Bart-Mangled Banner

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"Bart-Mangled Banner"
The Simpsons episode
Bart-Mangled Banner.png
Bart accidentally moons the flag.
Episode no. 334
Production code FABF17
Original air date May 16, 2004
Showrunner(s) Al Jean
Written by John Frink
Directed by Steven Dean Moore
Couch gag The couch is replaced by a giant microwave. Someone puts a tray inside and presses a button. The Simpsons rise from the tray as it cooks.
DVD
commentary
Al Jean
John Frink
Matt Selman
Don Payne
Dana Gould
Michael Price
Tom Gammill
Max Pross
Steven Dean Moore

"Bart-Mangled Banner" is the twenty-first episode of The Simpsons' fifteenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 16, 2004.

Plot[edit]

Homer and Marge take the kids to get their shots. Just before Dr. Hibbert is about to inject Bart, he escapes. After a chase through town, Hibbert finally outsmarts Bart and injects him. The shot, however, causes Bart's earholes to swell shut, making him temporarily deaf. Hibbert also tricks Homer into signing a malpractice waiver. Marge wanted Bart to stay home; however, Bart wants to play in the donkey basketball game.

While at the Springfield Elementary School donkey basketball game, Bart taunts a donkey with a carrot, unaware that the school is reciting the national anthem. After he places the carrot in his shorts, the donkey takes it and rips off Bart's shorts. While Bart is bent over to keep his privates covered with his shirt, the US flag is put up behind him and a photo is taken, which results in the crowd assuming that Bart is mooning the US flag. Shortly afterwards, the Springfield Shopper takes the story and completely turns it around, making it seem as if Bart had deliberately mooned the flag. Marge and Homer tried to tell Skinner that Bart was deaf; however, because Bart's history of pranks Skinner doesn't believe it. He and his family soon are hated by all of Springfield. Homer and Marge try to clear up this misunderstanding, knowing that it was an accident, but everybody refuses to listen, mistrusting Bart and his family.

The Simpsons are later asked to appear on a talk show and tell their side of the story. However, the host asks, instead, "What part of America do you hate most?" (an example of the fallacy of many questions). Marge says that, if leading questions such as that are the only forms of discussion in the United States, then she does hate the United States. She also said that she is well liked in Springfield, prompting the host to say that Springfield hates the US. The US then turns their back on Springfield (though there's widespread celebration in praise of Springfield in the Middle East), so Mayor Quimby frantically decides to change the name of Springfield to "Liberty-ville." Everything in town is quickly patriotized; the traffic light colors are changed to red, white, and blue, and everything costs $17.76. While at church, Lisa speaks her opinion about patriotism, and the Simpsons are taken into custody, in violation of the "Government Knows Best Act."

The Simpsons are taken to the "Ronald Reagan Re-education Center", which houses Michael Moore, the Dixie Chicks, Elmo (who accidentally went to the wrong fundraiser), Al Franken, and Bill Clinton, as well as a man who moans "My only crime was driving a van full of explosives in from Canada!". With some help from the last-registered Democrat, the Simpsons escape the prison (in a parody of the escape scene from The Blues Brothers), but realize that the re-education center is actually Alcatraz Prison. While they are swimming to land (choosing to swim to Oakland instead of San Francisco because they "aren't made of money"), they are picked up by a French freighter and are brought to France. They are well adjusted, but still miss the United States, mainly because it is where all their stuff is. They then move back to the US dressed as 19th century immigrants from Europe where Homer speaks of plans of integration into the United States.