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Friday, October 8, 2010

Retro Review: Lisa the Greek

Or the One Where
Lisa helps Homer gamble on football.

The Setup
Upset that Homer never gets involved in her interests, Lisa is counseled by Marge to try getting involved in Homer's interests, after which Homer quickly discovers Lisa's gift for picking winning football teams.

Notable Notes
This episode aired shortly before Super Bowl XXVI (which, for our local readers, was the Super Bowl played at the Metrodome), and it correctly predicted the winner of that game (the Washington Redskins). In subsequent re-airings, the episode would be redubbed to feature the teams playing in the then-current Super Bowl, and the episode continued to have an uncanny ability to pick the winner.

Favorite Lines

Coach: So call me now! $5 for the first minute, $2 for each additional minute!
Homer: [dials the number]
Coach: You... have reached... the Coach's... Hot-...
Homer: Line.
Coach: Line.
Homer: Yeah, lay it on me, Coach.
Coach: In the game... of... Mi... am... i...
Homer: Mm hm.
Coach: Versus Cin...
Homer: Cincinnati.
Coach: cin...
Homer: Cincinnati.
Coach: nat...
Homer: Cincinnati.
Coach: i...
Homer: Come on, come on, don't you realize this is costing me money!

Homer: Your mother has this crazy idea that gambling is wrong. Even though they say it's okay in the bible.  
Lisa: Really? Where?
Homer: Uh... Somewhere in the back.

Ralph: ... and when the doctor said I didn't have worms any more, that was the happiest day of my life.
Mrs. Hoover: Thank you, Ralph, very graphic.

Brent: We've got ourselvs a special guest, actor Troy McClure, whose new sitcom is premiering tonight, coincidentally enough, right after the game!
Troy: Thanks, Brent. My new show is called `Handle with Care'. I play Jack Handle, a retired cop who shares an apartment with a retired criminal. We're the original Odd Couple!
Brent: What made you want to do a situation comedy?
Troy: Well, I fell in love with the script, Brent. And my recent trouble with the IRS sealed the deal!

Teebore's Take
One of the better Lisa/Homer episodes, and one that will very much become a template for future such stories. The minor B-story involves Marge taking Bart shopping for new clothes, a sub plot that has always infuriated me, thanks to one bit of dialogue. Bart expresses his disdain for the clothes Marge selects, declaring that the people who wear them get beat up. To which Marge responds that anyone who would beat up Bart for his clothes isn't a real friend. Bart lets it go at this, rather than explaining to his naive mother that it isn't his friends he's worried about, that the bullies that would beat him up (and that, later in the episode, force Bart to lock himself in the car for protection) don't have to be his friends to beat him up, etc. It's always pissed me off that Bart never corrected his mother's naivete.

But that's just a personal hangup with a minor element of an otherwise enjoyable episode...


An exemplary Homer and Lisa episode that also contains one of Ralph Wiggum's earliest classic lines.


  1. Huh, I never knew the bit about the superbowl and now it makes me wonder if I've even seen this episode... I will have to think about that.

  2. that's an interesting factoid about the super bowl. where do you find this stuff? are you just that knowlegeable about Simpsons? or is there a site (or info on the DVDs) that you use?

  3. i didn't know that the redubbed the episode to coincide with the current teams playing.

  4. @Hannah: You totally need to Netflix these discs and refresh your memory.

    @Anne: where do you find this stuff? are you just that knowlegeable about Simpsons? or is there a site (or info on the DVDs) that you use?

    A little from column A, a little from column B.

    Some of it is just stuff I know, or noticed. A lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff comes from the commentary's on the DVDs (Simpsons have some of the best commentaries, and every episode has one).

    For commentaries I haven't listened to or have forgotten, the Wikipedia page for each episode actually does a really good job of referencing and citing the interesting things discussed, so I always skim that after writing the entry but before I post to see if there's anything I missed/didn't know about myself.

    There's also a couple of episode guidebooks I own that I check for each episode before posting too (I'm a sucker for episode guides).

    @Falen: i didn't know that the redubbed the episode to coincide with the current teams playing.

    I don't know how often, if at all, they do it now (heck, episodes from this season seem to rarely get replayed in syndication).

    I think it was done back in the day before the show got syndicated, and they'd just rerun this episode every year before the Super Bowl with the current teams dubbed in.

    But TV doesn't really do that kind of stuff anymore.


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