View Poll Results: How would you rate "How Munched is that Birdie in the Window?"

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  1. #1
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Rate and Review: "How Munched is that Birdie in the Window"? (NABF02)

    How Munched is that Birdie in the Window? (NABF02)
    Bart nurses a wounded pigeon back to health, only for Santa's Little Helper to eat it, leading a therapist to suggest how to solve the problem with Bart's loss - get rid of the dog
    Last edited by Patches O'houlihan; 11-28-2010 at 04:15 PM.

  2. #2
    No Life Club Member D'ohmer's Avatar
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    Wow, I don't even know what to say about that one. That wasn't very good. On the positive side, I liked all the gags in the intro, especially the couch gag, which was funny and the perfect length.

    The plot started off decently, but went downhill greatly in the last two acts. The first two acts built up on the story well and even though Bart's friendship seemed a little rushed, it did have a good emotional core. I did like the plot twist with the bird delivering messages, as it gave it something to do. The only thing I didn't like was Lisa's fear of pigeons, as it didn't go anywhere. The episode greatly went downhill after SLH ate the pigeon. That scene, first of all, seemed rushed and too "all-of-a-sudden." I don't even remember much that happened in the third act as there was too much filler, so the actual plot seemed dry. The forth act was absolutely atrocious as the whole ostridge farm was a stupid idea to begin with and Bart beating up the bird in order to get even with SLH was even worse. The development was horrible and it lacked any sort of emotional core that seemed to take place in the first act. This could have not been the same episode with that decently emotional (though a little forced) scene with Bart walking away from the bird in the first act.

    The humor was pretty hit and miss. Like the plot, it went downhill after the second act. The first two acts did have some great gags, like Marge drinking the worms, Milhouse watching Bart, and Homer's fantasy. It did have a few misses, like the Lisa listing gag, but there weren't too many. Unfortunately, I don't remember any good gags in the last two acts. The boys singing was unfunny, Bart's drugs fell flat and the ostridge strangling Homer was terrible.

    Lastly was the characterizations. I know I'm repeating myself, but they went downhill in the third and forth acts. The first two acts had some decent characterizations, especially Bart and Homer. It opened a sensitive side to Bart, which should have been explored more. Homer was also acting in character, like when he was scaring the kids and when he wanted to race the bird. I guess Lisa was a little annoying in the first act, but I can ignore that in a terrible episode like this. Then, the characterizations went down the toilet. I can understand the family being mad at the dog, but the emotion was completely lacking. The characterizations felt very dry and mean-spirit. This all could have lead into siomething more heartwarming, but instead, we get some slapstick moments with the family acting like robots.

    Overall, I can't really take anything positive from this episode. It's disappointing, because this episode should have been decent, but it wasn't and I'm surprised. I really expect better and I actually feel bad for writing this review, but it has to be done. Third worst of the season for me. Better luck next time, writers. 2/5 (FAIL, and I expect this to be pretty much the general consensus around here, at most.)

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    Last edited by D'ohmer; 11-28-2010 at 05:48 PM.
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  3. #3
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    This episode had some great humor and it also had a lot of time wasting moments.

    - Stop with the mini-episode couch gags. Bleh!
    - Homer reading the blotch test cards.

    + The ending was hillarious.
    + Moe confessing about the bird racing being a scam.

    Overall: C+

    I liked all the gags in the intro, especially the couch gag, which was funny and the perfect length.
    - Stop with the mini-episode couch gags. Bleh!

  4. #4
    Card Wars super Amadeus zartok-35's Avatar
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    I missed some of the first two acts, it is the grey cup game afterall, but I liked what I did see. I liked it just enough. Not the most remarkable episode by any means, but quite better than last week. 3.4 out of 5.

    Anyone know who writes? I know Mike Polcino directs, but I missed the writer.
    Last edited by zartok-35; 11-28-2010 at 05:41 PM.


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  5. #5
    Some kind of crazy person McClure's Avatar
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    I watched the first ten minutes, then skipped the middle portion so I could watch BTO play the Grey Cup halftime show. That was great, 5/5 to them.

    This episode, well, from what I saw, not so great. I liked the beginning with the angels bowling and Danica Patrick's appearance was kind of funny, with them beating up Homer. The ending was confusing, but I guess it was supposed to say Bart discovered the wonders of killing birds, so that makes things alright. It seemed like a cheap ending and as soon as they went to the Ostrich farm, we knew exactly what was going to happen.

    Generally, it wasn't that funny of an episode.

  6. #6
    Junior Camper Muskrat's Avatar
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    It was nice to have a more normal episode this week. Nothing, aside maybe from the ending, really felt random or out of place, and it told a single complete story using just the family.

    Still, there wasn't much in the way of humor. Angels bowling might have been humorous in concept, but was really unfunny in execution. There were a few chuckles here and there, though.

    Oh, and I found Bart strangling the ostrich kind of disturbing.

  7. #7


    I once said that this episode has the most moronic title ever. The episode was also quite bland. The first two acts were very slow and did not amount to very much, and the last two acts made little sense. However, it did have a bunch of laugh out loud moments such as two strangling gags in which neither one involved Bart as the victim or Homer as the offender. Bart strangling an ostrich and Homer being strangled by an ostrich made both such scenes an outstanding change of pace. Mr. Burns dancing ballet was also funny especially when Smithers shuts the curtain later. Otherwise, the writers didn't seem to have a straight enough story.

    2/5

  8. #8
    No Life Club Member D'ohmer's Avatar
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    I actually didn't find the couch gag to be long at all, even compared to the most recent ones that I like.

    I have never been a fan of SLH episodes, but not only does is this episode no exception, it sets a new low.

    Oh, BTW, what's up with this tag about me that's been going around? It's in all of these threads for no reason, including this one.
    Edit: Nevermind, it got removed.
    Last edited by D'ohmer; 11-28-2010 at 06:04 PM.

  9. #9
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    For a story that was mostly about birds, the story felt shockingly disjointed and all over the place. I suppose it didn`t help that I wasn`t buying into the directions they took with this. So many underdeveloped ideas. First, the pigeon was Bart`s buddy, then a messenging slave. You don`t really get much of the relationship between those two. Then the dog eats it. I was thinking the story would be about from here on in that Bart would have to choose between saving the bird inside SLH or sticking with his pet dog, but instead it`s a morality story on killing birds. I don`t really know what they were going for here. Bart being upset about losing his new friend I could see, but it didn`t seem that considerately planned. Andto conclude this, just because Bart finds himself in trouble with a rogue ostrich, now things are suddenly okay. Whatever. I guess I didn`t find this story very appealing or convincing.

    Three gags I remember liking: the angel credit card sounding like thunder for some reason, Lenny scintillated with Burns dancing, and Pa being dead. Conversely, we were treated to two more list jokes, an extended couch gag (which would have worked just fine simply with the mouse trap), and the number of other gags they have the propensity to put in where I don`t see the humour.

    On the plus side, I`m convinced the new production line has better HD animation.

    A 2/5 (D), as it could have still been considerably worse as last season showed.
    To view various lists about my Simpsons opinions, click the link below.

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  10. #10
    No Life Club Member D'ohmer's Avatar
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    If it weren't for last week's showing, I would be very worried about this new production line.

  11. #11
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    the itchy and scratchy was pretty good (pluto's judgement day) but the episode was overall meh material.

    enough with the couch gags

    2/5

  12. #12
    Card Wars super Amadeus zartok-35's Avatar
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    Yeah, the Itchy and Scratchy cartoon was great.
    For refference:

  13. #13
    canadian. likes the hockeys arii's Avatar
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    Go Als!

    That episode didn't really know what it wanted to be, did it? A story about a boy and his bird, a boy and his dog... To divvy up all four acts into clear-cut segments that don't really mesh together all that well?

    The beginning was fine, actually the first half of the episode was rather decent. Pretty good gags throughout, and kind of a really fast way to get Bart and the bird to like each other, but not bad at all and a better use of a montage in these later years, they can really work out well when they aren't used all the time. And having the bird send messages back and forth was pretty fun as well.

    Now, I wasn't fully paying attention, but was the bird looking run ragged with all of the messages it was being forced to send? Maybe, instead of having the dog eat it, they could've had the bird simply fly away and not come back. Or collapse out of exhaustion and be lost out in the middle of the street with another broken wing or a broken neck or something, and have Bart simply think it flew away; have him search for it the rest of the episode, or cry to his mom why his beloved bird wouldn't come back, and learn to deal with it. I don't know, but if you're going to make an episode about a boy and his bird - make it about a boy and his bird. There was pretty much no mention of SLH in the first half of the episode, he just jumps in out of nowhere to eat the bird. Which was a fairly well-done scene; hell, even the Danica Patrick thing had its moments, Moe trying to scam Homer out of money was funny, that could be kept and the bird could simply leave during that sequence, Bart could turn back to find an empty coop... But instead SLH leaps in out of nowhere and eats it. No reference to him before this. Suddenly the episode is about a boy and his dog. Not a very good transition.

    The ending was awfully predictable, too. Why is an ostrich farm taking in a greyhound? Okay, that aside, but... you could tell it was going to end up being a life or death situation. The writers have pulled this in the past, I guess because it's more exciting that way? It's not, it's just not that organic. I guess the mere presence of an ostrich farm is supposed to be funny, but... tossing Bart in, and having him strangle the bird and forgiven SLH based on that... Ah, because before, I thought it was going to be something similar, with Bart realizing that, with his dog really about to be given away, he doesn't actually want it, and he'd be willing to get over the bird's death because he just plain loves his dog.

    Instead... he strangles an ostrich. Which was okay, I mean, the visual was funny and Homer being into it was pretty hilarious. Great ending gag, too.

    So overall? I dunno. I guess the episode was mostly just... there. It happened. It was like two different stories with a thin thread connecting them that wasn't strong enough to do it properly. Mostly good gags throughout, though. Just some stronger storytelling would've really helped this one out a lot.

  14. #14
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arii View Post
    But instead SLH leaps in out of nowhere and eats it. No reference to him before this. Suddenly the episode is about a boy and his dog. Not a very good transition.
    In the background, SLH was jumping up and trying to grab butterflies out of the air prior to attacking the pigeon.

  15. #15
    NHC's fly on the wall treehouse of hutz I, II, & III's Avatar
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    I didn't like this one. The first act was good, although the scary story in the beginning, while not a bad idea, just wasn't funny. These days, I'm never sure what type of character the writers are trying to make out of Homer. There's the jackass Homer in particular episodes and others when they tone him down and make him down to earth. In this scene, he's telling a scary story to the kids which is good, but just being generally down to earth doesn't mean automatic correct-execution. I just feel like even if he's in his right mode, you still need to make it feel natural and in this case I thought it was strange how into the story he was telling. I don't want him to be smug, but they should have made him tell the story in a more half-assed, dumb way and have the kids be more aware of how unrealistic it is. Yeah, they're kids and I'm not saying they shouldn't be scared, but I just didn't prefer the angle of Homer having this power of fear over them. It's probably why I love the scene of him telling the scary story at the halloween party in THOH III. Anyway though, this is just me getting a bit nitpicky and by no means is it the reason I disliked the episode.

    The episode opens up with a pigeon crashing through the window and they set it up where Bart has to care for it. It's not bad and I thought the writers made good use of this plot in the first half of the episode. I liked the messaging scenes with the bird, and even how Lisa held some kind of phobia against pigeons. In the span of the scenes where the bird was alive, what I thought was unnecessary was Marge drinking the worm guts (couldn't they just tease the idea of her drinking the worms, like by having her walk off screen with the full cup and coming back with an empty one to finish off what's left only for them to reveal that she's dumping the guts in the garbage, outside or something?) and the exchange between Marge and Lisa near the front window. Not only did they open with a dragged out list joke, but the opposum bit was just plain bad. There's nothing tastless about it, but it was just a poor attempt at humor.
    I liked the idea of the writers teasing the audience with the possibility that they would take the pigeon plot into a cliche', gimmicky, racing-bird direction, only to have SLH swallow the bird whole. That was a nice, conflicting act break, and I agree that Moe's scam comment was a nice topper.

    When we come back though and resume the next act we see the family holding a funeral for the bird. Did they seriously have Bart's friends take the role of a quire with legit cloaks? Were they wearing their Sunday's best? Give me a break. The episode gets pretty bad from here. I don't care how long they took developing the relationship between Bart and this bird, but it wasn't enough or at least done well enough for me to buy that he was about to get rid of his dog. I can understand him being upset at first, and possibly throughout the rest of the week, but the way he was treating SLH was unlikable. I feel like the old Bart would not be as whiny about this. I know that they're trying to show us his sympathetic side which they always do so well, but this here felt like too much.

    The ending might be the worst of them all. How dumb is this family that they are willing to give up their family pet over something so instinctual just because some random therapist told them to do so? Bart was acting so arrogant towards SLH from the funeral and all the way up to the drive over to the ostrich farm, yet when it's time to go, he makes a quick and complete transformation and has a heart to heart with his dog. Then we get one of the most forced, terribly executed endings in recent years, where our Homer gets into a physical conflict with an ostrich which causes the irritated ostrich to escape. Did I mention how convenient it is that they are giving SLH away to a lady running an ostrich farm? As if "the dog saves the day" resolution isn't cheesy enough, they actually force Bart's dialogue to say the words, "Kill the bird!". Who says that? Why would Bart jump to the conclusion to kill it when they could easily herd it off or distract it. The only reason they did this is to bring the conflict of Bart's demands of "Don't kill birds" and "Kill this bird" to the forefront so that everything can return to normal. It's not that everything returns to normal; that's fine, but how lazy the path was constructed to get there.

    This whole episode I'm seeing this side of Bart I've never seen before where he holds strong morals (that I don't necessarily agree with, but that's beside the point) throughout where he is absolutely against killing even if it's by the nature of a more primal creature, only for him to be fine with it as easily as flipping a coin on it's opposite side when it's he, Bart, that's in trouble.

    I just found myself genuinely not being able to enjoy this episode. There were alot of bad gags here than usual late Jean episodes, and everything else was pretty unmemorable. All I know is I didn't laugh or smirk, and I found the plot to be more of an obstacle in the end. 1/5.
    Last edited by treehouse of hutz I, II, & III; 11-29-2010 at 01:04 PM.

  16. #16
    canadian. likes the hockeys arii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Jake View Post
    In the background, SLH was jumping up and trying to grab butterflies out of the air prior to attacking the pigeon.
    I'm referring to the first half of the episode.

  17. #17
    Got milk? Snaked's Avatar
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    What I didn't like (From Memory):
    -Moe trying to scam the family out of their house with a fake pigeon race, just another reason to enforce my disgust & displeasure with the character.
    -Marge coming back to drink more of the Worm shake.
    -The bit with Milhouse and how he kept asking if Bart forgives him after he accidently destroyed his F1 racer, thinking it was a transformer (including the impossible nature of the 2 eyes).
    -The bird cage Homer tried to build breaking down and packaging itself magically into it's box.
    -Any scene involving Nelson and how his mother is dating his b-day clown (actually, just the part when he's one of the choir members at Ray's funeral when he asks his mother how well he sang and how he was not ready to let the clown into his life).
    -Groups Lisa listed in which she was a member of which share the same acronyms with Real World groups.

    What I did like (From Memory):
    -Bart strangling the Ostrich.

    Overall a 3/5 should do it.
    Last edited by Snaked; 11-28-2010 at 06:52 PM.


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  18. #18
    Come back, Zinc!! Sniper Squirrel's Avatar
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    not that good, didn't like them going from story to story, especially the SLH endig being thrown together and Lisa's subplot going nowhere
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  19. #19
    No Life Club Member D'ohmer's Avatar
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    So, uh, Lisa's weakness is pigeons, eh?

    In my next lifetime, I want to be a pigeon in The Simpsons world!

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    Wait a minute! If Lisa hates pigeons, then why was she so upset when they died in Bart the Mother?

    Gosh, I watch too much Simpsons, lol.
    Last edited by D'ohmer; 11-28-2010 at 07:08 PM.

  20. #20
    canadian. likes the hockeys arii's Avatar
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    Gosh, shut the fuck up, lol.

  21. #21
    catchin' some gnarly pounders comeau's Avatar
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    I'm more worried about how it's shown in this episode how Bart and Milhouse are in some sort of feud, and not even five minutes later they are seen exchanging messages between each other reminiscent of AIM. Did they really make up that fast, or did the writers just "forget" about it?

    I sure hope someone got fired for that blunder.

  22. #22


    There may have been a few funny jokes, but overall a very unpleasant dud. 1.5 or 2 out of 5.

  23. #23
    Junior Camper noaizuma's Avatar
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    I really only liked the the reaction of Homer as Bart was strangling the bird. It seemed to me as though Homer was proud of son's strangling technique; almost as though THATS the reason he's been wrapping his hands around the boys neck all these years.

    I also liked the animation on the wire fence rolling up. That looked like a tricky piece of work and the animators made it look great.

    Over all I feel the episode would have worked alot better if the Lisa plot line and Bart plot line had converged at the end in a single event; much in the way as they began with a single event. Instead, as noted by others, the Lisa plot simply disappeared. Thats too bad, as the pacing of the show feels a little worse off for it.

    I add my dislike of the whole long couch gag. The show already has lost a significant amount of time from seasons past. I'd prefer seeing a main plot line with a small (as in 5 minutes of the episode) B plot line running in the back ground.

  24. #24
    King of the Rock Bottom The Sovereign's Avatar
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    yeah, that homer fist pump made the scene

    I also laughed at Homer's "Why don't you support my gibberish? I'd support you if you were stupid"

    otherwise.....pretty bad

  25. #25
    Junior Camper noaizuma's Avatar
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    {I also laughed at Homer's "Why don't you support my gibberish? I'd support you if you were stupid"}


    I forgot all about that joke, that one was pretty good to.

  26. #26
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    I assume Gregg Berger voiced at least one of the animals - what, was Frank Welker busy?

    (I only point out Berger because (a) I think it's his first "appearance" on the show, and (b) he's probably better known as the voice of Cornfed on Duckman, which had an episode that ended with everybody being chased away by a ghost, which turned out to be Homer (yes, voiced by Dan) under a sheet.)

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  27. #27
    Card Wars super Amadeus zartok-35's Avatar
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    Gregg Berger has been the voice of Odie in numerous Garfield programmes and specials over the past 25 years, quite capable and experienced in making dog noises. With that in mind, I suspect he does SLH.

  28. #28
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    I normally don't make sweeping generalizations about episodes, but this episode just felt pointless. I mean, you can say that about any episode, but I reached a point where I thought "why am I watching this?" I laughed at maybe two or three jokes, but the plot just seemed beyond uninteresting to me.

    The ending where Bart beats up a bird is sort of a dumb way of showing him as a hypocrite. The ostrich was attacking him. SLH simply ate the pigeon. What harm did it do? It just didn't add up. D+ or 1.75/5


    P.S.- The opening sequence was pretty funny, sans couch gag.

  29. #29


    I really don't know what to think of this one. It wasn't as bad or offensive as some of the other episodes this season, and I actually did laugh a good amount. However, the plot was a mess, especially after the story decided to change gears completely halfway through.

    This is definitely one of the more jumbled plots this season. We start out with a story about a boy and his bird, which goes reasonably well, even though we really didn't need two musical montage moments. Then the business about the pigeon race started up, and I was dreading what the show would turn into from here, a semi-sweet pet story morphing into a wacky race sequence was not what I wanted. I give the writers a little credit for coming up with a twist and direction that I didn't see coming at all, but in the end the twist killed the plot (pun intended). Now we have to deal with a story about Bart being depressed about his bird and being angry with his dog. If anything, I saw more potential with the idea of just exploring Bart's sadness of losing his friend and how it was affecting him and those around him (I actually thought that scene with Homer, Marge, and Skinner was pretty funny and would lead to something better), instead all the focus turns into how Bart hates Santa's Little Helper for following his animal instincts. Finally, we get the climax, and again I thought I knew where it was going, but it ended up feeling forced and unfocused. I thought maybe Santa's Little Helper would learn not to attack birds anymore simply because the ostriches would scare him straight, maybe even putting him in danger and forcing Bart to confront the fact that he still cares about his dog. But instead we get a pretty silly climax where Bart just fights off the bird himself, it was admittedly funny, but it didn't fit well with the themes of the episode.

    Despite all that jumbled junk however, I just can't dislike this episode, because I found it quite funny. The Itchy and Scratchy cartoon was great and stylish, as was Homer's ghost story at the beginning (kudos to Dan Castellaneta for his very good voice work there), and visual gags like Bart and Homer "playing catch" or Millhouse's eyes behind the fence were very funny. And again, they go undeveloped, but Skinner's meeting with Homer and Marge and Lisa's fear of pigeons were both pretty funny. So once again, we have a very sub-par story, but the humor does save it a bit for me, which is why I'm conflicted. It wasn't good, it wasn't bad, I guess I have to call this once average, though very uneven and it's not hard to see why so many people so far didn't like it. 3/5
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  30. #30
    Profound Sadness Kiyosuki's Avatar
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    You know it really wasn't bad...it was a great idea and I was rather enjoying it, until the pigeon gets eaten. Then it just goes downhill from there fast after the funeral, and becomes a completely different kind of episode. Even Homer feels like two different human beings before and after. It's like a bi-polar episode.

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