November 29, 2023

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Simpsons Did It!: “The Debarted”

In which Principal Skinner gets a mole inside Bart's gang.

If Martin Scorsese can finally get an Oscar for The Departed, then The Simpsons can parody it!

They can even reuse the Dropkick Murphys!

But to start, Marge is driving her kids somewhere in Homer’s car.  Why does Homer’s car have a taxi driver’s license and meter in it?  That’s a question for another day as Marge, confused, rearends Hans Moleman and Homer’s car has to go to the shop.  Homer gets a loaner car, one that is much, much nicer than his usual car.  You can guess where that’s going when his regular car is fixed.  It isn’t that hard.

But Bart’s late for school as a result, and his seat was taken by new kid in school Donny (guest star Topher Grace), and he’s every bit the bad boy prankster Bart is.  He has some sort of garbage catapult thing going with the see-saws that makes everyone gasp in awe, but Bart only gets a face full of trash when he tries it.

Feeling the need to get his place back as coolest kid in school, Bart follows up on a prank involving iron in Skinner’s shoes, a couple magnets, a raised stage, and a dumpster full of lost dental retainers.  Skinner’s mad enough to promise Catholic School levels of punishment when Donny takes the fall for Bart.  That impresses Bart enough to invite Donny over to the treehouse and even share some of his rare Blue Vine licorice whips, the kind that turn the tongue blue and are generally only available in Europe, but Bart knows a guy.  Now Bart, Donny, Nelson, and Milhouse can plot out pranks…

One problem:  Skinner and Chalmers planted Donny.  Donny is a mole.  Or a snitch.  A rat even.

As Bart’s pranks fail, he gets suspicious.  Then Groundskeeper Willie for some reason tells Bart there’s a mole.  One bike ride with the gang out to an old locker that Cletus might (will) mistake for an outhouse has Bart wonder who the rat is.  His best friend Milhouse?  His other best friend Nelson?  The new kid he trusted way too quickly, Donny?

Yeah, Bart guesses it was Milhouse and tosses him in the locker.  Then Cletus comes along, and…

But there’s a bigger plot involving egging Skinner’s house with ostrich eggs.  They just need to make one stop at the school’s utility shed first.

But along the way, Homer does give up the rental when he sees the mechanic selling his actual car cheap to some hillbillies who were planning to shoot it full of holes and then do something else involving the holes that was only implied.  That’s too bad.  The loaner let Lisa donate loose change directly to NPR and get personalized thank yous from guest star Terry Gross.  Though Homer did momentarily address Lisa as Maggie…

But back at the shed, Bart reveals he had Donny pegged after spotting Skinner with a blue tongue, and the egg thing was a trick to get back at Donny.  The real prank involved a fizzing…a million mentos and a million diet cokes at the same time.  But then it turns out there was another rat in the form of Willie, who would have done anything for a high school diploma.    Yes, Skinner and Chalmers got Bart on tape.  Nelson makes a run for it, but a guilt-ridden Donny combines the coke and mentos to allow the boys to escape as the adults get fizzed.

Donny leaves, but all is forgiven.  I guess.  Did Bart get the worst punishment available in the form of a ten day suspension?

Well, at least Ralph Wiggum is there to tell us the rat symbolizes obviousness.