It’s no secret that I’m a huge Simpsons fan. Hell, a few months ago, I reviewed the best of their Treehouse of Horror anthology. But not only did the animated series produce great Halloween themed episodes, but amazing Christmas presentations as well. None of them more memorable than the seventh season episode, Marge Be Not Proud. This Christmas classic sadly brings us to the third and final week of the 3 Weeks of Christmas.
Airing during the holiday season of 1995, this Christmas-themed episode follows Bart as he tries to acquire the hottest new video game, the Mortal Kombat-inspired, Bonestorm.
After his request to receive it as his Christmas gift is vetoed by Marge due to its high cost and violence, Bart visits Milhouse who has the game. Unfortunately for Bart, Milhouse is so completely blown away by Bonestorm that he refuses to let Bart play with him (THRILLHO!). He then tries to rent it from the Android’s Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop but all the copies are sold out. Desperate, he reluctantly shoplifts it from the local Wal-Mart rip-off, Try ‘N Save.
As Bart makes his escape, he is caught by the store’s head of security. After a stern talking to, the guard leaves a message on the Simpsons’ answering machine and let’s Bart go with a harsh warning to never step foot inside the store again or face time in juvenile hall.
A hilarious gag follows when Homer starts up the answering machine and Bart cranks up a record of Hello Muddah Hello Faddah so it mutes the guard’s message. A bewildered Homer asks “Marge, is Lisa at Camp Granada?”.
Thinking he’s in the clear, the Simpsons takes an unexpected trip to Try ‘N Save for their annual family Christmas photo. Bart tries to get out of it with wild disguises but Marge sees through the immature pranks and off they go. Bart tries to evade being seen by the security cameras but when the shutter is about to go off for their picture, the same guard grabs Bart for disobeying his warning. After Marge, intervenes, he plays the video of Bart stealing Bonestorm from the store. A disappointed Marge is left speechless.
Marge then believes she babies Bart too much and lets him take care of himself more including putting himself down for bed, making his own hot cocoa, and building his own snowman. Missing his mother’s usual overbearingness and fearing a growing distance between the two, Bart tries to make it up to her by getting her a surprise for Christmas but when Marge catches him sneaking around, she accuses him of stealing again. It’s revealed that Bart took a professional picture of himself for his mother to accompany the ruined Christmas portrait.
Marge’s is overwhelmed with emotion from the gesture and allows Bart to receive his gift early too. What did he gets? Bonestorm? Nay! Only the most popular video game around, Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge!
This is one of my Top 10 episodes in the entire series and is essential viewing around the holiday season for me and my friends. No matter how much Christmas hoopla invades our lives every year, I will always look forward to watching this episode. It’s hilarious and heart-warming at the same time.
It also contains three of my favorite gags:
When Homer yells at Bart for his crime: “Stealing!? How could you? Haven’t you learned anything from that guy who gives those sermons in church? Captain Whatshisname? We live in a society of laws. Why do you think I took you to see all of those Police Academy movies, huh? For fun? Well I didn’t hear anybody laughing, did you?!
….Well except for that guy doing sound effects.
*Homer then proceeds to make sound effects then cracks up*
Now, where was I? Oh yeah, stay out of my booze.”
Homer’s punishment of Bart which is in three parts:
- He’s grounded. No leaving the house. Not even for school.
- No Eggnog. In fact, no nog period.
- Absolutely no stealing for three months.
And of course,
“Must have been a pretty slow century”.
Man, I always wanted to play Bonestorm. Still do.
I still laugh heartily and quote all of those jokes today.
Happy holidays everyone! I hope you had as much fun reading these articles as I did writing them. I hope all of you get what you want this season!
Thanks to whatculture.com and simpsonswiki.com for the images.