOUR hot dogs!
    Chalmers: What kind of man wears Armour hot dogs?!
  • We Were Rehearsing a Play: Bart points out that Skinner could've gone with this excuse instead of saying Bart imagined the whole thing.
  • A Wizard Did It: The Mathemagician explains away a miscalculation by claiming the "seven" is magical.
  • Worst News Judgement Ever: Bart manages to get Kent Brockman and the news crew to show up at the school by saying there's an escaped octopus on the roof. Brockman falls for it.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Bart just knocks on the doors of each classroom to expose Edna and Seymour.
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