May 31, 2023

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Simpsons Did It!: “Bart Vs. Thanksgiving”


Holidays on sitcoms are old hat.  Many shows will have episodes devoted to specific holidays.

When The Simpsons does Thanksgiving, it’s bound to bring da pain, da noise, and da funk.  Or at least something on fire.

Yup, Lisa’s centerpiece goes up in flames thanks to Bart being Bart.  Despite Marge’s claims that he ruined Thanksgiving, it wasn’t looking too good to begin with.  Marge’s sisters bring food in defiance to Marge’s cooking skills, and her mother will claim to have laryngitis before dropping a complaint or insult.  This is the first time we’ve seen Grandma Bouvier outside a flashback, and her first words are to tell Marge that Marge never does anything right.

Homer, meanwhile, can’t get the fire going, and Santa’s Little Helper eats one of the drumsticks.  Even Grandpa is being less than helpful when he doesn’t want to actually leave the Retirement Home when his son comes to get him.

So, when Bart finally does perform a nearly unpardonable Thanksgiving offense and he and the dog run away, it means that…Lisa still can’t get attention, because just as she’s trying to read a poem she wrote about how Bart makes her feel insignificant, Bart appears on the TV during a news segment on the homeless.

Lisa just can’t catch a break.

Bart can’t either.  If he isn’t fleeing from Mr. Burns’ attack dogs, he’s wandering onto the wrong side of the tracks and selling his blood (using Homer’s driver’s license as proof of age), he gets the impression that everyone will blame him for everything, even the decline of America, if he actually tries to apologize.

That’s some deep stuff.  Bart feels as if everyone blames him for everything, and Lisa feels overshadowed by Bart.  Both are somewhat right, except Bart really is responsible for a lot of screw-ups.  But after the two kids have a heart-to-heart, Bart does apologize sincerely, and the family enjoys a Thanksgiving dinner of late night sandwiches.  All is well.

Even for Kent Brockman.  He’s sure to get another local Emmy for his homeless story.

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