jump to navigation

The 20 Most Cromulent Simpsons Episodes of All-Time: #7 Thursday, June 21, 2007

Posted by Shakarean Hutchinson in SA, the simpsons, total cromulence.
Tags: , ,

Only five more weeks until “The Simpsons Movie” comes to life. Until then, you get CDNMoose and I giving you this list every week until you can’t stand The Simpsons anymore and won’t go to see the movie.

At least that’s what I thought the plan was.

Anyhoo, #7 brings us back to Season Three, a glorious season for all involved. It has corruption, singing, and Homer starting his decline to stupidity. So after the jump, join me in appreciating Reading Digest, the trading gap, and talking to memorials.


Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington

Written by George Meyer
Directed by Wes Archer

Season 3, Episode 2
Originally aired September 26, 1991

20. Homer At The Bat
19. Hurricane Neddy
18. Homer Goes to College
17. Homer’s Enemy
16. The Cartridge Family
15. 22 Short Films About Springfield
14. Treehouse of Horror II
13. El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer
12. Mr. Plow
11. Kamp Krusty
10. Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk
9. Bart Sells His Soul
8. Homer the Heretic
7. Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington

Episode Synopsis

Lisa wins her regional Reading Digest contest for kids and gets to compete with the other winners in Washington, D.C. After seeing her state senator get paid off to cut down Springfield Forrest, Lisa rips up her original essay and writes a new one, “Cesspool on the Potomac.” Unfortunately Lisa doesn’t win, but she learns that the system works. At times.

Why This Episode Is Particularly Cromulent

I’m going to be completely honest here, this is just one of my favorite episodes and I wanted to include it. There are some funny gags, like when the regional judge realizes that Lisa didn’t have any help from Homer with her essay, but all in all, this is just a solid episode with democracy working very, very quickly.

Notes and Observations

  • Obviously, this episode is a take on the movie “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.”
  • This is the first episode to be shown in Dolby Surround.
  • The address for the Simpson house is 94 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield, TA 192005. This is in stark contrast to the address that we’re lead to believe in later episodes, 742 Evergreen Terrace.
  • Some Simpsons sources have this episode listed after the episode three of the season, “When Flanders Failed.”
  • The senator from the state Springfield is in also wants to sanction drilling for oil in Mount Rushmore, which is in South Dakota. And there is a Springfield, SD in existence.
  • The political satirist playing the piano at the competition is a reference to Mark Russell.
  • The places the family visits includes: the National Air and Space Museum, The Lincoln Memorial, The Jefferson Memorial, the IRS Building, Dulles Airport, The Watergate Hotel, the Washington Monument, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
  • Reading Digest is a knock on Reader’s Digest.
  • Winifred Beecher Howe unpopular 75 cent piece is a knock on the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin.
  • There is a scene at the airport where the Simpsons hail a taxi after unknowingly passing the limo (and driver) there to pick them up. During that scene, you can see a sign in the distance with the words “Bus Info” and a number underneath it. This is supposedly Wes Archer’s real phone number. Or at least it was his number at the time. And no, I will not show you a picture of it. If you want to see it, go watch the episode again.

Memorable Quotes

Teller: Mr. Simpson, I can assure you, this check of yours is non-negotiable.
Homer: Oh yeah? Well, what makes you so damn sure?
Teller: See where it says, “VOID VOID VOID” and “This is not a check”, “Cash value one twentieth of a cent”, “Mr. Banker, do not honor”…
Homer: Shut up.

Homer: [reading `Reading Digest’] Hey, a cartoon!
[a woman tries to explain a pile of metal that used to be a car]
“Well, dear, you always wanted a compact…” [laughs] Ain’t it the truth!
Marge: No, it’s not the truth, Homer. It’s well-documented that women are safer drivers than men.
Homer: Oh, Marge, cartoons don’t have any deep meaning. They’re just stupid drawings that give you a cheap laugh.
[gets up, revealing rear cleavage]

Lenny: Hey Einstein, put down your reading. It’s lunchtime!
Homer: Ah, you go ahead.
Lenny: Hey, you don’t want to eat? What did you do, get one of those stomach staples?
Homer: As Tolstoi said in Quotable Notables, “Give me learning, sir,and you may keep your black bread.”
Burns: Who is that bookworm, Smithers?
Smithers: Homer Simpson, sir.
Burns: Simpson, eh? How very strange. His job description clearly specifies an illiterate!

Marge: You’ve certainly taking a shine to that magazine.
Homer: It’s not just one magazine, Marge; they take hundreds of magazines, filter out the crap, and leave you with something that fits right in your front pocket.

Homer: [reading] Then I heard the sound that all Arctic explorers dread…the pitiless bark of the sea lion! [gasp] He’ll be killed!
Marge: Homer, he obviously got out alive if he wrote the article.
Homer: Don’t be so… [flips ahead] Oh, you’re right.

Homer: Wow, `Win a trip to Washington, DC. All expenses paid, VIP tour’… Oh, it’s for kids. [throws into trash]
Lisa: Wait, Dad. [fishes out of trash]Mm, an essay contest. Children under twelve, three hundred words, fiercely pro-American. Sounds interesting.

Lisa: Thanks for driving me to the contest, Dad.
Homer: Sweetheart, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for that magazine.

Father: We the purple? What the hell was that?

Homer: Who would have guessed reading and writing would pay off!

Steward: Yes, sir, can I get you something?
Homer: Playing cards, note pad, aspirin, sewing kit, pilot’s wing pin, propeller-shaped swizzle stick, sleeping mask, and anything else I’ve got coming to me.
Steward: I’ll see what I can do.

Homer: Ooh, I love your magazine. My favorite section is `How to increase your word power’. That thing is really, really, really….good.

Faith: Lisa, I’d like you to meet some of the other finalists. This is Trong Van Din and Maria Diminguez.
Maria and Trong: Hello.
Faith: Maria is the national spelling bee champion, and Trong has won both the Westinghouse Talent Search and the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick competition.
Lisa: Have either of you ever run into any problems because of your superior ability?
Trong: Mm.
Maria: Sure, I guess.
Lisa: Oh! Me, too!

Faith: These are special VIP badges. They’ll get you into places other tourists never see.
Homer: Miss, what does the `I’ stand for?
Faith: Important.
Homer: Ooh. How about the `V’?
Faith: Very.
Homer: Oh. And Miss, just one more question.
Faith: Person.
Homer: Ah… What does the `I’ stand for again?

Tour guide: Folks, we print more than 18 million bills a day. Oh, and in case you were wondering, no, we don’t give out free samples.
[tour group chuckles]
Homer: Lousy cheap country…

Homer: Bart! Get out of the Spirit of St. Louis!

Marge: [admiring the Washington Monument] [chuckles]
Homer: Hey, what’s so funny?
: [whispers]
Homer: Oh, Marge, grow up.

Senator Bob Arnold: Well, Jerry, you’re a whale of a lobbyist, and I’d like to give you a logging permit, I would. But this isn’t like burying toxic waste. People are going to notice those trees are gone.

Arnold: You must be Lisa Simpson.
Lisa: Hello, sir.
Arnold: Lisa, you’re a doer. And who knows, maybe someday you’ll be a congressman or a senator. We have quite a few women senators, you know.
Lisa: Only two. I checked.
Arnold: [chuckles] You’re a sharp one.

Lisa: I’m too excited to sleep. Anyone up for the Winifred Beecher Howe Memorial?
Homer: [half asleep] Who’s that?
Lisa: An early crusader for women’s rights. She led the Floor Mop Rebellion of 1910. Later, she appeared on the highly unpopular 75-cent piece.

Lisa: Mr. Jefferson, my name is Lisa Simpson, and I have a problem.
Jefferson: I know your problem. The Lincoln Memorial was too crowded.
Lisa: Sorry, sir. It’s just…
Jefferson: No one ever comes to see me. I don’t blame them. I never did anything important. Just the Declaration of Independence, the Louisiana Purchase, the dumbwaiter…
Lisa: Uh, maybe I should be going. I’ve caught you at a bad time…
Jefferson: Wait! Please don’t go. I get so lonely.

Page: Senator, there’s a problem at the essay contest.
Senator: Please, son, I’m very busy.
Page: A little girl is losing faith in democracy!
Senator: Good Lord!

Speaker: We now vote on House bill 1022, the expulsion of Bob Arnold.
Representative: Mr. Speaker, I’m all for the bill, but shouldn’t we tack on a pay raise for ourselves?
All: No!

Trong: When my family arrived in this country four months ago, we spoke no English and had no money in our pockets. Today, we own a nationwide chain of wheel-balancing centers. Where else but in America, or possibly Canada, could our family find such opportunity? That’s why, whenever I see the Stars and Stripes, I will always be reminded of that wonderful word: flag!

Lisa: I couldn’t think of a nice way to say “America stinks.”

Faith: Will the winning essay be…”Bubble On, O Melting Pot”, “Lift High Your Lamp, Green Lady”, “USA A-OK”, or “Cesspool on the Potomac?”
Bart: Cesspool! Cesspool! Cesspool! Cesspool!

Bart: Lis, you taught me to stand up for what I believe in.


Every so often, something dramatic happens that shakes us to our core. Something that shows us that we can, in fact, make a difference. That we can have faith in this country. That democracy does work.

Too bad the last time that happened was in 1991 on a cartoon. Kudos to Lisa Simpson for showing us the system can work. Even if it’s fictional.



1. lingeringbursitis - Friday, June 22, 2007

It’s a great episode, true, but at the same time I loathe Lisa-centric episodes. Her do-goody-ness really is grating over 22 minutes.

2. robert - Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I really hope that “Homer’s Phobia” is one!

3. D - Wednesday, January 23, 2008


4. D - Wednesday, January 23, 2008

thanks for finishing it lol

5. Jay - Wednesday, January 19, 2011

“cash value one twentieth of a cent, which a banker cannot honor” dumbass

6. CLT Recommends: Frank Black – Teenager of the Year (Part 2) « Fancy Plans… and Pants to Match - Tuesday, August 23, 2011

[…] digital term! for no apparent reason!), but generally speaking, border towns are not so much “Oh, Melting Pot!” as they are a somewhat uneasy coexistence of homogeneous […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: