[2F04] Bart's Girlfriend

Bart's Girlfriend                                   Written by Jonathan Collier
                                                      Directed by Susie Dietter
Production code: 2F04                        Original airdate in N.A.: 6-Nov-94
                                                  Capsule revision G, 22-Jul-96

Title sequence

Blackboard :- I will not send lard through the mail.
              I will not send lard through th/ 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...

    ... Bart's I&S calendar has the same picture (from "The Itchy and
        Scratchy Movie") on every month?

Tony Hill:
    ... Bart loses his shoe when he crashes?
    ... OFF rolls paper towels off the back?
    ... someone yells "He's headed for the window" long after Bart is
    ... Bart has shades in the treehouse?
    ... the library boy has a banana seat on his bike?

Aaron Varhola:
    ... Jessica calls Bart "Art" the first time she meets him?
    ... Bart handles the slingshot right-handed?
    ... Jessica has a smile on her face during Lisa's speech as the
        others frown?

Don Del Grande:
    ... the fire engine says "SPFD" (Springfield P_____ Fire
    ... Jessica's IQ is 108 and she reads at a fifth-grade level?

Matthew Kurth:
    ... Rev. Lovejoy throws Bart out by his ear?
    ... Snowball II is stuck to Bart's back when he comes home after
    ... when in Jessica's room, Abe is going through her things on her

Dave Hall:
    ... Lewis authentically keels over when Nelson shoots him?
    ... Bart throws away his tie?
    ... a lady faints upon seeing what's under Willy's kilt?
    ... Scotchtoberfest consists mostly of drinking?
    ... the TV antenna on the Lovejoy's roof?
    ... the Last Supper in the Lovejoy's dinning room?
    ... the tire yard isn't on fire?
    ... the teachers are the first ones to run out of the classrooms
        during the fire alarm?
    ... Moe wears his bartender garb to church?
    ... Dr. Hibbert wears his stethoscope to church?
    ... Jessica's bedroom doesn't really contain much in the way of

Voice credits

- Starring
    - Dan Castellaneta (man talking to McAllister, Willy, Homer, Abe)
    - Julie Kavner (Marge)
    - Nancy Cartwright (Bart, Ralph, Nelson)
    - Yeardley Smith (Lisa)
    - Hank Azaria (Jewish man, man next to Glue truck, James Dean boy,
    - Harry Shearer (McAllister, Rev. Lovejoy, Skinner, man next to glue
      truck, Jasper, Dr. Hibbert)
- Special Guest Voice
    - Meryl Streep (Jessica)
- Also Starring
    - Pamela Hayden (Milhouse)
    - Maggie Roswell (Mrs. Van Houten, Mrs. Lovejoy, Sunday school

Movie (and other) references

  + "Star Trek: The Next Generation"
    - Nelson's outfit makes him look like a Borg
  + "Planet of the Apes"
    - cornfield sequence at the beginning: children rounded up like
      humans in the movie
  + "Mission: Impossible"
    - music as Bart is getting caught is from the show
  + "Saturday Night Fever"/"Stayin' Alive"
    - music while Bart struts (John Travolta also strutted)
  + "Pulp Fiction"
    - music when Bart and Jessica loiter is from the movie
    - their actions are also evil, like many actions in the movie
  + "Rebel Without a Cause" {dgp}
    - kid in library similar to James Dean
  + "Silence of the Lambs"
    - Bart restrained in church just like Hannibal Lecter

Previous episode references

- [8F07] Harry Chapin's "Cats in the Cradle" is sung {av}
- [8F16] "Bringing in the Sheaves" is sung
- [9F10] "Silence of the Lambs" is referenced {av}
- [1F01] Music as Burns robot runs off into distance is same as music
  when children run into corn in 2F04
- [1F11] Nelson slugs Bart for a good reason {av}
- [1F22] Ned's very high voice {av}
- [1F22] Homer's sarcastic "How convenient!"  {av}

Freeze frame fun

- On the Sunday school door: {mk}
Est. 1 A.D.
- Sunday school children: {dh}
    - Jessica
    - Janey
    - Martin
    - Ralph
    - Wanda
- The overturned trucks: {dh}
    - Oil truck
    - Ball Bearings truck
    - Glue truck
- Sign outside church: {mk}
   First   Church
   of Springfield
Evil Women in History
    From  Jezebel
    To Janet Reno
- People at the Lovejoy's house: Moe, Otto, Mrs. Krabappel, Jasper,
  Chief Wiggum, Miss Hoover, Skinner, the Van Houtens, Carl and Lenny,
  Maude Flanders, Apu {dh}

Animation, continuity, and other goofs

Milhouse's gun vanishes.  {dh}

A ball wouldn't bounce on grass, so how could Milhouse get twosies?

Lisa has never fought church attendance in the past (see [7F13],
[9F01]), so why does she run away when called for church?  {mk}

Close-ups of Marge and Bart at church don't show the people behind them.

A lighthouse beacon isn't supposed to "point" in _any_ direction; it's
supposed to rotate.  {ddg}

After the service, Rev. Lovejoy appears to be talking to Bart, who has
his back turned to him.  {mk}

The family disappears when Bart approaches Jessica for the first time.

Bart goes to Sunday School wearing a different tie than the one he wears
to church earlier that day.  {mk}

Sunday school doesn't have desks in other episodes.  {dh}

Why aren't Lisa and Milhouse in Sunday School?  (Note there are kids of
both ages (Janey and Ralph; Martin and Bart) in the class.)  {ddg}

David used a _sling_ to slay Goliath, not a _slingshot_.  (A sling is a
piece of leather attached to a strap; you put a rock in it, then twirl
it around and release the rock at high speed.)  {ddg}

Willy's bagpipe disappears.  {dh}

Why would Scotchtoberfest be used as a sting if it was apparently March?

It's unlikely that Jessica would be getting straight A's at school if
she also got expelled.  {mk} [perhaps she forged her grades {rjc}]

The number of steps on the Lovejoy's front doorstep changes when Bart is
tossed out of the house.  {dh}

Helen had no trouble with the word "butt" in 7F09.  (She even used the
word herself.)  {dh}

The ball bearings wouldn't form a patch on the hill -- they'd roll to
the bottom.

Bart thinks the glue would slow him down -- but it would slow his
skateboard down and not him.

Bart is certainly afraid to skateboard down that hill, especially when
you consider he tried to jump over Springfield Gorge...{ddg}

When the classes empty after Bart and Jessica pull the fire alarm, Miss
Hoover's class is next door to Mrs. Krabappel's (they're supposed to be
on different floors).  {ddg}

Older students aren't seen while the school empties out.  {dh}

One of Sherri/Terri is one of the first kids out the door during the
"fire"; however, when Willy is running back to the science lab, the
group of kids he runs past "recycles" itself after 60 frames, and he
passes two more Sherris/Terris, making three in all.  {ddg}

April 1 is a Monday, but there's a church service.  There's an April 31
on the calendar; but May 1 is a Wednesday as it should have been if
April 1 was a Monday; June 1 is completely off.  {th}

When Helen accuses Bart of stealing the money, why doesn't Bart just let
himself be searched?  {ddg}

When we see Bart caged he is on Homer's right.  But in the other shots
of the church service, Homer is on the aisle.  {th}

I don't see Lisa ever compromising her principles by naming Jessica as
the guilty party.  {mk}

Don't Mrs. Krabappel and Miss Hoover have anything better to wear to
church besides what they wear to work?  {ddg} [ditto Lenny and Moe...er,
maybe not - ed]

Apu is Hindu -- why is he at the Christian church?  {fm}

The kitchen table only has three chairs (the high chair is also
missing), and the toaster is a one-slice model.  {ddg}


Tony Hill: This was a very funny episode.  Three things detracted from
    it: First, Bart doesn't seem to work as the voice of reason.
    Second, there were too many self-references.  Third, the
    Scotchtoberfest sting was overdone.  But the line "do you ever think
    anything you don't say" is an OFF classic already.  I give it a B+.

Deana Weibel: Ouch.  Not funny.  Hardly smiled.  Why, oh why...?  Not
    even Willy's bare behind saved the show.  There was no _bite_ to
    this episode, it was lacking the usual wit.  Meryl Streep, eh?  They
    should have done something _interesting_ with her, not this
    predictable stuff.

Aaron Varhola: Not a very funny episode, but it shows Bart's true colors
    as a prankster, but not a bad kid.  Streep was excellent as the
    amoral Jessica.  The gags didn't really work, but the serious parts
    of the plot were good.  Homer had no material, though.  B; Bart gets
    an A, though.

Arthur Brandt: A good storyline; I loved Bart & Jessica's pranks (they
    reminded me of how I acted as a child!).  I liked Lisa's speech in
    church at the end.  The first act was ehhh...but the plot moved
    along well after the first act.  The storyline was well-written, the
    dialogue, ehh.  Dialogue: C; Story: A. Overall: B.

Jeff Miller: This was quite possibly the worst Simpsons episode I have
    ever seen.  Not only was there not much of a plot to it, but there
    was NOTHING funny!  Even the references (the few that existed) were
    so poor that they couldn't salvage this episode.  I give this
    episode an F.

Marc Singer: Oddly enough, I would say the lack of references, and their
    relative unimportance to the plot, is what made this episode *good.*
    Forced the writers to think on their own for a change.  And this
    season, the writers are capable of thinking on their own...

Carl Mueller: Happy days are here again; no repeat, no awful show.  Good
    plot, with Bart pulling back from the abyss again.  [...] Keep up
    the good work.  Overall rating B+.

Warren Hagey: The way Bart acted around Jessica was funny, but just not
    completely hilarious like the way Homer acts some of the time.
    There seemed to be a lot of subtle jokes in this episode, and when
    it was finished I just didn't seem to think that it was especially
    memorable.  B-

Tulse Luper: I enjoyed the latest prime time episode (with Meryl Sheep,
    er, Streep): it stuck close to the central storyline, went easy on
    the gratuitous external refs, and of course only the *best* Simpsons
    include an appearance by Groundskeeper Willy...

Michael Krechmer: Never have I been more disappointed -- the one funny
    line was Homer thinking Bart was upset because of his new glasses.
    Who didn't know everyone would start confessing during Lisa's church
    speech?  Melrose Place has easily surpassed OFF as the funniest show
    on TV.

Don Del Grande: B-minus - the story line got old about halfway through
    the show, and it couldn't have been that hard to come up with a less
    obvious ending.

Gregg Horan: When everyone was whining about Itchy and Scratchy land, I
    still thought it had some merit...but this episode was awful!  I
    grinned at the Planet of the Apes reference at the beginning but it
    went downhill fast.  I hope it was just an off week...

Raymond Chen: Overall grade: A. Back in classic form at last.  This is
    the first episode in over a year that I rewound and re-watched as
    soon as it was over.  Meryl Streep's dramatic range once again

Eric Chen: [Raymond's worthless half-brother?  - ed] This episode was
    much more laid back than many Simpsons episode and I think it was
    meant to be that way.  It had a fine plot and it showed another side
    of Bart.  Though there were fewer gags, the ones they had,
    particularly Scotchtoberfest, were up to par.

Matthew Kurth: This was a hard episode to pin down, but Lisa's
    characterization was spotty and the skateboarding scene was
    atrocious.  Homer's IQ has hit a new low.  But at least the ending
    was good! 6.5/10

Yours truly: I liked it.  A fine performance by Streep, extremely good
    character development on Bart and Jessica.  Homer was a bit stupid
    to be believed.  But a _smooth_ episode, unlike, say, "Homer Goes to
    College".  Nice feel.  Grade: B+.

Comments and other observations

Willy's tartan

Don Del Grande says, "Willy's tartan is large orange squares with green
    lines.  (When I was in Edinburgh this summer, I made it a point to
    look for anything resembling this tartan, as it isn't the first time
    he's worn this pattern, but I couldn't find anything that had solid
    orange squares.)"

Bart's detention

Matthew Kurth opines, "Some people have noted that Skinner had no
    authority to give Bart detention time for his Scotchtoberfest prank.
    However, as Bart strutted past the school right afterward, it would
    appear that the incident took place on school grounds and under
    school authority; therefore, all normal school rules and policies
    would be in effect.  Bart's prank would technically be `de-pantsing'
    *and* `insubordination'."

Janet Reno

Tony Hill writes, "Janet Reno is the Attorney General of the United
    States under President Clinton.  I don't know why she would be
    hated.  Perhaps it goes back to when she was district attorney in
    Miami and prosecuted some rap group for performing a song about cop
    killing."  Raymond Chen conjectures it's because "Janet Reno was
    Attorney General at the time of the Waco incident.  David Korresh
    and his heavily-armed followers, a Branch Davidian (fundamentalist
    Christian) sect, ended up barricaded inside their Waco, Texas
    compound, surrounded by officers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
    and Firearms (BATF), after an attempted raid by the BATF resulted in
    a firefight and dead federal agents.  After several days, the BATF
    tried a second assault, and in the ensuing confusion, the Korresh
    compound burned to the ground, killing most of the residents.
    Circumstances surrounding the entire affair are murky at best.
    Reverend Lovejoy no doubt holds Janet Reno responsible for the
    deaths of his fellow Christian believers."

Moe's jack

Quoting Matthew Kurth, "The jack Moe used to find the money is the type
    used on older GM cars (and possibly others) which holds the bumper
    from underneath.  The jack was phased out in the early 1970s in
    favor of a slot-and-tab system which was more secure."

Music in this episode

Tony Hill comments:

    - "Soul Man" was a hit for the Blues Brothers in late 1978 and had
      previously been recorded by someone else, I think.  ("Sam and Dave
      in the mid 60s", says Kathy Godfrey)
    - "Sunrise, Sunset," written by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock for
      the Broadway musical "Fiddler on the Roof" in 1964 is about a
      father realizing their daughter had grown.
    - "Cat's in the Cradle," a 1974 hit written by the late Harry Chapin
      is about a son growing up before his father's eyes.  It was also
      used in "Saturdays of Thunder."
    - "Yes, We Have No Bananas" was a novelty hit in 1923 written by
      Frank Silver and Irving Cohn.
    - "Stayin' Alive" was a number one hit for the Bee Gees from the
      film "Saturday Night Fever."
    - (Dan Saltzstein:) "The song [played while Jessica and Bart loiter]
      is by Dick Dale and the Del-Tones, and is in fact the "theme"
      music from Pulp Fiction."  Matt Radack notes that its title is
    - "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" was composed by Johann Sebastian

Self-reference in this episode

Bart refers to his hair, overbite, and his clothes which haven't changed
    for the last four years.  Jessica calls Bart "yellow trash" instead
    of "white" trash, too.

Quotes and Scene Summary

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

The scene opens in Veteran's Park where Bart, Lisa, and some other
children crawl along the ground dressed as Indians.  Bart motions his
troupe to stop.

    Lisa: Remember, Bart -- I mean, Dances In Underwear -- we take the
          White Man alive.
    Bart: All right, Thinks Too Much: it shall be so.
Milhouse: Keep your eyes peeled for Injuns -- I mean, Native Americans.
          They're after us because we gave them those blankets infected
          with cooties.
   Ralph: I ate all my caps.  [one explodes] Ouch!
    Bart: [appearing] Throw down your weapons and kiss the prairie,
           [Milhouse, Lewis, Ralph do so]
Milhouse: Oh, why do we have to pay this corny old game anyway?  I
          brought my jacks...[starts playing] [gasps] I got twosies!
           [Nelson appears with a large gun shoots everyone]
    Bart: That's not fair, Nelson.  They didn't have the Killmatic 3000
          back then.
  Nelson: Hey: records from that era are spotty at best.
-- The children play on a Sunday morning, "Bart's Girlfriend"

He shoots Bart in the head with a ball.  Bart gets up groaning as the
church bell begins to ring.

          Marge: [in the distance] Bart!  Lisa!  Time for church!
Mrs. Van Houten: [in the distance] Milhouse!  Time for church.
     Jewish Man: [in the distance] Shlomo!  Time for your violin lesson!
-- The parents call their children, "Bart's Girlfriend"

At this last utterance, the children run off frightened into a field of
corn.  All their parents chase after them with various trapping devices.
Bart and Lisa get collared by Marge; Milhouse is caught in a net by his
father on a horse.

On the way to church in the car, Bart feels hardly done by.

   Bart: Why the crap do we have to go to church anyway?
  Marge: You just answered your own question with that commode mouth.
         Besides, you kids need to learn morals and decency and how to
         love your fellow man.
          [in church]
Lovejoy: And with flaming swords, the Aromites did pierce the eyes of
         their fellow men and did feast on what flowed forth.  Among
         whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our
-- Mmm, free eye goo, "Bart's Girlfriend"

Bart, bored to tears by Lovejoy's sermon, pulls out a troll doll with
large blue hair and begins to paraphrase "I'm a Soul Man", substituting
"troll" for "soul".  Marge grabs the doll away from him: "I don't want
you playing with something that has such bizarre hair.  Awful, awful

Much later, Bart continues to be bored.

   Lovejoy: And now my daughter Jessica, who has just returned from
            boarding school, will read the same passage I just read.  I
            noticed a few of you weren't paying attention.
      Bart: [groans] Oh...
             [Jessica walks up; a heavenly light shines upon her]
      Bart: [gasps] Wow!  There _is_ a God!
             [the light comes from a lighthouse outside]
       Man: I'm telling you the light would work better if it pointed
            out to sea.
McAllister: Arr, shut up!  I know what I'm doing.
             [a boat crashes in the distance]
            Arr, I hate the sea and everything in it.
-- Blanket statements, "Bart's Girlfriend"

After the service, Mrs. Lovejoy sees the attendees out.

Mrs. Lovejoy: Bye.  Bye-bye.  Bye-bye.  Thank you for choosing our
              church.  Bye-bye.
        Bart: [looking at Jessica] I've never felt this way about a girl
              before.  My long search is finally over.
               [gulps, walks over, clears throat]
               [Jessica turns and smiles]
              Hi, I'm Bart Simpson.  I was incredibly moved by your
              reading.  I don't think God's words have _ever_ sounded so
     Jessica: Thanks, Art.  Um, I have to go over here now.
               [turns away, stands there]
-- Oh, the humanity, "Bart's Girlfriend"

Bart is crushed.  He lies face down on Lisa's floor.

Lisa: Don't be so hard on yourself, Bart.  It's not your fault Jessica
      doesn't like you.
Bart: Is it my hair?  My overbite?  The fact that I've worn the same
      clothes day in, day out for the last four years?
Lisa: No, Bart.  I just think you and Jessica are too different from
      each other to get along.  She's a sweet, kind reverend's daughter
      and you're the devil's cabana boy.
-- Bart laments Jessica's brush-off, "Bart's Girlfriend"

The next week at church, Bart walks slowly towards the Sunday school
room and enters.

Teacher: [watching children draw] Good!  Very good!  Ralph, Jesus did
         not have wheels.
          [sees Bart, gasps] Bart Simpson?
   Bart: Yes, ma'am.  I'd like to return to your wonderful Sunday
         school, please.
Teacher: [nervous] Uh, but Bart, we banned you from Sunday school.  You
         were happy, we were happy, everybody was happy -- particularly
         the hamster.
          [the hamster sees Bart and cowers]
-- The hamster _is_ smarter, after all, "Bart's Girlfriend"

   Bart: I've changed my ways.  _Please_ give me another chance, ma'am.
Teacher: All right, Bart.  The Bible _does_ teach forgiveness.  Class, I
         want you to welcome back our prodigal son.
          [children look at each other: "What's prodigal mean?"]
         Oh, dear.
-- Bart gets back into Sunday school, "Bart's Girlfriend"

Bart takes a seat next to Jessica.

   Bart: You know, the great thing about Sunday school is we're finally
         learning something we can use.
Jessica: Yah, so true.  I have to turn my chair this way now.
-- Snubbed again, "Bart's Girlfriend"

   Bart: Somehow I gotta convince her I'm a good person!  All right, I
         have to sit here and behave no matter what.
Teacher: OK, class, we have a special treat today for pass-around: a
         replica of the slingshot David used to slay Goliath.  While you
         kids are looking at that, I'll just busy myself in this file
          [bends over]
-- The worst temptation, "Bart's Girlfriend"

Jessica looks at it dully, then hands it to Bart.  Reflexively, his
hands load the slingshot and pull the elastic back, ready to fire it
straight at the teacher.

   Bart: Must...fight...Satan...make it...up to him...later!
          [manages to resist, sighs]
         You know, I was considering staying after school and helping
         teacher clean up.
Jessica: [yawns] Do you ever think anything you _don't_ say?
-- Three snubs lucky, "Bart's Girlfriend"

After class, the children escape joyously.  Bart watches from afar as
the teacher talks to Jessica.

 Bart: There is just no pleasing a girl like that!  [musses hair] All
       that unnecessary behaving...[smears dirt on himself] I'm all
       tense through the chestal area!  I need relief.
        [sees "Scotchtoberfest" sign and Willy playing the bagpipes]
Willy: Now the kilt was only for day-to-day wear.  In battle, we donned
       a full-length ball gown covered in sequins.  The idea was to
       blind your opponent with luxury.
        [Bart ties balloons to his kilt; it lifts to reveal his shame]
Willy: [seeing people look away] Ach!  'Tis no more than what God gave
       me, you puritan pukes!
-- Bart lets loose, "Bart's Girlfriend"

   Bart: [laughs] That'll hold me.  At least until I get my hands on
         some kind of explosives.
          [a tree grabs him; police with guns pop up from everywhere]
Skinner: Congratulations, Simpson.  You just fell for our sting and won
         yourself three months' detention.  There's no such thing as
  Willy: There's not?  You used me, Skinner!  You used me!
-- The best-laid plans, "Bart's Girlfriend"

Bart can't believe it..."Three months?!  Oh..."

Jessica: Hi, Bart.  I saw the way they set you up.  That was really
   Bart: [groans] Oh...
Jessica: Want to have dinner at my house tonight?
   Bart: Really?  Uh, sure...
Jessica: Great.  [giggles] We eat at 7:00.  [walks off]
   Bart: There's only on thing to do at a moment like this: strut.
          ["Stayin' Alive" starts playing]
-- You can tell by the way he uses his walk..., "Bart's Girlfriend"

[End of Act One.  Time: 7:01]

{Bart grooms himself for his big dinner date.  His parents watch proudly
at the bathroom door.}

Homer: {I can't believe my little boy is already going on his first
        [sings] Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset...
       Cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon...
       Yes, we have no bananas...[weeps]}
Marge: {Oh, that's sweet Homer.  Our son _is_ growing up, isn't he.}
Homer: {No, it's not that.  Didn't you hear?  They have no bananas!
       They have no bananas today...[walks off crying]}
-- Bart comes of age, "Bart's Girlfriend"

Jessica and her parents sit down with Bart for dinner.

Mrs. Lovejoy: So, Bart, how's school going?  Jessica always gets
              straight A's.
        Bart: Well, in _my_ family grades aren't that important.  It's
              what you _learn_ that counts.
Rev. Lovejoy: Six times five, what is it?
        Bart: Um...
-- So he hasn't learned his times tables, "Bart's Girlfriend"

        Bart: Actually, numbers don't have much use in my future career:
              Olympic gold medal rocket sled champion!
Mrs. Lovejoy: Hmm.  I didn't know the rocket sled was an Olympic event.
        Bart: Well, no offense, lady, but what you don't know could fill
              a warehouse.
               [gasps from the adults]
Rev. Lovejoy: Young man, explain yourself!
        Bart: Sorry.  I have a kind of a short fuse...which some find
              charming!  Speaking of charming, watching Fox last night,
              I heard a rather amusing story.  This character named
              Martin was feeling rather...randy, and he was heard to
              remark --
               [scene cut to Bart being kicked out]
Rev. Lovejoy: Don't you _ever_ come near my daughter again!  Never have
              I heard such gratuitous use of the word "butt"!
        Bart: But -- but -- but --
Mrs. Lovejoy: [plugging her ears] Make him stop, make him stop!
-- The dinner date goes awry, "Bart's Girlfriend"

Bart sits on the sidewalk, dejected.

Jessica: [walking up] You're _bad_, Bart Simpson.
   Bart: [plaintive] No I'm not!  I'm really --
Jessica: Yes you are.  You're bad...and I like it.
   Bart: [suave] I'm bad to the bone, honey.
Jessica: Let's go find some fun.
   Bart: But your father said --
Jessica: [scoffs] I told the _Rev_ I was going to my room to say my
   Bart: Smart, beautiful..._and_ a liar!  So much better than that
         Sarah, plain and tall.
          [a weeping Sarah runs away]
-- "Bart's Girlfriend"

The two children go and loiter under a "No Loitering" sign, then go and
eat ice cream right in front of a weight loss center to torture the
exercisers inside.  Lastly, they decorate the statue of Jebediah
Springfield with toilet paper.

Bart: Excellent!  You're incredible, Jessica: your throws, your catches,
      your spirals, and your loops -- it's like the toilet paper is an
      extension of your body.
-- Bart and Jessica decorate a statue, "Bart's Girlfriend"

Next day at school, Bart brags about his conquest to his friends.

Milhouse: No way would a minister's daughter go out with _you_.
    Bart: Oh yeah?  I'll prove it.
           [walks over] Hey, Jessica!
 Jessica: Yes?  Am I supposed to know you?
    Bart: Jessica, we just -- oof!  [Nelson belts him]
  Nelson: That's for besmirching an innocent girl's name!
-- Nelson, honor-bound, "Bart's Girlfriend"

Bart sits on the ground, doubled over.

   Bart: [in pain] Why?
Jessica: I'm sorry, Bart.  You know my parents can't find out about us.
         And besides, if it's secret, it's even more exciting...
   Bart: I guess...
Jessica: Hey, you want to go skateboarding?
   Bart: Actually, I was hoping I could sit down for just a second.
Jessica: [cajoling] Come on!  It'll be fun.
          [looks around, then kisses Bart]
   Bart: Wow!  [stands up] Now I have the energy to do anything!
         [doubles over again] Just give me two minutes.
-- Bart deals with Nelson's punch, "Bart's Girlfriend"

The two go to the top of an impossibly steep and enormous hill.

   Bart: Jessica, I think this is too steep.
Jessica: Bart, you can't trust your perception at this altitude.
         [pushes him]
-- The children go skateboarding, "Bart's Girlfriend"

Bart struggles to keep his balance as Jessica starts her own descent
amidst laughter.  "Actually," notes Bart, "if the road surface maintains
its integrity, I just might be able to hold on --" An oil truck crashed
at the side of the road leaks its contents and Bart barely manages to
stay on.  He sighs with relief, only to run into a field of ball
bearings.  He manages to avoid disaster here too.

As he comes over the next hill, he sees a crashed glue truck.  "Oh," he
sighs, "the glue will slow me down."  Two men stand next to the truck.
"Is the glue leaking?" one asks, and the other answers, "Naw, that glue
ain't going nowhere."  Bart laments, "Oh, nothing's ever going to stop
me!"...but he didn't count on an ant carrying an almond across the road
with its huge strength.  Seeing Bart approaching, it drops the almond in
a panic and runs off.  Bart's wheel catches on the almond, and he and
his skateboard bounce down the hill.

He looks up woozily at the bottom, only to hear, "Oh no!  There goes the
glue after all!"  It covers him in a great white flood.  Jessica pulls
up near him laughing and asks, "Fun, huh?"  Bart can only bubble.

Bart walks past the kitchen table with Snowball II stuck to his back.

Marge: Have you noticed any change in Bart?
Homer: New glasses?
Marge: No...he looks like something might be disturbing him.
Homer: Probably misses his old glasses.
Marge: I guess we could get more involved in Bart's activities but then
       I'd be afraid of smothering him.
Homer: Yeah, and then we'd get the chair.
Marge: That's not what I meant.
Homer: It was, Marge, admit it.
-- Marge's secret death-wish, "Bart's Girlfriend"

The next day at school, the bell for classes rings as Bart walks to
class.  Jessica jumps out in front of him.

Jessica: Hi.
   Bart: Uh, we should get to class.
Jessica: What's the hurry?
   Bart: We could get in trouble for being late.
Jessica: Aw, you worry too much.  Come on, if you stay here a while I'll
         let you hold my hand.
          [she grabs his hand, then uses it to pull the fire alarm]
          [laughs] Teamwork!  Come on, Bart.
          [everyone rushes out in a panic]
  Willy: If I don't save the wee turtles, who will?!
          [kicks down door, comes out covered in turtles]
         Aah!  Save me from the wee turtles!  They were too quick for
-- Willy, noble in pain, "Bart's Girlfriend"

Bart tells Lisa what happened.

 Lisa: I can't believe it, Bart.  I'd always thought Jessica was so
 Bart: She's like a Milk Dud, Lis: sweet on the outside, poison on the
 Lisa: You gotta give her up.
 Bart: No no, wait: hear my plan.  Put up with her for seven more years,
       then we'll get married.  Once the first baby comes along she's
       bound to settle down and start treating me right.  After all, I
       deserve it.
 Lisa: Bart, it's naive to think you can change a person...except maybe
       that boy who works in the library...
        [flashback to library]
Ralph: Do you have, "Go, Dog, Go"?
  Boy: [scoffs] That's in Juvenile.  This is Young Adult.
        [back to present] Well-read, and just a little wild.  [dreamy]
       Ooh, if only someone could tame him...
 Bart: You're right, Lisa: love isn't about _fixing_ someone.  I'm just
       going to give her up cold turkey.  I'm not going to talk to her
       or see her -- it's over.  Thanks for the advice, sis.
 Lisa: [sighs wistfully]
-- Those library workers are the wildest, "Bart's Girlfriend"

Bart crosses off the days on his calendar, starting April 1st and
continuing until June 30th.

 Bart: There.  If I can just get through this many days without seeing
       her she should be completely out of my system.  OK: day one.
       [circles it]
Marge: Time for church, Bart!  I bet your little friend Jessica will be
 Bart: D'oh!
-- "Bart's Girlfriend"

As the family walk up to church, "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" plays on
the organ.  A beautiful woman's voice rises above the playing.

Bart: [hears singing] Jessica!
Lisa: Bart, be strong!  You don't need that little hellcat.
Bart: Oh, Lis: she's already drawing me to her with her beautiful siren
       [opens church door, sees Ned Flanders singing falsetto]
       [shudders] That's _very_ disturbing.
-- But hardly surprising, "Bart's Girlfriend"

A hand reaches out and grabs Bart.

Jessica: Hey, Bart.
          [Bart looks away]
         What?  What's wrong?
   Bart: Well, Jessica...I don't think we should hang out together any
         more.  You're turning me into a criminal when all I want to be
         is a petty thug.
  Homer: Oh, good.  Here comes the collection plate!
          [puts a coupon inside]
  Marge: [reading it] "30 cents off Shake'N'Bake"...Homer!
  Homer: We can spare it, Marge!  We've been blessed.
-- Shake'N'Bake don't pay the bills, "Bart's Girlfriend"

Jessica acts despondent.

Jessica: You're right about everything, Bart.  [sighs] I have been too
         reckless.  From now on, I am going to settle down.
          [dumps collection plate money into her purse]
   Bart: [gasps] Jessica!  What are you doing?
Jessica: Well, it takes money to start a new life.
   Bart: Stealing from the collection basket is really wrong!  Even _I_
         know that.
Jessica: Fine.  You just lost your cut.
-- Partners in crime, "Bart's Girlfriend"

Mrs. Lovejoy: I'll just take that -- [sees empty collection plate]
               [gasps] Everyone turn around and look at this!
         Abe: What is it?  A Unitarian?
               [everyone surrounds Bart]
        Bart: [thinking] Now just relax.  For once, you didn't do
              anything wrong.  Just explain yourself and everyone will
               [aloud] I --
Mrs. Lovejoy: -- took the money?  Yes, we know.
         Moe: He confessed!
        Bart: OK!  [jumps out window]
       Homer: [after a delay] Stop him!  He's headed for the window!
-- Closing the barn door too late, "Bart's Girlfriend"

[End of Act Two.  Time: 15:50]

Homer and Marge have a talk with Bart at home.

Homer: Son, if you can look me in the eye and say you didn't take the
       collection money, that's all I need.
 Bart: [looking at him] I didn't take it.
Homer: Why you little -- [strangles him] How can you look me in the eye
       and lie like that?
Marge: Homer, stop it!  I believe him.
Homer: Tell me: if he didn't take the money, why is he wearing those
       fancy clothes?
Marge: [sighs] That's what he wore to church.
Homer: Oh, how convenient!
Marge: Bart, honey, do you know who _did_ take the money?
 Bart: [pause] No.
Homer: See, son?  Telling the truth isn't so bad.
-- Black is white, "Bart's Girlfriend"

Bart walks outside, only to be booed by everyone.  People driving by
yell, "Crook!"  "Thief!"  "Steal the money from the church collection

Jessica, meanwhile, plays with a baton.

   Bart: We gotta talk.
Jessica: Listen, thanks for not turning me in.  That was sweet.
   Bart: Well, it seems like if you really care for me, you should come
Jessica: Oh, don't you see?  It's because I care for you that I _can't_
         come forward.
   Bart: [thinks] That doesn't make any sense.
Jessica: [petulant] All right, then I just don't feel like it, OK?
   Bart: Jessica, you're really beautiful, but _you_ are not very nice.
Jessica: [sighs contemptulously] Duh.
   Bart: You know, with the way you're treating me, why _should_ I
         protect you?
Jessica: Because, if you tell, no one will believe you.  Remember I'm
         the sweet, perfect minister's daughter...and you're just yellow
-- Meta-humor galore, "Bart's Girlfriend"

Bart thinks on things dejectedly in his treehouse.  Lisa climbs up to
see him.

  Lisa: [entering treehouse] So here's where you're hiding!
  Bart: Yeah.  This is my only refuge from the taunts and accusations of
        the townspeople.
Jasper: [appearing at window] Thief!
         [Bart pulls the blind]
  Lisa: Bart, we can't just let her get away with this.
  Bart: Give it up, Lis: she's a criminal mastermind.  She's got 108 IQ,
        she reads at a fifth grade level, and...[sighs] her hair smells
        like red Froot Loops.
  Lisa: [threatening] Yeah?  Well I eat Froot Loops for breakfast.
-- A dire threat, "Bart's Girlfriend"

The next Sunday at church, Rev. Lovejoy has taken steps.

Lovejoy: Because of last week's problems, we'll be taking certain
         precautions with this week's collection.
  Marge: We really shouldn't have let them do this; it can't be helping
         his self-esteem.
          [Bart is in a Hannibal Lecter-type contraption]
-- Kids are resilient, however, "Bart's Girlfriend"

Lovejoy: Now, for our offertory reading, Lisa Simpson -- who we'll all
         be keeping an eye on.
   Lisa: I know most of you have already judged my brother guilty
         without any proof, but doesn't the Bible teach us, "Judge not,
         lest ye be judged," Reverend?
Lovejoy: [sullen] I think it may be somewhere towards the back.
-- Bible knowledge just like a minister should have, "Bart's Girlfriend"

   Lisa: There is someone among us with a guilty conscience.  After much
         soul-searching I decided it would be wrong of me to name names.
         But I urge that guilty person here, under the eyes of God, to
         come forward -- to confess, and save yourself from the torment
         of your own personal hell!
Skinner: Aah!  I smelled some marijuana smoke in Vietnam!
    Abe: I was the one who canceled "Star Trek"!
Hibbert: I left my Porsche keys inside Mrs. Glick!
   Lisa: I am talking to the collection money thief!  Only you can come
         forward and end this injustice.
          [Jessica looks around, smiling and saying nothing]
         Oh, what the heck: it was Jessica Lovejoy!
-- So much for not naming names, "Bart's Girlfriend"

Lisa entreats everyone to search Jessica's room.  "To the little girl's
room!" cries Homer, and off everyone goes.

Moe uses a jack to lift up her mattress, revealing the money.

Skinner: _That's_ the collection money!
    Moe: [sniffs it] Oh yeah, smells like church.
Lovejoy: I guess it's obvious what's happened here.  Bart Simpson has
         somehow managed to sneak his bedroom into my house.
          [everyone looks at him]
         Well, come on!  Use your imaginations!
Jessica: No, Dad.  _I_ did it: it's your classic cry for attention.
Lovejoy: Well, young lady, I suppose we brought you home from boarding
         school a little prematurely.
Jessica: I was _expelled_, Dad!  Remember the pipe bomb, the Glee Club
         brawl?  Remember the school _chapel_ collection plate?
          [Lovejoy starts singing "Bringing in the Sheaves"]
         Exploding toilets ring a bell?  Come on, Dad!  Pay attention to
         me!  We're going there...
-- The truth comes out, "Bart's Girlfriend"

"I think you all owe my son an apology," says Marge to the assembled
group.  Everyone files past the ensconced boy, grumbling their

Jessica scrubs the church steps as Bart skateboards up to her.

   Bart: Hi Jessica.
Jessica: Hi Bart.  Come to watch me suffer?
   Bart: I just wanted to let you know that even though this was a
         difficult experience, I really learned a lot.  I'm a little
         wiser, and a little less naive.
Jessica: [coquettish] Well, I learned that I can make men do whatever I
   Bart: Well...don't you see, Jessica, then you really haven't learned
Jessica: Um, would you finish scrubbing these steps with me?
   Bart: [enthusiastic] _Will_ I?
    Boy: [riding up on bike] Hey, Jessica!
Jessica: Coming!  [runs over to him; they ride off]
   Bart: Poor sucker.  It's amazing what some guys will do for a pretty
         face!  Not me, though.  [sly] Wait till she sees the second-
         rate job I do on these stairs.  [laughs to himself]
-- A different kind of revenge, "Bart's Girlfriend"

[End of Act Three.  Time: 20:50]


   {ddg} Don Del Grande
   {dh}  Dave Hall
   {th}  Tony Hill
   {mk}  Matthew Kurth
   {fm}  Fred McDonald
   {dgp} David G. Platt
   {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.)