|"The Secret War of Lisa Simpson"|
|The Simpsons episode|
|Episode no.||Season 8|
|Directed by||Mike B. Anderson|
|Written by||Richard Appel|
|Original air date||May 18, 1997|
Willem Dafoe as the Commandant
|Couch gag||The living room is shown upside down. The Simpsons sit down, but fall to the floor (the true ceiling).|
|Commentary|| Matt Groening |
Mike B. Anderson
"The Secret War of Lisa Simpson" is the twenty-fifth and final episode of The Simpsons ' eighth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 18, 1997. Bart gets sent to a military academy as punishment for bad behavior. While visiting the academy, Lisa sees that the school is far more challenging than hers and she decides that she wants to attend as well. It was directed by Mike B. Anderson, written by Richard Appel and featured Willem Dafoe in a guest spot as the school's commandant.
After a day watching mind-numbing videos in class, Lisa worries that her education is not challenging enough. Bart's class goes on a field trip to the Springfield Police Department, where Bart finds a room with several megaphones. He places them end-to-end, increasing their amplification and creating a sonic shockwave that shatters all the glass in Springfield. Chief Wiggum suggests sending Bart to military school to correct his behavior. Under the ruse they are going to Disneyland, Homer and Marge drive the kids to Rommelwood Military School; while there, Lisa decides she also wants to enroll. Homer and Marge reluctantly agree and ignore Bart's protests that he wants to go home.
Lisa stirs discontent among the students because she is the first female student and gets her own barracks. After she and Bart endure hazing, Bart is eventually accepted by the other cadets and distances himself from his sister. Lonely, Lisa considers going home, but decides to see it through. As the school year comes to a close, the Commandant reveals the final test for the students: the "Eliminator", a hand-over-hand crawl across a rope suspended high above thorn bushes. Lisa fears she will not be able to complete the task, but Bart helps her train in secret.
On the day of the test, Lisa is the last to cross the Eliminator. She is about to fall as the students jeer, but Bart cheers her on and she makes it across safely. The other students vow to make the rest of the semester a living hell for Bart, but realize that they graduate in only three hours. The Commandant awards Lisa a special medal "For Satisfactory Completion of the Second Grade". After the ceremony, Homer and Marge tell the kids they will visit Disneyland "for real" this time, but instead drive them to a dentist's office.
The episode was written by Richard Appel, but the idea of Bart and Lisa attending a military academy had previously been pitched, and had been floating around since 1991.The idea had not yet been used as an episode plot, because the writers had not felt comfortable with taking Bart and Lisa to a strange place early in the series.
During the scene where the Commandant is talking, there is a brief shot of Lisa blinking. As there had been an error in the final print of the episode, the shot was animated, painted and shot on May 16, 1997, the Friday before the episode's airdate.The spiky blond-haired boy, who runs towards the Eliminator while screaming, is a caricature of director Mike B. Anderson.
The episode originally aired on May 18, 1997, as the season finale, along with a rerun of "The Springfield Files."The episode was mistakenly anticipated by some as being about Lisa launching "a legal battle" to enroll at the military school. In its original broadcast, "The Secret War of Lisa Simpson" finished 47th in ratings for the week of May 12–18, 1997, with a Nielsen rating of 8.3, equivalent to approximately 8.1 million viewing households. It was the second highest-rated show on the Fox network that week, following The X-Files .
Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, the authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, disliked the episode, writing that it was "very dull" and that Dafoe was not used well.However, Dafoe is one of show runner Josh Weinstein's favorite guest stars. Ian Johnson argued Dafoe's casting was "rare" and "somewhat offbeat".
Journalist Raju Mudhar also wrote that in this episode, "The Simpsons have succinctly laid out our eventual future." This referred to the rise of robots (such as combat drones) in the real world and the quote from this episode:
"The wars of the future will not be fought on the battlefield or at sea. They will be fought in space, or possibly on top of a very tall mountain. In either case, most of the actual fighting will be done by small robots. And as you go forth today remember always your duty is clear: To build and maintain those robots."
The episode was one of four in 1999 released on a VHS (Re-released on DVD in 2005) called Bart Wars focused on crosses between The Simpsons and Star Wars . However, one critic wrote that with this episode and "Marge Be Not Proud" and "Dog of Death," both of which are also on the DVD, the "Star Wars connection" is "tangential at best."
Marge Jacqueline Simpson is a fictional character in the American animated sitcom The Simpsons and part of the eponymous family. She is voiced by Julie Kavner, and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Marge 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 Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his mother Margaret Groening. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three seasons, the Simpson family received their own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989.
Reverend Timothy Lovejoy, Jr. is a recurring character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer, and first appeared in the episode "The Telltale Head".
"Homer's Phobia" is the fifteenth episode in the eighth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 16, 1997. In the episode, Homer dissociates himself from new family friend John after discovering that he is gay. Homer fears that John will have a negative influence on his son Bart and decides to ensure Bart's heterosexuality by taking him hunting.
"Bart on the Road" is the twentieth episode of The Simpsons' seventh season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 31, 1996. In the episode, Bart makes his own fake driver's license. He rents a car with it and takes Milhouse, Martin, and Nelson on a road trip to Knoxville, Tennessee. Their car is destroyed, leaving them stranded. To get Bart home, Homer orders equipment for the power plant and ships it via courier from Knoxville, with the boys stowed away inside the crate.
"Marge Be Not Proud" is the eleventh episode of The Simpsons' seventh season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 17, 1995. In the episode, Marge refuses to buy Bart the new video game Bonestorm, so he steals it from a local discount store. Bart is estranged from his mother after he gets caught, so he works to regain her love and trust.
"Trilogy of Error" is the eighteenth episode of The Simpsons' twelfth season, and the 266th episode overall. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 29, 2001. In the episode, Homer's rush to the hospital to re-attach his severed thumb, Lisa's rush to school to win the science fair, and Bart's run-in with an illegal fireworks scheme are interconnected as each act tells the events of the same day, but from a different point of view.
"Lisa on Ice" is the eighth episode of The Simpsons' sixth season. It was the first broadcast on the Fox network in the United States on November 13, 1994. In the episode, Lisa discovers that she possesses a skill for ice hockey. A rivalry between her and Bart ensues.
The Simpson family consists of fictional characters featured in the animated television series The Simpsons. The Simpsons are a nuclear family consisting of married couple Homer and Marge and their three children Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. They live at 742 Evergreen Terrace in the fictional town of Springfield, United States, and they were created by cartoonist Matt Groening, who conceived the characters after his own family members, substituting "Bart" for his own name. The family debuted on Fox on April 19, 1987 in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" and were later spun off into their own series, which debuted on Fox in the U.S. on December 17, 1989.
"Wild Barts Can't Be Broken" is the eleventh episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 17, 1999. When Homer, Barney, Lenny, and Carl drunkenly vandalize Springfield Elementary School, it is blamed on the children of Springfield, prompting Chief Wiggum to impose a curfew. The children respond by setting up a pirate radio show in which they reveal the embarrassing secrets of Springfield's adults. The episode was written by Larry Doyle and directed by Mark Ervin. The concept behind the episode originates from show producer Mike Scully always wanting to do an episode where the children would be subject to a curfew.
"Lisa Gets an "A"" is the seventh episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 22, 1998. In the episode, Lisa cheats on a test for which she fails to study and receives an A+++ grade, but becomes guilt-ridden. Meanwhile, Homer buys a lobster with the intention of fattening him up to eat. However, he becomes attached to it and decides to keep it as a pet named Pinchy.
"Last Tap Dance in Springfield" is the twentieth episode of the eleventh season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 7, 2000. In the episode, Lisa decides to sign up for tap dancing lessons after being inspired by a film about a girl who enters a tango contest and wins. Meanwhile, Bart and Milhouse hide out at the mall to escape going to summer camp. "Last Tap Dance in Springfield" was written by Julie Thacker, who based it on her own experiences with dance classes.
"Large Marge" is the fourth episode of the fourteenth season of the American animated television sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 24, 2002. In the episode, Marge decides to get liposuction, thinking that Homer does not find her attractive anymore. However, she accidentally receives breast implants, so she becomes adored by many men in Springfield and becomes a model. Meanwhile, Bart and Milhouse try to imitate a stunt they saw on an episode of Batman that guest starred Krusty the Clown. When the stunt ends badly, media watchdog groups blame Krusty, forcing the clown to make his show more safety-conscious and less fun.
"This Little Wiggy" is the eighteenth episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 22, 1998. It was written by Dan Greaney and directed by Neil Affleck. The episode sees Ralph Wiggum becoming friends with Bart. Phil Hartman guest stars as recurring character Troy McClure.
"Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily" is the third episode of The Simpsons' seventh season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 1, 1995. In the episode, the Simpson children are put in foster care at Ned and Maude Flanders' house. Homer and Marge are forced to attend a parenting class to get their children back.
"Itchy & Scratchy Land" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons' sixth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 2, 1994. Wanting a perfect family vacation, the Simpson family visits Itchy & Scratchy Land.
"Marge Gets a Job" is the seventh episode of The Simpsons' fourth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 5, 1992. In this episode, Marge gets a job at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant to pay for foundation repair at the Simpson house. Mr. Burns develops a crush on Marge after seeing her at work and attempts to woo her. A subplot with Bart also takes place, paralleling the fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
"The PTA Disbands!" is the 21st episode of The Simpsons' sixth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 16, 1995. In the episode, Edna Krabappel organizes a strike of Springfield Elementary's teachers union to protest Principal Skinner's miserly school spending.
"Bart After Dark" is the fifth episode of The Simpsons' eighth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 24, 1996. After accidentally breaking a stone gargoyle at a local house, Bart is forced to work there as punishment. He assumes it will be boring work, but is surprised when he learns that it is actually a burlesque house. Marge is horrified when she learns of the burlesque house, and resolves to have it shut down. The episode was directed by Dominic Polcino and written by Richard Appel. It won an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Music and Lyrics" for the song "We Put the Spring in Springfield".
"Duffless" is the sixteenth episode of The Simpsons' fourth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 18, 1993. After getting arrested for drunk driving, Homer tries to remain sober, at Marge's request. Meanwhile, Lisa attempts to prove that Bart is less intelligent than a hamster after he ruins her first science fair project.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: "The Secret War of Lisa Simpson"|