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Recap / The Simpsons S9 E10 "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace"

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A Christmas Episode — Bart accidentally destroys the family's Christmas presents and blames the disaster on a burglar, resulting in the rest of the town opening its hearts and wallets for them, but when Santa's Little Helper finds the melted wreckage and Bart confesses that he lied, the town turns on The Simpsons and shuns them.


  • As Himself: Alex Trebek, who doesn't take kindly to Marge's -$5200 loss, and later joins Springfieldians in repossessing the Simpsons' possessions.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: When Marge and Lisa decorate their family's Christmas tree, Lisa comments that she's glad about not using a tree made of aluminum like in the past, suggesting they're using a real tree this time. Marge then reveals that they're using a plastic tree.
  • Blatant Burglar: The phony description of the burglar who robbed the Simpsons given to the police by Bart matches this trope, as he mentions the burglar wearing a striped convict shirt and holding a big sack with a dollar sign on it. Lou quips "Classic burglar".
  • Borrowed Catch Phrase: When Bart confesses that he's the one who ruined Christmas, Lisa strangles him, complete with a "Why you little—!"
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  • Cassandra Truth: Homer tries to warn his coworkers of a poison leak, but they think he's lying to steal their snacks.
  • Christmas Episode: Probably the most depressing one outside of "Marge Be Not Proud".
  • Comically Missing the Point: After Marge reads Moe's letter (wherein he curses and denounces the family), Homer expresses disappointment... because he thinks it obligates them to send him a Christmas card back.
  • Crappy Holidays: And how. The family's Christmas tree and presents burning down is only the beginning of their misfortunes.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: Just when it seems the town has forgiven the Simpsons, we see the actual reason why the Springfieldians are at their house: They're repossessing the Simpsons' belongings.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Bart buries the melted tree/presents in the snow next to the house. It was going to be discovered sooner or later, even if the snow wouldn't melt for a while.
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  • Downer Ending: The townspeople make off with all of the Simpson family's possessions (including the cat and dog) just so they can repay the debt, but the part where The Simpsons play with a lone washcloth and the show's penchant for resetting their continuity (unless it's a character dying) prevented this from being too depressing.
  • Epic Fail: Marge losing so bad on Jeopardy that she now owes $5200 to Alex Trebek.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto / Stuff Blowing Up: The car the family buys with the $15000 from the townspeople blows up from just sinking into icy water.
  • From Bad to Worse: Bart accidentally destroying the family's Christmas, but his attempt to cover it up ultimately leads to the entire family being shunned by the townspeople.
  • Game Show Appearance: Marge goes on Jeopardy! to try to repay Springfield, but ends up with -$5200 instead.
  • Gift Shake: By shaking Lisa's gift, Bart is not only able to tell that she's getting a sweater, but also that it's hand-knitted and yellow.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Homer pulling Lisa away from strangling he can do a better job.
    Homer: Lisa, no! Your hands are too weak!
  • I'll Kill You!: "No, I'm killing him first! You wait your turn!"
  • Irony: Bart sets fire to the Christmas tree with a toy fire truck.
  • It's All About Me: Bart really wanted to open his presents before everybody else, which kicks off the rest of the story.
  • Lead In: Homer and Marge going to Try-n-Save, where Homer tricks the crowd by pretending to be a cashier and stealing gifts from other shoppers.
  • Mood Whiplash: "Wow, this really restores your faith in—LISA, DO YOU HAVE TO PRACTICE THAT STUPID SONG NOW?!"
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Bart feels horribly guilty about what he did throughout the whole episode.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Bart accidentally burns down the Christmas tree and presents.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Bart has a water-based one when he engineers a Potty Emergency in order to wake up earlier than the rest of the family.
  • Present Peeking: Bart intentionally drinks lots of water to wake up early (but not before going to the bathroom). He goes peeking at the presents before everybody else, and he ends up destroying the tree and the gifts in a fire.
  • Same Content, Different Rating: This episode aired with a G-rating, but it features Bart calling Homer's Christmas display craptacular, the seniors on pharmaceutical drugs, the Simpsons' prescriptions being looted, and Lisa giving Bart a Groin Attack.
  • The Scrooge: When the townsfolk were donating money to the Simpsons, Mr. Burns asked if somebody had change for a button.
  • Spiteful Spit: As the family heads inside, two Krusty Burger clerks are shown spitting into customer food just because they can.
  • Toilet Humour: Bart's dream sequence where a cheerleader tells the crowd to give them a 'P' then chants "Go Go Go! P P P!"
  • Trope 2000: Bart's fire truck is called the "Inferno Buster 3000".
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: This episode is not kind to the Simpsons family. First the town gives them a generous donation of $15,000 to make up for the presents the family lost. It becomes All for Nothing when the family blows it all on a new car and loses it immediately. Then the truth behind the missing presents comes out, and Springfield as a whole turns against the Simpsons. And just when it seems like the city has finally forgiven them, it's because they've decided to just rob the family of everything they're worth.


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