While some of the episodes are a direct parody of a literary work,others merely contain allusions to literature, television, movies, etc.
In this episode, Bart tries to impress the local bullies by stealing the head off the statue of Springfield founder, Jebediah Springfield. After stealing the head, Bart thinks he will finally be accepted; however, the bullies are just as upset as the rest of the town and Bart feels shame for his actions. Bart returns the head and the townspeople forgive him.
This episode is an example of mere allusion. While elements of the plot are reminiscent of Poe’s The Telltale Heart, much of the story is missing. The common connection is the guilt Bart feels for removing the head of the statue. While the episode is not a direct parody, the connection still provides an aesthetic pleasure. In “The Simpsons and Allusion: Worst Essay Ever”, the authors discuss the aesthetic value of allusion. “As audience members, we enjoy recognizing, understanding, and appreciating allusions in a rather special way. The comprehension of an allusion combines the pleasure we feel when we recognize something familiar, like a favorite childhood toy, with the pleasure we feel when we know the right answer to the big question on Jeopardy.” The writers of the show are creating intimate connections with the audience every time an allusion is recognized.