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August 27, 2015

The Simpsons: Bart vs. Australia

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 18th 2006 7:58AM


Bart: Hey guys, just so you don't hear any wild rumors, I'm being indicted for fraud in Australia.

Homer: That's no reason to block the TV.

We get a rather dubious science lesson at the beginning of this episode when Lisa explains to Bart that the water in the sink and toilet always spins in the same direction due to the Coriolis effect. Usually the writers try to be scientifically accurate, but in this case they had to jump on the "water always flows one way in one hemisphere and the opposite direction in the other" bandwagon, or else Bart never would never have called Australia to see which way their toilet drains, and we wouldn't have ourselves one of those "Simpsons go abroad" episodes.

Lisa uses a globe to explain the Coriolis effect. Bart's knowledge of geography is pretty much non-existent, which becomes evident when he asks about the country "Rand McNally." Lisa informs him the people there "wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people."

When the father of the Australian boy finds out that his son accepted a collect call from the United States, he calls Bart to demand he pay for the call. Bart taunts the man, so the man decides to tell his congressman, who happens to be a pig farmer next door. The two of them take their grievance to the prime minister, who's floating naked on an innertube in a nearby pond. It seems The Simpsons is always especially brutal when it comes to episodes that take place in other countries, but I think it's just a matter of the satirizing everything, and not just the US.

The effect of Bart's prank is greater than the family realizes. It seems diplomatic tensions have arose between the two countries ever since Americans got over their short-lived infatuation with Australia in the late 80s when Crocodile Dundee, and, to a lesser extent, Yahoo Serious were popular. The state department merely wants Bart imprisoned for five years, but they settle on an apology.

From then on it seems like smooth sailing. The family gets a free trip to Australia and all Bart has to do is say he's sorry. While resting in their room at the American embassy, Homer asks Bart if he could commit fraud in Orlando, and Bart replies, "Way ahead of you, dad."

You probably recall an incident from several years back in which an American student was charged with vandalism in Singapore and subsequently caned. In this episode Bart's punishment isn't caning, but a swift kick with a very large boot. This was not part of the original deal, so Homer grabs the boot and threatens to kick the prime minister before escaping. They run back to the American embassy, and the guards try to keep them out, but the American-made gate won't close.

Finally, they agree that the prime minister will kick Bart only once while wearing normal shoes. It seems Bart is ready to face his punishment, but at the last moment he pulls down his pants to reveal the words "Don't Tread On Me." Later, Lisa remarks, "I'm surprised you were able to write so legibly in your own butt."

Other great moments:

  • The Crocodile Dundee "That's not a knife" scene is spoofed in a bar when a man approaches Bart and Lisa and says, "That's not a knife. That's a knife" as he whips out a spoon. When Bart and Lisa correct him he says they must have played "Knifey/Spoony" before.
  • Bart unleashes a frog that eventually breeds into several million frogs that pretty much destroy the country.
  • Bart pretends to be from the International Drainage Commission and informs the naive Australian boy that drains are sucking in people.

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How about the determined, fierce-looking koala bear under the helicopter in the final shot?

August 18 2006 at 12:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"We don't tolerate that kind of crap in America, sir!"

My absolute favorite bit in this episode is Marge's exchange with the bartender.
"I'll have a coffee."
"Beer it is!"
"No, coffee."

That and Marge offering Lisa the "Pobody's Nerfect" hat and remarking that it's "clever, just like you."

August 18 2006 at 12:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My freinds and I always liked the Marine that mans the gate to the american embassy. It just cracks me up when he punches Homer for jumping back and forth across the property line saying "in america, not in america"!

August 18 2006 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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