The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular
Marge Be Not Proud
Team Homer
I'm here today to give you the skinny on shoplifting, thereby completing my plea bargain with the good people at Foot Locker of Beverly Hills.
Troy McClure

"Marge Be Not Proud" is the eleventh episode of Season 7.


Bart is caught attempting to shoplift a video game. He tries to keep his failed "four-finger discount" trip a secret from Homer and Marge, and initially succeeds. But unfortunately, Marge finds out when the family returns to the same store to have the family Christmas photo taken and punishes Bart by leaving him out of family activities.

Full Story

Act 1

When the family watches a Christmas special hosted by Krusty the Clown, Bart sees a commercial advertising the fighting game Bonestorm, and decides he must have it. However, Homer and Marge tells him no, because the Mortal Kombat-type game costs too much and is too violent due to Bart being distracted from his school work. At night, Bart is tucked into bed by Marge and she sings him a lullaby. When he tries to explain that he's too old to be babied by her, Marge doesn't listen to him. She tells Bart that she actually likes mothering him more as he is her only son.

Bart makes other attempts to obtain or play the game, but they fail. At Android's Dungeon, Comic Book Guy tells Bart all available copies of the game have been rented; however, multiple copies of the golf game Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge (which is portrayed as being incredibly boring) remain. Passing it up, Bart later learns that Milhouse has Bonestorm and goes over his house to play it, but Milhouse quickly has his mother throw Bart out for swearing because he doesn't want Bart to play his video games.


Bart secretly stealing the Bonestorm game.

Discouraged, Bart visits the local Try-N-Save discount store. Inside in the electronics section, a spoiled kid (Gavin) demands that his mother buy him Bonestorm (she gives in), and he insists on buying two so he doesn't have to share with Katelyn. Bart wistfully mentions that Gavin is lucky he doesn't have to be overmothered by his mother, unlike Marge who constantly overmothers him. He sees Jimbo and Nelson shoplifting from the store. While talking to them, Jimbo and Nelson encourage him to take the game regardless of what happens. Bart sees that the video game case has been left open, and hears the voices of various famous video game characters whispering to him. Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, and Sonic the Hedgehog encourages him to take the game. However, Lee Carvallo is the only one against it and tries to talk Bart out of it by telling him to think about the consequences of his actions. No longer able to resist the temptation, Bart takes a copy of Bonestorm, hides it in his jacket, and walks out of the store.

Outside, Bart thinks he's home free, until he feels a heavy hand on his shoulder. He's been caught by the store's strict security guard officer, Detective Don Brodka. Bart is taken to a back room, where Brodka shows him a film about shoplifting and calls his parents (he leaves a message because they weren't home). Brodka tells him to leave and never return, or else he'll face criminal charges and spend Christmas in juvie. Bart races home, barely beating his parents (who are hurrying home themselves to change Maggie's diaper); manages to replace Brodka's phone message with another tape; and puts the real tape where nobody will ever listen to it. Bart has temporarily avoided trouble.

The next day, Marge announces plans to have their family's picture taken at a photographer's studio at Try-N-Save near their home - the very store that Bart has been banned from entering for shoplifting. Bart tries to convince the family to go to another Try-N-Save store away from the house, though Homer rebuffs the request. Marge tells him that she wants to stay close to home. On the drive, he imagines Brodka warning him to stay away or face time in juvenile hall. Bart then imagines himself spending Christmas in juvie with Nelson, Jimbo and a few other juvenile prisoners. Horrified at the results, he watches his family head inside and wants to wait in the car. Homer refuses Bart's request and forcibly drags him inside the store. At Try-N-Save, he tries to avoid detection and for a while he is successful. However, when Brodka learns he has returned from seeing security footage, he grabs Bart just as the photographer snaps the picture. He shouts at Bart for defying the ban by returning to the store and reminds him of the previous warning not to return for busted merchandise. Brodka quickly reveals to the rest of the Simpsons that Bart broke the "11th Commandment": Thou shalt not steal. Marge is in disbelief and tells him that her son is not a shoplifter. So Brodka decides to show her and the rest of the Simpsons, the surveillance tape on one of the TVs in the store. In a desperate attempt to stop Brodka from showing the security tape, Bart blocks the TV and confesses to shoplifting the game, Bonestorm, from the store. However, his timing was late and the incriminating tape is playing on all the other TVs for sale for everyone to see. After watching the tape, Marge is depressed by the whole thing and Homer is furious by Bart's behavior.

Act 2

After coming home with a ruined Christmas picture and still enraged at Bart for his actions, Homer yells very furiously at him. He believes Bart's selfishness and lack of concern for consequences in shoplifting for a Bonestorm game he wanted, nearly got the family banned from the Try N' Save near their home. In an effort to discourage theft in the house, Homer orders him to stay away from his beer collection. Despite Bart's best efforts to apologize to Marge, she distantly tells him that she is bitterly disappointed by his actions and quickly sends him to bed.

While getting ready for bed, he questions what to do and if Marge will forgive him. Lisa admits that she hasn't been as close to their mother as Bart. However, she reveals that Marge can't forgive and forget that easily. She mentions that Bart's actions in shoplifting could've have not only banned them from the Try-N-Save near the house, but also put him in juvenile hall. In Bart's bedroom, he overhears Marge sing Lisa a lullaby much to her delight and warmly wishes her good night. Marge comes to the door of his room and is distant towards Bart. Rather than sing him a lullaby, Marge bids Bart a cold good night and shut his door. Bart is now concerned about her distance towards him because the shoplifting. Later on in the master bedroom, Homer discusses with Marge the proper punishment for Bart. As he goes over the list of things he will do to their son, she stops Homer and tries to understand where she went wrong with Bart. He tries ineptly to console her about the situation, but this further depresses her. Marge is convinced that she over-mothered Bart too much and his shoplifting was his way of telling her to stop mothering him and let him do things for himself.

Bart is quickly left out of family activities, such as decorating the Christmas tree and having hot chocolate with marshmallows. When Bart sees his hot chocolate missing marshmallows, Marge coldly tells him that he can put his own marshmallow in it. He then attempts to put his own marshmallow in his hot chocolate, but the marshmallow absorbs all of it. Disappointed, Bart dump it out onto a plate and eats it, while Abe is asking him for a slice.

Later on, Bart visits Milhouse who is playing with ball in a cup toy in an attempt to seek advice on how to deal with Marge's distance and ways to win back her love. However, an argument with Milhouse almost gets him thrown out of the Van Houten house by Luann Van Houten. Thinking quickly, Bart convinces Luann to let him stay and do a lot of motherly things with her and she agrees since he's going through a hard time. When he returns home, Bart is disappointed to learn that his family made snow statues of themselves without him. Marge distantly and coldly tells him that she didn't think he would mind, but that he can make his own snowman from the dirty snow left under the car. Bart attempts to do so, on his own (as the rest of the family go inside to watch TV) but a bird lands on top of the crude snow statue of himself and ruins it.

Act 3

Depressed Bart leaves the house now fearing that he has lost his mother's love and curses his family as he ponders what to do. Nelson sees him and shows Bart that he has been stealing again, stating "I knew you'd like it" before walking off laughing. Taking this in mind, Bart returns to the Try-N-Save, vowing to show everyone "what a black sheep can do!"

He later returns home and tries to sneak past Marge and Lisa (who are decorating the tree) unnoticed but is spotted by Marge. She wants him to help her with another Christmas task, but her suspicions are aroused by his strange behavior, especially when she notices a bulge in his jacket. Believing he has been shoplifting again, Marge's suppressed anger finally comes to the surface and Bart refusing to hand over the item tries to flee. Marge pursues, with Homer blocking Bart's only escape route with a child's safety gate. Trapped Bart is forced to hand the item over. Instead of Bonestorm Marge finds Bart has hidden a handsome picture of himself (as opposed to his usual wacky look in photos) bought as a Christmas present for her, with a receipt saying "Paid in full."

Marge is overjoyed, and (after kissing her son lovingly) in gratitude for receiving her Christmas gift early, she gives Bart his, telling him it is the video game "every boy wants." Lisa gets jealous of this and when told she has to wait quickly declares this "the worst Christmas ever". Bart eagerly opens the present, only to find out it's Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge. Although he's disappointed, Bart smiles and embraces his mother.

As the ending credits roll, Bart plays his new game, obviously trying to get as much excitement out of it as possible before giving up and stopping.

Behind the Laughter


This is the second Christmas-themed Simpsons episode. The first one, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", was also the first-ever Simpsons episode, and aired six years earlier to the day. The writers had been thinking about doing a second Christmas show for many years, but no one wanted to take it on because they thought that they would just be repeating the first episode. After this episode, new Christmas episodes were made almost every year.

External Links


Season 6 Season 7 Episodes Season 8
Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part Two)Radioactive ManHome Sweet Homediddly-Dum-DoodilyBart Sells His SoulLisa the VegetarianTreehouse of Horror VIKing-Size HomerMother SimpsonSideshow Bob's Last GleamingThe Simpsons 138th Episode SpectacularMarge Be Not ProudTeam HomerTwo Bad NeighborsScenes from the Class Struggle in SpringfieldBart the FinkLisa the IconoclastHomer the SmithersThe Day the Violence DiedA Fish Called SelmaBart on the Road22 Short Films About SpringfieldRaging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"Much Apu About NothingHomerpaloozaSummer of 4 Ft. 2
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