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Itchy & Scratchy Land
Sideshow Bob Roberts

For the theme park, see Itchy & Scratchy Land (Theme Park).
This truly was the best vacation ever. Now let us never speak of it again.
Marge Simpson

"Itchy & Scratchy Land" is the fourth episode of Season 6 (originally going to be the first episode of season six).

Synopsis

The family's trip to Itchy & Scratchy Land, the "violent-est place on earth," proves heavenly until the Itchy & Scratchy robots want to keep the family there for real.

Full Story

The front gate at Itchy & Scratchy Land.

Bart and Lisa observe a commercial for the new amusement park named Itchy and Scratchy Land, and immediately want to visit it. Marge has already booked a family vacation to a bird sanctuary, but after revealing that the theme park has a place for adults, Bart and Lisa win their parents over, on the condition that they will not embarrass Marge as on previous holidays. After a long car journey (from Homer being impulsive and taking a "shortcut"), they reach Itchy & Scratchy Land parking lot, where they are then flown to the park by helicopter and told nothing can "possi-blie" go wrong.

Bart and Lisa watch a documentary

Marge is slightly uneasy with the many references to violence at the park, but has an enjoyable time visiting the various violent attractions, which include a parade filled with Itchy and Scratchy robots. Homer and Marge eventually tire out and spend time away from the kids at the nearby "Parents Island" as Bart and Lisa continue having fun. Bart and Lisa also visit a movie theater, where a documentary about the history of Itchy & Scratchy is being presented, including clips of the old Itchy & Scratchy films "Scratchtasia" and "Pinitchio". Although going well, the family's vacation is ruined when Bart launches a stink bomb onto an actor in an Itchy suit and is arrested by park security. Homer is also arrested for "kicking an Itchy in the butt." Marge is informed of her son's and husband's transgressions and is immediately embarrassed.

Homer fights robots

Meanwhile, Professor Frink, chief of the animatronic robots in the park parades, tells the other staff that, according to chaos theory, all the Itchy & Scratchy robots will turn on their masters. This happens seconds after he makes the announcement, because he forgot to "carry the one". Bart and Homer are released, with the embarrassed Marge chewing them out. As Homer tries to defend himself, claiming he was a political prisoner, the power suddenly cuts out across the park. Seconds later, a horde of Itchy and Scratchy robots advance upon them. Homer has his hair chopped off and Marge laments that they should have gone to the bird sanctuary. However a cut away reveals that the residents of said sanctuary escaped and are attacking the guests, meaning the Simpsons would have been in trouble no matter where they went.

Back at Itchy and Scratchy Land, the park is immediately evacuated and the family finds the last helicopter about to take off. Unfortunately, amongst the people on board are disgruntled staff members, whom Bart and Homer previously heckled. In revenge for pranking them, one of the employees kicks the two men away from the helicopter, which takes off leaving the stranded Simpsons to their fate. The family are soon surrounded by the out of control robots, but Homer angrily stands his ground. Defiantly telling the machines that "Nobody ruins my family vacation - but me, and maybe the boy!" Homer reaches into his pockets and frantically throws everything he can at them. The last thing he grabs is his camera. The impact sets the camera off and the flash causes four robots to short circuit. With Lisa pointing out the robots weakness, Bart grabs a mallet, runs to a camera shop and grabs more cameras (but also pauses to steal some collector plates). Armed Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa face down and ultimately defeat the entire Itchy & Scratchy army.

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With the battle over, Bart and Lisa reflect that this was their best vacation ever. Marge is not convinced at first, but once Lisa points out that this holiday gave the family everything they wanted in a vacation, she changes her mind and agrees with them. Nevertheless, she tells the her kids to never to speak of the trip again, as she is still embarrassed by Homer and Bart's previous actions. Help finally arrives and the Simpsons are personally thanked by Roger Myers Jr. He presents them with two free lifetime passes despite there being five of them. Surveying the carnage, Professor Frink worries about what impact this will have on Euro Itchy and Scratchy Land. The next scene shows that nobody is coming to the Itchy & Scratchy Land in Europe, much to the receptionist frustration.

Back at the Simpsons' residence, Bart, Lisa and Marge are watching Itchy and Scratchy again. Marge tells her kids that TV violence may be funny, but real violence is no good. Bart tells Marge that it would be funny if someone was watching them doing violence. Lisa agrees and demonstrates by throwing her shoe at Bart. Marge and Lisa both laugh, but once she realizes what she is laughing at Marge sends Lisa to her room.

Behind the Laughter

Production

"Itchy & Scratchy Land", was written by the entire writing team but credited to John Swartzwelder, was a very difficult episode to produce. It involved creating an entirely new environment, which meant large amount of writing and all new sets.[1] At the time that the episode was produced, new, more stringent, censorship laws had been put in place. As a result, the Fox network tried to stop the writers from including Itchy & Scratchy cartoons in episodes. In response, the writers created this episode, which they chose would be as violent as possible. The network threatened that if the episode was produced, they would cut the Itchy & Scratchy parts out themselves, but relented when show-runner David Mirkin threatened to tell the media. The writers nevertheless promised to try not to overdo the violence and in some scenes the violence was cut.[1]

Although the episode was quite difficult to animate, "Itchy & Scratchy Land" was "a dream come true" for the animators, as they quite enjoyed animating scenes filled with violence and suspense.

Reception

"Scratchtasia" is one of David Mirkin's favorite Itchy & Scratchy cartoons.[1] In 2003, Entertainment Weekly made a list of the Top twenty-five episodes, and placed this episode in seventh place, saying "When the animatronics attack, the showdown between man and machine -- okay, Homer and a giant robot mouse -- is an uproarious rebuttal to capitalism run amok." Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood called it "an untypical episode, with an especially thin plot. But anyone that's been to Disneyland will get the point." The episode is number six on MSNBC's top ten The Simpsons episodes list, compiled in 2007.

See Also

External Links

Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Mirkin, David. (2005). The Simpsons season 6 DVD commentary for the episode "Itchy & Scratchy Land" [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.


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