Recap: The Simpsons S 4 E 4 Lisa The Beauty Queen
Episode - 9F02
First Aired - 10/15/1992
Upset over a caricature artist's picture of her, Lisa sinks into a depression about her appearance. To cheer her up, Homer sells his ride on the Duff Blimp (which he won in a school raffle) to pay for Lisa's entry fee in an upcoming child pageant for little girls aged seven to nine, but when Lisa wins the title of Little Miss Springfieldnote
, she discovers that the title is a scam to get a child spokesperson for Laramie Cigarettes.
- Animal Testing: Mentioned by Barney when Homer asks him where he got the money to pay for the blimp ticket — with labs less willing to do this, "a guy like me can really clean up" volunteering for experiments!
- As Himself: Bob Hope (He hosts a local USO show and presents Lisa to the crowd. They aren't happy because they were expecting an adult pageant queen, and proceed to riot in a spoof of Apocalypse Now.)
- Beauty Contest: A full pageant example with a talent competition, Q&A, etc. No swimsuit competition, as they are little girls and that would just be creepy (though Bart did mention "taping your swimsuit to your butt" and "padding" as beauty contest tricks of the trade)
- Bond One-Liner: "Copyright expired."
- Celebrity Endorsement: Lisa, to her horror, finds herself being forced into this for Laramie Cigarettes. Earlier, when the ad for the pageant notes that Krusty the Klown will be hosting it, it cuts to black-and-white footage of Krusty blankly stating "I heartily endorse this event or product!"
- Cheap Heat: Bob Hope makes sure to ask what the mayor's name is before hitting the stage so he can get laughs with a joke about how much Mayor Quimby stinks at golf. It works.
- Deliberately Cute Child: Amber Dempsey.
- Disney Owns This Trope: The opening scene has Principal Skinner confronted by Disney lawyers over the carnival being advertised as "The Happiest Place on Earth" (a famous slogan for Disneyland). Being an ex-Green Beret, however, he dispatches them easily.
- Edited for Syndication: Two scenes from the beginning school carnival sequence were cut when the episode went into syndication. The scenes have since been restored when the episode was put on DVD:
- One scene where Otto operates a rocket ride and Bart tells him to crank up the speed. Otto does so, and one of the cars on the ride crashes into the side of the school. Otto then runs off to Mexico as an angry mob chases him down. Worth noting because, without that scene, viewers (who have never seen the uncut version of the episode before) won't know why there's a smoking hole in the side of the school.
- A short scene of Milhouse going inside a shack labeled a "Spook House," which is little more than school bullies/resident thugs Dolph, Jimbo, and Kearney standing under a bare bulb and beating up any kid who comes inside. When Milhouse comes out, Bart goes inside and gets the same treatment.
- Expy: Menthol Moose for Joe Camel, the Real Life mascot for Camel Cigarettes. At the time this episode was made, the company was accused of using the mascot to subtly market cigarettes to children.
- Extreme Omnivore: Homer eating the entire tub of petroleum jelly that Lisa was using on her teeth for that frictionless smile. According to the writers and producers on the DVD commentary, this was the grossest thing Homer has ever eaten (so far, anyway).
- It's All My Fault: Homer blames himself for the Loophole Abuse that disqualified Lisa.
- Loophole Abuse: Lisa is disqualified from being Little Miss Springfield because Homer wrote "Okay" in a box marked "Do not write in this space" on Lisa's application form.
- Also, Laramie Cigarettes sponsoring the pageant to circumvent the laws against advertising cigarettes on TV.
- Off Model: Krusty's nose turns white when he sings the Spelling Song mentioned below.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Kent leaves the newscast after the wrong footage keeps being played.
- Shout-Out: When Barney crashes the Duff Blimp Kent Brockman shouts, "Oh, the humanity!" The same line was said when by a reporter in 1937 when the Hindenburg crashed.
- The scene of Lisa being sworn in as the new Little Miss Springfield parodies Lyndon Johnson being sworn in after John F. Kennedy's assassination.
- Smoking Is Not Cool: Little Miss Springfield is sponsored by Laramie's, a cigarette multinational, who don't shy away of subliminally advertising tobacco on TV and promoting cigarette smoking among mothers and children. When Lisa realizes she is exploited by the company she immediately rebels against them and uses her influence to provide more socially admireable messages, such as making a stance that government money could be used for better education instead of merely sponsoring sporting games.
- Special Guest and Creator Cameo: Lona Williams (a staff member on the show who actually worked the beauty pageant circuit when she was a child) as Amber Dempsey.
- Spelling Song: Krusty belts one out at the end of the pageant, though the scene changes after its opening lines: