The Simpsons

Season 15 Episode 21

Bart-Mangled Banner

3
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM May 16, 2004 on FOX
7.1
out of 10
User Rating
119 votes
10

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Bart-Mangled Banner
AIRED:
It's shot day and Bart tries to evade the needle. Dr. Hibbert manages to get the job done but Bart suffers a side effect of temporary hearing loss from the shot and he takes advantage of it for all it's worth. At Springfield Elementary the annual Donkey basketball tournament is being held. During the playing of The Star Spangled Banner Bart has his shorts eaten by a donkey, leaving his bare ass exposed towards the flag. Martin snaps a picture and everyone present is outraged at this behavior. As a result the Simpson family becomes very unpopular. They go on a cable news channel and only manage to dig themselves into a deeper hole when the host manages to twist Marge's words into saying that Springfield hates America. The negative publicity causes Mayor Quimby to change the name of the town to Liberty-Ville and they make everything patriotic. The family is arrested under violation of the "government knows best act" and they are brought to a reeducation center. The last registered Democrat tells them how they can escape. During their musical number they escape through a tunnel but find they were on Alcatraz. They are rescued by a passing French freighter and taken to France. After being there a while they decide they miss their life in America and go back as illegal immigrants.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Why is this episode hated so much?

    8.0
    Damn, I can't remember the last episode of the Simpsons that was hated as much as this one, and it's mostly hated because of the not so subtle political jokes. Though I for one found them all spot on and hilarious, Especially the government knows best act. Though the plot was admittedly pretty chaotic and all over the place much like Kill The Alligator And Run(another episode I liked more than others did)only this time with a much funnier third act, I actually liked the chaotic plot for some strange reason, though admittedly the devlpment was a little too contrived in parts, it didn't bother me much. Those who call this episode one of the worst haven't seen The Boys Of Bummer, try telling me THAT piece of garbage is worse than this.moreless
  • fun

    8.0
    A show of supreme quality, very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very (apologies, the former review has been moved to a new home, soon you will all be given the key) very very very veryvery very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very enjoyable. A must-see.moreless
  • The Simpsons are deemed un American

    10
    This has to be the most under rated episode in the whole series. I for one loved this episode for its political satire and it happens to be one of my favorite episode if not that my favorite episode. It just has flawless political satire which makes the Simpsons so intelligent and funny. It really puzzles me how an episode like this can be so under praised and how people think the Simpsons suck. The bottom line is when the writers give the people what they want some fans still spit in their faces over and over again. Dont listen to the many harsh reviews of this episode, and give it a watch.moreless
  • After trying to avoid a shot Bart goes temporarily deaf. He milks it for all it's worth. Somebody Finally eats his shorts (Donkey). Simpsons become immagrants.

    10
    This episode of the simpsons is my all time favorite episode! This episode was well written and humorous at all times. It is absolutely worth watching. You won't be disappointed. anf for once somebody eats Bart's shorts. None other than a Donkey at the annual Donkey basketball Tournament. Bart moons the American flag and to top it all off Marge said that all of Springfield hates America. So Mayor Qumiby changes the name of the town. The simpsons are sent to Alcatraz, but escape to France. They find out that the France is nothing like American and return home as immagrants, and everything is back to normal.moreless
  • This episode went everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

    1.2
    Honestly this episode barely had any kind of plot. The First act Bart goes deaf from a shot (Deus Ex Machina 1). Then he has to play in a donkey basketball game (Huh? I know that this was an Oakley/Weinstein concept that got cut from Bart the Fink but it made no sense). Then the donkey bites his pants off and he moons the flag. Act 2 is a re-hash of the media bashing done in Homer Badman. Except this time its the conservative media (I wonder if its lonely up there on that Soapbox). I hate Bill O'Reilly and Fox News as much as the next guy but seriously if you're going to bash Republicans either balance it out with some liberal bashing or do it cleverly. this did neither.



    Act 3 they go to jail with several figures that conservitives hate (More Right bashing). They escape during the prison talent show (Deus Ex Machina 2). They go to france (for 1 scene) and come back to America (Okay...Aren't they technically fugitives and illegal Immagrints by this point?). Then the episode ends.



    This is a perfect example of what not to do with a Simpsons episode (save for the guest star playing himself that this thankfully didn't have). Matt Greoning has the power to stop bad episodes. Why did he let this through?moreless
Julie Kavner

Julie Kavner

Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier

Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others

Dan Castellaneta

Dan Castellaneta

Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others

Nancy Cartwright

Nancy Cartwright

Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others

Yeardley Smith

Yeardley Smith

Lisa Simpson

Hank Azaria

Hank Azaria

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others

Marcia Wallace

Marcia Wallace

Edna Krabappel

Recurring Role

Karl Wiedergott

Karl Wiedergott

Additional Voices

Recurring Role

Pamela Hayden

Pamela Hayden

Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (15)

    • (Dr. Hibbert had just managed to give Bart his vaccination, with the help of Barney disguised as him; Dr. Hibbert then turns to a skinny look-alike standing behind him...)
      Dr. Hibbert: Moe, we won't need you now.
      Moe: (peels off Dr. Hibbert mask) OK, well, I really enjoyed being you, Dr. Hibbert. Oh by the way, you're not welcome in the library no more. I'm sorry.

    • Prisoner: My only crime was driving a truckload of explosives in from Canada.
      Marge: I don't know why they put the real ones in with the joke ones.

    • Skinner: Your child's behavior appalls me. Not just as a principal, but as a veteran of America's only losing war!
      Homer: To date!

    • Lisa: Quick! Swim to San Francisco!
      Homer: I'm not made of money...we'll swim to Oakland!

    • Willie: I know what you're hiding, lad. Willie's been deaf since the boiler explosion of '88. But I taught meself to read lips.
      Mailman: Morning, Willie!
      Willie: WHAT DID YOU SAY ABOUT ME MOTHER!??!? For you're information, her feet stink 'cause she works in manure all day! But it's still the best damn Starbucks in Glasgow!

    • Jimbo: Gimme your wallet, kid. We're gonna identity theft your ass.
      (Bart just stands there, unable to hear him)
      Kearney: He's just standing his ground!
      Dolph: He knows that deep down, all bullies are cowards!
      Jimbo: We're undone!
      (The bullies run away in fear)

    • Elmo: (In jail) Elmo went to wrong fund raiser.

    • Homer: Oh. What's the use? Even if they pick us up, we'll go back to jail because they think we hate America. I don't want to end up like Elmo, hanging himself in prison.

    • Homer: What genius put a prison on the middle of an ISLAND!?

    • Bart: They're selling us to be crash test dummies!
      Lisa: Oh, please let it be Volvo.

    • Homer: Bill Clinton, what are you doing here?
      Bill Clinton: I called the Republican tax cuts unwise. And I stand by it. They're unwise! I want my Washington Post!

    • Bart: (singing) Americans are brave and loyal. So come on jerks, give us your oil.

    • Homer: (on phone) You want us to be on TV!? Tell our side of the story!? Be there at 6:00!? Goodbye!? Dialtone!?

    • Frenchman: We hate America too! Come to France and we shall mock the country that saved us twice from the Germans!
      Marge: Oh, I've always wanted to go to France! Your women don't age, like Catherine Deneuve.
      Frenchman: Eh, you wait till see her up close, then you tell me.

    • Marge: Does everyone remember their swimming lessons?
      Homer: Yes.
      Lisa: Yes.
      Bart: No!

  • NOTES (3)

    • The "Donkey-Basketball" story was originally supposed to be in "Bart the Fink" (3F12), but was cut for time (according to the Season 7 DVD commentary).

    • Bart himself coined the phrase "Bart-Mangled Banner" in the Season 14 episode, "Bart vs. Lisa vs. The Third Grade" (when he altered Lisa's blueprint for the state flag to read "Learn To Fart" instead of "To Fraternal Love").

    • Blackboard Joke: None.
      Couch Gag: The couch is replaced by a large microwave oven; a large hand moves into frame and places a tray within the microwave, closes the door and turns the microwave on. Inside the tray the family members start rising, each in their respective position.

  • ALLUSIONS (5)

    • The Sound of Music
      The Simpsons one-by-one escape from the re-education center during their talent show number alludes to the 1965 musical The Sound of Music wherein the Von Trapps escape during their "Good Night" number at the Salzburg Music Festival.

    • Patriot Act
      "The Government Knows Best Act" is a spoof of the Patriot Act, which opponents have charged infringes on Constitutional rights.

    • :
      The man who was imprisoned for bringing explosives from Canada is a spoof of the Millennium Bomber, the suspect who planned to blow up the Space Needle on Dec. 31, 1999 but was foiled.

    • :
      Lenny's tattoo is from the Dole-Kemp 1996 election campaign.

    • :
      The episode title is play on "The Star-Spangled Banner," the national anthem of the United States.

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