Recap / The Simpsons S 1 E 2 Bart The Genius

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Episode - 7G02
First Aired - 1/14/1990

Bart cheats on an intelligence test by swapping papers with class nerd Martin Prince, and soon finds himself transferred to an elementary school for genius kids, who don't see Bart as one of them, while Homer does otherwise and bonds with him.


This episode contains examples of:

  • Animation Bump: The only reason that the show stayed on the air past the disastrous production of "Some Enchanted Evening" was that this episode's animation was closer to and more consistently in the style that the show runners were going for: cartoonish designs with consistent anatomy, animated economically.
  • At the Opera Tonight: Marge takes the family out to see a production of Carmen in Russian.
  • Can't Tie His Tie: Homer teaches Bart how to put on a necktie by presenting his clip-on: "The hook goes over the top, and these things go in there!"
  • Catch Phrase: Marks the first use of Bart's "Eat my shorts!"
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Dr. Pryor reads Bart's confession:
    Dr. Pryor: You know... you misspelled "confession".
  • Imagine Spot: Bart has one while working on a math problem on the intelligence test.
  • I Will Show You X: When Bart tries explaining what a "kwyjibo" is:
    Bart: Kwyjibo. Uh... [looks at Homer] a big, dumb, balding North American ape. With no chin.
    Marge: And a short temper.
    Homer: I'll show you a big, dumb, balding ape! [chases Bart]
  • Just for Pun and Genius Bonus: A calculus expression has the answer r^2dr, which the teacher uses to come up with the phrase r-squared dr (or r-d-r-r), which sounds like har de har har, which sounds a bit like laughter. The other kids think it's funny, though.
  • Literal Metaphor: When Bart is caught with red spray paint on his hands, and Martin Prince tells Principal Skinner "[He] might say [he] caught him red-handed".
  • Nothing Personal: Martin insists he only told on Bart to fend off the desecration of the school building. After Bart tells him to stuff it, he tattles on him again.
  • Scrabble Babble: The former Trope Namer of "Kwyjibo".
  • Special Edition Title: Downplayed in that the Title Sequence had Bart fall past the screen during the "Created By/Developed By" part (due to the Couch Gag having Homer force Bart out of the couch).note 
  • The Stool Pigeon: Bart switched papers with Martin largely to get pay back for his constant snitching.
  • Teacher's Pet: Martin.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Both Lisa and Marge react this way when Homer chases a naked Bart through the house at the end:
    Marge: (knitting) What's going on out there?
    Lisa: (watching TV) I think Bart's stupid again, mom.
    Marge: Oh. Well...
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Bart's initial purpose for switching tests was to get back at class snitch Martin, though the consequences this has on him are never revealed. The original script included a scene where Dr. Pryor talks to Martin's parents about his failing the IQ test and needing to go to a school for mentally retarded kids, which Jon Vitti (the episode's writer) probably cut out over thinking the censors will object to this scene.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/TheSimpsonsS1E2BartTheGenius