The Simpsons/Bart's Inner Child
Bart's Inner Child is the seventh episode of the fifth season of The Simpsons, and the eighty-eighth episode overall. When Bart becomes the poster-child for a self-help seminar, the entire town adopts his "do what you feel" attitude.
The Simpsons sit down to breakfast where Bart is making faces at Lisa and Homer is making faces at the pets. Homer stops long enough to pick up the newspaper and riffle though the "For Free" section of the classifieds, when he notices that someone is giving away a trampoline. He runs to the car and speeds away, knocking over cars and trash cans on the way until he gets to Krusty's house. Although Krusty clearly has ominous intentions, Homer hauls away the free trampoline without a question.
With his newfound free trampoline, Homer quickly gets to work on exploiting it by charging people to jump on it. This attracts a long line of people, including Otto and Wendell who get into trampoline related injuries. Marge demands that Homer do something about all of the injuries, so he hammers a small "danger" sign into the ground, completely disregarding the vast amounts of injured children in his backyard. Begrudgingly, he attempts to take the trampoline back to Krusty, who threatens him with a shotgun. He then pushes the trampoline off a cliff, which bounces back up and hammers him part way into cliff which breaks off later that night. He makes one more attempt to destroy it with a buzzsaw, but the extension cord reaches its end and pulls out a chunk of the wall, leaving the trampoline unharmed. Bart suggests that he put a bike lock on the trampoline in wait; sure enough, Snake quickly appears and steals the trampoline.
Homer admits that the trampoline was a bad idea, but insists that he should get some credit because he's at least attempting to be fun. Marge asks her kids if she's really not fun which leads to a lengthy flashback of her nagging them. Frustrated, Marge drives to her sisters, who suggest that she go see Brad Goodman before she has a nervous breakdown. Goodman claims to be able to cure any emotional or personal issues, including chronic nagging. She decides to take up their offer by picking up a video tape hosted by Goodman and Troy McClure. The video changes how their relationship works, to the utmost confusion of their children. They also decide to take the children to Goodman's self-help seminar. Instead of changing Bart, however, Goodman winds up making him out to be a poster child for his entire inner child philosophy. He leads them all in a chant of "be like the boy," but Lisa isn't suckered into the "easy answers."
The town is quickly overtaken by the philosophy of "if it feels good, do it." Kent Brockman eats whipped cream and swears on air, Reverend Lovejoy poorly attempts to play "The Entertainer" and the kids in Bart's class act out and steal his thunder. Lisa explains to him that because he's defined himself as a rebel, he's lost his identity. She suggests that he reinvent himself as a good-natured doormat.
At the first annual "Do What You Feel" Festival, James Brown performs with an orchestra until their bandstand collapses in on itself. Shortly afterwards, the ferris wheel breaks off of its hinges and rolls into the local zoo, setting all of the animals free. Once Mayor Quimby yells at the carpenter and Willie, a fight breaks out. Apu calms the crowd and directs their anger at Bart, who flees the mob until he escapes with Homer in a parade float. The mob quickly loses interest and decides to go to the old mill to get cider instead of chasing Bart.
- Blackboard: None, the intro was shortened to only include the couch gag.
- Couch Gag: The Simpsons run into their living room only to find an enormously fat man taking up all of the space on their couch. They squeeze in next to him and are compacted into the tiny space left over.
Behind the Scenes
Allusions and References
- Gone with the Wind: After Homer nails a sign into the ground, the camera pans across a large field of writing wounded children. This scene is a direct reference to a scene from Gone with the Wind, where the camera similarly pans across a field of injured soldiers after the burning of Atlanta.
- Wile E. Coyote: The unusually cartoony scene where Homer pushes the trampoline off a cliff, only for it to bounce back up and hammer him into the ground is clearly inspired by Wile E. Coyote, a popular Looney Tunes character. Coyote's Roadrunner hunting antics took place in the American southwest and often ended with him falling off a cliff or otherwise being thwarted by his own devices.
- Troy McClure: Oh, hi! I'm Troy McClure. You might remember me from such self-help videos as "Smoke Yourself Thin" and "Get Confident, Stupid." Well, now I'm here to tell you about the only real path to mental health. That's right, it's the Brad Goodman [squints at cue cards] something-or-other...
- Brad: People, I am excited. I can sense a change in the air tonight. You are all going to start living, really living.
Audience: Yay! [chanting] Living! Living!
Brad: Be like the boy!
Audience: Be like boy! Be like boy!
Brad: Just the ladies.
Ladies: Be like boy! Be like boy!
Brad: Now, the seniors in the back.
Seniors: We like Roy! We like Roy!
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