February 29, 2024

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Simpsons Did It!: “The Heartbroke Kid”

In which Bart gains weight and has a heart attack. That's right. Bart. Not Homer.

Childhood obesity is a serious problem facing many Americans.

So, really, Bart shouldn’t be any different.

Springfield Elementary is looking for someone to handle the school’s concessions, and a company is offering vending machines with the corporate hip hop characters of Scammer and Z-Dogg on the front to sell kids snacks.  Seems legit.

Well, until Lisa reads the ingredients list and sees such items as “poison” and “spent plutonium”.  However, Lisa’s outrage is drowned out by the machines’ defenses.  Bart, on the other hand, doesn’t care about that sort of thing, so he sells Groundskeeper Willy his skateboard and then buys a bunch of junk food.  He even gets his skateboard back when Willy tries it out and tumbles down a few flights of stairs in a manner that makes me wonder how many floors Springfield Elementary even has.  Bart eats so many snacks he gains weight.  A lot of weight.  And then this happens:


Yeah, the credits changed!  So many fat jokes!

And a ten year old who had a heart attack.  Dr. Hibbert wants to fix Bart since he lost too many patients this year, and he’s a pediatrician for this episode.  Can Bart stick to the strict diet and exercise?  Especially with the Milkshake Festival in town?  Of course not.  He has a secret food stash.

The family tries to fix Bart with an intervention, with all of Bart’s friends, loved ones, neighbors, and Krusty there to give him good advice.  But Bart tries to make a very slow run for it where a couple of guys, who are up to no good, prevent him from making overweight trouble in the neighborhood.  He put up a weak-ass fight, and his mom got scared and said, “You’re moving in with this weirdo at a fat camp.”

Man, I lost the rhyme.

The fat camp is run by a highly energetic, fast-talking retired marine named Tab Spangler who is voiced by Albert Brooks.  Tab’s a little weird.


Bart’s the only kid there with Rainier Wolfcastle, Apu, and Kent Brockman.  Tab’s also has some funny ideas on weight lose that Bart manages to get around, but Tab takes Bart back to Springfield to show him something.

See, Tab’s place ain’t cheap, so the Simpsons had to turn their home into a youth hostel to pay the bills, and all this snobby Germans moved in.  Marge and Lisa are working their butts off while Homer is dancing for quarters after serving the best wurst he could find.  Ashamed, Bart goes to the school and destroys the vending machines to help Homer and Marge pay for the camp.  He’s going to lose the weight now.  Now Homer can give the rotten tourists Das Boot, and someone can go back with Tab for the last three pre-paid weeks.  But which Simpson will it be?  Maggie?  Grampa?  Homer’s rarely mentioned half-brother Herb?

No, it was Homer.  He and Tab fight over a cheeseburger on the way back.

How typical.