June 16, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “Top Goon”

In which Moe recruits Nelson to be the goon on his junior hockey team.

Wait, Will Forte returned as King Toot?  Man, The Simpsons really are trying to make some really odd characters to hit the same status as Fat Tony and Sideshow Bob, aren’t they?

Then again, Joe Mantegna’s Fat Tony is also in this episode.

Now, this is a Moe episode to remind the home viewer that Moe is sad.  He even sings his own name over what passes for the opening credits at the start of this episode.  Where is Moe’s wife?  Beats me.  Did they actually get married or just engaged?  I don’t know.  This time around, Moe is depressed because King Toot coached a junior hockey team to a winning season.  That eats up at Moe for about ten months until he decides to coach a team himself, one where he has one really talented player (Bart) and he instructs the other kids to basically just always make sure Bart has the puck.

Nice to see the series remembers Bart is good at hockey.

However, it also forgot Homer loves living through his kids when they are winners, and instead, his whole B-plot is bemoaning how he always has to give up his free time to take Bart to hockey games.  It’s…not that funny.

But see, for all that Bart is a good player, he also isn’t a particularly big player.  So, when Moe’s team meets Toot’s on the ice, Toot sends a big kid out to clobber Bart.  And as soon as other teams see that works, everyone does it.  What Moe really needs is a goon.

Enter Nelson Muntz.

Though initially uninterested in anything like a team sport, Nelson does come out to play a game Moe’s team would have won if a player was allowed to wear cafeteria trays instead of skates on the ice.  None of Nelson’s brutality was against the rules apparently.  With that in mind, Moe takes Nelson to Goon School, led by guest stars and former NHL players that I have never heard of Stu Grimson, Dave “the Hammer” Schultz, and Tiger Williams, some of whom knew Moe from Moe’s time serving drinks in the penalty box.  Nelson, encouraged by the fact that Moe tussles his hair, is actually named “Top Goon,” a joke from the title that absolutely did not need to be repeated in the episode.  As such, Nelson takes a real shine to Moe, and the feelings are mutual.

Mutual enough that Bart gets jealous at a celebratory pizza party and crank texts Moe.  Nelson was taught to always protect his primary, and he had been thinking that was Bart.  Now he thinks it’s Moe and slams Bart into a wall, injuring Bart enough that Bart can’t play anymore.  Moe gets upset.  Heated words are exchanged.  Nelson leaves.  Homer is happy until he learns now he has to give up even more free time taking Bart to physical therapy.

Still not funny.

But Nelson, he gives up on hockey and figures he should get a head start on the career he was always headed towards as muscle for Fat Tony.  Fat Tony was expecting him.

Moe does get Nelson back.  Not for hockey.  The game’s over.  He stops Nelson from beating some guy with a lead pipe.  The guy?  King Toot, who borrowed a lot of mob money to make fake IDs for teenagers so they could play as his goons in a junior hockey league for children 10 and under.

Does this make it right Moe and Nelson swipe the championship trophy from Toot’s shop window?  Eh, probably not, but like this entire episode, it happened anyway.