Lost Our Lisa

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"Lost Our Lisa"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.Season 9
Episode 24
Directed by Pete Michels
Written by Brian Scully
Production code5F17
Original air dateMay 10, 1998
Episode features
Chalkboard gag "I am not the new Dalai Lama" [1]
Couch gag The family falls off the couch; Nelson Muntz appears and laughs. [2]
Commentary Matt Groening
Mike Scully
George Meyer
David X. Cohen
Yeardley Smith
Pete Michels
Episode chronology
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"King of the Hill"
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"Natural Born Kissers"
The Simpsons (season 9)
List of The Simpsons episodes

"Lost Our Lisa" is the twenty-fourth episode in the ninth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons . It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 10, 1998. The episode contains the last appearance of the character Lionel Hutz. [3] When Lisa learns that Marge cannot give her a ride to the museum and forbids her to take the bus, she tricks Homer into giving her permission. After Lisa gets lost, Homer goes looking for her and the two end up visiting the museum together. The episode is analyzed in the books Planet Simpson , The Psychology of the Simpsons: D'oh! , and The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer , and received positive mention in I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide.

<i>The Simpsons</i> (season 9) Episode list for season of animated series

The Simpsons' ninth season originally aired on the Fox network between September 1997 and May 1998, beginning on Sunday, September 21, 1997, with "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson". With Mike Scully as showrunner for the ninth production season, the aired season contained three episodes which were hold-over episodes from season eight, which Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein ran. It also contained two episodes which were run by David Mirkin, and another two hold-over episodes which were run by Al Jean and Mike Reiss.

Fox Broadcasting Company American television network

The Fox Broadcasting Company is an American free-to-air television network that is a flagship property of the Fox Corporation. The network is headquartered at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, with additional offices at the Fox Broadcasting Center and at the Fox Television Center in Los Angeles.

Lionel Hutz The Simpsons character

Lionel Hutz is a fictional character in the American animated TV sitcom The Simpsons. He was voiced by Phil Hartman, and his first appearance was in the season two episode "Bart Gets Hit by a Car". Hutz is a stereotypical ambulance chasing lawyer in Springfield with questionable competence and ethics. He is nevertheless often hired by the Simpsons. Following Hartman's murder by the hands of his wife in 1998, Hutz was retired; and his final speaking role was in the season nine episode "Realty Bites" five months earlier.

Contents

Plot

Bart and Milhouse visit a joke shop, and after Bart tries out some novelty props for his face, they visit Homer at the power plant to borrow his superglue for the props. Meanwhile, Marge and Lisa plan a trip to the Springsonian Museum so they can see the Egyptian Treasures of Isis exhibit and the Orb of Isis. However, when Bart comes home and shows off his face props, Marge orders him to take them off. However, since Bart is unable to pull them out due to the superglue, Marge is forced to take him to the hospital and is therefore unable to drive Lisa to the exhibit. She also forbids Lisa to take the bus alone, since it is too dangerous for her age.

Bart Simpson fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Bartholomew JoJo "Bart" Simpson is a fictional character in the American animated television series The Simpsons and part of the Simpson family. He is voiced by Nancy Cartwright and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Cartoonist Matt Groening created and designed Bart while waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on his comic strip, Life in Hell, but instead decided to create a new set of characters. While the rest of the characters were named after Groening's family members, Bart's name is an anagram of the word brat. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three years, the Simpson family received its own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989.

Milhouse Van Houten Fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Milhouse Mussolini Van Houten is a recurring character in the animated television series The Simpsons, voiced by Pamela Hayden, and created by Matt Groening who named the character after President Richard Nixon's middle name. Later in the series, it is revealed that Milhouse's middle name is "Mussolini." Milhouse is Bart Simpson's best friend in Mrs. Krabappel's fourth grade class at Springfield Elementary School, and is insecure, gullible, and less popular than Bart. Milhouse is often led into trouble by Bart, who takes advantage of his friend's naïveté, and he is also a regular target for school bullies Nelson Muntz and his friends Jimbo Jones, Dolph Starbeam, and Kearney Zzyzwicz. He also has a crush on Bart's sister, Lisa, which is used as a plot element in many episodes. Milhouse is one of the few residents in Springfield with visible, in fact rather thick, eyebrows.

Homer Simpson fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Homer was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on his comic strip Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his father, Homer Groening. After appearing for three seasons on The Tracey Ullman Show, the Simpson family got their own series on Fox that debuted December 17, 1989.

Since this is Lisa's last chance to see the exhibit, Lisa calls Homer to ask him if she can take the bus. He seems uncertain, which prompts her to trick him into letting her take the bus. However, once on the bus, Lisa realizes she is on the wrong bus; and the bus driver adds insult to injury by refusing to advise her and dropping her off in the middle of nowhere. During his lunch break at work, Homer tells Lenny and Carl that he let Lisa ride the bus alone. When they point out the error of his judgment, Homer leaves work to go look for her. He heads to the museum and ends up in downtown Springfield, where Lisa has hitched a ride to from Cletus. He uses a cherrypicker to get up higher. Homer and Lisa spot each other, but the vehicle's wheels creak backwards and it rolls down a hill. It slides off the edge of a pier at the harbor into a river. Lisa tells the drawbridge operator to close the bridge so Homer can grab on. His head is caught between the two closing halves and he survives with nothing more than a few tire marks across his forehead.

Springfield (<i>The Simpsons</i>) Fictional city in the United States from the Simpsons universe

Springfield is a fictional town in the American animated sitcom The Simpsons, which serves as its main setting. A mid-sized town in an undetermined state of the United States, Springfield acts as a complete universe in which characters can explore the issues faced by modern society. The geography of the town and its surroundings are flexible, changing to address whatever an episode's plot calls for.

Cletus Delroy Spuckler, commonly called Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel is a recurring character in the Fox animated series The Simpsons, voiced by Hank Azaria. Cletus is Springfield's resident hillbilly stereotype, and speaks with a Southern United States accent. He is usually portrayed wearing a white sleeveless shirt and blue jeans.

Drawbridge type of movable bridge

A drawbridge or draw-bridge is a type of movable bridge typically at the entrance to a castle or tower surrounded by a moat. In some forms of English, including American English, the word drawbridge commonly refers to all types of movable bridges, such as bascule bridges, vertical-lift bridges and swing bridges, but this article concerns the narrower, more historical definition of the term.

Meanwhile, as Bart is examined by Dr. Hibbert, Hibbert manages to trick Bart into thinking he will give him a series of painful injections in his spine to get the props off his face. Bart sweats heavily in terror, resulting in the props falling off. Hibbert then explains that terror sweat was the key to removing the superglued props; the "weapon" he used is actually a button applicator. When Marge and Bart get home, she forces Bart to apologise to Lisa for mocking her and ruining her trip; as he talks to her behind her bedroom door, he is unaware that she still is not home.

With Homer and Lisa re-united, he tells her that it is all right to take risks in life. The two decide to go to the museum after all, by illegally entering since it is now closed. While there, they make a fascinating discovery that the Orb of Isis is a music box that had gone overlooked by scientists and museum staff. Lisa concludes that what her father said about risks was right – until the alarm goes off and guard dogs chase them out of the building.

Production

Comedian Yakov Smirnoff helped with the Russian translations in the episode. Yakof.jpg
Comedian Yakov Smirnoff helped with the Russian translations in the episode.

Writer Mike Scully came up with the idea for the plot because he used to live in West Springfield, Massachusetts and he would ask his parents if he could take the bus to Springfield, Massachusetts and they finally agreed to let him one day. [4] The production team faced several challenges during development of this episode. The animators had to come up with a special mouth chart to draw Bart's mouth with the joke teeth in. [5] The pile of dead animals in the back of Cletus' truck originally included dead puppies, but the animators thought it was too sad, so they removed them. [5] Scully used to write jokes for Yakov Smirnoff so he called him up to get the signs in Russian. [4] Dan Castellaneta had to learn proper Russian pronunciation so he could speak it during the chess scene in which he voiced the Russian chess player. [3]

Mike Scully American writer and producer

Michael Scully is an American television writer and producer. He is known for his work as executive producer and showrunner of the animated sitcom The Simpsons from 1997 to 2001. Scully grew up in West Springfield, Massachusetts and long had an interest in writing. He was an underachiever at school and dropped out of college, going on to work in a series of jobs. Eventually, in 1986, he moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a stand-up comic and wrote for Yakov Smirnoff.

West Springfield, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

West Springfield is a city in Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 28,391 at the 2010 census. The city is also known as "West Side", in reference to the fact that it is on the western side of the Connecticut River from Springfield, a fact which played a major part in the town's early history.

Springfield, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts

Springfield is a city in the state of Massachusetts, United States, and the seat of Hampden County. Springfield sits on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River near its confluence with three rivers: the western Westfield River, the eastern Chicopee River, and the eastern Mill River. As of the 2010 Census, the city's population was 153,060. As of 2018, the estimated population was 155,032, making it the third-largest city in Massachusetts, the fourth-most populous city in New England after Boston, Worcester, and Providence, and the 12th-most populous in the Northeastern United States. Metropolitan Springfield, as one of two metropolitan areas in Massachusetts, had a population of 692,942 as of 2010.

In the season 9 DVD release of the episode, The Simpsons animators use a telestrator to show similarities between Krusty and Homer in the episode. [6] This episode contains the last showing of character Lionel Hutz. [3] He is seen standing at the bus stop with Lisa, but does not speak. Due to Phil Hartman's death, the recurring characters of Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure were retired. [7]

Telestrator

A telestrator is a device that allows its operator to draw a freehand sketch over a moving or still video image. Also known as a video marker, this device is often used in sports and weather broadcasts to diagram and analyze sports plays or incoming weather patterns. The user typically draws on a touchscreen with a finger or uses a pen on a graphics tablet. From the touchscreen or the tablet, the drawing signal is communicated to the telestrator, which overlays the video image with the drawing and outputs the combined signal for broadcast or display.

Phil Hartman Canadian-American actor, comedian, screenwriter and graphic artist

Philip Edward Hartmann was a Canadian-American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and graphic artist. Born in Brantford, Ontario, Hartman and his family moved to the United States in 1958. After graduating from California State University, Northridge with a degree in graphic arts, he designed album covers for bands including Poco and America. Hartman joined the comedy group the Groundlings in 1975 and there helped comedian Paul Reubens develop his character Pee-wee Herman. Hartman co-wrote the film Pee-wee's Big Adventure and made recurring appearances as Captain Carl on Reubens's show Pee-wee's Playhouse.

Troy McClure Fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Troy McClure is a fictional character in the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. He was originally voiced by Phil Hartman and first appeared in the second season episode "Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment". McClure is an actor who is usually shown doing low-level work, such as hosting infomercials and educational films. He appears as the main character in "A Fish Called Selma", in which he marries Selma Bouvier to aid his failing career and quash rumors about his personal life. McClure also 'hosts' "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" and "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase".

Themes

In his book Planet Simpson , Chris Turner cites Lisa's experiences on the bus as an example of "satirical laughs scored at the expense of Lisa's idealism". [8] "Lost Our Lisa" is cited in The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer along with episodes "Lisa the Iconoclast", "Lisa the Beauty Queen", and "Lisa's Sax", in order to illustrate Homer's "success bonding with Lisa". [9]

In The Psychology of the Simpsons: D'oh! , the authors utilize statements made by Homer in the episode to analyze the difference between heuristic and algorithmic decision-making. [10] Homer explains to Lisa, "Stupid risks are what make life worth living. Now your mother, she's the steady type and that's fine in small doses, but me, I'm a risk-taker. That's why I have so many adventures!" [10] The authors of The Psychology of The Simpsons interpret this statement by Homer to mean that he "relies on his past experiences of taking massive, death-defying risks and winding up okay to justify forging ahead in the most extreme circumstances". [10]

Reception

In its original broadcast, "Lost Our Lisa" finished 45th in ratings for the week of May 4–10, 1998, with a Nielsen rating of 7.8, equivalent to approximately 7.6 million viewing households. It was the fourth highest-rated show on the Fox network that week, following The X-Files , Ally McBeal , and King of the Hill . [11]

Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood write positively of the episode in their book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide: "A smashing episode, loads of good jokes and clever situations ... and best of all, Lisa working intelligently. The teaming up of father and daughter has rarely been more enjoyable and lovely. Gives you a warm feeling." [12] A review of The Simpsons season 9 DVD release in the Daily Post notes that it includes "super illustrated colour commentaries" on "All Singing, All Dancing" and "Lost Our Lisa". [13]

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References

  1. Bates, James W.; Gimple, Scott M.; McCann, Jesse L.; Richmond, Ray; Seghers, Christine, eds. (2010). Simpsons World The Ultimate Episode Guide: Seasons 1–20 (1st ed.). Harper Collins Publishers. p. 463. ISBN   978-0-00-738815-8.
  2. Bates et al., pp. 1016
  3. 1 2 3 Groening, Matt (2006). The Simpsons The Complete Ninth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Lost Our Lisa" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  4. 1 2 Scully, Mike (2006). The Simpsons The Complete Ninth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Lost Our Lisa" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  5. 1 2 Meyer, George (2006). The Simpsons The Complete Ninth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Lost Our Lisa" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  6. Szadkowski, Joseph (January 13, 2007). "Animated ninja figures learn all about warrior art". The Washington Times . News World Communications. p. C9.
  7. Groening, Matt (2004-12-29). "Fresh Air". National Public Radio (Interview). Interviewed by Terry Gross. Philadelphia: WHYY-FM . Retrieved 2007-06-09.
  8. Turner 2005, p. 224.
  9. Irwin, William; Aeon J. Skoble; Mark T. Conard (2001). The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer. Open Court Publishing. p. 15. ISBN   0-8126-9433-3.
  10. 1 2 3 Brown, Alan S.; Chris Logan (2006). The Psychology of the Simpsons: D'oh!. BenBella Books, Inc. p. 217 (Chapter: Springfield — How Not to Buy a Monorail). ISBN   1-932100-70-9.
  11. "Seinfeld, on the way out, hits its peak". Sun-Sentinel . Associated Press. May 14, 1998. p. 4E.
  12. Martyn, Warren; Wood, Adrian (2000). "Lost Our Lisa". BBC. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
  13. Staff (January 26, 2007). "Film: DVD view". Daily Post . Trinity Mirror. p. 6.
Bibliography

Further reading