THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 There’s No Disgrace Like Home VS. Dead Putting Society


“Hahaha. They haven’t changed a bit, have they?” -Troy McClure in The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular


  • 640px-Simpson,HomerFamilyGuideEpisode: There’s No Disgrace Like Home
  • Aired: January 28, 1990
  • Writers: Al Jean & Mike Reiss

WOW. What can I say about this episode. Well, on the positive side, at least they got the characters names right. As we can see in the card pictured to the left. Because they certainly didn’t get anything else right.  Wow does this episode ever suck. I mean wow. This is awful. Just awful. This gives the modern day episodes a run for their money in the suckitude department.

There’s so much wrong with this episode, I don’t know where to start. Basically no one behaves in character in this episode. NO ONE.  Except maybe Bart. Lisa is pretty much just a female Bart. Playing pranks and being a brat.


Meanwhile, Marge gets drunk at the Nuclear Power Plant family picnic thingy and embarrasses Homer. Yes, you heard right. Marge is the one who gets drunk in public and embarrasses Homer.

640px-MargeApplausingDrunk 640px-MargeDrunkAtPicnic 640px-MargeSingsWhileDrunkOnPunch 640px-TheFamilyDrivingHomeAfterThePicnic

Oh look, it’s The Flanders. Oh wait, no it isn’t.


Back at home, Marge and the kids eat TV dinners in the living room while watching TV. Marge even puts her feet up on the couch because as we all know, she’s such a couch potato. And look how inattentive she is to Maggie. She always regretted having that third child. Two was enough. Thankfully, Homer, our ever responsible father figure, enters the room and shuts off the TV so that his family can eat at the table and talk about their day.

640px-MargeAndMaggieEatingDinnerAndWatchingADocumentary640px-BartAndLisaEatingAndWatchingADocumentary  640px-TheTVBeforeHomerSwitchesItOff640px-TheFamilyEatingAtTheTableLikeANormalFamily

As you can see in the final panel, Homer is all smiles and eager to have a pleasant family discussion. Unfortunately his family is too consumed with stuffing their faces.  Tisk, tisk. Why can those gluttons be more like Homer?

After seeing an advertisement for Dr.Marvin Monroe, Homer PAWNS THE TELEVISION SET in order to pay for Family Counselling.  Good ol’ Homer. Always putting his family’s needs ahead of his love for television. That’s our Homer!

7g04_016“The answers to life’s problems aren’t at the bottom of a bottle. They’re on TV!” -Homer. One of the few memorable lines from this otherwise forgettable episode.

The Clockwork Orange parody in Dr. Marvin Monroe’s office with the shock therapy treatment is the only redeemable thing about this entire episode. Probably one of the more famous scenes during the early years of the show.

7g04_021 7g04_023 7g04_024 7g04_027

The most interesting and notable scene in this episode, however, involves Homer talking to Moe about Homer’s MOTHER.

Homer: My mother once told me, ‘Homer, you’re a big disappointment’. And, God bless her soul, she was really onto something.

This marks the first and, I believe, ONLY, mention of Homer’s mother until she returns in Season 7. And the woman who returns in that episode doesn’t seem to match up at all with the woman Homer describes here. Plus, in that later, far superior, episode, we learn Homer’s mother left him when he was just a small child. So how could she say he was a ‘big disappointment’ when he’d only been alive a few years. Okay, I’m nit picking, but that line about his mother only makes this episode feel even more dated than it already was.

Overall, this episode sucks. I mean, I’ve seen episodes suck before, but this was the suckiest episode that ever sucked. That being said, I can forgive them. Unlike the modern day episodes, which have no excuse for sucking as bad as they do, or for even being on the air, here the show was still in its infancy and trying to find it’s voice. “No Disgrace Like Home” is a perfect example of the growing pains of the first season, and of an episode that doesn’t stand the test of time. But it was fun to look back at how far they’ve come. At least you get some enjoyment out of that. Unlike watching the new episodes where you just feel depressed looking at how far they’ve fallen.


  • Dead_Putting_Society_80Episode: Dead Putting Society
  • Aired: November, 15, 1990
  • Written by: Jeff Martin


  • “Hey, Flanders, it’s no use praying. I already did the same thing, and we can’t both win.” Homer, to Flanders.Ah, the 50-50 nature of praying. Praying, wishing wells, four leaf clovers, pick your superstition and hope for the best.

This seems like a good a time as any, to take a bit of a detour from our regularly scheduled programming, to bring you this George Carlin routine:

“I’ve often thought people treat God rather rudely, don’t you? Asking trillions and trillions of prayers every day. And most of this praying takes place on Sunday. His day off. It’s no way to treat a friend. But people do pray, your sister needs an operation on her crotch, your brother was arrested for defecating in a mall. And I say, fine. Pray for anything you want, but what about the Divine Plan? Remember that? The Divine Plan. Long time ago, God made a Divine Plan. Gave it a lot of thought, decided it was a good plan, put it into practice. And for billions and billions of years, the Divine Plan has been doing just fine. Now, you come along, and pray for something. Well suppose the thing you want isn’t in God’s Divine Plan? What do you want Him to do? Change His plan? Just for you? Doesn’t it seem a little arrogant? It’s a Divine Plan. What’s the use of being God if every run-down shmuck with a two-dollar prayerbook can come along and fuck up Your Plan? And suppose your prayers aren’t answered. What do you say? “Well, it’s God’s will. “Thy Will Be Done.” Fine, but if it’s God’s will, and He’s going to do what He wants to anyway, why the fuck bother praying in the first place? Seems like a big waste of time to me! Couldn’t you just skip the praying part and go right to His Will? It’s all very confusing.” ~ George Carlin. The greatest of all time

Anyhoo, now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

In “Dead Putting Society”, Homer, like a lot of  bad fathers, is vicariously living through his son. Primarily so he can feel better about himself and his own life in comparison to Ned Flanders.  It all starts when Homer is invited over to the Flanders house. Homer feels Ned is flaunting how much better his family has it in life.


Homer: You’ve been rubbing my nose in it since I got here! Your family is better than my family, your beer comes from further away than my beer, you and your son like each other, your wife’s butt is higher than my wife’s butt, you make me sick!

That night, Homer is tossing and turning in his sleep, still fuming over what Flanders said. Or, in this case, implied.

Dead_Putting_Society_13 Dead_Putting_Society_15

Homer: He said, that… he said … well it wasn’t so much what he said, it was how he said it.
Marge: Well how did he say it?
Homer: Well, he..
Marge: Was he angry?
Homer: No.
Marge: Was he rude?
Homer: Okay, it wasn’t how he said it either. But the message was loud and clear. Our family stinks!

Meanwhile Flanders is also tossing and turning, losing sleep over how he exploded with rage and through Homer out of his house. Even though, he really did no such thing. So he calls Reverend Lovejoy in the wee hours of the morning for some advice.

Dead_Putting_Society_18 Dead_Putting_Society_19 Dead_Putting_Society_20

Flanders writes a heartfelt letter to Homer and slides it under his door that night. The next morning, Homer reads the letter aloud to his family who are all deeply touched by Ned’s letter. Nah, I’m just kiddin’. They laugh their asses off.

Dead_Putting_Society_21 Dead_Putting_Society_26Dead_Putting_Society_24 Dead_Putting_Society_25 

Homer: You are my brother. Ahahaha. I love you. Ahahehehe. And yet, I feel a great sadness…in my bosom! AHAHAHAHAHA!

Even Marge chuckles at ‘Bosom’ once the rest of the family leaves the room. Bosom! Ahahaha!


After Ned’s olive branch is rejected, and Homer and Ned’s competitiveness reaches a fever pitch, Ned ends up writing a very different kind of letter: a contract, which thankfully didn’t have to be written in blood, regarding a wager made between the two Dad’s on the outcome of the mini-golf tournament. The father of the loser, or “the boy who doesn’t win”, has to mow the others lawn in his wifes favorite Sunday dress.  Game on.


In preparation for the big tournament, Bart gets help from both Homer and Lisa, who favor very different teaching methods. Lisa focuses on the mathematics of the game and helping Bart clear his mind.


Lisa: I want you to shut off the logical part of your mind.
Bart: Okay.
Lisa: Embrace nothingness.
Bart: You got it.
Lisa: Become like an uncarved stone.
Bart: Done.
Lisa: Bart! You’re just pretending to know what I’m talking about!
Bart: True.
Lisa: Well it’s very frustrating!
Bart: I’ll bet.

Only after explaining to him the philosophical thought experiment, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”, does she get through to him. Now he is ready to begin.  (cue Eye of The Tiger)


Meanwhile, Homer, favors a very different, far more direct approach.


“Son, this is the only time I’m ever gonna say this. It is not okay to lose.”

Needless to say, Homer is a terrible golf instructor. But I love how Homer’s mannerisms and body movements are identical to the mechanical monkey behind him.

Dead_Putting_Society_34 Dead_Putting_Society_367f08_009

Now comes the big day. Of course, it all comes down to Bart and Todd. And after an evenly matched game, they decide they are both equally good and are going to call the game a draw at the final hole.

Dead_Putting_Society_88 Dead_Putting_Society_92 Dead_Putting_Society_93

Ned is moved to tears by his sons gesture. Homer also sheds a few tears. But for very different reasons.

“They’re both losers! Losers!”- Homer, weeping over the result.

Since neither boy won, both Homer and Ned have to mow the others lawn in their wife’s dress. If it’s any consolation prize, from the looks of their lawnmowers, at least Homer will have the better lawn.

Dead_Putting_Society_94Dead_Putting_Society_95Dead_Putting_Society_99  ___________________________________


Well, this one was never in doubt. No suspense here. Unlike Bart and Todd’s miniature golf game, the match between these two episodes was not quite so evenly matched. No need for a tie here. We have a clear winner. “Dead Putting Society” gets the win. And while it’s far from an all-time classic, it is head and shoulders above “There’s No Disgrace Like Home”.

In fact, even if “Dead Putting Society” had been a mediocre episode it still would have won by a wide margin. Much like Bart’s participation trophy on his bookshelf, “Dead Putting Society” wins simply by showing up.


For up to date tournament results, click here:

The Best Episode Thingy There Ever Was



7f15_018 7f17_006 

In this match-up, Patty & Grampa each find love. Thankfully not with each other. This is the real Simpsons, none of that modern crap Rome-old and Juli-eh.


  • 7f15_019Episode: Principal Charming
  • Aired: February 14, 1991
  • Writer: David Stern


While this episode isn’t exactly a classic, it does represent what I think is a real turning point in the series. This is the first episode to put three secondary characters in the lead roles. Here, the Simpson family take a backseat to Patty, Selma, and Principal Skinner.  And all three are more than capable of carrying the episode. And for that, this often forgotten episode deserves a second look from fans.

  • Happy Hour at Moe’s is only a half-hour. And we get our first appearance of Hans Moleman. Although his drivers license  says his name is Ralph Melish.


Homer (to Marge): “I’ve got five words for you. (counting on his four fingers) Greasy-Joe’s-Bottomless-Barbeque-(moves to his next hand) Pit.” The restaurant Homer recommends after hearing about it from Barney.

7f15_000 7f15_001

If Marge has to go to Greasy Joe’s for Homer, then there’s something she needs him to do for her.  Find a suitable husband for her sister Selma. So Homer sets out in search for a man for his sister-in-law, sizing up everyone he sees with a “Terminator” style robotic scan.

7f15_008 7f15_009  Skinner-Display02-14 

However, when Skinner sees Patty first, he is instantly smitten for the wrong sister. In retrospect, Homer probably should have chose Ms.Finch. She might have been more to Patty’s liking. But Patty is still in the closet at this point, so Skinner it is. I like how Homer thinks homosexual is pronounced Homer Sexual.

The movie references don’t stop there however.  We also get a Gone With The Wind spoof, and, what I feel is the best Hitchcock movie of all time, Vertigo. Although Rear Window is a close second.


“After all, tomorrow is another school day!”-Skinner


Patty Bouvier is no Kim Novak, but Skinner makes a good Jimmy Stewart.


Even though this episode contains a Vertigo reference, one of the most beautiful looking movies ever filmed, my favorite shot in this episode is a simple shot of Selma sitting alone at the kitchen table. The animation is terrific. The use of shadows, the little trail of smoke coming from her cigarette, her gloomy expression, the dim patch of light shining in from the other room. It all works.


After Skinner falls for Patty, Selma has to choose between loneliness and dating Barney Gumble. Beggers can’t be choosers I guess. While Selma’s forced to take the Barney guarding job in her darkest moment, Skinner proposes to Patty in dramatic fashion atop the bell tower.

7f15_024 7f15_025 7f15_0177f15_026

I love Chief Wiggum in the background trying to talk a jumper out of committing suicide. I believe that’s in the opening credits to “Cops: In Springfield”.  I’ll have to make a mental note of it for when I get to that episode. Now back to regularly scheduled programming.

While Patty would probably like to marry Skinner, she can’t stand the thought of her sister being alone. Or worse, with Barney. Patty may be no Kim Novak in the looks department, but she is a very good sister.  That’s more than I can say for Selma, who, in later episodes, is more than willing to trade in her sister for a man. Any man. Be it Sideshow Bob, Troy McClure, or whoever. When Selma gets married in  those later episodes, all she wants to hear from her sister Patty is that she’s “dying of jealousy”. Apparently Patty cares more about Selma than Selma does about her. Maybe they’re not so alike after all.

Than again, it’s possible Patty just had no interest in Skinner at all, and only told him all that stuff about having to be loyal to her sister to spare his feelings. Or, and this is a bit of a stretch, maybe Patty turned him down because she was in fact, even at this early stage of the series, a lesbian. She does come out of the closet years later, so perhaps the Simpsons writers had that planned all along. Or she just thought Skinner was a dud. Who knows.


  • 7f17_004Episode: Old Money
  • Aired: March 28, 1991
  • Writers: Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky


Grampa falls in love with Bea, a woman from his retirement home, but he’s unable be with her on her birthday because Homer drags him along with the family to “Discount Lion Safari”, for one of those forced family Sunday outings that are supposed to be fun but are really just an excuse for your family to spend some time together, even though you’d all much rather be somewhere else. Those family outings where everything is so carefully planned out as to make sure no actual fun will take place. We’ve all been there. Or was that just my family?

“Anybody else notice this place sucks.” Bart


At first, Grampa refuses to on the stupid family outing, because he wants to be with his Girlfriend, Bea. Homer mocks the idea of Grampa having a girlfriend. You have to hate Homer in this scene. He is at his condescending worst. Not only does he mock the existence of Bea, but he’s so busy going through the motions of the family’s carefully planned out Sunday outing, that he forgets the whole point of the day was to do what Grampa wanted to do. But the family has no interest in what Grampa actually wants, instead they tell him what he wants.


Unfortunately for Grampa, he will never get that time with Bea, because upon returning home from the crappy Safari Homer forced him to go to, Grampa is informed that Bea died while he was away. At the funeral, Grampa vows never to speak to his son again. I like the animation during the funeral scene. It so rarely rains in the Simpsons. Although it always seems to be raining whenever a funeral takes place.

7f17_012 7f17_014

After Bea’s death, which would have had a lot more impact if she had been a regular character at the retirement home up to this point, or even if we had known anything about her, Grampa inherits her fortune and decides to give it away to the person most deserving.

Lisa: That’s the noblest thing I’ve ever heard.
Bart: Give it to us, Grampa.

Some of the people standing in line for Grampa’s money include Darth Vader & The Joker.  And after wrapping up his report, Kent Brockman himself gets in line. I’m surprised he didn’t cut in front of some people while he was at it.


Springfieldians come out of the woodwork in hopes of landing Grampa’s money. Including Otto, and, in his first appearance, Professor Frink. I never noticed how similar Jasper and Otto sound until this episode.

7f17_019 7f17_021

Grampa realizes there are just too many people in need of help, and he doesn’t have enough money to help them all. So he goes to Vegas in hopes of doubling his money. But Homer, in what won’t be his last time saving a family member from a gambling problem, stops his father from making a big mistake. Grampa doesn’t win anything in Vegas, but Homer wins back his father’s love.

7f17_025 7f17_026

And that’s when it hits him. The answer to Grampa’s money problem has been staring back at him this whole time.


He spends the money on his fellow retirees by renovating the dilapidated Springfield Retirement Castle.

7f17_028 7f17_029

“Dignity’s on me friends.”- Grampa



Patty may have said no to marrying Principal Skinner, but I say Yes to “Principal Charming” moving on to the next round. Loved the Vertigo references, and it’s an important turning point in the creative direction of the show.

And after all, tomorrow is another episode thingy day.


For up-to-date tournament results, click here:

The Best Episode Thingy There Ever Was

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1: Bart vs. Thanksgiving VS. Homer vs. Lisa & The 8th Commandment

opening imageopening image2

In Bart vs. Thanksgiving, Bart ruins the holiday for the entire family and runs away from home. While in Homer vs. Lisa & The Eighth Commandment, Homer becomes the most popular guy in town, thanks to an illegal cable hook-up which has Lisa fearing the entire family is going to spend….”Life In Hell”!


  • Frame078Episode: Bart vs. Thanksgiving
  • Aired: November, 22, 1990
  • Written by: George Meyer


While picking up Grampa from the Springfield Retirement Castle, Homer listens to “Hooray For Everything”, the singing group of ethnically diverse young people performing at the halftime show. They perform a cover of the song “Get Dancin” in salute to the Western Hemisphere: the dancinest hemisphere of all! Homer taps his hands on the steering wheel and blinks his headlights to the beat.

hqdefaultbartvsthanksgiving11_thumb 7f07_007

Along with the football game, Homer and Bart also watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade which includes a Bart Simpson balloon.


Bart sings “Mom it’s broken/ Mom it’s broken” while trying to open the cranberry sauce with the can opener. I like how happy-go-lucky the entire family is in these early scenes, especially Bart. Sometimes the worst days in our lives begin so innocently enough. So many great kitchen scenes in this episode as they prepare the Thanksgiving dinner, including Marge’s mother peering in the kitchen window when she arrives at the house.

bartvsthankgiving6 7f07_008

The turkey in Lisa’s centerpiece looks suspiciously like Homer. 


And that’s when everything goes to hell. Bart enters the room with his own centerpiece: the turkey dinner. With no room for both on the table, Lisa’s centerpiece ends up in the fireplace. Is this a result of a subconscious resentment towards his sister on Bart’s part, or just an accident? Depends on which sibling you ask.


Bart and Lisa may have different interpretations of what happened, but they both have the same reaction. Separated by only a wall, yet worlds apart, Bart and Lisa both spend Thanksgiving dinner alone in their rooms. Clearly neither wanted the day to go this way. We’ve all had those days where we were so looking forward to a certain event, only to have it ruined by an argument based on nothing but a simple miscommunication. Bart clearly didn’t intend to destroy his sister’s centerpiece. This could all be resolved by Bart knocking on her door and apologizing. But, Bart would rather the family think he’s a bad kid who did what he did on purpose than show his true feelings to his sister. We’ve all been in that spot. Especially at that age. So he sneaks out his window and runs away from home.

a aa (2)

One of my favorite shots is of the rest of the family sitting down to dinner with two very noticeably empty seats.


Grampa: Homer was never stubborn. He always folded instantly as if he had no will of his own. Isn’t that true, Homer?
Homer: Yes, Dad.

“I saw the best meals of my generation destroyed by spiky-haired demons.” Lisa, referencing Bart as she composes her poem “Howl of the Unappreciated” while poetry collections from Poe, Ginsberg, and Kerouac sit on her bookshelf.


While writing is Lisa’s therapy, Bart clears his head by wandering the streets with Santa’s Little Helper. But as Day fades into Night, Bart’s hunger grows. He needs food. Quick!

Bart donates his blood for $12, then goes to a soup kitchen where they are serving Thanksgiving Dinner to the homeless. Realizing just how good he’s got it, a remorseful Bart offers the money he got from his blood donation to the homeless men. Meanwhile, back home, Homer and Marge see Bart on the news at a soup kitchen where Kent Brockman is delivering a self-serving commentary on Thanksgiving.
Homer immediately calls the police. Little do they know, Bart is already home. He’s hiding on the roof. He clearly wants to go back inside and have things be the way they were before he screwed everything up, he’s just too stubborn. And scared. He imagines the family mocking him as he grovels for forgiveness while they blame him for all there problems. Terrific animation in this scene.
7f07_018 opening image
It’s not until he hears his sister’s tears coming from her room, that Bart finally reaches out. It never occurred to him that his family might actually be worried about him. Even miss him.

Lisa joins her brother on the roof where the two siblings talk about what happened. At first, Bart’s still too stubborn to apologize, but eventually comes to understand that he destroyed something she had worked hard on. He apologizes and Lisa is more than happy to accept. Not quite the nightmarish scenario he had built up in his imagination. All that hiding and running away for nothing. Isn’t that always the case?


Finally, the family are able to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, albeit an 11 p.m. Although it’s suspiciously bright out for 11 pm. There’s no big turkey to carve. No centerpiece on the table. Only leftovers. Yet this is the richest Thanksgiving dinner they’ll ever have. Bart realizes how thankful he is to have a family who cares about him, warm food on the table, and a roof over his head. While the family are just thankful to have Bart home safe and sound.
Happy Thanksgiving! Hooray For Everything indeed.
  • 7f13_016Episode: Homer vs. Lisa & The 8th Commandment
  • Aired: February 7, 1991
  • Written by: Steve Pepoon
  • “I have an announcement to make: The Simpsons have cable!”-Homer
  • “Nothing a month? Yeah, I think we can swing that.” Homer, to Marge, on affording cable.
After Flanders rejects the offer for an illegal cable hook-up, Homer jumps in the street to get the attention of the corrupt cable workman in a parody of a scene in the Hitchcock film “North By Northwest”. “
I love this time lapse of the family enjoying cable. First we see the family enjoying the cable. Then just Homer. Then just Homer’s ass groove.
7f13_005 7f13_006 7f13_007
Lisa is noticeably absent during all of these scenes, as she is protesting her father’s illegal actions by not watching the free cable.  As the family sit on the couch gazing at all the wonders that early 90’s cable TV offered, Lisa has envisions her family burning in hell.
7f13_012 opening image2
One of the programs Homer watches is an infomercial hosted by Troy McClure called “I Can’t Believe They Invented It!” So essentially, Homer “purchased” cable from a con-man cable guy so that he could watch an infomercial featuring two other con-artists, sellout actor Troy McClure, and phony physician Dr.Nick. I have a feeling whatever money Homer is going to save by stealing cable, he is going to lose even more from buying crappy infomercial products.
7f13_010 7f13_011
Despite Lisa’s objections and Marge’s concerns, Homer puts his foot down. Literally. The cable stays.
Homer invites people over to watch “The Bout to Knock the Other Guy Out!” on pay-per-view. Of course, Homer doesn’t actually have to pay. As more and more moochers pile in to the Simpson living room to watch the fight for free, the actual Simpson family assembles on the front lawn in support of Lisa’s protest. Homer begrudgingly agrees to join them.
An episode that began with Homer kissing the cable wire that brought him so much joy, ends with him cutting the very same wire in what is probably the first example of Homer sacrificing something he loves for the daughter he loves far more. Albeit begrudgingly.
  • My one minor beef with this episode is the basis for Lisa’s protest. She’s morally opposed to the free cable, not only because her father is stealing, but also out of fear of the religious consequences it will have on her family. Basically, she’s afraid they’re all going to Hell. I realize it’s early in the series and in each characters development, and that Lisa is only 8, but as a science minded person it’s hard to imagine her taking the fear of Hell so seriously. Then again, she is just a child, so perhaps it’s actually a MORE accurate representation of her character as opposed to the super genius she’s portrayed to be in later seasons. Either way, I feel they could have based her objection to the illegal cable solely on the fact that it’s against the law. The religious aspects of her protest seemed rather unnecessary. I would have had Marge be the one to express any religious concerns. After all, in “Homer The Heretic”, Marge tells Homer, “please don’t make me choose between my man and my God.” And instead of Lisa envisioning the family in Hell, in my version it would have been Marge envisioning Homer in Hell.
  • While I only had one minor beef with “Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment”, I didn’t have any beefs at all with “Bart vs. Thanksgiving.” And as is often the case when it comes to choosing between two classic Simpsons episodes that contain so many positives, sometimes the only way to render a verdict is to go with the one with the fewest foibles. And seeing as how it is Thanksgiving in the United States, “Bart vs.Thanksgiving” gets the win. Oh, who am I kidding, it’s all because of Hooray For Everything.
 Happy Thanksgiving. “Get Dancin'”.



Bart and Mr.Burns cross paths in both these episodes, while at the same time Homer hopes to receive a large sum of money from his billionaire boss.


  • ImageEpisode: Bart Gets Hit By A Car
  • Aired: January 10, 1991
  • Written by: John Swartzwelder


  • Love the animation in both Bart, and Mr.Burns’ recollections of the accident.  In Bart’s version, Burns is depicted as hell on wheels, hellbent on chasing Bart down with his maniacal vehicle. The greys and purples, the dark clouds and spooky trees, the skull on the dashboard of Burns’ car, all great touches.ImageImage
  • In Burns’ version of events, a devilish Bart skateboards directly into Burns’ car despite Burns’ best efforts to avoid hitting the boy. Both Burns’ car, and the houses on the street, are something straight out of an old Disney cartoon.Image
  • After Bart is hit, his sole leaves his body and he rides the golden escalator to heaven. Along the way he sees Snowball 1, who’s spirit is covered in tire tracks from the chrysler that ran him over.
  • ImageImageImage
  • But Bart spits over the guardrail and soon finds himself in Hell, which is a Hieronymous Bosch painting where the Devil’s desktop is equipped with a Windows based program.
  •  ImageImage
  • The family takes Burns to court. Naturally, Lionel Hutz is their attorney. His business card turns into a sponge when placed in water. And his office is just two doors down from Dr.Nick’s. Birds of a feather I guess. Bart’s spikey hair appears in his X-ray.ImageImage


  • I have mixed feelings on the ending. Marge ruins the family’s chances at extorting a fortune out of Burns when she refuses to lie under oath about the severity of Bart’s injuries. After that, the offer from Burns is noticeably smaller than the original. ImageImage
  • Back at home, and later at Moe’s, Homer isn’t sure if he can ever look at Marge again and see anything other than the woman who cost him everything. ImageImageImage
  • My problem with this is that Homer runs the gamut of emotions in a span of about 2 or 3 minutes. The whole thing feels rushed and tacked on at the last minute. The quick fix ending feels a bit contrived. If anything, I would have preferred the accident and the courtroom scenes be done and over with in the first 10 minutes so that we could spend the rest of the episode focusing on Homer’s anger towards Marge. That way the ending would have packed more of an emotional punch. An episode tackling how money can tear a family apart and destroy a marriage would have been far more intriguing than what we got. Homer goes from being depressed and angry with Marge one minute, to loving her unconditionally the next.  This could have been a great Homer/Marge episode instead of an average Bart episode. Perhaps it’s because in the first two seasons, they felt Bart always had to be the focus. But here it would have been wise to have Bart’s plot be the b-plot that sets up the main story.


  • ImageEpisode: Blood Feud
  • Aired: August 11, 1991
  • Written by: George Meyer


  • Homer’s attempts to thwart the mail service still crack me up all these years later. One of the funniest bits in the history of the series. Homer tries several desperate ideas to retrieve his profanity laced letter before it reaches Mr.Burns. First he tries kicking the mailbox, then soaking the letter with a hose.ImageImage
  • Finally, and most hilariously, he tries to retrieve the letter in person, pretending to be Mr.Burns, and even though it’s completely unnecessary, he disguises his voice.

ImageHomer: Hello. My name is Mr.Burns. I believe you have a letter for me.

Postal Worker: Okay, Mr.Burns. What’s your first name?

Homer: (awkward pause) ….I don’t know.

The characters are far more animated in this episode than in any other episode I’ve seen so far, and I love it. For instance, here is Homer telling Bart the story of Hercules and the Lion’s paw.


Homer: Bart, I’m not asking you to give blood for free. That would be crazy. You may not realize it now, but when you save a rich guy’s life, he showers you with riches. Don’t you know the story of Hercules and the Lion?
Bart: Is it a Bible story?
Homer: Yeah, probably. Anyway, once upon a time, there was a big, mean lion who got a thorn in his paw. All the villagers tried to pull it out, but nobody was strong enough, so they got Hercules and he used his mighty strength, and bingo. Anyway, the moral is, is that the lion was so happy, that he gave Hercules this big… thing… of riches.
Bart: How did a lion get rich?
Homer: It was the olden days.
Bart: Oh

  • I love the look on Bart’s face as he writes down everything Homer wants in the letter. Homer is clearly angry, while Bart is deviously gleeful. He’s not doing this out of anger like Homer, he’s enjoying it.
    • Homer’s letter to Burns: “You are a senile, buck toothed old mummy with bony girl arms and you smell like an elephants butt.”
  •  ImageImage

Image“Marge, I love you very much. (fairy voice) But you’re living in a world of make believe with flowers and bells and leprechauns and magic frogs with funny little hats.” Homer, on Marge’s suggestion that they be content with having simply given an old man a second chance at life as reward enough.

(oh, and if you couldn’t tell. He was being sarcastic)

Another very animated scene is when Homer finds the letter missing the next morning and asks Bart if he’s seen it.


Bart: The last place I saw it…
Homer: Yes….
Bart: Was in my hand….
Homer: Yes….
Bart: As I was shoving it….
Homer: Yes….
Bart: Into the mailbox



  • Marge: Homer! You should be strangling yourself!
  • blood_feud_52blood_feud_53
  • Homer strangles a lot of people in this episode. Bart, himself, and most hilariously his pillow when he’s dreaming of strangling Burns.
  •  ImageImage
  • As for Mr.Burns, after the blood transfusion, he seems like a new man. He’s full of life and jovial to his employees, although he still doesn’t know Lenny’s name. ImageImage
  • This good nature all comes to an end when Burns finally reads Homer’s letter….ImageImage
  • I love the use of shadows throughout this scene. From Burns’ silhouette appearing out of the shadows creeping up on an unsuspecting Homer, to the fireplace casting ominous shadows in Burns’ office.  Another good example of use of shadows in this episode comes in an earlier scene where Homer gathers the family in the backyard to open the letter sent by Burns which Homer believes contains a check but turns out to be nothing more than a simple thank you card. The sprinkler running makes the scene feel that much more sad and disappointing. Especially once the family head inside, leaving Homer all by himself.
  • Blood_Feud_37
  • In the end, Burns has a change of heart and buys the Simpsons an “extravagant present! A mad, unthinkable, utterly impossible present! A frabulous, grabulous, zip-zoop-zabulous present!” It turns out to be a statue of a big giant head that is only appreciated by Snowball 2.
  •  Image

Lisa: Perhaps there is no moral to this story
Homer: Exactly, it’s just a bunch of stuff that happened.

There may not be a moral to this story, but there is certainly more than meets the eye. The really impressive part about “Blood Feud” is how they show the similarities between Homer and Mr.Burns. Homer, ungrateful for not receiving a ‘big thing of riches’ from Mr.Burns, hastily writes an angry letter to the old man. Meanwhile, upon receiving the letter, Mr.Burns, ungrateful for Homer and Bart saving his life, hastily orders his goons to have Homer beaten to a bloody pulp.


Marge appeals to Homer’s better half and stops him from mailing the profanity laced letter, while it is Smithers who appeals to Burns’ better half by reminding him that Homer Simpson DID save his life, thus convincing Burns to call of the beating at the last minute.


Homer and Burns essentially mirror one another in this episode, as do Marge and Smithers. Showing us that, even though they are foes, Homer and Burns have a lot in common. They’re both greedy, hasty, impulsive men with quick tempers. Good thing they each have Marge and Smithers around to keep them from doing something they’d regret.

Oh, and we also get a great prank call to Moe…

Bart: Hello. Is Mike there? Last name, Rotch.
Moe: Hold on, I’ll check. (calls to the bar) Mike Rotch! Hey, Has anybody seen Mike Rotch lately?


VERDICT: Both episodes have a lot of similarities, but I could watch Homer’s attempts to thwart the mail service over and over again. And will be doing so in future rounds of this tournament. “Blood Feud” is an extravagant, mad, unthinkably, utterly impossible, frabulous, grabulous, zip-zoop-zabulous episode. And it advances to round 2.

For full tournament results, click here:

The Best Episode Thingy There Ever Was



Here we have a match-up in which both episodes see drastic changes to the programming on Bart’s beloved Krusty The Clown Show. In one, Sideshow Bob takes over as host and gives the show an educational, intellectual makeover, while in the other a group of angry parents’ protests lead to Itchy & Scratchy being declawed, spayed & neutered of all their edge.


Krusty_Gets_Busted_102Episode: Krusty Gets Busted

Airdate: April 29, 1990

Writers: Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky

WOO-HOO’S! (the positives)

  • First thing that needs to be said about this episode is the terrific animation during the scene where Bart mourns his role model’s fall from grace alone in his room. I especially love the poster of a smiling Krusty looking over a depressed Bart in the last shot.Krusty_Gets_Busted_45 Krusty_Gets_Busted_46 Krusty_Gets_Busted_47 Krusty_Gets_Busted_48
  • The episode is also a pretty well crafted mystery. I love all the little clues they drop along the way to help us solve the mystery along with Bart and Lisa, even if once Bob takes over as host of the show it’s pretty clear he’s the culprit behind framing Krusty. Krusty_Gets_Busted_55ImageImageImage
  • The reveal at the end where Bart confronts Bob on the set of his talk show is one of the best scenes in the entire series. There’s something about that line, “Big shoes to fill” echoing throughout Bart’s mind that is just so damn effective. Krusty_Gets_Busted_110 Krusty_Gets_Busted_111 Krusty_Gets_Busted_112 Krusty_Gets_Busted_113
  • Great line from Chief Wiggum: “Krusty the clown, you are under arrest for armed robbery. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say blah blah blah blah.”
  • Homer: “Earth to Marge. I was there. The clown is G-I-L-L-T-Y.
  • I believe this is the first episode in which we hear the Itchy & Scratchy theme
  • I also liked seeing Krusty without makeup for the first time. I think this may be the only episode, other than his stint as Rory B. Bellows in a future season,  where we see Krusty’s real face. Although, in future seasons were told he doesn’t wear makeup. But here he does. His sad demeanour when walking into the court room really gives the sense that he is a defeated man, not to mention how his voice sounds when he tells the crowd, “I didn’t do it.” To which the crowd breaks out in laughter, except for Bart.Krusty_Gets_Busted_62 Krusty_Gets_Busted_64
  • Another great animation moment is how crazed Bob looked cuffed and sprawled in the back of the police wagon. His bulging eyes and dilated pupils shows us the true face of the psychotic maniac that’s been bubbling beneath the surface of the seemingly calm and gentle Bob Terwilliger .  We don’t see many off model shots like that anymore. Krusty_Gets_Busted_119

D’OH’s! (Negatives)

  • The only blemish in this otherwise flawless classic, is that Bob looks TOO MUCH like Krusty when he robs the Kwik-E-Mart. What happened to his big hair? And why did he sound exactly like Krusty too? They could have at least let Kelsey Grammar do his best Krusty impersonation instead of Dan providing the voice of Bob as Krusty.


  • ImageEpisode: Itchy & Scratchy & Marge

Airdate: December 20, 1990

Writer: John Swartzwelder


  • Picture perfect Psycho parody


  • S.N.U.H: Springfieldians for Nonviolence, Understanding, and Helping. Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. I prefer Bender’s advocacy group, “F.A.R.T: Fathers Against Rude Television”.
  • Another great scene is when Roger Meyers is in his office late at night reading all the angry letters from concerned parents. Then we see the lineup of trucks pulling in to the studio all filled with more angry mail.
  • Homer has the funniest line in this one while talking on the phone. “You heard me. I won’t be in for the rest of the week. (listens) I told you. My baby beat me up.”
  • New Itchy & Scratchy theme: They love, they share/ they share & love & share/ Love, love, love/ Share, share, share/ The Itchy & Scratchy ShowwwwwwwwwwwwIasam_intro


As much as I loved the Psycho spoof in “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge”, the Psycho that shines brightest here is Sideshow Bob in “Krusty Gets Busted”. It’s a pivotal episode in the series that establishes the relationship between Bart and Krusty, and the rivalry between Bart and Sideshow Bob. “Krusty Gets Busted” is G-I-L-L-T-Y of advancing to Round 2.


For the complete tournament layout, click here: 

The Best Episode Thingy There Ever Was

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 Bart The Genius v. Bart The General v. Bart The Daredevil


It’s Bart by the barrel full in this next match-up.



  • Episode: Bart The Genius
  • Aired: January 14, 1990
  • Written by: Jon Vitti

Woo Hoo’s!

  • First utterance of Eat My Shorts,
  • First appearance of Martin Prince
  • Bart’s note to the teacher clearly appears to be forged, that is until we see Homer’s childlike handwriting on the check.
  • .Image
  • Kwyjibo: A big dumb balding North American ape with no chin and a short temper. Image
  • Maggie spells EMCSQUA (E=MC2) with her building blocks unbeknownst to the rest of the family.
  • Image
  • Bart taking a math test and visualizing the math problems. He sees the trains departing from Phoenix and Santa Fe, the passengers coming and going from the train, numbers being shoveled into the engine instead of coal, and himself as a stowaway on the train.  According to Simpsons wikia the answer to the problem is that there are 65 passengers on the train. The more you know.Image


  • ImageEpisode: Bart The General
  • Aired: February 4, 1990
  • Written by: John Swartzwelder


  • Love the animation when Nelson punches Bart. You really get a sense of the dizzying effect from the punch. Don’t see characters off model like that anymore.
  • Much like in Bart The Genius, here we have another great dream sequence. But this time it’s a nightmare. In the nightmare, as in the entire episode, Nelson is depicted as a really terrifying kid. A true bully in every sense of the word. And he looks the part too. Eventually, as the years went by, Nelson has become more or less just another kid at school, sometimes even hanging out with Bart and Milhouse. But here is a truly frightening beast of a boy. He even punches Bart as he lays in his casket. Pretty morbid dream for a 10 year old. I like it!


  • My favorite visual though, is from Bart’s perspective as he rolls home inside a trash can Nelson has stuffed him in. Image
  • Lisa’s teacher, Miss Hoover, is Mrs. Hoover in this episode. Either her character was not fully developed at this point, or she later got divorced.
  • Grampa’s letter to TV advertisers: I am disgusted with the way old people are depicted on TV. We’re not all vibrant, fun-loving sex maniacs. Many of us are bitter, resentful individuals.
  • Homer attacking the punching bag
  • Image
  • The parody of the famous sailor kissing nurse photograph. I’m sure the woman in the real photo had the same reaction as Lisa, and probably wishes she too could have smacked the guy.
  • ImageImage


  • ImageEpisode: Bart The Daredevil
  • Aired: December 6, 1990
  • Writers: Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarski


  • Bart and his friends are watching wrestling at the house, while Homer and his friends watch the same thing at Moes. Homer still thinks it’s real.
  • ImageImage
  • Bart and Homer’s identical reactions to the truckasaurus commercial
  •  ImageImageImage
  • Unfortunately for Bart and Homer, Lisa’s recital is on the same night as Truckasaurus. “Oh, cruel fate! Why do you mock me!”~Homer. A line that foreshadows events in Homer’s very near future.
  • “Oh, good, unfinished. This shouldn’t take long.” Homer on Schubert’s unfinished symphony
  • “D’oh! How much longer was Sherbert planning on making this piece of junk?” ~Homer, a few minutes later. I like how he got the name wrong too.
  • “He’s not that bad, Flanders.”  Homer, to a crying Ned as he watches his son on stage
  • Image
  • Homer, anxious to get to Truckasaurus, is already lifting Lisa out of her seat on stage as she plays her final note.
  • Image
  • Bart’s the only one in the crowd who doesn’t cover his eyes as Daredevil Lance Murdoch flies over the shark and lion infested swimming pool on a motorcycle.
  • ImageImage
  • “If you got hurt or died, despite the extra attention I’d receive, I’d miss you.” Lisa to Bart, on his dreams of being a daredevil.
  • ImageImageImage
  • First appearance of Dr.Hibbert
  • And finally, we come to one of the greatest, funniest moments in Simpsons History. Homer jumping the gorge. But first, we get an excellent scene where Homer rescues Bart from the same fate.
  • ImageImage
  • Bart agrees to never again attempt something so stupid and dangerous, and that he loves Homer. Unfortunately, their tendor father/son moment is ruined when a teary Homer, who unbeknownst to him is standing on Bart’s skateboard, beegins slowly sliding away from his son’s reach, and down the gorge.
  • ImageImageImage

“Oh, cruel fate! Why do you mock me?!”~Homer’s earlier sentiments never rang more true than right now.

  • But Homer’s horror soon turns to a state of bliss as he soars majestically like a candy wrapper caught in an up-draft. For one brief moment, he was the king of the world, only to then plummet back down to earth.


  • This would have been more than enough for a strong and funny finish to an already great episode, but the Simpsons doesn’t stop there. They could easily have skipped right to Homer in the hospital lying in a bed next to Daredevil Lance Murdoch, but oh no. They’re not done yet. Instead, Homer is placed on a stretcher, airlifted to the top of the gorge and placed into the back of an ambulance, only to have the ambulance drive straight into a tree, the back doors fly open, and Homer rolls out and plummets to the bottom of the gorge yet again. Comedy gold.
  • ImageImageBart_the_Daredevil_103



Three strong Bart centric episodes. But in the end it’s Homer and his hilarious, epic jump over Springfield gorge that steals the show and wins this round for “Bart The Daredevil”.



For complete tournament brackets and results, click here….

The Best Episode Thingy There Ever Was



Here we have two Lisa classics in which Lisa, unable to relate to, or make friends with, kids her own age, befriends a lonely jazz musician and a substitute teacher. In doing so, Lisa finds the two things she’s desperately lacking in her life the most: a positive adult male role model, and more importantly, a friend.



  • Episode: Moaning Lisa
  • Aired: February 11, 1990
  • Written by: Ale Jean & Mike Reiss


  • The episode begins with a closeup of Lisa’s face. It’s a fitting opening, because this is the episode that shows us who Lisa really is. In earlier episodes, and especially in the Simpsons Shorts, she was essentially just a female Bart with little to no personality of her own. That’s why this episode marks a real turning point in the series. Every family member is being fleshed out and given real character development. It’s not always going to be about Bart and his bratty antics. Here, Lisa gets the spotlight.
  • LisaSobbing

Lisa: “I’m wailing for the homeless family living out of its car. The Iowa farmer whose land has been taken away by unfeeling beureaucrats. The West Virginia coal miner, coughing up his-”
Mr.Largo: “Lisa, none of those unpleasant people are going to be at the recital next week.”


  • A lot of great animation in this episode. Especially the scenes on the bridge where Lisa and Bleeding Gums are jamming under the moonlight. “You play real well for someone with no real problems.” Bleeding Gums Murphy, to Lisa.
  • 7g06_0187g06_0167g06_017
  • I love the B-plot involving Bart and Homer playing video game boxing. It took me back to playing video games with my parents in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Especially Homer’s misuse of the controller. Like all parents, including mine, Homer think’s he can move his on-screen character by moving the controller around from side to side and up in the air. I still remember my parents doing that when trying to make Mario jump. Good times.
  • 7g06_005 7g06_006 7g06_010
  • Prank call to Moe’s: Jacques Strap.
  • 7g06_019

“Moanin’ Lisa Blues” Lyrics.

  • “I’ve got a bratty brother
    Who bugs me every day
    This morning my own mother
    Gave my last cupcake away
  • My dad he acts like
    Like he belongs in the zoo
    I’m the saddest kid
    The saddest kid in grade number two”
  • 7g06_012


  • 7f19_021Episode: Lisa’s Substitute
  • Aired: April 25, 1991
  • Writer: Jon Vitti


While Ms.Hoover, whose first name we learn is Elizabeth, is out sick, Lisa’s class has a substitute teacher who makes quite the impression on Lisa.

  • I believe this is the first episode where Ralph Wiggum became a fully developed character at Springfield Elementary. Before this episode, Ralph was just another kid in the background, and the few times he did speak he didn’t sound anything like the Ralph we know. Here, the signature Ralph voice and trademark non sequiturs we’ve all come to know and love are on full display for the first time.
  • “Dear Ms.Hoover. You have Lime Disease. We miss you. Kevin’s biting me. Here’s a picture of a  ‘Spirokeet’. Love, Ralph.”  Ralph’s card for Ms.Hoover
  •  vlgT7
  • Love the animation in this scene where all the students have their desks in a circle around Mr.Bergstrom as he reads to them. They’re hanging on his every word . You get a real sense of the relaxed, comfortable atmosphere Mr.Begstrom brings to a classroom. He’s definitely breaking from the norm of teaching from a standardized text, in favor of a more Socratic method.
  •  Lisa's_Substitute_24
  • Mr. Bergstrom encourages all of the children to share a talent they have with the rest of the class a talent that they have, a talent that no one else has, something that makes them an individual. Each student obliges, except for Lisa. Mr.Bergstrom asks her to play her saxophone, but she sheepishly replies “please don’t make me.”
  • Lisa's_Substitute_26 Lisa's_Substitute_27 Lisa's_Substitute_15

This is a side of Lisa that for some reason was not followed up on in later seasons. In my opinion Lisa became too perfect as the years went by. In later seasons, Lisa is not only a very bright, talented child, she’s also portrayed as being incredibly confident. That is not the case here. Here in season 2, she’s as talented and smart as she ever was, but she doesn’t want others to know. Only when she’s in a one on one situation with someone she trusts or admires such as Bleeding Gums Murphy, Mr.Bergstrom, or her mother, will she be herself. Here she is far too shy and insecure of what the other kids would say to ever speak up in front of the class, let alone play her saxophone.

Here, Lisa is not only a talented, smart child, but a painfully shy one as well. In later seasons she’s essentially a 20 year old in an 8 year old’s body. Here she has all the intelligence she always has, but also the insecurities and shyness of a typical 8 year old girl. She’s far more flawed, and therefore far more interesting and relatable. Mr.Bergstrom eventually does get to hear Lisa play her saxophone, only not in the classroom, but rather on the playground after school, and only after all the other children are long gone and no one else is around.

  • Lisa's_Substitute_30
  • Meanwhile, in Bart’s class it’s show and tell time. And unlike his sister, who is too shy to share something with the class she should be proud of, Bart is more than proud to share more information than anyone ever cared to know during his presentation of “How kittens Are Born: The Ugly Story.” Bart’s graphic video featuring the birth of Snowball II.
  •  Lisa's_Substitute_5 Lisa's_Substitute_6 Lisa's_Substitute_7
  • As I mentioned earlier, the Lisa in later years loses her vulnerability and shyness. So much so to the point that in a modern day episode entitled “The President Wore Pearls”, Lisa actually runs for Class President.
  • The_President_Wore_PearlsThe_President_Wore_Pearls (1)The_President_Wore_Pearls_35
  • The Lisa in season 2 is far too shy to ever do any of the things pictured above. She has all the same skills as “Zombie” Lisa, but none of her self-confidence. In “Lisa’s Substitute”, it is more accurately and appropriately BART that is the one who runs for Class President. Does he have any of Lisa’s work ethic, knowledge, or compassion for his fellow students? No. But does he have all the undeserving confidence of a lot of our real life politicians? Hell Yes! Lisa is more than qualified to be Class President, but has none of Bart’s confidence. Bart, on the other hand, has none of Lisa’s qualifications, but all the confidence in the world.
  • 7f19_011
  • “MORE ASBESTOS! MORE ASBESTOS! MORE ASBESTOS!” Bart’s chant, campaigning in class.
  •  Lisa's_Substitute_42Lisa's_Substitute_377f19_012 7f19_013Lisa's_Substitute_45 Lisa's_Substitute_46
  • The contrast between Bart and Lisa has never been more clear than it is in this episode. Their behavior in their respective classrooms really helps define who they are. One has a wealth of knowledge and many talents to share and intelligent things to say, but is too shy to speak up, while the other has nothing of value to say and won’t shut up.
  • While Bart is outside having fun and laughing it up with his peers, Lisa is more of an indoor child, spending most of her time with her Mother talking about, what else, but Mr.Bergstrom. As with Bleeding Gums, Lisa is only comfortable around like minded adults who she looks up to.
  • Lisa's_Substitute_44Lisa's_Substitute_31
  • Back to Bergstrom. Love The Graduate Parody. You knew they had to go there seeing as how Dustin Hoffman, or should I say ‘Sam Etic’, provides the voice of Mr.Bergstrom. And Edna K is a perfect Mrs. Robinson.
  • Lisa's_Substitute_297f19_009
  • Not to worry, Lisa. It’s the children he loves.

Homer: (to Bergstrom) Wait! You don’t have to pay! Read the sign!
Mr.Bergstrom: (to Lisa) And this must be your father.

  • 7f19_0147f19_015
  • One of the reasons why Lisa enjoys spending time with Mr.Bergstrom is because of the lack of positive male role models she has in her life. He is the father she wished she had.
  • “Oooh creepy. Still, I’d rather him chasing me than the Wolfman.” Homer, embarrassing Lisa in front of Mr. Bergstrom at the mummification exhibit at the museum.
  •  Lisa's_Substitute_51
  • Yeardley Smith is at her absolute best during the scene where she has to say goodbye to Mr.Begstrom as he’s boarding a train out of Springfield. Yeardley’s able to perfectly capture that moment when a child is trying to speak to an adult while doing their best to hold back the dam of tears that’s inevitably going to pour out. “Well…I mean…were you just gonna leave?”
  • Lisa's_Substitute_62Lisa's_Substitute_61  Lisa's_Substitute_64
  • Dustin Hoffman is easily the best guest star they ever had on the show. Unlike most celebrity guest stars, here, Dustin Hoffman actually plays A CHARACTER instead of just playing an exaggerated version of himself. Sometimes those guest spots where famous people come on to poke fun at themselves can be pretty hilarious. Adam West and James Taylor come to mind. But most of the time, especially once you get past Season 8,  they fall flat. It’s nice to see actors actually ACTING. Imagine that.  Love Lisa running after the train as it departs from the station. And even better is when she stops to read the note Mr.Bergstrom has left for her.
  • Lisa's_Substitute_65
  • One of the best moments in the history of the series. Although it’s quite different from the note Mrs. K wrote about Bart earlier in the episode.
  • Lisa's_Substitute_23Lisa's_Substitute_20  Lisa's_Substitute_65
  • After Mr.Bergstrom leaves, Homer is insensitive towards Lisa’s feelings and she lashes out at him. “You sir, are a Baboon! BABOON! BABOON! BABOON!” Well, he does sometimes act like he belongs in a Zoo.
  • Lisa's_Substitute_68 Lisa's_Substitute_69
  • This is where Homer, and the episode, really shine. During an earlier scene, Mr.Bergstrom encouraged the children in his class to focus on their strengths, telling them that “everyone has a talent”. Well, here Homer does just that. He may not have any of Bergstrom’s book smarts, but here Homer utilizes the few talents he does have, mainly his self deprecating humor and child like personality to lift both his children’s spirits. First, Homer acts like a baboon to make Lisa laugh, and then in his own Homer way, reminds Bart that losing the school election to Martin is actually a blessing in disguise.
  • Lisa's_Substitute_74Lisa's_Substitute_76Lisa's_Substitute_77Lisa's_Substitute_78Lisa's_Substitute_79Lisa's_Substitute_80



I didn’t spend much time discussing “Moaning Lisa”, not because it wasn’t a strong episode, because it was, I just had so much to write about “Lisa’s Substitute” that I wanted to delve right into it. Bart may have lost his bid to be Class President by a single vote, but the race between “Moaning Lisa” and “Lisa’s Substitute” was nowhere near as close.

“Lisa’s substitute” might just be the best episode I’ve seen so far in this tournament. Lisa may never again see Mr.Bergstrom, but I will definitely be seeing this episode again in future rounds to come. “Lisa’s Substitute” gets my vote.


For up to date tournament results, click here…

The Best Episode Thingy There Ever Was