The Simpsons (1989– )
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Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington 

After winning a political essay contest, Lisa is invited to Washington, D.C., but she soon becomes upset after discovering how policy-making really works.


Wesley Archer (as Wes Archer)


Matt Groening (created by), James L. Brooks (developed by) | 3 more credits »




Episode cast overview:
Dan Castellaneta ... Homer Simpson / Troy McClure / Passenger / Barney Gumble / Man #2 at Lincoln Memorial / Thomas Jefferson / Brad Fletcher / Texan / FBI Agent #1 / House Speaker (voice)
Julie Kavner ... Marge Simpson (voice)
Nancy Cartwright ... Bart Simpson / Nelson Muntz (voice)
Yeardley Smith ... Lisa Simpson (voice)
Hank Azaria ... Moe Szyslak / Savings & Loans Clerk / Queens Boy / Captain / Man in Lift / Money Print Employee / Bob Arnold / First Man at Lincoln Memorial / Bellhop / Senator / FBI Agent #2 / African Statesman (voice)
Harry Shearer ... Montgomery Burns / Lenny / Waylon Smithers / TV Announcer / Jasper / Disgruntled Father / Steward / IRS Employee / Tour Guide / Jerry / Singer / Representative / George H.W. Bush (voice)
Jo Ann Harris ... Minnesota Girl / Maria Dominguez / Paper Boy (voice) (as Joann Harris)
Pamela Hayden ... Bob Arnold's Secretary / Woman #1 at Lincoln Memorial (voice)
Tress MacNeille ... Alabama Boy (voice)
Maggie Roswell ... Judge / Faith Crowley / Barbara Bush / Woman #2 at Lincoln Memorial (voice)
Lona Williams Lona Williams ... Truong Van Dinh (voice)


Lisa wins the local competition of an essay contest, earning the family a trip to Washington, D.C. for the finals. Lisa sees Bob Arnold (her own representative) taking a bribe. Disgusted, she changes her previous uplifting essay into a cynical one denouncing corruption in government in general and Bob Arnold in particular.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Animation | Comedy


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The piano-playing satirist at the end of the episode is a reference to Mark Russell and Tom Lehrer. The song "The Deficit Rag" is very similar to Lehrer's "The Vatican Rag". See more »


United States flags are incorrectly depicted in this episode, while many other landmarks and features seen in the Simpsons' visit to Washington D.C. are more accurate. In the room where Lisa gives her speech, the flag behind Homer's head is the original design, with stars in a circle - though there are only seven stars, whereas the very first "stars-and-stripes" flag had 13 stars, to symbolize the original 13 colonies. The scene in the House of Representatives features a flag behind the rostrum with 35 stars (seven rows of five stars each). The 35-star flag was first seen in 1863 when West Virginia became the 35th state, and was retired in 1865 when Nevada joined the union as the 36th state. At the time of this episode, the flag would have had 50 stars. See more »


[the Simpsons enter an American Legion post to see Nelson delivering the end of his "Patriots of Tomorrow" essay]
Nelson Muntz: So burn the flag if you must, but before you do, you better burn a few other things! You better burn your shirt and your pants! Be sure to burn your TV and car! Oh yes, and don't forget to burn your house! Because none of those things could exist without six white stripes, seven red stripes, and a hell of a lot of stars!
[riotous applause]
See more »


Spoofs The Sting (1973) See more »


The Battle Hymn of the Republic
Music by William Steffe and lyrics by Julia Ward Howe
See more »

User Reviews

Interesting Political Satire!
6 August 2014 | by g-bodylSee all my reviews

This is the second episode of the third season of the Simpsons and it's a rather interesting episode. This is one of the more political-heavy satires by the Simpsons that outlines political corruption which is obviously prevalent in our government. But it's funny most of the time and based off the title, it reminds me of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

This episode, "Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington," has Lisa winning an essay contest that talked about the greatness of the United States and as a winner, she and her family travels to Washington D.C. But Lisa uncovers a scandal in which some senators were planning on taking bribes to demolish the Springfield forest.

Overall, this is a solid episode and one that should open your eyes to political corruption such as bribery and whatnot. But this is a funny episode as well and another solid entry in the storied Simpsons. I rate this episode 9/10.

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Release Date:

26 September 1991 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR (seasons 3-19)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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