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Beads in Animated Cartoons

 A Loony Tunes set in an "Indian" village had a "papoose" buy rain pills and pay for them with beads. The "Snake Oil Man" who sold them muttered, Beads -- I think you're stringing me [along], but here you are. Fortunately, they brought rain.

High marks go to "The Simpsons," as the series often mentions beads. In one episode, Bart is jealous of the attention his friend Milhouse is giving Samantha. Bart squeals on them to her dad, who reacts like any well-adjusted American parent - he puts her in an orphanage. The brokenhearted Milhouse goes to see her and during the tryst tries to kiss her, but Samantha puts him off by saying, I better not, Milhouse -- it's fifty rosaries a kiss. Talk about punishment!

The series uses beads to distinguish some characters. How do you tell Marge's twin sisters apart? Yep, by their beads. Selma wears oblong ones and round earrings and Patty wears round beads and triangular earrings. When she married Troy McClure (Phil Hartman did his voice) both her beads and earrings changed to diamond shapes. Marge doesn't wear earrings, but you can spot her a mile away anyway.

In the episode Summer of 4'2" Lisa makes friends with a group of kids at the beach. They are mostly boys, one of whom wears a three-bead necklace. The girl of the group gave Lisa a friendship bracelet she made. After some thought, Lisa made one for the girl of shells (Turritella). Lisa's friend smells the necklace and instantly identifies the string, Oh, cinnamon dental floss.

In Homer the Vigilante a cat burglar steals Marge's beads.
She wails,
They're precious Bouvier heirlooms.
Homer: You've probably got a drawer full of them.
Marge: Well, yes, I do. Whereupon she takes out an entire roll of beads, pulls out a strand and puts it on. This is not exactly what heirloom beads are about.

Marge's (and baby Maggie's) real names are likely Margaret, which comes from the Greek and Latin margarite, "pearl" and by extension "bead."
 (Hence, the Margaretologist, our journal.)

The older series, "The Flintstones," used beads to distinguish characters and their social standing. Wilma wore a necklace of beads, while her friend Betty Rubble, donned a ribbon with a pendant. The beads and pendant were crude. Only wealthy women in had well-shaped beads.

Note: one or more images on this page may be copyrighted. I believe their use is covered by the "fair use" clause (Section 107) of the U.S. Copyright Law. If any copyright holder informs me in writing that the use is not fair, I shall remove the image in question.


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