Whacking Day

Whacking Day
                                                   Written by John Swartzwelder
                                                         Directed by Jeff Lynch

TV Guide Synopsis

The soulful sound of Barry White and a key discovery by Bart---who
was expelled from school---help Lisa in her efforts to save
Springfield's snakes from the annual Whacking Day.  Voices:  Hank
Azaria, Harry Shearer, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith.

Title sequence


    {I will return the seeing-eye dog.}
    {I will return the seein} 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

    Recycled from [8F03].


        Homer yells, ``D'oh!'' when Lisa scoots past.
        Homer yells, ``Waugh!'' when the car closes in on him.


        Finding only a single chair where the couch used to be, the entire
        family sit on it.

        Recycled from [9[FG]07].

Quotes and scene summary


 Tipped off that Superintendent Chalmers is paying the school a
 surprise visit, Skinner puts the school into clean-up mode.  He also
 announces a list of students who have won mountain bikes: Bart,
 Jimbo, Kearny and Dolph, and Nelson.  He instructs them to pick up
 their bikes in Utility Basement B, then cackles evilly.  Then
 remembers to turn off the microphone.  When the school troublemakers
 arrive, they find the utility room empty.  Skinner apologizes for
 the deception, but ``you're being swept under the rug for the
 superintendent's visit.''  He locks them in.

 Skinner sucks up big-time.
   Skinner:  Superintendent Chalmers, welcome!
   Chalmers: [dryly] Hello, Seymour.
   Skinner:  So, what's the word down at One School Board Plaza?
   Chalmers: We're dropping the geography requirement.
             The children weren't testing well.
             It's proving to be an embarrassment.
   Skinner:  Very good.  Back to the three R's.
   Chalmers: Two R's, come October.
   -- ``Whacking Day''
 Chalmers sees through Skinner's ``transparent toadying''.

 Bart tries to escape through a ventilation shaft.

 Skinner sucks up even more.

 Groundskeeper Willie tends to his tractor, but is distracted by a
 comely young Scottish lass, and the two leave together.

 Chalmers is brought to the second-grade class, where Skinner selects
 a student `at random'.  Chalmers selects Ralph, but Skinner quickly
 suggests Lisa instead.  Lisa performs admirably.  Ralph less so.
 Skinner tries to cover up.

 Bart emerges from the vent and spots Willy's tractor, which goads Bart
 into taking it for a ride.  Bart quickly careens out of control.
   Excellent.  Not a trace of urine.
   -- Superintendent Chalmers inspects the school sandbox, ``Whacking Day''
 Chalmers is impressed.  ``Why, that looks like a fifty-cent piece.
 I'll just bend over and get it.''  Bad move.  Bart abandons the
 tractor seconds before impact.

 While Lunch Lady Doris tends to Chalmers' wounds, he tells Skinner
 that but for the horrible accident, he would've been promoted to
 Assistant Superintendent.  In response, Skinner expels Bart.

 [End of Act One.  Time: 5:45]

 ``Eye on Springfield'' takes a look at the Springfield tradition
 known as ``Whacking Day''.  Founded by Jebediah Springfield in 1775,
 every May 10th, the citizens of Springfield drive the snakes into
 the town square, then club them to death.  Footage of Richard Nixon
 taking part is shown.  Lisa expresses her disgust.
   Homer:  Hey, kids, how was school?
   Lisa:   I learned how many grams in a pennyweight.
   Bart:   I got expelled.
   Homer:  That's my boy! [sips his Duff] Mmm... beer... [double-take] What!?
   -- It's beer, Homer, ``Whacking Day''
 Bart is enrolled in the local Christian fundamentalist school, but
 doesn't last long.

 At the dinner table, Bart considers a future as a taster of
 dangerous food additives, but Marge decides to teach Bart herself.
 Meanwhile, Lisa fails to impress upon Homer the evils of Whacking

 Bart relaxes on the couch while Lisa heads for school, but Marge
 tells Bart to be in class before the bell rings.  Class is set up in
 the garage, with a blackboard, teacher's desk, student's desk, and a
 very loud bell which startles both Bart and Marge.  Marge enjoys the
 r\^ole of teacher, opening the class with formal introductions.

 Math instruction is interrupted by a guest speaker:  Grampa Simpson,
 who tells about his r\^ole in World War II.  Trapped behind enemy
 lines, he spent the war posing as a (female) cabaret singer.  But he
 is found out.
   Ach du lieber!  Das is nicht eine Booby!
   -- Adolf Hitler, ``Whacking Day''
 When pressed, Grampa insists the story was `mostly' true, especially
 the part about wearing a dress.  The lesson is interrupted by
 Homer's high-speed entry into the garage.  Fortunately, Homer stops
 just in the nick of time.

 Homer shows off to Marge his new whacking stick.  Marge is excited.

 Back in class...
   Marge: Bart, I'd like you to read this copy of ``Johnny Tremaine''.
          It's a book I read as a girl.
   Bart:  A book!?  Pfffft.
   Marge: I think you might like this.
          It's about a boy who goes to war.
          His hand is deformed in an accident.
   Bart:  Deformed?  Why didn't you say so!
          They should call this book ``Johnny Deformed''?
   -- I'd prefer ``Johnny Quest Deformed'', ``Whacking Day''
 Bart is so engrossed in his reading that he misses the Itchy and
 Scratchy cartoon, guest directed by Oliver Stone.

 Bart presents his book report, and Marge suggests they take a field
 trip to Olde Springfield Towne.  Homer screeches into the garage and
 once again applies the brakes just in time to avoid running over the
 class in progress.

 Lisa sadly watches Homer practice his whacking Ninja-style in the
 backyard.  Her protests fall on deaf ears.

 At Olde Springfield Towne, interviews for town idiot are under way.
 Marge finds Barney passed out in the street.  He's playing the
 governor.  The tour continues.  Bart notices a discrepancy:  The day
 Jebediah Springfield led an attack on Fort Ticonderoga, he allegedly
 also founded Whacking Day.  Bart and Marge are quickly escorted away
 by security (Redcoats).

 Apu announces that there is a snake hidden in the store.  The first
 person to find it wins a free Squishee.  Patrons energetically smash
 everything in sight in search of said snake.  ``I should have put
 more thought into my promotion.''  Meanwhile, the Springfield cops
 take target practice at paper snakes.

 Reverend Lovejoy reads a Bible excerpt to Lisa justifying Whacking
 Day.  Lisa asks to see to see the passage, but Reverend Lovejoy
 quickly hides his Bible.

 [End of Act Two.  Time: 14:40]

 Whacking Day festivities are well under way.  A chorus of young boys
 sing an anthem to Whacking Day.  (To the tune of ``O Tannenbaum''.)
 Meanwhile, Homer turns his lawn into Official Whacking Day Parking,
 ten dollars per axle.  A googolplex-axled car pulls up.

 Barney whacks imaginary snakes.

 Diamond Joe Quimby appears, one of his sidekicks carrying a
 briefcase full of pre-whacked snakes.

 After some lascivious whacking-day banter between Homer and Marge,
 Lisa once again begs Homer not to take part.

 Snakes look on nervously as Diamond Joe Quimby introduces Larry
 [sic] White to whack off, err, kick off the festivities.  When Barry
 White learns what Whacking Day is about, he announces, ``You people
 make me sick!''  The crowd cheer in appreciation.  Next up is Miss
   Gentlemen, start your whacking!
   -- Miss Springfield, ``Whacking Day''
 While snakes make their escape ahead of the advancing crowd, Bart
 reads about the true history of Whacking Day, and Lisa asks what
 they can do to stop the slaughter.  Bart explains that snakes hear
 through vibrations in the ground, so by playing music with lots of
 bass, they can draw the snakes into the safety of the Simpsons home.
 Lisa can't find any suitable records, but she fortunately spots
 Barry White walking past, and he offers his assistance by singing in
 his rich, deep voice.  The effort proves successful, and the snakes
 reach sanctuary.

 Bart tells the crowd that Whacking Day was in fact founded in 1924...
   I'm an old man.  I hate everything but Matlock.
   -- Grampa Simpson, ``Whacking Day''
 and Lisa and Bart turn the crowd around on the subject.  Just in
 time for Quimby's appearance with a dozen dead snakes to be greeted
 with boos.  The snakes slither to freedom down the street into the

 Impressed by Bart's demonstration of independent learning, Skinner
 rescinds Bart's expulsion.  ``You can be reunited with your cums
 Nelson, Jimbo,  Dol---Oh, dear God!''  Nelson, Jimbo, Kearny and
 Dolph are still locked in the utility room.  By this time, their
 conversation is more in the style of a bully support group.  Skinner
 rushes Groundskeeper Willy to school with a load of mountain bikes.
 ``We give them their bikes, no one sues.''

 [End of Act Three.  Time: 21:13]

Voice Credits


    Dan Castellaneta        (Homer, Grampa, Willy, tour guide)
    Julie Kavner            (Marge)
    Nancy Cartwright        (Bart, Ralph, Nelson)
    Yeardley Smith          (Lisa)
    Hank Azaria             (Chief Wiggum)
    \:    and
    Harry Shearer           (Kent Brockman, Principal Skinner)

Special Guest Voice

    Barry White             (himself)

Also Starring

    Doris Grau              (Lunch Lady Doris)
    Pamela Hayden           (Milhouse)


Yours truly @{rjc}: A nice try.  I did like the ``Did Daddy hit the
referee?'' bit, but the episode didn't seem to have any point.  (It
wasn't even a bunch of stuff that happened.)  And there was still too
much singing.

Didja notice...

    ... Marge was putting on lipstick outside the fundamentalist school?
    ... Lisa was playing an electric guitar?  Nice to know it's getting
        put to use after Bart abandoned it.

Movie (and other) References

   + JFK
        - Oliver Stone's reinterpretation of a tragic day in Dallas.

Freeze Frame Fun

Animation and continuity goofs

Although women are also part of Whacking Day festivities, Miss
Springfield says, ``Gentlemen, start your whacking''.  (Yes, I know
about the Indianapolis 500.)

The cars previously parked on the front lawn are nowhere to be seen
during Barry White's singing.

Comments and other observations

References from the obvious to the obscure

Previous episodes

    [8F21] Lisa's electric guitar.
    [7F21] Mrs. Glick.

Curious timing

The episode ``Whacking Day'' curiously aired the same day as
Seinfeld's ``The Contest'', which deals with a different kind of

Distribution notice and Acknowledgments

Blah blah.

HTML conversion by
Howard Jones(ha.jones@ic.ac.uk) on Sat 10 Sept 1994