Princess – The Simpsons
I hope you’ve seen this episode about Lisa’s pony (which is conveniently called “Lisa’s Pony”). It’s one of the early ones, and it’s so sweet and good-hearted. The sweetness of the show is really what draws me to it, like how terrible shingles might draw the attention of residential roofers. Except I guess not like that, because I think the show is a good thing … .It’s also funny, of course, but there are lots of funny shows out there, but most of them don’t have nearly as much heart. And, frankly, a lot of them aren’t nearly as truly funny as the Simpsons (in the earlier seasons, at least), and instead rely on lewdness and pretention for their laughs. But I digress.
So this episode starts off with Lisa calling and asking Homer for a new reed for her saxophone, because she has to perform in a talent show that evening. Homer, being a good-intentioned father, agrees to stop by the music store before he goes to the talent show. His little girl needs a reed, and a reed his little girl shall have. Except that Homer decided to stop my Moe’s for a drink first. I’m sure at the time he thought it a harmless detour. However, it turns out that it wasn’t so harmless after all, and he stayed too long, and by the time he arrived at the music store, it was closed.
Feeling terrible, he goes back to Moe’s, only to find the owner of the music store there. Homer and Moe convince the man to re-open his shop for a moment. Homer remembers which type of reed he needs, and it looks at though everything is going to work out, except then Homer takes a shockingly long time remembering which instrument Lisa plays. By the time he remembers that it’s the saxophone, he’s too late, and he arrives at the talent show only to see his daughter embarrassed on stage as her performance goes horribly.
Lisa is, understandably, devastated, and won’t speak to Homer. Anyone who knows Homer’s character would know that this destroys him, even moreso once he realises, after watching old family videos, that he has not always been terribly attentive towards Lisa. So, though Marge warns him it is not a good idea, Homer buys Lisa a pony, called Princess, to earn back her love. Lisa loves the pony (what young girl wouldn’t?), and tells Homer that she loves him. Homer is very pleased with this, but the pony wasn’t cheap, and the financial strain the care of the pony puts on the family is not insignificant.
Homer had to take out a loan and has to get a second job to pay for the pony, and is visibly exhausted and overworked. Marge points this out to the children, and tells Lisa that whatever is to be done with Princess, it is Lisa’s decision. Lisa, being the good child that she is, heartbreakingly decides to give up her pony so that Homer no longer has to work himself to exhaustion. She tells him at the end of the episode that she already has “big dumb animal” that she loves very much, that, of course, being Homer. Homer proves his love for his daughter by buying her the thing most little girls want more than anything in the world, and she in turn proves her love for him by giving it up.