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"Old Yeller Belly" is the nineteenth episode of the fourteenth season of The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 4, 2003. Santa's little helper's original owner who abandoned him at the racetrack makes his first appearance since the pilot episode Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire".
|"Old Yeller Belly"|
|The Simpsons episode|
|Episode no.||Season 14|
|Directed by||Bob Anderson|
|Written by||John Frink & Don Payne|
|Original air date||May 4, 2003|
|Chalkboard gag||"My pen is not a booger launcher."|
|Couch gag||In a parody of the black and white photograph, Lunchtime atop a Skyscraper, the family is dressed as construction workers of the early 20th century and are sitting on a girder watching TV.|
Bart and his friends in his treehouse try to eavesdrop on Lisa and her friends having a tea party, and the treehouse gets destroyed in the ensuing fight. After they rip up a railroad and then goof off with their spoils, Marge gets the Amish to build a new treehouse for Bart. However, because the Amish know little about electricity, the faulty electrical work causes a fire at neighborhood a party for the completion of the treehouse, and Homer is trapped inside, semi-conscious. Homer calls for Santa's Little Helper to save him, but Santa's Little Helper refuses and runs away, but not before doubling back to grab a roasted turkey from the flames. However, Snowball II does save Homer, leaping from Lisa’s arms and climbing the treehouse to wake Homer up by scratching him (she tries nudging him gently at first).
Homer is disgusted by Santa’s Little Helper’s cowardice. Santa's Little Helper follows Homer everywhere he goes- looking to regain his affection- but Homer shuns him at every opportunity. Snowball II is worshipped as a hero by Springfield. The local dog park is even renamed the "Snowball II Municipal Cat Park". During a live interview with Kent Brockman at the park renaming, Homer declares into the camera, “I have no dog!"
Homer tethers Santa's Little Helper in the backyard with a choke chain while he goes inside with Marge to eat the “emergency ham”, with the intent of making Santa’s Little Helper jealous. When Homer leaves an empty beer can in the yard, Santa’s Little Helper flips the can into the air, balancing it on his nose and drinking the last few drops. Springfield Shopper reporter Dave Shutton takes a photo of it that appears on the front page of the newspaper. This gets the attention of Duff Beer, who announce that Duffman will be replaced with Santa's Little Helper, as their new mascot, Suds McDuff.
Suds McDuff boosts sales of Duff Beer, and the family's fortunes explode, causing Homer to embrace Suds for his success. However, this prompts Santa's Little Helper's original sleazy owner and racing trainer (from "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire") to visit the Simpsons and prove that he owns the dog by showing the interview footage of Homer disowning Santa's Little Helper. He becomes Suds' new owner and takes the family's fortunes to himself, much to the Simpsons' discomfort, with Bart breaking down into tears for what his father had done, and Homer is wracked with complete remorse for saying such a horrible thing on TV.
Figuring that if they can get Duffman to replace Suds as the Duff mascot, they can get their dog back, the Simpsons seek Duffman, who has become an ordinary man named Barry Duffman who helps the less fortunate (by teaching math at a local halfway house). The Simpsons ask him to help the family get Santa's Little Helper back at a Duff Beer-sponsored beach volleyball event.
At the event, Homer pretends to be drowning, while he is actually floating on a keg of beer. Santa's Little Helper is too cowardly, as Homer predicted, to save him. However, when Duffman goes in to save Homer, a shark attacks and Duffman refuses to go in, revealing himself to be a coward too. The shark attempts to bite Homer, but it gets drunk by biting the beer keg. The crowd at the beach likes the shark, and Duff Beer announces that the shark — named Duff McShark — will be their new mascot. Santa's Little Helper gladly returns to the Simpson family.