The Simpsons: Season 3, Episode 18

Separate Vocations (27 Feb. 1992)

TV Episode  -   -  Animation | Comedy | Family
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 899 users  
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The results of a standardized test steer Bart in the direction of law and order at Springfield Elementary School. However, Lisa becomes so depressed by her results that she turns to juvenile delinquency.



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Episode cast overview:
Homer Simpson / Machine Operator / Mayor Quimby / Groundskeeper Willie / Lawyer in Bart's Fantasy / Mr. Glascock / Panicking Teacher #2 / Hippie (voice)
Bart Simpson / Ralph Wiggum / Kearney / Panicking Teacher #1 (voice)
Lisa Simpson (voice)
Mailman / Lou / Snake / Apu Nahasapeemapetilon / Chief Wiggum / Mr. Montone (voice)
Dr. J. Loren Pryor / Jazz Musician / Eddie / Act Two Announcer / Principal Skinner (voice)
Miss Hoover / Mrs. Winfield (voice)
Sherri / Martin Prince (voice)
Milhouse Van Houten / Janey Powell / Kid / Bad Girl #2 / Jimbo Jones (voice)
Bad Girl #1 (voice)
Mrs. Krabappel (voice)


After taking a career aptitude test at school, Bart is surprised to hear that "police officer" is his ideal vocation, while Lisa is devastated to be told that she is only fit to be a homemaker. Bart becomes a hall monitor, while Lisa adopts a sulky, rebellious attitude. Written by crouchbk

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

2d animation

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 February 1992 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bart's hall monitor sash disappears when Principal Skinner discovers the "Teacher's Edition" books. See more »


Marge: [referencing Lisa playing the saxaphone] Do you think she could be a professional someday?
Li'l Ludwig's Music School Teacher: Oh lord no!
Lisa: But I'll practice every day!
Li'l Ludwig's Music School Teacher: Yeah well I'll be frank with ya Lisa and when I say frank I mean, you know, devastating. You've inherrited a finger condition known as stubbiness, it usually comes from the father's side...
See more »


Spoofs Batman (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

When she was bad
11 June 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

If I were to make a list of my most precious disks- not whole DVD box-sets, but individual disks- disk 3 of The Simpsons season 3 would be near the top. Every episode there is a classic- Radio Bart, Lisa the Greek, Homer Alone, Bart the Lover, Homer at the Bat, and finally, my absolute favourite season 3 episode, Separate Vocations.

What makes this one the best? This won't come as a surprise to anyone who's been following my reviews (if, indeed, any one has been), but it's Lisa all the way. This is also a Bart episode, though, and I like Bart. Here we see them switching roles- Lisa's the rebel, Bart's the goody goody. I like it because we get to see how Lisa has a bit of a dark side, and it comes out in a believable way. While Bart is encouraged to pursue a career in law enforcement, Lisa's guidance counsellor tells her to stay at home, which shocks the ambitious girl. She goes to a music school to determine whether she can play the sax professionally, and is told she can't. Crushed, she gives up on the sax. All of this reflects how school really can limit and discourage you, and when Lisa writes in her journal that she's lost all hope, it's a sad moment. Her humour becomes snarky ("Why don't you join the band?" she asks Marge) and she engages in vandalism, gives up on schoolwork, and tells the teacher to "shove it." On the other hand, she turns down trying a cigarette; I guess the writers decided her smoking would be taking this a step too far.

The episode is consistently funny given Mrs. Krabappel's bitterness, the wolves, the police officers' "clubs", Chief Wiggum, and Bart as a hall monitor. And when Bart takes the bullet for Lisa's worst prank, we see not only an opportunity for things to go back to normal at the end of the episode, but also a touching portrait of their brother-sister love. This is one of the 15 best episodes of the series.

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