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Recap / The Simpsons S 9 E 14 Das Bus

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Springfield Elementary's Model U.N. participants (including Bart and Lisa) wind up stranded on an island when their bus goes off a bridge. Meanwhile, Homer tries to start an Internet company — despite that he has no business plan, no computer, and no knowledge of the Internet.


  • Achievements in Ignorance: Despite possessing no knowledge on computers whatsoever, Homer somehow manages to get an ad for his business onto Comic Book Guy's computer regardless.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • As the school bus drives, we hear children singing "99 Bottles of Beer" very loudly, but when we cut inside, we see the kids are completely quiet and Otto is listening to it on his Walkman, in a tape called "Songs to Enrage Bus Drivers."
    Otto: I don't know why I bought this stupid tape!
    (ejects tape, then throws it out the window)
    • Nelson takes Milhouse's glasses to start a fire with it, as if to use them to focus the sun's rays. But then he proceeds to grab a rock and strike it against the glasses lens to create sparks.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Principal Skinner told Otto to be careful because he was being entrusted with the school's most important asset: the bus.
  • Big Brother Instinct: When Nelson threatens Lisa to get to Milhouse, Bart immediately defends her.
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  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Bill Gates' idea of "buying out" Homer is having his hired goons smash up his house. As Bill Gates points out, "I didn't get rich by writing lots of checks." (evil laugh).
  • Credits Pushback: The Noah's Ark movie falls victim to this, even starting before the end credits.
    God: The secret of life is—
    Kent Brockman: You've seen the movie, now meet a real life Noah! Only this one's been accused of killing two of every animal! Coming up next, on A.M. Springfield!
  • Dirty Coward: Milhouse forces Bart and Lisa to carry him when they are running from the others and when he swings over a gap, throws the vine down despite their pleas to throw it back and abandons them.
  • Epic Movie: The Noah's Ark movie, which is so long that it goes throughout the whole night and ends the following morning.
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  • Especially Zoidberg: Used in Troy McClure's Noah's Ark movie, when God tells Noah to gather two of every animal:
    Noah: Even stink beetles?
    God: Especially stink beetles!
  • Exact Words: When Nelson says Milhouse's glasses will help to make a fire, it seems he'll use them to focus sun rays. He instead uses them and a rock to make friction.
  • Expy: Some characters assume similar roles to the major players in Lord of the Flies.
    • Bart is Ralph, as both assume the role of leadership.
    • Nelson is a stand-in for Jack. Both are violent antagonists who drive the children to savagery.
    • Lisa and Milhouse divide Piggy's role. Lisa is the voice of reason who tries to keep everyone civilized, while Milhouse is the physically-incapable Load and Scapegoat whose glasses are used to start a fire.
  • Foreshadowing: How quickly the kids resort to squabbling during the model UN meeting is indicative of how things will devolve among them once they get stranded on an island.
  • Gratuitous German: The episode title is a pun on Das Boot, but in German "Bus" is a masculine noun "das" a feminine article (thus "The Bus" properly translated is "Der Bus").
  • Knight in Sour Armour: Bart and Lisa clearly don't enjoy helping an ungrateful Milhouse but at no point do they stop.
  • Last Minute Project: Bart's report for the Model U.N. Club.
    Bart: Uh, ahem, let's see... (shuffling blank papers) The exports of Libya are numerous in amount. One thing they export is corn. (Skinner raises eyebrow) Or, as the Indians call it, "maize". Another famous Indian was Crazy Horse. In conclusion, Libya is a land of contrast. Thank you.
  • The Millstone: All things considered, Milhouse causes nothing but trouble in this episode. He threw the grapefruit that caused Otto to crash the bus and strand everyone on the island, forced Bart and Lisa to carry him while they were being chased by the angry mob, and still left them to die after they did everything they could to protect him. And while he was right about the monster stealing all the food, he still ate some behind everyone's backs when it needed to be rationed.
  • No Ending: Lampshaded when narrator James Earl Jones says that the kids were eventually rescued by "Oh... let's say Moe". Justified, in that Lord of the Flies has a similar anticlimatic ending.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Parodied during the chase scene, in which Milhouse falls behind while he, Bart and Lisa are being pursued by the other kids.
    Milhouse: I can't go on, you two go ahead... and carry me with you!
  • Not Helping Your Case: Milhouse doesn't even admit he picked part of the food and when Lisa asks him if she could see someone else who could he points to Lisa, who has to explain she is his defense attorney and he might want to not shun her away for no reason.
  • Obligatory Swearing: Bart says their adventure could be "just like The Swiss Family Robinson, but with more cursing," adding "We'll be living like kings! Damn hell ass kings!"
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Sherri defends her (and Terri's) nemesis Lisa when Bart knocks Lisa during the Model UN Conference, but even as it's an equivalent of if Nelson defended Bart (though Nelson stayed in character in this scene), it was probably done for the sake of starting a fight with everybody. Curiously, later when the Springfield kids are stranded on an island, Sherri blames Lisa for the crash, but Nelson blames Milhouse, who rolled a grapefruit on the bus floor, which accidentally jammed the brake pedal, causing the bus to crash.
  • Reality Ensues: Similar to Lord of the Flies, it shows that trapping a bunch of kids alone on a deserted island is more likely to lead to incompetence, boredom, and a slow, agonizing madness/distrust than quirky misadventures.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Bart of all people shows a surprising amount of clemency as the de facto leader of the children, giving Milhouse a fair trial and finding him not guilty due to lack of incriminating evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. It's deconstructed of course, as his rational authority alone can't quell an angry mob.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Smash Cut: After finding out that the boar feeds by licking slime molds off of rocks, Lisa proclaims that they now have a food source, and thus are saved. The scene then cuts to the boar being spit-roasted, the other kids finally getting a decent meal, while Lisa sullenly licks slime off a rock.
  • Take That!:
    • "I'm so hungry I could eat at Arby's!"
      Lisa: Oh my gosh!
      Nelson: That is hungry.
      Lisa: Really hungry!
    • As Springfield Elementary's Model UN is fighting, Skinner says this:
      Skinner: Children! Do you want to be like the real U.N., or do you just wanna squabble and waste time?
    • The portrayal of Bill Gates and how he buys people out. According to the DVD commentary, the people at Microsoft were not happy.
  • Techno Babble: An interesting example: While Comic Book Guy's request to Homer obviously goes over his head, it's actually clear, logical, and transparent to a trained networking engineer.
    Comic Book Guy: I'm interested in upgrading my 28.8 kbps internet connection to a 1.5 Mbps fiber-optic T-1 line. Will you be able to provide an IP router that's compatible with my token ring ethernet LAN configuration?Translation 
    Homer: [has no idea what was just said] Can I have some money now?
  • There Is No God: After having watched a Bible movie, Homer calls God "his favorite fictional character."
  • Time Marches On: Bart represents Libya during UN class and wears the same Cool Shades and showcases the same anti-American attitude as their former leader Muammar Gaddafi. Needless to say that this segment is less comprehensible since Gaddafi was ousted from power in 2011.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The last we see of Otto is that he's taken aboard a Chinese boat where the sailors intend on selling him into slavery. According to the audio commentary, the episode originally just showed Otto being carried away by the current. The writers admitted that that would have actually been less cruel than the final version.
  • Whole Plot Reference: To Lord of the Flies.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: When the entire class gets stranded on an island, Bart is convinced that this is a castaway story like The Swiss Family Robinson. Sadly for him, they're actually in Lord of the Flies which isn't like that.note 
  • You Wouldn't Hit a Guy with Glasses?: Invoked by Milhouse. Nelson's response? "Yoink!"
    Milhouse: [completely terrified] Well... now that you've got everything you need, I'll just, y'know, get out of your hair...
  • Your Television Hates You: See Credits Pushback.


Example of: