Recap: The Simpsons S 3 E 14 Lisa The Greek
Episode - 8F12
First Aired - 1/23/1992Lisa the Greek
was among many episodes spotlighting the often uneasy relationship between Homer and his daughter, Lisa, given their disparity in intelligence and interests. Homer is able to connect with his daughter when he realizes she has an uncanny ability to accurately predict the winners of NFL football games, and exploits that ability to help him gamble and win a fortune under the guise of Sunday being "Daddy-Daughter Day." When Lisa realizes at the end of the football season she was being used and Homer didn't really appreciate her as a person, she refuses to speak to him, forcing Homer to make amends with his daughter any way he can ... but can he?
The episode begins with Homer watching football and complaining to himself that he never is able to pick the winners of football games; it is clear early on that Homer bets heavily on the games, and becomes frustrated when "Smooth" Jimmy Apollo's prediction that Denver will beat New England is quickly blown up when the Patriots run back the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Meanwhile, Lisa complains to Marge that Homer is always disinterested in her interests and ignores her; Marge suggests that the two watch football together. Homer tries to get Lisa to go away, but agrees to allow her to stay ... as long as she doesn't say anything. Lisa quickly goes back on her word when Denver – already down 35-7 – loses a fumble. (New England eventually wins 55-10.)
Homer tries to bet again on the Miami/Cincinnati game, but can't make up his mind when several football analysts can't agree on a winner in a game they all think has an obvious winner. Homer then calls a 1-900 betting advice hotline ("$5 for the first minute, $2 each additional minute"), but it quickly becomes clear "The Coach's Hotline" is a ripoff (given ... his ... ve ... ry ... slooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwww ... sp-sp-sp- tal- ... -king ... ) and an impatient Homer hangs up. Out of options, Homer turns to Lisa to help him pick a winner; Lisa, not sure what to say, picks Miami, prompting Homer to call Moe's – where proprieter Moe is running a betting ring under Chief Wiggum's nose – quickly place his $50 bet. The bet is successful, and in the end, the Dolphins hang on to defeat the Bengals; Homer and Lisa celebrate.
Homer and Lisa appear to have found a common interest in football, and Homer declares Sunday "Daddy-Daughter Day." Lisa quickly becomes an expert in picking winners of games, attaining a perfect record for eight straight weeks. Homer uses this knowledge to win thousands of dollars from Moe, and proceeds to spoil the family with fancy dinners and toys for the kids.
But as everything goes for Homer, he ruins a good thing when Super Bowl Sunday approaches. Lisa realizes that football will no longer be shown on Sundays, prompting her to ask her father to go hiking with her next Sunday. But Homer had already thoughtlessly made plans to go bowling with Barney that Sunday. Homer relays the news to Lisa and says that "Daddy Daughter Day" is over until next football season. Lisa is immediately and terribly crushed by Homer's thoughtless words, and realizes that Homer was only using her to correctly bet on football games and win money. She runs to her room in tears, while Homer – with the "what'd I do" look on his face – is scolded by Marge.
A shaken Lisa can't sleep and suffers from nightmares about being used for gambling. Homer, meanwhile, starts to realize he screwed up and tries to apologize to Lisa. But Lisa is so angry at him and sees that Homer's invitation to her to watch the Super Bowl together is an insincere attempt at making amends. With Homer begging her for a pick, Lisa relents and tells him her pick is Washington. But then she adds that it's possible her mind is so clouded with rage that she subconsciously wants him to lose, and that it's affecting her ability to pick the winner. If that's the case, she recommends he do the opposite of what she tells him and bet on Buffalo. With Homer confused about who to bet on, Lisa is no more help and tells him in resignation "If I still love you, Washington; if I don't, Buffalo." As Lisa gives away her Malibu Stacy toys (all purchased with "dirty money"), Homer realizes that much more than a few dollars is riding on the outcome of the Super Bowl. When Buffalo builds a solid lead early in the game and Bart begins taunting him, a distraught Homer goes to Moe's to try to relax and forget about Lisa's words.
In the end, Washington rallies from behind to score a last-second victory ... and Homer happily celebrates the win. He realizes that Lisa's love is far more valuable than money and that said love is secure. Lisa is also relieved that Washington won, meaning she still loves her father. Homer then cancels his bowling engagement with Barney to make good on his promise to go hiking with Lisa the Sunday following the Super Bowl.
This episode provides examples of:
- Felony Misdemeanor: At first the mall security guards consider going after Bart for insulting them with a "Get Bent" sign aimed at the surveilance camera, but then they notice a girl wearing socks different that the ones she came in, so they grab their rifles and head out.
- Kids Prefer Boxes: Maggie puts aside the stuffed elephant Homer bought her to play with the wrapping paper instead.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Homer, realizing he used Lisa.
- ReCut: Some syndicated versions of this episode redub the names of the football teams to reflect which teams would be playing in the Super Bowl in real life. The DVD version of this episode (and the rerun on the cable channel FXX) has the original lines.
- Shout-Out/Expy: Both the episode's title and the character "Smooth" Jimmy Apollo are references to Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder.
- Special Guest: Phil Hartman as Smooth Jimmy Apollo and Troy McClure
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The subplot of Marge buying clothes for Bart ended with Bart stuck in the car as the bullies shake it, yelling, "You have to come out some time, Simpson." It's never mentioned again and the story just ends there.