[1F15] Bart Gets an Elephant

Bart Gets an Elephant                              Written by John Swartzwelder
                                                        Directed by Jim Reardon
Production code: 1F15                       Original airdate in N.A.: 31-Mar-94
                                                  Capsule revision H, 22-Feb-97

Title sequence

Blackboard :- Organ transplants are best left to the professionals.
              Organ transplants are best left to the profes/ at cutoff.

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

Couch      :- The family's eyes all run in in darkness -- and when the
              lights come on, the bodies run in after the eyes.  The
              bodies sit down on the couch and lean forward, sticking
              their eyes in their sockets with a popping sound.
              Recycled from 1F06.

Did you notice...

    ... Burns' gift from his blood transfusion is in the basement?
    ... the turtle from "Terrapin Wax" swinging on Homer's hair?
    ... Bart eating the chocolate part of the Neapolitan ice cream?

Dave Hall:
    ... Marge wiggles her toes in the sandwich?
    ... Maggie plays with what looks like waffle batter during
    ... Marge sets a place for herself at breakfast?  (No, I doubt it
        was just a stack of waffles.)
    ... the red light in the fridge?
    ... the footprints walking up the cupboard to the ceiling?
    ... forks don't get used during breakfast?
    ... Homer's slobbering spray during breakfast?
    ... Homer tossing away half-eaten waffles?
    ... Homer, Bart, and Lisa manage to finish breakfast at the same
    ... Bart tries to open the back door by firmly placing a foot on it?
    ... how grimy and tired Homer, Bart, and Lisa look after cleaning,
        yet Marge look fresh and cheery?  (Was Marge pulling her own
    ... while Bill and Marty are talking to Bart, Homer goes next door
        to listen to a record?
    ... the SNPP cooling towers in the background of Springfield
    ... in some scenes, the elephant has five toenails per foot?
    ... Homer does math?

Tony Hill:
    ... SLH & S II pause at the corner before the second trumpet?
    ... Grant Wood painted "American Gothic" on top of an indelible
    ... OFF has a stucco-covered brick house?
    ... Stampy silenced the barking dogs?
    ... the Flanders sleep with the curtains open on their bedroom
        picture window?
    ... the tornado turned counter-clockwise?  (Does this mean OFF lives
        in the southern hemisphere?)

Don Del Grande:
    ... Marge enters the kitchen just before 7:00?
    ... Bart twiddles the phone cord?
    ... how to tell Bill from Marty?  Marty is (a) black, (b) balding,
        and (c) shorter than Bill.

Voice credits

- Starring
    - Dan Castellaneta (Homer, Gomer Pyle, President Clinton, Abe,
    - Julie Kavner (Marge, Patty, Selma)
    - Nancy Cartwright (Bart, Girl at door)
    - Yeardley Smith (Lisa)
    - Hank Azaria (Sergeant Carter, Moe, Mr. Cleanser, Marty, Wiggum,
      Snake, DJ 3000, arboretum keeper, slack-jawed yokel, Mr. Van
      Houten, Man needing elephant, peanut factory man, warden)
    - Harry Shearer (Bill, Skinner, Jasper, Kent Brockman, Burns,
      Blackheart, Ned Flanders)
- Also Starring
    - Pamela Hayden (boy at door, Mrs. Van Houten)
    - Maggie Roswell (DJs' boss, Mrs. Lovejoy, Maude Flanders)

Movie (and other) references

  + "Gomer Pule, USMC"
    - Homer's vision of Gomer and Sergeant Carter
  + "Mr. Clean"/"Scrubbing Bubbles"/"Turtle Wax" {rc}
    - "Mr. Cleanser"/"Bubble Off"/"Terrapin Wax" used by Homer
  + "Rocky IV"
    - Mr. Cleanser's line, and his accent
    "Young Sherlock Holmes" {akr}
    - Homer's hallucination (with a knight, even) similar to Watson's
      involving food
  + "Jurassic Park"
    - Stampy's eye in the window just like T. Rex's
  + "Sound of Music"
    - "Doe, a deer, a female deer..." joke
    Kim Deitch's "Hollywoodland" {abw}
    - Barney flicking his lighter and catching on fire

Previous episode references

- [7G01], [7G11] Homer's bowling ball {dh}
- [7F08] Golf clubs leaning against basement wall {dh}
- [7F22] The Stone Emlec Indian head is seen
- [8F11] Eating only the chocolate from Neapolitan ice cream
- [8F16] SLH's doghouse {dh}
- [9F11], [9F15], [1F14] Drug trips
- [9F12], [1F13] Homer bellows on his knees {ar}
- [1F14] A reference to Edward G. Robinson is made

Freeze frame fun

- Thinks on the staircase: {mk}
    - sandwich
    - Scratchy doll
    - 2 empty red (cola?) cans
    - 2 banana peels
    - baseball & glove
    - one of Lisa's red dresses (what's *she* doing undressing on the
    - roller skate
    - socks
    - underwear (probably Bart's - they look too small for Homer)
    - various unidentifiable stains & bits of junk
- Mr. Cleanser: {rc}
    - Warning: Use only in a well-ventilated area
- "American Gothic" painting: {rc}
    - If you can read this, you scrubbed too hard.  Signed, Grant Wood
- Springfield Shopper, Daily News, Free: {rc}
    - KBBL Cheats Staright-A Student!!!
- With the KBBL DJs: {rc}
    - 102.5 KBBL shirt
    - DJ 3000, "Inane Chatter"
- Homer's signs: {rc}
    - Go Away
    - See the Elephant $1, Ride the Elephant $2
    - See the Elephant $100, Ride the Elephant $500
- Convention signs: {rc}
    - Republican Convention Inside
        - We want what's worst for everyone
        - We're just plain evil
    - Democratic Convention Inside
        - We hate life and ourselves
        - We can't govern
- Springfield Tar Pit: {rc}
    - "The best in tar entertainment" -- Time Magazine

Animation, continuity, and other goofs

Establishing shot of Simpson house shows every light on.  {dh}

When Marge walks down the stairs the first time, she isn't wearing
slippers, but she has them on when she enters the kitchen.  {ddg}

The freezer section of the fridge has its own separate door, yet Marge
appears to be fully standing up when she opened the lower half.  {dh}

The kids' placement at the kitchen table changes.  Marge seem to
disappear from behind Bart before the close-up shot.  {bt}

After Bart's failed escape, certain shots depict an already clean
kitchen.  {dh}

Homer is lucky he didn't die of carbon monoxide fumes from his *gas-
powered* blower as there is no ventilation for the exhaust in the
basement.  {mk}

The leaf/wind blower disappears after Homer drops it.  {dh}

In Lisa's room, the vacuum cleaner changes position.  Also, Lisa holds
the vacuum cleaner with one hand, but changes over to her other hand.

While the clip from "Sixteen Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford is authentic,
the "clip" from Johnny Paycheck's "Take This Job and Shove It" is not.

The Mr. Cleanser cap appears to turn into a scrub brush in Homer's hand.

Grant Wood's painting only appears for the scene with Bart.  {dh}

The kitchen/TV room entrance doesn't have a swinging door.  {dh} Marge
should be standing in the middle of the TV room as Homer and the kids
enter the kitchen, yet the close-up shows Marge standing next to the
back door, looking the other way.  {dh}

How do the DJs know that Bart is in fact a child and not 34-year old
Nancy Cartwright?  {th}

Homer walks through the phone cord.  {dh}

Homer hangs up the phone without telling Bill & Marty who Bart is.  {dh}

The picture of Maggie in the living room (or is it in the dining room?)
changes again; compare it in the scene where Bart starts cleaning while
the radio plays "Sixteen Tons" to the scene after Homer returns from
seeing Milhouse's parents.  {ddg}

Bart's Neapolitan ice cream had the chocolate in the middle; in "Radio
Bart" the strawberry is in the middle.

Bill & Marty leave in a pickup truck -- could this mean they used the
truck to haul the elephant to the Simpsons place?  (Is any pickup truck
capable of doing this?)  {dh}

After Homer chains Stampy, the elephant crushes several items, but in
the next scene these items are not crushed.  {dh}


Ron Carter: [ F ] I would give this a worse grade if it existed; this
    was really, really bad.  Worthless plot (let's give Bart an
    elephant?), timing was non-existent, flow/pacing was nowhere to be
    found, nothing redeeming.

Bob Mihalek: Excellent Simpsons last night.  The flaming Barney getting
    pulled outta the tar pits had me ROTF.  Was there a reference here?
    Also, I don't recall ever seeing Barney smoke cigs before, but my
    recall is duff anyway.  Homer seemed a bit too dumb at the end with
    his head butting of the park ranger.

Carl Frank: Overall, the show was not one of the best -- interestingly,
    its plot structure was almost exactly the same as the episode where
    OFF gets a "trampopoline" -- but the Sound of Music reference saved
    it.  Overall Rating: B-

Ben Espe: One word review: Dumb(o)!

Andrew Ross: I give it about a B. [...] On the plus side, the whole
    family was well-represented, from Marge reaching the breaking point
    yet again to Lisa's concern for animals and jazz to Bart's fun with
    his new pet to the other pets doing their own tricks to Homer being
    his usual devolving self (but no Maggie though!)  On the minus side,
    it just wasn't ha-ha funny.

Tony Hill: This was absolutely the funniest episode ever and definitely
    the best one so far this season.  I wasn't finished ROTFL from one
    scene when another funnier one occurred.  And I shouldn't have taken
    a swig of Caffeine Free Pepsi right before the tavern scene.  BGE
    gets an A+.

Scott Chase: "Bart Gets an Elephant" was the WORST Simpsons episode I
    have ever seen, hands down.  It was so bad that it was embarrassing.
    I could explain why, but you've all seen it and know exactly what I

John J. Wood: The plot sorely lacked (the scene where the elephant saved
    Homer was *completely* predictable), and the gags were reduced to
    formula.  Even with the charming "D'oh!" deer joke and a few other
    gags, I found this episode quite forgettable.  Grade: D.

Joey Berner: I laughed a lot, there were so many ridiculous moments and
    lines, you couldn't help but laugh!  (I love Homer's trash tornado,
    Barney on fire, "D'oh, a deer, etc..)  I guess I'd give this one a

Don Del Grande: A B-minus episode; it did have its good moments, but
    there are just so many things you can do with an elephant before the
    story bogs down (like Homer did in the tar pits); it just fizzled
    out at the end.  (And all Homer had to do to avoid paying the bills
    was to wait until the episode ended, since all money and bills seem
    to vanish between shows...)

Steve Portigal: I didn't really like this episode.  Usually there some
    laffs which really tickle me, even if the overall episode is so-so.
    I liked the Edward G. Robinson line, but that was really about it.
    Oh well.

John Drukman: I thought some of the jokes were pretty good - most of the
    housecleaning scene, for instance, but after Stampy arrived it got
    pretty boring.  I don't find an elephant running amok in a sleepy
    suburb to be that funny.  Grade: C-.

Matthew Kurth: This episode nearly got my vote as the best episode of
    the season.  Touching, ROFL funny, and exceedingly brilliant for
    it's quirky (and admittedly simple) plot.  Until, that is, the
    *abysmal* lame ending - *totally* without punch or meaning, and like
    so many this season, I was just left hanging. 8/10 when it was a
    mere 21 seconds from being a perfect 10.

Yours truly: Hmm.  The plot had that unified feeling that 1F14 and 1F02
    lacked, and although the episode per se wasn't hugely funny, I found
    it charming and cute.  Stampy putting people in his mouth was my
    favorite part.  I give it a C.

Comments and other observations

The newspaper headline

Andrew Ross writes, "[The] headline `Cheats straight-A student' refers
    to that urban phenomenon: whenever something bad happens in the city
    (like a drive-by shooting), it's always the only honor student in
    Spanish Harlem or wherever that it happens to.  Check the paper;
    it's true!"

"Sixteen Tons"

Tony Hill says, "`Sixteen Tons' was written by Merle Travis in 1947.  It
    was a number one hit for Tennessee Ernie Ford for six weeks in the
    fall of 1955.  It was perhaps the most unusual hit of the decade,
    which otherwise consisted almost entirely of saccharine love
    ballads.  The arrangement is quite minimal, its chief rhythmic
    feature being Ford's finger snap.  The lyric is as depressing as any
    American popular song has ever been.  It is further confounding that
    the protagonist is a coal miner, one of the most obscure and
    disfranchised members of society.  The song was Ford's only
    important hit.  It was a perfect fit for the scene."

TV Guide collection

Tony Hill explains, "TV Guide is one of the three largest circulation
    American magazines.  It is a bit obscure on the collector's market
    since so few are saved.  I myself have a nearly complete collection
    of TV Guides from 1973-1981."

Al Gore as a humorous figure

Marge says, "He looks like he'll Gore," and Homer laughs, thinking he
    _does_ look like Al Gore, the Vice President of the United States.
    Tony Hill comments, "He has been compared to a variety of plant life
    due to his wooden style and long-windedness, but this is perhaps the
    first pachyderm allusion."

SLH, "We love you!"

Alexander Graham Bell was the first man to try to teach an animal to
    talk like a human.  He eventually taught his dog to growl while he
    manipulated the dog's mouth to make it sound as though it was
    saying, "I love you, grandma," although it was more like, "aah ow
    oo, aa aah."  Santa's Little Helper's line to Homer is perhaps an
    allusion to this.

Springfield Tar Pits

Tony Hill observes, "This was an obvious play on the La Brea Fossil Pits
    in Los Angeles.  (To call them the La Brea tar pits, as everyone
    does, is a polyglot redundancy, as brea is Spanish for tar.)  The
    position of the fossils to the pits was a copy of the L.A. landmark.
    The museum in the background also resembled the George C. Page
    Museum of the La Brea Discoveries."

Quotes and Scene Summary

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

It's another delicate morning in Springfield, USA.  Marge trudges out of
bed and walks down the stairs, amidst a minefield of junk the other
members of the family have left lying around.  "Mmm," she grumbles,
"Sandwich," stepping on one.  Further down the stairs, she notices some
underpants draped over the railing.

The kitchen, too, is a disaster area.  Eggs are smashed on the wall;
pizza drips gooily from the ceiling.  Checking in the fridge, Marge
finds Homer's bowling ball -- and some more underpants.  Still, she
prepares breakfast for the family without complaining.

Homer, Lisa, and Bart walk in with a cheery, "Hi Mom!", and tuck into
the breakfast Marge has kindly prepared.

 Bart: After breakfast, me and Milhouse are going down to the ravine.
       We got a tip from a six-year-old that there's a dead Martian down
 Lisa: And I'm going to the park to jam with "The Little White Girls
       Blues Quartet."  Wanna come with me, Daddy-O?
Homer: I'd love to, honey, but Daddy has to go to a beer-drinking
       contest today.
 Bart: Think you'll win?
Homer: Son, when you participate in sporting events, it's not whether
       you win or lose: it's how drunk you get.
 Bart: Gotcha.
-- The wisdom of age, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

"Well, gotta go!" says Bart, getting up to leave.  Homer and Lisa do the
same.  Marge, however, blocks the doorway.

 Bart: Uh, it's hard for us to leave when you're standing there, Mom.
Homer: [cheery] Push her down, son.
-- "Bart Gets an Elephant"

"No one's going anywhere!"  Marge begins angrily.  "We're going to clean
the whole house from top to bottom," she says, handing out buckets and
mops all around.  "Oh dear God, no!" cries Homer, and in a panic, Bart
runs to the front door and grasps it frantically, trying to get out.
Marge warns him that escape is impossible.

    Marge: Now each one of you take a floor and get started.
    Homer: I call the basement!
Bart+Lisa: Fine.
    Homer: [questioningly] D'oh?
            [Turns on the light in the basement, sees the huge mess]
-- The cleaning spree begins, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Bart wipes lamely away at the coffee table in the living room.

 Bart: [whining] I'm tired.  I'm hungry.  Can't we just buy a new house?
Marge: Oh, Bart, cleaning doesn't have to be a chore!  Here, work to the
       music.  [turns on the radio]
Ernie: You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
       Another day older and deeper in debt...
 Bart: Amen, Ernie.
-- Apt cleaning-music, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

In the basement, Homer wears a back-pack with an air compressor in it.
He pulls the chain to start it, and blows all the papers on the floor
into a swirling vortex.  Paper is strewn everywhere when he shuts it
down and dusts his hands.

 Homer: All done.
 Marge: You're not done.  I want you to throw away these old calendars
        and TV Guides.
 Homer: Are you mad, woman?  You never know when an old calendar might
        come in handy.  Sure, it's not 1985 now, but who knows what
        tomorrow will bring?  And these TV Guides: [fondly] so many
         [opens one] "Gomer upsets Sergeant Carter"...oh, I'll never
        forget that episode.
Carter: [annoyed] Pyle!
 Gomer: Shazam!
Carter: Pyle!
 Gomer: Shazam!
Carter: Pyle!
 Gomer: Shazam!
 Homer: Heh heh heh...Shazam.
-- Homer "cleans" the basement, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Marge chides Homer for wasting time.

Marge: Stop remembering TV and get back to work!
Homer: What's the point of all this cleaning?  Are we so vain?!
-- Apparently, yes, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

In her room, Lisa vacuums under the bed.  She hears music from outside.
Looks as though the Little White Girls have decided to do a tour while
they play.  Even better, President Clinton follows them, jamming on his
saxophone.  Moe drives by, scolding, "Hey, Clinton!  Get back to work!",
to which Bill retorts, "Make me!"  Lisa rues the great time they're
having while she's stuck inside; the vacuum cleaner she holds sucks into
her saxophone, making a sound like derisive laughter.

{In the basement, Homer prepares to clean the floor.}

       Homer: {[reads label on the Mr. Cleanser bottle]
              Hmm..."Use only in a well-ventilated area."  Shove it,
               [pours some out, starts scrubbing] Ooh...
               [the fumes get to him, and the logos on the cleansers
              come alive and look at him evilly]
               [the creatures all jump him]}
Mr. Cleanser: {[in a Russian accent] I must destroy you!}
       Homer: {Aah!  Aah!  Aah!}
       Marge: {Homer!  What's going on down there?}
       Homer: {Nothing.}
       Marge: {Then stop screaming so loud!}
       Homer: {OK...oh.  Oh.  Oh.}
-- Pointless warning labels, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

In the front room, Bart scrubs dust off Grant Wood's "American Gothic"
with KBBL blaring its inane chatter in the background.

        [song finishes]
 Bart: [groans]
Marty: And that was "Take This Job and Shove It."  Now let's make
       another one of our lucky phone calls --
 Bill: OK, just answer the phone with the special phrase that pays and
       you'll have your choice of $10,000 in cash --
        [cash register bell sounds]
       -- or a really stuuupid prize.
        [cuckoo clock chimes]
        [goofy laughter]
Marty: Well, let's make that call.
        [phone next to Bart rings]
 Bart: KBBL's going to give me something stupid!
  Abe: Bart, I'm having palpitations!
 Bart: Can't tie up the line, Grampa.  [hangs up]
-- And you didn't call 911 because...?, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Finally, the arduous task is complete.  Bart, Lisa, and Homer all look
tattered and tired.  "There," consoles Marge, "isn't that a lot better?
Now you can do whatever you want, but don't mess up the house."  The
three respond, "We won't," and they wander into the kitchen.  As the
door swings closed and then open again, the kitchen changes from
spotless to a total mess.

 Marty: Now let's try another lucky phone call.
         [phone rings]
Wiggum: Help!  Help us!  They stole our uniforms, guns, and tasers!
 Snake: [wearing a police uniform] Fry, piggy.  [charges taser]
Wiggum: No, no -- no don't -- aargh!
        A little to the left...
        Ah, that's the stuff.
  Bill: Oh, I'm sorry.  The phrase is, "KBBL is going to give me
        something stupid."  Pretty weird, hyuck, hyuck.  ["sproing"
-- It's probably just a joke, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Marty: Let's try one more number.
Homer: Y'ello?
 Bart: [grabs phone] KBBL is going to give me something stupid!
Marty: Well, hot dog!  We have a weiner!  [car alarm noise]
Homer: [grasping air] Y'ello?
 Bart: I won, I won!
Marty: You win your choice of $10,000 or -- what's our gag prize this
       week, Bill?
 Bill: [raucous] A full-grown African Elephant!
 Bart: Well, all that money sounds mighty tempting, Marty, but I think
       I'm going to have to go with the elephant.
Homer: [to Marge, happily] He's taking the elephant instead of the
Marty: [whispering] The kid wants the elephant!
 Bill: We don't have an damn elephant.
Marty: Don't whisper into the mike!
 Bill: Ahem, kid, the elephant's a gag prize.  Nobody takes the gag
       prize.  [nervous laughter] You want the cash.
 Bart: [indignant] I want the elephant!
Homer: Heh, heh, stick it to the man!
-- Homer, forever anti-authority, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Reason rears its ugly head, however, and Homer tries to convince Bart to
take the money instead.

Homer: Bart!  With $10,000, we'd be millionaires!  We could buy all
       kinds of useful things like...love!
Marge: Or double-ply windows.  They look just like regular windows but
       they'll save us 4% on our heating bill.
        [long pause]
       Well they will.
 Lisa: You all seem to be forgetting the most important thing...which is
       that it's wrong to imprison an animal!
        [long pause]
Homer: Lisa, go to you room.
-- Homer deals with opposition, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Bart & Homer arrive at KBBL, where Bart demands his elephant.

Marty: [sheepish laughter] We appreciate you coming down, but, heh, look
       kid, the thing us, uh heh heh...we don't _have_ an elephant, heh
 Bill: Come on, kid: just take the money, huh?  Otherwise we might get
       fired.  You don't want us to get fired, do you?
 Bart: Ehh, either way.
        [the DJs gasp]
-- The cruelty of ten-year-olds, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

  Marty: We think we know how your mind works, Bart.  So how about this:
         we pay your principal $10,000 to pull down his pants and keep
         them down for the rest of the school year, ha ha!
Skinner: I'll do it, Bart.
   Bart: Ermmm...no.
   Bill: OK, OK...what if we use the $10,000 to, er, surgically
         transform Skinner here into, er...some kind of a lobster-like
Skinner: Now wait just a minute: that wasn't discussed with me.
-- Going over his head, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Bart is inexorable: "Uh, Gentlemen, I am not leaving without my
elephant."  But he and Homer are both tossed out anyway.  "Where's my
elephant?"  Bart demands at the window repeatedly.  The DJs close the
window, but over the song they play next, Bart's queries can still be
heard faintly.  At the Springfield Retirement Castle, Abe notes, "Hey,
they're playing the elephant song!"  Jasper loves that; it reminds him
of elephants.  Kent Brockman even editorializes, "So isn't that what
we're all asking in our own lives -- 'where's my elephant?'  I know
that's what I've been asking."

At the KBBL studios, Bill and Marty's boss gives them a dressing-down.

   Boss: Look, our ratings are down, and the station is being swamped
         with angry calls and letter-bombs.
          [A few letter-bombs explode in a pile]
         And it's all your fault!
   Bill: Yes it is, ma'am.
   Boss: This is the DJ 3000.  It plays CDs automatically, and it has
         three distinct varieties of inane chatter.
          [presses a button]
DJ 3000: [stilted] Hey, hey.  How about that weather out there?
         Woah!  _That_ was the caller from hell.
         Well, hot dog!  We have a weiner.
   Bill: Man, that thing's great!
  Marty: _Don't_ praise the machine!
   Boss: If you don't get that kid an elephant by tomorrow, the DJ 3000
         gets your job.
          [Marty punches it]
DJ 3000: Those clowns in congress did it again.  What a bunch of clowns.
   Bill: [laughs] How does it keep up with the news like that?
-- Misplaced admiration, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Next morning, Marge hears the doorbell.  She rushes downstairs and pulls
the dinning room curtains open.  She's greeted by a large, staring eye.
Bill and Marty drive off as the family check out the elephant left them.
"Woah!"  Bart cries happily, and the elephant trumpets savagely.
Santa's Little Helper and Snowball II scamper off in fright.  They pause
on the horizon, peeking over, and whisk out of sight when the elephant
trumpets again.

[End of Act One.  Time: 8:13]

The elephant makes grunting noises and a ferocious face.

Marge: Homer...it looks like it could gore.
Homer: Heh heh...it _does_ look like Al Gore.
 Bart: [admiring] Ew, he smells worse than anything.  Hey you, elephant!
       Lift me up on your back, man.
        [elephant stuffs him in its mouth]
Marge: Bart!
        [Bart gets out with a plop]
 Bart: [nervous laughter] He tried to kill me.
-- Examining the elephant, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Marge: I really think this is a bad idea.
Homer: Marge, I agree with you -- in theory.  In theory, communism
       works.  In theory.
-- Pros and cons of keeping the elephant, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Just then, the elephant walks towards the side of the house and rubs up
against it to scratch himself, tearing the outside layer of the house
off.  "Look," laughs Bart, "he thinks he's people."

Homer decides to chain the elephant to a tree in the backyard.  Not
liking the idea, the elephant angrily breaks his chain and stomps on a
few Simpson items.  Bart decides to call the elephant "Stampy".

       [Stampy trumpets]
Homer: What's he yelling about?
 Lisa: He's hungry.  Here you go Stampy: [holds a platter] eat it slow.
       It has to last for --
        [Stampy grabs it all at once]
       You ate it too fast.
Homer: Maybe if we tied it down so it couldn't move it wouldn't get so
 Lisa: You can't do that, Dad, it's cruel!
Homer: Oh, everything's cruel according to you.  Keeping him chained up
       in the back yard is cruel.  Pulling on his tail is cruel.
       Yelling in his ears is cruel.  Everything is cruel.  Well, excuse
       me if I'm cruel!
        [Stampy stuffs Homer in his mouth; Homer struggles out]
       Now I've had my head in an elephant, a hippo, and a giant sloth.
-- Three for impressive three, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

To solve the food problem, Homer takes Stampy to Moe's for the "Free
Peanuts."  But Moe warns, "I think you're taking unfair advantage of my
generous offer."  Homer tells him to shut up.

       [Stampy lies weakly on the ground]
 Lisa: He can't just eat peanuts, Dad, he needs plants to live.
Homer: [crafty] Plants, eh?
        [At the Springfield Arboretum "(Tree place)"]
 Bart: Strip the bark now, Stampy.
Homer: Hey: any more arboretums around here?
  Man: No!
-- Too much of a good thing, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

{Just then, a bird lands on Stampy's back and starts to peck.}

Homer: {That bird!  He's killing the elephant.  Stop him!}
 Lisa: {No, Dad, he's grooming him.}
Homer: {[crafty] Grooming him, eh?
        [later, at home]}
Marge: {Ooh, Homer, there's a bird on your head!}
Homer: {I know.  He's grooming me.  Mmm...elephant fresh.}
-- Fresh as you can get, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Stampy has no problem quieting the neighborhood dogs at night: one might
trumpet, and the dogs shut up.  Just as well, because it makes it easier
for Bart to sleep out in the tree fort.  "Good night, Stampy," he calls,
and the elephant pulls Bart's covers over him.  He then caresses Bart's
head with his trunk and wraps it around Bart as if to hug him.  Just as
Bart gets comfortable, Stampy yanks him out and stuffs him in his mouth.
Bart taps on his cheek, and Stampy puts him back in his sleeping bag,
covered with drool.  "Thanks, bud.  'Preciate it."

 Lisa: Taught Stampy any tricks yet, Bart?
 Bart: Nah.  He doesn't want to learn, and I don't want to teach him.
       We get along fine.
        [SLH and S II walk by, balancing on balls]
Homer: Hey, what's with them?
 Lisa: I think they're trying to get some attention.
Homer: Oh.  Good luck!
-- "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Homer: Look at these bills: chains for elephant.  Shots for elephant.
       -- "Oversized decorative poncho"?!
 Bart: Technically it's for a giraffe, but I think I can let it out a
Homer: Well these bills will have to paid out of your allowance.
 Bart: You'll have to raise my allowance to about $1000 a week.
Homer: Then that's what I'll do, smart guy.
        [doorbell rings]
 Girl: Can we see the elephant?
  Boy: We'll pay you money...
Homer: For the ninth time, no!
        [slams door; doorbell rings again]
       Wait a minute...this gives me an idea.
        [hammers a "Go away" sign into the ground outside]
 Bart: Uh, here's a better sign, Dad.
        ["See the elephant, $1.  Ride the elephant, $2"]
Homer: I don't have time to read it.  Just give me the gist of it, son.
-- Well, OK, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

What a success Bart's idea becomes.  The yard is full of people who want
to see and ride the elephant.  One child is tossed angrily away by
Stampy, and Homer wants to charge his mother for the five-foot ride.

Mrs. Lovejoy: That animal of yours is certainly bad-tempered.
        Lisa: Yeah, well you'd be grumpy too if you were taken out of
              your natural habitat and gawked at by a bunch of slack-
              jawed yokels.
         Man: Hey, Moe: look at that pointy-hairded little girl.  Hyuck.
-- Slack-jawed, indeed, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Bart feels that he and Stampy are misunderstood.  Mr. Burns reminisces
to Smithers how riding Stampy reminds him of the fat man he used to ride
to work.

Homer: Look at this, Marge: $58 and all of it profit!  I'm the smartest
       businessman in the world.
Marge: Stampy's food bill today was $300.
Homer: Marge, please, don't humiliate me in front of the money.
-- A fate worse than death, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Homer decides to up the prices -- to $100 for a view and $500 for a
ride.  Everyone can't leave quickly enough.

          Homer: Uh, Milhouse saw the elephant twice and rode him once,
Mrs. Van Houten: Yes, but we paid you $4.
          Homer: Well, that was under our old price structure.  Under
                 our new price structure, your bill comes to a total of
                 $700.  Now, you've already paid me $4, so that's just
                 $696 more that you owe me.
 Mr. Van Houten: Get off our property.
-- So much for that idea, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Homer finally realizes that they can't afford to keep the elephant.
When he suggests selling him, Bart is against it.  SLH and S II play
"Mary Had a Little Lamb" on the toy piano in the background.

  Man: Well, sir, I'll be honest with you: I need a large African
       elephant and I need it today.  But I'm afraid this just isn't
       what I'm looking for.
Homer: What do you mea?  It's an elephant, isn't it?
  Man: Well, it is, and it isn't.  If you understand what I mean.
Homer: [pause]
        [happily] He likes peanuts.
-- A good selling-point, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Warden: Our wildlife refuge is the ideal environment for your elephant:
        thousands of acres of simulated African savannah.
  Lisa: It's perfect, Dad.
 Homer: I only have two questions: "How much", and "Give it to me".
Warden: Well, we really can't offer you any money, we're a non-profit
 Homer: So your bid is zero.
Warden: Well, we like to think of it as --
 Homer: Thank you.
Warden: You know I really think --
 Homer: Thank you.
-- Zero don't pay the bills, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Blackheart: Mr. Simpson, I think you'll find this amount more than fair.
      Lisa: Dad, I think he's an ivory dealer!  His boots are ivory, his
            hat is ivory, and I'm pretty sure that check is ivory.
     Homer: Lisa, a guy who's got lots of ivory is _less_ likely to hurt
            Stampy than a guy whose ivory supplies are low.
       SLH: [growling] We...love...you.
      Lisa: Mr. Blackheart?
Blackheart: Yes, my pretty?
      Lisa: Are you an ivory dealer?
Blackheart: [laughs] Well, little girl, I've had lots of jobs in my day:
            whale-hunter, seal-clubber, president of the Fox network,
            and, like most people, yeah, I've dealt a little ivory.
      Bart: Dad, you can't do this.  Stampy is my friend.
     Homer: Don't worry, son.  I'll get you a new elephant.
Blackheart: I'll take that one too.
     Homer: Done.
-- Let's make a deal, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Blackheart: All right, I'll be back in the morning to pick up Stampy.
     Homer: Here's the keys.
Blackheart: Elephants don't have keys.
     Homer: Well, I'll just keep these then.
-- Little-known facts, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

 Bart: Don't worry, Stampy.  I won't let Homer sell you to that ivory
       dealer.  You and I are going to run away together.  We'll keep to
       the back roads and make our way south.  Then, if I know my
       geography, it's just twelve miles to Africa.  OK, bud, very
       quietly: let's just sneak through --
        [Stampy brushes him off and tromps off]
        [walks through the Flanders' yard]
  Ned: [gasps] It's the four elephants of the apocalypse!
Maude: That's horsemen, Ned.
  Ned: Well, getting closer.
-- Elephants, horsemen...what's the difference?, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

[End of Act Two.  Time: 15:54]

Lisa runs into her parents' bedroom, clearly distraught.

 Lisa: Mom!  Dad!  Bart and Stampy are gone!
Marge: Oh my Lord!
 Lisa: I bet it's 'cause of that horrible ivory dealer, [accusing]
Homer: That wasn't part of our deal, Blackheart.  That wasn't part!
        [drives off looking]
       Piece of cake!  All we have to do is follow the path of
        [looks up]
       Oh, stupid tornado!  [laughs] Look!  It got Patty and Selma.
        [the two sit in rocking chairs up in the air]
Patty: Hmm.  I feel it all the way up my skirt.
Selma: Ditto.
-- That's one powerful gale, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

{Two workmen carry a pane of glass across the road.  Stampy crashes
towards them, and they hastily move out of the way into the other lane,
where they have to move quickly _again_ to avoid Bart on his skateboard.
Having saved the glass from destruction, they toss it carlessly into a
recycling bin.}

Chief Wiggum takes calls down at the station.

Yeah, right, lady: an elephant ran through your front yard.  OK.
 [goes to another line]
Wiggum...yeah, right, mister, mm hm.  An elephant just knocked over your
mailbox.  OK.
 [goes to another line]
Wiggum...Yeah, right, buddy, liquor store robbery, officer down.  Sure.
And I'm Edward G. Robinson.
-- You were last week to Flanders, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

{Stampy walks through a Republican and a Democratic convention even.
The Rublicans cheer him, and the Democrats hoo him.}  He then walks
menacingly towards a peanut factory.  The plant supervisor bolts the
door, then starts to preach about how fortunate everyone is that he
prepared them for this day -- but he's interrupted by Stampy smashing
down the door.

Bart can't find Stampy anywhere.  He calls out for him, and is delighted
to hear a trumpet in return.  He looks over and sees the shadow of an
elephant behind some bushes, but when he runs through them, he finds
it's just the preserved skeleton of a wooly mammoth that wandered into
the Springfield tar pits.  The trumpeting was a recording.

Bart is sure Stampy's gone forever, but just then he hears Stampy's
distinctive call, and he looks over.  It's Stampy, all right.  But his
trunk reaches fondly towards the mammoth skeleton, and the plucky ten-
year-old realizes Stampy pines for company from other elephants.

Just then, Homer, Marge, and Lisa arrive in the car.

       [Homer drives into a preserved deer statue]
Homer: D'oh!
 Lisa: A deer!
Marge: A _female_ deer...
-- The best Simpsons gag ever, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Homer: Son!  You're OK.  [hypnotic] And you led us to the precious
       ivory...[affable] and, of course, your lovable pet, who it's
       connected to.
 Bart: Dad, I can't let you sell him.  Stampy and I are friends.
        [Stampy beats him with his trunk] Ow!  Anyway, I want him to go
       to that animal refuge.
Homer: Forget it!  That elephant cost me thousands of dollars.
 Lisa: Dad, how would _you_ like to be sold to an ivory dealer?
Homer: I'd like it fine.
 Bart: Even if he killed you and made your teeth into piano keys?
Homer: Yes, of course I would!  Who wouldn't like that -- to be part of
       the music scene?
-- The difference between involvement and commitment, "Bart Gets an

 Lisa: Dad!  You're sinking.
Homer: Huh?
Marge: Get a rope, Bart?
Homer: Naw, that's OK.  I'm pretty sure I can struggle my way out.
       First I'll just reach in and pull my legs out, now I'll pull my
       arms out with my face.
-- Homer at the Springfield tar pits, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Homer begins sinking, and Bart implores Stampy to pull him out with his
trunk.  Stampy reaches in and finds Barney, who walks away with a,
"Thanks, Stampy!"  He lights a cigar and catches on fire.

       [Stampy pulls Homer from the tar pit]
Homer: I'm alive.  I'm alive!  And I owe it all to this feisty feline.
 Lisa: Dad, "feline" means "cat".
Homer: Elephant, honey.  It's an elephant!
-- Well, duh, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

"And I'm sure he'll make a grand piano," Homer continues, but Bart and
Lisa castigate him: "Dad!"

Homer: I guess it wouldn't be right to sell Stampy after he saved my
       life.  And the boy seems to have some sort of relationship with
 Bart: Thanks, Dad.
Homer: On the other hand, who's to say what's right these days, what
       with all our modern ideas...and products?
        [Bart and Lisa look angrily at him]
       All right, we'll give the stupid elephant to the stupid animal
 Kids: Yay!  [hug Homer]
 Bart: Uh, Mom?  We're stuck to Dad.
Marge: Mmm, this is just what happened at the caramel factory.
        [pulls them off]
 Lisa: Ow, my hair!
Homer: Mmm, caramel.
-- We don't want to know, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

Bart bids a tearful goodbye to Stampy outside the animal refuge.  Stampy
reaches for him and Bart cringes, expecting to be put in his mouth once
again, but instead Stampy lifts him on his back.  The elephant runs into
the pasture, spilling Bart off, and starts butting another elephant.
"Attaboy, Stampy!  Butt him once for me!"

        [Stampy butts another elephant]
 Marge: Gosh, I thought he'd be happier in his true habitat.
Warden: Oh, I think he is.
 Marge: Then why is he attacking all those other elephants?
Warden: Well, animals are not like people, Mrs. Simpson.  Some of them
        act badly because they've had a hard life, or have been
        mistreated...but, like people, some of them are just jerks.
        Stop that, Mr. Simpson.
         [Homer butts the warden repeatedly]
-- "Jerk" about sums it up, "Bart Gets an Elephant"

[End of Act Three.  Time: 21:17]

Special thanks to Dave Hall for proofreading and editing this


   {rc}  Ron Carter
   {dh}  Dave Hall
   {th}  Tony Hill
   {mk}  Matthew Kurth
   {akr} Adam Rixey
   {ar}  Andrew Ross
   {abw} Al Wesolowsky
This episode summary is Copyright 1997 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.)