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The Simpsons - S15E21

Family . Comedy . Animation

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.

Episode Title: Bart-Mangled Banner
Airs: 2004-05-16 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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