Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bart Simpson and the Jacket of Unrequited Love

Here is something that may seem cool to Simpsons fans, that will be completely inconsequential to non-Simpsons fans and that I just realized right now.

And if you’re impatient, here’s the “menu for illiterate people” version of this post:

Long version:

In a fourth season episode of the show, Bart gets his first crush in the form of Laura Powers (voiced by Sara Gilbert), a teenager who moves next door and is essentially Lindsey from Freaks and Geeks before Freaks and Geeks was a thing.

Laura ultimately falls for Jimbo Jones, who unlike Bart is old enough to grow a bad teenage mustache. While Laura’s mother, Ruth Powers (voiced by Pamela Reed), has appeared in many later episodes in both speaking and non-speaking roles, Laura has never appeared on the show again. Most one-off Springfieldians show up at least as background characters in later episodes, but Laura only appeared subsequently in the The Simpsons Movie, which notably featured every Simpsons character ever. That doesn’t mean she’s been completely absent from the show, however: Twelve years later, there was a flash-forward episode in the show’s sixteenth season that shows Bart and Lisa in high school. Over the course of the episode, Bart breaks up with, reconciles with and then breaks up again with Jenda (voiced by Amy Poehler). Anyway, here’s what Jenda wears in her last few scenes, which end with her dumping Bart:

The same basic jacket. Well, a military green “alterna-girl” jacket with chevrons on the sleeves. Pretty damn close, at least, in a way that totally has to be intentional.

Literally, I was cleaning and thinking about The Simpsons, as I do several dozen times per day, when it hit me: Bart ended up marrying the girl wearing the same jacket as his first crush. That’s a nice touch there, person who did that. I mean, Jenda didn’t turn out any better for Bart than Laura did…

But still — a nice callback, and a reminder that at least someone on the show remembers Laura Powers and the glory days of the show.

The Simpsons, previously:

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