Episode - 9F13
First Aired - 2/11/1993It's Valentine's Day at Springfield Elementary, and in Ms. Hoover's classroom, all the second-graders are getting tons of cards from each other...everyone, that is, except Ralph Wiggum, who's left empty-handed. Lisa, taking pity on him, gives Ralph one of her Valentines, a card with a train on it saying "I 'Choo-Choo-Choose' You!". Overcome with joy, Ralph gets a crush on Lisa. Meanwhile, Krusty the Clown is holding a 29th Anniversary Show, and Bart and Lisa would do anything to get tickets for it.
This episode contains examples of:
- Achievements in Ignorance: Itchy rips Scratchy's heart off but the latter remains alive until he reads a newspaper headline saying he needs a heart to live.
- The Ahnold: Bart, playing a Terminator-esque John Wilkes Booth. Who then tries to go after Chester A. Arthur before Mrs. Hoover restrains him.Bart: [As John Wilkes Booth] Hasta la vista, Abie!
- Angry Black Man: Sideshow Raheem.Krusty: Angry, angry young man.
- Better as Friends: After Lisa gives Ralph the Valentine's Day card she made, and he begins expressing a romantic interest in her, she goes to Homer and Marge for advice, and Marge ultimately tells Lisa to tell Ralph, "I'm flattered that you like me, but I'm just not ready for that sort of thing."
- Big "NO!": Lisa, right after Ralph confesses his love for her at the Krusty anniversary show.
- Blackmail: How Chief Wiggum ensures that Ralph is chosen to play George Washington in the school play.
- Bowdlerization: In-universe — Flanders' love song to Maude is a cleaned-up version of Rod Stewart's If You Think I'm Sexy.
- Brick Joke and Book Ends: The episode begins and ends with Bill and Marty from KBBL accidentally playing Monster Mash on both Valentine's Day and President's Day.Bill: You got the wrong record, didn't you?
Marty: Why are you doing this to me, Bill?
- Characterization Marches On: In this episode, instead of being portrayed as a non-sequitur spewing idiot, Ralph is just shown to be a very awkward and naïve kid
- Classically Trained Extra: Rex, the thespian second-grader, is outraged when Ralph is picked as George Washington. He ends up in a bit part as Washington's servant.
- Collector of the Strange: Played for Laughs. Bart is such a big fan of Krusty that he even bought the Krusty Brand Home Pregnancy Test, even though he can't use it.
- Comically Missing the PointHomer: You know, one day honest citizens are going to stand up to you crooked cops.
Wiggum: (worried) They are!? Oh no! Ha-have they set a date?
- Disproportionate Retribution: Groundskeeper Willie comments that his father was hung for stealing a pig.
- Don't Explain the Joke: "It says 'Choo-Choo-Choose you', and there's a picture of a train!" Ralph does it again when Lisa gives him a "Let's BEE friends" card.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Ralph Wiggum is shown to be just a little dim-witted and awkward, but not unrealistically so, especially for an 8-year old. He is shown to have decent emotional awareness and rather impressive acting talent (see Hidden Depths below). In later episodes, however, Ralph is portrayed as oblivious and mentally handicapped to the point where he has no survival instincts or emotional depth, and is just there to be a walking punchline. While some later episodes like This Little Wiggy portray Ralph as more relatable and intelligent, almost all modern viewers today see him only as a source of extremely quotable lines that are stupid for the sake of being stupid.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: In-universe:Bart: Watch this, Lis: You can actually pinpoint the second when his heart rips in half. (demonstrates) And.... now!
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Chief Wiggum tells the kids that he met Krusty (and got tickets to his anniversary special) while eating popcorn in a porno theater (in a reference to what happened to Paul Reubens after Pee-wee’s Playhouse ended in the early 1990s):Chief Wiggum: Really? I keep my pants on in this version.
- Hidden Depths: Ralph is revealed to be a very good actor.
- Innocuously Important Episode: This episode reveals Ralph is Wiggum's son. This was a case of Throw It In!, as, prior to writing this episode, the writers didn't think to have the town's incompetent cop and the dim, chubby kid in Lisa's class be father and son and the fact that they had the last name "Wiggum" was a coincidence.
- In Vino Veritas: When, in an old Krusty show clip, Sideshow Mel gets "whacked out on wowie sauce":Sideshow Mel: Everyone's always kissing your ass. Well, I'm not afraid to tell you you're a [BLEEEEEEEEP]!
- I Think You Broke Him: Bart's reaction to Skinner's traumatic Valentine's Day flashback from 'Nam.Bart: Cool, I broke his brain!
- Jaw Drop: The entire audience except for Homer has this reaction during the reenactment of Lincoln's assassination, as Bart's take on John Wilkes Booth becomes Terminator-style.
- Juggling Loaded Guns: Chief Wiggum using his gun to crack a nut open.
- Kick the Dog: Bart takes a lot of enjoyment out of Ralph's heart being broken, and replays it to Lisa, despite her already feeling guilty about it.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Lisa feels guilty for publicly humiliating Ralph and breaking his heart, by angrily declaring that she is not Ralph's girlfriend and only gave him a card because she pitied him during Krusty's anniversary show.
- Noodle Incident: Zigzagged. We see the flashback of how Chief Wiggum got tickets from Krusty the Clown (Krusty was at a porno theater, Chief Wiggum walks in to enjoy it as well, and Krusty thinks he's under arrest, even though he's not indecently exposed, with a prostitute, or with anyone under 18 note ) before Lisa cuts off with, "That story isn't suitable for children." However, Chief Wiggum implies that the version he told was where he kept his pants on. We don't see the version where he doesn't keep his pants on, nor do we get any further info as to why he would have his pants off in the first place. And Lisa doesn't want to know.
- Papa Wolf: Chief Wiggum doesn't take kindly to Lisa breaking Ralph's heart.
- Properly Paranoid: Rex, a more talented classmate who auditioned for the role of George Washington, suspected correctly that Miss Hoover was being blackmailed.
- Ralph Wiggum: This is the first episode to really showcase Ralph being himself (though, as mentioned above, he shows Hidden Depths of being a very good dramatic actor and he wasn't as dumb as he would be in the later episodes. In the early episodes, Ralph was just a little dim and socially awkward).
- Revenge by Proxy: Because Lisa humiliated Ralph on TV, Chief Wiggum stops Homer by saying that "[his] taillight's out", and starts smashing it.
- Rooting for the Empire: In Universe. Homer cheers on Bart during his re-enacting of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln (though this could just have been because Lincoln was played by Milhouse).Homer: Come on, boy! Finish him off!
- Say My Name: Skinner yelling, "JOHNNY!" after having a 'Nam flashback.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Inverted by Lisa to Ralph. On a date. On live television. Preceded by a Big "NO!".Bart: You can actually pinpoint the second when his heart rips in half!
- The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: Krusty shows clips of "classic" episodes, including an incarnation of the show suggesting that he once hosted a Tonight Show knockoff. The clip shown – a urine monkey relieving itself on Krusty's head, while a Joan Embry-type zoologist is a guest – is Springfield's version of a classic incident involving Carson and Embry's marmoset. The clip of Sideshow Mel "whacked out on wowie sauce" is a reference to a clip of Ed McMahon sitting and talking with Carson at the desk and being obviously drunk- although McMahon's drunkenness was more subtle and not at all hostile, the way Mel's is.
- In one clip Krusty sings "Break on Through (To the Other Side)" by The Doors.
- The title is a reference to I Love Lucy.
- Side-Effects Include...: Bart's Krusty collection includes the Krusty Home Pregnancy Test, which "May Cause Birth Defects!"
- Society Marches On: In the "Mediocre Presidents" song it is remarked that they "won't find their pictures on dollars or on cents", with the supposition being that only above average Presidents would ever be given such an honor. Fast forward 20 years the Presidential Dollar Coin series put every US President on a dollar coin.note
- Special Guest: Michael Carrington (a writer for The Simpsons and Martin and host of the Nickelodeon game show Think Fast) as Sideshow Raheem
- Sure, Let's Go with That: Chief Wiggum's encounter with Krusty in a porno theater.Krusty: Is this a bust?Wiggum: Uh... yeah! That's just what it is, a bust!
- Title Drop: "I love Lisa Simpson!"
- Valentine's Day Episode: The episode focuses on a crush Ralph Wiggum has on Lisa.
- Weather Dissonance: Despite taking place in February, there are no signs of winter anywhere (no snow, no bare trees, etc.) and appears to already be spring. In fact, Lisa lampshades this when introducing a scene from this episode as a flashback in Season 6's "Another Simpsons Clip Show."
- You Don't Want to Know: Variation, in regards to Bart's plan to make sure Lisa doesn't have to go to the Krusty show with Ralph:Bart: I'll go, disguised as you.Lisa: What if he wants to hold hands?Bart: I'm prepared to make that sacrifice.Lisa: What if he wants a kiss?Bart: I'm prepared to make that sacrifice.Lisa: What if he—