Recap / The Simpsons S 7 E 5 Lisa The Vegetarian
Episode - 3F03
First Aired - 10/15/1995

Following a day trip to the petting zoo, Lisa begins to realize that the meat she called food was once an animal that was cute and cuddly, so she decides to become a vegetarian, which gets her ridiculed by her friends and family. Meanwhile, Homer sets up his own barbecue after not being invited to one at the Flanders' house (which was strictly a family reunion).


  • Anti-Humor: Homer uses an extreme amount of lighter fluid on the barbeque, lights it up...and proceeds along with cooking the meat like normal.
  • Are We There Yet?: Grampa Simpson asked that while they were on the way to the petting zoo. It was the episode's first line.
  • Artistic License – History: Paul says he and Linda first met Apu "In India, years ago, during the Maharishi days". However, in early 1968, when the Beatles went to Rishikesh, Paul was still dating Jane Asher, before splitting up with her and meeting Linda later that year.
  • Assimilation Academy: Lisa twice sets off the school's "Independent Thought Alarm" for her talk about vegetarianism.
    Skinner: Uh-oh. Two independent thought alarms in one day. The students are overstimulated. Willie, remove all the colored chalk from the classrooms!
    Willie: I warned ya! Didn't I warn ya? That colored chalk was forged by Lucifer himself!
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Paul McCartney asked Lisa if she'd like to hear a song. She accepted and Paul... asks Apu to play.
    • Also the Anti-Humor example above.
  • Brick Joke: Paul mentions that when "Maybe I'm Amazed" is played backwards, it contains a recipe for lentil soup. Sure enough, when the song plays over the credits, listeners will hear the recipe.
  • Broken Record: "You don't win friends with salad, you don't win friends with salad..."
  • Brutal Honesty: Apu's aghast reaction to Lisa saying she eats cheese:
    Lisa: You... don't eat cheese, Apu?
    Apu: No I don't eat any food that comes from an animal.
    Lisa: So you must think I'm a monster!
    Apu: Yes indeed, I DO think that!
  • Continuity Nod: When Lisa is being mocked by her peers for her vegetarianism, Ralph Wiggum angrily comments that he can't believe he used to go out with her.
  • Cue the Flying Pigs
    Mr. Burns: You know, Smithers, I think I'll donate a million dollars to the local orphanage...when pigs fly!
    [They laugh as the pig sails across the sky before them.]
    Smithers: Will you be donating that million dollars now, Sir?
    Burns: Nooo, I'd still prefer not.
  • Drive-In Theater: Apu can watch drive-in movies from the roof of the Kwik-E-Mart.
  • False Reassurance: Troy McClure's film "Meat and You - Partners in Freedom"
    Troy: Come on, Jimmy! Let's take a peek at the killing floor.
    Jimmy: (gasp)
    Troy: Don't let the name throw you, Jimmy. It's not really a floor, it's more of a steel grating that allows material to sluice through so it can be collected and exported.
  • Free the Frogs: Lisa refuses to dissect a worm at biology class.
  • Go to Your Room!: Parodied. Homer says this twice to Lisa, once when she decides to go to her room, the second time after Lisa runs away. Homer also says it to Bart once.
  • Herbivores Are Friendly: Doubly subverted in the school video starring Troy McClure,note  where he convinces Bobbynote  that it’s okay to eat meat. Troy warns Jimmy that “if a cow had the chance he’d eat you and everyone you care about,” as ominous music plays and the camera zooms in on a cow’s face. However, the cow’s face is so placid, that the idea of a threatening cow seems ridiculous.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Apu's rendition of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", although Paul and Linda don't mind.
  • Hypocritical Humor: After Homer brings out the roast pig at his barbecue, Chief Wiggum giggles "Haha look at his nose!" For good measure, he leans in close as he says it, giving the viewers a side-by-side view of their respective noses.
  • Jerkass Realization: Lisa, after some words with Apu and the McCartneys, realizes she was being a jerk and apologizes to Homer.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: The Trope Namer. Both Lisa and Homer realize something about vegetarians and carnivores.
  • Loophole Abuse: When asked if she was required to offer a meatless meal option, Lunchlady Doris offers a hot dog bun.
  • Not Me This Time: When Lisa steals the pig roast, Marge lets out a Big "NO!" at Bart, who points out he didn't do anything.
  • Not So Above It All: The episode revolves around Lisa causing a fuss over eating meat and creating a bitter conflict. Marge even has to correct herself when she blames Bart out of instinct.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Lisa was mad at Homer for serving meat, but she snaps when Homer accidentally flips a burger into her face.
    Lisa: It's bad enough they're all eating meat. They don't have to rub it in my face. (burger lands on her face)
  • Sarcasm-Blind: When Janie asks Lisa if she is going to marry a carrot, Lisa sarcastically says yes. Sherri and Terri thinks that is a confession. Of course, being Sherri and Terri, they probably use even sarcasm as an excuse to torment others.
  • Shout-Out: Quite a few to The Beatles once the McCartneys show up. For instance, Linda tells Lisa "Whenever we're in Springfield, we like to hang out in Apu's garden in the shade.", referencing the song "Octopus' Garden". Paul had first met Apu while the Beatles were in India with the Maharishi in 1968, leading Apu to say "Back then, I was the fifth Beatle", pronouncing "Beatle" as "Be-At-Tull", just like the Eastern cult members from Help!.
    • Maybe I'm Amazed from McCartney is played over the closing credits, with Apu reading a lentil soup recipe backwards and Paul saying: "Oh, by the way, I'm alive.", referencing the "Paul is dead" theory.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Lisa starts gaining this ethic towards vegetarianism, leading Apu to give An Aesop concerning having ethics without badgering people over them.
  • Special Guest: Paul McCartney and his then-wife Linda, who only agreed to appear if they were assured that the character change was a permanent one. Sure enough, Lisa has remained a vegetarian since.
  • Start My Own: Homer held his own barbecue because he wasn't invited to Flanders'. Flanders asked if he could go and Homer, out of instinct, answered "Yes" right before realizing he destroyed the whole reason he decided to hold a barbecue in the first place.
  • Status Quo Is God: Averted: Lisa stays a vegetarian throughout the show.
  • Subliminal Messaging: Paul claims that if his song "Maybe I'm Amazed" is played backwards, it reveals a recipe for a "really ripping" lentil soup. Indeed, as "Maybe I'm Amazed" plays over the credits, you can hear Paul speaking backwards.
  • Take That!: There's a secret passageway at the Kwik-E-Mart hidden by what looks like a cooler door labeled "non-alcoholic beer". When Lisa asks him what he does when someone orders a non-alcoholic beer, he shows no concern over the possibility of it ever happening.
    Apu: You know, it's never come up.
  • Tell Him I'm Not Speaking to Him: After Lisa ruined the barbecue, Homer and Lisa talk like that, but Homer soon gets confused about who he is/isn't talking to.
    Homer: Marge? Since I'm not talking to Lisa, would you please ask her to pass me the syrup?
    Marge: Dear, please pass your father the syrup, Lisa.
    Lisa: Bart, tell Dad I will only pass the syrup if it won't be used on any meat product.
    Bart: You dunkin' your sausages in that syrup, homeboy?
    Homer: Marge, tell Bart I just want to drink a nice glass of syrup like I do every morning.
    Marge: Tell him yourself, you're ignoring Lisa, not Bart.
    Homer: Bart, thank your mother for pointing that out.
    Marge: Homer, you're not not-talking to me, and secondly, I heard what you said.
    Homer: Lisa, tell your mother to get off my case!
    Bart: Uhhh, Dad. Lisa's the one you're not talking to.
  • Tempting Fate: Marge tries to reassure Lisa and Grampa the place they're going will be fun for all ages from eight to whatever Grampa's age is. When they arrive, there's a sign stating the place to be for ages from one to seven and a half. Later, when Lisa comments that the people at the barbecue don't need to rub it in her face, a burger falls on her face.
    • And Mr. Burns stating he'll donate $1,000,000 to the orphanage when pigs fly (See Cue the Flying Pigs above). He doesn't make good on his word, though.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: All the men in Ned Flanders' family reunion look like Ned (including a Mexican Nednote  and a stuffy British Nednote ).
  • Vegetarian For A Day: One of the rare subversions. The episode has the trademarks of such a plot, but Lisa actually stays vegetarian. This is because Paul McCartney refused to make a special guest appearance if Lisa changed at the end of the episode.
  • Visual Pun: The above-mentioned Rage Breaking Point.
  • Wrong Name Outburst: Marge, when it's Lisa who is doing something bad for a change.
    Marge: Bart, nooooo!
    Bart: What?
    Marge: Sorry, force of habit. Lisa, nooooo!
  • You Must Be This Tall to Ride: This short, in this case.