This episode did a few things. It may have helped to inspire the creation of Futurama, it suggested Bart could be great if he were consistently disciplined, and that Homer does have an area in which he is very knowledgable.
After some parent/teacher conferences where–surprise!–Lisa is praised and Bart is, well, the opposite of praised, Mrs. Krabappel suggests that what Bart really needs is discipline. If he were punished for bad behavior, then maybe he’d learn to be a better kid. Homer, it seems, always caves in. So, does Homer cave before or after he strangles Bart?
I gotta say, Bart’s behavior in this episode seems to hit some all-time lows. Stealing Grandpa’s dentures, smashing mustard packets with a hammer, ripping up the carpet, and completely ignoring Homer and Marge’s attempts to discipline him, these sorts of things are a bit excessive for Bart who can normally be counted on to screw up due to poor impulse control, not a desire to misbehave.
Do you know who doesn’t get blamed? Lisa, who in some instances actually seems to be aiding and abetting Bart’s behavior. Yeah, Maggie steals the family car and crashes into Springfield Prison, causing a mass escape and crime spree, but that was mere carelessness next to the active maliciousness that Bart displayed everywhere else in the episode. I mean, this isn’t like when Bart pointed out that a sleeping Grandpa was a chance to be bad. And Lisa did not stop him.
I’m on to you, Lisa.
The prison break is too much for Homer, who forbids Bart from seeing the upcoming Itchy and Scratchy movie. Lisa again manages to avoid blame by suggesting that the movie is her generation’s equivalent of the moon landing. Homer missed that himself, but that’s because he’s Homer.
A movie as the equivalent of the moon landing? Man, priorities, Lisa.
Homer actually sticks to his guns, and Bart never sees the multiple award winning movie until well into his adulthood, where we learn that soylent green is sold at concession stands and Bart is Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and finally he and Homer go see the movie. Didn’t look that impressive to me all things being equal.
Oh, the one thing Homer is knowledgeable on? Supreme Court Justices. Who knew? He even knew about Earl Warren’s secret pastime.