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The Simpsons

Episode 11.09 : Grift of the Magi

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TV Info


Episode Premiere

December 19, 1999

Distributor

FOX

Genre

Animation, Comedy

Show Period

1989 - now

Production Company

FOX, Gracie Films, Film Roman Productions

Cast and Crew


Director

Matthew Nastuk

Screenwriter

Matt Groening, James L. Brooks

Main Cast


Additional Cast

Synopsis


When Fat Tony and his legitimate businessmen friends extort $200,000 from Principal Skinner, Springfield Elementary goes broke. The children rejoice while Skinner tries to figure out a way to raise enough money to reopen the school. Enter Jim Hope and his Kid First Industry (KFI), a touchy-feely corporation that buys the school and privatizes it. KFI fires all the teachers and rewrites the curriculum based on its own curious corporate mandates. Strangely, every lesson plan seems to revolve in some way around toys and marketing. When Lisa's class is asked to come up with names for toys, Lisa becomes very suspicious of KFI's motives. After a little investigating, she discovers that the school is full of hidden cameras and two-way blackboards that allow KFI to gather marketing data on children. Lisa tries to share her discovery with her parents and Chief Wiggum, but KFI removes all evidence from the school before they can investigate. When Christmas rolls around, Lisa notices that a popular new toy named Funzo has many of the traits her classmates said they wanted. Lisa and Bart break into the KFI headquarters to figure out what's going on. Slipping by Gary Coleman, who is working as a security guard at KFI, Lisa and Bart confront Jim Hope. Hope admits that he may have exploited the kids, but he gives them a free Funzo, which is enough to satisfy Bart. Funzo becomes a huge hit at Christmas time, but when Bart discovers that it's programmed to destroy all other toys, he agrees with Lisa that Funzo is bad. Bart and Lisa decide to get rid of all the Funzos they can by having Homer steal them from their neighbors' homes. When Homer tries to throw all the stolen toys into the Springfield Tire Fire, he's stopped by none other than Gary Coleman. But by talking with Gary, Lisa is able to show him the truth about KFI and the way that other companies have exploited Christmas. The Simpsons invite Gary over for Christmas dinner and everyone has a wonderful day.

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