[2F19] The PTA Disbands

The PTA Disbands                                 Written by Jennifer Crittenden
                                               Directed by Swinton O. Scott III
Production code: 2F19                       Original airdate in N.A.: 16-Apr-95
                                                  Capsule revision D, 22-Feb-97

Title sequence

Blackboard :- I do not have power of attorney over first graders.
              I do not have power of attorney over first/ at cutoff.

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

Couch      :- The family walk into the TV room from all directions,
              rather like the people in Escher's "Relativity" picture.
              Recycled from 2F09.

Did you notice...

Tony Hill:
    ... Shelbyville Elementary's motto is "Veritas et scientia' (truth
        and knowledge)?
    ... Otto blows gas out through his nose?
    ... Bart and Lisa eat lunch together?
    ... the timpanist is standing where she can't see the conductor?
    ... Marge dusting the family pets?
    ... gum is verboten in Miss Hoover's class?
    ... the local arcade employs a bouncer?
    ... OFF now has pop art in the dining room?
    ... Kearney is playing two video games at once?
    ... Lisa went to the PTA meeting?
    ... Jasper's head is rounder than previously?
    ... Bart and Milhouse leading their victims by the hand?

Don Del Grande:
    ... Ralph isn't coughing like the other students surrounded by
    ... at the battle site, Sherri (or is that Terri) and Bart "march
        off" the bus?
    ... the gym teacher's name, Mrs. Pommelhorst, sounds a lot like
        "pommel horse", the piece of gymnastics equipment?
    ... Database, the Superfriend, in band class?
    ... Ruth Powers at the PTA meeting?
    ... Groundskeeper Willy is in the tower at the school/prison?
    ... Snake's prisoner number is 7F20 ("War of the Simpsons")?
    ... the other prisoner's number number 2F21 ("Marge the Cop")?

Tim Rice:
    ... Wendell in the back of the bus looking nauseous?
    ... Bart watching the civil war reenactment on Mrs. Krabappel's
    ... how high on the wall the intercom speaker in Miss Hoover's
        classroom is?
    ... Superintendent Chalmers at the bank?
    ... Wiggum's wife at the PTA meeting, with her hair not in rollers?

Tim Cababa:
    ... one of the confederate soldiers is black?
    ... four or five members of the Ninth Bearded Infantry have no

Matthew Kurth:
    ... Alison Taylor sitting next to Lisa at the lunchroom table?
    ... the handicap parking spot at the arcade?

Voice credits

- Starring
    - Dan Castellaneta (surrendering man 2, Homer, man who sees Bart
      playing chess, parent who jumps out window, Abe)
    - Julie Kavner (Marge)
    - Nancy Cartwright (Bart, Ralph, girl on rings, construction foreman
      [well, duh - ed], Kearney, girl in kindergarten class, Nelson)
    - Yeardley Smith (Lisa)
    - Hank Azaria (Principal Valiant, surrendering man 1, brigade
      leader, soldier who sees Bart, Mr. Van Houten, long-haired
      teacher, Chalmers, Moe, Leopold, Snake)
    - Harry Shearer (Skinner, Otto, tour guide, Mr. Largo, Milhouse's
      tutor, Jimmy Stewart, Flanders, Jasper, Dr. Frink)
- Special Guest Voice
    - Marcia Wallace (Mrs. Krabappel)
- Also Starring
    - Doris Grau (Lunch Lady Doris)
    - Pamela Hayden (Milhouse, tour guide, Database, Jimbo, Dolph)
    - Maggie Roswell (ticket woman, Miss Hoover, Mrs. Van Houten)
    - Russi Taylor (Uter, Martin)

Movie (and other) references

  + Escher's "Relativity" picture
    - couch scene
  + Aloha Airlines jet {tdr}
    - picture in Newsweek showed jet with chunk of roof missing, very
      similar to chunk of school bus roof missing
  + Disney's planned amusement part in Virginia {mk}
    - is on the site of a Civil War battle
  + "F Troop" {ds}
    - cannon/lookout tower sequence a direct reference
  + "Prince Valiant" comic strip {bdp}
    - Principal Valiant
    "Von Ryan's Express" {jm}
    - Frank Sinatra is shot by the Nazis while leading a group of POW's
      to a train; similar to Uter
  + "Knight Moves" {wp}
    - the scene where Bart is playing chess
  + "Late Night with David Letterman" {mk}
    - Larry "Bud" Melman gets sand dumped on him while he's in a Porta
  + "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" {tdr}
    - Jimbo takes an hors d'oeuvre from his mother just like Warren
      Beatty takes watercress sandwiches from his mother when in a tiff
  + Jimmy Stewart
    - bank manager is a clear take-off
  + "Welcome Back, Kotter"
    - Gabe Kaplan, the star of it, is on Bart's substitute list

Previous episode references

- [7G04] Lisa refers to Vassar
- [7F03] Bart kisses SLH {mk}
- [8F05], [8F22] Bart plays chess {tdr}
- [9F18] Marge teaches Bart {th}
- [9F22] Snake uses monosyllables when he doesn't understand (cf. Bart)
- [1F06] the arcade cares about patrons' financial status {th}
- [1F06] Milhouse plays two video games at once (cf. Kearney)
- [1F07] Ned uses the phrase "a dilly of a pickle"
- [1F17] Lisa's rival appears {tdr}
- [1F18] Ned acts as the head of the PTA
- [1F18] Leopold appears {tdr}

Freeze frame fun

- Sign: {mk}
   D I Z - N E E
 Sorry, But There's
 Profit To Be Had.
- The banned books: {ddg}
    - Tek War (William Shatner)
    - Theory of Evolution (Charles Darwin)
    - Sexus (Henry Miller)
    - 40 Years of Playboy (Hugh Hefner)
    - Steal This Book (Abbie Hoffman)
    - Hop On Pop (Dr. Seuss)
    - The Satanic Verses (Junior Illustrated Edition) (Salman Rushdie)
- Lisa's strike kit: {ddg}
    - picture of outside of school
    - math book
    - tape recording of Miss Hoover
    - Cafeteria-Style Fish sticks
- Video games at the arcade: {mk}
    - Time Waster
    - Larry The Looter
    - Razor Fight II: The Slashening
    - Escape From Death Row
- Sign: {mk}
 BS First Bank Of
- Bart's list of victims: {ddg}
    - Chief Wiggum
    - Barney
    - Lionel Hutz
    - Gabe Kaplan
    - Moe

Animation, continuity, and other goofs

How does Krabappel know that none of the first graders have given Bart
their power of attorney?  {th}

Why doesn't Krabappel just bring her own lunch if she knows how bad the
school's is?  {th}

Lunchlady Doris' name is misformatted in the line where she says,
"There's very little meat in these gym mats."  {bg}

Seymour Skinner should know that there is _at least_ one child with a
future, namely Lisa.  (cf. 2F15) {mk}

Seymour also should know better than to trust Bart any farther than
state law will allow him to spank Bart (i.e., not at all).  (Anyone
remember 8F15?)  {mk}

When Skinner makes his PA announcement, there's a boy sitting behind
Lisa; when Mrs. Krabappel makes hers, it's Wanda.  {ddg}

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Edna Krabappel doesn't have the authority
to declare a strike on behalf of the Teachers' Union, never mind without
a vote.  {mk}

Miss Hoover drives a convertible, unlike in 1F07 and 1F20.  {ddg}

Correct me again if I'm wrong, but school curriculums are approved by
the school board, rather than the state.  {mk}

Homer has already been on strike.  (Anyone remember 9F15?)  {mk}

The blackboard said Milhouse was studying the colonial period
(1776-1836, which is a goof in itself: the colonial period was
1607-1775), but he told Bart he was studying the Teapot Dome Scandal,
which occurred in the 1920s.  {th}

What use is a bouncer shaking kids for money outside of an arcade?
Wouldn't most of the kids have paper money?  {ddg}

Without state-approved syllabi and standardized testing, my education
can only go so far" -- so how do private schools manage?  {ddg}

Two of the chessboards had 56 squares instead of 64.  {tc}

It was Kearney playing Razor Fight II, not Dolph.  {tc}

At the PTA meeting, in the first shot of the crowd, Homer is sitting
next to someone who looks like Martin, but in the next shot, he's next
to Ralph.  {ddg}

Why would Chief Wiggum, Lionel Hutz, and Moe be called in as substitute
teachers?  They already have full-time jobs.

Lisa didn't bash Vassar in 7G04; quite the opposite.  {ddg}

When Marge puts the apron on Bart, there is a jump-cut from her standing
behind him to her kneeling next to him.  {mk}

In most episodes, the hall lockers are full-length.  When Milhouse shows
Edna to Skinner's office though, all the lockers are half-height.  {mk}

Why would Principal Skinner's office be rigged on the outside like a
meat locker?  {tdr}

When Bart and Milhouse shove Edna and Seymour into his office, the door
has a window, but the door has no window in the shots inside the office.

There is no reason Skinner and Krabappel would remain trapped in the
office.  They could have climbed out the window.  {mk}

In the establishing shot of the fourth grade classroom after the
agreement, Bart is in the middle of the last row.  However, in the shot
of Bart listening to Snake, his desk has shifted closer to his cell.


Tony Hill: There was a lot of funny stuff in this episode, but overall
    the plot seemed to be holding back the gags.  In spite of having
    only a single plot from beginning to end, it was rather disjointed
    in its feeling.  Bart at the construction site and Lisa's perpetual
    motion machine were the best parts.  I give it a B-.

Don Del Grande: B - just like 2F18, this was a B-Plus for the first 2/3
    of the episode, but the writer just ran out of ideas or something
    and mailed in an ending.

Michael Gemmell: Well, I see that the Simpsons has rebounded from last
    week's dud to provide a moderately entertaining episode.  "The PTA
    Disbands" was a hit and miss affair, with some jokes falling very
    flat, but others drawing a few chuckles.  Overall, I think I laughed
    out loud four times.

Dairenn Lombard: Overall this episode gets two and a half stars, it was
    not as compelling in he first Act as last weeks episode was, but Act
    III was the most hilarious of all!  This episode is a "Must VCR

Dan Babcock: The PTA show was a little uneven but peppered with guffaws.
    I give it a B.

Scott Fujimoto: Good premise here with great potential.  Unfortunately,
    they skipped sharp social satire in favor of fairly routine gags,
    many of which went on too long.  And for the sake of a gag, they
    turned Lisa into a completely psychotic, obsessive nutcase.  Not
    believable, not funny, VERY ANNOYING.  Grade: F with Lisa, D+

Chris Staves: Aside from a few inspired lines ("That's a paddlin'").
    This was one of the weakest shows I've seen in a while.  My SO and I
    both gave it about a D.

Brian Phillips: I enjoyed the episode; I only know of two episodes by
    Jennifer Crittenden and I liked them both.  This is quite a cynical
    departure from the rather nice ending of the Birth of Maggie

Steve Doyle: Overall, C. I did laugh, but most of the gags were forced
    and reaching.  This had the appearance and feel of an early Itchy
    and Scratchy episode (uh, was it Steamboat Itchy?)  The animation
    even seemed weak.  It was probably assembled from only 65% new
    material and we didn't even notice!

Tim Rice: The satire of our declining educational infrastructure was
    amusing, but it came across at the grade school level -- not much
    here for adults.  Although I wouldn't have missed it for the world,
    it was subpar overall.  Mmmm...C+.

Joe Baylot I am so glad that those writers had the decency to write an
    episode that had a few laughs in it and was not just a bunch of
    crap.  The fights between Mrs. Krabappel and Principal Skinner were
    classic, and Bart was back in old form, spreading mischief all

Michael Harwell: I'm sorry, I just didn't dig last night's episode.
    What was that crawlspace crap?  And Snake's lines could have been so
    much funnier.  And Ralph!  Ralph didn't even get to say anything
    funny--the potential was great.  Oh well.  Grade: D+.

John J. Wood: Grade: C+.  To quote Dr. Nick Riviera after seeing the
    lame ending: "What the hell is that?"  There were some amusing gags,
    but its premise was predictable, and indeed Lisa was well out of
    character.  A rushed, totally LAME ending was tossed in.

Tim Cababa: Not exactly the best ep, but definitely not the worst this
    year.  Lisa's "school withdrawal syndrome" tended to annoy, not only
    because I'm a big Lisa fan.  It could be me, but it seems the
    writers are trying to cram too much into each show now.  Grade: C+.

Warren Hagey: A great episode!  It was funny all the way through, from
    the bus gags and the cannon right up until the substitute teachers.
    Edna and Seymour discussing the food and the children's futures,
    Bart playing chess, and Prof.  Frink were all great.  Another
    reference to Canada, too!  Grade: A.

Matthew Kurth: Improbable, poorly scripted, and lacking in all respects.
    Lisa was completely out of character throughout -- proof positive
    that Jennifer Crittenden must go.  An utter disaster and total
    failure from start to finish. 5/10.

Yours truly: I gotta say I was laughing quite hard at parts of this one:
    newspaper/gym mats/malk (with vitamin R!), foreman Bart, Milhouse's
    learning, thermodynamics comment, Dr. Frink, Kearney's jig.  But
    Lisa's behavior was silly, and the last act seemed rushed.  Overall,
    it's a C.

Comments and other observations

"Where is Springfield" rererevisited

Tony Hill notes, "Fort Springfield was the site of a Civil War battle,
    suggesting it's in the southeast quadrant of the U.S.  However, the
    architecture at the fort suggests its more of the type of Great
    Plains fort used in wars against American Indians.  It was a Union
    fort since its troops wore blue.  And, killer have arrived in
    Springfield, suggesting its in one of the states which borders

Some of the banned books

Tony Hill says:

    - "Steal This Book" was a counterculture book written by fugitive
      Abbie Hoffman in the late 60s
    - "Hop on Pop" is a Dr. Seuss classic
    - "The Satanic Verses" was written by Salman Rushdie in 1989
      prompting a call for Rushdie's assassination by the Ayatollah
      Khomeini.  Khomeini died later that year, but Rushdie is still in
      hiding, although I don't know of his working on a "Junior
      Illustrated Edition."

Quotes and Scene Summary

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

The Springfield Elementary School Bus is looking the worse for wear.
Its back bumper is loose and its muffler sparks as it drags along the
ground.  The children on the bus seem to be enjoying the bumpy ride, all
except for Wendell.

Milhouse: This bus has seen better days.
    Bart: Well, at least it's safer than the old bus.
           [shot of old bus, propped up on blocks]
           [a leaf from a tree falls on it; it explodes]
Milhouse: Uh oh, time to move: the hole's getting bigger.
           [they climb onto the seat in front as their seat falls
    Edna: Seymour, the children are playing in the hole again.
          Shouldn't you get that fixed?
 Skinner: Edna, you _know_ they just cut the school's budget.  If I had
          the money I'd fix the exhaust leak in the back.  Actually, I
          think it's causing some of our low test scores.
           [shot of the children in the back surrounded by smoke and
          drooling, except for Ralph Wiggum who looks normal]
-- One a Wiggum, always a Wiggum, "The PTA Disbands"

The bus passes a sign for the Fort Springfield civil war site.  "All
right," says Skinner, "the battlefield is just a half-mile ahead.  Begin
braking procedure!"  The children take off their jackets and hold them
out the window so they fill with air and provide drag.

At the fort, a tour guide shows some students a cannon.

Guide: This civil war cannon had been fully restored and is in ready-to-
       fire condition.  But it's a good thing we're _not_ firing it
       because it happens to be aimed at the main support leg of that
       lookout tower.  People don't realize that these cannons are very
       sensitive, and the slightest jolt could set them off.
        [the bus from Springfield Elementary arrives and skids into the
       cannon, knocking one of its wheels off]
       Of course, for safety reasons, we don't keep the cannon loaded:
       it's just common sense.
-- A tour of Fort Springfield, "The PTA Disbands"

Skinner gets out of the bus and approaches Otto.

Skinner: Otto, why don't you get some more gas?  Here's the "credit
          [hands him a length of siphoning pipe]
   Otto: [groaning] Oh...
Skinner: And a mint for afterwards.
-- Stupid afterwards mint!, "The PTA Disbands"

At the ticket booth, Skinner can't believe what's happened.

Skinner: Five dollars a child?!  Last year it was free!
  Woman: Hmph, new ownership.  [points to sign]
          ["Diz-Nee Historical Park; Sorry, but there's profit to be
Skinner: But we don't have that kind of money!  In fact, no school could
         afford the --
          [the brand new Shelbyville Elementary bus pulls up and
         disgorges its passengers]
Valiant: Here's the admission, plus, er, something for you.  See that
         they get a little extra education, would you?
  Woman: [bright] Yes sir, Principal Valiant!
Skinner: He thinks he's so hot ever since he swept the Princi Awards.
         Those things are rigged...
-- Second-rate Skinner, "The PTA Disbands"

Part of the tour features a reenactment of a famous scene from the war.

Guide: On May 21, 1864, the men of the Ninth Bearded Infantry were
       sunning and fluffing their beards in the sun.  Suddenly, enemy
       troops crested that hill over there.
Man 1: Fort Springfield, we surrender unconditionally!
Man 2: We're sick.  We need leeches and hacksaws to saw off our
       gangrenous limbs!
Guide: But the Springfield Brigade was too brave to accept the
Man 3: Come on, boys!  Those white flags are no match for our muskets.
        [they charge]
Guide: And the Springfielders heroically slaughtered their enemies as
       they prayed for mercy.
        [the children watch the mayhem and cheer]
-- Violence sells, "The PTA Disbands"

The children watching from the stands close by aren't from Springfield
Elementary; these latter children are behind a fence far away from the
battle scene.

   Bart: It's hard to see what's going on; I can only make out the fat
Skinner: All right, children, switch.
          [one of the soldiers spots the children]
  Man 4: Hey, they're trying to learn for free!
  Guide: [sees them] Get 'em!
  Man 3: Use your phony guns as clubs!
Skinner: Run, children!
          [they take off, followed by the soldiers]
         Start the bus, Otto, start the bus!
          [Otto, siphoning, swallows some gasoline by accident and
   Otto: Damn!  I shouldn't have eaten the mint first.
          [starts the bus]
         OK, hop on!
          [the children, for the most part, do so]
   Uter: Wait, wait!
          [he stumbles; the soldiers catch up and surround him]
   Edna: Well, Seymour, because of your penny-pinching, we're coming
         back from a field trip with the fewest children yet.
Skinner: God bless the man who invented permission slips.
          [kisses an armful of them]
-- The field trip ends on a sour note, "The PTA Disbands"

At lunch that day, Bart reads the note Marge wrote for him.

Bart: Uh, I think I got your lunch.
       [holds up note: "I am very proud of you, Love, Mom"]
Lisa: Oh yeah, I didn't think this was for me.
       [holds up note: "Be good.  For the love of God, _please_ be
-- Bart and Lisa eat lunch, "The PTA Disbands"

   Edna: Seymour, the teachers are fed up.  You have to start putting
         money back into the school.  You've cut back on everything:
         salaries, supplies, the food -- [takes a bite] -- I don't care
         what you say, I can taste the newspaper.
Skinner: Posh.  Shredded newspapers add much-needed ruffage and
         essential inks.  Besides, you didn't notice the old gym mats.
          [Lunch Lady Doris feeds some into a grinder]
         Doris: There's very little meat in these gym mats.
   Edna: Our demands are very reasonable.  By ignoring them, you're
         selling out these children's future!
Skinner: Oh, come on, Edna: we both know these children _have_ no
          [all the children stop and look at him]
          [chuckles nervously] Prove me wrong, kids.  Prove me wrong.
-- The Skinnerian challenge, "The PTA Disbands"

Lisa doesn't like the sound of it.

Lisa: I've never seen them fight like that, Bart.  I'm worried that all
      this posturing and saber-rattling could lead to a teachers'
Bart: [scheming] Strike, eh?  [cracks his knuckles; they snap painfully]
      Ouch!  My bones are so brittle.  But I always drink plenty of...
      [picks up milk carton, reads it] "Malk"?
-- Now with Vitamin R, "The PTA Disbands"

Mrs. Krabappel continues to make her case.

   Edna: How do you expect us to teach with these supplies?  Well, this
         pointer's so old, it's worn down to a nub.
Skinner: [takes it] It still points, doesn't it?
   Edna: Stop that!  And look at this: the only books we have are ones
         that were banned by other schools.
Skinner: Well, the kids have to learn about "Tek War" sooner or later.
         [walks off]
-- Mmm, William Shatner, "The PTA Disbands"

Bart appears at the door.

   Edna: Go away, Bart, this is not a good time.
   Bart: I saw you two fighting...I'm worried there could be a strike
         and the school would shut down.
   Edna: [scoffs] I'm sure you'd really hate that.  There's not going to
         be a strike, Bart.
   Bart: Yeah...Skinner says you wouldn't have the won tons to go
         through with it.
   Edna: Skinner said _that_?
   Bart: Well, I had to clean it up a little.
          [in Skinner's office]
         Basically, Krabappel said you'd give the teachers everything
         they want.
Skinner: She did?
   Bart: Yeah.  She said you'd fold faster than Superman on laundry day.
Skinner: We'll see about that.  Simpson, I always thought you were...
         sneaky and manipulative.  Now I see you're really a very
         sensitive little boy.
   Bart: Thank you, Sir.
Skinner: Aww...
-- Bart sows dissent, "The PTA Disbands"

   Edna: Seymour, you're being _totally_ unfair and the teachers won't
         stand for it.
Skinner: You don't have the guts to strike.
   Edna: You don't have the guts to take us all on.
          [they start walking away from each other]
          [Bart pokes his head out of a locker and makes chicken noises]
          [they turn around and glare]
Skinner: That's it!
   Edna: Stee-rike!
          [over the PA, a struggle is heard]
Skinner: Attention, this is an emergency broadcast: all is well in the
         school.  My authority as principal is total --
          [more struggling is heard]
         Give me that!
   Edna: Attention, teachers: we're on strike.
          [the kids murmur amongst themselves]
   Lisa: Strike?
  Ralph: Miss Hoover, are you on st --
 Hoover: [skidding away in her car] Go home, children!
-- Sounds like a "yes", "The PTA Disbands"

A little girl holds onto the rings in the gymnasium with no one below
her.  "Hello?  Mrs. Pommelhorst?  I'd like to get down now!" she calls

{In band practice, the children butcher "God Save the Queen."  Database
observes, "Hey, now that -- now that Largo's gone, we, we can play the
forbidden music."  The children break into a quite reasonable-sounding
version of "Pop Goes the Weasel".  Three quarters of the way through,
Largo pops his head in the door: "I heard that!"}

[End of Act One.  Time: 6:59]

The children burst out the school doors early, hooting and hollering.
At home, Marge dusts the sleeping pets.

 Marge: Bart, Lisa, what are you two doing home so early?
  Bart: Great news, Mom!
  Lisa: Horrible news, Mom!
  Bart: The school's on strike, maybe forever!  [gasps] Oh, overload,
        pleasure overload...[kisses SLH, runs off]
  Lisa: Luckily I've prepared for this, so I'm not too worried.
         [opens up "Strike Preparedness Kit", turns on tape recorder]
Hoover: [on tape] Sit up straight.  Eyes forward.  No talking.  Is that
        gum?  Is that gum?  Is that gum?
  Lisa: Oh, yeah.  Phew!
-- Drastic measures, "The PTA Disbands"

Marge: Bart, leave that crowbar here.  You know I don't like you prying
       and jimmying.
-- Motherly chastisement, "The PTA Disbands"

Milhouse runs into his parents' house.

  Milhouse: Mom!  Dad!  Great news!  The teachers are on --
Mrs. Van H: We heard.
 Mr. Van H: And we already hired a tutor.
     Tutor: Well, looks like we'll be staying late today to make up for
            all the dillydallying.
  Milhouse: [groaning] Oh...
-- "The PTA Disbands"

Bart decides to hang out at a construction site.  "Awesome," he
breathes, then picks up a nearby megaphone.

   Bart: You, with the crane!  Spin around real fast!
          [crane operator shrugs, then does so]
         Now you!  Dump three tons of sand onto that Porta-potty.
          [a man enters the Porta-potty as it gets covered]
          [the foreman walks up and grabs the megaphone]
Foreman: [with Bart's voice] Hey!  Can't you tell my voice from a ten-
         year-old kid's?  [sighs] Ay, carumba!
-- The joy of power, "The PTA Disbands"

There's a huge lineup at the arcade.  The entrance is cordoned off; a
bouncer shakes each child and only lets in the ones who jingle.  At the
park, Bart plays chess.  "Hey," observes one man, "that little boy is
playing three games at once!"  All three opponents announce "Checkmate!"
in quick succession.

Homer rues the teachers' strategy at dinner.

Homer: Lousy teachers, trying to palm off our kids on us!
 Lisa: But, Dad, by striking, they're trying to effect a change in
       management so that they can be happier and more productive.
Homer: Lisa, if you don't like your job, you don't strike: you just go
       in every day and do it really half-assed.  That's the American
-- Homer tells it like it is, "The PTA Disbands"

 Lisa: I've got some textbooks but without state-approved syllabi and
       standardized testing my education can only go so far.
Marge: Honey, maybe you should relax a little.
 Lisa: Relax?  I can't relax!  Nor can I yield, relent, or -- [groans]
       Only two synonyms?  Oh my God: I'm losing my perspicacity!
        [runs off screaming]
Homer: Well, it's always in the last place you look.
-- Tautologies, "The PTA Disbands"

The teachers picket outside the school, holding placards reading "2+2, a
raise is due", "A is for apple, B is for raise", and "Gimme!  Gimme!
Gimme!"  Lisa twists Miss Hoover's arm: "So if we were in school this
week, what do you think we'd be learning?" but Miss Hoover shuns her.

   Edna: Good news, people!
          [the other teachers cheer]
         I'm happy to announce that another union has joined us in a
         sympathy strike: the piano tuners' Local 412!
          [the teachers look at one another, confused]
          [a piano tuner stands outside a house with an out-of-tune
         piano and looks smug]
   Bart: [walking up] Now for Operation Strike-Make-Go-Longer.
          [to teacher] You know, I heard Skinner say the teachers will
         crack any minute.
          [the teachers whisper it forward through the line]
Teacher: [to Edna] Skinner said the teachers will crack any minute
         purple monkey dishwasher.
   Edna: Well!  We'll show him, especially for that "purple monkey
         dishwasher" remark.
          [everyone shouts their assent]
-- Rabble rousing, "The PTA Disbands"

Superintendent Chalmers berates Skinner.  "Seymour, you are truly
incompetent."  Despite Skinner's protests, Chalmers barrels on: "Listen
to those passing motorists who support the teachers."  Outside, Edna
holds up a "Honk if you love cookies" sign.

Meanwhile, Milhouse continues to learn.

   Tutor: Fifteen minute recess, Milhouse.  The recess assignment is
          chapter three through seven.
Milhouse: Yay!  Recess!  [tears outside]
    Bart: Milhouse!  I found a hive of killer bees.  You wanna go throw
          rocks at it?
Milhouse: Sorry, Bart, I'm deeply immersed in the Teapot Dome scandal.
    Bart: Huh?
Milhouse: However, it might be feasible in a fortnight.
    Bart: Wha?
Milhouse: I can play in two weeks.
    Bart: Juh?
-- Bart, master of the monosyllable, "The PTA Disbands"

Jimbo watches TV with his mother and weeps.  "I just can't believe Stark
would stoop to that right in the middle of Montana and Dakota's
wedding."  {At the arcade, Dolph and Kearney play two video games at
once.  "All this free time...I never thought I'd get sick of `Razor
Fight II: The Slashening'," says Dolph.  "I probably should stop," sighs
Kearney, "my doctor says I have the wrists of an 80- year-old."}

Bart creates havoc at a bank, calling out "What do you mean, the bank is
out of money?", "Insolvent?!", and "You only have enough cash for the
next three customers?"  Everyone panics and rushes the glass, demanding
an explanation.  A Jimmy Stewart-like bank manager stammers, "I don't
have your money here.  It's at Bill's house and Fred's house!"  A fight
breaks out.

Lisa continues to freak out at home.

Lisa: [panting] Grade me...look at me...evaluate and rank me!  Oh, I'm
      good, good, good, and oh so smart!  Grade me!
       [Marge scribbles an A on a piece of paper]
       [Lisa walks off, muttering crazily and sighing]
-- "The PTA Disbands"

That night, in bed...

Marge: I'm worried about the kids, Homey.  Lisa's becoming very
       obsessive.  This morning I caught her trying to dissect her own
Homer: [scoffs] I know.  And this perpetual motion machine she made
       today is a joke!  It just keeps going faster and faster.
Marge: And Bart isn't doing very well either.  He needs boundaries and
       structure.  There's something about flying a kite at night that's
       so unwholesome.  [looks out window]
 Bart: [creepy voice] Hello, Mother dear.
Marge: [closing the curtains] That's it: we have to get them back to
Homer: I'm with you, Marge.  Lisa!  Get in here.
        [Lisa walks in, chuckling nervously]
       In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!
-- The last straw, "The PTA Disbands"

In the Springfield Elementary Auditorium, Ned Flanders stands at a
podium with Skinner and Edna on either side of him.

     Ned: Well, all right, I'd like to call this meeting of the PTA to
          or-diddely-order.  Let's see if we can't put an end to this
          strike fuss, huh?  Mrs. Krabappel, why don't you begin?
 Skinner: Boo!
    Edna: Oh, "boo" yourself.  Our demands are simple: a small cost-of-
          living increase and some better equipment and supplies for
          your children.
Audience: Yeah!  Give it to them! etc.
 Skinner: Yeah, in a dream world.  We have a very tight budget; to do
          what she's asking, we'd have to raise taxes.
Audience: Raise taxes?  They're too high as they are.  Taxes are bad.
    Edna: It's your children's future.
Audience: That's right.  Children are important. etc.
 Skinner: It'll cost you.
Audience: No to taxes.  My God, they're going to raise taxes. etc.
    Edna: C'mon!
Audience: She makes a good case.  Good point. etc.
 Skinner: [rubs his fingertips together]
Audience: More taxes?  The finger thing means the taxes. etc.
     Ned: Well, I guess this is a case where we'll have to agree to
 Skinner: I don't agree to that.
    Edna: Neither do I!
-- So much for being conciliatory, "The PTA Disbands"

Ned: Ho, ho, this is a dilly of a pickle.
Man: Oh my God...the PTA has disbanded!  [jumps out a window]
Ned: No, no!  The PTA has not disbanded.
      [the man reverses his path through the window and sits down]
     We do have an emergency plan in case of a prolonged strike right
      [opens a briefcase]
     Let's see..."Replace teachers with super-intelligent cyborgs.  Or,
     if cyborgs aren't invented yet, use people from the neighborhood."
-- Long-term planning by the PTA, "The PTA Disbands"

Jasper takes over Lisa's class.

Jasper: Talking out of turn...that's a paddling.  Looking out the
        window...that's a paddling.  Staring at my sandals...that's a
        paddling.  Paddling the school canoe...ooh, you better believe
        that's a paddling.
  Lisa: [groaning] Oh...
-- Lisa's substitute, "The PTA Disbands"

Professor Frink takes over the kindergarten class, drawing equations and
free-body diagrams on the blackboard to explain the workings of one of
those things that kids push which makes the balls pop.

Frink: N'hey hey!  Ahem, n'hey, so the compression and expansion of the
       longitudinal waves cause the erratic oscillation -- you can see
       it there -- of the neighboring particles.
        [a girl raises her hand]
        [sighs] Yes, what is it?  What?  What is it?
 Girl: Can I play with it?
Frink: No, you can't play with it; you won't enjoy it on as many levels
       as I do.
        [he chuckles as he plays with it] The colors, children!
-- Professor Frink explains the physics of a toy, "The PTA Disbands"

Moe takes over Bart's class.

     Moe: OK, when I call your name, uh, you say "present" or "here".
          Er, no, say "present".  Ahem, Anita Bath?
           [everyone laughs]
          All right, settle down.  Anita Bath here?
           [everyone laughs]
          All right, fine, fine.  Maya Buttreeks.
           [everyone laughs]
          Hey, what are you laughing at?  What?  Oh, oh: I get it, I get
          it.  It's my big ears, isn't it, kids?  Isn't it?  Well
          children, I can't help that!  [runs out crying]
    Bart: [sighing] Ah...
           [crosses Moe's name off list of substitute teachers]
Milhouse: Wow, Bart, I'm impressed the way you knocked off all those
    Bart: In my weaker moments, I almost pity them.  Then I just remind
          myself, they're trying to teach.
-- Nefarious Bart, "The PTA Disbands"

Skinner walks in.

Skinner: Well, children, I don't know what you did to all those
         substitutes, but it's going to stop now.  Leopold?
Leopold: [bursting in] All right, you listen up, you little _freaks_.
         The fun stops here: you're going to shut your stinking traps
         and behave, dammit!  This is one substitute you're not going to
         screw with!
          [Martin and Wendell swallow uncomfortably]
         Marge Simpson!  [she walks in]
          [Bart swallows uncomfortably]
  Marge: Hi, class!  Hi Bart...over here, sweetie.  It's me, Mom.  Hi!
         Hey!  Hello?
   Bart: [groaning] Ohh...
-- No groaning in my class, "The PTA Disbands"

[End of Act Two.  Time: 16:30]

   Marge: Well, I'm sure some of you already know me.  I'm Bart
          Simpson's mother.
           [everyone laughs; Nelson pushes Bart]
           [Marge goes up to Bart and starts wiping dirt off his cheek]
    Bart: Mom!
Milhouse: Hey, Bart!  What about the booby trap?
           [Bart gasps, runs up to the front, removes tack from chair]
    Bart: May I?  [pulls out her chair]
   Marge: Thank you.
Everyone: Teacher's pet!  Momma's boy! etc.
Milhouse: I meant the other booby trap!
           [Bart gasps, dives for Marge, pushes her out of the way]
           [a huge log crashes into the blackboard]
   Marge: Oh, kids have been doing that one since my day.
-- The youth of yesteryear, "The PTA Disbands"

The Simpsons eat dinner that night.

Homer: [expansive] So, how was everybody's day at school?
 Bart: Horrifying!
 Lisa: Pointless!
Marge: Exhausting.  It took the children forty minutes to locate Canada
       on the map.
Homer: Marge, anyone can miss Canada, all tucked away down there.
 Lisa: Well, _my_ teacher's a nightmare.  Three kids got sick from
       inhaling his ointment fumes, he confiscated everything made of
       tin, and then he sent us home early because he got his beard
       caught in the pencil sharpener.
        [at school, Abe tries to help Jasper get out of it]
        [Abe turns the crank; Jasper gets pulled in a bit]
  Abe: Oh!  Oh, um, OK, um, hmm...um, here.
        [turns it some more; Jasper gets pulled in more]
       D'oh!  OK, uh, OK, let's see, um...what if I did this?
        [turns it some more; Jasper gets pulled in more]
       Um...you're on your own.  [runs off]
 Lisa: There's no way I'll get into an ivy league school now.  At this
       rate I probably won't even get into Vassar.
Homer: I've had just about enough of your Vassar-bashing, young lady!
-- Homer, defender of the faith, "The PTA Disbands"

 Bart: Look, Mom, it feels really weird having you on my turf.  How
       would you feel if I started mopping the floor?
Marge: I'd be thrilled.  You can start right now.
 Bart: [angry] Oh!
Marge: And I'm going to keep teaching your class, like it or lump it.
 Bart: Well, then, I guess I'll just have to get into the crawlspace
       again.  [runs off]
Marge: I hate it when he gets in there.
        [pounds the wall with a broom]
-- "The PTA Disbands"

Next day, Marge supervises recess.  Bart hides behind a tree.

   Bart: Psst!  Over here.
  Marge: Huh?
   Bart: Mom, I need a dollar.  Ever since you started teaching here
         kids have been taking my lunch money, and I need that money for
  Marge: Mmm, here you go precious.  Now, go off with your friends.
          [pushes him towards Jimbo, Dolph, and Nelson]
  Jimbo: "Here you go, precious."
          [they start beating him up]
   Bart: Why isn't my mom stopping this?
  Jimbo: We created a diversion.
  Marge: That's a very nice jig, Kearney.  Now isn't dancing much more
         fun than bullying?
Kearney: [chuckles] Yeah.
-- Kearney the sissy, "The PTA Disbands"

Bart picks himself up woozily.

    Bart: That's it, I can't take this any more, Milhouse.  I've got to
          get the real teachers back.
Milhouse: Bart, you'll never get Krabappel and Skinner together again.
          They're like two positively charged ions.
    Bart: Zuh?  Wait!  That's it!  With your booksmarts, and my ability
          to exploit people with booksmarts, we can figure out a clever
          plan to get them back together!
    Edna: A surprise party for _me_?  In Principal Skinner's office?
          Well, I don't know, but...all right.
 Skinner: Me?  Go to my office?  Well, it's highly irregular, but all
           [Bart padlocks them into the office]
    Bart: And you're not coming out until you reach an agreement!
-- The clever plan, "The PTA Disbands"

The two trapped teachers pound on the door, threatening Bart.  "Don't
worry, they'll start negotiating," says Bart, but as the clock turns
forward from 11:00 to 3:00, the pounding continues.  It stops briefly at
5:00, only to resume.

Eventually, they're too tired to keep pounding.

   Edna: Well, Seymour, I guess we could start talking.
Skinner: What's the point?  There's no more money, unless you've got
         some magic new source of revenue.
   Edna: Well, we've _got_ to think something up.  They've got us locked
         in here like prisoners.
Skinner: Prisoners in our own school...hey!
          [they gasp at one another]
-- A plan begins to form, "The PTA Disbands"

So they turn the school into Springfield Elementary School and Prison,
with fences and guard towers.

Skinner: This is a great way to make extra money, renting out our
         cloakrooms to our overcrowded prison system.
  Snake: Yo, I used to sit right over there.
          [the other prisoner snatches a piece of Martin's shirt]
          [he moves his desk quickly away]
   Edna: It's all right, children, just ignore the murderer.
Skinner: And, as a bonus, some of our more troublesome students might be
         scared straight.
  Snake: Psst!  Kid, help me break out of here.  I'll _totally_ make it
         worth your while.
   Bart: [smiling] I'm listening...
-- Or scared crooked, whatever, "The PTA Disbands"

[End of Act Three.  Time: 20:54]


   {tc}  Tim Cababa
   {ddg} Don Del Grande
   {bg}  Bob Glickstein
   {th}  Tony Hill
   {mk}  Matthew Kurth
   {jm}  Jack Morris
   {wp}  Werner Peeters
   {bdp} Brian Phillips
   {tdr} Tim Rice
   {ds}  Drew Stietz
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.)