Recap / The Simpsons S 3 E 18 Separate Vocations
Episode 8F15
First Aired 2/27/92

When the results of Bart's vocational survey suggest he'd make a great cop and Lisa learns her dreams of becoming a professional sax player are doomed by genetics (she has stubby fingers, which would make saxophone playing impossible, even though she doesn't exhibit any problems), their roles at Springfield Elementary are reversed: Bart becomes a hall monitor who cracks down on school misbehavior (after surviving a run-in with Snake during a police ride-along) while Lisa becomes a rebel who smokes with the bad kids, gets detention, and pulls off a teachers' edition textbook heist that could get her expelled.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Break the Cutie: Learning that the only thing she is worthy of is being a housewife and being rejected from becoming a professional saxophone player due to her stubby fingers broke Lisa down to the point of becoming a rebellious student.
    Lisa: Dear log: This will be my last entry, for you were a journal of my hopes and dreams. And now, I have none.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When Lisa points out that Bart used to appreciate the value of a prank, Bart responds, "Yeah, but even I had my limits."
    • Even Lisa realized she's gone too far, but done it anyway, and cries.
  • Epic Fail: Snake attempts to run over Bart, only for his car to get caught in the narrow pathway and catapult him out the windshield, injuring him horribly.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Career Aptitude Normalizing Test (CANT)
  • Informed Flaw: Lisa's stubby fingers will supposedly prevent her from being a professional saxophone player, but she's never expressed any difficulty with her fingering before or since.
  • Inept Aptitude Test: According to the CANT, Bart is best suited to be a policeman, while Lisa will be a homemaker. The machine that analyzes the tests is seen malfunctioning when it gets to the Simpsons.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Lisa bemoans loudly that becoming a housewife is a Fate Worse Than Death, right in front of a hurt Marge.
  • The Lancer: Bart becomes one to Principal Skinner.
  • Personality Swap: After the test results, Bart becomes hall monitor while Lisa fills the role of rebellious prankster vacated by Bart.
  • Reality Ensues: Bart quickly learns that firing a gun involves recoil.
  • Shout-Out: When Skinner asks Lisa what she's rebelling against, she says "Whadda you got?", the same response as Marlon Brando's character in The Wild One.
  • Special Guest: Steve Allen as Bart's altered voice.
  • Taking the Heat: Bart willingly takes the blame for the textbook theft to save Lisa from punishment.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Snake has no problems with running over a ten-year-old boy, especially in front of the cops!
    Snake: See you in hell, punk!!
  • Yellow Sash of Power. As hall monitor, Bart rules with ruthless efficiency. The image at the trope's page is a scene from this episode.