The Debarted

The Debarted
"The Debarted"
The Simpsons episode
The episode's promotional image featuring Bart, Donny (Topher Grace) and Milhouse.
Episode no. 413
Prod. code KABF06
Orig. airdate March 2, 2008
Show runner(s) Al Jean
Written by Joel H. Cohen
Directed by Matthew Nastuk
Chalkboard gag The art teacher is fat, not pregnant.
Couch gag Two hands add to a Lite-Brite of the family on the couch
Guest star(s) Topher Grace as Donny
Terry Gross as herself

"The Debarted" is the thirteenth episode of The Simpsons' nineteenth season. It was first broadcast on March 2, 2008, and guest stars Topher Grace and radio host Terry Gross have a cameo. A new troublesome student named Donny arrives at Springfield Elementary School, prompting a gleeful Bart to befriend him as his partner in pranks. Meanwhile, Marge wrecks the family car, and Homer gets a new luxury vehicle as a loaner car, which he grows attached to.[1] The episode is a parody of the 2006 film The Departed.



Marge is driving Bart and Lisa to school in Homer's car when the children begin fighting. When Marge tries to stop the children from fighting, she crashes into Hans Moleman's car, who is suffocated by the airbag. Later at school, Bart is shocked to find his seat taken by a new student, named Donny, who was recently kicked out of his former school, which his first in-episode words defame. Donny is a lot like Bart, but with a sharper edge and more grace. After Donny throws massive amounts of garbage at the school wall, Bart begins to feel he is losing popularity. While trying to imitate Donny, Bart ends up humiliating himself. Feeling his social rank amongst his peers slipping, Bart sulks.

Meanwhile, Homer has taken his car to get fixed. The Wiseguy informs him of a loaner car, resembling the Cadillac CTS, that he could use in the meantime. The loaner car is significantly better than Homer's old car, and he embraces it, and begins driving it everywhere. One added feature is that it can create a miniature thunderstorm within the vehicle, which happens when "the heater fights the air conditioner."

The following day, to prove to Donny that he is the head mischief-maker in the school, Bart plays a prank on Principal Skinner, employing magnets and metal sole pads in Skinner's shoes. While on the school stage, the magnets cause Skinner to dance involuntarily and uncontrollably, and ultimately be hurled outside of the school into a container filled with old retainers. Bart regains the respect and admiration of his peers, but when Skinner attempts to find who is responsible, Donny takes the blame for Bart's prank, leading Bart to accept him as a friend.

However, when Skinner takes Donny to his office, Donny is revealed to be in fact an informant hired by Principal Skinner and Superintendent Chalmers to get Bart suspended — the first informant on Bart to go undiscovered (after failed attempts utilizing Üter Zörker, Ralph Wiggum and "Doug the hip guidance counselor"). Blissfully unaware of the new kid's other side, Bart invites Donny into his clique alongside Nelson Muntz and Milhouse Van Houten, and they plot school pranks. To signify Donny's entrance into the group, Bart rewards him with Blue Vine licorice sticks, which he claims are only sold in Europe and turn the eater's tongue blue, and the now-augmented group begins their friendship by spraying Lisa (and each other) with juice.

Homer takes Marge out on a romantic evening cruise. Then the Wiseguy calls Homer, informing him that his old car is ready to be picked up. Homer, however, refuses to give up his luxury car. At the school, Bart is perplexed when Skinner repeatedly anticipates and foils his pranks. Groundskeeper Willie informs Bart that a snitch is amongst them, but after a lengthy montage depicting an ultimately failed chase after the rat, Bart wrongly suspects Milhouse, not noticing Donny's apparent nervousness. With the aid of Nelson and Donny, Bart has Milhouse imprisoned in a locker, which Cletus subsequently mistakes for an outhouse using Milhouse as a "robo-potty." With Milhouse indisposed, Bart plans a final prank on Skinner involving pelting his house with ostrich eggs.

The next day, while helping Skinner hang up a banner (which ironically reads “SPRINGFIELD ELEMENTARY: PRANK-FREE FOR 14 DAYS”), Bart notices that Skinner's tongue is blue. Bart figures out that the snitch is Donny, who had given Skinner the Blue Vines. While driving past the car dealer with Lisa, Homer sees the Wiseguy selling his car for $99. Homer realizes that his car is like his child and furiously barges into the scene to take it back, abandoning the loaner car and almost leaving Lisa, whom he mistakenly calls Maggie, behind.

At midnight, Bart, Nelson and Donny go to the school storage building, where Willie lets them in. Donny asks why the change in plans was necessitated, and Bart promptly denounces a nervous Donny as the rat and Nelson grabs him. Donny pleads with Bart, explaining how he was claimed from an orphanage in Shelbyville by Skinner and Chalmers. Touched but unmoved, Bart still plans to place him in Skinner's office, where he and Nelson will mix Diet Coke and Mentos, of which they have a huge amount. They are interrupted by the arrival of Superintendent Chalmers, Principal Skinner (toting a video camera), and Willie, who has snitched on Bart in exchange for something he could never give him: an elementary school diploma. After Nelson runs out the door, Chalmers tells Bart that he will be sent to the toughest juvenile detention center there is (disregarding his earlier statement that Bart's punishment will be 10 days' suspension from school, the stiffest disciplinary action that can legally be taken against him). Donny then pities Bart, who was the only person who ever cared for him. As Skinner leads Bart away, Donny shoves the crates of Mentos into the Diet Coke, causing the fizzy explosion. The two boys escape through the roof as Skinner, Chalmers, and Willie are caught in the explosion. Bart and Donny shake hands and Donny leaves, telling Bart that he will always remember their friendship, and they promise to meet up with each other sometime in the future. The episode ends with Ralph in a trash can as a rat runs across a fence, and Ralph cheerfully remarks "the rat symbolizes obviousness!" explicitly referring to the very last scene of The Departed.

Cultural references


The episode had an estimated 7.86 million viewers and received a 9 percent audience share.[3] Richard Keller of TV squad enjoyed the episode and liked the fact that it focused on Bart. He didn't, however, enjoy the subplot with Homer and the car saying "I enjoyed this episode more than the usual ones that have aired during this post-Simpsons Movie season. There were plenty of good moments and a few of them that I actually laughed at."[2] Robert Canning of IGN said, "This was a fun and funny episode." He thought Homer's loaner car scenes were "just silly enough to make an impact." Canning thought both Topher Grace and Terry Gross did great jobs with their parts. He gave the episode a 7.8 out of 10.[4]

Joel H. Cohen has been nominated for Writers Guild of America Award in the animation category for writing the episode. He was also nominated for an Annie Award nomination for Best Writing in an Animated Television Production.[5]


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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