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Monday, June 30, 2014

Retro Review: Boy-Scoutz 'n the Hood

Original Airdate
November 18, 1993

Or the One Where
Bart joins the Junior Campers and goes on a rafting trip with Homer. 

The Setup
After a bored Bart and Milhouse find twenty dollars, they go on an all-syrup-Super Squishee-bender that ends with Bart joining the Boy Scouts-esque Junior Campers in his sugar-induced stupor. 

Notable Notes
Ernest Borgnine guest stars in this episode as himself. The staff was reportedly a fan of his film work, and he agreed to the appearance because his grandchildren were big fans of the show.

Martin is seen playing a video game based on My Dinner with Andre, once again showing that Simpsons did it first.

The ending of the episode, in which Borgnine and the other campers are stalked by a shadowy figure, is a reference to the Friday the 13th films, something I never got until long after I first saw the episode, once I'd finally seen some of the Friday the 13th movies.

Quotable Quotes
Homer: Oh, twenty dollars... I wanted a peanut!
Homer's Brain: Twenty dollars can buy many peanuts!
Homer: Explain how.
Homer's Brain: Money can be exchanged for goods and services.

Bart: OK, look: I made a terrible mistake. I wandered into a Junior Camper recruitment center, but what's done is done: I've made my bed, and now I've got to weasel out of it.
Marge: I know you think the Junior Campers are square and "uncool", but they also do a lot of neat things, like sing-alongs and flag ceremonies.
Homer: Marge, don't discourage the boy. Weaseling out of things is important to learn.  It's what separates us from the animals! ...except the weasels.

Bart: 'Don't do what Donny Don't does' ...they could have made this clearer.

Homer: Flanders! My socks feel dirty. Give me some water to wash them.
Flanders: Again? Homer, we have to ration the water carefully. It's our only hope!
Homer: Oh, pardon me, Mr. "Let's ration everything", but what d'you think we're floating on? Don't you know the poem, 'Water, water, everywhere, so let's all have a drink'?

Teebore's Take
This is another classic episode with a fantastic opening act, cramming in a ton of pop culture references and gags into the first ten minutes (plus an important economic lesson), as Bart and Milhouse engage in a sugar-fueled rampage of spending across Springfield, set to one of the show's greatest original song parodies ("Springfield, Springfield, it's a helluva town..."). After that we get a protacted send-up of the Boy Scouts (as a scout myself, I always appreciated this), as Bart is equally turned off by the inherit squareness of the organization but attracted to the opportunity to play with knives and set traps. Finally, the episode morphs into a Homer/Bart relationship story, as vestiges of future Jerk-Ass Homer emerge via his merciless mocking of Bart's scouting. In the end, Homer's jerk-ass-ness is salvaged when Homer's Krusty Burger map and nose for burgers saves the stranded raft (and because most of his jerky behavior is directed at Flanders), providing some redemption for his behavior before the end of the episode, an important element later episodes will all too often forget.


An all time great, just on the sheer volume of parodies, references and gags, supported by a strong Homer/Bart storyline.


  1. I LOVE that you're doing these again! I'm not going anywhere. :)

  2. To this day I still occasionally explain to people that "money can be exchanged for goods and services."

  3. Glad to see these again as well!
    The run with Homer slapping Flanders repeatedly while telling him to get a hold of himself always cracks me up.
    Bart: Dad, I think he's had enough.
    Homer: It's better (slap) to be (slap) safe (slap) than (slap)sorry! (three slaps)Sorry.

    Leo H

  4. @Marebabe: Glad you're glad they're back! At times, it felt like I was just writing them for me, so it's good to see that others have missed them as well.

    @Matt: To this day I still occasionally explain to people that "money can be exchanged for goods and services."

    It's truly one of the great lessons Simpsons has taught us.

    @Leo: The run with Homer slapping Flanders repeatedly while telling him to get a hold of himself always cracks me up.

    There is some really great Homer/Flanders interactions in this one. I also love their fight over the flare gun and how it's not one of Flander's church picnic flare gun firings.


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