|“||I've figured out the boy's punishment. First, he's grounded. No leaving the house, not even for school. Second, no eggnog. In fact, no nog, period. And third, absolutely no stealing for three months.||”|
— Homer's idea of punishing Bart for his attempted shoplifting
"Marge Be Not Proud" is the second Christmas-themed episode of The Simpsons, aired as the eleventh episode in the show's seventh season. The writers had been thinking about doing a second Christmas show for many years, but no one wanted to take it on because they thought that they would just be repeating the first episode. After this episode, new Christmas episodes were made almost every other year.
While watching a Christmas special hosted by Krusty the Clown, Bart sees a commercial advertising the fighting game Bonestorm, and decides he must have it. However, Marge tells him no, because it costs too much and is too violent. Bart makes other attempts to obtain or play the game, but they fail.
Discouraged, Bart visits the local Try-N-Save discount store. Inside in the electronics section, a spoiled kid named Gavin demands that his mother buy him Bonestorm (she gives in), and Bart sees Jimbo and Nelson shoplifting from the store. Bart then sees that the video game case has been left open, and, no longer able to resist the temptation, takes a copy of Bonestorm, hides it in his jacket, and walks out of the store. Outside, Bart thinks he's home free, only to get caught by the store's security officer, Detective Don Brodka. Bart is taken to a back room, where Brodka calls his parents, leaving a message on their answering machine because they weren't home. Brodka then tells Bart to leave and never return, or else he'll face criminal charges. Bart races home, barely beating his parents (who are hurrying home themselves to change Maggie's diaper), and manages to replace the tape containing Brodka's phone message with an Allan Sherman cassette ("Marge, is Lisa at Camp Granada?"). He puts the real tape in the case meant for the Sherman cassette, figuring that nobody will ever look for it there.
The next day, Marge announces plans to have their family's picture taken at a photographer's studio at Try-N-Save - the very store that Bart has been banned from entering. Bart tries to convince Marge to go elsewhere, but the family goes to the Try-N-Save. Bart tries to avoid detection, but Brodka grabs him just as the photographer snaps the picture. Brodka explains to Marge and Homer that their son "broke the 11th Commandment", Marge refuses to believe it until the store detective shows them the surveillance tape on the TVs in the store.
Back at the Simpson home, Bart's parents are very disappointed in him. Marge becomes distant with her son and sends him to bed. Later, Bart is left out of family activities, such as decorating the Christmas tree and making snow statues of themselves. Bart fears he has lost his mother's love, and decides he must repent. He visits the Try-N-Save again to talk to Brodka about his actions in shoplifting to return the Bonestorm game, and returns home with a bulge in his coat. Marge confronts him, believing he was shoplifting again, and finds Bart has hidden a handsome picture of himself (as opposed to his usual wacky look in photos) bought as a Christmas present for Marge, with a receipt saying "Paid in full." Marge is overjoyed, and in gratitude for receiving her Christmas gift early, she gives Bart his, telling him it is the video game "every boy wants," according to the store clerk. Bart eagerly opens the present, only to find out it's the very boring Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge. Although he's disappointed, Bart smiles and embraces his mother. Over the end credits, Bart plays the game, obviously trying to get as much excitement out of it as possible before giving up and stopping.
Oddly, the episode was not featured on either of the two Simpsons Christmas DVDs; instead, it made its home video debut on the Bart Wars DVD. As with all episodes from their respective seasons, it was later included on The Simpsons: The Complete 7th Season DVD set.
- The episode's premise was based on an incident in writer Mike Scully's childhood, in which he stole from a store and later returned the item.
- Sonic the Hedgehog's cameo in Bart's imagination would be referenced in the 2015 video game Lego Dimensions. In that game, when Sonic is teamed up with Bart, he says his line from this episode - "Just take it! Take it, take it, take it, take it! Take it!"
|Dan Castellaneta||Homer Simpson|
Krusty the Clown
Sonic the Hedgehog
Santa in store
Guard in Bart's fantasy
|Julie Kavner||Marge Simpson|
|Nancy Cartwright||Bart Simpson|
|Yeardley Smith||Lisa Simpson|
|Pamela Hayden||Milhouse Van Houten|
Boy in Bonestorm commercial
|Maggie Roswell||Luann Van Houten|
|Hank Azaria||Comic Book Guy|
|Harry Shearer||Krusty Christmas special announcer|
Santa in Bart's fantasy
|Phil Hartman||Troy McClure|
|Tress MacNeille||Girl in Bonestorm commercial|
|Lawrence Tierney||Don Brodka|
- The Simpsons Wiki: Marge Be Not Proud
- "Marge Be Not Proud" at the Simpsons Archive
- "Marge Be Not Proud" at TV.com
- "Marge Be Not Proud" recap at TV Tropes