The Simpsons: Season 1, Episode 5

Bart the General (4 Feb. 1990)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Animation, Comedy
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After being beaten up by Nelson Muntz one too many times, Bart turns to Grampa for help, and soon leads a rebellion against the school bully.


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Episode cast overview:
Marge Simpson / Receptionist (voice)
Lisa Simpson (voice)
Susan Blu ...
Weasel #1 (voice)
Weasel #2 / Richard / Lewis (voice)
Milhouse Van Houten / Boy (voice)


School bully Nelson Muntz has been terrorizing his classmates, particularly Bart. Bart and one of Nelson's goons get into a fight at school (when Bart was sticking up for Lisa), and in the aftermath Nelson accidentally gets a bloody nose. Nelson makes good on his threats to beat up Bart. Bart winds up having nightmares about Nelson stalking him, and later envisions his funeral. Finally, Grampa takes Bart to Herman, a Vietnam veteran who has had one of his arms amputated, to plan a strategy for getting back at Nelson. Bart commissions all his schoolmates whom Nelson has bullied and - in a classic parody of war movies such as Patton - trains them for their revenge. One afternoon after school, Bart and his army enact their operative, pelting Nelson and his goons with water balloons until he surrenders. The revenge is successful, and Bart and Nelson begin a grudging friendship. Written by Brian Rathjen <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Animation | Comedy


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Release Date:

4 February 1990 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the first episode that John Swartzwelder wrote. He has written more episodes than anyone in The Simpsons (1989) history. See more »


Marge's pearls change color between shots. See more »


Abe Simpson: I am disgusted with the way old people are depicted on television. We are not all vibrant, fun-loving sex maniacs. Many of us are bitter, resentful individuals, who remember the good old days, when entertainment was bland and inoffensive.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This episode ends with a disclaimer featuring Bart in a library telling the viewers about the reality of war and saying that the only good wars are The American Revolution, World War II, and the Star Wars trilogy and advising viewers to go to the library and look up info about war. Also the end credits roll over an exterior shot nighttime of the Simpsons' home instead of a black screen. See more »


References Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) See more »


Headbanger Heaven
written by Jim Jacobsen (as Peter Morris)
performed by Jim Jacobsen
under License from OGM Music
See more »

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User Reviews

26 January 2006 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

This was one of the first "Simpsons" episodes, in which Bart decides to take a stand against school bullies and transforms himself into a type of modern-day Patton, armed with an artillery of angry, vengeful elementary schoolers and a scarred Vietnam War enthusiast (who suspiciously sounds very much like Ned Flanders).

Humor-wise, this is one of the few early episodes to display some of the cunning wit of later episodes (mainly 4th/5th season stuff). The whole riff on Patton is fantastic if you're a movie buff.

Homer isn't given much to do, but it's Bart's show, and one of the first episodes to really display the character's attitude.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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