First Aired - 2/14/1991
Worried that Selma is depressed over being single and childless, Marge orders Homer to find Selma a man — but ends up pairing Principal Skinner with Patty by mistake. Meanwhile, Bart is sentenced to reseed the school's field with Groundskeeper Willienote after spelling his name out on it with a herbicide he created in science class.
Tropes used in this episode:
- Awesomeness by Analysis: When Homer sets out to find a man to introduce to Selma, he starts doing The Terminator -like scans to everyone around him to analyze their pros and cons. He rejects Smithers ("Cons: Jerk") and one of his coworkers ("Cons: Not a man"), but later realizes that Principal Skinner is a good candidate ("Pros: Uses big words, dislikes the boy, well groomed." "Cons: Possible Homer Sexual.").
- Blunt "Yes": Patty gives one to Selma when she asks if she's giving up her last chance of happiness for her.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: Bart quotes "Excellent" like Homer's boss, Mr. Burns, when he learns what herbicide is and that sodium tetra sulfate can be used in that manner, even tenting his fingers while saying it like Burns does.
- Brick Joke: Bart being let off the hook for his reseeding punishment after Principal Skinner falls for Patty. When Skinner and Patty break up, Bart is back to his punishment.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Bart is able to make a rather effective herbicide during his fourth-grade science class. But he prefers to goof off and use it to write his name on the school lawn rather than apply himself to the class.
- Call-Back and Funny Background Event: While Principal Skinner is talking about how much in love he is with Patty, we see the school plunging into chaos. If you look closely, there's a grafitti on the wall of Principal Skinner saying, "I Am Still a Weiner," a reference to the "I Am A Weiner" graffiti seen in season one's "Bart the Genius".
- Didn't Think This Through: Bart's vandalism plan. Skinner even calls him on it, especially with regards to a particularly significant oversight:Skinner: Bart, I'm flabbergasted. Surely you knew, as you were writing your name in 40ft high letters, that you would be caught?!
Bart: Maybe it was one of the other Barts?
Skinner: There ARE no other Barts!
- Disproportionate Retribution: Principal Skinner threatens to suspend Bart, Milhouse, Wendell, and Lewis for dropping their pencils at 2:15 PM.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Patty's sexuality. In this episode, she is established as being willingly celibate note due to her hatred of mennote , but has a crush on MacGyver just like her sister and warms up to Skinner (until she realizes how miserable Selma is). In later episodes (starting with "There's Something About Marrying"), it's established that Patty is a lesbian and has known about her sexual orientation since she was a child (while Marge was either too naive or in denial about it).
- It is possible that Patty can still be a lesbian and have a crush on MacGyver. It frees her from the reality of having Homer as a brother-in-law.
- Similarly Homer lists "Jerk" as the one and only reason not to set Selma up with Smithers.
- Hates Being Touched: Patty is this. Homer mistakenly thinks that it's Selma, at least until Marge corrects him.
- I Told You So: Doubles as a Brick Joke. After Skinner dates Patty the first time, he lets Bart off his punishment. Bart promptly throws the bag of seeds to Willie and runs off but Willie doesn't seem deterred.Wilile: You'll be back! You haven't seen the last of Willie!
At the end of the episode, Skinner is dumped by Patty and retakes the school from Bart's control. His first order of business is having the boy reseed the field as punishment. Guess who's helping Skinner oversee this?Willie: I told ya ye be back!
- Oh, Crap!:
Skinner: Surely you realized that by writing your own name in forty-foot letters, you would be caught.
- Moe, when he discovers it's Principal Skinner calling himnote .
- An enraged Principal Skinner roars Bart's name after seeing his latest prank, and Bart gulps both audibly and nervously. He then has another moment when Skinner is yelling at him in his office:
Bart: Maybe it was one of the other Barts, sir.
Skinner: THERE ARE NO OTHER BARTS!!!
Bart: Uh oh.
- One Steve Limit: It's revealed that there are no other Barts at Springfield Elementary.
- The One That Got Away: The twins go to a wedding of two coworkers that fell in love by chance (he initially was going to sit next to Selma in the cafeteria, but Patty scared him away, only to sit next to the woman he would eventually marry. Even worse, he says in their wedding vows that had he not sat next to her, "who knows what kind of woman would I have married?", implying that the memory with Selma meant nothing to him/does not even register anymore. Ouch.
- Prank Call: Skinner forces Bart to call Homer as punishment for using sodium tetra sulfate to spell his name in the grass. Bart calls Moe's Tavern and asks for Homer, but he sees an opportunity for a prank and specifies "Homer Sexual" instead of Homer Simpson.
- Homer's Terminator-esque POV as he analyzes all of Selma's potential suitors.
- As he struggles to find Patty a date, Homer laments that "a good man is hard to find."
- Skinner climbing a bell tower is an homage to Vertigo, complete with Vertigo Effect.
- The final scene of Gone with the Wind is spoofed when Skinner declares that "tomorrow is another school day."
- Spanner in the Works: Patty and Skinner meet after Marge gets Homer to try and find a man for Selma. Homer cons Principal Skinner into coming over to the Simpson house for dinner, as a way to introduce him to Selma. Unfortunately, when Skinner is sitting with Homer in the living room, Selma is too nervous to go out to join them. Patty goes in her place, and Skinner is instantly smitten.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: When Bart tries to pass the blame to one of the other Barts in school, Skinner fires back with, "THERE ARE NO OTHER BARTS!"
- Would Hurt a Child: Skinner wishes he could still do this after Bart's latest.Skinner: The sheer contempt of this display makes me wish I could pull the trusty Board of Education out of retirement.