The Bart-Mangled Banner
Couch gag: The Simpsons are on a tray in the microwave
Director: Steven Dean Moore
Synopsis: Bart gets the family into trouble when he accidentally moons the US flag
Discussion: I get it- this episode is a biting satire of patriotism and media over-hype, but it goes on for about 10 minutes too long and the “joke” is spoiled.
Bart is temporarily deafened by a side effect of vaccination, and doesn’t hear the pledge of allegiance; he’s too busy sticking a carrot in his shorts to tempt a donkey, who, in the process of taking the carrot, pulls Bart’s shorts and Bart ends up mooning the flag. This is taken to mean Bart hates America and the family attempt to tell their story but wind up in jail… and then France.
This ep is full of stuff we’ve seen before: Apu’s store is bedecked with American flags (just like the ep where he was studying to become a citizen) and Homer et al telling their story on a talk show is reminiscent of Homer’s “attack” on a college student babysitter. Elmo in jail is a new one though…
It’s not a bad episode, it’s just overly long and uninteresting. It’s one joke stretched to 20 minutes with a lot of guff in between. The Simpsons in jail? Really? And let’s not even mention France again…