The Simpsons: Season 9, Episode 2

The Principal and the Pauper (28 Sep. 1997)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Animation, Comedy
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 1,277 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.

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(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 8.4/10

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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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...
...
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Mrs. Krabappel (voice)
...
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

Despite the backlash to the episode, writer Ken Keeler commented that he feels that it is the best TV episode he's ever written. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Superintendant Chalmers: Now let's clear this up. Who exactly are you?
Sgt. Seymour Skinner: Sergeant Seymour Skinner, U.S. Army.
Principal Skinner: It's true. I was in his platoon. But, they said you were killed on that scouting mission.
Sgt. Seymour Skinner: No, just captured. It's kind of a funny story, really. After five years in a secret P.O.W. camp, I was sold to China for slave labor. And since '77 I've been making sneakers at gunpoint in a sweatshop in Boo-Haun.
Marge Simpson: That's not a funny story.
Sgt. Seymour Skinner: Well, I guess you had to be there.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Simpsons: Behind the Laughter (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

The Stars and Stripes Forever
(uncredited)
Composed by John Philip Sousa
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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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