[3F09] Two Bad Neighbors

Two Bad Neighbors                                         Written by Ken Keeler
                                                         Directed by Wes Archer
Production code: 3F09                       Original airdate in N.A.: 14-Jan-96
                                                  Capsule revision B, 22-Feb-97

Title sequence

Blackboard :- None due to shortened intro.

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

Couch      :- The family have their heads mounted as trophies on the
              wall, except for Homer, who's a rug.  A big game hunter
              walks in, sits down, puts his gun down, and light his

Did you notice...

    ... the nasty-word pun in "Ayatollah Assaholla", and hence the
        covered first S in the scenes where it appears?

John Murray:
    ... the Simpsons live in Pressboard Estates?
    ... Apu Lives on Evergreen Terrace?
    ... Bart's Mary Worth phone is now in the attic?
    ... the "I didn't do it" T-Shirts for sale?
    ... the Simpsons are selling the Olmec Head?
    ... Skinner only has one tie?
    ... Bush calls Barbara "Bar"?
    ... The swears in the Simpson's street have swears that are big
        enough to walk in?
    ... the locusts come from Edmund Scientific

Nelson Seggley:
    ... earlier on, Homer has no clue as to who Bush is, but later on,
        he makes him apologize for the tax hike?
    ... the Simpsons are against corporal punishment?

Haynes Lee:
    ... most of Springfield lives on Evergreen Terrace?
    ... Homer's umbrella hat has Duff beer logo on it?
    ... Bart wakes George Bush at 3:18?
    ... Flanders looks like his driving license photo?

Mark Richey:
    ... the Kwik-E-Mart pays _very_ well?
    ... Marge is trying to sell the sailboat picture?
    ... Homer is a great salesman?
    ... when Homer asked if the Ayatollah is better than America,
        someone says "Yes"?
    ... the platform shoes that Disco Stu is wearing?
    ... Springfield has the lowest voter turnout in the nation?
    ... Homer's "clever" remark isn't that clever?
    ... the slingshot in Bart's pocket when he goes in to wake up Bush?
    ... Abe is _really_ old?  (see below)
    ... the tree on top of OFF's house while Bush is doing donuts in the
        front yard?
    ... Bush doesn't apologize for the tax hike?

Don Del Grande:
    ... there's no painting over the couch in the couch opening?
    ... Lisa speaks 30 words in the entire show, all at once?
    ... the rummage sale flyers say "No Parcheesi Sets, Please"?
    ... when Homer grabs Bart by the pants, you can see Bart's behind
        but not his underpants?
    ... Apu lives near Homer?
    ... despite Homer's claim that the "Ayatollah Assaholla" shirt
        applies to any Ayatollah, it has Khomeini's face?
    ... Bush has a boat painting behind his couch?
    ... the police tape says "RUMMAGE SALE: DO NOT CROSS"?
    ... when Ned is doing the PA at the rummage sale, he sounds like
        he's working a PBS auction?
    ... Mrs. Glick is asking $90 for a candy dish, even though she once
        gave Bart 50 cents for five days' work?
    ... Ned lives at 740 Evergreen Terrace?
    ... Bush's issue of "Time" magazine doesn't have Time's usual style
        of title?
    ... Ford's license plate says "MR DUH"?
    ... Homer and Ford trip on the smoothed part of the curb?

Tony Hill:
    ... Maggie is stuffed with her pacifier in place?
    ... Bush mispronounces "forte"?
    ... Barbara doesn't use instant rice?
    ... Bush uses a manual typewriter?

Jason Hancock:
    ... Apu listens to Cheap Trick?
    ... Apu has no bullet scars on his chest?
    ... we don't see Ruth or Laura Powers during the rummage sale, even
        though they live on Evergreen Terrace?
    ... Homer drives with his lights on, even during the day?
    ... Gerald Ford has the same two hair strands as Homer, although
        Ford's are tilted sideways?

Dominik Halas:
    ... Homer has a surprising knowledge of Iranian politics?
    ... Ned signs his name in block letters?
    ... Bush uses only two fingers to type?
    ... the painting of the boat doesn't get sold?

Ricardo Lafaurie:
    ... the smokestacks in the background of the beach?
    ... Ms.  Albright, Jasper, Ralph, and Barney at the rummage sale?
    ... Bush also has a TIME magazine?
    ... Bush uses a typewriter to write his memoirs when he could have
        just as easily used a computer and avoided the chance that Bart
        could have destroyed them?
    ... Benjamin Robinson:
    ... the "Chippos" snack next to Homer, with a hippo on it?
    ... Nelson buys "Bigger than Jesus?"  (or at least, he was carrying
        it.  Four finger discount, man)

Voice credits

- Starring
    - Dan Castellaneta (Homer, man talking to Stu, Abe, Ford)
    - Julie Kavner (Marge)
    - Nancy Cartwright (Bart, Rod, Todd)
    - Yeardley Smith (Lisa)
    - Hank Azaria (sand castle announcer 1, Apu, Stu, Carl, Wiggum, Ray,
      kid at Krusty Burger, Gorbachev)
    - Harry Shearer (sand castle announcer 2, Ned, Skinner, George Bush,
      Dr. Hibbert)
- Also Starring
    - Pamela Hayden (Milhouse)
    - Tress MacNeille (Mrs. Glick, Barbara Bush)
    - Maggie Roswell (Maude)

Movie (and other) references

  + the songs "Big Spender" and "Stayin' Alive"
    - Homer sings them, but with different words
  + the late-50s TV show "Dennis the Menace"
    - boy Dennis torments cranky adult neighbor Mr. Wilson in the same
      way Bart torments Bush
    - Mrs. Bush likes Bart, as Mrs. Wilson likes Dennis
    - "Hello Mr. Bush!" similar to "Hello Mr. Wilson!"
    - "Great Scot!" is both Bush's and Mr. Wilson's exclamation {th}
    - both men raise orchids, too {th}
    - Hank Ketcham named George and Martha Wilson after George and
      Martha Washington, a presidential joke
  + CNN coverage of "Desert Storm" {hl}
    - fireworks around Bush's house look like the bombs exploding in the
      night sky in Baghdad

Previous episode references

- [7F18] Ringo Starr painting {hl}
- [7F21] Mrs. Glick _and_ her bowl (which contained ribbon candy) {rl}
- [7F22], [1F15] The Xtapolapocetl Olmec Head appears {rl}
- [7F24], [8F01], [9F07], [1F01] George Bush appears {rl}
- [8F01] Barbara Bush appears
- [8F10] Homer's "Disco Sucks" bumper sticker {hl}
- [9F21] "Bigger Than Jesus" album {ddg}
- [9F21] Marge tries to sell the boat painting {ddg}
- [1F11] "I didn't do it" {jm}
- [1F12] Lionheart Lisa doll {hl}
- [1F21] Mary Worth telephone {hl}
- [2F04] "Stayin' Alive" is played {jh}
- [2F07] Love tonic {hl}
- [3F05] "Tubbb!" appears {rl}
- [3F06] Grandma Simpson's Tennessee driving license has her wearing a
  hat with a price tag hanging on a string (cf. Homer's umbrella hat
  with price tag hanging off it) {hl}

Freeze frame fun

- The flyer: {rl}
- In the attic: {hl}
    - Mary Worth telephone
    - "I didn't do it" t-shirts
    - box of "Revitalizing Tonic"
    - Lionheart Lisa dolls
    - Ringo painting
    - "Bigger Than Jesus" albums {ddg}
- In the crowd at the sale: Jasper, Ralph, Apu, Nelson, Moe, the Van
  Houtens, Carl, Lenny, Principal Skinner, Otto, Mayer Quimby, Jimbo,
  Sherri, Terry, Dr. Nick, and Barney?  {mr}
    - also Ms.  Albright, Wendell, Smitty, Janey, Willy {rl}
- Magazine: {rl}
   U. S.  N E W S
   & World Report
   [Picture Public
     of     Enemy #1
- Paper shred of memoirs: {hl}
      ______________  __
    / V.P. Quayle ca\/t|
    | t embarrassment /
    \ ---------------/
- Box of locusts: {rl}
   E  D M U N  D
   - - - - - - -
   - - - - - - -
   L O C U S T S

Animation, continuity, and other goofs

The "Evergreen Terrace" street sign says "TERR" directly above
"EVERGREEN" instead of to the right.  {ddg}

When Apu sprays Bart, there are two frames in which water is coming out
of the nozzle and water is reaching Bart but there's no water in between
(and there's no pause in the spraying sound).  {ddg}

The luxury mansion across the street hasn't been there in the past
(e.g., 1F20, 3F06).  {ol}

The Flanders' house was drawn too close to OFF's in several of the
scenes.  {th}

The Lisa Lionheart doll boxes appear empty (and have no writing on them)
in the attic and in the scene with Principal Skinner and the tie rack,
but when Homer takes over the PA from Ned, the dolls and the writing on
the boxes appear.  {ddg}

Homer's attitude toward disco has changed from his "Disco sucks!" bumper
sticker in 8F10.  {jh}

Precisely what action was Homer getting as "Disco Stu?"  He should have
been going steady with Marge at this point.  {br}

Since when have those venetian blinds been on the living room windows?

The cards that Bart threw all over the place promptly disappeared.  {rl}

The arrangement of bottles in Bush's kitchen wine rack changes.  {dh}

In the closeup of Bart right before Bush spanks him, there doesn't seem
to be any paper on the floor.  {mr}

Since when has Homer been opposed to spanking? e.g., in 9F03, Bart pulls
down his pants and says "Go nuts!" to Homer.  {mr}

The Elks club is a social group and not the kind of club where someone
would give a civic speech.  {th}

What happened to the secret service agents in Act III?  {mr}

The sewer pipe is ridiculously large for a residential neighborhood.

The sewer shouldn't run perpendicular to the street.  {dh}

The overhead pipe in the sewer isn't there until Bush swings from it.

Mikhail Gorbachev doesn't speak English.  {th}

Why would Ford close the gate when he was just going right across the
street?  {mr}

Behind the scenes

(Thanks to Benjamin Robinson for transcribing this Gannett News Services
article which appeared in newspapers on 14-Jan-96, the day the episode

Add Bob Newhart, Donald Sutherland and golfer Tom Kite to the growing
list of "The Simpsons" guest stars -- but not George and Barbara Bush.

During February sweeps, Kite appears in an episode where Homer learns to
play golf (Feb. 4); Newhart plays himself when Krusty the Clown is
audited by the IRS (Feb. 11); and Sutherland plays a historian
researching city founder Jebidiah Springfield (Feb. 18).

Former President George Bush and Barbara Bush move to Springfield,
"where nobody cares about politics," says Bill Oakley, an executive

Versatile Harry Shearer -- the voice of Principal Skinner, Rev. Lovejoy,
Montgomery Burns and Ned Flanders -- provides Bush's voice.

"We didn't even ask (the Bushes).  We didn't think they'd do it for us,"
Oakley says.

In the show, Bart constantly pesters his new neighbors, while Homer is
jealous over Springfield's attention to the former first family.

"It's quite wacky, but it's one of our all-time favorite episodes,"
Oakley says.


John Murray: Grade: A-.  This Episode had a decent plot and gags that
    worked well with the plot.  One thing missing in this episode was a
    clearly different secondary plot.  Also there weren't as many ROFL
    gags as other shows.  But overall this show is better then some
    others we have seen recently.

Nelson Seggley: No subplot, no character gags, and no self-satirization.
    Instead, the writers choose to linger on petty and pointless
    political jokes.  No one knows who Bush is, Homer resents him,
    etc...SO BAD.  Letter grade: D+\C-.

Haynes Lee: One of the better shows of the season.  It reminds me of the
    old "Dennis the Menace" comic books where Dennis torments his old
    neighbor Mr. Wilson while Mrs. Wilson is always baking Dennis
    cookies.  Homer acting like a boor was a real bonus.  Grade: A+.

Mark Richey: This has to be the most bizarre show of the year.  It also
    was pretty bad.  The concept of having the Bushes move into the
    neighborhood was pretty dumb to begin with, and they made it worse
    by sticking a cliched plot onto it (Bart annoys Bush?  Bush and
    Homer get into a feud?  Wow, originality!)  Pretty lame.  Grade: D.

Ondre Lombard: Bart is an unsophisticated, totally out of character,
    immature little brat who does things like disrespect his neighbor
    and Homer is at an all-time worst.  The slam on Bush is unspeakably
    tasteless.  Laced with flat-jokes, empty-dialogue and mindless gags
    that go nowhere.  Shameful.  D-.

Tony Hill: OFF's latest effort at annoying Republicans from coast to
    coast gets a big A!  This ep was a non-stop riot, featuring just the
    right mix of gags and parody.  We got to see Bart and Homer team up
    like the good old bad old days.  And Bush learned once more why
    Americans should be less like the Simpsons.

Jason Hancock: Mediocre.  It had a few funny moments, mostly at the
    beginning of the show, but overall it was little more than a Dennis
    the Menace parody which happened to feature a former President of
    the United States.  It was ironic, though, to see Ned Flanders, a
    man Homer dislikes, resemble Bush.  Grade: C.

Chris Schwalje: FOX should've pre-empted this episode indefinitely
    instead of just one hour.  This episode was unfunny, mean-spirited,
    out-of-character, and I absolutely abhorred it.  Worst Simpsons
    episode ever?  Do you HAVE to ask?  If there was a lower grade it
    would get it: F.

Ed Taylor: This was probably the strangest episode I have seen.  Why
    didn't they just go ahead and do a "Dennis The Menace" show.  I'm
    not going so far as to call this one bad, but it certainly was

Damain Penny: I'll admit that the episode probably didn't go as far as
    it could have, but it had some great laughs.  I give it a B+.  As
    far as Simpsons political satire goes, though, it was no "Sideshow
    Bob Roberts".

Chris Courtois: Every season has at least one clunker, and last night
    gave us season seven's.  Start with what had to be the dumbist
    premise since "Bart Gets an Elephant", add in the most annoying
    elements of the past two seasons and you get last night's show.  D-.

Keith Palmer: I disliked the poor gags and unpleasant characterization
    of Homer in the first part of this episode.  However, the sheer
    sillyness of the last part swept me along until I was laughing at
    such unlikely events such as Bart and Homer gluing a clown wig on
    Bush's head.  Grade: B-.

Nathan Dietz: A slight, but funny episode.  If you find the idea of
    calling one's wife "Bar" inherently funny, you'll like this episode
    as much as I did.  Not great because the humor was too heavy-handed
    (a trademark of the writing the last two seasons), but seeing George
    pay Homer back in kind for the fright-wig stunt _was_ great.  A
    solid B+.

Benjamin Robinson: Fans of silly humor will love this episode; realists
    (like me) will think it's too wacky by about half.  Harry Shearer's
    turn as George Bush lifted this out of the mediocre range for me.
    Good Bush presidency references, if anyone can remember that far
    back.  (B-)

Ricardo Lafaurie: Similar to "The Springfield Connection", the episode
    "Two Bad Neighbors" had a lot going for it, but threw it away for
    weak, unfunny gags.  The whole thing seemed to be a "Dennis the
    Menace" twist, and I don't even like "Dennis".  Word of advice to
    OFF staff: get rid of Ken Keeler.  Grade: D-.

Yours truly: Keeler also wrote "A Star is Burns" (2F31), and I liked
    this episode in the same way as that one.  A bit surreal, injecting
    Bush into the Simpsons, but his scowling cantankerousness dealing
    with Bart and Homer were hilariously done.  Harry Shearer, you the
    man!  Grade: B.

Comments and other observations

Car watch

Benjamin Robinson opines, "At least two non-generic cars graced this
    episode.  The pink two-door hardtop Homer and Bart walk past is a
    1979 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.  Note the forward slant of the grill,
    the two (as opposed to four) headlights, and the forward-slanting
    rear fender bulge.  Apu's car is immediately recognizable as a 1980
    (or 1981, there were few changes in those two years) Pontiac
    Firebird.  Sharp-eyed Pontiac fans will notice that, in the street-
    level shot where Apu soaks Bart, the car has lost its lower two
    grille openings."

Homer's singing

Tony Hill says:

    - "`Big Spender' was written by Dorothy Fields and Cy Coleman for
      the Broadway musical `Sweet Charity.'  It was sung by Gwen
    - "`Stayin' Alive' was one of many hits for the Bee Gees from
      `Saturday Night Fever,' and I think Dan Castellaneta did a superb
      job of singing it."

U. S. News and World Report

Don Del Grande writes, "A few years ago, USN&WR did a TV commercial
    which showed `Time' and `Newsweek' with the Simpsons on the covers
    and asked the viewers whether they wanted that or `real news' in
    their news magazines."

Abe and Grover Cleveland

Mark Richey says, "Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President.  He
    was the only one to serve two non-consecutive terms.  He was elected
    in 1884, but was defeated by Benjamin Harrison in 1888.  In 1892, he
    ran again, and won re-election.  He retired in 1897.  If Abe is not
    lying, that means he's at least 100, making him older than Mr.
    Don Del Grande adds, "Cleveland actually got more votes than
    Benjamin Harrison in his first reelection attempt, but the way the
    votes were distributed, Harrison won enough states to have a
    majority of the Electoral Votes."

Edmund Scientific

John Murray notes, "This is a real scientific supply house, but last
    time I a saw a catalog, they didn't sell locusts."

Gorbachev's Russian

Serge Polishchuk translates, "`Nooo, znayet moj nachalnik this' is half-
    Russian for `Ohhh, wait till my boss hears about this!'"  Brandon
    Shaw disagrees, claiming a better translation is, "Well, we know who
    the boss is here."

Gerald Ford

Tony Hill writes, "Gerald Ford was the only unelected President.  He
    became Vice President after the resignation of (MAD magazine
    staffer?)  Spiro Agnew in 1973 and succeeded to the presidency upon
    the resignation of Richard Nixon the next year.  He had been a
    football player in college.  Even more than pardoning Nixon or
    denying aid to New York City, his biggest mistake was falling down
    thw steps of Air Force One in 1975.  When NBC's `Saturday Night'
    premiered later that year, Chevy Chase used falling to demonstrate
    to the audience that he was imitating Ford.  It became so popular
    that Chase fell down at the start of every episode as his trademark.
    This contributed to an image of Ford as a bumbler."

George Herbert Walker Bush: inside jokes explained

Tony Hill explains the following jokes about Bush:

    - "Bush indeed claimed to be from many states.  These are the ones I
      recall: He was born in Massachusetts; he grew up in Connecticut,
      from which his father served in the Senate; he began his business
      career with a small oil company in Ohio; he made his economic and
      political fortunes in Texas (from which he served, although his
      official residence was a Houston hotel); he lived in Virginia
      while director of the CIA; and he maintains a vacation home in
      Kennebunkport, Maine."  Brian Kalt says Bush _actually_ maintains
      residency in only Texas and Maine, with Texas being the official
        - Benjamin Robinson adds further, "During the 1988 Presidential
          campaign, the public discovered that while Bush lived in
          Kennebunkport, Maine, he claimed that he really lived in
          Texas.  Presumably, this was to take advantage of Texas' lack
          of a state income tax.  Although perfectly legal, may people
          felt that this was sort of cheating.  In Bush's defense, he
          _does_ have ties to Texas: he ran an oil company there after
          World War II, and his son is the current governor of that
    - "Bush's dog (either Millie or Ranger) was running with the group.
      (Perhaps that's why SLH joined?)"
    - "As Bush was about to tell Bart, Robert Mosbacher was Secretary of
      Commerce in the Bush Administration."
    - "Bush served in the Navy in World War II.  He flew forty-some
      bombing missions and was shot down by the Japanese."
    - "Bush's 1988 campaign was early dogged by the perception that Bush
      was a wimp.  This image was shattered in January of that year as
      Bush trounced Dan Rather in a planned ambush interview on the CBS
      Evening News.  Some suggested that the three armed invasions Bush
      undertook (Panama, Iraq, Somalia) were further efforts to shed the
      `wimp' image."  Aaron Varhola adds, "On the cover of Newsweek in
      spring of 1988 it showed Bush at the helm of a boat, with the
      headline `Fighting the Wimp Factor'.  This was the most
      embarrassing Bush moment, much like Michael Dukakis at the helm of
      a tank (parodied in 7F01)."
    - "George and Jeb are Bush's political sons.  The former beat Ann
      Richards to become Governor of Texas in 1994; at the same time,
      the latter lost a race for the Florida governorship.  (Sadly, OFF
      made no effort to skewer Neil Bush, who made out like a bandit in
      the savings and loan debacle.)"
    - "`Bush in the sewer' was a reference to the 1988 campaign, which
      Bush, at the behest of his late adviser Lee Atwater, turned into
      the dirtiest presidential campaign of the 20th century.  (Atwater
      was shelved after starting a rumor campaign that Smithers ...er,
      House Speaker Tom Foley was gay.)"
    - "Manuel Noriega was deposed as "leader" of Panama after the Bush
      Administration invaded Panama to capture him for trial in the
    - "Bush was director of the CIA under Gerald Ford in 1976 and 1977.
      Mikhail Gorbachev was leader of the Soviet Union during Bush's
      presidency, until his country went out of business on December 21,
    - "Bush vomited on the Japanese Prime Minister during a state
      banquet in Tokyo in January 1992.  He blamed a virus, but word was
      that it was caused by halcion withdrawal."
    - "Bush pledged `Read my lips: No new taxes!' during the 1988
      campaign, but agreed to a tax hike on the wealthiest taxpayers in
      1990 as part of a compromise with Democrats."
    - "J.  Danforth Quayle, formerly the junior senator from Indiana,
      served as Bush's Vice President, and was much maligned for being
      perceived as airheaded."

Benjamin Robinson adds some notes of his own:

    - "`Not gonna happen:' George Bush is famous for saying this.  Or
      rather, comedian and Bush impersonator Dana Carvey is famous for
      saying this.  It was a fixture in many of his George Bush sketches
      for `Saturday Night Live.'  As for Mr. Bush himself, I think he
      said it just once.  Some days, it just doesn't pay to open your
    - "The cookie wars: During the 1992 campaign, Hillary Clinton
      defended her non-traditional, activist role by saying she was out
      doing important things, rather than just staying home baking
      cookies all day.  Housewives across the country were promptly
      alienated.  Eventually both Ms.  Clinton and Mrs. Bush published
      recipes in that great journal of American politics, `Good

Quotes and Scene Summary

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

On TV...

Announcer 1: Live, from the famous brown sands of Public Beach,
             Delaware, it's the Grand Nationals of Sand Castle Building
      Homer: [whining] Ohh, Saturday afternoon TV is so boring.
Announcer 2: Bikini girls...
      Homer: [brightening at picture] Huh?
Announcer 2: Dune buggies...
      Homer: [brighter] Hmm!
Announcer 2: Daredevil surfers...
      Homer: [gasps]
Announcer 2: Ordinarily, this beach would be swarming with 'em.  But not
             today, ho ho, no.  They've all been cleared out to make way
             for painstaking sand preparation.
Announcer 1: That's right, Dick.  You know, this year, everyone's abuzz
             about one thing: the absence of Mark Rodkin.
Announcer 2: [looking to his left] Oh, wait.  There he is.
-- No doubt a Fox network special, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Marge walks in.

Homer: [yawns] Marge, I'm bored.
Marge: Why don't you read something?
Homer: Because I'm trying to _reduce_ my boredom.
Marge: Well, you could hand out these flyers for the neighborhood
       rummage sale.  You'd get some fresh air and exercise.
Homer: Ehh, I'll do it anyway.  [grabs Bart] Come on, Boy: we're going
       to see the neighbors!
-- Bart, unwitting accomplice, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Father and son walk down to a corner where there's a street sign.

Homer: Good old Evergreen Terrace: the swankiest street in the classiest
       part of Pressboard Estates.
 Bart: Well if you love it so much, why are you always littering?
Homer: [finishing a canned drink] It's easier, duh.  [litters]
-- Homer contributes to urban blight, "Two Bad Neighbors"

The pair walk off.  Apu washes his convertible T-Bird on his driveway
while listening to Cheap Trick.

  Apu: [singing along badly] The Dream Police, they live inside of my
       The Dream Police, they come to me in my head,
       The Dream Police, they're going to direct me now,
       Oh nooo...
        [Bart and Homer walk up]
       Howdy, neighbors!  May I spray you with the hose in a playful
Homer: Uh...spray the boy.
        [Apu does so]
       Well!  Ready for the big rummage sale?
  Apu: Oh, yes, indeed.  I've got nothing but time until they fix that
       malfunctioning Squishee machine.
        [the Kwik-E-Mart is filled with green liquid]
        [two scuba divers operate a blow torch in front of the machine]
        [Jimbo swims in and pilfers two six packs from the freezer]
-- There's nothing some people won't do, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Homer and Bart walk past a particularly posh-looking house.

Homer: Hey!  I never noticed _this_ place.
 Bart: Dad, it's right across the street from us!  That fancy house'll
       never sell.  Nobody who could afford it would want to live in
       _this_ neighborhood.
Homer: Hey, what's wrong with this neighborhood?  [at the house] Big
       shot!  Too good to buy a house here, snobby?
 Bart: Who are you talking to, Homer?
Homer: The guy who doesn't live there.
-- Well, duh, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Marge and Homer go through old things in the attic in preparation for
the big sale.

Marge: Can we get rid of this Ayatollah T-shirt?  Khomeini died years
Homer: But, Marge!  It works on _any_ Ayatollah: Ayatollah Nakhbadeh,
       Ayatollah Zahedi...even as we speak, Ayatollah Razmada and his
       cadre of fanatics are consolidating their power.
Marge: I don't care _who's_ consolidating their power.
        [holds up something else] Well, we don't need _this_.
Homer: [sputters] Marge!  That's the Rhinestone Nights Fashion Gun.  I
       need it to rhinestone up my old clothing.
        [holds up a jacket]
Marge: [reading it] Who's "Disco Stu"?
Homer: Oh, er, I wanted to write "Disco Stud" but I ran out of space --
       {not that Disco Stu didn't get his share of the action...}
-- Preparations for the rummage sale, "Two Bad Neighbors"

The big day arrives.  Eddie and Lou string up police tape around the
rummage sale tables while Ned walks from table to table with a portable
microphone announcing the wares.

       Ned: So, if you're looking for a half-bag of charcoal briquettes
            or an artificial Christmas tree (trunk only), come on over
            to the Hibbert table, pronto!
            Well, sir, looks like we've got some nice items at table
            Glick...like this!  What the heckaroony is this, Mrs. Glick?
Mrs. Glick: [into the mike] It is a candy dish, Ned.  $90.
       Ned: Uh huh.  Well, I -- uh, I guess you could put a lot of nice
            things in there --
Mrs. Glick: No!  Just candy, Ned.  $90.
-- Perhaps it's from the Ming Dynasty?, "Two Bad Neighbors"

As Ned sees someone putting a "Sold" sticker across the posh house, he
notes, "Well, looks like _somebody_ sold something today."

At Marge's table, Principal Skinner eyes some of the goods.

  Marge: Are you interesting in that motorized tie rack, Principal
         Skinner?  [turns it on]
Skinner: Hmm.  It's awfully loud.
  Marge: Well, you can always take the motor out and use it as an
         ordinary tie rack.  [does so]
Skinner: [scoffs] But now the ties are motionless, and those in back are
         virtually inaccessible.  Well, it's a moot point, as I have
         only one tie to begin with.  I believe I'll pass.  [walks off]
          [pops head back] Have you sold that tie rack yet?
  Marge: No.
Skinner: I'll take it.
-- Spanky can't pass up a bargain, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Ned continues his monologue.

    Ned: Now, folks, nothing spells "fun" like rhinestones on a dungaree
         jacket!  [holds up "Disco Stu" jacket]
    Man: Stu!  You should buy that!
    Stu: Hey: Disco Stu doesn't advertise.
  Homer: Uh, hey, Ned, let me help you with that.
          [grabs mike] Hey, everybody!  Who thinks Flanders should shut
          [everyone cheers; Ned looks worried]
         So, anyone here from Evergreen Terrace?
          [everyone cheers]
         I think this is the best neighborhood in town!  Anybody agree
         with me?
          [everyone cheers]
   Carl: Yeah, you're the king, Homer!
 Wiggum: King of the neighborhood!
  Homer: [holding up T-shirt] Say, that Ayatollah thinks he's better
         than America.  Is he right?
          ["No!  Boo!" etc., except one man says "Yes..."]
         Well, for only $5, you could sock it to him in style!
    Moe: Right here!  [pays; gets shirt]
  Homer: And, for the man who has everything, a tie rack motor!
Skinner: I'll take that.
-- Hidden emcee talent, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Wiggum begins playing some music on one of those cheesy little
electronic keyboards from the early 80s.

   Homer: [singing] Hey, big spender: dig this blender!
          Rainbow suspenders -- hey, big spender!
Everyone: We surrender!
   Homer: Speeend some dough at table three.
           [everyone cheers and holds up money]
           [a moving truck pulls up, and everyone turns to look]
   Homer: Thank you, neighbors!  Thank you.  Now, let's give it up for
          table five!
           [singing] Ah, ah, ah, ah, Table Five, Table Five,
           [Disco Stu starts dancing]
          Ah, ah, ah, ah, Table Fiiiive --
           [Wiggum runs off to watch the movers]
          Table five -- [spoken] Hey, what's the big deal?  It's just
          some guy moving in.
     Stu: Ahem.  Disco Stu likes disco music.
-- The show must go on, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Ned takes off too, dragging the microphone behind him.  The steel gates
to the house open, revealing two large men in black and an old man.
Everyone stares.

George: Hi there, neighbors.  Uh, I'm...George Bush.
         [everyone stares]
        Former _president_ George Bush?
        Everyone: Oh, OK! etc.  [mild applause]
 Homer: OK, let's give it up for the new guy.  Now, let's all turn
        around and pay attention to me again.  {Hello?  Hello?  Hello!}
-- The new kid in town, "Two Bad Neighbors"

[End of Act One.  Time: 6:23]

Homer and Bart peek out in between the venetian blind slats across the

 Bart: Wow, a former president living right across the street.
Homer: Oh, why did he have to move in on _my_ territory?  Look at him.
       Thinks just because he led the free world, he can act like a big
       shot!  Stupid President...why couldn't he just stay in his own
 Lisa: Actually, this _is_ one of the nine states where Mr. Bush claims
       residency, Dad.  I wouldn't have voted for him, but it's nice to
       have a celebrity in the neighborhood.
Homer: {Wait a minute...if _Lisa_ didn't vote for him...and _I_ didn't
       vote for him --}
Marge: {You didn't vote for anybody.}
Homer: {I voted for Prell to go back to the old glass bottle.  After
       that, I became deeply cynical.}
-- A rare glimpse of Homer, member of the electorate, "Two Bad

Ned Flanders drags his family over to meet the new neighbors.

   Ray: [scrutinizing Ned's license] And your business here, Mr.
   Ned: Well, sir, I'm welcoming the Bushes on behalf of the
        Neighborhood Association.
George: [hammering "The Bushes" sign] Never mind about that, Ray.  Just
        give them a quick pass with the metal detector and let 'em on
        in.  Hey, Bar!  The neighbors are here.
-- The formalities of ex-presidential visitations, "Two Bad Neighbors"

The Flanders clan walk in.

   Ned: Howdily doodily, there, President Bush -- or should I say,
        "President Neighbor"!  I'm Ned Flanders, and this is Maude, Rod,
        and Todd.
George: Well, howdily doodily yourself, there, Ned.  This is my wife
        Barbara.  I call her Bar.  Would you like some lemonade?
   Ned: Tip top notch!
George: Okily dokily.  [hands Ned some]
   Ned: Thankily dankily!
         [they both drink]
George: Scrump-diddley-eriffic!
  Both: Fine and dandy like sour candy!
George: Bar's a whiz with cold drinks, aren't you, Bar?  Don't
        understand lemonade myself -- not my forte...
-- Not a George of all trades, "Two Bad Neighbors"

  Maude: What brings you to Springfield?
Barbara: Well, George and I just wanted to be private citizens again --
         go where nobody cared about politics.  So we found the town
         with the lowest voter turnout in America.
 George: Just happy to be here among good, average people with no
         particular hopes or dreams.
    Rod: But, Mr. President, we're not all good people.
   Todd: There's one little boy you should watch out for.  He's a bad,
         _bad_ little boy.
    Ned: [nervous laugh] Now Todd, don't _scare_ the president.
          [Bart skateboards by as evil music plays]
-- Bart, worse than Gabbo?, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Bush goes jogging with Tim Lovejoy, Dr. Hibbert, and Lenny, and a
friendly-looking mutt.  Homer watches them jog past from his hammock.

        Homer: Huh.  Look at those phonies, sucking up to Bush.
                [SLH barks and runs off after them]
               {I guess you might say he's barking up the wrong Bush.
Homer's Brain: {There it is, Homer: the cleverest thing you'll ever say
               and nobody heard it.}
        Homer: {D'oh!}
-- The solitary comedian, "Two Bad Neighbors"

After the jog, Bush walks into his living room.

 George: [sighs] Just going to relax with my "U.S.  News and World
         Whatnot".  [opens magazine] Oh, good: they're roasting the new
   Bart: [in the style of Dennis the Menace] Hello, Mr. Bush!
Barbara: George, this is a neighborhood boy, Bart Simpson.  He came over
         to say hi.
 George: [unimpressed] Hello.
   Bart: Hi.  Hey, what's this?
 George: My electric card shuffler.  Don't go near that --
          [Bart plays with it, and cards fly]
         Now, I _told_ you...oh, those cards are from Air Force One, and
         they only give you so many packs!
Barbara: Oh, George, boys will be boys.  Bart's just being friendly.
         Why don't you get off that sofa and show Bart your photos?
 George: Oh, but he'll gunk 'em all up.  His hands are probably covered
         with mud and cookies.
          [Bart shows his clean hands]
         Oh, he probably stole a napkin.
-- No student of Occam, Bush, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Bush, dutifully, shows Bart his photos.

   Bart: Who's that, George?
 George: That's me with Charlton Heston.  He was --
   Bart: Who's that, George?
 George: Er -- see, you wouldn't know him.  That's Bob Mosbacher.  He
         was secretary of --
   Bart: That's a dumb name.  Who's that, George?
 George: Maybe _he_ thinks "Bart" is a dumb --
   Bart: How many times were _you_ president, George?
 George: {Just once.  Bar!  Is it time for dinner yet?}
Barbara: {[off-camera] I'm making rice!  It'll be a while.}
   Bart: {Did your Secret Service goons ever whack anyone, George?}
 George: [indignant] You know, in my day, little boys didn't call their
         elders by their first name.
   Bart: Yeah?  Well, welcome to the 20th century, _George_.
 George: {[muttering] I'll kick you right out of the 20th century,} you
         little --
-- Bush meets his ten-year-old match, "Two Bad Neighbors"

The next day, Homer speed off to Krusty Burger.

 Homer: Oh, man: I've only got one minute 'till they stop serving those
        breakfast balls!
         [stops behind Bush at the drive thru]
George: Let's see, now...what do you folks have here, huh?  Hmm, a
        "Krusty Burger"...that doesn't sound too appetizing.  What kind
        of stew do you have today?
   Kid: [through order box] Uh...we don't have stew.
         [Homer honks impatiently]
   Ray: Sir, why don't you just have the cheeseburger?
George: Aw, that's really more of a weekend thing, Ray.
 Homer: Hey, jerk!  Move your fanny!
George: That guy's louder than World War II.  Ray, go see what the
        rhubarb is, will you?
         [Ray goes back toward Homer's car]
   Ray: Sir, could you pop your hood?
         [Homer does so; Ray disables the horn]
 Homer: Hey: my taxes paid for that horn!
-- George Bush does the drive thru, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Bart shows up in the Bush garden.

   Bart: Why, hello, Mrs. Bush!
Barbara: Hi, Bart!  Mr. Bush is upstairs napping.
   Bart: You know, your husband's awful grumpy.
Barbara: Oh, that's just his way; he really likes you.  You know, it's
         time for him to get up and work on his memoirs.  Why don't you
         go wake him?
          [a loud horn note blasts]
 George: [waking suddenly] Great Scot, don't touch that!  That's the
         alpenhorn Helmut Kohl gave me.
   Bart: [dropping it] Where'd you get those pyjamas?
 George: They're presidential pyjamas.  You have to be President, and
         you're not President!
   Bart: Yes I am.
 George: [stammers] No, you're not!  [calls out] Bar!
-- George Bush, tattletale, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Bart rifles through the kitchen cupboards and drawers.

   Bart: Hey, where's your candy?
 George: We don't have any.  Now go away!
Barbara: George!  Older people don't eat much candy, Bart, but I could
         bake you some cookies if you like.
 George: [scoffs] Can't remember the last time she made cookies for
Barbara: What's that?
 George: Oh, nothing.
-- Sparing the rod, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Homer reads a volume entitled, "U.S.  Presidents," and checks under
BUSH, George.

Homer: All right, his story checks out.  Marge, would you love me more
       if I were President?  'Cause I'll do it if it'll make you happy.
Marge: Homey, as long as you keep the car full of gas, I'm happy.
       [kisses him]
Homer: Well, you can always depend on that.
        [looks furtively out the window at the car]
-- Most of the time, anyway, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Bush types his memoirs in his car hole.

George: [typing] And since I'd achieved all my goals as President in one
        term, there was no need for a second.  The end.
        Hmm, good memoirs.  Good, not great.  Now, let's look at that
        old outboard -- soup that baby up, rattle a few windows down
        Kennebunkport next May.  [chuckles]
  Bart: Hello, Mr. Bush!
         [skateboards in, knocking a sheet from the memoirs loose]
        Whatcha doin'?
George: Now, don't upset the desk there -- careful!  Don't want to horse
        around with --
  Bart: [spying outboard] Hey, cool!  What does this do?
George: Now don't you pull that cord, young man --
         [Bart pulls it anyway; the motor runs around the room]
        No!  Hey -- Bar!  My motor's gone loco!  [crash!]  Ohh, the
        birdhouse.  My prize orchids!
         [the motor stops; Bart taps it and it starts up again]
         [it stops once again; a lightbulb falls on it and it restarts]
        No, not the memoirs.  Don't even think about it.  Not going to
        happen --
         [he can't prevent it from happening]
  Bart: Whoa, man.
George: Whoa, nothing.  I'm going to do something your daddy should have
        done a long time ago.
         [takes Bart over his knee and spanks him]
        Now go home and think about what you've done, young man!
-- Let that be a lesson to you, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Homer is incredulous.

Homer: He _spanked_ you?  _You_?  Bart Simpson?
 Bart: I begged him to stop, but he said it was for the good of the
  Abe: Big deal!  When I was a pup, we got spanked by Presidents till
       the cows came home.  Grover Cleveland spanked me on two
       nonconsecutive occasions.
Marge: Grampa, I know in your day, spanking was common, but Homer and I
       just don't believe in that kind of punishment.
  Abe: And that's why your no-good kids are running wild!
        [points at Lisa, reading quietly]
-- A counterexample to the theory, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Homer: First Bush invades my home turf, then he takes my pals, then he
       makes fun of the way I talk -- probably.  Now he steals my right
       to raise a disobedient, smart-alecky son!  Well, that's it!
        [walks across the street] Hey, Bush!  Get out here!
  Ray: Excuse me, Sir: where are you going?
Homer: I'm going to punch George Bush in the face.
  Ray: OK.  Is he expecting you?
-- Just doing his job, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Homer sees Bush on his porch.

 Homer: Hey!  You owe me an apology.
George: You owe _me_ an apology.  If you were any kind of a father,
        you'd have disciplined that boy a long time ago.
   Ray: You want to step back, Sir?  You're trampling the flowers.
 Homer: Ooh!  Hiding behind your goons, eh, Bush?  Well _you_ are a
George: [with trembling lips] Wimp, am I?  Agent Johnson, Agent Heintz,
        you men stand down.
         [the gate opens and Homer walks in]
        All right, Mister: you want trouble?  You're going to get
 Homer: Oh, I want trouble, all right.
George: Then you're going to get trouble.
 Homer: No, _you're_ going to get trouble.
George: Oh, that's good, that's good, 'cause I _want_ trouble.
 Homer: Then we're agreed there'll be trouble.
George: Oh, yeah, lots of trouble.
 Homer: Trouble it is.
George: For you.  [walks inside, slams door]
 Homer: For -- d'oh!
-- Bubble, bubble, "Two Bad Neighbors"

[End of Act Two.  Time: 15:04]

Homer and Bart are silhouetted against an upstairs window that evening.

  Homer: [chuckles] This is going to be sweet.  Two hundred bottle
         rockets and George Bush doing toe touches by an open window!
   Bart: You get one up his butt, it's a million points.
          [Homer flicks a lighter]
          [fireworks erupt outside the Bushes]
Barbara: [yawns] Why don't you just say you're sorry, George?
 George: Because I'm right!  Oh, no, I'm going to fix their wagon good.
         I've pulled some pranks in my time...[shakes spray paint]
          ["Two bad neighbors" banner hangs from his house next day]
Hibbert: I don't understand.  Are you saying you and Barbara are bad
 George: No!  That's not Bar and me, it's them!
    Ned: Who, Maude and me?
 George: No, the man and his boy.  You know, the -- the boy is named
         Bart.  I don't know the name of the man.  Bar!  What's the name
         of the man?
Barbara: [off-camera] I'm not getting involved, George.
 George: Look, just never mind.  I thought the banner was pretty
         straightforward, but I'll just take it down.
-- Misunderstood, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Bush sulks on the couch.

 Barbara: George, it's time to get dressed.
  George: N'uh huh.  Not going outside today, not with those neighbors.
          Staying right here till my speech to the Elk's club.
   Homer: [knocking at door] Yoo hoo!
  George: Who is it?
           [looks through spy hole without glasses on, sees two figures]
   Homer: It's your sons, George Bush Jr. and Jeb Bush.  {Come outside,
  George: {Oh, good.}  Bar, the boys are out in the front yard.
          _They'll_ help me think of a plan to get those Simpsons.
 Barbara: Oh, George, is that all you ever think about?  The boys
          probably just want a letter of recommendation.
  George: [opening door] Boys?  [Homer pulls them out of the way] Where
          are you going?
   Homer: OK, Son: give him the glue!
           [Bart squeezes some glue onto Bush's hair]
           [Homer stuffs a multicolored afro on top]
           [they run off, laughing]
  George: [at the Elk's club] And that's why I will continue to oppose
          teen alcoholism in all its forms!
           [everyone claps]
          Now, are there any questions?  [everyone puts their hand up]
          -- keeping in mind that I already explained about my hair.
Everyone: Oh yeah, that's right. etc.  [putting hands down]
-- Burns goes hippie, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Bush takes his four by four and spins donuts on the Simpson front lawn,
spraying mud in all directions.

 Marge: President Bush is driving on our lawn!  He must be lost.
 Homer: [threatening] He's not lost.
  Bart: Looks like we're experiencing some blowback from the wig
 Homer: It's time to hit him where he lives.
  Bart: His house?
 Homer: Bingo.  [walks off]
         [later, he and Bart walk through the sewer]
        So I thought to myself, "What would God do in this situation?"
  Bart: [chuckles] Locusts!  [holds box] They'll drive him _nuts_.
 Homer: It's all in the Bible, son: it's the prankster's bible.
         [Bush grinds the wheels into the ground and gets out]
George: Hmm.  Can't decide if this'll be considered feisty, or crazy.
-- I'm voting for the latter, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Suddenly, Bush sees Homer and Bart walking through the sewer toward his
house.  "Oh, if he thinks George Bush'll stay out of the sewer, he
doesn't know George Bush."  He removes the cover from a grating and hops

George: Hey, turkeys!  Behind you.
         [Bart and Homer turn around]
 Homer: For the last time, Bush, apologize for spanking my boy!
George: Never!  You make him apologize for destroying my memoirs.
 Homer: You didn't tell me you destroyed his memoirs...
         [to Bush] Never!  [charges him]
-- The clear boundary between right and wrong, "Two Bad Neighbors"

The two grapple and struggle.  Bush throws Homer to the ground, but
Homer flings slime in his eyes, runs around the side of the sewer, and
body slams Bush.  "Yay, Dad!" cheers Bart.

Marge has invited Bar over for tea.

Barbara: I really feel awful about your lawn, Marge.  George can be so
         stubborn when he thinks he's right.
  Marge: Well, Homer, too.  They're so much alike.
Barbara: Too bad they got off on the wrong foot.  It's just like the
         Noriega thing.  Now, he and George are the best of friends.
-- Bygones, "Two Bad Neighbors"

Under the street, Homer and George pant.  Bush removes a piece from his
watch and pulls out a length of piano wire.  "Here's a little something
we learned in CIA," he grins.  Bart releases the locusts on Bush,
inciting them to "Get him, boys!"  Above-ground, Mikhail Gorbachev
brings a gift to Bush's house and rings the doorbell.  "Hello?  Hello!"

The sewer grate pops off, and out come Homer and Bush, still fighting.

 George: I'll ruin you like a Japanese banquet!  I'll take your head and
         -- Gorbachev!  Heh, what are you doing here?
Mikhail: I just dropped by with present for warming of house.  Instead,
         find you grappling with local oaf.
  Homer: Oh, brought some of your commie friends to help you fight
         dirty, eh?
 George: But Mikhail, they put a wig on my head, my memoirs --
Barbara: George!  This is the last straw.  You apologize to Homer right
 George: But Bar, [quietly] we can't show any weakness in front of the
Barbara: [reproachful] George...
 George: [pause] Yes, dear.
Mikhail: [speaks Russian to his driver, and laughs]
-- No translation needed, "Two Bad Neighbors"

George: I'm sorry I spanked your boy, Homer.
 Homer: Woo hoo!  In your face, Bush.  Now apologize for the tax hike.
-- Giving him an inch..., "Two Bad Neighbors"

Bush frowns, and walks off.

Barbara goes to say goodbye to Marge.

Barbara: It's a shame it didn't work out, Marge, but George just felt
         this neighborhood brought out the worst in him, and --
          [Bush honks his horn impatiently]
         -- oh, my.  Well, so long.
          [Bar gets in; they drive off]
  Marge: Bye bye.
-- So endeth another chapter, "Two Bad Neighbors"

No sooner have the Bushes departed that another moving truck pulls in
along with a car with license plate "Mr. Duh".

Gerry: Hi!  Pleased to meet you, I just moved in.  My name is Gerry
Homer: [gasps] Former President Gerald Ford?  Put her there!  I'm Homer
Gerry: Say, Homer, do you like football?
Homer: Do I ever!
Gerry: Do you like nachos?
Homer: Yes, Mr. Ford.
Gerry: Well, why don't you come over and watch the game, and we'll have
       nachos?  And then, some beer.
Homer: Ooh!
        [they walk across the street]
       Gerry, I think you and I are going to get along just --
        [they both trip]
 Both: D'oh!
-- Homer's rumpy doppelganger, "Two Bad Neighbors"

[End of Act Three.  Time: 21:22]


   {ddg} Don Del Grande
   {jh}  Jason Hancock
   {th}  Tony Hill
   {rl}  Ricardo Lafaurie
   {hl}  Haynes Lee
   {ol}  Ondre Lombard
   {jm}  John Murray
   {mr}  Mark Richey
   {br}  Benjamin Robinson
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.)