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The Boys of Bummer (The Simpsons)

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The Boys of Bummer
TheBoysOfBummer.jpeg
"You stink, LaBoot!" - Abe Simpson
Series: The Simpsons
Part of Season: 18
Episode Number: 18
Air Date: April 29, 2007
Writer: Michael Price
Director: Rob Oliver
Previous episode: Marge Gamer
Next episode: Crook and Ladder


The Boys of Bummer is the 18th episode of the 18th season of The Simpsons. Written by Michael Price and directed by Rob Oliver, it aired in the United States on April 29, 2007.

Plot

The Springfield Iso-Tots play their arch-rivals Shelbyville in the final of the Little League World Series, but when Bart misses a pop fly that ends up costing the Iso-Tots the championship, the townspeople refuse to forgive him for it. Meanwhile, Homer's attempts to talk his way out of being caught sleeping on a bed in a department store bed end up selling the mattress, resulting in him becoming a mattress salesman, but he has second thoughts when Reverend Lovejoy trades Homer's mattress for the one he just bought.

Why It's a Bummer

  1. The episode is very mean-spirited, as entire town of Springfield jeer and insult Bart, a 10-year-old boy, for being unable to catch a baseball at the Little League World Series. Yes, this was most likely an attempt at parodying the 2003 Steve Bartman incident, but it wasn't executed well at all.
    • They even manage to intimidate Homer into joining in on Bart's harassment!
    • Even less flanderized characters like Lenny Leonard, Carl Carlson, Groundskeeper Willie and Ralph Wiggum participated in the harassment against Bart.
  2. Speaking of which, Chief Wiggum is at his absolute worst in this episode. When Bart escapes the stadium, he gets into Wiggum's car, hoping to be escorted away from the place. He instead drives Bart back into the stadium so that the angry crowd can pelt him with garbage.
    • When Bart is on top of the water tower, he literally goads Bart into jump.
  3. Even after Bart's suicide attempt, the town continues to chant "Bart sucks!" until Marge yells at them to stop.
  4. This episode is eerily similar to the critically-hated Disney movie Chicken Little, as both the people of Oakey Oaks and Springfield harass Chicken Little and Bart for making one little mistake.
    • In fact, it's even worse than Chicken Little because, as horrible as the people of Oakey Oaks were, at least they didn't drive Chicken Little into attempting suicide.
  5. The townspeople, other than being forced to apologize to the Simpsons, ultimately get off scot-free for their deplorable actions.
  6. The solution to the problem is lazily written and just plain stupid.
  7. The humor is weird, nonsensical and awkward. For example, in one scene, Bart moons the entire town, and in another, Moe runs across a baseball field completely naked. The jokes in the subplot are even worse - there's one scene where Homer literally humps a mattress.
  8. This episode leaves a bad taste in the mouths of baseball fans, portraying them as petty people who get angry over the simplest mistakes.
  9. This episode, along with "On a Clear Day, I Can't See My Sister", are torture episodes for Bart Simpson. It's as if the writers of those episodes (Michael Price and Jeff Westbrook, respectively) wanted to let everyone know exactly what they think of Bart (i.e., let out their full hatred of him)
    • These guys should honestly be fired, because if you work writing for a show that many people love, then you're supposed to care about the stories you want to tell and the characters on it. What's the point of writing for a show if you hate the characters?!
    • It's more likely that Michael Price is letting everyone know what he thinks of not Bart, or the rest of the Simpsons family, but instead the majority of Springfield, given that they have a giant billboard proudly labeling themselves "The Meanest City in America".
  10. Joe LaBoot, an expy of the late Bill Buckner, hurling abuse at Bart after finding out his name was beyond cruel and an insult to Buckner's legacy.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Marge chewing out the entire town for their non-stop harassment of Bart is nothing short of awesome.
  2. After Bart recovers from his failed suicide attempt, he gets his respect for everyone again when he manages to catch the decisive ball after the championship game is replayed.
  3. Some funny moments here and there:
    • Grampa Simpson insulting Joe LaBoot after the latter fails to stop Bart from attempting suicide is funny and cathartic as hell.
      • "You stink, LaBoot!"
    • Lenny's line "Well, I wrote a best-selling series of mystery novels. Stephen King called it 'scary good fun'!" is probably the best line of the entire episode.
    • The ending where the elderly Bart and Milhouse discuss the game while Marge and Homer's ghosts watch is pretty funny.
  4. Marge, Lisa and Maggie are still supportive of Bart in this episode, and they feel sorry for how he lost the game.
    • Lisa and Marge aren't flanderized like they usually are.
    • Milhouse was the only non-Simpson who didn't participate in Bart's harassment, which is good since he would NEVER do something as heinous as driving his own best friend into committing suicide.
    • To make a long story short: Bart, Lisa, Marge, Maggie and Milhouse are still likeable here.
  5. The beginning of the episode was great until we see it turn into a depressingly horrible and unwatchable episode.
  6. The side plot of Homer being a mattress salesman is pretty good, despite not going anywhere.
  7. The episode's message (That we shouldn't harrass or publicly shame somebody over something as minor as losing a game) holds up pretty well.

Reception

The episode received overwhelmingly negative reviews from many Simpsons fans on social media and in real life. Many Simpsons fans consider it to be one of, if not the single, worst Simpsons episodes of all-time due to the town's mean-spirited treatment of Bart.

The episode currently sits at a 5.8 rating on IMDb.

Trivia

  • Originally, this episode was set to air on May 6, 2007. However, on April 16, the Virginia Tech massacre took place, less than two weeks before the airdate of "Stop or My Dog Will Shoot!", which prominently featured gunplay in some scenes. Out of sensitivity to the victims of the shootings, Fox moved this episode up in the schedule.

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