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YMMV / The Simpsons S2 E7 "Bart vs. Thanksgiving"

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: It's not specifically made clear whether Bart intentionally threw Lisa's centerpiece into the fireplace or inadvertently lunged it in there in their tussle.note  From either perspective Bart can be considered a remorseless destructive brat who fails to see how hurtful his actions are, or a case of Then Let Me Be Evil from getting scolded over a genuine accident, or perhaps more likely, a bit of both.
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  • Broken Base: Did Bart really deserve to be punished? Were Marge and Homer a bit too harsh on him? The viewers who see the latter finds Bart's punishment too far, even for someone like Bart. Especially considering it's on Thanksgiving and when Lou and Eddie called them out for it, regretful or not. For the viewers who see the former defends Marge and Homer by stating that Bart purposely threw Lisa's centerpiece into the fire, without any remorse. Considering how much of a pain Bart can be, along with the fact the parents not only have to deal with their relatives and the preparation of the feast itself in Marge's case. One's patience can go so far, especially if one has a child like Bart. However, there is a third group of fans who see that all of them were just as selfish.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • The opening scene when Bart and Homer watch the Springfield Thanksgiving Day Parade, it shows the antler of Bullwinkle balloon springing a leak, in the years since the episode's first airing there have similar incidents involving balloons: in 1993 a Sonic the Hedgehog balloon collided with a lamppost and injured two spectators, in 1997 a The Cat in the Hat balloon toppled over a lamppost and left a child spectator in a coma for a month and at the 2005 Thanksgiving Day Parade a M&Ms balloon had tangled in a streetlight resulting in two sisters being injured the M&M's balloon being retired indefinitely.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
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    • During Bart's Imagine Spot of the family blaming him for everything, Homer yells at Bart: "It's your fault I'm bald!" In "And Maggie Makes Three," we learn this is at least partly true as that episode shows that Homer's baldness came about by him ripping out his hair each time he learned Marge was pregnant.
    • When Homer mentions why you can't have "every flash-in-the-pan character" as a parade balloon, a Bart balloon is briefly visible on the Simpsons' TV. At this stage the show's producers were in all likelihood expecting that the show would run for a few years and then fizzle out, but as it would turn out, the show ended up being much more of a Long Runner than they could have ever dreamed. True, Bart's role has been heavily overshadowed by that of Homer, and to a lesser extent Lisa in the show's later years, but he hasn't done too badly all things considered.
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  • Misaimed Fandom: Despite Homer and Marge having every right to be angry at Bart and punishing him on Thanksgiving, and shown remorse for making Bart run away, they are seen as Abusive Parents for the other part of the fan base, and they even go as far as outright demonizing the two. Even though Homer has done worse things to Bart in all the other episodes, Marge herself was at her Rage Breaking Point at that scene, and Bart reacted to Homer's ordering him to his room with a smartass remark (which in turn led to Marge's accusation that he'd ruined Thanksgiving), which just escalated the situation and made it clear that even if his destroying Lisa's centrepiece was accidental, he didn't feel any remorse over it.
  • Never Live It Down: Ironically, despite Forgiveness being the theme of this episode, some viewers aren't forgiving towards Marge and Homer for punishing Bart. On the other hand, others aren't forgiving towards Bart for making Lisa cry by throwing her centerpiece into the fireplace (possibly on purpose).
  • Nightmare Fuel: Bart's Imagine Spot where his family uses him as a scapegoat while taunting and laughing at him could be considered unsettling for some.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Bart for the part of the fan base that saw Homer and Marge as being too cruel in their punishment. Even worse when you consider that the rest of the adults never tried to get in between his argument with Lisa until her centerpiece was already destroyed. Despite this, even if one could ignore Bart destroying Lisa's centerpiece, and causing trouble in the other episodes, Bart refuses to apologize and never saw any reason to until after running away. Speaking of which, when he was interviewed by Kent Brockman, Bart openly mocks his family and taunts them out of spite on live television.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: This site sees both Marge and Homer as this by punishing Bart on a holiday as going too far. Granted, it was harsh for Marge to declare that Bart ruined Thanksgiving but she was at her wit's end. As mentioned above, none of the adults tried to stop Bart and Lisa arguing until the latter's centerpiece was destroyed. It also helped that Lou and Eddie themselves thought Marge had been too hard on Bart, being stunned when she confessed that she told him he "ruined Thanksgiving".
    • Of course, Lisa also comes off as a brat in this episode. While she did work hard on the centerpiece, the whole thing was a vanity project and refuses to give Bart the benefit of the doubt of it being destroyed by accident. Not to mention, Bart was holding a hot turkey during the incident and putting it on the table was perfectly reasonable. She does get something of a comeuppance...her self-righteous speech about how unappreciated she is gets interrupted by the news broadcast.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Crossing with Skewed Priorities, Bart tries to put the turkey where Lisa's centerpiece is when there is actually implied room for the turkey where Homer is sitting, judging by Homer's eagerness to carve the turkey.
    • This can also apply to Lisa; Bart is carrying a heavy and hot turkey, and clearly needs to put it down as soon as he can. Lisa could have easily slid her centerpiece to the side so that he had room to.
  • The Woobie: If there's one thing the fans can agree on, it's that Lisa is definitely one here; she never did anything wrong yet she gets her centerpiece thrashed and blames herself for Bart running away.
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