Bart the Genius

Bart the Genius                                           Written by John Vitti
                                                    Directed by David Silverman

TV Guide synopsis

Bart is moved to a school for gifted children after he switches
aptitude tests with another boy, who is assigned to vocational studies
in dishwashing.

Title sequence


    {I will not waste chalk.}
    {I will not w} at cutoff.


    Homer opens his mouth but no sound comes out when the car closes in on him.


    Bart pops upwards out of frame, and doesn't come down.
    During the shot of the TV set, Bart falls past.  (*thud*)

Didja notice...

    ... Maggie's blocks were E-M-C-2?  @{cs}  Apparently, it is Maggie who
        is the genius in the family.
    ... in Bart's numerical nightmare, the handle on the pull-cord for the
        window shade was... the number eight?
    ... Bart sat on a ergonomic chair at the ELCfGC? @{cjb}
    ... Martin and his parents at the opera?


Yours Truly {rjc}:  Another classic.

Freeze Frame Fun

The Scrabble (tm) board

Marge's turn

     B OF
    +E N
     THE        Marge places an `H' on the `+'.

Homer's and Lisa's turns

         N      Homer places a `D' on the `+', spelling `DO'.
        E MY    Lisa places an `I' on the '!', spelling `ID'.

The game room

    * Picture of Homer screaming

Skinner's disciplinary filing cabinet

    * Cr -- Dl
    * Em -- Kl
    * Ty -- Cz
    * Simpson, Bart
    * Zs -- Ds

The Enriched Learning Center for Gifted Children

library collection

    * Plato
    * Puskin
    * Life of Leonardo
    * Crime and Punishment
    * Wana by Emile Zola
    * Shakespeare I -- XV
    * Dante's Inferno
    * Babylonian Myths
    * Design of Computers
    * Moby Dick
    * Paradise Lost
    * Iliad by Homer
    * Odyssey by Homer
    * Radioactive Man (used as a prop in a film about illiteracy)
    * Candide
    * Astrophysics
    * Balzac


    * A likeness of a young Marge eats her sushi with chopsticks.
        I can't make out her lunchbox.
    * ``Anatoly Karpov'' lunchbox (Sidney's)
    * ``Krusty'' lunchbox (Bart's)

The opera

   Today only
   Conductor - Boris Csupowski [NB]

Dr. Pryor's office

    * Pictures of Einstein and Bart.

Comments and other observations

Maggie fall count

    * As Lisa looks up `id'

Weird animation

    | As observed by Chris Baird @{cjb}.
    - Maggie turns into a multi-armed creature when she knocks down her blocks.
    - Lisa's face when she grabs the dictionary.
    - Mrs. Krabappel grows an extra two pairs of eyeballs when she tells
      Bart to face the window.
    - Marge crosses her eyes when trying to think of the word `nurturing'.

Score for Kwyjibo:

+ o-1
+   8 (It's impossible to get a triple word score without getting a double
----- letter score on the j.)
*   3 (triple word score)
+  50 (using up all of his letters)
  152 (that's a lot of points!)

(Thanks to Evan Berofsky for a description of Scrabble (tm) mechanics, and
pointing this error out to me.)

Osmium Hydroxide plus Rubidic acid...

Bart may not know what happens when you mix acids and bases, but do you?
Recently, Haynes Lee claimed that you get salt water, and not an explosion.
Other people responded with varied points of how this high school chem
experiment works.  Yes, you will get -a- salt, dissolved in water.  If you
aren't careful, you'll get an exothermal reaction, meaning that it will
blow up in your face.  To get an entire classroom to fill, however, you'd
need either very dense reagents than what Bart had, or a lot more of them.

Calculus for Dummies

The calculation of the derivative was correct, if nonstandard.  Placing dr
with the variables is not standard practice, and serves no real purpose unless
you're going to turn around and integrate it--in which case, why did they
differentiate it?  Expressing r^2 as rr is also something that is completely
pointless.  Oh, and if these kids are gifted enough to find the joke so fast,
why are they dumb enough to still find it funny?

Ol' Mem-sahib Bart

According to my trusty OED, a mem-sahib is:

	A European married Lady; also, one who behaves like a European woman.

I'd be a bit more impressed had the sentence actually made sense.

Animation and continuity goofs

The Scrabble (tm) board keeps changing.

Chris Colby (  After the kids have tricked Bart of
his lunch they chat privately.  During that brief conversation, the voices
are switched.

Stephen D. Livingston notes that Staphylococcus is not a virus. It is a genus
of bacteria.  He adds: ``Granted, the long-shot explaination may be that
they're discussing a bacteriophage virus that preys specifically on Staph
bacteria,'' but that's not likely.

Alexandre Charest: The intermediate results of the derivative is missing the
r.  It's ``3^2 dr / 3'' instead of the correct ``3 r^2 dr /3''.

Homer couldn't spell oxidize, anyway.  You have to build off of what's already

Quotes and scene summary


 Maggie places an `E' block atop a teetering pile.  She admires her work,
 then in a flurry of arms, knocks them all down.  A Scrabble (tm) tile
 falls to the floor, and Lisa picks it up.  Pull back to reveal that the
 rest of the family are playing the classic word game.  Bart waits
 impatiently for Marge to make her move, and she does:  She places an `H'
 on the board to spell `HE'.  Now it's Homer's turn.  He grumbles, ``How
 can anyone make a word out of these lousy letters!''  Homer's rack contains
 the letters O-X-I-D-I-Z-E.  He decides to play the `D' to spell `DO'.
 Lisa places an `I' above the `D'...
   Lisa:  `Id', triple-word score!
   Homer: No abbreviations.
   Lisa;  Not I.D., Dad, `id'.  It's a word!
   Bart:  As in ``This game is stoop-id''.
   -- Playing Scrabble (tm), ``Bart the Genius''
 Lisa reminds Bart that he's supposed to be building his vocabulary for
 tomorrow's aptitude test.  Marge suggests they check the dictionary, and
 Homer is surprised that they have one.  It's currently being used to
 prop up the couch.  Lisa looks up the word and confirms her score.
 Now it's Bart's turn.
   Bart:  Here we go.  Kwyjibo.   [places his tiles] K-W-Y-J-I-B-O.
          Twenty-two points, plus triple-word-score, plus fifty points
          for using all my letters.  Game's over.  I'm outta here. [gets up]
   Homer: [grabs Bart with his left hand, holding a banana in his right]
          Wait a minute, you little cheater!
          You're not going anywhere until you tell me what a kwyjibo is.
   Bart:  Kwyjibo.  Uh... a big, dumb, balding North American ape.  With no chin.
   Marge: And a short temper.
   Homer: I'll show you a big, dumb, balding ape! [leaps for Bart]
   Bart:  [making his escape]  Uh oh.  Kwyjibo on the loose!
   -- Playing Scrabble (tm), ``Bart the Genius''
 Springfield Elementary School, before the morning bell.  Kids on the
 playground, doing standard things.  Playing marbles.  Skipping rope.
 Playing some combination of kickball and dodgeball.  Spraying graffiti.
 Spraying graffiti?  Oh, it's Bart, completing a ``I am a weiner [sic]''
 of Principal Skinner.

 Martin squeals on Bart.  Milhouse warns Bart, who quickly discards his
 can of spraypaint.
   Pr.Sk:  Whoever did this is in very deep trouble.
   Martin: And a sloppy speller, too.
           The preferred spelling of `weiner' is W-<I>-<E>-N-E-R,
           although E-I is an acceptable ethnic variant.
   Pr.Sk:  Good point.
   -- Either way, he's still a weiner.  ``Bart the Genius''
 Skinner orders the kids to show their hands, and Bart is literally caught
 red-handed.  Skinner schedules a chat with Bart.  The usual time and place.
 (Skinner's office, after school.)

 The bell rings, and the kids file in.  Martin asks Bart not to hold a
 grudge; he was merely protecting school property.  Bart responds, ``Eat
 my shorts.''  Ms. Krabappel hands out the IQ tests.
   Now I don't want you to worry, class.  These test will have no effect on your
   grade.  They merely determine your future social status and financial success.
   [looks at Bart]  If any.
   -- Ms. Krabappel administers an IQ test, ``Bart the Genius''
 Martin reminds Ms. Krabappel that Bart is supposed to turn his desk towards
 the window so he can't cheat.
   Remember to visualize the complex problem.
   And relaaaaax.  The test will start... [looks around calmly]  [yells] Now!
   -- Ms. Krabappel administers an IQ test, ``Bart the Genius''
 Pencils hit paper.
   Bart: [reading a test question]
         The 7:30am express train travelling at 60 miles an hour leaves Santa Fe
         bound for Phoenix, [chews on his pencil] 520 miles away.
   Ms.K: Shhh!  [points to her head]  Visualize it, Bart!
   Bart: [visualizing in black-and-white]  At the same time, the local train
         travelling 30 miles an hour and carrying 40 passengers leaves Phoenix
         bound for Santa Fe.  It is eight cars long and always carries the
         same number of passengers in each car.  [Bart counts five passengers on
         the train car (the number hovering over each passenger's head)
         and visualizes 40 / 8 = 5.  The train travels through a numerical
         An hour later, a number of passengers equal to half the number of
         minutes past the hour get off, and three times as many plus six
         get on.  [Bart and his equation are trampled by the passengers.]
         At the second stop, half the passengers plus two get off, but twice
         as many get on as got on at the first stop.  [Trampled again.
         Bart spits out a number.]
   Train conductor:  Ticket, please.
   Bart: I don't have a ticket!
   Train conductor:  Come with me, boy.
         [drags Bart off.  Numbers circle Bart's head]
         We've got a stowaway, sir.
   Bart: I'll pay!  How much?
         [the train engineer is... Martin!  Shoveling numbers into the engine.]
   Martin: Twice the fare from Tuscon to Flagstaff minus two thirds of the fare
         Albuquerque to El Paso!  Ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!!
   -- Math is Hell, ``Bart the Genius''
 The two trains crash into each other, throwing Bart into the air...

 ... and onto his back on the classroom floor.  Ms. Krabappel tells Bart
 to stop distracting the others, but Martin isn't distracted.  In fact,
 he's finished.  Ms. Krabappel lets Martin go outside and read under a

 Bart returns to his seat and exchanges faces with Martin through the
   What are you looking at, Bart!  Are those naughty dogs back again?
   -- Ms. Krabappel catches Bart staring out the window, ``Bart the Genius''
 While Ms. Krabappel looks outside, Bart grabs Martin's test, changes
 the name to `Bart Simpson' and replaces it.  He then writes `Martin
 Prince' on his own sheet and fills in the dots randomly.

 Marge and Homer walk through the schoolyard.  Marge maintains that Bart
 is merely a sheep that has strayed from the fold and needs to be hugged
 extra hard.  Homer answers, ``That's exactly the kind of crapola that's
 lousing him up!''  Homer is impressed by Bart's graffito.

 Marge and Homer reach the principal's office.
   Pr.Sk: I caught your son defacing school property this morning.
          We estimate the damage is $75, and frankly, we think it's terribly
          unfair that other taxpayers should foot the bill.
   Homer: Yeah, it's a crummy system, but what are you going to do?
   Marge: [whispers to Homer]
   Homer: Oh no.  He can't mean that.  [to Principal Skinner]
          My wife thinks you want <me> to pay for it.
   Pr.Sk: That <was> the idea.
   Homer: Oh.
   -- ``Bart the Genius''
 While Homer writes out a check, Principal Skinner shows them a
 sloppily-scrawled absence note which reads ``Please excuse Bart.
 He was sick.  Homer Simpson.''  But he changes his assessment of
 the note as a forgery when he sees Homer's handwriting on the check...

 In comes Dr. J. Loren Pryor, district psychiatrist...
   What do <we> need a psychiatrist for?  We know our kid is nuts.
   -- Homer, ``Bart the Genius''
 Dr. Pryor informs all that Bart is, believe it or not, a genius.
   Dr.J:  The child is not supposed to know his own IQ, of course, but
          as you can see, it's beyond the range of any doubt.
          [hands Homer a slip of paper]
   Homer: Nine hundred and twelve!!?!?
   Dr.J:  Uh, no.  You have it upside-down.  It's two hundred and sixteen.
   Homer: [disappointed] Oh.
   -- ``Bart the Genius''
   Dr.J: [measuring Bart's head with calipers]
         Tell me, Bart, are you ever bored in school?
   Bart: Oh, you bet.
   Dr.J: Mm hm.  Do you ever feel a little frustrated?
   Bart: All the time, sir.
   Dr.J: Uh huh.  And do you ever dream of leaving class to pursue your own
         intellectual development on an independent basis?
   Bart: Oh, like you're reading my mind, man.
   -- Great minds think alike, ``Bart the Genius''
 Dr. Pryor explains that when a genius is forced to slow down to that of
 a `normal' person, he tends to lash out (indicates Bart's disciplinary
   Pr.Sk: I think we should re-test him.
   Dr.J:  No, I think we should move him to another school.
   Pr.Sk: Even better!
   -- Bart is identified as a genius, ``Bart the Genius''
 Dr. Pryor suggests that Bart enroll in a school for the gifted, where there
 are no rules, no homework, nothing to stifle intellectual creativity.
 Bart's eyes open wide and he eagerly accepts.
   Homer: My son, a genius!?  How does it happen?
   Dr.J:  Well, genius, like intelligence, is usually the result of heredity
          and environment.
   Homer: [stares blankly]
   Dr.J:  Although in some cases, it's a total mystery.
   -- ``Bart the Genius''
 [End of Act One.  Time: 8:04]

 At the breakfast table, Bart squirms as Marge combs down his hair.  Once
 she's gone, he musses it back up.  Homer suggests Bart wear a tie (since
 all boy geniuses wear ties), but Bart refuses to let it stifle his
   Marge: It's a big day for you.  Why don't you eat something a little more
   Homer: Nonsense, Marge.  Frosty Krusty Flakes is what got him where he
          is today!  [looks at the box]  It must be one of these chemicals
          here that makes him so smart...  Lisa?
   Lisa:  [looks up from her granola]
   Homer: Maybe you should try some of this.
   Marge: Homer!
   Homer: I'm just saying, why not have <two> geniuses in the family?
          Sort of a spare, in case Bart's brain blows up.
   -- First day of genius school, ``Bart the Genius''
 Lisa tells Bart, despite the testing, she still insists he's a dimwit.
 Bart replies, ``<This> dimwit is on easy street.''

 On the drive to the Enriched Learning Center for Gifted Children, Bart
 tells Homer to take the scenic route.  They finally arrive, and Bart
 discovers that all the boys are wearing neckties.
   Bart:  Oh no, ties!
   Homer: Don't worry, son, you can have mine.
          Here, let me show you how to put on a tie.
          [takes off his clip-on]
          The hook goes over the top, and these things go in there.
   -- ``Bart the Genius''
 Homer kisses Bart.
   Now go on, boy, and pay attention.  Because if you do, someday, you may
   achieve something that we Simpsons have dreamed about for generations:
   You may outsmart someone!
   -- Homer drops Bart off at the Enriched Learning Center for Gifted Children,
      ``Bart the Genius''
 Homer shoves Bart into the classroom, where Ms. Mellon [pron. /mel-LON/]
 introduces him around.  They have only one rule:  Make your own rules.
 ``If you feel sleepy, take a nap.  If you get bored, feel free to take
 out a book and start reading.''  Bart sifts through the shelf and discovers
 a Radioactive Man comic.  Ms. Mellon tosses it into the trash, but Bart
 fishes it back out.

 Bart is introduced to his classmates.  Ethan speaks in palindromes.
 (``O Memsahib, Bart.  Rabbi has memo.'')  Sidney speaks in backwards
 phonetics.  (``Trabing norm doog!'')  Bart reacts appropriately.
 Cecile is performing a virus experiment on hamsters.
 (``I wouldn't get too attached, Bart.  We're dissecting him next week.'')

 Class begins.  Ms. Mellon invites everyone to greet Bart (and they do,
 in assorted foreign languages).  They continue yesterday's discussion on
 the existence of free will, and Ian's contribution sparks Ms. Mellon to
 ask the class for examples of paradoxes.  Hands go up, save one.
   Ms.M: Bart, what other paradoxes affect our lives?
   Bart: [looks around nervously; all stare at him]
         Well, you're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't.
   -- ``Bart the Genius''
 Lunchtime.  Bart is swindled out of his lunch by the other students.

 [End of Act Two.  Time: 12:36]

 Bart sits on his bed sipping a soda and reading a Radioactive Man comic.
 Homer comes in and offers to celebrate Bart's first day at genius school
 with a round of frosty chocolate milkshakes.  Marge and Lisa pop by.
   Marge: Bart, I feel so bad for going so many years without... mmm...
          mmm... What's that word where you encourage something to grow?
   Bart+Homer: [stare blankly and hum ``I dunno'']
   Lisa:  [brightly] Nurturing.
   Marge: ... nurturing your brilliant brain.
   -- ``Bart the Genius''
   Marge: I got tickets to the opera tonight.  Hurry up, get dressed,
          it starts at eight.
   Bart:  [whining] Oh, Mom, not tonight...
   Homer: Come on, Bart.  Your mother's only trying to help, so go ahead
          and enjoy the show.
   Marge: Homer, you're going, too.
   Homer: But I'm not a genius!  Why should <I> suffer!?
   -- ``Bart the Genius''
 Marge bought an expensive box.  Bart tells Lisa to keep an eye out for
 the guy selling peanuts.  The overture begins...
   Toreador, oh, don't spit on the floor.                                  \\
   Please use the cuspador.                                                \\
   That's what it's for.
   -- Bart at the opera, ``Bart the Genius''
   Marge: Bart, stop fooling around!
          Homer, stop encouraging him.
   Homer: Don't stifle the boy, Marge.  We're <supposed> to encourage him.
   -- At the opera, ``Bart the Genius''
 The opera continues.  Homer and Bart get bored and make snoring noises.
   Homer: Who's the lard-butt?
   Lisa:  He's the bullfighter.
   Bart:  No way the bull's going to miss a target that big!
   -- At the opera, ``Bart the Genius''
 Homer and Bart make flatulent noises.  Marge just covers her face.

 Homer grows impatient, but Bart reminds him, ``It ain't over 'til the
 fat lady sings.''  Homer asks, ``Is that one fat enough for you, son?''
 Homer stands up.  ``Let's go get a burger.''

 Back at school...
   Ms. M: So \math y = r^3/3 \math.  And if you determine the rate of change
          in this curve correctly, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
   Class: [chuckles]
   Ms. M: Don't you get it, Bart?  Derivative \math dy = 3 r^2 / 3 \math,
          or \math r^2 dr \math, or \math r\,dr\,r\math.
          Har-de-har-har, get it?
   Bart:  [not amused]  Oh, yeah.  [forced laugh]
   -- Making math fun, ``Bart the Genius''
 Bart trudges home and walks past his graffito, now roped off and
 tagged, ``The Principal.  By Bart Simpson.  IQ 216.''  Bart tries
 to join his friends, but they don't want anything to do with him.

 Bart glumly eats dinner.  Marge calls to Bart and Homer, ``Come on, you
 two.  Don't forget the film festival!''  She and Lisa leave.  Homer
 apologizes, ``Sorry, Bart.  Your mother bought us tickets for a student
 movie by some Swedish meatball.''  Bart tries to confess, but Homer
 suggests they play catch, which they do into the night.  ``So what was
 it you wanted to tell me, son?''  ``Uh, nuthin' Pop.''

 Chemistry class.  Ms. Mellon is unable to find a lab partner for Bart,
 who is busy mixing and matching.  She asks what he's doing, and Bart
 explains that ``it's really top secret, man.''  Ms. Mellon asks, ``But
 you <do> know what happens when you mix acids and bases, right?''
 Bart responds, ``Of course I do.''  He mixes.

 Cut to exterior of the ELCfGC.  The entire top floor overflows with
 green goo.  Back inside, everyone is coated in goo.  Bart: ``Sorry.''
 Cecile's hamster escapes.

 Bart (still covered in green) is called into Dr. Pryor's office.  The
 good doctor wants to know what the matter is.
   It doesn't take a Bart Simpson to figure out that something's wrong.
   -- Dr. J. Loren Pryor, ``Bart the Genius''
 He asks what he can do, and Bart wants to return to his old class.
 Undercover.  ``I could pretend to be a regular, dumb kid.''  He
 can then study them to ``see what makes them tick''.  Dr. Pryor
 leaves to discuss the matter with Principal Skinner, and asks Bart
 to write up his proposal.  Bart tries to write a proposal, but fails,
 so he instead writes his confession.

 Dr. Pryor returns and reads the proposal.  ``You know, you misspelled

 Bart returns home (still coated in green) and explains that he had a
 little accident in chemistry class.  Homer takes Bart outside to wash
 it off with turpentine.
   I bet Einstein turned himself all sorts of colors
   before he invented the light bulb.
   -- Homer, ``Bart the Genius''
 Bart confesses, but adds that ``the past few weeks have been great.''
 He tenderly lists the things the two have done together and concludes,
 ``I love you, Dad.  And I think if something can bring us that close,
 it can't possibly be bad.''


 ``Why you little!!!!!!!''

 Bart makes his escape (naked) through the house (``I think Bart's stupid
 again, Mom,'' remarks Lisa) and locks himself in his room.  Homer pounds
 the door as Bart hops onto his bed, grabs a soda, and reads a comic book.
 Homer tries to sweet-talk Bart out, but Bart catches on.  ``You think
 I'm dumb enough to fall for that?  I'm insulted.''  After a ``D'oh!'',
 Homer resumes his pounding, with even more force than before.

 [End of Act Three.  Time: 20:38]

Boring distribution restrictions

Episode summaries Copyright 1992 by Raymond Chen.  Updated 1999 Andrew A.
Gill.  Unattributed discrepancies between this and the previous revisions are
mine.  Not to be redistributed in a public forum without permission.  Do as
you ought'er, and add acid to water. (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.)

Scrabble (tm) is a registered trademark of Selchow and Righter.

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