[1F22] Bart of Darkness

Bart of Darkness                                         Written by Dan McGrath
                                                        Directed by Jim Reardon
Production code: 1F22                        Original airdate in N.A.: 4-Sep-94
                                                  Capsule revision F, 21-Jul-96

Title sequence

Blackboard :- Beans are neither fruit nor musical.
              Beans are neither fru/ at cutoff.

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

Couch      :- The family are sitting in midair on an invisible couch
              when the couch runs in and assembles itself on top of
              them, making them collapse.

Did you notice...

    ... Bart swims in his underwear in the Pool Mobile?
    ... Nelson defines "epidermis" incorrectly?
    ... Bart owns a String Art kit?

Dave Hall:
    ... Hans Moleman lives in a bungalow?
    ... the two watermelons in the Simpson fridge?
    ... Bart strips to his underwear but keeps his shoes on?
    ... Maggie crawls around in this episode?
    ... Lisa takes off her necklace when she wears her bathing suit?
    ... the girl with the seashell bikini?
    ... the trail of water on the kitchen floor?
    ... Jimbo bouncing Milhouse's head in the swimming pool?
    ... Wendell seems ready to upchuck over the side of the pool?
    ... how twisted Bart's leg is immediately after he fell?
    ... Bart breaks the same leg as Jimmy Stewart's character from Rear
    ... Milhouse swims with his eyeglasses on?
    ... how short Krusty's hair was in 1961?
    ... Bart plays Stratego?
    ... Marge takes off her necklace before her dip in the pool?
    ... Lisa doesn't knock before entering Bart's bedroom?
    ... the white family portraits gracing the walls of Dr. Hibbert's
    ... Bart actually takes care of the telescope?
    ... Ned actually takes the Lord's name in vain?
    ... the various toy darts sticking to objects around Bart's bedroom?
    ... the Scratchy doll shoved into Bart's bookcase?
    ... Ned digs a grave big enough for a human body?
    ... the Flanders have a tire-swing?
    ... Todd's clapping turns into praying?
    ... the doormat in front of the Flanders' back door?
    ... the Flanders don't lock their back door?
    ... the Flanders have a toaster and microwave oven?
    ... Bart has a Spruce Goose model airplane?
    ... Ned doesn't wear socks?
    ... the two pianos in the attic?
    ... Milhouse in the rubber raft in the sea of kids?

Tony Hill:
    ... Maggie notices Marge's hair collapse?
    ... Otto drives the Pool Mobile on the wrong side?
    ... Lisa says "duh" after she tells her brain to go away?
    ... the workers at Martin's pool are actually listening to him?
    ... the code for regicide is 5#96?
    ... the Prince house has shutters on the windows facing the back

Aaron Varhola:
    ... when Homer over-chlorinates the pool, Milhouse and another boy
        are shown with bleached hair and skin?
    ... Milhouse is the only one not laughing at Nelson's "your
        epidermis is showing" crack?
    ... the pictures on the wall of "Jimmy Stewart's" room are the same
        as in "Rear Window", the one of the plane and the one of the
        race car wreck?

Matthew Kurth:
    ... Al Jean & Mike Reiss are credited for "Consulting Producers"?
    ... Lisa is a lighter shade of yellow than Bart was in many scenes?
    ... Martin begins with 22 pairs of swim trunks when he arrives at
        the Pool Mobile?
    ... Even Wendell [the pale kid - ed] is swimming?
    ... Milhouse signs Bart's cast "Milpool"?
    ... Even Nelson is nice to Lisa?

Don Del Grande:
    ... there's a diving board at one end of the Pool-Mobile, but it's
        far too shallow to dive into?
    ... Marge is called "Mrs. Bart" and "Mrs. Cumberdale"?
    ... Bart's bathing suit is blue; in "Brush with Greatness", it's
        green with orange stripes?  (Lisa's suit is the same in both
    ... Lisa does a cannonball into the pool at one point?
    ... Lisa's uvula is showing in the scene in Bart's room?
    ... it's 10:07 PM when Skinner is in the school sharpening pencils?
    ... Bart has dark circles under his eyes?

Vaughn Jett:
    ... Bart wipes off the end of the telescope before viewing the
    ... the hobby-donkey in the Flanders' basement?

Giles Christie:
    ... the young Marge lookalike getting out of the Pool Mobile?

David Olivier:
    ... when all the kids are saying "Hi Bart", they're saying it to
        some fat kid eating a sandwich, not Bart?

Ricardo Lafaurie:
    ... whereas Hans' car usually bursts into flames, this time it's
    ... the girl with big hair that sits in the corner of Bart's room is
        in the mobile, wearing what looks like a seashell bra?  [For
        some reason, I like to keep tabs on this girl.]
    ... Skinner spends his free time sharpening pencils?
    ... Bart's play isn't written in a "play" form, but is written like
        a novel?

Voice credits

- Starring
    - Dan Castellaneta (Hans Moleman, Homer, ice cream man, "Mrs.
      Cumberdale" boy, Krusty, Jimmy Stewart, Grampa)
    - Julie Kavner (Marge)
    - Nancy Cartwright (Bart, Nelson, Ralph, Rod, Todd)
    - Yeardly Smith (Lisa)
    - Hank Azaria (wax museum tour guide, hippie, pool salesman, Amish
      guy, Wiggum, Ravi Shankar, Rex, Resc-U-Fone voice, Lou)
    - Harry Shearer (Skinner, chili man, Otto, Dr. Hibbert, George
      Meany, Flanders)
- Also Starring
    - Pamela Hayden (Jimbo, Milhouse)
    - Maggie Roswell (nurse in emergency, Maude)
    - Russi Taylor (Martin, Sherri, Terri)

Movie (and other) references

  + "Apocalypse Now (Heart of Darkness)"
    - episode title/Bart going a bit crazy
  + "Animal House" {se}
    - man singing "Sunshine on my shoulder" and getting punched (by John
    - the barn raising, complete with Amish guy
  + Busby Berkeley movies {mk}
    - musical number in pool (with kaleidoscopic effects)
  + "Planet of the Apes"
    - Itchy & Scratchy cartoon title
    Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" {ne}
    - Itchy bricking Scratchy in, and placing the last brick in with
  + "Star Trek" episodes "The Cage" and "The Menagerie" {mk}
    - Itchy clones as aliens from Talos V
    - large bulbous heads with pronounced veins that pulsate, bodies
      with pronounced chests, down to the medallions and facial
    "Blue Sky" {rl}
    - nude people swimming being watched from a helicopter
  + Edward R. Murrow's "Face to Face" {th}
    - Krusty's interview, including smoking and close-ups
    - (Murrow died from smoking)
  + Luis Bunuel's "Un Chien Andalou" (1928) {sh}
    - man drags objects on his leg, similar camera angle
  + Hitchcock's "Rear Window"
    - much of murder plot
    - Jimmy Stewart appears
    - music similar to Hermann's score for the film {ne}

Previous episode references

- [7F04] "How to Cook for Forty People" (cf. Lettuce gag) {th}
- [7F18] Bart and Lisa annoy Homer with ad nauseum repetition {th}
- [9F02] Springfield Wax Museum {dh}
- [9F03] Bart badgers the disappointing truth out of Lisa (cf. "It was
  the best movie I've ever seen in my life!")  {rl}
- [9F13] Rex from Lisa's class appears {dh}
- [9F14] Lisa's thoughts are heard {rl}
- [9F18] Bart and "Beans, beans, the musical fruit" {th}
- [1F04] Bart clings hysterically to Milhouse (cf. "Sweet, trustworthy
  Milhouse...") {rl}
- [1F08] the Spruce Goose appears

Freeze frame fun

- The signs at the M*A*S*H exhibit: {dh}
    - Coney Island
    - San Francisco
    - Tokyo 259mi 414km
    - Burbank 50???
    - Death Valley
    - Indianapolis
    - Decatu????  [Decatur, IL?  - ed]
    - Honolulu
- Foods used as makeshift air-conditioning: {mk}
    - frozen peas (Homer)
    - frozen corn (Bart)
    - strawberry jello with marshmallows (Maggie)
- There were 19 kids in the Springfield Pool-Mobile.  {dh}
- Sign at pool shop: "POOL SHARKS - WHERE THE BUYER IS OUR CHUM" (with
  picture of sharks swimming around a guy in an inner tube) {dh}
- Scratchy's demise: {dh}
    - left ear sliced off with flying knife
    - tail chopped off with flying axe
    - right hand sliced off with flying knife
    - beard cut off with shuriken
    - nose cut off with flying-triangle-type knife
    - right ear sliced off with weird looking object
    - both arms sliced off with whirling double axe-ended weapon
    - head sliced off with Ninja star
    - same Ninja star doubles back to cut Scratchy in two
    - lower half sliced into two by weird looking object
    - Scratchy's head lays on pile of body parts
    - large axe chops head cleanly into two (note his tongue)
    - Brainy Mice clap their hands
- Bart's sights through the telescope: {dh}
    - space (including satellite and UFO)
    - Skinner sharpening pencils at Springfield Elementary
    - Dr. Hibbert exercising in front of TV
    - Jimmy Stewart's character from Rear Window
    - Ned killing someone
    - Ned burying something
    - Ned talking to Todd and Rod
    - Ned and the boys leaving
    - Lisa sneaking into Flanders' house
    - Lisa peeking into Flanders' fridge
    - Lisa walking up the stairs
    - Ned walking by window with an axe
    - Lisa going through a desk and Ned walking up the stairs with an
- Stuff stuck to Bart's cast: {dh}
    - wastebasket (with basketball hoop inside)
    - garden hose
    - piece of sod
    - tricycle
    - dog on leash

Animation, continuity, and other goofs

Hans' cane switches hands, and his cane disappears.  {dh}

The kitchen telephone is missing.  {dh}

In the tent, Bart is wearing his shoes along with his underwear; out of
the tent, he isn't.  {ddg}

Marge's fans don't have power cords.  {dh}

Marge isn't usually the selfish type, yet both of the fans are pointed
directly at her.  (And note the fans are covered, unlike in "Marge Gets
a Job".)  {ddg}

The water splashes Otto, yet there are "lines" on behind him which
animators draw to represent glass, i.e., the animators drew a window
where there should have been none.

Assuming the Mobile Pool is 12 feet by 50 by 3 feet deep, it would have
held 13,466 U.S. gallons (50,969 liters), which would weigh 118,500
pounds (53,751 kg) or 59.25 tons (53.75 metric tons).  This seems to
strain the limits of credulity for what can be towed by a single
tractor.  {th}

The TV remote disappears from Homer's hand.  {dh}

Bart starts to say "Can we --" and Lisa cuts him off, but it's _Lisa's_
voice that says "Can we --".

There are ladders going to the bottom of the pool, so why can't Lisa get
out later on?

The treehouse ladder disappears in one scene, and switches sides a
couple of times.  {dh}

Bart takes four seconds to fall - either he was hanging from a branch
(or the edge of the treehouse), or he fell about 250 feet.  {ddg}

When he's lying on the ground, Bart's broken leg appears to be twice as
long as his uninjured one.  {ddg}

Bart's marker disappears.  {dh}

Milhouse's signature disappears.  {dh}

The edge of the pool gets conveniently wider to allow all the divers to
stand on it.

In the Busby Berkeley bit, when the circle opens to let Homer in, it's
people in different suits, but in the next scene, everybody has orange
suits.  {ddg}

In the scene from above, everyone's legs are still, but in the close-up
of Homer, they're all flutterkicking.

The pool is much too small for the synchronized swimming demonstrated.

The "Klassic Krusty" is from 1961...but Krusty's show hasn't reached its
30th Anniversary yet.  [cf. [9F19] - ed] {ddg}

Bart wouldn't have been seen in silhouette in his dark bedroom by people
in daylight in the backyard.  {th}

Bart's door is already open, yet we hear the sound of a door opening
when Lisa enters Bart's bedroom.  {dh}

Lisa doesn't have the telescope with her when she enters Bart's bedroom.

The portable TV in Bart's room disappears.  {dh}

The telescope moves from behind to in front of Bart.  {dh}

Why would Bart need the telescope to see Flanders' house, which is next
door?  {do}

Ralph's drink money disappears from Lisa's hand.

Why on earth would Ralph carry his juice money with him in the pool?
And what time of day and day of the week was it?

Lisa's not the kind of person to choose popularity over brains; why now?
(Maybe the heat has gotten to her...) {ddg}

Everybody can stand up in the pool, yet it's too tall for Lisa to get
out when it's empty.  {ddg}

The Flanders doesn't have patio doors.  (See other episodes.)  And
except for [8F11] & [1F07], Bart's bedroom doesn't face the Flanders
yard.  {dh}

When Bart dials 911, the phone makes the sounds for 722.  And when he
dials 5#96 for regicide, the phone sounds like 7572.

Bart shouldn't be able to see Lisa walk up the stairs as the Flanders'
garage should be in the way.  (See other episodes.)  {dh}

Bart shouldn't be able to hear the people he is spying on.  {dh}

As Bart watches Lisa walk by the rolltop desk in the Flanders home, it
is already open.  A few scenes later, we see Lisa opening it.  {dh2}

Flanders' bird cage disappears.  {dh}


Sarah Pessina: All in all, not a sideslapper -- but that's okay, they
    can't all be the best episode...

Justin Smith: I thought the humor was very run of the mill Simpsons and
    a lot of it seemed almost forced.  Homer's attempt at a crack during
    the scene at the end where they discover Flanders' wife alive was
    lame.  I could see the overchlorination thing coming a mile away.
    Bart becoming whacked out in his room seemed very stilted to me too.
    I dunno, maybe I was looking forward to it too much.

Ed Olhava: I think it would have been funnier (for me at least) if
    during the first part, it was more of a parody of "Apocalypse Now,"
    like the title implied.  Granted, Bart was shown going slightly
    nuts, but it was nowhere near the insanity of Kurtz in the movie.

Todd Sharpe: I thought the humor was a little old and didn't come over
    very evenly.  Personally I thought the "Rear Window" thing was way
    over done.  It's like we didn't catch it from the first joke, are we
    getting less intelligent or what?

Dave Mackey: I thought the Rear Window parodies were really clever and
    there were some nice moments.  Particularly the end of the episode
    where there's a nice knockoff of the Frank Sinatra song "Summer
    Wind."  On the whole, it was a pretty nice almost-Finale of the
    previous season.

Tony Hill: I give this an A. It was hilarious and well-paced and had
    proper integration of the main plot and subplot.  Flanders managed
    to star in a murder mystery and still remain true to character.  OFF
    manages to pull off a four-star season opener even without a big-
    name guest star.

Aaron Varhola: I guess the anticipation spoiled this episode.  I
    expected more from the season premiere.  The plot dragged for most
    of the first half of the show; the third act saved this episodes
    from the depths of "Bart Gets an Elephant".  C-.

Dave Hall: I actually liked ``Bart of Darkness'' -- two yellow thumbs
    up.  :)

Matthew Kurth: This story had a lot going for it, but like it's
    predecessors it lacked punch and emotion to be a strong story.  Lisa
    was in fine form throughout.  The Flanders/Lisa climax was severely
    lacking in mood and tension, and Flanders' scream was pathetic.

Ed Champion: Well, overall, I thought this episode was very weak.  It
    still followed the Season 5 format of methodical writing, showing
    one joke after another like a tired sit-com, instead of simply
    throwing a whole bunch of jokes at the audience at once.  **1/2 out
    of four stars.

Don Del Grande: C (C-minus for the story, raised slightly for some
    better-than-usual jokes thrown in)...it looks like a remake of
    "Bart's Inner Child", replacing "trampoline" with "swimming pool"
    and "do what you feel" with "Ned killed Maude", although there was a
    little more overlap between the two plots.

Marc Singer: In many ways, "Bart of Darkness" was a typical Season
    Fiver: it had the "Simpsons get a wacky object plot" (already used
    twice before, with a trampoline and an elephant), and a long movie
    reference that substituted for a plot ("Rear Window," as opposed to
    "Cape Fear", "Thelma and Louise," ad nauseum).  The Simpsons has
    never been a formula show, but last season (and this episode) came
    dangerously close.

Yours Truly: Lisa was acting out of character, I didn't find the Rear
    Window stuff particularly funny, and the plot seemed contrived.  The
    Busby Berkeley part and the Resc-U-Fone call were good, however.  I
    didn't think it was a very well-put-together episode.  Grade: D.

Comments and other observations

Scenes shown in commercial but cut

Don Del Grande notes the cutting out of the "Canwehaveapooldad?
    Canwehaveapooldad?", "NOOOOOOO!!!" in the car, "apparently on the
    way to/from a funeral (it didn't appear to be taken directly from
    `Selma's Choice' and redubbed); it may have been a `rake scene'
    nipped in the bud.  Also," he continues, "the scenes where Homer
    dives in (only to be covered in green stuff) and the kids being
    `washed out' of the pool (Martin's pool, when it burst) were shown
    together to make it look like Homer's dive washed them out."

"Where the buyer is our chum"

John Bilicska points out an amusing pun in the slogan for Pool Sharks:
    "To `chum' the water is to toss discarded fish parts and other offal
    into the water to attract sharks."

Pool names

The salesman tried to sell the Simpsons pools named "Hick Tub", "Insta-
    Rust", "Lightning Magnet", and "The Tinkler".

Ravi Shankar

Mark T. Irwin says Ravi "was the great spokesman of Indian music--master
    sitar-player, signed, in fact, by Apple Records (the Beatles'
    label), although he only made one (?) album for them.  You can still
    find his stuff in the bins, as he's still the best known of Indian
    classical musicians.  He went on tour with George Harrison's Dark
    Horse gang in (I think) 1974, and before that was featured as the
    opening act on Harrison & Company's Concert for Bangladesh."

Lisa's telescope

Bob Yantosca notes, "From the looks of it, Lisa won a spotting scope
    (compact, small f/ratio, usually supplied with a `third' inverter
    lens to make the image erect).  All good astronomical telescopes
    leave out the inverter lens (the image is upside down but less light
    is lost from the ray path) and come with equatorial Right Ascension
    / Declination mounts instead of the simple Altitude-Azimuth mount.
    It is much easier to track celestial objects with an equatorial
    mount...but it is easier to sight terrestrial objects with an Alt-

The 911 emergency call

Elson Trinidad writes, "It was a reference to a phone service here in
    Southern California called MOVIEPHONE, where you call a phone number
    (777-FILM) and use the touch tone to select the title of film,
    theaters in your area, showtimes, etc.  The way Hank Azaria pitched
    his voice in this bit was EXACTLY the way the Moviephone guy talks!"
    Michael Halleen agrees the intonation is too close to be

Songs in this episode

Tony Hill explains that "Sunshine on My Shoulders" was a #1 hit for
    singer-songwriter John Denver in 1973, and "Summer Wind," a German
    song by Henry Mayer with an English lyric by Johnny Mercer, was an
    international hit for Frank Sinatra in 1966.  "The version in this
    episode was a copy of Nelson Riddle's arrangement for Sinatra."

Quotes and Scene Summary

(Thanks to Dave Hall for all his help with this part)

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

The sun, that happy Springfieldian character, beats down on the placid
town.  Hans Moleman walks out of his house, into the heat, and looks up.
"Well, you're certainly doing your job today, Mr. Sun," he observes, and
holds his glasses off his face a bit.  The sun's rays focus through the
thick lenses, burning twin holes in his shirt and setting it on fire.
"Oh, rats," he laments.

At the Springfield Wax Museum, a teenager leads a group on a tour.  "And
here we have the world-famous Beatles," his voice cracks, "exactly as
they looked performing on the Ed Sullivan show."  He motions to four
puddles of wax on a stage.  "I hardly think it's fair to be charged full
price; I'm up to my knees in the original cast of 'Mash'!"  Skinner
exclaims, literally standing in the puddles of wax that were once models
of Alan Alda, Jamie Farr, et al.

A hippie on the street plays his guitar and sings, "Sunshine on my
shoulders makes me happy," but an angry Springfield citizen punches him
in the face and walks off scowling.

Homer, however, has found a great way to beat the heat: he's opened the
refrigerator door and put a tent in front of it.  Turning the coldness
knob to "10", he tapes the tent door flaps to the freezer.  Bart and he
sit inside in their underwear with boxes of frozen food to keep their
skin cool.

 Bart: Homer, my hat goes off to you.
Homer: It's _cool_ in here, boy.  For the rest of the summer, we can
       live inside the refrigerator.
Marge: [poking her head in] Homer, the fridge wasn't meant to be used
       this way...although I must say, it's certainly refreshing!
        [She and Lisa crawl in]
        [Maggie does too, and goes to sleep on some jello]
Homer: I got the idea when I noticed the refrigerator was cold.
Marge: Won't this overload the motor?
        [the motor buzzes, then fizzles and smokes]
Homer: Marge, can you set the oven to "cold"?
-- Forgetting his Appliances 101 class, "Bart of Darkness"

The family sits around glumly in the living room, trying to bear the
heat.  Marge turns on two fans, which blow her hair right, then left,
then forward.  Bart and Lisa perk up when they here the Ice Cream man
calling outside.  Peeling himself off the chair, Bart runs outside with
Lisa, and both gasp with delight when they see him approaching.

Ice Cream man: [driving past in his truck]
               I'm all out of ice cream!
                [to Bart and Lisa] It's true, you know.
               Ice cream!  Ice cream!
    Bart+Lisa: {Aw...}
    Chili man: {[driving past in his truck]
               Chili!  Red-hot Texas-style chili!  And we got gingerale:
               boiling-hot Texas-style gingerale!  Texas...}
         Bart: {Ew!}
         Lisa: Aw, face it, Bart.  Our salvation isn't just going to
               roll by on the back of some stupid truck.
                [The "Springfield Pool-Mobile" truck drives up]
                [Otto screeches to a halt, gets splashed by a wave]
         Otto: Woo, I gotta replace that window.
    Bart+Lisa: Pool Mobile?!
-- So it would seem, "Bart of Darkness"

Many children frolic and play in the pool.

  Bart: [coming up for air] Look, Lis, I snatched five bathing suits --
        all Martin's!
Martin: Take your best shot!  I'm wearing seventeen layers.
         [tough kids surround him and tear at his bathing suits]
        Ha ha ha -- [gasps, notices his layers are gone]
         [quietly] I brought this on myself.
-- Learning the lesson yet again, "Bart of Darkness"

All good things must come to an end, however.

Otto: OK, little dudes, time's up.  Everybody out!
       [kids groan, leave, except for Bart and Lisa]
Lisa: Time's up?
Bart: So long, Lis.  I'm going to stow away under water and go where the
      pool goes.  [hugs her] Have a good life.
       [holds his breath, submerges, but comes up again gasping]
Otto: Sorry, Bart-dude.  We gotta fill this thing with epsom salts and
      jam it on over to the old folks' home.
Bart: Oh well.  Same time tomorrow, Otto?
Otto: [laughs] No way, man.  One day of summer is all we're budgeted
      for.  I guess it is kind of a tease.
-- Curse you, financial planners!, "Bart of Darkness"

Bart and Lisa get an idea.

           [Homer watches TV]
     Lisa: [walking in with Bart, blocks Homer's view of TV] Dad?
            [Homer flops sideways, continues watching TV]
     Lisa: Dad!  [turns off TV]
            [Homer turn it back on with remote control]
     Lisa: Dad!  [Bart unplugs TV]
    Homer: [cheery] Yes, Lisa?
     Lisa: Dad, as you know, we've been swimming, and we've developed a
           taste for it.  We both agree that getting our own pool is the
           only way to go.  Now before you respond, you must understand
           that your refusal would result in months and months of...
Bart+Lisa: Can we have a pool Dad?
           Can we have a pool Dad?
           Can we have a pool Dad?
           Can we have a pool Dad?
           Can we have a pool Dad?
     Bart: Can we -- [Lisa motions him to stop]
    Homer: I understand.  Let us celebrate our new arrangement with the
           adding of chocolate to milk.
-- A fitting celebration, "Bart of Darkness"

The family drives off to "Pool Sharks" and are shown the various models
by the salesman.

Salesman: Over here we have the Hick Tub, the, er, Insta-Rust, that's
          the Lightning Magnet, that's the Tinkler --
   Homer: Ooh, the Tinkler!  I like the sound of that.  We'll take it!
   Marge: Is it true we should wait at least an hour after eating before
          we go in?
Salesman: Look, question, lady.  This job is not what I really do, OK?
          I play keyboards.
-- Keeping his day job, "Bart of Darkness"

The family all pitch in to assemble the new pool; Bart raises planks,
Homer saws, Lisa drills, Marge welds, even Maggie brings out the
circular saw.  At the end, they admire their work.  The camera pulls
back to show the nice new aluminum barn they've built.

Homer: All right.  Everybody in the pool!
Amish: 'Tis a fine barn, but sure 'tis no pool, English.
Homer: D'oh-eth!
-- The non-Indo-European "D'oh!" variants, "Bart of Darkness"

They reassemble the pool properly.

Homer: [timid] Is it a pool yet?
 Lisa: [tired] Yes, Dad.
Homer: Woo hoo!
        [the doorbell rings]
Marge: Who could that be?
        [she answers it; a huge crowd of children in bathing suits
Jimbo: Uh, hello, er, Mrs., uh, Bart.  Is your pool ready yet?
Marge: Mmm...
-- News travels fast, "Bart of Darkness"

The house is filled with yelling children in bathing suits.  Marge,
conscientious hostess that she is, makes sandwiches for everyone, one of
which is being eaten contentedly by Lewis.

Marge: Bart, are all these children friends of yours?
 Bart: Friends and well-wishers, yes.
        [children walking by all say "Hi Bart!", "Hey Bart!" to some fat
       kid eating a sandwich]
  Boy: Hello, Mrs. Cumberdale.
-- Giving them an inch, "Bart of Darkness"

Everyone frolics in the water, but Bart climbs up on top of his
treehouse to make an announcement.

    Bart: People, people!  It's time we all discussed the pool safety
    Kids: [chanting] Jump, Bart, jump!  Jump, Bart, jump!
    Bart: You got it!
  Nelson: Hey, Bart!  Your epidermis is showing.
    Bart: [worried] It is?  [checks himself]
           [the kids laugh]
           [Bart falls, starts yelling]
  Nelson: [to Kearney] See, "epidermis" means your hair.
           [Bart lands with a thud]
          So technically it's true.  That's what makes it so funny.
          Pardon me a moment --
           [at Bart] Ha ha!
Milhouse: Hey Nelson, he's really hurt.  I think he broke his leg.
  Nelson: [exasperated] I said, "Ha ha"!
-- A quote for every occasion, "Bart of Darkness"

[End of Act One.  Time: 5:40]

{Bart is rushed into the Emergency Room at the hospital.  The room is
packed with other patients, so a nurse with a cigarette orders an
orderly to get Bart a magazine.}

Hibbert: I'm sorry, that leg's going to have to come off.
          [Homer and Bart gasp]
Hibbert: [chuckles] Did I say "leg"?  I meant that wet bathing suit.
         I'm afraid you'll need a cast on that broken bone.
   Bart: Aw, I'm going to miss the whole summer.
  Homer: Don't worry, boy.  When you get a job like me, you'll miss
         every summer.
-- Yeah, but he'll also be earning money, "Bart of Darkness"

Back at home, Lisa is surrounded by kids from her class.

Sherri: [to Lisa] Isn't it amazing the same day you got a pool is the
        same day we realized we liked you?
 Terri: The timing worked out great, don't you think?
-- Fair-weather friends, indeed, "Bart of Darkness"

Bart sits on a chair next to the pool in his bathing suit.  Some kids
file past him, saying "Hi" uncomfortably.

    Bart: Hey, guys!  Sign my cast?  [holds out a pen] Sign my cast?
           [they all walk past] Guys!
           [they jump in the pool, laughing and playing]
Milhouse: [sneaking by] Uh...hi Bart.
    Bart: Faithful Milhouse.  You'll spend the long, hot days by my
          side, won't you?  [forces the pen into his hand]
Milhouse: [signing hurriedly] Uh, I think I lost my glasses in your
          pool.  I better go in and find them.
    Bart: But you're wearing your glasses.
Milhouse: No I'm not.  [he's signed "MilpooL", the L trailing off]
-- "Bart of Darkness"

Lisa looks over at the dejected Bart and feels sorry for him.  "Maybe I
should go keep him company, at least for a little while," she thinks.
But a group of boys call to her, begging her to watch them as they hold
one boy under water and pummel him.  Lisa is torn; Bart looks at her
plaintively, then she laughs guiltily and calls "Coming!"

Bart: [thinking] Well, it looks like it's just you and me, Barty-boy.
       [aloud] Oh, great, I get to spend the summer with my brain.
-- The perils of a broken leg, "Bart of Darkness"

In his room, Bart tries to rationalize his position: "What fun can you
have in a pool anyway that you can't have in a bathtub with a garbage
bag taped around your cast?"  He looks out, sees the kids playing, then
Busby Berkeley music begins as all the kids dive in in a synchronized
way.  Sixteen kids form a square in the water, then turn upside down and
wave their feet.  Lisa dives in after four similarly-dressed kids and
comes up for air in the center of a ring of kids rotating slowly in the
water.  The ring opens to let Homer lying on an inner tube in.  He takes
a swig of beer and spouts it like a whale does water from its blow hole.

Bart pulls down his blind angrily.  "Traitors!  Go on and have your
pool.  I'm fine by myself, right here."  He turns on the TV and watches
an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon, "Planet of the Aches".  Itchy barricades
Scratchy behind a brick wall for 3000 years, after which many blue mice
with large brains and white robes release him.  Scratchy is old and grey
and trembles when they approach, but they pet him and lead him to a
bath.  Their brains pulse, and brushes come in and groom the wizened
cat; a white robe descends and clothes him.  Sighing, Scratchy is led
into an arena full of mice by his three liberators.  They look at him
expectantly, and he begins to sweat.  The audience closes its eyes, and
their brains pulse, bringing forth many sharp objects which slice and
dice the hapless cat.  They applaud approvingly.

  Bart: [laughing at I&S] You know, this isn't so bad.  I'll just spend
        the summer getting better acquainted with an old friend called
         [kids cheer, Krusty appears and laughs]
Krusty: Hope you enjoyed that, kids, 'cause Krusty's out of here for the
        summer.  In the meantime, we'll be running [groans] "Klassic
        Krusty".  [laughs uncomfortably] Enjoy...
         [the Krusty Show from February 6th, 1961 comes on]
Krusty: [chuckles] Good evening.  Tonight my guest is AFL/CIO chairman
        George Meany, who will be discussing collective bargaining
 Meany: It's a pleasure to be here, Krusty.
Krusty: Let me be blunt: is there a labor crisis in America today?
        [looks bored]
 Meany: Well that depends what you mean by "crisis"...
         [Bart groans]
-- Not as classic as Krusty with Noam Chomsky, "Bart of Darkness"

Homer gets up at sunrise and sighs.

Homer: Ah, there's nothing like rising with the sun for a quiet,
       peaceful dip in your very own pool.
        [cheers, dives in]
        [comes up covered in algae, yells and sputters]
        [Lisa walks out] Lisa, the Blob has got me!  Don't touch me or
       he'll get you too.
 Lisa: Dad, you have to put chlorine in the water every day to keep it
Homer: Chlorine, eh?
        [later, all the kids scream and rub their bloodshot eyes]
Ralph: [coming up] Ow, my face is on fire!
-- Big surprise there, "Bart of Darkness"

Marge grumbles, then looks up at Bart's room.

     Marge: Oh look, there's Bart!  Wave to him!  [she and Lisa do]
             [Bart pulls his blinds down]
            Mmm, maybe we should spend more time with Bart.  He's
            becoming isolated and weird...
             [in Bart's room, Bart plays Stratego and holds one red
            piece and one blue piece, and does the voices for each]
Blue piece: I swear I don't know where the bombs are.  Only the miners
            know that.
 Red piece: Maybe this will loosen your tongue...hah!
Blue piece: No!  Aah!
-- A tenuous grip on reality, "Bart of Darkness"

Lisa walks in.

Lisa: Uh, Bart --
Bart: [pointing] Don't turn on that light!
Lisa: Sorry, I just came to see how you were feeling.
Bart: I'm fine, just fine.
Lisa: What are you writing here?  A play?
Bart: Er...no.
Lisa: Y'uh huh, [reads] cast of characters: Viceroy Fizzlebottom, a
      hearty cherub of a man --
Bart: [grabs it] Gimme that, it's a work in progress!
-- The sensitive playwright, "Bart of Darkness"

Bart: So...how do you like being Miss Popularity?
Lisa: Oh, well, you know, it ain't so great.
       [Bart looks at her]
      Bart, it's the best thing that ever happened to me in my whole
      life!  [forced laugh] Well, anyway, I brought you a present.  It's
      a telescope I won at the optics festival.
Bart: There was an optics festival and I wasn't informed?
-- Apparently not, "Bart of Darkness"

Bart dismisses her and picks up a Mad Magazine with Alfred E. Neuman
dressed in a police uniform and the title "NYPD Blecch".  "What have we
here?  'The Lighter Side of Hippies'," he reads, then laughs strangely.
"They don't care whose toes they step on!" he laughs strangely again.

Outside, Marge laughs raucously while Homer chuckles seductively, their
garments draped over the outside of the pool.

 Marge: This was a lovely idea, Homey.  Come here and kiss me...
 Homer: Mmm...[shudders]
         [a light shines down on them, and they cover themselves and
Wiggum: [from a helicopter, through a megaphone] Do not be alarmed,
        continue swimming naked.  [eats popcorn] Aw, c'mon, continue!
        Come on!  Oh...
         [to Lou] All right, Lou, open fire.
-- Misdemeanors in Springfield only, "Bart of Darkness"

Bart checks out space with his telescope, many wondrous sights passing
before his eyes.

 Bart: Wow, the universe is so boring.  I know!  I'll use this to peer
       into Springfield's seamy underbelly.
        [scans school, sees Skinner sharpening pencils, groans]
        [scans Dr. Hibbert riding his bike and watching TV, groans]
        [scans Jimmy Stewart in a wheelchair with a camera and a large
       telephoto lens]
Jimmy: Grace, c'mere!  There's a sinister-looking kid I want you to see.
-- A rear window into Springfield, "Bart of Darkness"

  Bart: Oh, I'm never _ever_ going to see anything interesting with this
        stupid piece of junk.  [disassembles telescope, puts it away]
         [a woman screams]
        That came from Flanders' house!
         [starts reassembling the telescope, then gives up]
         [woman screams again]
         [Bart hastily assembles the telescope, spies Flanders looking
        at the floor]
   Ned: Oh my God, what have I done?  I've killed her!  [pulls blind]
  Bart: This can't be what it looks like: this is Flanders we're talking
        about!  Nah, I'll just watch some TV.  [turns it on]
Krusty: And now, what you've been waitin' for, another long raga by Ravi
  Ravi: Shankar.
Krusty: Shankar.  Groovy, man.
-- "Bart of Darkness"

Bart falls asleep, but awakens to a digging sound.  Curious, he looks
through the telescope and sees Flanders filling dirt into a grave.

      [Flanders fills in a grave]
Bart: Oh, this can't be what it looks like!  There's gotta be some other
 Ned: I wish there was some other explanation for this, but there isn't.
      I'm a murderer.  I'm a murderer!
Bart: Then that's not the real Ned Flanders.
 Ned: [yelling] I'm a mur-diddley-urdler.
Bart: If that's not Flanders, he's done his homework.
-- Understudying for Ned, "Bart of Darkness"

[End of Act Two.  Time: 14:00]

Bart watches through the telescope as Rod and Todd walk up to their

    Todd: Daddy, where's Mommy?  We miss her.
     Ned: Mommy...had to go away.  She's with God now.
Rod+Todd: Yay!  Can we go there too?
     Ned: [remorsefully] Soon enough.
Rod+Todd: Yay!
    Bart: [gasps] He's going to kill Rod and Todd too.  That's horrible!
          ...in principle.
-- Bart vs. the seventh commandment, "Bart of Darkness"

Lisa lies in the pool on a floating chair with her sunglasses on while
the other kids try to impress her.

Nelson: Look, Lisa: I found this change on the bottom of the pool.  You
        can have it.
  Lisa: Thanks, Nelson.
 Ralph: [coming up for air] Somebody took my juice money!
   Rex: Lisa, please join my family for a weekend in the country.
        They'll be hunting, charades, and ever so many delightful
        romantic misunderstandings?
         [kids clamor for her]
  Lisa: [thinking] They're only using you for your pool, you know.
         [aloud] Shut up, brain!  I got friends now.  I don't need you
        any more.
         [moronically] Duh, yeah, I'd love to go to your house, hyuck
-- Nope, no need for thinking, "Bart of Darkness"

Martin Prince has had a brainwave, despite the heat wave.  He's cajoled
his parents into building him his very own pool.  Two workmen fill it.

Martin: Ah, my plan has come to fruition.  Soon _I'll_ be queen of
        summertime.  Er, king.  King!
         [workmen look at each other]
-- Filling Martin's new pool, "Bart of Darkness"

Back at the Simpson pool...

              [Dolph whispers to Jimbo]
       Jimbo: [to Kearney] Dude, Buzz has it an even wussier kid has an
              even better pool than this!
               [pool empties of kids; water level sinks dramatically]
        Lisa: Huh?  Hello?  Hey, I'm stuck in here!
              I gotta think of a way to get out.
Lisa's brain: Well, well, well: look who's come crawling back.
-- No easy escape from one's brain, "Bart of Darkness"

Bart pleads with his family to believe him about Ned.

  Bart: Listen, Ned Flanders murdered his wife!
 Homer: But why?  She's such a fox.
         [Marge scowls at him]
        I mean, what's on Fox tonight?  Something ribald ["rye-bald"],
        no doubt.
 Marge: Mmm, I wish you'd stop spreading bad rumors about people.
        Remember how you got Grampa tarred and feathered?
  Bart: Sure, that was twenty minutes ago.
Grampa: Gonna be in the tub for a while.
-- That, you are, "Bart of Darkness"

Lisa apologizes to Bart for her behavior.

Lisa: Bart, I'm really sorry I've been ignoring you lately.  I got
      carried away with being popular.  But, now that I'm unpopular
      again, I want you to know I'm here for you.
Bart: You can start making it up to me right now.  Flanders is leaving
      the house.  I want you to sneak in there and bring me back some
      evidence.  And something sweet for later.
Lisa: Bart, I'm here for you, but I'm not going to break into somebody's
Bart: All right, you're right, you're right, let's, let's just forget
      about that.  Here: let me read to you from my play.  Ahem.
       [cockney] "`Kippers for breakfast, Aunt Helga?  Is it St.
      Swithin's Day already?'
      `'Tis,' replied Aunt Helga" --
Lisa: I'm going, I'm going!
-- Incentive enough for anyone, "Bart of Darkness"

Bart follows her progress as she walks in through Flanders' sliding
patio doors.  She opens the fridge and pulls out a sphere labeled "Human
Head".  Bart gasps, but when Lisa brushes off the condensation, it reads
"Schuman Farms Head of Lettuce".  "Phew!  Oh, of course."

But Flanders drives into his driveway and Bart panics, pleading with
Lisa to leave.  Instead she climbs the stairs, but Bart warns her she'll
be trapped.  He sees Ned looking angry, walking with an ax.

 Bart: [watching Flanders] An ax.  He's got an ax!  I'll save you, Lisa!
        [tries to walk on his leg, falls back] Uh, I'll save you by
       calling the police.  [dials 911]
Voice: Hello, and welcome to the Springfield Police Department Resc-u-
       Fone[tm].  If you know the name of the felony being committed,
       press one.  To choose from a list of felonies, press two.  If you
       are being murdered or calling from a rotary phone, please stay on
       the line.
 Bart: [growls, punches some numbers]
Voice: You have selected regicide.  If you know the name of the king or
       queen being murdered, press one.
-- Shockingly ineffective answering services, "Bart of Darkness"

Bart goes back to the telescope and sees Flanders closing in on Lisa.
He vows, "I'll save you, cast or no cast!" and steps into his garbage
can.  It sticks to his foot.  "Gotta save Lisa, trash can or no trash
can," he intones, walking precariously down the stairs.  Outside, he
steps on a hose, which sticks to the trash can, and goes "D'oh!"  A
giant piece of sod sticks inside the hose, but Bart continues on
inexorably.  Jimmy Stewart watches the whole thing and frets, "Oh no!
That sinister-looking kid is coming to kill me.  Help.  Help!  Aah!"

Flanders' shadow ascends the stairs singing "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
softly, the ax plainly silhouetted, and Lisa gasps in fright.  She looks
both ways down the hall, seeing no escape, then spies a way into the
attic.  Frantically she jumps for the cord that brings the stairs down,
catching it just in time and running up them.  Slamming them behind her,
she hides behind a trunk behind a bird cage and waits, shaking.

Flanders, too, pulls the cord and climbs into the attic.  Bart stumbles
through the front door, dragging a tricycle and a dog as well now.
Flanders pants, "It's time to put you away," and raises the ax
menacingly.  "Put you away...for good!" he says ominously, and Lisa
screams, as does Bart.  But Flanders merely places the ax back in its

  Ned: Ho!  What the gumdrops is going on here?
 Bart: Came to stop you from murdering Lisa like you murdered your wife!
  Ned: Murdered?  [groans, faints]
Maude: Murdered?  Oh no, I've just been in the country for a week.
 Bart: [to Flanders] But I distinctly heard you say that Maude was with
Maude: Oh, that's right.  I was at Bible Camp.  I was learning how to be
       more judgemental.
-- A useful Christian skill, "Bart of Darkness"

 Bart: But I saw the murder and then I saw you bury the corpse in the
       back yard!
  Ned: [weeping] All right, it's true.  I am a murderer!
        [everyone gasps]
       I overwatered Maude's favorite ficus plant, I panicked, then I
       buried the remains.  I was hoping to replace it before you got
 Bart: But I heard a woman scream.
  Ned: Oh?  Well, now that I can't explain.
  Lou: [holding up plant] Found it, Chief.
  Ned: [screams like a woman]
 Bart: Oh.  Well, I guess that explains everything.
Homer: Not everything.  There's still the little matter of the
       whereabouts of your wife.
Maude: Um, I'm right here.
Homer: [sarcastic] Oh, I see.  Then everything is wrapped up in a neat
       little package.
        [everyone looks at him]
       Really, I mean that.  Sorry if it sounded sarcastic.
-- Getting his histrionics wrong, "Bart of Darkness"

Martin's pool is even fuller with kids than the Simpsons' was.

Martin: More friends!  More allies!  More, I say.  Hang those who talk
        of less.  There's a few inches over here, ho!
         [one more kid squeezes in, causing the pool to burst]
        My precious pool and its lifestyle accoutrements...no!
         [everyone grumbles, leaves]
Nelson: [rips off Martin's bathing suit] Ha ha!
Martin: Oh.  The gentle caress of the summer breeze.  [sings]
        The summer wind
        Came blowing in
        From across the sea...
-- Martin Frank Prince, I presume?, "Bart of Darkness"

[End of Act Three.  Time: 21:24]

The music to Frank Sinatra's "Summer Wind" continues over the credits.

Index of contributors

   {ddg} Don Del Grande
   {ne}  Norman Ellman
   {se}  Shane Erstad
   {sh}  Skander Halim
   {dh}  Dave Hall
   {th}  Tony Hill
   {dh2} Doug Hunter
   {mk}  Matthew Kurth
   {rl}  Ricardo Lafaurie
   {av}  Aaron Varhola
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.)