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The Simpsons | Episode Guide | Season Four

Technology and teetotalism clash in Springfield.

Episode 9F14
Written by David McStem
Directed by Jim Reardon
Also starring: Pamela Hayden, Maggie Roswell
Special guest voices: Phil Haitman (as Troy McClure), Marcia Wallace (as Ms Krabappel)

Premise: Lisa and Bart enter projects in the school science exhibition. When Bart destroys Lisa's hothouse tomato, she vows vengeance, and begins a series of tests to compare his intelligence to a hamster's. Meanwhile, Homer is caught and breathalysed after visiting the Duff beer factory. Marge convinces him to give up beer for a month.

Features: Patty, Selma, Principal Skinner, Ms Krabappel, Miss Hoover, Mr Largo, Lewis, Richard, Martin Prince, Ralph Wiggum, Milhouse van Houten, Nelson, Barney, the two barflies, Moe, Troy McClure, Mrs Wiggum, Jasper, Rev. Lovejoy, Helen Lovejoy, Ned Flanders, Maude Flanders, Otto, Hans Moleman, Chief Wiggum, Eddie, Lou, Lionel Hutz.

Couch: Maggie is seated but the others run off the film strip, into nothingness and then back to the sofa.


  • Hans Moleman claims to be only 31.
  • Lisa's first science project is a massive tomato grown using steroids to alleviate world starvation.
  • The replacement involves a hamster called J. D. McGregor.
  • Nelson Muntz's project is Wasting Squirrels with BB Guns, while Martin Prince investigates travel via hot air balloon.
  • Milhouse discovers gravity via a useless Slinky and Ralph Wiggum learns about alcohol-fuelled cars.
  • Homer's Class C driving licence is C4043243, expiring on 05.12.95, having been issued on 07/27/92.
  • According to this, he lives at 742 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield, NT 49007. He was born 05.12.56, he is 6', no hair with blue eyes.
  • The fake ID with which Homer bought his first Duff beer belonged to Brian McGee, age 26, born 08.2.48.

Homage: Bart's inability to grasp a pair of cherry-topped cupcakes from a high shelf nods to A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1970). Homer used to listen to Queen, which going from the poster on his wall is probably around the Day at the Races/A Night at the Opera era.

Hi, I'm Troy McClure, you may remember me from: Driving information films such as Alice's Adventures Through the Windshield Glass and The Decapitation of Larry Leadfoot.

Notes for the Uneducated: Lisa refers to her experiment on Bart as 'half P. T. Barnum, half B. F. Skinner'. Barnum was a nineteenth-century circus impresario; Skinner was a behavioural psychologist whose most famous experiments were in the solitary confinement of human beings.

Mmmmm: ...gummi beers.

Look out for: Jub-Jub finding Selma frightening with Supperware on her head. Barney mistaking a pile of rags for Princess Diana. Duff, Duff Lite and Duff Dry all coming from the same pipe. Homer's fruitless discussions with his brain.

Notes: A superb episode with a sincere message. Homer is excellent throughout, but it is the cameos by Principal Skinner and Edna Krabappel that steal the show, especially the latter's reaction to Milhouse's Slinky.

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I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons GuideThe information in this section is taken from 'I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide' by Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, published by Virgin Books. Content © 2000 Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood.

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