[1F12] Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy

Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy                             Written by Bill Oakley & Josh
                                                         Directed by Jeff Lynch
Production code: 1F12                       Original airdate in N.A.: 17-Feb-94
                                                   Capsule revision J, 3-Jan-96

Title sequence

Blackboard :- None due to shortened intro.

Lisa's Solo:- None due to shortened intro.

Couch      :- The family runs in and sits on the couch, when they get
              crushed by a Terri Gilliam-esque Monty Python bare foot.
              Recycled from 1F02.

Did you notice...

    ... Grampa has a pipe stand with four pipes in it?
    ... Bart drumming his fingers during Grampa's story?
    ... Lisa's friend Celeste looks very much like Bongo from "Life in
    ... Marge chastizes Lisa for throwing red paint on "the Keebler
    ... the men at the Malibu Stacy plant wear hair nets?
    ... Smithers lives in apartment no. 19?
    ... Hans Moleman was at the Krusty Burger?

Dave Hall:
    ... the wisps of hair sticking out of Jasper's head?
    ... the red pullover over Maggie's blue baggie?
    ... Bart is holding his baby sister's hand?
    ... the Kidstown's sign reinforces boy/girl stereotypes?
    ... Maggie doodles with her pinkly extended?
    ... Lisa clenching her fist in anger?
    ... Smithers wears his ID card in the Malibu Stacy film?
    ... the unusual way the tour guide closes the door of the conference
    ... the sound of Smithers' hard drive booting up?
    ... Lisa isn't wearing her headgear while cycling?

Andrew Ross:
    ... the new Malibu Stacey isn't even wearing a "new" hat?  It's the
        same hat the Country & Western Malibu Stacey wears, only with
        the standard dress.

Don Del Grande:
    ... the name "Andy Griffith" is never used -- just "Matlock"?
    ... the telegram Lisa reads is dated October 11, sometime between 6
        and 7 PM?
    ... during Lisa's tirade, the Malibu Stacy Doll's hair gets more and
        more mussed with each remark?
    ... Lisa's friends, including Janey, have three lashes on each
        eyelid, instead of four like Lisa?
    ... one of Smithers' dolls carries a rifle?

Rakesh Agrawal:
    ... the remote control the tour guide uses to shut off the
        television also turns on the lights?
    ... Smithers has a coffee warmer?

Voice credits

- Starring
    - Dan Castellaneta (Abe, Homer, Buzz Cola man, man at Drive-Thru,
    - Julie Kavner (Marge)
    - Nancy Cartwright (Bart)
    - Yeardley Smith (Lisa)
    - Hank Azaria (doctor with Matlock, Buzz Cola commercial, Spidey,
      phone voice, foreman, Leroy, video narrator, sexist employee,
      frisbee boy, Mr. Peterson, Joe, senator, chinese food man)
    - Harry Shearer (Dr. Hibbert, Jasper, Kidstown guard, Kidstown
      employee, Smithers, man ordering french fries, virtual Burns,
      techie, executive, Kent Brockman)
- Special Guest Voice
    - Kathleen Turner (Stacy Lavelle)
- Also Starring
    - Pamela Hayden (Girl 2, Malibu Stacy, Celeste, old woman)
    - Maggie Roswell (Girl 1, tour guide, Brockman's daughter)

Movie (and other) references

  + "Bye Bye Birdie" {twk}
    - "We Love You, Matlock" song
  + "Valley of the Dolls" {rc}
    - part of the Kidstown toystore
  + "Achy Breaky Heart"
    - Malibu Stacy doll to go along with the Billy Ray Cyrus song
  + "Live from the Improv"
    - Malibu Stacy doll to go along with the TV show
  + "Big"
    - Homer playing on the giant keyboard
    "Raising Arizona" {rm}
    - aerial view of family leaving with car doors open similar to shot
      of H.I. and his wife running away from their car after a hand
      grenade is thrown in
    Pepsi commercials
    - Pepsi has the old people who suddenly become young after drinking
    - slogan: "Be Young.  Have Fun.  Drink Pepsi."
    "Animaniacs" character Minerva Mink {mwk}
    - Minerva has only appeared in 4 of 150 "Animaniacs" segments, hence
      Stacy's comment that the name has "not enough commercial appeal"
  + Frank Baum's "Dot and Tot of Merryland" {tj}
    - "Valley of the Dolls" at the toy store has the same name as one of
      the five valleys in the book
    - Baum also wrote the original "Wizard of Oz" story, which has been
      referenced many times before
  + "Tucker" {rc}
    - someone from Washington takes care of Lisa Lionheart

Previous episode references

- [7F23] Flanders' "Leftorium" (visible in the mall in 1F12)
- [9F15] Grampa and his pointless stories
- [9F21] Original Malibu Stacy doll
- [9F21] "Consarn it!"

Freeze frame fun

- Center for Geriatric Medicine: {rc}
    - Grand Opening, Meet TV's Matlock!
- Grampa Simpsons' correspondence: {rc}
    Western Union  X) SPR CGN PO=SPRINGFIELD 1 935= OCT 11 PM 6
    Mr. Simpson STOP Your constant letters are becoming a nuisance STOP
    If you do not cease I will be forced to pursue legal action STOP
    Boris Karloff  Hollywood CALF.
- Stores at the mall: {ddg}
    - One Size Fits All Lingerie
    - House of No Refunds
    - Leftorium
    - Just Videos
    - Yogurt Nook
    - Simply Shoes
    - Origami Designs
    - Kidstown USA (Not affiliated with Kidstown Juvenile Correction
        - Valley of the Dolls
            - Achy Breaky Stacy
            - Live at the Improv Stacy with Comic Relief tee shirt
- Springfield Shopper headline: "Local Gays Show Their Pride"
- "PetroChem Petrochemical Corporation, Proud makes of caustic
  polypropylene and Malibu Stacy"
- Nuts and Gum: Together at Last!
- Recluse Ranch Estates
- Krusty Burger menu: {rc}
    Krusty Pork Sandwich           1.29     Krusty Kids Meal     1.99
    Krusty Ground Sausage Burger   1.29
    Krusty Nuggets                  .99     Free
    6,12,24 Piece             1.69/2.29      Slide
    Krusty Dogs                     .59       Whistle

Animation, continuity, and other goofs

Typical goof of hearing clapping and cheering from a visibly quiet
audience.  {dh}

Abe has a different set of clothing on the bus.  {dh}

The pill bottle only appears for that bus scene.  {dh}

The two trophies on the shelves have labels in the first few shots, but
these disappear in later shots.  {ra}

No silver dollars were minted in 1918 in the US.  (see below)

In one scene, the front door opens to the left.  {dh}

The family leave the house wearing jackets but they're not wearing them
inside the mall.  {mwk}

There's no break in Grampa's story between the time they're in the car
and the time they're in the mall.  (Maybe he repeated it...) {ddg}

There are three white notes in between the two black notes on the piano
keyboard in the shot from above; this is corrected in the next shot.

At the beginning of the drive home, Maggie is nowhere to be seen, but
the second time they show the front seat, she's visible.  {tdc}

On the drive home, not only is nobody wearing seat belts, but Marge has
Maggie in her lap, which can be quite dangerous even if Marge is wearing
a seat belt.  {ddg}

The car window is closed when Bart's rocket flies through it.  (The next
angle shows the black diagonal lines on the window -- you know, the ones
animators put in window areas to show that there is glass there.)  {mmw}

The family leaves in Marge's station wagon, yet they drive and return
from shopping in Homer's car.  {dh}

Lisa walks through Homer in the aerial view of the family.

How could Abe reach the car horn if strapped into the back seat?

The upstairs landing shouldn't be depicted like that.  {dh}

The telephone shouldn't be depicted in that corner of the front room,
nor should the telephone cord be in the hallway.  {bt}

Why is Homer drinking a Buzz Cola instead of a Duff Beer?  {ddg}

Homer's Buzz cola disappears for a couple scenes.  {dh}

The TV set shouldn't be situated in the front room.  {dh}

The front bay windows turns into an open window.  {dh}

Talking Malibu Stacy has a "pull-string" - hasn't technology reached he
point where they can do better than that?  {ddg}

The window magically opens in time for Lisa to throw the doll out.  {ra}

Lisa throws her doll out the window, yet later she has it at the dinner
table.  It seems unlikely she'd buy another one, and also unlikely it
would survive the bike.  {rb}

Lisa's plate goes from full to empty to full while OFF is eating.  {ra}

Lisa should have no control over what Talking Malibu Stacy says each
time, but she manages to get her to say "Now let's forget our troubles
with a big bowl of strawberry ice cream" just after Marge says the same
thing.  {ddg}

In 9F21, Lisa finds an original Malibu Stacy "from 1958", yet Malibu
Stacy was designed in 1959.  Plus, the Stacy in 9F21 has much pointer
breasts than the model in this episode.  (Matthew Kurth says, "Just what
you'd expect from a large, faceless company: pretend it never existed.")

The remote control disappears from the tour guide's hand.

The address of Smithers' next door neighbor changes from 18 (the British
system of consecutive numbering) when Lisa is walking toward Smithers'
apartment to 17 (our alternate numbering system) when she is talking
with Smithers.  {ra}

Smithers says he'll print Lisa a copy of the article, but he doesn't
have a printer.  {ra}

I doubt very much that boy's frisbee would be lying on that driveway for
nine years without someone picking it up already.  Also that boy doesn't
look that much older than 12.  {dh}

There is no olive in the real Stacy's drink until she says that she's
drunk.  {ra}

Stacy has four fingers when Joe walks in, not three.

When Joe closes the door, he walks out pulling the doors closed behind
him, yet his hands are in _front_ of his body.  (Watch it in slow-mo...
looks really odd.)

There already is a Talking Krusty Doll - see "The Crepes of Wrath" and
"A Streetcar Named Marge" ("Hey, kids!  I'm flame retardant!").  {ddg}

In the Simpson house, Lisa stands in front of a pile of boxes with her
doll in them.  Yet the doll didn't have a name yet; why would they make
the boxes before picking a name?

Stacy's modeling scalpel disappears.  {dh}

Maggie's head is missing in the frame preceding the camera angle change
to Lisa suggesting the name Minerva for the doll!

When Bart pines for attention, he's standing in mid-air at one point.

In previous episodes, Kent Brockman is supposedly single and dating
Channel 6's weather girl.  {dh}

How did the newscaster's daughter get Lisa Lionheart before it went on
sale?  {ra}

The old woman complaining about the eggs' lips don't move when she says
"You show 'em, Abe!"

When Homer plays the Simpson theme at the end, the others who step on
the keyboard light up keys but don't play any notes.  {ddg}


Charlie Dirksen: Yes!!  Yes!!  Finally, back to some raw satire of
    American consumerism.  Allah be praised!

John J. Wood: Mark my grade down as an A for this one, just for the gags
    alone: everything worked wonderfully, and Kathleen Turner's cameo
    was used to its fullest potential.  If Homer's "Rock Around The
    Clock" doesn't make you ROTFL, nothing will!  [...] If the plot had
    any shortcomings, it was on the Lisa end (but that's *if*), but the
    gags more than overtoned.  [...] *Easily* my favorite episode of the
    season so far.

Andrew Ross: My favorite OFF episodes are always the ones in which Lisa
    takes the central role and speaks out against the overly repressive
    system (Lisa goes to Washington, Lisa the Beauty Queen, etc).  This
    was no exception.  And even the Grandpa plot had a certain
    continuity.  I give it a lionhearted A.

David Sutton: This one gave me the same enjoyment as the older shows.
    Something *has* been different this year with the story lines and
    writing in general.  Nice to see the punch is still there.

Carl Mueller: This one, I didn't laugh much.  I laughed pretty hard the
    first time Homer was dancing on the keyboard, playing all off key
    notes ("Big" reference obviously).  It was OK, but I don't think
    I'll be watching this one over and over again like I did with Homer
    vs. Apu.

Joey Berner: Well, I really liked last night's episode!  Excellent
    satire, a very tight script - the jokes just seemed to keep on
    coming, the pacing was the best of any episode I've seen in a long
    time, and some really strange things that seemed to come out of
    nowhere!  (Burns on Smithers' computer...) And Grandpa was very
    funny in this episode!!  All in all, I'll have to give this one an

Jeremy Greystoke: Lisa Vs.  Malibu Stacy didn't quite jell for me,
    either.  Certainly not a bad episode, but not quite up to the
    standards of Homer & Apu.  This was more of a 'chuckle' episode
    rather than a 'laughing so hard I couldn't catch my breath' episode.

Jym Dyer: I loved it, absolutely loved it.  You know, Barbie's been in
    the news a bit lately, and this episode covered it pretty well.

Matthew Kurth: A tour-de-force for my favorite character (Lisa).  After
    all the Homer episodes, this was a damn satisfying episode.
    Everyone seemed to behave more or less in character.  All the jokes
    worked, the story was well-rounded, and there was PLOT in them thar
    hills!  The timing was on, and the two storylines merged together
    and flowed quite nicely.  [...] 9 out of 10!

Don Del Grande: (B+) This one had a number of notable moments, although
    the opening wasn't that good (you could see Grampa yelling to bring
    on Matlock the minute Dr. Hibbert started talking a mile away); at
    least they didn't cop out with an "everybody buys the Lisa Lionheart
    doll and the moral of the story is that women CAN do anything even
    in the face of the male-domineered society even on a show where the
    vast majority of producers, writers, and directors are men".

Peter Vachuska: I thought that Lisa vs MS was topnotch.  In the parallel
    plots of Lisa and Abraham the authors tried to appeal to two levels
    of humor.  The jokes and gags of Lisa's story were fairly highbrow
    [...], the jokes and gags of Grandpa's story were lowbrow.  I think
    that this was a good mix of comedy.  The show was well thought out
    and came across well.

Jacob Weinstein: One of the reasons I liked this episode so much was
    that the characters all acted really believably, and a lot more like
    themselves than they sometimes do.  That's hard to pull off,
    especially while keeping the jokes coming.  Definitely an "A"

Ron Carter: [ C ] Couldn't get into this one; Lisa's obsession with a
    -doll-is bad enough, but then to try to make it politically correct?
    All too topical for me, and the guesting intruded instead of
    contributing.  Smithers was a highlight as the Stacy-holic.  A
    bitter/cynical undertone ruined it.

Yours truly: Hmm...I found the beginning (gulp) ageist; I must have been
    in the wrong mood.  Good satire of consumerism ("But she's got a
    hat!"), surprise with Smithers, more great self-ref (esp.  Homer
    playing Simpsons theme at end), but I got a bad feeling from this
    episode.  Maybe I'll like it better upon rewatching.  I give it D.

Comments and other observations

1918 silver dollars

Several readers pointed out that the US didn't mint any silver dollars
    in this year.  Morgan silver dollars were made from 1878-1904 and in
    1921, and Peace dollars began production in 1921.

Things the talking Malibu Stacy doll says

The following were supplied by Don Del Grande {ddg}.

    - I wish they taught shopping in school
    - Let's bake some cookies for the boys
    - Don't ask me; I'm just a girl <giggle> <giggle>
    - Now let's forget our troubles with a big bowl of strawberry ice
    - Thinking too much gives you wrinkles
    - My name is Stacy, but you can call me <two-note wolf whistle>

Stacy sounds like Spidey

Celeste's talking Stacy doll said Spiderman phrases rather than Stacy
    phrases.  Andrew Ross says, "Last Christmas, a group of media
    pranksters secretly switched the recordings on the talking GI JOE
    and talking BARBIE dolls so that the Joes said `Let's go shopping'
    while the Barbies made blood-curdling attack noises.  This week's
    episode honored that prank by having a Malibu Stacey doll talk like
    Spiderman.  The pranksters, like Lisa, were making a statement about
    sexism in the toy industry."

There was also some debate about what Spiderman actually said; instead
    of "Spidey sense", some thought it was "Spider sense".

"StacyCon '94"

Karen Cooper says that 1994 saw the world's first ComicCon -- also in
    San Diego.  It is held at the San Diego Convention Center, however,
    not the Airport Hilton.

More Smithers' sexuality

In a length article, Michael Schwartz says he agrees Smithers is "Burns-
    sexual": "Smithers is not gay.  He is simply the model employee."
    He then continues, "This needs to be re-interpreted in light of the
    Malibu Stacy episode.  In this episode, Smithers is, quite simply,
    gay.  And not because of the animated image of Burns that appears on
    his log-in screen [...].  No, it's the fact that Smithers is
    president of the Malibu Stacy Fan Club.  That's so gay.  The major
    collectors of Barbie are gay."  He concludes, "[The writers] will
    sacrifice consistency for a good laugh, and the Malibu Stacy episode
    was one of the best laughs.  The writers will probably go back to
    making Smithers just a `Burns-sexual,' and that's okay, because
    that's funny too."

Rakesh Agrawal notes, "His picture wasn't in the Springfield Shopper's
    coverage of the gay rights' march!  (I rewound the tape several time
    looking for Smithers in the photo.)"

Joshua Beckerman {jb2} adds, "Although Smithers was brilliant [...], and
    it is entirely plausible that he would be into Malibu Stacey dolls,
    his helpful attitude toward Lisa makes him less of a villain.  I
    know that he's a nice guy compared to Burns, but I've enjoyed hating
    his weaselly, pompous manner.  Now, he's not so bad, so I can't hate
    him as much."

Stacy's husbands

Matt Pratt lists them: "First was Ken, referring to Barbie's Ken; then
    Johnny, a cowboy referring to Johnny West, a cowboy action figure in
    the early 70's; Joe, GI Joe who came by later complete with life-
    like hair, Kung-fu grip, and the little scar on his cheek; Doctor
    Colossus, or something like that, didn't get this one [another doll
    from the 60s - ed]; and Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man."

Lisa Lionheart's mentors

Don Del Grande says Lisa Lionheart has:

    - the wisdom of author Gertrude Stein
    - the wit of "Cathy" cartoonist Cathy Guisewite (note the irony
      here: "Cathy" is completely sexist, the opposite of what Lisa's
      doll is supposed to be.  Nick Worthey disagrees: "[Guisewite is]
      trying to show how *silly* and *pointless* women's obsessions with
      dieting and shopping are.  As far as I can see, she is in total
      agreement with Lisa.")
    - the tenacity of NPR reporter Nina Totenberg (the Anita Hill scoop)
    - the common sense of women's rights crusader Elizabeth Cady Stanton
    - the "down-to-earth good looks" of Eleanor Roosevelt.

New running gag?

Andrew Ross notes, "Have you noticed a special running-gag they seem to
    like showing these days, in which one character thoughtlessly takes
    something badly needed by another character, resulting in disaster
    to the other character?"  Some recent examples:

    - 9F22: Abe's testosterone pills
    - 1F02: Cinderblocks from the hospital construction site
    - 1F06: Ernest Borgnine's pocketknife
    - 1F08: Henry Kissinger's glasses
    - 1F10: Apu stealing Abe's cane
    - 1F12: Matlock's heart medicine

Quotes and Scene Summary

[Syndication cuts are marked in curly braces "{}" and are courtesy of
Ricardo Lafaurie.]

Dr. Hibbert delivers a speech at the opening of the Springfield Center
for Geriatric Medicine.

Hibbert: Er, welcome to the new Springfield Center for Geriatric
         Medicine.  You know, health care for the aging is an important
         priority in this --
    Abe: Get to Matlock!  Maaatlooock!
Hibbert: Well, uh, ahem, without further ado, heh heh, I give you the
         man who puts young people behind bars -- where they belong.
         TV's Matlock!
          [An old man with two canes walks slowly onto the stage]
  Crowd: [singing] We love you Matlock, oh yes we do...
-- Matlock: Hero of the Aged, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

In their excitement, the crowd turns violent and rushes the stage,
knocking poor Matlock over and tugging cruelly at his collar, tearing
it.  Someone even puts their cane around his throat.

On the way back to the Springfield Retirement Castle, Abe seems quiet.

Jasper: What's eatin' you, Abe?  For three weeks all you've been talking
        about is meeting Matlock.  Now you've met him, swiped his pills
        -- [reads label] "Take one every hour to prevent spastic heart
        convulsions" --
         [An ambulance drives by with its siren blaring; inside a doctor
        uses cardiac stimulator, yelling "Clear!"]
        -- but you ain't said a word.
   Abe: Looking at that tired old freak has made me realize I'm no
        spring chicken myself.  I can feel death's clammy hand on my
        shoulder...wait, that's my hand.
-- "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

In the next scene, the Simpson family is seated in front of Grampa at
their house.

 Abe: Hello.  As you may know, I might not be around much longer.  So,
      I've decided to give you your inheritance before I die.  That way
      I can see you enjoy it.
      Lisa, I know you like reading and...so forth.  To you, I give you
      my lifetime of personal correspondence.
Lisa: Thanks.  [reads] "Mr. Simpson stop Your calls and letters are
      becoming nuisance stop If you do not cease I will be forced to
      pursue legal action stop Signed Boris Karloff, Hollywood,
-- A persistent fan, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

  Abe: And to my son Homer --
Homer: Woo-hoo!
  Abe: -- and his entire family --
Homer: D'oh!
  Abe: -- I leave these: a box of mint-condition 1918 liberty-head
       silver dollars.  You see, back in those days, rich men would ride
       around in Zeppelins, dropping coins on people, and one day I seen
       J. D. Rockefeller flying by.  So I run of the house with a big
       washtub and -- [notices everyone ready to leave] where are you
Homer: Dad, we'd love to stay here and listen to your amusing antidote,
       but we have to take these coins to the mall and spend 'em!
-- Priority one, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Abe's pointless story continues in the car ride to the mall.

Abe: Anyway, about my washtub...I just used it that morning to wash my
     turkey, which in those days was known as a "walking bird".  We'd
     always have walking bird on Thanksgiving with all the trimmings:
     cranberries, injun eyes, yams stuffed with gunpowder.  Then we'd
     all watch football, which in those days was called "baseball"...
-- Onions for everyone's belt, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

They go to a toy store in the mall, and Maggie resourcefully uses an
Etch-A-Sketch[tm] to write her name.  Homer walks over and
uncerimoniously puts another toy on top of the Etch-A-Sketch.

Homer: Look, Maggie!  It's Sergeant Thug's Mountaintop Command Post!
       Complete with "DeathBringer Missiles" that really launch.
Marge: Mmm...that toy isn't safe for a baby like Maggie!
Homer: Aw, come on, Marge, you're way too -- [cuts his finger on it]
       D'oh!  Aw -- [gets electrocuted] Aah!  [launches a missile into
       his mouth] ooh -- [it explodes]
-- A closed mouth gathers no feet, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Abe, meanwhile, inspects some of the other merchandise.

  Abe: When I was young, toys were built to last.  Look at this junk!
       [holds a toy rocket] It breaks the first time you take it out of
       the box.
        [He strains, then manages to break it in half]
       And look at these toy soldiers -- they'll break the second I step
       on 'em.  [stomps on em] Arg!  Stupid!  Toy!  Soldiers!  Break,
       you stupid --
        [Two security guards grab him]
Guard: All right, come on, Pops.  Soldiers won't bother you any more.
-- Reliving days of pain, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

{As Homer walks to another section of the store, he hears a single note.
He looks down and sees a keyboard on the floor with giant keys that
light up and play a sound when you step on them.  Tentatively, he steps
on another key, and then gets an idea.}

{"One, two, three o'clock, four o'clock, rock!  Five, six, seven
o'clock, eight o'clock, rock!  Rock, rock, rock --" he sings off-key, at
first playing the right notes, then jumping around randomly.  A crowd
gathers and begins to protest while Homer does the front crawl down the
keys.  All the dogs in a nearby pet store begin howling in pain.  "We're
gonna rock around a rock, around the clock toniiight!"  Homer finishes,
sliding down the keys on his knees and cracking a hole through them.
Everyone boos him, and he stands up: "Thank you, thank you very much!"}

Marge and Lisa turn the corner to see a crowd of excited little girls in
front of a Malibu Stacy display.  They gasp together.

 Lisa: I warning you, Mom: I may get a little crazy.
Marge: Oh, I understand, honey.  When I was your age, there was a --
 Lisa: [rushing at the girls] Hey, horse-face!  Get your ugly hooks off
       that Summer Fun Set!
-- Worse than Woodstock, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

  Girl 1: Look!  Achy Breaky Stacy for a dollar ninety-nine!
  Girl 2: Live from the Improv Stacy's only eighty-nine cents!
Together: [realizing] Eww!  [drop the dolls]
-- Passing doll fads, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

The two girls go up to an employee who pulls a trolley with a large
crate on it.

  Girl 2: Hey, Mister, what's in the box?
Employee: [uncomfortable] Uh, it's the, uh, new talking Malibu Stacy.
           [a crowd of little girls pause, then rush him]
   Girls: Get him!
Employee: Help!  Mr. Wise!
-- Pandemonium breaks loose, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

{On the way home, Homer uses a light-bulb oven to heat a muffin.  A bell
sounds, and he removes the muffin and starts buttering it.  Marge says
she's not sure how good an idea it is to be doing that while he drives,
but Homer dismisses her: "Marge, that's what I bought it for."}

Bart: [plays with Sergeant Thug's Mountaintop Command Post, making plane
      and machine gun noises]
 Abe: Hey, watch it with that thing!  [a missile launches out the
      window] My skull is eggshell-thin.
       [The missile explodes behind the car]
Bart: Cool!
Lisa: Thanks for buying us these toys, Grampa.
 Abe: Ehh, why didn't you get something useful, like storm windows, or a
      nice pipe organ?  I'm thirsty!  Ew, what smells like mustard?
      There're sure a lot of ugly people in your neighborhood.  Oh!
      Look at that one.
       [Homer turns into the driveway; everyone jumps out except Abe]
      Ow, my glaucoma just got worse.  The president is a Demmycrat.
       [Everyone rushes into the house]
      Hello?  I can't unbuckle my seat belt.  Hello?  [honks horn
-- The challenge of aged parents, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Abe manages to unbuckle it eventually, and he walks in the house
proclaiming "There are too many leaves in your walkway."  He's greeted
by doors slamming all around.  Disgruntled, he sits down to watch TV.
In the background, Homer grabs a Buzz Cola and tries to sneak past
Grampa, but his foot gets caught in the phone cord and he surprises Abe.

      Abe: Why are you people avoiding me?  Does my withered face remind
           you of the grim specter of Death?
    Homer: [pause] Yes, but there's more.  [sits down on the couch]
           Dad, I love you, but -- [angry] you're a weird, sore-headed
           old crank and nobody likes you!
      Abe: Consarn it!  I guess I am an old crank.  But what am I going
           to do about it?
            [On TV, mellow music plays and three old people drink Buzz
           Cola.  Suddenly, they're transformed into partiers.  An old
           man with an H. R. Beck guitar wears Hawaiian shorts]
  Old man: One sip and I'm totally hip!
Announcer: Buzz Cola.  There's a little boogie in every bottle.
      Abe: Holy smokes, that's it!  From now on I'm thinkin', actin',
           and lookin' young, and I'm gonna start with a bottle of Buzz
            [Grabs it from Homer, starts to chug]
           Oh!  Ah!  Ow!  The bubbles are burning my tongue!  Ow!  Oh!
           Water! water!
-- It was the thought that counted, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

 Lisa: A hush falls over the general assembly as Stacy approaches the
       podium to deliver what will no doubt be a stirring and memorable
        [pulls Stacy's cord]
Stacy: I wish they taught shopping in school!
 Lisa: [groans, pulls Stacy's cord again]
Stacy: Let's bake some cookies for the boys!
 Lisa: Come on, Stacy.  I've waited my whole life to hear you speak.
       Don't you have anything relevant to say?  [pulls cord]
Stacy: Don't ask me, I'm just a girl.  [giggles coquettishly]
 Bart: Right on!  Say it, sister.
 Lisa: It's not funny, Bart.  Millions of girls will grow up thinking
       that this is the right way to act -- that they can never be more
       than vacuous ninnies whose only goal is to look pretty, land a
       rich husband, and spend all day on the phone with their equally
       vacuous friends talking about how damn terrific it is to look
       pretty and have a rich husband!
 Bart: [pause] Just what I was going to say.
-- Shyeah, right, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Lisa growls and tosses Stacy away in a fit of pique.  Outside, Abe rides
a bicycle with no hands, proclaiming, "Look at me!  I'm acting young!"
Stacy flies from the house and hits Abe's front tire, sending him
flying.  He lands in a half-dug grave.  The two diggers, who were eating
their lunch, look back at the dig.  "Hey," observes Abe, "this ain't so

[End of Act one.  Time: 7:28]

At school, Lisa and all her friends play with their new Talking Malibu
Stacy dolls.

  Stacy: Let's buy makeup so the boys will like us.
   Lisa: [sighs] Don't you people see anything wrong what Malibu Stacy
Celeste: There's something wrong with what _my_ Stacy says.
  Stacy: [in a low voice] My spidey sense is tingling -- anybody call
         for a web-slinger?
   Lisa: No, Celeste.  I mean, the things she says are sexist.
  Girls: [giggle] Lisa said a dirty word!
-- Ah, to be eight again, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

At home that night, the family chows down on dinner, but Lisa's is
untouched.  She stares angrily at the doll she holds in front of her.

 Lisa: They _cannot_ keep making dolls like this...something has to be
        [Chewing stops slowly; Homer swallows noisily]
Marge: Lisa, ordinarily I'd say you should stand up for what you believe
       in.  But you've been doing that an awful lot lately!
 Bart: Yeah.  You made us march in that gay rights parade!
        [Holds up newspaper showing gay parade with Bart prominently in
       front looking surprised]
Homer: And we can't watch Fox because they own those chemical weapon
       plants in Syria.
 Lisa: I can't believe you're just going to stand by as your daughters
       grow up in a world where this, _this_, is their role model.
Marge: I had a Malibu Stacy when I was little and I turned out all
       right.  Now let's forget our troubles with a big bowl of
       strawberry ice cream!
Stacy: Now low let's forget our troubles with a big bowl of strawberry
       ice cream!
-- Subconscious memory strikes again, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Lisa is incensed.  She decides to call the company.

Voice: Hello.  You have reached the Malibu Stacy customer service
       center.  If you have a complaint about Malibu Stacy's appearance
       or odor, press one.  If you've given Malibu Stacy a haircut and
       need to order a replacement head, press two.  For information on
       our factory tour, press three.
 Lisa: Mom!  We could go on the factory tour and I could complain in
Marge: Honey, you're not going to throw red paint at the executives, are
       you?  The Keebler people were very upset.
-- Environmentally unfriendly cookie-makers, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Apparently Lisa leaves the red paint at home.  Marge and Lisa are taken
around by a woman who acts as their tour guide.  She drives them around
on a factory electric cart.

Tour guide: Welcome to "Enchantment Lane" where all the parts come
            together and Malibu Stacy is born.  Some folks say there's a
            little touch of fairy dust in the air.
             [Shot of grizzled men unhappily assembling dolls]
   Foreman: Aw, crap.  There's a clog in the torso chute.  Leroy!  Get
            your ass in gear.
     Leroy: Shut your hole.  [jams a mop in the chute]
             [a whole pile of torsos fall out]
-- Fairy dust and asbestos, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Towards the end of the tour, Lisa and Marge are shown a Malibu Stacy
promotional video.

Narrator: Malibu Stacy: America's favorite eight-and-a-half incher.  In
          1959, homemaker Stacy Lavelle had a design and a dream.  The
          design?  Malibu Stacy.  The dream?  To mass market a fashion
          doll that was also edible.
          Kids didn't much like the taste of dried onion meal, but they
          _loved_ the doll.  A second, plastic Malibu Stacy took America
          by storm.  Just ask the owner of the world's largest Malibu
          Stacy collection: Wayland Smithers of Springfield.
Smithers: Hello, Malibu Stacy collectors.  I'll see _you_ [points] at
          StacyCon '94, at the San Diego Airport Hilton.
Narrator: And what does Stacy think of her thirty-five years of success
          and millions of friends worldwide?
   Stacy: Don't ask me, I'm just a girl.  [giggles]
Narrator: [chuckles] She sure is.
-- Nightmare demotional videos, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

The tour guide turns off the television.

Tour guide: Well, that's the tour.  If you have any questions, I'd be
            happy to answer --
      Lisa: I have one.
Tour guide: Yes?
      Lisa: Is the remarkably sexist drivel spouted by Malibu Stacy
            intentional, or is it just a horrible mistake?
Tour guide: [laughs] Believe me, we're very mindful of such concerns.
       Man: [wolf whistles] Hey Jiggles, grab a pad and back that
            gorgeous butt in here.
Tour guide: [laughs good-naturedly] Oh, get away, you.
       Man: Aw, don't act like you don't like it.
-- Mindful of some concerns, yes, but not others, "Lisa vs. Malibu

Lisa groans.

At home, Lisa sits at the kitchen table, dejected.  Grampa sits with
her, also dejected.

 Lisa: It's awful being a kid.  No one listens to you.
  Abe: It's rotten being old.  No one listens to you.
Homer: {I'm a white male, age 18 to 49.  Everyone listens to me -- no
       matter how dumb my suggestions are.}
       {[pulls out a "nuts and gum" mixture, starts chomping]}
-- Together at last, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Lisa: Well I'm not going to accomplish anything just sitting here --
 Abe: -- and griping.  It's time for --
Lisa: -- action!  I've got to talk to that woman who invented Malibu
      Stacy, and see if I can get her to --
 Abe: -- come out of retirement.  I'm gonna get me a job -- a real
      malibu [falters]...and see if Stacy...can help...invent...me...
Lisa: You're getting a job.
 Abe: Yes!  I'm going where the action is.
-- Slipped his mind for a moment, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Abe wears a headset and twiddles knobs on a control panel.  "Come in,
come in...Mayday!  I'm losing your transmission..." he says.  A man in
his car outside, at the Krusty Burger drive-through, yells, "I said
french fries!"  Abe seems surprised..."What the...?  We sell...french...
fries?" he says uncertainly.

Having gleaned a thing or two from the video at the Malibu Stacy
factory, Lisa looks for the home of one Wayland Smithers.

          [Lisa knocks]
Smithers: [answers] Yes?  I -- why, it's Homer Simpson's daughter.
    Lisa: I thought you might be able to help me get in touch with the
          inventor of Malibu Stacy.
 Smither: Whew!  Heh, that would be quite a feat.  Stacy Lavelle is a
          total recluse!  She hasn't appeared in public in twenty years.
          Here, I'm writing an article on her for my next Malibu Stacy
          newsletter.  It contains her last known whereabouts.  Here,
          I'll print you out a copy.
    Lisa: Thanks!
           [Smithers turns his computer on.  A bitmapped Mr. Burns
   Burns: [with inconsistent pitch] Hello, Smithers.  You're quite good
          at turning me on.
Smithers: Um...you probably should ignore that.
-- Thank God for scanners and samplers, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Lisa rides her bike off to the Recluse Ranch Estates.  She rides by,
looking at the houses, and stops in front of one in surprise.  She
compares it to Malibu Stacy's dream house, and they're identical.
Reasoning that this must be the home of Stacy Lavelle, she pressed the
intercom buzzer.

 Lisa: Excuse me, Miss Lavelle?  I'd like to talk to you about Malibu
Stacy: Do you have any idea how many kids have tried to track me down?
 Lisa: Am I the first?
Stacy: [pause] Yes.
 Lisa: I want you to hear what Malibu Stacy is telling a generation of
       little girls.
Stacy: [the doll] Thinking too much gives you wrinkles.
        [The old iron gate creaks open slowly.  Lisa walks in]
  Boy: All right!  I've been waiting nine years to get my frisbee back.
        [He throws it, but it goes right back inside]
        [moaning] Aw!
-- Another nine years you'll wait, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

[End of Act Two.  Time: 13:29]

Inside Stacy's living room, Lisa demonstrates some more of the
incredibly sexist drivel spouted by Malibu Stacy.

Stacy: [the doll] My name is Stacy, but you can call me [wolf whistle].
Stacy: I see exactly what you mean; this is a problem.  But what do you
       expect me to do?
 Lisa: Change what she says.  It's your company.
Stacy: Not since I was forced out in 1974.  They said my way of thinking
       just wasn't cost effective.
 Lisa: [gasps] That's awful.
Stacy: Well, that, and...I was funneling profits to the Viet Cong.
-- Too late to save Saigon, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

But you _are_ Malibu Stacy.  And as long as she has your name, you have
a responsibility.  I'd be mortified if someone ever made a lousy product
with the Simpson name on it.
-- Lisa, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Stacy: I may have had things in common with Stacy at the beginning, but
       thirty years of living her lifestyle taught me some very harsh
       lessons.  Five husbands: Ken, Johnny, Joe, Dr. Colossus, Steve
       Austin --
 Lisa: But if you can learn from Malibu Stacy's mistakes, so can
       everyone!  I'm sure we can think of something together.  Come on!
Stacy: Not now, I'm...to drunk.
 Lisa: No you're not.
        [Stacy sips slowly from a drink, then sighs]
 Lisa: Uh, I'll come back tomorrow.
-- "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Abe's job at Krusty Burger continues.

We need some more Secret Sauce.  Put this mayonnaise in the sun.
-- Mr. Peterson, manager of Krusty Burger, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Mr. Peterson slams the door.  Abe jokes with a bored-looking kid
stuffing hamburgers (sorry, meat-flavored products) into a bag for
takeout, "Let's have some fun!"  He pulls his false teeth out, puts them
in a bun, and asks, "Ever see a sandwich that could take a bite out of
you?  Heh heh heh.  Look at the sandwich!  It's going to bite you --" he
laughs, but the bored kid grabs the sandwich and stuffs it in the bag.
The man at the window takes a bite and observes, "That sandwich took a
bite out of me!"

The next day, Lisa is back at Stacy's place.  She suggests Stacy Lavelle
and she make their own talking doll.

She'll have the wisdom of Gertrude Stein and the wit of Cathy Guisewite,
the tenacity of Nina Totenberg, and the common sense of Elizabeth Cady
Stanton!  And to top it off, the down-to-earth good looks of Eleanor
-- Lisa's talking doll plans, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Stacy exhales smoke and smashes her drink into the fire.  "All right,
we'll make your doll."  But there's a knock at the door.

  Joe: Stacy, please, I must have you back.  Just come for a ride with
       me in my Mobile Command Unit[tm].
Stacy: Joe, I told you, it's over.  Release me from your Kung-Fu
  Joe: Fine.  I'll bomb your house into the ground, missy.
-- Unpleasant ex-husband visits, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Stacy sits with a clay model of the doll in front of her on the
Simpson's kitchen table.

  Lisa: Make sure you get my mom's hair just right!
 Stacy: [lops it off] Um, I think we'll use someone different for the
  Lisa: How about me?
 Stacy: Um, there's something not quite --
  Bart: How about me?
 Stacy: I -- uh --
 Homer: How about me?
 Stacy: [frustrated] You _all_ have hideous hair!
Family: [gasps]
 Stacy: I mean, from a _design_ point of view.
-- Backpedaling quickly, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

The next step is for Lisa to record what her doll will say.  She stands
in the recording studio in front of a microphone.

Techie: Talking doll, take eight.
  Lisa: "When I get married, I'm keeping my own name."  Oh, no, that
        should probably be "If I choose to get married."
Techie: Uh, look, little girl, we got other talking dollies to record
Krusty: [barging in with cue cards] All right, you poindexters, let's
        get this right!
        One: "Hey, hey, kids, I'm Talking Krusty."
        Two: "Hey, hey, here comes Slideshow Mel" -- again -- "Here
        comes Sideshow Mel".  "Sideshow Mel".
        Three: [does a Krusty laugh]
        Budda-bing, budda-boom, I'm done.  Learn from a professional,
         [walks out, squeals his tires away]
Techie: OK, Krusty, we are ready to roll any -- what the...?
-- Don't blink, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

At last the dolls are made!  A stack of them sit in the living room.
The family and Stacy watch while Lisa pulls the cord on one.

 Doll: Trust in yourself and you can achieve anything!
 Lisa: All right.  Now all we need is a name.
 Bart: How about Blabbermouth, the jerky doll for jerks?
 Lisa: How about Minerva, after the Roman goddess of wisdom?
Stacy: Ehh, not enough commercial appeal.
 Bart: Wendy Windbag?  Ugly Doris?  Hortense the mule-faced doll!
Stacy: I think we should name her after Lisa.  We'll call her Lisa
 Bart: No, Loudmouth Lisa!  Stupid Lisa Grabage Face!  [no one pays
       attention] I can't stand this any longer.  Somebody please pay
       attention to me!  Hello, pay attention to me!  Look at me!  I'm
       Bart, I'm Bart!  Look at me, look at me, look at me!  [waggles
-- Ignoring is bliss, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Back at Kidstown USA, a display of Lisa Lionheart dolls has been set up.
Lisa is beside herself with excitement.

 Lisa: This is great.  They're really going to sell our doll!
Stacy: Well, it wasn't difficult.  I just told them who I was, and who
       you were, and they couldn't resist.
 Lisa: Really?
Stacy: Well, I didn't tell them who _you_ were.
-- Oh, no, not Lisa Simpson, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

The board of directors at the Malibu Stacy plant have gotten wind of the
new doll.

Executive: Gentlemen, we've got to sink this Lisa Lionheart doll, and
           fast!  It's time to call in a favor from Washington.
  Senator: [on phone] Yes...yes, I understand...I'll take care of it
            [drives by the Simpson house in his limo, tosses a brick at
           the door, laughs evilly, and drives off]
     Lisa: Dad, did you hear something?
    Homer: [dumb voice] I-unno.
-- Oh, no, not the brick, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Kent Brockman's daughter has bought a Lisa Lionheart doll already. and
she shows it happily to her father.

Daughter: Dad?
    Kent: Uh huh?
Daughter: My new doll is much better than Malibu Stacy.  Do a newscast
          about her.
    Kent: Ho ho, please, honey, Daddy's job is to bring people important
          news.  Right now I'm busy preparing a report about the
          fortieth anniversary of Beetle Bailey.
Daughter: Oh, Daddy, that is boring.  Talk about the dolly!
    Kent: [considers] Well, you were right about the Berlin Wall...
-- Who needs an AP wire?, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Kent Brockman is true to his word.

Though it was unusual to spend 28 minutes reporting on a doll, this
reporter found it impossible to stop talking.  It's just really
fascinating news, folks.  Good night!
 [Music starts playing and credits roll]
Oh, and the President was arrested for murder.  More on that tomorrow
night, or you can turn to another channel.
 [Looks off to the side]
Oh.  Do not turn to another channel.
-- Kent Brockman, intrepid reporter, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

The execs at Malibu Stacy watch his newscast too.

Executive: Our one effort to put a stop to this Lisa Lionheart thing has
           failed miserably.  Gentlemen, we have to reinvent Malibu
           Stacy for the nineties.  [ominous] We'll stay here all night
           if need be.
      Man: Can we order Chinese food?
Executive: [pause] Yes.
            [Everyone starts talking excitedly]
-- Great motivators, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Meanwhile, Abe fields complaints from all the old people eating at the
Krusty Burger.

Jasper: I cut my tongue on these pancakes.
 Woman: These eggs are difficult to digest.  I want soft-boiled eggs!
   Abe: I told you, we don't have soft-boiled eggs!  If you want -- by
        gum, you're right!  We should have 'em.  I shouldn't be
        listening to complaints; I should be making them with you guys!
        The good Lord lets us grow old for a reason: to gain the wisdom
        to find fault with everything He's made.
        Mr. Peterson, you can take this job and...fill it.  And one more
        thing -- I never once washed my hands.  That's your policy, not
-- Abe fesses up, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

The old people all yell their encouragement, then they carry Abe off on
their shoulders like the hero he is.  But they only get about five feet
before their weak legs and backs buckle.

A crowd of little girls wait anxiously for the opening of the toy store
so they can be the first to get Lisa Lionheart.  Smithers waits with
them, too, greedily anticipating the joy.  When the doors are opened,
the crowd stampedes in.  "Look," cries one girl, "it's Lisa Lionheart!"
Another encourages them, "Keep running!  We're almost there!"

They almost make it, except an employee pulls a cart full of Malibu
Stacy dolls "with NEW hat" in their path.  They all stop: "They changed
Malibu Stacy!" one exclaims.  "She is better than ever!" says another.
Lisa tries to point out that the only difference is her stupid cheap
hat.  "She still embodies all the awful stereotypes she did before!"
Smithers is quick to point out, "But she's got a new hat."  This is all
it takes for the girls to ignore Lisa Lionheart in favor of the cheap-
hatted dolls.

 Lisa: [sigh] Well, I guess you can't beat big business.  There's just
       no room for the little guy.
 Lisa: [the doll] Trust in yourself, and you can achieve anything!
        [another girl plays with Lisa Lionheart and smiles]
 Lisa: You know, if we get through to just that one little girl, it'll
       all be worth it!
Stacy: Yes.  Particularly if that little girl happens to pay $46,000 for
       that doll.
 Lisa: What?
Stacy: Oh, nothing.
-- Financial loss but emotional gain, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

Stacy offers Lisa kudos.  They are about to leave the store when Homer
glances back.  "Marge, Lisa, Lady," he begins, "if you'll excuse me I've
got something very important to attend to."  He runs back to the giant
keyboard on the floor and plays the theme to the Simpsons.  Three
employees rush over and try to remove him, and they succeed, but not
before smashing it once again.

[End of Act Three.  Time: 21:25]


   {rb}  Robert Briggs
   {rc}  Ron Carter
   {tdc} Dan Crawford
   {ddg} Don Del Grande
   {tj}  Tiley Jones
   {twk} Tom Kirby
   {mwk} Matthew Kurth
   {rm}  Rich Muller
   {mmw} Michael Welch
This episode summary is Copyright 1996 by James A. Cherry.  Not to be
redistributed in a public forum without permission.  (The quotes
themselves, of course, remain the property of The Simpsons, and the
reproduced articles remain the property of the original authors.  I'm
just taking credit for the compilation.)