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The Simpsons | Episode Guide | Season Six
Lisa's Rival

Lisa refuses to play second saxophone to anyone.

Episode 1F17
Written by Mike Scully
Directed by Mark Kirkland
Also starring: Pamela Hayden, Maggie Roswell, Russi Taylor
Special guest voice: Winona Ryder (as Allison Taylor)

Premise: Lisa's role as Springfield Elementary's gifted child is usurped by a saxophone-playing, well-read social liberal called Allison Taylor, who has skipped a year for being so bright. Lisa soon succumbs to Bart's suggestion to ridicule Allison in a school competition. Meanwhile, Homer's struck gold - or at least a pile of sugar.

Features: Principal Skinner, Ned Flanders, Todd Flanders, Rod Flanders, Janey, Ralph, Miss Hoover, Sherri and Terri, Grampa, Hans Moleman, Uter, Mr Largo, Jimbo Jones, Martin Prince, Mrs Skinner, Milhouse van Houten, Otto Mans, Nelson Muntz, Richard, Lewis, Wendell.

Couch: The mer-Simpsons swim towards the sofa.


  • Allison is also a fan of Bleedin' Gums Murphy - his photo hangs on the wall of her trophy room.
  • Bart is reading an edition of Badboy Life while Marge opts for the bodice-ripper Love in the Time of Scurvy.
  • Ralph's cat is called Mittens.

Homage: There's a line from The Wizard of Oz, an entire scene from The Fugitive (Andrew Davis, 1993), as Milhouse is tracked to a waterfall by the Feds, and another reference to Poe's short story The Tell-Tale Heart. Best of all is Homer's sleepy, Cuban-accented soliloquy whilst guarding the sugar mountain: 'In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women...' - which is lifted from Scarface (Brian De Palma, 1983).

Notes for Brits: Lisa's nightmare group of second bests, Born to Runner Up, includes herself, Art Garfunkel and John Oates (both familiar to non-Americans), and Jim Messina, who duetted on several occasions with Kenny Loggins, who isn't.

Notes: Despite being a Lisa show, it is poor Ralph Wiggum who steals the show with three great irrelevant replies, especially those concerning his cat's breath. One of a tiny handful of episodes in which we see Lisa as a schemer determined to win at all costs. This leads to great scenes between the Simpson siblings, especially Bart's idea to conquer Allison using a hose pipe.

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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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