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YMMV / The Simpsons S5 E14 "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"

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  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation: Some people have pointed out that while the episode has good intentions in pointing out that sexism still exists, it projects a number of negative messages, especially to younger viewers:
    • All the intentional sexism in the episode is extremely obvious to the viewer. Viewers are never warned that real-life sexism can be very subtle.
    • All the men in the episode are portrayed as sexist, ignoring that there are many men involved in feminist causes, and all of the sexism is shown towards women, completely ignoring the fact that women can be sexist against men (and men and men, women and women), too.
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    • By making Talking Malibu Stacy's messages so blatantly sexist, most women in the episode seem gullible since they instantly fall for the messages.
    • The way the tour guide is beckoned in by the male businessman is actually sexual harassment in the workplace, rather than just sexism, but she is shown as enjoying it. This makes her look as if she is to blame.
    • Lisa's choice of wording for the soundbites - the joke "When I get married" versus "If I choose to get married" makes her look like an extremist, but this places a negative twist on the cause she believes in.
    • When the new Malibu Stacy is released against Lisa Lionheart, the girls go straight for it, making her point completely true.
    • This makes Lisa's fight against sexism seem pointless, as rich corporations will always win - well, the ones run by men, anyway. Stacy Lovell did make a bad business decision, and previously she was ousted by men for funneling profits to the Viet Cong, making her a poor businesswoman and untrustworthy.
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    • Lisa believes that the one girl buying the Lisa Lionheart doll makes the whole thing worthwhile, which makes her seem childishly naive, despite the episode showing her fighting an adult cause.
    • Lisa's stance also looks pretty bad in the wrong light; yes, women should not just strive to be pretty and land a rich man, but the fact is that she also has a dismissive attitude towards housewives/homemakers/female caretakers (like Marge) and feel that all women should go to work. Worse, this was not the first time she has voiced this opinion (she had a breakdown and temporarily gave up playing the saxophone after an aptitude test predicted her to be a homemaker in season 3's "Separate Vocations"). However, later episodes improve upon this: most notable is 'Lisa Simpson, This Isn't Your Life': when Lisa finds out Marge was a straight-A student she wonders why Marge didn't go on to do great things. Homer says that it is because she settled down with him and Lisa vows not to let anything distract her from academics as she doesn't want Marge's life for herself. When Marge calls Lisa out on what's so bad about her life, Lisa tells Marge there's nothing wrong with Marge being a homemaker - it just isn't for her and she comes to more fully recognise what Marge has done for her by the end of the episode. In other words, Lisa doesn't look down on all homemakers but she would find that kind of life unfulfilling for herself.
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  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: When an elderly fan mob ambushes Andy Griffith, Grampa swipes his heart medication, leading to a Funny Background Event of an ambulance taking Griffith to the hospital while a doctor defibrillates the latter. Griffith ended up dying of an actual heart attack in July 2012.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: When Lisa is recording lines for the Lisa Lionheart doll, Krusty comes in and says the three lines for his own doll (even flubbing one of the lines) in one take and waltzes back out. Nearly fifteen years later, Christopher Lee engaged in a similar situation when voicing Ansem the Wise for Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days (albeit he only provided one line and it was just because of his busy schedule and not outright arrogance like Krusty.)
  • Memetic Mutation: In some circles, "Malibu Stacy has a new hat" is shorthand for anything that advertises the smallest gimmick as something new and improved.
  • Values Resonance: Sexism aimed towards children, whether in toys or on television. Even today, it continues to prevail through either McDonald's having "Boy's Toys" and "Girl's Toys" options, or Disney Channel appealing exclusively to teenage girls through shows with characters being "vacuous nitties" like Stacey (or Flanderized into one, such as Lily Truscot), things that continue to anger feminists and Moral Guardians today.


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