Recap: The Simpsons S 6 E 7 Barts Girlfriend

Episode - 2F04
First Aired - 11/6/1994

Reverend Lovejoy's preteen daughter, Jessica, arrives in town, and she and Bart strike up a relationship that proves more than he can handle.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Aesop Amnesia: Enforced. The creators state that in Real Life, it is very difficult for a person to change their ways—Jessica never learns that misbehaving isn't a good way to live and her dad never learns to actually discipline her when she behaves badly. Subverted with Bart—he's seemingly suckered in by Jessica into doing her chores, but in reality, he intends to do a bad job to get back at her.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted. At first, Jessica seems like the typical sweet preacher's daughter who happens to be attracted to a bad boy, but she turns out to be even worse than he is
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: As the school's being evacuated, Willie says "If I don't save the wee turtles, who will?", and kicks his way into the science classroom...and moments later runs out covered with biting turtles, saying "Aah, save me from the wee turtles! They were too quick for me!"
  • Badass Boast: The "I eat X for breakfast" variant is spoofed. One of the reasons Bart can't stand up to Jessica is because "her hair smells like red Froot Loops," so Lisa goes "Oh yeah? Well, I eat Froot Loops for breakfast!"
  • Bait and Switch: While coasting down a ludicrously steep hill, Bart sees a jackknifed glue true. He assumes some of it has spilled and will therefore slow him down. Turns out that the glue ain't going nowhere. Then, when Bart runs over a single wheat grain and falls all the way down the mountain...
    Truck driver: Oh, no! There goes the glue after all!
    (Bart turns to see a wave of glue heading towards him)
  • Big "NO!": Bart, just before the wave of glue hits him.
  • Little Sister Instinct: Lisa enforces this trope full on when she finds out the truth about the stolen collection plate.
    Bart: Give it up, Lis: she's a criminal mastermind. She's got 108 IQ, she reads at a 5th grade level, and...(sighs) her hair smells like red Fruit Loops.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Jessica. Lampshaded when she tells Bart "I'm the sweet, perfect minister's daughter...and you're just yellow trash.".
  • Cassandra Truth: Subverted—it doesn't take but a few words from Lisa for the angry mob to apologize to Bart and apprehend Jessica.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Despite his endless moralizing, Reverend Lovejoy can't discipline his daughter Jessica.
    • It seems this is because Lovejoy is in deep, willing denial over what kind of person Jessica really is. When he mentions that they probably took her out of boarding school a little early, Jessica gets fed up and points out that she got expelled. As she begins listing numerous offenses, Lovejoy covers his ears and starts singing a hymn while Jessica demands that he pay attention to her.
  • Daddy Issues: Jessica's self-absorbed, manipulative tendencies seem to stem from the fact that her dad only cares about his projected image of her.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Nelson punches Bart in the stomach for "besmirching an innocent girl's name".
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Bart even finds stealing from the collection's plate low, despite what the church thought of him.
    Bart: [Jessica's] turning me into a criminal when all I want to be is a petty thug.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Bart discovers to his shock that Jessica is even worse than he is. She even frames him for stealing from the church.
  • Exploding Calendar: The "crossing off days" variation is parodied. Bart resolves to avoid seeing Jessica for a while, and then he's seen marking several months' worth of days on his calendar. It turns out that he was just marking the days that he was planning to avoid her.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Bart was accused of stealing church money, Homer said he'd believe if Bart told him he didn't. Bart said he didn't and Homer not only refused to believe but also asked how Bart dared to lie. (Bart wasn't but, either way, Homer had just set a bad example by falsely claiming he'd believe Bart)
    • Marge doesn't want Bart to play with a Troll doll because it has "such bizarre hair".
    • Prior to that, Marge tells Bart he has to go to church "to learn morals and decency, and how to love your fellow man". Cut to Lovejoy reading a graphically violent passage.
      • And before that she and the other parents captured the kids and even had Bart and Lisa in metal collars on a chain.
  • Jerkass: Skinner plants a trap that ends with Bart held at gunpoint by several people just so he can throw Bart in detention for three months while it's a weekend.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded by Bart.
    Bart: Is it my hair? My overbite? The fact that I've worn the same clothes day in, day out for the last four years?
  • Manipulative Bitch: Of course, Jessica.
  • Medium Awareness: Much of the Simpson characters with yellow skin are often portrayed as Caucasian, but instead of White Trash, Jessica Lovejoy refers to Bart as Yellow Trash.
  • Motor Mouth: "Youstolemoneyfromthechurchcollectionplate!"
  • Mythology Gag:
    Lisa: Don't be so hard on yourself, Bart. It's not your fault Jessica doesn't like you.
  • Not Me This Time: Everyone thinks Bart stole it, but he's actually innocent. Not that anyone believes him besides Lisa and Marge.
  • Preacher's Kid
  • Reality Ensues: Bart gets punched in the gut by Nelson for telling people he's dating Jessica, something she denies. Bart writhes on the ground for a few minutes, so Jessica tries to kiss him. Bart gets back up...only to fall on the ground still writhing. Being belted in the stomach isn't something you walk away from instantly.
  • Same Content, Different Rating: The episode was originally rated PG (suitable for children, but only with parental supervision) by the BBFC when it came out on VHSnote , but now has a U (suitable for all audiences) rating uncut since 2005.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Tim Lovejoy blatantly refuses to believe that Jessica is anything but the perfect little Reverand's daughter, despite overwhelming proof and her directly telling him of all her crimes.
  • Shout-Out: The opening sequence of the kids running away from Church contains several references to Planet of the Apes.
  • Special Guest: Meryl Streep as Jessica Lovejoy.
  • Sustained Misunderstanding:
    Marge: Have you noticed any change in Bart?
    Homer: New glasses?
    Marge: No, he looks like something might be disturbing him.
    Homer: Probably misses his old glasses.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Bart hears angelic singing on his way to church. He assumes it's Jessica, but it turns out to be Ned Flanders.