The Simpsons: Season 9, Episode 8

Lisa the Skeptic (23 Nov. 1997)

TV Episode  -   -  Animation | Comedy
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 820 users  
Reviews: 1 user

Another day at Springfield Elementary School, another field trip - this time to an archaeological dig. During the dig, Lisa unearths what appears to be a fossilized human skeleton with wings.



(created by), (developed by), 4 more credits »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Sundance 2015

Watch our IMDb & AIV Sundance Studio Interviews with Keith Simanton

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 24 Aug 2011
a list of 1980 titles
created 29 Nov 2011
a list of 233 titles
created 13 Oct 2012
a list of 1000 titles
created 21 May 2013
a list of 24 titles
created 1 month ago

Related Items

Search for "Lisa the Skeptic" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Lisa the Skeptic (23 Nov 1997)

Lisa the Skeptic (23 Nov 1997) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Simpsons.
« Previous Episode | 186 of 568 Episodes | Next Episode »


Episode credited cast:
Bart Simpson / Kearney / Ralph (voice)
Lisa Simpson (voice)
Chief Wiggum / Lou / Snake / Sid's Partner / Moe Szyslak / Carl / Robot / Pope's Messenger (voice)
Miss Hoover (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Stephen Jay Gould ...
Himself (voice)
Martin Prince / Sherri / Terri (voice)
Mrs. Krabappel (voice)


When the school goes on an archaeological dig and unearths what appears to be the skeleton of an angel,Lisa courts controversy by doubting its authenticity,leading to a heated debate between skeptics and believers. When the angel is found to carry the words Prepare for the End,the townsfolk fear that their days are numbered but Lisa is exonerated when the whole exercise proves to be no more than an advertisement for a new shopping mall. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

2d animation | priest | See All (2) »


Animation | Comedy


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 November 1997 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Lisa: I don't understand, Professor, why didn't your test show that the skeleton was a fake?
Stephen Jay Gould: I'm going to be honest with you, Lisa, I never did the test.
See more »


References Forbidden Planet (1956) See more »


See the Angel
Written by George Frideric Handel (tune: "Messiah: Hallelujah")
Performed by Dan Castellaneta
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The premise sounds daft but the episode is not.
4 January 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Simpsons may not be as good as it used to be but even the most devoted of its fans agree that Lisa-centric episodes are generally weaker. This episode is the exception to that rule in that it is actually a good episode.

The plot sees Lisa convince Skinner to reward good students by taking them on an archaeological dig and to punish bad students by taking them too. After not finding much of interest they're about to leave but then suddenly Lisa discovers a fossilised angel. The townsfolk are convinced it is a genuine article but Lisa is not so sure. The episode shows signs of becoming on of seasons 9-10's infamous Early-Zombie-Simpsons editions but thankfully the script makes it work and avoid such problems. There's also some signs of early Jerkass Homer on display as he steals the skeleton and charges people to see it. It makes up the bulk of the episode as Lisa tries to get him to stop calling it an angel until she has proof. When she announces her intention to get DNA testing done on it the religious members of the town go on an anti-science riot eventually coming to protect the angel from Lisa. It's not safe with the unbeliever, they think, but when they come for it it's gone. I'm beginning to get slightly uncomfortable with the anti-religious undertones of the episode at this point, but it drops that plot thread here and instead takes a different direction.

"The End Will Come At Sundown" is found written on the angel and suddenly the episode undergoes a dramatic shift in tone with a great level of suspense and menace that the script and music realise magnificently. There feels like a real possibility that something nasty might be about to happen and everyone in town is afraid, even Lisa. The end that does come turns out to be a marketing ploy which might feel like a bit of a cop-out but it all amounts to a very memorable third act for the episode which makes this episode a classic chunk of what The Simpsons was and why the show used to be the greatest thing on TV. Show me another show that can handle this material so well. I don't think one exists.

In conclusion, if you can ignore the strongly anti-religious sentiments displayed throughout this episode, particularly in the second act, you'll find a decent and memorable 22-odd minutes with an intriguing storyline and several touching moments between Marge and Lisa. Also that Motor Boat opening is incredible. 8/10

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Most ridiculous storyline? coldgreenwater
"I'm a man of few words" no54
"The Way They was..6 totally different shows The Simpsons have been" butteredpopcorn
That joke they've been doing for 20 years the_bamm
The legend of the dog faced woman. BladeRunner2015
Why do people hate Lisa Simpson? deadpool831
Discuss Lisa the Skeptic (1997) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: