Follow TV Tropes


Recap / The Simpsons S 9 E 6 "Bart Star"

Go To
Peewee football comes to Springfield as a means to fight childhood obesity, and when Homer becomes the coach (after Flanders angrily gives him the position to keep Homer from heckling him), he promotes Bart to star player status despite the boy's lack of talent.


  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Joe Namath giving one after Bart is driven to jail:
    Joe Namath: You know, we had a lot of fun tonight. But there's nothing funny about... vapor lock. It's the third most common cause of car stallings. So please, take care of your car and get it checked. I'm Joe Namath. Good night.
  • As Himself: Joe Namath and Roy Firestone.
  • An Aesop: While it’s good to encourage people, you shouldn’t keep encouraging those who just aren’t good at the things they do.
  • Artistic License – Sports: Nelson would almost certainly not be allowed to wear the old-fashioned leather helmet he dons for games.
  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: Wiggum is completely unable to recognize Nelson Muntz even though he is a very distinguishable kid and arrests the first boy that walks up to him saying he's Nelson (that being Bart).
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • During a game, Chief Wiggum showed up to arrest Nelson. Bart said he'd stand in for Nelson. Cut to him being arrested in Nelson's place instead of playing in the game for him.
    • Bart practices his throw and sucks, when Joe Namath appears looking for a phone because his car stalled. It looks like it will be a cameo with tips to help Bart... only that his wife yells for him to come back about five seconds later because she was able to fix the car. Namath only got as far as "the important thing is..." and Bart's throw still sucks as a result.
  • Blatant Lies: Even though Homer assures the rest of the team that "Just because he's my son doesn't mean he gets special treatment," he continues to overlook Bart's mistakes and treats him like a miniature John Elway or Dan Marino.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Marge told Homer it was easy to criticize, he said it was fun as well.
    • When Homer realizes he's treating Bart the same way Grampa treated him, Homer says "From now on, I'll be nicer to my son and meaner to my Dad!"
    • Advertisement:
    • Homer calls a radio sports talkshow just to complain about Flanders. When they hang up on him, he is convinced it's a technical error, and repeatedly calls them back.
    • Homer treats Bart like his star player, even kicking out other better players to place Bart on the front lines. Even when Bart flat-out screams at him that he sucks Homer doesn't stops encouraging him.
    • The sports store clerk does this when Marge timidly tries to ask him for protection for a certain part of Bart's anatomy, pulling out a helmet, kneepads, and shoulderpads when she wants a cup. Or rather, he pretends to miss the point, playing dumb until he can get her to literally spell it out for him.
  • Continuity Nod: While Homer discusses Bart quitting the team:
    Homer: I didn't raise him to be a quitter, Marge, it must have been you. You quit every job you've ever had—cop, pretzel vendor, church counselor, professional gambler...
  • Contrived Coincidence: Joe Namath's car just so happened to break down in front of the Simpsons' house.
  • Credits Gag: Homer saying that people in the cast and crew are cut from the team.
  • Crossover Punchline: Hank Hill and the cast from King of the Hill show up when Springfield plays against Arlen, drawn in their native way instead of being Simpsonized (though the promos did have the King of the Hill cast with yellow skin), though Hank is the only one who speaks.
    Hank: We drove 2000 miles for this?
  • Drinking Game: Drink whenever Homer cuts someone from the team.
  • Epunymous Title: Homer tries to make a reluctant Bart the star quarterback of the team. The episode's title is also a play on the name of Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr, who helped the Green Bay Packers win the first two Super Bowls.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The store clerk asking Marge to spell "cup". "C-U-P. I wanna C-U—Oh, my God!"
  • Fun with Subtitles: On Sky 1's original subtitle track for the episode, when the name of the subtitle provider was credited over the 20th Century Fox Television logo, the subtitles added in "(He's cut too!)". Whilst Sky 1's subtitle track was updated in recent years, Channel 4 and RTÉ Two's subtitle track retains the joke.
  • Genre Savvy: Lisa, apparently; during Homer's pep talk to Bart while they ride in the front seat, Homer (who is driving) decides to hug the latter, who freaks out over the loss of control of the car which is quickly diverted by backseat passenger Lisa who steers the car herself. Despite the fact that she was reading a book and ostensibly was not paying attention to their conversation, she still knew enough of her father to spring into action.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Marge urges Homer to be more encouraging of Bart, rather than dismissive of him like Grampa was. Homer takes it to heart and goes on to smother Bart with unwanted affection and showing him overt favoritism on the team, going so far as to make Bart the quarterback despite Nelson's superior talents.
  • Hope Spot: Joe Namath's cameo. He teaches Bart absolutely nothing and Bart doesn't becomes any better as a football player.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • When Bart was declared fat, Homer called him a disgrace to their family, while grabbing the Pop-Tarts that Bart was eating, which is funny in two ways: 1) Homer is fatter than Bart, and 2) Homer has done worse things to disgrace The Simpsons than Bart has.
    • After Flanders forces him to be the new coach of the football team, Homer vows that he won't give any preferential treatment to Bart just for being his son. Then he immediately appoints Bart as quarterback.
  • Jerkass:
    • Homer constantly insulting Ned Flanders during the football game and throwing a beer can at his head for laughs. Ned finally gets fed up and angrily names him the new coach if he thinks he better at it, prompting Homer to panic.
    • Abe in Homer's flashback. He makes him lose concentration when he's doing a gymnastics routine by yelling that he's going to fail and when he inevitably does Abe says that Homer just proved him right.
  • Jerkass Realization: Homer realizes his harsh treatment of Bart is no different than how Abe treated him in the past, leading him to be nicer to his son (and meaner to his dad). Unfortunately, this just causes more problems to Bart once it becomes clear he's giving his son favorable treatment over everyone else on the team.
    • He has another one when he realizes that he shouldn’t keep encouraging Bart on something he’s clearly not good at.
  • Lets See YOU Do Better: In retaliation for Homer's constant criticizing of his job as peewee football coach, Flanders made him the new coach, prompting a scared Homer to say Flanders was doing a good job.
  • Nepotism: Homer promoting Bart to quarterback of the team, even though Bart's the least qualified person on the team. Bart knows this and tries to point it out several times, but Homer won't hear it.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Bart's teammates take it out on him when he becomes the quarterback due to nepotism, even though it was all Homer's idea, and Bart opposed it.
  • Number of the Beast: Rod's football shirt has a 66 on it and Todd has a 6.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Homer after throwing a beer can at Flander's head after non-stop heckling and sees him marching towards him.
    • Bart has one after he pulls his switcheroo with Nelson at the climax when Wiggum says that Nelson was wanted for grand larceny and vandalism and is gleefully looking forward to locking up "Nelson" for years.
    • Homer after he calls up Mr. Burns to tell him that he's quitting and winks into the phone.
    Marge: Homer, Mr. Burns can't see you winking.
    Homer: So... AAAAHH!
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: Homer claimed Flanders was the worst coach Springfield's peewee football team ever had. Flanders was the only coach they ever had.
  • Pet the Dog: Even when Nelson and the other teams were mad at Bart for losing and getting special treatment from Homer, they did try to help Bart when Bart tells Homer he sucks at quarterback when Homer wanted to forfeit the game when Bart pretend to be injured believing they can’t play without Bart.
  • Running Gag: Homer continuously cutting his players from the roster. It even extends into the end credits, where he cuts everyone on the cast and crew except Joe Namath and Dan Castellaneta.
    Gracie Films Lady: Shh!
    Homer: You're cut, too, Shushy!
  • Schmuck Bait: The store clerk was very clearly trying to make Marge say "I want a C-U-P"...
  • Soapbox Sadie: Lampshaded. Lisa at first tries out for the squad to challenge the notion that girls can't play football, but Ned is all the more happy to let her join and points out they've already got four girls on the team. Deflated, Lisa switches tactics and accuses the team of animal cruelty for using leather footballs, until she's told the balls are synthetic and the money spent on them goes to charity. Realising she won't be able to morally grandstand, she promptly runs off in tears.
  • Somebody Doesn't Love Raymond: Inverted and exaggerated version. Homer is the only person in the whole of Springfield that thinks Flanders is a lousy coach. He makes up for it with sheer relentlessness.
  • Special Guest: Joe Namath as Himself and Mike Judge as Hank Hill. Legendary sports reporter Roy Firestone also briefly appears as himself.
  • Sports Dad: Springfield starts up a sports league after finding the young boys in town are overweight. After a series of events, Homer becomes the coach and discourages and insults Bart while putting him through Training from Hell. Homer eventually realizes his own father never acknowledged him either, so he amends his behavior and becomes overbearingly supportive of Bart and has him replace Nelson as quarterback, despite Bart being a terrible player and the rest of the team despising him for it.
  • Teens Are Short: Averted. Despite eventually becoming the father of Pint Sized Kids, teenage Homer is the same height as his father.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Bart and the other kids joined the peewee football in the first place is because they are out of shape. Not only was this subplot dropped but Bart's figure doesn't seem to have improved.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: It's 2000 miles away from Arlen, Texas, wherever that is...
  • The Wildcats: Lampshaded and parodied when Bart's team, the Springfield Wildcats, goes up against the Ogdenville Wildcats.
    Flanders: Who are we?
    Springfield Wildcats: The Wildcats!
    Flanders: Who are we gonna beat?
    Springfield Wildcats: The Wildcats!


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: