|The Simpsons episode|
|Directed by||Matthew Nastuk|
|Written by||Tom Gammill and Max Pross|
|Original air date||February 17, 2013|
|Chalkboard gag||I will not tweet as the Principal's toilet|
|Couch gag||A spoof of the Game of Thrones opening sequence (first seen in "Exit Through the Kwik-E-Mart"), but in this version, at the end, a knight chops Homer's head off (and part of Marge's hair) with a sword.|
Kevin Michael Richardson as Book Store Security Guard
The first time the episode aired in the USA, the opening was shortened to allow time for Fox to air Maggie Simpson in: The Longest Daycare; there was no chalkboard gag, and the couch gag consisted only of the knight cutting off Homer's head.
The main plot is a parody of the 2008 movie Harold.
Marge takes the family out on a TV-free day after finding Maggie watching a DVD from the Baby Poindexter collection, which, according to the news, was pulled for being ineffective in educating children (even though Homer likes it because it is not merchandise-driven like so many kids' shows today). A flashback reveals the material in question sent a younger Bart into a drooling fit while Lisa turns the presentation's packaging into an interactive diorama. The family goes to a bookstore, where Homer becomes fascinated with hidden-object puzzles and begins using his skills to find people and common objects in the real world.
Meanwhile, Bart hangs out at Milhouse's place. While bored, Bart squirts some epoxy in Milhouse's hair. Bart gives him a haircut to remove it, but he removes most of Milhouse's hair as a result, making him look just like his father Kirk. With Bart's help, Milhouse dresses up like his dad, becoming taller with the help of homemade stilts made from paint cans and making his voice sound like Kirk's by tying a tie tightly around his neck (though if the tie is put too tightly around his neck, he sounds like Duffman). Bart uses this to his advantage, as Milhouse, looking like an adult, is now able to commit adult activities. They bully Homer, purchase items for school bullies Jimbo, Kearney, and Dolph, and participate in municipal voting.
When Lisa wishes to go to downtown Springfield, Milhouse is able to buy tickets for himself, Lisa, and Bart. He collects a portion of the class action settlement being paid out to people who bought Baby Poindexter DVD's, but the money he receives is not enough to buy food for the three of them. They are forced to attend a condominium sales presentation for a free breakfast, but find that the doors have been locked to prevent them from leaving. The saleswoman, thinking Milhouse is an adult, attempts to seduce him. Homer and Marge, realizing the children are missing, rush to find them. Homer stops by for the free meal, rescuing the three children by coincidence. Milhouse later apologizes to Kirk for impersonating him, and admits that he wants to grow up to be just like him.
The episode received mostly positive reviews, with Robert David Sullivan of The A.V. Club giving the episode a B-, saying, "We're still a long way past Simpsons episodes with emotional resonance, but plain weirdness works better than the constant cutaways and pop-culture-dropping of last week's episode. Milhouse is not an overused character, and he still has kind of a Charlie Brown quality that allows us to see humor in his adult-like, well-articulated neuroses, so that it doesn't feel as if we're laughing at an actual little boy." Rob Dawson of TV Equals gave the episode a positive review, saying: "'Hardly Kirk-ing' is the kind of episode that I wish The Simpsons could pump out every week these days. It's well-constructed and funny, it is what I want late-period The Simpsons to be. It keeps itself together, plays off the larger extended universe of Springfield without seeming like a parade of 'hey, I recognize that guy', and is, most importantly, entertaining."
The episode received a 2.0 in the 18-49 demographic and was watched by a total of 4.57 million viewers. This made it the second most watched show on Fox's Animation Domination line up that night, beating The Cleveland Show, Bob's Burgers and American Dad! but losing out to Family Guy with 4.87 million.
- "Watch The Simpsons - Season 24 Episode 13: Hardly Kirk-Ing". Tv-links.eu. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- David, Robert. ""Hardly Kirk-ing" | The Simpsons | TV Club | TV". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2013-02-19.
- "The Simpsons Season 24 Review "Hardly Kirk-ing"". TV Equals. 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2014-04-15.
- "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Once Upon a Time', 'The Amazing Race' & 'The Mentalist' Adjusted Up; 'The Good Wife' & 'Bob's Burgers' Adjusted Down". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. Retrieved 2014-04-15.