|The Simpsons episode|
|Directed by||Rob Oliver|
|Written by||John Frink|
|Original air date||December 10, 2017|
|Chalkboard gag||Snow angels are not frozen hobos|
|Couch gag||A Santa's workshop-themed version of the standard opening sequence. In the end, the family pops into popcorn sitting on a hot couch, and are threaded onto a garland that is hung around the Christmas tree.|
"Gone Boy" is the ninth episode of the twenty-ninth season of the animated television series The Simpsons, and the 627th episode of the series overall. It aired in the United States on Fox on December 10, 2017. The title is a spoof of the novel Gone Girl.
Sideshow Bob is collecting trash for community service with other men. However, when they finish the work, the Simpson family runs over it with a rental car. After finishing up the rental time and fuel, Homer goes with Bart to play. However, Bart needs to pee and goes in the forest, falling down a manhole.
The family and the Springfield Police Department start searching the forest, but Chief Wiggum and his fellow police officers fail as usual. Bart finds himself in some kind of bunker, where he finds electronic equipment, which appears to be a military installment. People start looking for him, including Sideshow Bob and the other detainees.
Bart tries to escape, but the ladder gives in. He finds a phone, but instead of calling for help he calls Moe for a prank. Milhouse finds the entrance, but fails to help him. The news states Bart's dead, but Milhouse fails to bring the good news, in favor of Lisa's affection.
Sideshow Bob is having issues accepting it and Bart phones Marge confirming he's alive. When Milhouse leaves the house, Bob convinces him to bring him to Bart with the family right behind. Bob shoves Milhouse down the manhole and then following immediately. Homer and Grampa fail to find them once again while Bob ties them up to a Norad missile and tries to launch them and kill both. He soon starts having regrets and saves them at the advice of the injured prison therapist. As for the Norad rocket, it crashes near the other sculptures as three people laugh at the Norad name.
Back in prison, Sideshow Bob is having his prison therapy. He states that he will do good when his life sentences are done. The prison therapist will continue the session at different times when the lights flickering has him throwing out the files of the other prisoners.
Many years later, Sideshow Bob has retired to a lighthouse somewhere as a mailman delivers his mail. He is still going crazy over killing Bart where his message on the beach's sand keeps getting washed by the tides. The mailman states that he wouldn't hear his ranting if he would get a mailbox. Sideshow Bob considers taking that advice.
Dennis Perkins of The A.V. Club gave this episode a B+, stating, "A coherent narrative throughline—check. Carefully nurtured extended gags—check. Lines that actually made me laugh out loud—a handful of checks. Couple all that with a refreshing lack of atonal jokes that either violate the show’s spirit or pander glibly to pop cultural ephemera, and even a halfway decent repurposed Christmas couch gag, and I found that, by the end of ‘Gone Boy,’ I’d had a uniformly good time watching The Simpsons."
Tony Sokol of Den of Geek gave the episode 3/5 stars, saying, "The premise promised (“That can’t be right,” Groucho Marx might say) by the title of The Simpsons season 29, episode 9, "Gone Boy," would have made for a far more original offering from the series. The book and film Gone Girl was about a missing wife, who lived such a duplicitous double life, no one wanted to believe the most obvious suspect, her husband, was indeed the killer, had only she died. Bart Simpson lives a duplicitous life and everyone would believe his mortal nemesis would have had no choice but to kill the boy. Sideshow Bob was indeed spotted near the crime scene, associating with known rakes, of the boy, Bart Simpson, he vowed to kill. Bart, of course, is a master prankster and we wouldn’t have had that much sympathy for him until he turned up again."
"Gone Boy" scored a 2.3 rating with an 8 share and was watched by 6.06 million people, making it Fox's highest rated show of the night.
- Perkins, Dennis (December 10, 2017). "The Simpsons returns Sideshow Bob for an episode that ticks all the right boxes". Avclub.com. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
- Sokol, Tony (December 10, 2017). "The Simpsons Season 29 Episode 9 Review: Gone Boy". DenofGeek.com. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (December 12, 2017). "'Bob's Burgers,' 'The Simpsons' and '60 Minutes' adjust down: Sunday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 12, 2017.