The Simpsons, Seasons 21-31. Season 21, Episode 8: “Oh Brother, Where Bart Thou?”

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You know what day it is…it’s “John didn’t do this over the weekend so you’re getting a rushed Simpsons review” day. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

If you’re feeling generous and would like to contribute to a fund for our poor kitty, you can do so here. She’s getting surgery in two days.

“Oh Brother, Where Bart Thou?” (first aired December 4, 2009)

Very odd. Intro cuts straight from the clouds to Marge nearly hitting Homer with the car into the couch gag. No chalkboard, no Futurama billboard. I’m watching this on Disney+ so maybe they cut it because it wasn’t sufficiently deferential to Goofy or something. Dang that is one drunk couch! That’s all I’ll say about that.

Episode opens on “Under the Wrapper,” aka Marc Summers’s former Food Network Show Unwrapped, but hosted by Huell Howser? I did love the Huell Howser impression on Comedy Bang Bang, but I don’t get the joke here. “What if this show was hosted by this person instead?” Then they start chopping up horses so there’s that.

Episode started with a snow day and Bart is bored out of his mind, especially once the power goes out and he can’t shoot video game snowmen or watch television. The Deus Ex Machina for keeping him indoors was the snow kept blowing him back in which makes zero sense but this is season 21, you aren’t supposed to think too hard. Bart tries to play with Lisa and Maggie but doesn’t want to play girl games. Lisa says that Bart is jealous of her relationship with Maggie, and he’ll never have the same thing because he doesn’t have a brother. As the middle child with two sisters, I can think of no other conclusion than The Simpsons created this episode specifically to flaunt my lack of a brother. Well guess what, Simpsons? I’m the hot commodity in my sibling group! They all (one of my sisters and the other one sometimes) want to be buds with me! (or at least one of them usually does. The other one just likes my wife). So there!

Bart has a dream about Bro-town USA and this sequence makes the episode worthwhile. Any television episode that incorporates the Smith Brothers of cough drop fame and the Smothers Brothers gets a thumbs up from me. Also the Mannings are there. Okay. Bart wakes up to the realization that “I want a brother!”

Bart is trying to get his parents to conceive so he can have a brother. All of his efforts to get them to have sex fail: cooks a romantic dinner that makes them too full for sex, Kama Sutra DVD injures them, and Bart messes with Marge’s birth control (Marge is on birth control?). Bart also tries to adopt. A kid from the orphanage hears and escapes to join Bart.

Bart and Charlie have a great time together, but Lisa tries to convince him to take Charlie back to the orphanage. Barney (Plow King cameo) seals them in a snowbank, but Charlie the orphan and Bart pee their way out. Charley gets adopted into a family with six sisters, and to make Bart feel better for losing Charlie Homer takes him to a Saw ripoff movie. The end.

Best Joke: This episode had a lot of solid lines in it, but I’m going to go with the visual joke of Homer drinking from a Ned mug that then gets dropped and broken. I especially appreciate that it’s never mentioned.

Worst Joke: The completely pointless South Park scene that ends with Otto running over and killing Ralph (as Kenny).

Rating (out of 5 D’ohs) 4. This episode was pretty good! Lots of solid jokes, and I loved the Bro-town USA dream sequence.

Stray Bits:

  • “You can have mine but he’s kind of an idiot.” -Lisa’s response to hearing Bart say he wants a brother.
  • Bart: “You never told me how my body works.” Homer: “Point and shoot.”
  • One reason Homer gives for preferring girl children is that they can marry hockey players and he can get free hockey tickets.
  • Nelson reveals that his mom tried to trick Charles Barkley into impregnating her.
  • “A real life Jaws bit off my dad’s wiener.”
  • “Hey! This is the DVD my parents used to make me!” “So it kind of works.”

I’ll be back next week with a review of “Thursdays With Abie.”

I don’t have a lot to promote but recently I put out another short retro nostalgia horror story for Kindle, called My Big, Scary Friend. You can pick is up here for only $2.99.

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