Oh man. Oh man! Talk about a great way to end the week. This episode rocks, and I really forgot just how hilarious it is. It’s just all around great, as most Bart/Homer episodes in this era are.
Things start off with Bart and Milhouse playing at the Noiseland Arcade, which is always an excuse to show off some great sight gags, although hands down the best fake video game we see is Martin playing the My Dinner with Andre game, which is an amazing joke, and a game I would totally play out of morbid curiosity. Unfortunately things take a turn when Bart makes the rookie move of admitting out loud that he’s out of money, which causes an alarm to go off and the teenage manager to kick them out. Meanwhile we see Homer reading the ingredients of honey-roasted peanuts, which has never made them sound more disgusting, before badgering Marge to get them steak for dinner. When I lived with my buddies in college we would play out this scene to a ridiculous extent, pretty much anytime anyone asked what we wanted to do with dinner, which would inevitably lead to someone demanding steak. Anyway, Marge leaves as Homer is about to eat the last peanut in the container, but it falls under the couch. He tries to get it, but only finds a twenty dollar bill, leading to one of my favorite Homer and Homer’s brain exchanges in the history of the show:
Homer: “Aw, 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.”
This leads Homer to get excited about the money, but he ends up dropping it and it flies off in the wind. It floats around town before landing right on Bart and Milhouse’s lap, giving them the money to go crazy.
The first thing they do is head to the Kwik-E-Mart and demand a Squishee made all of syrup from Apu. He shows some concern about the health risks involved in this, but still gives it to them. They try to drink the ridiculously thick drink, and end up getting super buzzed on sugar. They then go paint the town red, with their twenty bucks, while signing a ridiculous song about Springfield. They play arcade games, they test out skateboards, eat a lot of gum, and start hanging out with Barney who assumes that they’re magical pixies. But then their crazy night has to come to an end, and we see Bart in bed, hungover from his sugar binge. Lisa wakes him up, knowing that he’s made some terrible mistakes the previous night, and we see that while drunk on sugar Bart has joined the Junior Campers, a parody of the Boy Scouts. He’s terrified about this, lamenting his terrible luck the previous night, before we cut over to Barney who is trapped on some boat heading out to sea dressed like Mr. Smee, while saying “not again!”
Bart heads down to the kitchen to get breakfast, and starts immediately trying to figure out who to weasel out of being a Camper. Homer supports this, because he keeps mocking Bart for being in the Campers, and he thinks weaseling out of stuff is a noble ability. Bart then goes to school with his Campers uniform, which of course earns him the ire of the bullies, who want to make fun of him for being in the Campers. Unfortunately Bart doesn’t actually want to be in the Campers, so the bullies have the threaten him to fight back and embrace their bullying. But a bright-side appears when Bart is able to skip a pop-quiz in class by going to a Junior Campers meeting with some little dweeb we don’t know. So Bart goes to the meeting to see that their patrol leader is Ned Flanders, and that their mission that day is to “sponge bathe the elderly,” which involves Jasper sitting nude in a giant bucket while ominously warning to “stay above the equator.”
This is of course not something Bart is down with though, so he tries to bail before realizing that the Campers get to have pocket knives, something he desperately needs. But his fun is spoiled when Ned tells him that before he gets a knife he needs to read a safety book, which causes him to bail again. But when Bart heads off into the town he starts to see everyone enjoy knives. Moe and Moleman get into a knife fight outside the bar, Jimbo cuts open a box of cookies for Martin before stealing them, and Dr. Hibbert performs an emergency appendectomy while throwing it away before it explodes. So Bart gives in and starts reading the wonderfully titles book of “Don’t Do What Donny Don’t Does.” And slowly but surely, Bart starts to actually like the Campers, much to Homer’s shame and mockery. He even learns animal trapping skills which he uses to prank Homer, including snaring him to the ceiling with a floor pie, and causing him to fall down a pit in the driveway.
But things start to get intense between Homer and Bart, since Bart is actually loving the Campers. He even starts judging Itchy and Scratchy for using improper camping techniques, causing a crazy joke where Lisa says cartoon don’t have to be realistic while we see Homer walk by the window despite already sitting on the couch. But then Bart learns that there’s a father-son rafting trip coming up, which gets him nervous. We also learn that the dweeb in Bart’s class doesn’t have a dad, and Flanders has set it up to have Ernest Borgnine be his surrogate dad, which is so random, but he’s also introduced coming out of a bathroom for no reason, which I like a lot. So Bart announces to Homer that there’s a father-son rafting trip, causing Homer to say the wonderful like “you don’t have a son.” We then see Bart and Homer independently trying to come up with ways to get out of this, since neither want to participate, but it backfires and they accidentally agree to go together.
The rafting trip then begins and we see that of course Captain McCallister is in charge of the rafts. Homer picks the worst raft possible, which quickly sinks, before finding out that he and Bart have to be paired with Ned and Todd. So they set out while Homer starts to act all petulant about being on the trip, while being mad that Bart actually seems to like Ned. And things start to go wrong when Homer loses the map and starts to rely on a placemat from Krusty Burger that has a crude map of the USA with locations of Krusty Burgers. And it’s this map that causes them to go down the wrong fork in a river, washing them out to sea. And things escalate quickly. They start rationing their food and water, much to Homer’s chagrin. And of course, Homer starts to be a dick and waste their water washing his socks, and eating all their food.
And things get worse from there. They see a seagull fly by, hoping that they can follow it land before watching it die in mid-air and crash into the water. We also learn that the other group isn’t doing any better, and have somehow gotten into some sort of Deliverance river with rapist hillbillies watching them. But back with the Simpsons/Flanders raft, they find a plane flying by, and try to signal it to save them, unfortunately Homer blows it up with the flare gun. And after some unexplained amount of time goes by we see them starving and desperately trying to fish with a cheese doodle, which shockingly works. However no one tied off the fishing line, so the fish just steals the doodle and swims off. Then, as they apparently assume they’re dying, Homer gives Bart the pocket knife he planned on giving him at the end of the trip, which he stole from Ernest Borgning. We then quickly cut over to Borgnine and the other kids, because apparently all the other dads were lost on the Deliverance river, as he tries to fight off a bear without the knife. But the Borgning knife is cursed, and Bart ends up popping the raft with the magnifying glass. And as the group gets ready for their watery death, Homer starts to smell cheeseburgers, and they find that they’re close to an off-shore oil rig that has a Krusty Burger on it. So Homer guides them to the rig where they are saved! And Homer and Bart’s relationship is in good condition again. The episode then ends on the dark note of having Borgnine and the kids find an abandoned summer camp to stay in before getting attacked by a slasher.
This episode is just crazy. I love episodes about Bart and Homer’s relationship, and this is one of the best. It’s just so fun, and full of great comedy moments. Bart’s whole sugar-bender in the beginning is wonderful, and everything about the Campers is spot on. I was in Boy Scouts as a kid, and it really does keep you going with the desire to have a knife. Nothing else was worth it. Although, I never did have to do anything like the raft trip, which is probably the best, because that sounded horrible. And it’s just wonderful that Homer’s gluttonous nose saves the day.
Take Away: Don’t go on sugar-benders. And also carry a pocket knife, in case you get attacked by rapists, bears, and Jason Vorhees.
“Boy-Scoutz ‘n the Hood” was written by Dan McGrath and directed by Jeffrey Lynch, 1993.
Categories: Lifetime of Simpsons