The Simpsons: Season 9, Episode 2

The Principal and the Pauper (28 Sep. 1997)

TV Episode  -   -  Animation | Comedy
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 1,222 users  
Reviews: 8 user

After holding a surprise tribute to Principal Skinner, the town of Springfield is shocked to find out that Seymour Skinner is actually an impostor.

Director:

(as Steve Moore)

Writers:

(created by), (developed by), 7 more credits »
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Title: The Principal and the Pauper (28 Sep 1997)

The Principal and the Pauper (28 Sep 1997) on IMDb 8.3/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Marge Simpson (voice)
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Lisa Simpson (voice)
...
...
...
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Mrs. Krabappel (voice)
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Agnes Skinner (voice)
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Miss Hoover (voice)
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Storyline

After holding a surprise tribute to Principal Skinner, the town of Springfield is shocked to find out that Seymour Skinner is actually an impostor.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Animation | Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 September 1997 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a 2001 interview, Harry Shearer, the voice of Principal Skinner, recalled that after reading the script, he told the writers, "That's so wrong. You're taking something that an audience has built eight years or nine years of investment in and just tossed it in the trash can for no good reason, for a story we've done before with other characters. It's so arbitrary and gratuitous, and it's disrespectful to the audience."

In a later interview, Shearer added, "Now, the writers refuse to talk about it. They realize it was a horrible mistake. They never mention it. It's like they're punishing the audience for paying attention." See more »

Goofs

At the station, the railroad has no ballast. See more »

Quotes

Superintendant Chalmers: Good lord! The rod up that man's butt, must have a rod up it's butt!
See more »

Connections

References The Prince and the Pauper (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

Flipper Theme
(uncredited)
Music by Henry Vars
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User Reviews

 
Outrage fades with time, but humor is a constant
27 October 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was a pretty contentious episode when it came out, much like Homer's Enemy. And that's exactly what it was supposed to be -- a conspiracy against the fans, a giant screw- you, "in canon," but with a big wipeout at the end so that nothing really changed. This was a bold move that was well executed, and yet somehow fell short of communicating itself to the bulk of the audience.

We've got a story where a minor character in the lives of Springfieldianites is revealed to have a history that's shockingly different than they had understood, though his personality remains unchanged. This leads to outrage and finally a complete rejection of the truth because it's too unsettling.

Hey -- if this episode makes you outraged and uncomfortable, you might be from Springfield!

You see -- it's all a commentary on how easy it is to love a lie. On how constancy is such a necessity in our lives that we'd rather embrace a familiar falsehood than accept the truth.

Maybe that's too meta for TV -- but who gives a spit, this episode is also funny as hell, well paced, well written and highly emotive. And tucked inside is a cogent exploration of complex relationships. It could be the smartest episode in the series' history.

Now let us never speak of it again -- under penalty of torture!


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