Or the One Where
Bart and Lisa go to Krusty's summer camp.
Despite forging his grades to meet Homer's requirement of a "C" average, Bart and Lisa are shipped off to Kamp Krusty for the summer.
After this episode was created and scheduled as the fourth season premiere, but before it aired, producer James L. Brooks called the writers and suggested the script for this episode could be expanded upon and used for a Simpsons movie. Showrunner Al Jean told him that as it was, the episode came up short (they had added a few verses to the Kamp Krusty song to pad out the running time), making it doubtful it could be expanded into a full length feature, and that if this episode was held for a possible movie, then they'd have no episode with which to start the season.
Season Four is the last season to feature consistent contributions by several members of the show's original writing staff, who will leave following this season. It is also the last season with Al Jean and Mike Reiss as the showrunners (both left following this season to produce The Critic), though both will eventually return to produce several more episodes, with Al Jean once again becoming showrunner in season thirteen.
Back in the pre-DVD/DVR olden days, when I was trying to amass a collection of Simpsons episodes on VHS, I distinctly remember being out with my parents (I think we were at a lighting store; my mom used to go to lots of lighting stores...) and suddenly realizing I had forgotten to set a tape for the season premiere of The Simpsons, and spending the rest of that evening hella pissed. This was the episode I failed to record that night (thankfully, I caught a rerun later in the season).
Homer: Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They're about to announce the lottery numbers.
Bart: Well Dad, here's my report card. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Homer: A-plus?!? You don't think much of me, do you boy?
Bart: No sir!
Homer: You know a D turns into a B so easily. You just got greedy.
Marge: Lisa, watch out for Poison Ivy. Remember, "Leaves of three, let it be."
Homer: "Leaves of four, eat some more!" Heh heh heh.
Lisa: I feel like I'm gonna die, Bart.
Bart: We're all gonna die, Lis.
Lisa: I meant soon.
Bart: So did I.
Bart: Krusty! This camp was a nightmare! They fed us gruel, they forced us to make wallets for export, and one of the campers was eaten by a bear!
Krusty: Oh My God!!
Bart: Well, actually, the bear just ate his hat.
Krusty: Was it a nice hat?
Bart: Oh yeah.
Krusty: Oh My God!!
The start of the fourth season of The Simpsons finds the show entrenched in its golden years. Beginning with this season (and for several more to come), some of the most memorable and quotable episodes aired, those episodes that are considered the most classic Simpsons episodes, those episodes that have firmly embedded themselves in the pop culture zeitgeist. As we review this season, expect to see me repeat things like, "I love this episode" or "this is one of my favorites", as well as lots of five Jebediah head reviews, but I will do my best to say something at least slightly more profound or detailed as well.
For the first three seasons of the show, Bart was the breakout character, the one who appeared on the vast majority of T-shirts and other merchandise. Starting in season three, Homer slowly began to take the focus away from Bart, and as a result, season four is much more Homer-centric (a trend that will continue in subsequent seasons until it's clear that Homer has become the show's go-to character, sometimes to its detriment). But Kamp Krusty was produced as part of season three's episode order, and it is very much a Bart-centric episode (or, at least, an episode focused on the kids rather than Homer). Sending up the summer camp experience that also manages to parody Lord of the Flies and Apocalypse Now, it's packed full of laughs, from Bart's opening dream of trashing the school at the end of the year ("quick, someone put a torch to these permanent records") to the hilariously shoddy conditions at Kamp Krusty ("it ain't getting any safer") to the finale in which Krusty takes the kids to the happiest place on Earth (Tijuana, Mexico!). This is one of my favorite episodes (and I quote Homer's line about "leaves of four" quite often). A strong start to a strong season.
A definite classic simply because it's so good.