The Simpsons: Season 1, Episode 2

Bart the Genius (14 Jan. 1990)

TV Episode  -   -  Animation | Comedy
7.5
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Bart ends up at a school for gifted children after cheating on an IQ test.

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Title: Bart the Genius (14 Jan 1990)

Bart the Genius (14 Jan 1990) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
Homer Simpson / Conductor (voice)
...
Marge Simpson (voice)
...
Bart Simpson / Skinner's secretary (voice)
...
Lisa Simpson / Cecile Shapiro (voice)
...
...
Edna Krabappel (voice) (as Marsha Wallace)
...
Ms. Melon / Richard / Lewis (voice)
...
Milhouse Van Houten / Ethan Foley / Boy (voice)
...
Martin Prince / Sidney Swift / Ian (voice)
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Storyline

Bart is fearing that he will fail an intelligence test, Bart switches exams with Martin Prince. When school psychologist Dr. Pryor studies the results, he thinks that Bart is a genius, and Bart is enrolled into a new school for genius kids. Bart doesn't fit in very well though. Written by TnMovieFan2@aol.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Animation | Comedy

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Release Date:

14 January 1990 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marcia Wallace, making her first appearance on the show, is credited in this episode as "Marsha Wallace" for the only time. The credits sequence in the DVD release of this episode uses the correct spelling of "Marcia"; it is not known whether this edit was made for the DVD or took place at some point between network showings. See more »

Goofs

The Scrabble board keeps changing. See more »

Quotes

[playing Scrabble]
Bart: Kwyjibo: K-W-Y-J-I-B-O. Twenty-two points. Plus, triple-word score, plus fifty points for using all my letters... Game's over, I'm outta here.
Homer: Wait a minute, you little cheater. You're not going anywhere 'til you tell me what a Kwyjibo is.
Bart: Kwyjibo. Uh, a big dumb, balding North American ape. With no chin.
Marge: And a short temper.
Homer: I'll show you a big dumb balding ape!
Bart: Uh oh, Kwyjibo on the loose!
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Soundtracks

Overture from Carmen
by Georges Bizet
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User Reviews

 
Intellectual culture
25 July 2006 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

The animation is still the slightly rougher style of the first episode, Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire, but already, with this first regular episode, Bart the Genius, the humor is beginning to be more "layered", quicker and greater depth of characterization is already appearing.

This episode firmly establishes Bart's "slacker" personality, and more subtly, Lisa's intellectual superiority to the whole family. Although that's the main theme of the whole episode (there's also a nice secondary theme of Bart and Homer's father/son relationship), it's given to us first in a nutshell as the episode opens with the Simpsons playing Scrabble. Lisa comes up with "id" for her word--short, but something you have to be well educated to know. She has to read the definition to the rest of the family from the dictionary, which has been serving as a way to prop up the couch. Marge can only come up with "he". Homer has "oxidize" already sitting on his tray in order, but doesn't recognize that it's a word, so he presents "do" instead. Bart comes up with "kwyjibo", which he insists is a word. Similarly, in the main plot line of the episode, Bart cheats on his IQ test, which leads to his being put into a special school full of gifted kids. We know that's not likely to last long.

"The Simpsons" has always had a lot of fun playing with varying degrees of intellectual abilities among people through its characters, and more importantly, they way that people with vary degrees of intellectual abilities fit into (or not), are accepted (or not) and are perceived in society. Aside from beginning to present Bart, Lisa, Homer and Marge's place in this context, this episode already starts respectfully poking fun at nerds and geeks outside of the Simpsons family. Via some of the dialogue from the students at the special school, as well as some of the other references, including purely visual ones, this episode also shows that "The Simpsons" isn't going to pull any punches by means of writing or talking down to its audience. It may be just a cartoon, but it's a cartoon that intellectuals, geeks and nerds are going to understand more than anyone else. And that fact, aside from it just being a very funny show, is the key to the show's longevity.


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