Recap / The Simpsons S 15 E 3 The President Wore Pearls

In this loose parody of the musical Evita, Lisa is elected student body president, but is unaware that the school staff plans to use her to their own ends.

The Simpsons episode “The President Wore Pearls” provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: School president's approval is needed to remove classes.
  • Adam Westing: Controversial documentary maker and Simpsons fan Michael Moore, who has something of an appetite for accusations of factual flippancy, has a ten-second cameo appearance as himself, introduced as a “professional butt-in-ski” to offer rhetorical support to Lisa’s student strike. He rather readily admits to Kent Brockman that he found his claim that “kids who don’t have music and art are ten times more likely to fail in life and appear in one of [his] movies” from this source: “Your mother!” He also provides extensive commentary about the episode on the Season 15 DVD.
  • Artistic License – Law: On a similar vein to Grade-School C.E.O. being unrealistic, there is no real way whatsoever that Skinner's plan of using Lisa as the Fall Guy for his corner cutting would fly; in real life, school presidents cannot do anything regarding the manipulation of school funding (especially the removal of classes). Of course, Springfield runs on the Rule of Funny.
    • It might have worked in Japan though, assuming the plan was to get rid of student clubs (but the problem then becomes, it was classes he wanted to remove).
  • Blatant Lies: On advice from their lawyers, the people responsible for the episode swear they have never heard of a musical based on the life of Eva Perón.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: When Homer was trying to cash his winnings at the school casino, he declared he wanted half of it in cash and other half in cases to carry it.
  • Charity Ball: The "casino" version. Gone Horribly Wrong because none of the adults cared to read the ads Martin had sent out well in advance and didn't know the casino didn't hand out money prizes—and their reaction to finding this out (thanks to Homer getting angry when he found out) was to erupt into a riot and smash everything is what starts the whole plot.
  • Comical Overreacting/Disproportionate Retribution: All the adults didn't take it well when Martin Prince revealed that the school casino was fake. To make it worse, Martin was forced to resign as class president while Skinner had to deal with the rental company whose equipment the adults trashed.
  • Cutting Corners: Skinner decides to do just that, removing various study subjects and making Lisa the fall girl for the deed.
  • Did You Die?: Willie tells Skinner and Chalmers a story about when he worked in a coal mine which collapsed, saying "No one made it out alive. Not even Willie!"
  • Dirty Coward: Skinner for using Lisa as The Scapegoat for his budget cuts.
  • Dissimile: Marge compares Lisa, once installed as president, to “Geraldine Ferraro … except she lost.”
  • Mis-blamed: Everyone blames Skinner for the budget cutbacks because he's the one who has to make them, ignoring the school's ridiculously low budget, the government's constant budget cuts and the adults of Springfield refusing even minor tax increases to actually keep the school running properly.
    • Martin is blamed for the disastrous casino night, even though it was the attendants' fault for not realizing that a friggin school wouldnt be running a real casino.
  • Musical Episode.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: When Marge saw how Lisa was dressed up, she said Lisa looked successful and compared her to "the wife of a businessman."
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Marge as Bart sarcastically complimented Lisa for her actions as Student Council President.
  • Shout-Out: One of the songs has Lisa saying "Let's Olsen-twin me."
    • Martin's scheme with the fake casino is mentioned by him to have been based on an episode of Saved by the Bell (probably a fictional one). Of course, the fact that the exact same thing (people rioting when it's discovered that they didn't really win anything) happened on the Saved by the Bell episode didn't clue Martin about how the adults would react...
  • Too Dumb to Live: All the adults assumed that a casino run by children would have legitimate cash. They didn't even think to look at the flyer that was sent out.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: After the Casino night, Homer is basically sidelined into doing non sequitur.
  • Villain Song: Well, partially. During Lisa's big number, we get snippets of "Evil Plan" sung by Skinner revealing his true intent to manipulate her.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Skinner wants to lower Springfield Elementary’s budget. A worthy endeavor, that. How does he plan to carry this out? By removing gym, music and art from the school’s curriculum. Right, that won’t hurt the kids at all.