Posts Tagged ‘Lisa’s Substitute


Quote of the Day

“There are three things wrong with my costume. Anybody names those three things will get my hat.” – Mr. Bergstrom
“I believe I know the answer.” – Lisa Simpson
“What’s your name?” – Mr. Bergstrom
“Lisa Simpson.” – Lisa Simpson
“Well, go ahead miss Simpson.” – Mr. Bergstrom
“Um, one, your belt buckle says State of Texas, but Texas wasn’t a state until 1845.” – Lisa Simpson
“Very good.” – Lisa Simpson
“Two, the revolver wasn’t invented until 1835.” – Lisa Simpson
“That’s excellent.” – Mr. Bergstrom
“Three, you seem to be of the Jewish faith.” – Lisa Simpson
“Are you sure I’m Jewish?” – Mr. Bergstrom
“Or Italian.” – Lisa Simpson
“I’m Jewish.” – Mr. Bergstrom
“And there weren’t any Jewish cowboys.” – Lisa Simpson
“Very good,, that’s excellent! And I’m also wearing a digital watch! But I’ll accept that, here you go little lady. And, for the record, there were a few Jewish cowboys, ladies and gentlemen, big guys who were great shots and spent money freely!” – Mr. Bergstrom


Quote of the Day

“You’ll have lots of special people in your life, Lisa. There’s probably some place where they all get together and the food is real good and guys like me are serving drinks.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

“Wow, you made the front page.” – Homer Simpson
“Aw, Dad, it’s just a popularity contest.” – Bart Simpson
“Just a popularity contest? Excuse me, what’s more important than popularity?” – Homer Simpson


Saturday Morning Cartoons

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“Mr. Bergstrom!” – Lisa Simpson
“Hi, Lisa!” – Mr. Bergstrom
“Hey! You don’t have to pay! Read the sign!” – Homer Simpson
“And this must be your father.” – Mr. Bergstrom

When people talk about “Lisa’s Substitute”, it’s usually to praise the emotionally pitch perfect ending. First, there’s Mr. Bergstrom’s devastating departure (“That’s the problem with being middle class, anybody who really cares will abandon you for those who need it more.”); and then there’s Homer’s bumbling but ultimately successful attempt to explain to Lisa that he does love her even if they both know she’s a lot smarter than him (“You’ll have lots of special people in your life, Lisa. There’s probably someplace where they all get together and the food is real good and guys like me are serving drinks.”). Like the rest of Season 2, however, there’s a lot more to that episode, and today I want to briefly highlight the way this one uses wordplay.

The opening scene provides a couple of great examples. As soon as Miss Hoover walks in crying, Lisa remarks to herself, “My God, she’s been dumped again.” From there it moves right into Skinner frankly explaining what Lyme disease is, blithely unaware that he’s traumatizing Hoover:

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Skinner: Lyme disease is spread by small parasites called ticks. When a diseased tick attaches itself to you and begins sucking your blood…
Hoover: Oh…
Skinner: …malignant spirochetes infest your bloodstream eventually spreading to your spinal fluid and on into the brain.
Hoover: The brain, oh, dear God!

The episode is full of exchanges that are just as fast. Here’s Bergstrom and Lisa two scenes later:

Lisa: Three, you seem to be of the Jewish faith.
Bergstrom: Are you sure I’m Jewish?
Lisa: Or Italian.
Bergstrom: I’m Jewish.

And here’s Bergstrom and Homer later at the museum:

Homer: Well, if she’s so wonderful, give her and A!
Bergstrom: I am giving her an A!
Homer: Great, but don’t tell her it was a favor to me. Tell her she earned it.
Bergstrom: Mr. Simpson, she did earn it!
Homer: You are smooth, I’ll give you that.

Repartee like that – witty, two sided, and very fast – was one of the many comedy tools that The Simpsons could use that other shows of the time simply couldn’t. Exchanges like the ones above, even Lisa’s little aside about Hoover getting dumped, don’t work with a laughtrack.

Beyond that, animation also allows rapid fire cuts that augment the dialogue without becoming disorienting. There are five lines between Homer and Bergstrom above, but the scene actually has seven cuts, including a reaction shot from Lisa that takes less than a second. The scene would still work without that, but it works better with the imagery reinforcing the banter.


They were smooth, I’ll give them that.


Quote of the

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“Now, Bart, do you really think you can win?” – Homer Simpson
“Sure, why not?” – Bart Simpson
“Woo-woo! Alright! I always knew you had personality! The doctor said it was hyperactivity, but I knew better!” – Homer Simpson


Reading Digest: Perfectly Timed Door Slam Edition

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“I’m glad I’m not crying, because I would hate for you think that what I’m about to say is based on emotion.  But you, sir, are a baboon!” – Lisa Simpson
“Me?” – Homer Simpson
“Yes, you!  Baboon!  Baboon!  Baboon!  Baboon!” – Lisa Simpson
“I don’t think you realize what you’re saying.” – Homer Simpson
“Baboon!” – Lisa Simpson

First off, sorry for the lack of Compare & Contrast this week.  I’m still in the thick of it at work and didn’t have time.  (Things will – he typed hopefully – ease off starting next week.)  In regular news, we’ve got some great links this week, including outstanding fan art (there’s a whole exhibition of the stuff!), a brand new Simpsons blog, some excellent usage, and an on-point article about one of those perfect little subtleties in “Lisa’s Substitute” (which, coincidentally enough, aired for the first time twenty four years ago tomorrow).


The Timing of a Door Slam on The Simpsons – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this fantastic observation about the end of “Lisa’s Substitute”.  It’s one of those things you don’t notice because it’s so flawlessly done.  Well worth a click.

Simpsons-inspired art exhibition opens in Liverpool – With lots and lots of pics!  The Marge mirror and the Thrillhouse thing are outstanding.

The Simpsons’ top 30 movie references – Great list (although it bafflingly leaves out The Shining) at Den of Geek.  Two unsurprising things deserve note: 1) none of the entries are from Zombie Simpsons and 2) they don’t mention that at all because nobody wants the hassle.

Ted Cruz loves ‘The Simpsons,’ but he botched his favorite quote – He was close enough for moderate usage.

A Trap Music-Style Remix of Homer Simpson’s ‘Treehouse of Horror’ Meltdown – Pretty good.

10 Simpsons Characters As Real Humans – A decent collection of comparisons that have mostly been done before.

Cocktail Recipe: The Marge Simpson – I’d probably go with gin over vodka, but that’s just me.

MR. BURNS: A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY to Run 5/13-6/7 at Portland Playhouse – And the play goes to Portland.

The Character Files: Rafael – He’ll always be the Sarcastic Guy to me.

The Character Files: Very Tall Man – I do find him comic while driving his automobile, but I probably wouldn’t say that to his face.

Catch-23 No. 27 ‘Big Other’ Part 8 – Heh.

Instagram Crush: @madnails – Great set of Simpsons nail art.

5 ‘Simpsons’ Characters You Didn’t Know Were Voiced By Hank Azaria – Uproxx must do good pageviews on their endless array of Simpsons posts.  I’m certainly in favor of them keeping it up.

‘Simpsons’ Photos To Describe Losing Your Virginity – What about that Stock Footage Festival the kids went to?

Moving Away from Evergreen Terrace – For anyone wondering why the DVDs got canned, this, from a longtime fan, should explain things:

When the season 17 set was released last December, I held off on buying it because it didn’t feel worth the week-of-release sale price. We have to have it someday because Sideshow Bob is on the cover, but perhaps we can wait for Black Friday pricing. No hurry. We haven’t even cracked open the season 16 set.

Habit buying ain’t gonna pay the freight.

Top 5: Television Cartoon Dogs – Santa’s Little Helper comes in at #3, though I can’t really argue with Scooby at #1.

The Classic Simpsons Battle Royale! – Another site is going through the episodes, tournament style.

Round 1, Battle 1 – Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy VS I Married Marge – That’s a tough one.

Round 1 Battle 2 – Old Money vs Like Father Like Clown – Also a tough one.

Round 1 Battle 3 – (S. 12, Ep.6) The Computer Wore Menace Shoes vs (S. 10, Ep. 23) Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo – Whereas here I can just go with Season 10.

Crack open a virtual Duff with Homer Simpson on his legendary couch – Someone created a virtual Simpson home you can wander about if you happen to be wearing one of those VR headsets.

This episode of Mad Men felt like a spinoff – Excellent reference:

Todd VanDerWerff: Do you guys remember that one episode of The Simpsons “The Simpsons Spin-off Showcase”? Airing in season eight, it purported to show three separate proposed spinoffs from the series, including a cop show, a stupid gimmick sitcom, and a variety show. The terribleness of the ideas was the point — this is what television networks do when left to their own devices, the episode seemed to snark.
Well, I feel roughly similarly about “New Business,” which feels for much of its running time like “The Mad Men Spinoff Showcase.”

All shows must die — even Game of Thrones – Excellent usage:

In The Simpsons episode “Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie” — which, by virtue of being a Simpsons episode about the internal machinations of television, makes it one of our best excoriations about how stupid the internal machinations of television are — Homer is drafted to provide the voice of Poochie, a hip dog brought in to revitalize the flagging cat-and-mouse cartoon show. For his first voice session, he’s understandably nervous: “Is this episode going on the air live?” he asks. “Very few cartoons are broadcast live,” an old hand reassures him. “It’s a terrible strain on the animators’ wrists.”

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons homer simpson… – a deer, a female deer!

New trending GIF tagged simpsons weed homer simpson… – Homer disappearing into marijuana instead of a hedge.

CMW 2015 Preview: First You Get The Sugar – “Foreign Lands” – We’ve got another band named after a Simpsons quote.  I do so enjoy these.

“A Star Is Burns” – The Simpsons Season 6 episode review – A little love for one of Season 6’s many gems.

Ten funny gene names – part 2 – I learned something today:

2. Maggie – Fruit flies with a mutated Maggie gene results in arrested development, like Maggie Simpsons from the cartoon series The Simpsons.

Trial and Error – And finally, I get to end with some academic types who agree with us:

For the group survey and interview assignment my group and I have decided to look at how families are represented in television sitcoms and if it has changed over time, with specific reference to The Simpsons (pre 2000) and Modern Family.

No point going beyond that.


Quote of the Day

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“He says there aren’t any easy answers.  I say: he’s not looking hard enough!” – Bart Simpson


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