Talking about comic books, TV shows, movies, sports, and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Retro Review: Bart's Dog Gets an F

Or The One Where: Bart takes Santa's Little Helper to obedience training classes.

The Setup: After Santa's Little Helper destroys several significant items around the house and generally misbehaves, Homer delivers an ultimatum: the dog must pass obedience school or he'll be given away.

A Work in Progress: Santa's Little Helper is shown to be generally disobedient and misbehaving in this episode, though he's never been shown to act that way before this episode.

Fun Facts: Tracey Ullman provides the voice of Ms. Winthrope, the head of the obedience school. Matt Groening originally wanted Ullman to provide a voice for one of the animated shorts back when "The Simpsons" was part of her show, but she was too busy at the time. After her show was canceled in 1990, he asked again, and here she is.

Frank Welker performed all of the animal sounds in this episode. Welker, amongst many other things, was the voice of Megatron.

Favorite Lines:

Bart: No way, she's faking! If Lisa stays home, I stay home.
Lisa: If Bart stays home, I'm going to school.
Bart: Fine, then... Wait a minute... If Lisa goes to school, then I go to school, but then Lisa stays home, so I stay home, so Lisa goes to school...
Marge: Lisa, don't confuse your brother like that.

Lisa: This is our pet. We can question his integrity and disposition, but we can't question his heart. Are you trying to teach us that the way to solve a problem with something we love is to throw it away?
Homer: Oh, Lisa. If they're ever going to pull the plug on me, I want you in my corner, honey.

Bart: Now... Sit! I said, Sit! Um, take a walk. Sniff that other dog's butt. See? He does exactly what I tell him.

Teebore's Take: A string of great, classic episodes comes to an end. "Bart's Dog Gets an F" isn't bad, but it's not particularly memorably or outrageously funny. It's certainly not one of my favorites. As the title suggests, it's basically a retread of the earlier "Bart Gets an F" with Santa's Little Helper replacing Bart. In the end, it's only after Bart spends some time playing with his dog and showing him some attention that SLH begins to behave. To the episode's credit, it's not nearly as schmaltzy as it sounds, and actually is kind of sweet, especially for dog lovers.


Not a bad episode, but certainly not a classic. Largely forgettable.


  1. I didn't know Frank Welker did Megatron, but i do know that he is a voice over god- if there's an animal sound in any sort of animation (and some live action) you better believe it's Frank Welker behind it.
    Don't even bother IMDBing him- it'll blow your MIND!

  2. Yeah, Frank Welker is pretty awesome. And still doing a ton of work!


Comment. Please. Love it? Hate it? Are mildly indifferent to it? Let us know!