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The Simpsons - S14E19

Family . Comedy . Animation

Bart's tree house is destroyed and the Amish are called in to rebuild it. Because the Amish are master electricians, Bart's new tree house catches fire at its grand opening. Everyone makes it to safety, with the exception of Homer, who is trapped. He looks to the family dog for help, but Santa's Little Helper (SLH) is a coward and only saves himself. It's up to Snowball II to save Homer's life. Snowball II is made a hero in Homer's eyes and SLH is thrown out of the house. The dog park is turned into a cat park and renamed for Snowball II. SLH doesn't look very good in the eyes of his fellow dogs either. Kent Brockman asks Homer about his cat and any other pets he may have and Homer makes the bold statement that "I have no dog." Bart and Lisa look to help SLH regain his status as family dog. Their efforts fail. A passing photographer spots SLH drinking beer from a can that he is balancing on his nose. The photo appears in the paper and the owner of Duff Brewery decides its time to replace Duffman with a dog. The family signs a contract for the brewery's new spokesdog "Suds McDuff." The new campaign is a hit. The family stands to make lots of money, until SLH's original owner from the dog track comes to lay claim to his dog. He uses a tape of Homer's own words against him as proof of his continued ownership of the dog. SLH is being exploited by his original owner. The family comes up with a plan to get their dog back. They find the actor who played Duffman (Barry Duffman) and plan to have him rescue a drowning Homer, when it becomes obvious to the crown that "Suds McDuff" is a cowardly dog. The plan doesn't work, when Duffman turns out to be as cowardly as his replacement. The shark that tried to attack Homer becomes "wasted" on the Duff beer that came out of the keg that Homer was floating on. As a result, the shark becomes the company's new mascot. With his gravy train at an end, SLH's original owner returns the dog back to the family.

Episode Title: Old Yeller Belly
Airs: 2003-05-4 at 08:00 pm
  • Ken Tucker

    Groening has created a group of characters whose personalities and motives are more vivid and detailed than the vast majority of sitcoms featuring flesh-and-blood actors.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Richard Zoglin

    [The show] has a good deal of savvy wit.... The Simpsons, however, is strangely off-putting much of the time. The drawings are grotesque without redeeming style or charm (characters have big beady eyes, beaklike noses and spiky hair), and the animation is crude even by TV's low-grade standards.

    Time Full Review
  • Howard Rosenberg

    Easily the the best, cleverest and nuttiest arrival of the 1989-90 season is The Simpsons...It's very small-scale, but perfectly conceived and executed. What we have here from creator Matt Groening is a rare confluence -- delightful writing, pictures and voices fitting like a Matisse. [12 Jan 1990, p.F1]

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • John Engstrom

    "The Simpsons" is both a challenge and a delight. It's also that rarest of TV fauna, a cartoon show with levels of mirth for every brain and pair of eyes in the family. [12 Jan 1990]

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    A hilarious holiday package. [15 Dec 1989, p.3D]

    USA Today Full Review
  • John J. O'Connor

    There is, admittedly, a fine line between being hilariously perceptive and just plain, even objectionably, silly. While habitually teetering on that line, 'The Simpsons' has shown a remarkable ability to come down on the right side most of the time.

    The New York Times Full Review
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