Recap / The Simpsons S 10 E 7 Lisa Gets An A
Lisa's A+++ grade she got on a test for the book, The Wind in the Willows, gives Springfield Elementary the grant money it sorely needs to update the school. The problem: Lisa cheated on the exam after spending her sick days from school playing video games instead of studying. Meanwhile, Homer raises a lobster to eat, but makes it his pet.


  • All Animals Are Dogs: Pinchy the lobster whimpers and wags his tail like a timid puppy. Homer is even seen walking him on a dog leech later on.
  • The Alleged Computer: The Coleco computer that Gil is selling not only looks and acts like a mid-80s 8-bit in an episode on the precipice of the millenium, and Gil unwillingly ends up mentioning that the computers of this brand rust (incredibly fast. He then chides himself for providing Too Much Information right in the middle of his sales pitch).
  • Artistic License Biology: Homer is somehow able to grow a lobster to full size in a small fish tank that's just had some table salt added to it, which wouldn't be sufficient for a lobster to survive in. Pinchy also acts like a puppy and tends to squeak and huddle whenever frightened, which real lobsters can't and don't do.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Superintendent Chalmers after Lisa threatens to report Principal Skinner to him for covering up the fact that she cheated.
    Chalmers: Skinner!!! I am outraged that you kept this from me! You were supposed to call as soon as the new scoreboard was in. Tell me, does it play that song "charge"?
  • Black Comedy: Homer weeping over the death of his beloved pet lobster... while eating him.
    Homer (in between sobs): "It's so good! I wish Pinchy were here to enjoy it!"
  • Broken Record: In Lisa's Imagine Spot, when she's told the only school which would accept her would be Brown University, Lisa says "No, not Brown, Brown, Brown...", repeating Brown, which leads Miss Hoover to ask "Lisa, you're saying 'Brown' an awful lot, are you okay?"
  • Call-Back: The oblivious rich mother and her rude son from "Marge Not Be Proud" return for a brief appearance.
  • Captain Ersatz: Dash Dingo is an obvious parody of Crash Bandicoot.
  • Cast as a Mask: An interesting aversion: during the fake ceremomy where Lisa confesses, the "Comptroller Atkins" on stage turns out to be Otto in a latex mask, and his fake comptroller voice, while sounding radically different from Otto's normal voice, was still done by Harry Shearer (Otto's regular voice actor.) And then the real Comptroller Atkins that shows up for the real ceremony is voiced by Hank Azaria.
  • Chekhov's Gag: The decoy of himself Bart made in shop really only serves to set up his making the fake Lisa puppet to fool Comptroller Atkins.
  • Death by Irony: Homer stopped Marge from boiling Pinchy. In the end, it's Homer who ended up boiling the lobster by trying to give it a bath.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: While trying to convince Principal Skinner to spend part of the extra funding money on Coleco-brand computers, Gil accidentally mentions something bad about them.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: At the end, Bart asks what smells so good, after Homer says he put Pinchy in a hot bath to clean him up. Homer is in the middle of asking the same thing, then realises to his horror that in giving Pinchy a hot bath, he has accidentally killed him.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Lisa worries that an F on her exam will cost her admission to Harvard University, and the only school that would accept her would be Brown University.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: After Lisa seemingly reveals to Comptroller Atkins that she cheated to get her A+++, Marge commends her for getting the highest grade in the class (which she pointedly repeats after Lisa tries to correct her). Cue the reveal that Lisa was tricked into thinking he revealed this to Comptroller Atkins, and that the ceremony she had attended was fake (as to get her away from the school before the real Comptroller Atkins showed up).
  • Funny Background Event: Behind Lisa's desk when she's fretting about her test, Ralph is putting a pencil in his nose.
  • F--: Inverted Trope. Lisa's test gets an "A+++" (it would have been quadruple, but one of the "plusses" was a stain of Drambuie that Miss Hoover had while grading papers), and with it comes a lot of attention that she absolutely detests.
  • Honor Before Reason: Despite the fact that it would benefit everyone in school, Lisa ultimately confesses out of her guilt from cheating and the school using funds that they didn't earn. The school is quick to figure this would happen, though, and works around it.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Homer, after accidentally boiling Pinchy, succumbs to eating (and thoroughly enjoying) him, all the while still bawling traumatised.
  • Latex Perfection: The mask that Otto wears when posing as the comptroller. Also, earlier in the episode, Bart shows Lisa a replica of himself he left in the class so he could skip it, saying it's "Mostly latex."
  • Medal of Dishonor: The "accidental" kind. As mentioned on Honor Before Reason, Lisa would prefer to throw the school's welfare to the wolves before accepting the reward (and the extra funding money that comes with it, which the school directly needs and they have already used some of to buy stuff).
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Homer has one when he realises that he has accidentally killed Pinchy by giving him a hot bath. The last scene has him sobbing over Pinchy while eating him.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Lisa's first time playing the video game has her quitting because Ninja Koalas kill her character.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Willie recommends Lisa not cheat on the test, and just take the F. After all, he got an F once, and his life "turned out just fine." Cue Willie unclogging a school toilet with his bare hands.
    Willie: Oh, you've got yourself a partner, do ye?
  • Not So Above It All: Lisa's a vegetarian and a fierce advocate of animal rights, but she complains about Homer not cooking Pinchy because she enjoys the smell of cooked lobster.
  • Out-of-Character Moment:
    • While it makes sense that Lisa would feel desperate enough to cheat if she didn't know the answers on a test, it does seem unlikely that Lisa wouldn't have already read The Wind in the Willows'' since she's the kind of person who would read books like that for fun. Granted Marge actively discouraged her from doing so early on when she was sick and inadvertently got her hooked on Bart's video game in the first place when trying to find a way for Lisa to let her mind rest.
    • She also complained against Homer sparing Pinchy the lobster, despite being a vegetarian and a fierce animal lover. Homer even lampshades it by calling her out on it.
  • Say My Name: Homer during his Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap! moment, saying "Pinchy?" three times, starting quietly, then rising in volume each time and culminating in a scream of "PINCHY!" when he realises he has accidentally boiled Pinchy in the bath.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Lisa.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Every Springfielder but Lisa.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To "Bart Gets an F". That episode saw Bart trying desperately to avoid getting an F on an upcoming test by intense studying. This sees Lisa trying desperately to avoid getting an F on a test she did not study for by cheating.
    • In this same vein, Bart's F would mean he had to repeat the fourth grade, while Lisa's A+++ meant the school would be (unjustly) using it for grant money.
  • Take That!: Marge telling Bart that they're not converting to Catholicism because "...three kids is enough, thank you." The Catholic League at the time spoke out against that line.
    Skinner: Mmmm, Brown. Heckuva school. Weren't you at Brown, Otto?
    Otto: Yup. Almost got tenure, too.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Superintendent Chalmers claims that Springfield Elementary School used to be considered the most dilapidated in Missouri until they brought it to Springfield. Lisa's and Skinner's looks of surprise when Chalmers mentions "Missouri" suggests that Springfield isn't there. Chalmers seals it by explaining that the school was moved brick by brick from its original location in Missouri and placed on Springfield.