Culture

A Loving Ode To The Australian Episode Of ‘The Simpsons’

There are a lot of great episodes of The Simpsons, but it’s time to unpack the genius that is ‘Bart vs Australia’.

The season 6 episode sees the Simpson family fly to Australia for a holiday-slash-international-scandal.

 

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Widely regarded as one of the best episodes from the show’s golden era, ‘Bart vs Australia’ is a take on bizarre Aussie culture and we simply must discuss it in length.

“No way, water doesn’t obey your rules. It goes where it wants”

The episode begins with Lisa telling Bart that water always flushes clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. Bart, not believing his sister, calls a random number in Australia and asks Tobias Dundridge which direction the water in his toilet flushes.

Their call lasts for six hours because everyone forgets to hang up. I guess that’s an easy mistake to make, except I hate phone calls and end them as quickly as possible. Anyway, Tobias and his dad Bruno get slapped with 900 dollarydoos in collect call charges.

 

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Whomst in this country doesn’t remember the wildly popular Change petition to rename our currency to “dollarydoos”. Australian culture doesn’t exist? Try again, sweetie. ‘Bart vs Australia’ practically created our entire economy.

“The Down Under fad”

The Australian government hits Bart with the bill, which he promptly ignores.

Bart stuffing his growing stack of phone bills into a bin is literally every single one of us when we blow our paycheck in the first week. Where’s the lie?

Outraged, the Prime Minster demands that Bart makes a public apology. Unfortunately, “Americo-Australian-ian relations” are at an all time low. Long gone are the days when Americans guzzled Vegemite footlong subs. So the Simpsons have no choice but to fly to Australia.

“You call that a knife?”

Before Bart makes his apology in the Australian parliament, the Simpsons hit the town in Canberra.

Bart and Lisa play “knifey-spooney” with a local. Marge struggles to order coffee from a bartender — but who can blame him, when it’s a well-known fact that Aussies only ever drink beer.

 

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Homer drinks a can of Fosters, which we can all agree is the greatest inaccuracy in the episode.

“Let the booting begin!”

But nothing’s what it seems with us sneaky Australians, so the Prime Minster wants to give Bart “one little kick in the bum” with a fuck-off big boot.

Note to foreigners: The Booting is one of our proudest traditions, rolled out when somebody admits they don’t like lamingtons, or forgets to bring a snack to a BBQ.

“I’d’ve called them chazzwazzers”

In a last-ditch attempt to salvage Americo-Australian-ian relations, Bart agrees to “bend over and receive my destiny” — aka, a Booting with a regular shoe.

But right as the Prime Minister swings his wingtip shoe, Bart dodges, pulls down his pants and hums the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ while flashing the crowd. It’s the second worst rendition of the American national anthem, right after that time Fergie performed it.

The crowd yells. They throw cans of Fosters. They tear down the gates and riot through the US Embassy. The Simpsons are evacuated by helicopter. Everyone has a happy ending.

“Pobody’s Nerfect in Australia”

The reason we love ‘Bart vs Australia’ is because it’s so bloody charming. Just like Kath & Kim is a loving satire on our middle-class suburbia, this episode is a cheeky reference to pretty much every Aussie stereotype.

We don’t actually throw boomerangs down the street and our accent isn’t really a demented mix of Kiwi and South African. But it’s fun to imagine how confusing our weird little country must look to foreigners.

Sometimes we love this episode because it doesn’t seem fake at all. Australian politics has been a wild ride lately, but the absurd Aussies in ‘Bart vs Australia’ don’t seem so crazy compared to Scott Morrison.

I think it’s safe to say that we’re all grateful to the Australian episode of The Simpsons, and our culture wouldn’t be the same without it.

(Lead image: The Simpsons)