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The Canine Mutiny

Wikisimpsons - The Simpsons Wiki
Season 8 Episode
172 "Grade School Confidential"
"The Canine Mutiny"
"The Old Man and the Lisa" 174
"The Canine Mutiny"
The Canine Mutiny.png
Episode Information
Episode number: 173
Season number: S8 E20
Production code: 4F16
Original airdate: April 13, 1997
Chalkboard gag: "A fire drill does not demand a fire"
Couch gag: The couch is a sofa-bed, with Grampa asleep on it. The Simpsons fold the bed part into the couch, Grampa still on it, and sit down as normal
Guest star(s): Frank Welker as Laddie
Showrunner(s): Bill Oakley
Josh Weinstein
Written by: Ron Hauge
Directed by: Dominic Polcino
DVD features

"The Canine Mutiny" is the twentieth episode of season 8 of The Simpsons and the one-hundred and seventy-third episode overall. It originally aired on April 13, 1997. The episode was written by Ron Hauge and directed by Dominic Polcino. It guest stars Frank Welker as Laddie.


"Purchasing an expensive purebred dog on a fraudulent credit card lands Bart in the doghouse when creditors want the pooch back, but Santa's Little Helper ends up the real loser here. Frank Welker guest stars."


Bart complains that he doesn't get any mail. Then Marge decides to give him the family's junk mail. One of them is a credit card application and Bart fills it under the name of his dog, Santa's Little Helper and claims the occupation to be "butt doctor". The company misreads the name as "Santos L. Halper", and the credit card application is approved. Before long, Bart receives a credit card.

Bart then goes on a shopping spree, buying the family some very expensive gifts from a mail order catalog: to Marge he buys Vancouver smoked salmon and a radio-frying pan, to Homer a golf shirt with corporate logo, to Lisa "Trucker's Choice Stay-Alert Capsules" and many things for himself. The item that Bart anticipates the most is a finely-bred, pre-trained collie. Not letting its US$1,200 purchase price stand in the way, Bart promptly orders one. Upon its arrival Bart learns the dog's name is Laddie, and the rest of the family fall in love with the new dog, while Santa's Little Helper goes unnoticed.

Bart fails to pay off "Santos L. Halper's" credit card bill, and it is not long before he gets a call from a debt collection agency demanding payment. When the calls and collection letters persist, Bart enlists Laddie to help him bury his ill-gotten credit card. Later, repo men arrive to take back all of the things Bart has purchased. Lisa demands an explanation, and Bart is forced to admit the truth. When a repossessor demands the $1,200 collie be returned, Bart identifies Santa's Little Helper as the dog he purchased. The greyhound is herded into the truck and Bart sadly watches as it drives away. Noticing that Santa's Little Helper is gone, the family begins to bond with Laddie, except for Bart, who fears for Santa's Little Helper's fate. When an exhausted Bart gives Laddie yet another walk, the collie saves the life of Baby Gerald. At the ceremony honoring Laddie's heroism, Chief Wiggum decides that Laddie would make the perfect police dog. Bart gives him to the Springfield police force and is forced to explain why the family now has no dog at all.

Homer instructs Bart to do whatever it takes to get Santa's Little Helper back and he goes hunting around the town, trying to find his old pal. Bart eventually learns from Reverend Lovejoy that the dog was given to a parishioner named Mr. Mitchell.

Bart visits Mr. Mitchell, who is blind and lonely, and asks for his dog back, but when he sees how the man and Santa's Little Helper have bonded, he grows heartsick and leaves. Still determined to get his dog back, Bart makes a late-night visit to Mr. Mitchell's home in hopes of retrieving Santa's Little Helper. The pair are reunited, but Bart traps himself in a closet. Mr. Mitchell calls the police and demands that Bart be charged with burglary, but Bart explains that Santa's Little Helper was his dog and that he wants him back.

To solve the problem, Bart and Mitchell let Santa's Little Helper decide where he wants to go, with him choosing Bart. Chief Wiggum arrives with Laddie, who immediately sniffs out a bag of marijuana in Mr. Mitchell's pocket. Bart and Santa's Little Helper head home, leaving the police to "finish up" with Mitchell.


This episode uses the full-length opening sequence as the plot came up a bit short.[1]

John Turturro was originally supposed to play Mr. Mitchell, but was cut after he was angry over redoing lines.[2]


  1. Weinstein, Josh (2006). The Simpsons The Complete Eighth Season DVD commentary for the episode "The Canine Mutiny" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  2. Bill Oakley's Twitter

The Saga of Carl - title screen.png Wikisimpsons has a collection of images related to "The Canine Mutiny".
Season 8 Episodes
Treehouse of Horror VII You Only Move Twice The Homer They Fall Burns, Baby Burns Bart After Dark A Milhouse Divided Lisa's Date with Density Hurricane Neddy El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer The Springfield Files The Twisted World of Marge Simpson Mountain of Madness Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show Homer's Phobia Brother from Another Series My Sister, My Sitter Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment Grade School Confidential The Canine Mutiny The Old Man and the Lisa In Marge We Trust Homer's Enemy The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase The Secret War of Lisa Simpson