The Man Who Grew Too Much

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"The Man Who Grew Too Much"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no. 543
Directed by Matthew Schofield
Written by Jeff Westbrook
Showrunner(s) Al Jean
Production code SABF07
Original air date March 9, 2014 (2014-03-09)
Couch gag Earth's single large land mass breaks apart into five Simpsons-shaped continents, only for a Moe-shaped asteroid to destroy the planet.
Guest star(s) Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob

"The Man Who Grew Too Much" is the thirteenth episode of the 25th season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons, and the 543rd episode of the series. The episode was written by Jeff Westbrook and premiered on March 9, 2014, on Fox.[1] The name is a pun on The Man Who Knew Too Much. In the episode, Lisa discovers that Sideshow Bob has become the chief scientist of a massive chemical engineering company, but the two of them bond over their appreciation for high culture. Meanwhile, Marge ends up a church volunteer to help horny teenagers become abstinent.

Plot[edit]

The Science Movie Day allows Ms. Hoover to fall asleep as her class watches a film that Lisa feels doesn't fit in the lesson plan. Lisa even goes as far as creating her own lesson plan that would have covered what the students should have been learning. What appears to be an earthquake disrupts Lisa's agenda. It turns out that the shaking is caused by students stampeding in the hallways because it's Taco Tuesday. Homer and his co-workers sneak into the school to take advantage of this day. Lisa observes Bart eating his sixth taco and the lunch lady retaining the salad for another meal. After Lisa questions whether the vegetables will rot or not, the lunch lady tells her that the veggies are genetically modified, so they should last. While Lisa reads about the effects of eating genetically modified foods in the car, Marge rushes to get to the church before the volunteer sign-up position she wants are gone. Too late, as Marge gets suckered by Ned into giving the sex talk to kids. It's no use, though, when both teenagers at the meeting just go at it in front of Marge. Afterwards, Lisa presents her argument at the parent teacher meeting at school. Even though Lisa had initially been against genetically modified foods before, she changes sides much to the surprise of her audience.

When a corporation takes interest in Lisa's initiative to drive genetically modified foods home, little does Lisa and her family know that Sideshow Bob is the chief scientist behind it all. Once Bob recounts how he became a test subject so that monkeys would not be injured too much, he tries to rekindle his relationship with the Simpsons. Lisa, especially, connects with Bob through their mutual love of Walt Whitman, and Bob notes that Lisa was always the best family member out of the Simpson clan. Meanwhile, Marge returns to giving her sex talk to teenagers, but this time she prepares with finger puppets. While the teenagers snicker, Marge fails miserably to get her point across about sex. Elsewhere, Lisa enjoys Bob's company despite Homer's usage of the Bunsen burner to toast the rest of the marshmallows since he already ate all the chocolates. At home, Homer tries to squeeze in some alone time with Marge, yet an angry Marge decides to use Homer as an example for her sex education class. Marge brings Homer to church to tell her class that she has abstained from sex with her partner for two days. The mere image of Homer and Marge touching each other gives the teenagers enough reason to pledge to wait until marriage for sex.

Lisa, on the other hand, is having a blast with Bob at the museum. Despite having to carry his concrete ankle block from prison, Bob enjoys his time with Lisa. When Lisa passes through an exhibit, a heavy display model comes close in squashing Lisa, but Bob saves the day. But Lisa wants to know, how Bob had the strength to prevent the sheet metal from crushing her. That's when Bob reveals to Lisa that with the success of genetically modified foods, he has been able to change his own DNA. Bob also tells Lisa that the real reason behind their trip to the museum is because of his plans on using the DNA of the geniuses in the exhibit to become the smartest of them all. When Bart comes to save Lisa, Bob warns he be can tempted into a murderous rage very easily. After a couple bothers him for a minute, he does have a rage and goes after Bart and Lisa. He runs after them with his new "grasshopper thighs" and "sonar of a killer-whale". He chases them to a body of water and they beg him to sing before he kills them. He obliges, but Marge, Homer and the teen-abstinence group come to stop him. When Lisa talks about Walt Whitman, Bob realises he has become a monster and attempts suicide by drowning, but then remembers he has gills.

In an epilogue (done as a tribute to Marcia Wallace), Ned recalls how much he loved Edna, and is sad about her death.

Reception[edit]

The episode received positive reviews from critics. The A.V Club gave the episode a B+ rating and praised Kelsey Grammer's voice-acting and the episode's "strong, straightforward narrative." They summed up, "But the greatest reward of any Sideshow Bob episode is Kelsey Grammer who, some 24 years after his first appearance as the fright-wigged, intermittently homicidal, incongruously cultured Robert Underdunk Terwilliger, can make the character as vitally funny and menacing as ever. In a career of stunning highs and ignominious lows, Sideshow Bob lives on as a creation as indelible as Frasier Crane. Essentially, Bob’s machinations bump this episode up an entire grade."[2] Teresa Lopez of TV Fanatic gave a mixed-to-positive review. Although lauding Sideshow Bob and Lisa's bonding over their I.Qs and describing it as "heartwarming", Lopez criticized Bob's scheme as "mundane" and Bob's devolution "into an out of control genetic monster...was silly even for him." Praise was given, however, to the episode's B-story involving Marge trying to talk to the local teens about celibacy as "her uncomfortable speaking and inadvertently titillating finger puppets made for some great comic moments." The episode ultimately received a 3.6/5 star rating.[3]

The episode received a 1.6 rating and was watched by a total of 3.75 million people, making it the second most watched show on Animation Domination that night, beating Bob's Burgers and another episode of The Simpsons, but losing to Family Guy with 4.56 million.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Simpsons Episode Guide 2014 Season 25 - The Man Who Grew Too Much, Episode 13". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  2. ^ Perkins, Dennis (2014-03-09). "The Simpsons: “Diggs”/”The Man Who Grew Too Much”". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  3. ^ so. "The Simpsons Review: Doubly Dull Feature". TV Fanatic. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  4. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda. "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Resurrection', 'Once Upon a Time' & 'The Amazing Race' Adjusted Up". Zap2it. TV by the Numbers.