Bart the Murderer

Bart the Murderer                                  Written by John Swartzwelder
                                                         Directed by Rich Moore

TV Guide synopsis

Fat Tony hires Bart to work in his ``social club'', where Bart garners enough
influence with the boss to solve his problems with Principal Skinner---maybe
permanently.  Neil Patrick Harris has a voice cameo.  Other voices: Joe
Mantegna, Nancy Cartwright.

Title sequence

Cut from clouds directly to driveway.

Driveway   :- Homer says `D'oh!' when Lisa scoots past.

Couch:     :- Couch is missing.

Elapsed time:  21 seconds, compared to the already-clipped 48 seconds they
usually use, leaving room for... yep, ANOTHER COMMERCIAL!

Canadians, however, were given a fuller intro.  (So were we grubby Americans
the second time 'round.)  Details courtesy of Darren
Ewaniuk (

Blackboard :- `High explosives and school don't mix.'
              `High explosives and school' at cutoff.

Lisa's solo:- transcribed by Alan J Rosenthal {ajr}
              amended by Raymond Chen
              in a moderate 3/4, with swing
                      .   #Nb  b  + b   b N
              8___/// 5__ 443 875 4_3 4_3 356 /8/8_ /8

Couch:     :- The family form a pyramid, with Maggie on top.
              Maggie strikes her classic ``Ta-Da!'' pose.

Didja notice...

    ... the voice of Fat Tony was supplied by Joe Mantegna?
        (Doubly funny when you notice who plays Fat Tony in the TV movie.)
        And Neil Patrick Harris provided his own voice as well.
        Other voices were supplied by Phil Hartman (Lionel Hutz),
        Marcia Wallace (Ms. Krabappel), Jo Ann Harris (Secretary?, Princess
        Opal?), and Pamela Hayden (Milhouse).
    ... the kid sitting upside-down when they watch the film?
        (Note also the scratches and dust on the film.)
    ... Chief Wiggum not only drank on the job, but he didn't seem to
        take notice that a ten-year-old boy was working as a bartender?
    ... Bart twitched his leg while he sang `Witchcraft'?
    ... Bart's cell-mate is none other than Sideshow Bob?
    ... the D.A. is the same lawyer that defended Burns in Hutz' $1 million
    ... Fat Tony's prisoner number was 8F03, the production code for this
        episode? {dwt}
    ... Principal Skinner never had to go to the bathroom while he was
        trapped under the pile of newspapers for a week?
    ... right after Homer blames the sleazy Hollywood producers, the credits
        started rolling and who should be listed first but the producers! {jk}

Dave Hall {dh}:
    ... the grieving look on the teacher's face as the kids are loaded into
        the school buses?
    ... the satellite dash on top of the `Ah Fudge!' factory?
    ... fuzzy dice in the Pizza delivery truck?
    ... according to the clock in Bart's classroom, it's 8:35 when
        Ms. Krabappel made the announcement?
    ... the bars on the window of the `Lock Smith' shop?
    ... the hooded executioner beside the electric chair?
    ... According to the line marks, on the wall in Bart's jail cell,
        he (or the person in the cell before him) spent 18 days in jail?
    ... in Bart's nightmare, it appears Otto was the only one grieving?
    ... the cops were more interested with what's in Skinner's fridge than
        finding him?
    ... at 10:10 AM, Bart Simpson walked out of the courthouse a free boy?
    ... Maggie fell but once?  (At the very end, after Bart yells `Cool!')

Rave reviews

stephen cr miller {scm}:  The episode had an eerie, dreamlike quality.
There were strange shadows throughout, and events so odd they could only
happen in dreams.  I kept expecting Bart to wake up and have the whole
thing be a dream - and then he did, except that it wasn't a dream after
all.  A nice touch.  All in all, an excellent episode.

Chuck Musciano {cm}:  This was a great episode!  The Simpsons are back!

Alan J Rosenthal {ajr}:  The way the clouds come out the first time was
the most amazing part.  Did you notice that Bart immediately gets splashed
by a passing car?

Ron Carter {rc}:  This is the Simpsons I know and love; Bart getting
trodden every moment, Homer dumb, Marge just plain exasperated, Lisa being
superior in attitude (but lacking in true compassion), and the whole clan
getting screwed in the end... Funny, 'cause it's true...

Yours Truly {rjc}:  My favorite part was the entire first act, where
absolutely <nothing> goes right for Bart.  A close second is Principal
Skinner's tale of his ordeal.

Movie (and other) References

  + The Godfather
        - Joe Montegna as a gangster
    Robert Crumb's `Snoid from Sheboygan'
        - The smiling Aztec.  Same vertically-compressed, oval head, 3/4 view,
          and twisted smirkysmile. {abw}
    Willie Wonka  (and the Chocolate Factory) {rc}
  ~ Risky Business
        - clock ticks backwards {jpc}
  ~ Trading Places, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Blues Brothers, etc.
        - being surrounded by guns.
  + Goodfellas
        - In the movie, the young Henry Hill became a gofer for some mobsters
          at a Brownsville pizza parlor.  When his school sent his parents
          truancy notices, the mobsters threatened and beat up the postman,
          and ordered him not to deliver any mail from the school.  The family
          found out only when none of their mail came in.  Other scenes from
          Goodfellas appear too; the reaction to Bart's suit, etc. {ej}
        - In the movie, they hang around in someone's basement all the time,
          and they have this kid who mixes drinks for them.
          One difference is that the kid in the movie is incompetent. {cpc}
        - The entire cigarette hijacking is taken from it.  The gangsters
          also threaten the kid's principal at school. {cm}
    The Pope of Greenwich Village
        - One of the main characters in the movie gets a job in a `Social
          Club', making Espresso for the `Mobbed up' boys who hang out
          there. {cpc}
    Frank Sinatra (one of his movies, perhaps?)
        - Bart singing `Witchcraft'.  Also his expression at the end of the
          scene. {wl}
    House of Games {scm}
    St. Valentine's Day Massacre
        - The Itchy and Scratchy cartoon. {las}
    Raging Bull (another Scorsese movie)
        - Bart pouring a champagne fountain. {me}
  + Night of the Living Dead
        - Skinner's body rising from the dirt {my}
    The Octopus by George Luks (in The Verdict)
        - It's a political cartoon from the 19th century about large
          corporations.  The drawing depicts an octopus (preying off
          society) and on its tenticles are written names of large
          corporations, like Standard Oil.
        - After Homer admits his belief in Bart's guilt, the camera pans
          to the jury and then to the Springfield Shopper.  The paper has
          a picture of Bart and an octopus. {las}
        - Skinner's method of escape {jrp} {cm}
    Billions of mystery novels
        - Skinner's method of narration {jrp}

Freeze Frame Fun

The breakfast table, courtesy of Ron Carter {rc}

Lisa was eating Jackie O's.  ``Free Stretchpants Inside!''
Bart was eating Chocolate Frosted Frosty Krusty Flakes
    ``Only Sugar Has More Sugar!''
Vitapillars.  (On the box is a picture of a big purple caterpillar
    with `human' facial features.)
On the shelf was Kelp Chex.

The visit to Ah Fudge, courtesy of Ron Carter {rc} by my personal request

Huge Truck-a-saurus-sized thanks to Ron Carter for providing this.

Throughout the plant there are yellow OSHA lines marked ``Stand behind
line'', but the kids blithely ignore them.

Opening pan over the plant...
  + Kids walking on and climbing the pipes.  (One child walks on his hands.)
  + One kid dives into a vat of chocolate.
  - Another surfaces from a different vat of chocolate.
  + Another has crawled into a cardboard box; his torso hangs out.

Second shot...
  - A kid walking on a conveyor belt picking up chocolate bars.
  - Bunch of kids running (past a kid pulling a lever) and stepping on a
    chocolate bar, including a very young naked child, leaving chocolate
    footprints; another kid proceeds to pick up and eat this same bar.
  - The young naked kid for one frame looks like he needs a shave, yikes!

Third shot...
  - A conveyer belt on which little wafers get chocolate squirted onto them.
  - Ralph, on his back on the belt, his head where a wafer would be.
    Chocolate squirts into his mouth.

Fourth shot...
  - As the kids bend over a vat of chocolate, the following fall in:
    Milhouse's glasses, some pills(?), a roll of candy(?), pocket knife(?),
    pencil with Krusty eraser(!), 2 Q-Tips, comb, pen, and a watch.
  + The kids scoop chocolate into their mouths directly from the vat.
  + A kid surfaces in the vat.
  + Their host says, ``Please, kids, play sanitary.''  He then continues
    on his way.  (I guess he's seen this many times before.)

Fifth shot...
  - Kids kicking around Cocoa Beanie who wears (naturally) a propeller beanie!

Bart's fall down the stairs

    Bart yells, ``Wauuuuuuugh!  Ugh, ak, ugh, son-of-a, D'oof!''

The horses in the third race at Shelbyville Downs

The names are all famous phrases from various cartoons.

Sufferin' Succotash         (Sylvester the Cat)
Yabba-Dabba-Doo             (Fred Flintstone)
Ooh Ain't I a Stinker       (Bugs Bunny)
That's All Folks            (Porky Pig)
I Yam What I Yam            (Popeye)
Don't Have a Cow            (Bart Simpson)

And of course, there was `Eat My Shorts' in the fifth race.

Things in the Simpsons basement

A large barrel of nuclear waste.
Open cans of red and green paint.
Wooden ladder.
Assorted cardboard boxes, still open.
Empty picture frame.
Inflatable raft (or tire; hard to tell).

The various Aces used by the gangsters, courtesy of Dave Chary {dc}

Besides the normal Heart, Diamond, Spade, Club.

In one mobster's hand:

    Green Star

Exposed on table:

    Blue Button
    the planet Saturn
    Atom Model
    Red Cherries
    Blue Male Symbol
    Red Flower
    Yellow Pentagram
    Yellow Smiley Face
    Purple Crescent

How The Big Cheese's men idle away their time

Flicking a cigarette lighter on and off.
Stabbing the space between his fingers with a pocketknife.
Playing jacks.

Bart's Trial, courtest of Dave Hall {dh}

In the jury:
    Bleedin' Gums Murphy

Notice the way the sketch artist uglified Bart in the drawing.

Some people who attended Bart's sentencing:

     Ms. Krabappel
     Mr. & Mrs. Lovejoy
     Ned Flanders

Miscellaneous Items

From Ron Carter {rc}:

The Legitimate Businessman's Social Club (Bart's place of employment)
Straight And Narrow Storage Co. (jacket of guy who picks up cigs from Bart)
Bart has pinky ring.
Springfield Shopper is free.
Fat Tony's limo has a `Mafia Staff Car Keepa Yo Hands Off!' bumper sticker.

From Mike Berman {msb}:

Try freezing right when Willie slaps Mrs. Krabappel.  For one frame she has
four eyes.

Animation attention to detail

When Bart wakes up, you can just barely see the permission slip under his

Dave Hall {dh} obseves that when Bart starts off for school, his green
note book is all nice and clean, but becomes water stained when he reaches
the school.

Theron Stanford {tws} notes that there were puddles on the playground when
Bart was on the monkey bars.

Animation goofs

Bart's bruised eye magically heals by the time he reaches the principal's
office.  And his pants are mysteriously mended by the time he falls down
the stairs to the Legitimate Businessmen's Club.

Dave Hall {dh}:

When Homer walks into the kitchen, the clock on the wall states 6:50, yet,
when Bart points his finger at Homer, the clock states 9:10.

Bart's bedroom shown to be facing the street, yet later, it's facing the

Jeff De La Beaujardiere {jdlb}:

When Bart missed the bus, he walked to school.  But when he left school, he
had his skateboard with him.

[Well, maybe he keeps a spare skateboard in his locker? --rjc]

S. Mudgett {scm2}:

Not only that, he left home bareheaded.  He left school bareheaded.  Then he
came home wearing his lucky red hat.

Lawrence Alan Schwimmer {las} notes that Bart's drawing of Skinner has
mysteriously vanished when we switch back to Bart after Ms. Krabappel
announces that Skinner is missing.

Assorted observations and comments

Mark Yocom {my} notices that the smiling Aztec bears a striking
similarity to the mascot of the Cleveland Indians baseball team, which
Robert Yantosca @{ry} names as ``The Grinning Wahoo'.

David Gillett {dg2} writes:

Ha!  That cigarette truck was hijacked along Route 401 which, as we all
know, is the freeway that runs between Montreal (almost -- the number
changes at the Quebec border) and Detroit (almost -- Windsor, actually).
And runs practically through the tobacco-growing regions of Ontario.

Chuck Musciano {cm}:

Bart was reading Radioactive Man while guarding the cigarettes.  In Three
Men and a Comic Book, we learn that the Radioactive Man serials were sponsored
by Laramie cigarettes.  And what kind of cigarettes were they?  That's right!

[This becomes less of an amazing revelation when you stop and realize that
 the only comic book we've ever seen is `Radioactive Man', and the only
 cigarette brand we've ever seen is Laramie's. --rjc]

For those whose recollection of basic chemistry is rusty...  Principal Skinner
mixed baking soda (NaHCO3) and lemon juice (proton donor).  The resulting
acid-base reaction produced water and carbon dioxide

           -    +
        HCO  + H    ->  H O + CO
           3             2      2

The carbon dioxide was used as a propellant.

Of course, the reaction really isn't vigorous enough to do much.  (The
solution just bubbles, like soda pop.)  Even if it were, once he released
the cigar, its path would have been erratic, like a balloon when you let
it whiz away.  Let's not even think about how absurd the vacuum cleaner
stunt was...

But then again, that was the point.  His story was so utterly fantastic, it
was hilarious.

From the musical front comes a note from Karen L. Klein {klk}:

Once Bart becomes a permanent fixture at the club, the music playing is
``One Fine Day'', including the lyrics, ``You're gonna want me for your
girl.''  What the hell?

Life imitates Art

Bruce Watson@{bw2} points out that this program first aired on Oct 10,
1991 and included the prediction ``wedding bells for Vanna White and
Teddy Kennedy.''  Who would've known?

Quotes and scene summary

 Bart wakes up bright and chipper (though he steps on a toy as he gets
 out of bed).  At breakfast...
   Bart:  Looks like I've got me a genuine glow-in-the-dark police badge!
          [hunts through the box of cereal]
          Hey, it's not in here.  You stole it!
   Lisa:  No one wants your stupid police badge, Bart.
   Homer: [coming in] Hey, look what I got!  A genuine official police badge!
          ``Calling all cars!  Come out with your hands up!'' Heh heh heh.
   Bart:  Hey, that's my badge, Homer.
   Homer: That's <Officer> Homer!  Hee hee hee hee.
   -- ``Bart the Murderer''
 Bart returns to his room to find SLH chewing up his homework.  (9 x 9 = 100)
   You ate my homework!?  I didn't know dogs <really> did that...
   -- Bart to Santa's Little Helper, ``Bart the Murderer''
 He sees Lisa boarding the school bus out his room window and rushes out,
 only to have the bus doors close in his face.  Lisa waves good-bye from
 the bus window.  The second the bus pulls away, storm clouds roll in, and
 it starts pouring.  A car splashes him as he walks to school.  When he
 gets to the school building, the storm suddenly clears.  (D'oh!)
   Ms.K: Bart Simpson, you're late.  Go fill out a tardy slip.
   Bart: But I'm only five... [looks at the clock]  ten, twenty...
         Forty minutes!  That's pretty damn late!
   -- ``Bart the Murderer''
 On the playground, Bart is on the monkey bars and says,
 ``Hey girls, look at me!''  But he rips his pants while trying to do a
 stunt.  ``You can stop looking at me now.''  A stray football hits him,
 and he falls to the ground.  It's nearly 1pm, and the class are excited
 about their field trip to the chocolate factory.  Everyone, that is,
 except Bart, who suddenly realizes that he left his permission slip at home.
   Lisa:   I'm going to eat eight pieces of chocolate!
   Ralph:  I'm going to each chocolate 'til I barf!
   -- Know when to say when, ``Bart the Murderer''
   Principal Skinner:  Here's a whole box of unsealed envelopes for the PTA!
   Bart: You're making me lick envelopes?
   P.S.: Oh, licking envelopes can be fun!  All you have to do is make a game
         of it.
   Bart: What kind of game?
   P.S.: Well, for example, you could see how many you could lick in an hour,
         then try to break that record.
   Bart: Sounds like a pretty crappy game to me.
   P.S.: Yes, well... Get started.
   -- ``Bart the Murderer''
 The kids greet `Cocoa-Beanie' at the ``Ah Fudge!'' factory.
   I think this is something Bart would really have enjoyed.
   But it's the only way he'll learn...
   -- Lisa, ``Bart the Murderer''
 The kids watch another of those educational films.
   Welcome to the Chocolate Factory.  I'm Troy McClure!  You probably remember
   me from such films as `The Revenge of Abe Lincoln', and `The Wackiest
   Covered Wagon in the West'.
   -- ``Bart the Murderer''
   [haunting native American music plays, scene changes to an Aztec pyramid]
   The history of chocolate begins with the ancient Aztecs.
   [see a hand holding an `Ah Fudge' candy bar]
   In those days, instead of being wrapped in a hygienic package,
   chocolate was wrapped in a tobacco leaf.
   [candy bar changes to a coiled tobacco leaf]
   And instead of being pure chocolate, like we have today, it was
   mixed with shredded tobacco.
   [pull back to see a smiling Aztec fellow holding the cigar-shaped tobacco leaf]
   And they didn't eat it, they smoked it!
   [Aztec lights it, takes a puff, and smiles broadly]
   -- Educational film at the chocolate factory, ``Bart the Murderer''
 Bart continues licking the envelopes, and watches the second-hand on the
 wall clock tick, ever so slowly.  (In fact, it even ticks backwards.)
 Meanwhile, the kids frolic absurdly in the factory.  It's nearly 3pm,
 and Bart's tongue is bone dry.  He asks, ``Cad I doe dow?''  Principal
 Skinner can't understand him, so he writes his request (left-handed).
 Principal Skinner lets Bart go a minute early.  Once Bart steps outside,
 it starts raining again.  He skateboards home, and the bus (returning
 from the field trip) splashes him.  Then the wheel falls off his skateboard
 and he tumbles down a stairwell.  ``What next?'' he sarcastically asks
 himself.  Bart finds himself on the wrong end of a dozen gun barrels.
 ``Uh oh.''

 [End of Act One.  Time:  4:43]

 Fat Tony and the other members of the Legitimate Businessman's Social Club
 see if Bart can be of any use to them...
   Tony: Pick a horse, kid.  We're putting two dollars on the third race.
         Make it a good one.
   Bart: Eat my shorts!
   Tony: Eat My Shorts?  Ah, okay... [consults the racing form]
         Let's see... Wait a minute, you little punk!  Eat My Shorts is
         in the fifth race!  I said the <third> race!
   Bart: Don't have a cow!
   Tony: Mm.. [to a fellow crony] Don't Have a Cow in the third,
         put a deuce on him.
   -- ``Bart the Murderer''
 While they're waiting for the race to run, Tony shows Bart the bar,
 the slot machine, and the card table.  The men listen to the horse race.
   As they come out of the turn, it's Sufferin' Succotash by a neck over
   Yabba-Dabba-Doo, two lengths back Ooh Ain't I a Stinker and That's All Folks.
   I Yam What I Yam can see them all, but here comes Don't Have a Cow flying on
   the outside, and coming down to the wire, it's all Don't Have a Cow!
   -- The third race, ``Bart the Murderer''
 Tony says, ``Hey, I like this kid.  I can't believe we were going to shoot
 him!''  Bart is ordered to mix a Manhattan.  He looks up the recipe and does
 so.  They like it.  (``Soopoib.'')

 At home, Bart tells Marge that he has a job.  Marge isn't sure, considering
 what he's paid to do, and asks Homer (who is eating directly out of a
 `Le Gourmet' tub of chocolate ice cream) to say something.
   Homer: How much does it pay?
   Bart:  Thirty bucks a week!
   Homer: Pfft!  I make more than that.
   -- Bart gets a part-time job, ``Bart the Murderer''
 Bart continues to work for the Social Club and is generously tipped by
 the clientele.  We see them playing poker, and all of them are cheating
 ridiculously.  Doing the laundry, Marge finds $100 bills in Bart's
 clothes.  Bart snatches the money.  ``I was looking for those.  Thanks,
 doll.''  Bart introduces the Legitimate Businessmen to Itchy and Scratchy.
   It's funny because it's true.
   -- Fat Tony, ``Bart the Murderer''
 Chief Wiggum comes in...
   Fat Tony:     Chief Wiggum!  You honor us with your presence.
   Chief Wiggum: Baloney!  I'm not going to rest until one of us is behind bars.
                 You!  You wouldn't happen to know anything about a cigarette
                 truck that got hijacked on Route 401?
   Fat Tony:     What's a truck?
   Chief Wiggum: Don't play dumb with me!
   -- ``Bart the Murderer''
 He adds that ``the boy here makes an excellent Manhattan.''  He offers one to
 Chief Wiggum, who drinks it and likes it.

 Homer sees Bart's room piled to the ceiling with cigarettes and concludes
 that Bart has started smoking.  Bart insists they're not his, but Homer
 doesn't believe him.  He threatens to make Bart smoke every single one
 of them while he watches.  Just then, a delivery man comes by to pick up
 the cigarettes, and Homer says, ``Son, I'll never doubt you again.''

 At a press conference, Chief Wiggum explains that 12,000 cartons of
 Laramie 100's were stolen.
   Wiggum: Let me assure all you smokers out there, there is <no>
           shortage of cigarettes.
   Reporter: [shouts]  How do we know that?
   Wiggum: Um, let me refer that question back to Jack Larson, Laramie Tobacco
           Products.  Jack?
   Jack:   Thank you, Chief.  Folks, I'm pleased to announce that a new truckload
           of Laramie's, with their smoooooth good taste of fresh tobacco
           flavor is already heading towards Springfield.  The driver <has> been
           instructed to ignore all stop signs and crosswalks. [all cheer]
   -- Press conference, ``Bart the Murderer''
 Kent Brockman adds that police suspect the involvement of reputed mobster
 William ``Fat Tony'' Williams.
   Fat Tony is a cancer on this fair city.
   He is the cancer, and I am the... um...  What cures cancer?
   -- Chief Wiggum, ``Bart the Murderer''
   Lisa: [somewhat shocked] Bart, is your boss a crook?
   Bart: I don't think so.  Although it would explain an awful lot.
   -- ``Bart the Murderer''
 At work, Fat Tony gives Bart a present, in gratitude for his help with
 the cigarettes.
   Bart: Uh, say, are you guys crooks?
   Tony: Bart, um, is it wrong to steal a loaf of bread to feed your starving
   Bart: No.
   Tony: Well, suppose you got a large starving family.  Is it wrong to steal
         a truckload of bread to feed them?
   Bart: Uh uh.
   Tony: And, what if your family don't like bread?  They like... cigarettes?
   Bart: I guess that's okay.
   Tony: Now, what if instead of giving them away, you sold them at a price
         that was practically giving them away.  Would that be a crime, Bart?
   Bart: Hell, no!
   Tony: Enjoy your gift.
   -- What if he puts jelly on it?  ``Bart the Murderer''
 Bart gets a tailored suit.  (``Soopoib.'')  He wears it proudly and sings
 `Witchcraft' around the house.
   Give me three fingers of milk, Ma.
   -- Bart, ``Bart the Murderer''
 That evening, Marge expresses her concerns about Bart's job to Homer...
   Marge: I'm not sure about the people Bart's working for.
          I think they're criminals.
   Homer: A job's a job.  I mean, take me.  If my plant pollutes the water
          and poisons the town, by your logic, that would make me a criminal.
   -- Guilt by association?  ``Bart the Murderer''
   Marge: That pizza delivery truck has been parked across the street for
          two weeks.  [looking at a pizza delivery truck conspicuously
          equipped with a satellite dish]
   [inside the truck, loaded with electronic snooping equipment]
   Marge's voice:  How long does it take to deliver a pizza?
   Man 1: Looks like our cover's blown.
   Man 2: Let's roll.  [the truck speeds off]
   [back in the bedroom]
   Homer: See?  It was all your imagination.
   [another truck pulls into the spot that was vacated.  The sign painted
    on the side?   Flowers
   -- ``Bart the Murderer''
 Marge prevails upon Homer to pay Bart's employers a visit, to see what
 they're like.  He does so...
   Homer: [playing poker]
          Heh heh!  Read 'em and weep, boys.  Another pair of sixes!
   Tony:  [folding with five aces]  Beats me.
   Man:   I was... bluffing.
   -- ``Bart the Murderer''
   Tony:  I am thrilled you decided to let your boy continue to work here.
   Homer: You know, if you need a hat-check girl, I've got a daughter.
   Tony:  Homer, you're a helluva father.
   -- ``Bart the Murderer''
 Homer returns home and tells Marge everything is square.  At school, Bart
 supervises a ``I am still a weiner'' graffito, and when Skinner asks what's
 up, he slips some cash into his pocket.  Inside, Skinner watches Bart
 write, ``I will not bribe Principal Skinner'' on the blackboard...

 At the club, The Big Cheese notes that he was invited to try some of
 the finest Manhattans in all of Springfield, but Tony's bartender isn't
 in.  Tony tells Louie to make some, which he does, poorly.  The Big Cheese
 gives Tony the Kiss of Death and leaves.  Bart finally arrives and puts on
 his apron, grousing about Skinner.  Tony learns that Skinner held Bart after
 school, and he offers to ``meet and greet this individual.''  Bart pours
 himself a shot of milk.

 At school...
   Secretary: Some large men to see you, sir.
   Skinner:   Um, I don't have any appointment with any large men.
              [Fat Tony and two heavies come in]
   Fat Tony:  You Skinner?
   Skinner:   I'm <Principal> Skinner, yes.  And how, may I ask, did you get
              past the hall monitors?
   -- ``Bart the Murderer''
 The next day, Bart chuckles as he draws a sketch of Skinner hanging from
 a noose.  Ms. Krabappel tells the class, ``Principal Skinner is...
 missing!''  The class cheers.  Except for Bart, who merely says, ``Uh oh.''

 [End of Act Two.  Time: 13:22]

 The search for Skinner continues...  A river is dredged. Posters are, er,
 posted.  (``Have you seen my body today?'')
   I can assure you that we're using the most advanced scientific techniques
   in the field of... [searching for the word]  body-finding.
   -- Police Chief Wiggum's briefing, ``Bart the Murderer''
 A psychic joins the Skinner hunt.
   Gypsy:  [roaming her hands over a picture of Skinner]
           I see wedding bells for Vanna White and Teddy Kennedy.
   Wiggum: Please, Princess Opal, if we could just stick to Principal Skinner.
   Gypsy:  Chief Wiggum, I am merely a conduit for the spirits.
           [gasp]  Willie Nelson will astound his fans by swimming
           the English Channel.
   Wiggum: Really?  Willie Nelson?
   -- Would she lie to you?  ``Bart the Murderer''
 The Seymour Skinner Memorial Fire Hose is dedicated.  (``He loved fire
 drills...'' notes Ms. Krabappel.)
   Lewis:    [covered in leaves]  Hey, look at me.  I'm Skinner's body!
   Bart:     That is not funny, Lewis.
   Milhouse: Well, I heard Skinner's buried under his parking spot.
   Student:  Well, I heard he was ground up into hamburger and served to us
             at lunch.
   Nelson:   I heard Bart had Skinner killed by gangsters.
   Bart:     That's not true!  It's just a rumor.  You're engaged in speculation.
             I know the law, you can't prove anything.
   -- He was like that when I got there.  ``Bart the Murderer''
 Bart is tormented by a nightmare wherein Skinner's body keeps appearing
 and saying, ``You killed me, Bart!''  Bart is thrown into jail (the
 ``Death House'').
   Bart: Reverend Lovejoy!  You've, you've come to comfort me?
   Rev.: Yes, Bart.  [pats Bart]  [emotionlessly]  There there.
         [pats some more]  There there.
   -- An enormous help, ``Bart the Murderer''
 Outside the prison, a crowd (including Homer) demands Bart's death.
 Bart is placed in the electric chair, atop some telephone books, and
 the switch is pulled.  Bart wakes up in fright.

 Bart goes to the club early in the morning...
   Bart: Did you kill my principal?
   Tony: Uh, Chinese guy with a moustache?
   -- ``Bart the Murderer''
 He says he didn't kill Skinner.  Chief Wiggum bursts in and arrests them
 all for the murder of Seymour Skinner.

 In jail (just like how Bart dreamed), Homer and Marge pay a visit...
   Oh Bart, why couldn't you have gotten a paper route like other boys?
   -- Marge, when Bart is arrested for murder, ``Bart the Murderer''
   Bart: What's that guy doing here?
   Hutz: Lionel Hutz, court-appointed attorney.  I'll be defending you on the
         charge of... [reads the deposition]  Murder One!  Wow!  Even if
         I <lose>, I'll be famous!
   -- Inherit the Windbag, ``Bart the Murderer''
 Burns and Smithers read the newspaper...
   Smithers: That Simpsons boy is looking at 180 years.
   Burns:    Thank God we live in a country so hysterical over crime that a
             ten-year-old child can be tried as an adult.
   -- ``Bart the Murderer''
 At the trial...
   Tony: I didn't order this Skinner guy killed...
   D.A.: But aren't you the head of this gang?
   Tony: No.  I just stop by the club occasionally to read the complimentary
   D.A.: Then who is the kingpin, the capo del tutti capi?
         [Literally, ``The head of all heads''.]
   Tony: That's the guy!  [fingers Bart]
   All:  [gasp]
   Bart: Hey!
   Tony: Forgive me, Don Bartholomew.
   -- Is... ``Bart the Murderer''
 The other testimony is similar, all implicating Bart as the head of the
   Hutz:  Mr. Simpson, you've been the boy's father for ten years.
          Do you really think he could be the leader of a murderous
          criminal syndicate?
   Homer: Well, not the leader, I mean... [looks over at Bart]
          [cries]  Oh, it's true, it's true!
          All the pieces fit! [bawls]
   -- Is... ``Bart the Murderer''
   Now, in light of the damning testimony from your fellow gangsters, your
   father, your teachers, and the seemingly endless parade of emotionally
   shattered babysitters...
   -- The Judge's summing-up, ``Bart the Murderer''
 But before he passes sentence, Principal Skinner bursts in, disheveled.
 He tells his story:  Tony and his goons came to talk and he threw them
 out.  He went home and began bundling his old newspapers, but the stack
 fell on him.  (``Let this be a lesson to recycle regularly.'')  Trapped
 until the pile of papers, he survived the week by eating his mother's
 preserves and preserved his sanity by dribbling a basketball that was
 barely within reach of his one free hand.  (``I made a game of it.  Seeing
 how many times I could bounce the ball in a day, then trying to break that
 record.'')  When the police came to search the house...
   Wiggum: Find anything this time, boys?
   Cop:    Uh, no sign of him, Chief.
   Wiggum: Princess Opal?
   Opal:   I see nothing here, but I'm afraid it's splitsville for Delta
           Burke and Major Dad.
   Wiggum: But they seem so happy!
   -- ``Bart the Murderer''
 ... he called out, but they didn't hear him.  So he used a little
 fourth-grade chemistry to build a rocket, which he attached to a
 vacuum cleaner cord, and which wrapped the cord around a support beam.
 He then switched on the cord retraction on the vacuum cleaner, which
 pulled him to safety.  He concludes his story, and all cheer.
 The D.A. asks that Skinner's testimony be struck from the record,
   Judge: Case dismissed!
   Hutz:  Your honor... Do I still get paid?
   -- Pro bono pocketo, ``Bart the Murderer''
   Tony: Hey Bart, I hope there are no hard feelings.
   Bart: Get bent.
   Tony: I deserved that.
   -- ``Bart the Murderer''
   Tony: Me and the boys, we still think you got a big future in racketeering
         and extortion.
   Bart: Sorry, Fat Tony.  I used to think your gang was cool.  But now
         I learned that crime doesn't pay.
   Tony: Yeah, you're right.  [leaves in his expensive limo, complete with
         pretty woman]
   -- Do as I say... ``Bart the Murderer''
 At home, the family watch TV.
   Announcer:  Blood on the Blackboard!  The Bart Simpson story!
       Starring Richard Chamberlain as Principal Skinner, Joe Montegna
       as Fat Tony, Jane Seymour as the woman he loved, and TV's Doogie
       Howser, Neil Patrick Harris, as Bart Simpson!
   `Tony':  Bart, I'm scared.  Let's get out of here.
   `Bart':  Shut up!  Where do you want it, Skinner?
   `Skinner':  [spits on him]
   `Bart':  Not smart.  [pumps him full of lead]
   Bart:  Cool!
   Homer: Hey, when do we get the check for this?
   Marge: Well, they said they changed it just enough so they don't have to
          pay us.
   Homer: Oh, you know who the <real> crooks are?  Those sleazy Hollywood
   -- ``Bart the Murderer''
 [End of Act Three.  Time: 20:38]
   Episode summaries Copyright 1991 by Raymond Chen.  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

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