|How many kids have had this feel, hm?|
As Christmas time nears, Bart is faced with two dilemmas. One, as a growing ten year old, he's becoming a bit tired of Marge treating him like a little kid still. Two, a much more pressing concern, Bart desperately wants the bloody video game Bonestorm after seeing an ad for it on TV, but Marge quickly decides not to buy it for him. He can't rent it because all of the rental copies are rented out, and Milhouse refuses to let Bart play his copy even though its very clearly a game that can be played with two players. Bart decides to go to a store, specifically the Try-n-Save, and look sad near the game so that someone will buy it for him. There, he sees Nelson and Jimbo shoplifting other goods, noting that its a victimless crime. With the door giving access to the games open and a rather biased inner-convo, Bart decides to steal the game. He makes it out the door, but is stopped just outside by store security.
The security guy tries to call Bart's parents about the attempted shoplift, but they aren't home so a message is left instead. As Bart leaves, the security guy warns Bart never to step into the store again. Bart is able to make it home before the family and replace the answering machine tape with a copy of Allen Sherman's Camp Grenada. Feeling great after seemingly dodging a bullet the next morning, his mood quickly sours when he learns the family is going to the same Try-n-Save to take a family portrait for Christmas. Despite every attempt to either hide his face or hasten the family's time in the store, Bart is still found by that security guy just as the picture is being taken, and as the latter is about the show the family the incriminating tape, Bart finally reveals that he did indeed shoplift, much to Marge's disappointment.
Marge is still in disbelief over what Bart did, coming to realize that he's grown up, and treats him as such the following day, though in a way which makes it look like she's distancing herself from Bart (though that might've been intentional). Becoming frustrated over these turn of events, Bart goes back to the Try-n-Save to "show what a black sheep can do". Upon returning home, Marge notices Bart hiding something again and goes to confront him, but Bart reveals he had taken another photo of himself, with the receipt stapled on, and Marge forgives Bart. She lets Bart get his present early, which as she was told by a clerk at the store what one game every boy wants, Bart gets the hot new game Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge. Bart is able to express joy over the gift, and he and his mother reconcile. Bart, I assume, then gives the game a try before quitting out of boredom.
Marge Be Not Proud is a solid episode, with good gags throughout though most of the hilarity comes from the video game related plotlines, not so much the shoplifting ones.
Final Score: 8.7