A row about chowder leads to courtroom chaos.
Written by John Swartzwelder
Directed by Jeffrey Lynch
Also starring: Pamela Hayden, Maggie Roswell, Russi Taylor
Special guest voices: Phil Hartman (as Lionel Hutz), Marcia Wallace (as Mrs Krabappel)
Premise: Bart skips school - and slips into Freddy Quimby's 18th birthday party, where an altercation with a French waiter over the pronunciation of the word 'chowder' leads to a wrongful arrest. Only Bart can prove the accused's innocence - but in doing so he will give himself away to Principal Skinner. Worse still, Homer's on the jury - and when he discovers that an undecided jury stays for free in the Springfield Palace Hotel it looks like the wheels of justice will be turning a little slower than normal.
Features: Otto, Milhouse, Ms Krabappel, Martin, Principal Skinner, Groundskeeper Willie, Mayor Quimby, Wolfcastle, Chief Wiggum, Scott Christian, Kent Brockman, Attorney, Lionel Hutz, Moe, Dr Hibbert, Apu, Mrs Lovejoy, Jasper,
Patty, Barney, Ned Flanders, Hans Moleman.
Couch: The Simpsons rush in - and find themselves the guests of David Letterman.
- Marge had a brother called Arnold who went on a killing spree.
Homage: Matt Groening appears in a cameo as a court artist. Bart fantasises of lazing with Huckleberry Finn from Mark Twain's classic children's novel of the same name. The series McGonagall is strongly reminiscent of Patty and Selma's beloved McGyver. And Homer gets to see a recut version of Free Willie. At the trial, his brain is singing the jingle to the early eighties ad campaign for Meow Mix catfood.
Note for Brits: 4H Clubs were designed to offer an alternative to bars for under 21s in the 1980s in a scoutish sort of environment.
Notes: This fine episode contains a memorable guest character in the French waiter Monsieur Lacosse, two great slapstick sequences involving the same, and displays Principal Skinner - pursuing Bart across the mountains like 'a non-giving-up school guy', and confessing that in some ways he's 'a small man; a petty, small man' - in particularly fine form.