- "Now, the kilt was only for day-to-day wear. In battle, we donned a full-length ball gown covered in sequins. The idea was to blind your opponent with luxury."
- ―Groundskeeper Willie
| "Bart's Girlfriend"
| Episode Information
"Bart's Girlfriend" is the seventh episode of season 6 of The Simpsons and the one-hundred and tenth episode overall. It originally aired on November 6, 1994. The episode was written by Jonathan Collier and directed by Susie Dietter. It guest stars Meryl Streep as Jessica Lovejoy.
- "Bart's infatuation with the Reverend's daughter is short-lived when she steals the church collection plate and he is blamed for the theft."
Bart and Lisa are playing cowboys and Indians with other kids when Nelson comes in with a modern weapon and "kills" them all. As the kids complain, the church bell rings, signalling that the Sunday service will start soon. The kids all run away into a field as their parents chase after them to take them to church. Bart gets quickly bored of the service and plays with a troll doll, which Marge confiscates off him. Reverend Lovejoy then invites his daughter, Jessica, to the podium to recite the same passage he had just recited. Bart becomes smitten with Jessica at first sight and decides that he wants to get to know her. After the service, Bart tries to speak to Jessica, but she doesn't pay him any attention, which upsets Bart.
At home, Lisa tries to make Bart feel better, but then Bart decides that he has to act like a good boy to win Jessica over. Bart goes to Sunday school, having been previously kicked out, and is reluctantly accepted back in. Ms. Albright passes a replica of the slingshot that David uses to kill Goliath out to the class, which Bart is tempted to use to shoot at Ms. Albright's butt. However, Bart resists temptation and passes the slingshot on. However, Jessica is still not impressed. After Sunday school, Bart feels like he needs to pull a prank to make up for him being good. He uses balloons to raise up Willie's kilt during a Scotchtoberfest event. Bart is then captured by hidden agents and Principal Skinner reveals that it was a sting operation and gives him three months detention. Jessica sees what happened and invites Bart to dinner at her house.
Bart prepares for his date as Homer and Marge discuss how their little boy is growing up. Bart then goes to dinner at the Lovejoy house where he doesn't impress Jessica's parents. Bart insults Helen Lovejoy, then talks about a FOX show he watched, which leads to the Reverend throwing Bart out. Jessica sneaks out of the house to meet up with Bart again and tells him that he's bad. When Bart realizes that Jessica likes bad boys, he accepts it. Jessica and Bart then go out pulling pranks together.
At school the next day, nobody believes Bart that he went out with Jessica, and Jessica refuses to admit it. When nobody else is around, Jessica asks Bart to go skateboarding with her. Bart reluctantly accepts and Jessica takes Bart to a really steep hill. Bart is scared to go down the hill but Jessica pushes him down. Bart skates over several spills before he falls over at the bottom. Jessica then arrives at the bottom. Bart goes home feeling hurt, which worries Marge. At school the next day, Bart just wants to go to class, but Jessica makes him pull the fire alarm with her. As everyone evacuates the school, Bart realizes that Jessica is trouble. At home, Bart tells Lisa about what Jessica has been doing with him and Lisa realizes that she is trouble, and tells Bart to keep away from her. However, the family has to go to church, where Jessica will be.
At church, Jessica sits next to Bart. As the collection plate is passed around, Jessica takes all the money and puts it in her purse. She then frames Bart for stealing the money. Bart flees the church and becomes hated by the town, with everyone believing Bart is guilty, including Homer. Jessica thanks Bart for covering for her, but also tells Bart that nobody would believe him if he outed her. When Bart goes to Lisa and tells her that Jessica stole the money, Lisa plans to force Jessica to admit that she stole the money during the next church service. Jessica refuses to confess, so Lisa outs her to the congregation. Everyone goes to Jessica's room to search it, where they find the money under her mattress. Everyone is shocked to find that Jessica stole the money, but Jessica tells her parents that she just wanted attention. She also told Reverend Lovejoy that he shouldn't be surprised as she got kicked out of boarding school for various crimes. The next day, Jessica is forced to scrub the church steps. Bart talks to her, but Jessica tells Bart that she didn't learn anything other than the fact she can make men do what she wants. Jessica then gets Bart to scrub the steps as she leaves with another boy.
Showrunner David Mirkin came up with the idea for Bart to have a girlfriend who was more evil that he was, and handed the idea over to Jonathan Collier. This was the first episode written by Collier and he had been working on the show for only two weeks when he was handed the episode. Collier worked with James L. Brooks on the episode.
The design of Jessica Lovejoy was based on Mike Wolf's daughter. The animators were struggling to get Jessica's design down until Mike Wolf handed director Susie Dietter a drawing that was based on his daughter. Jace Richdale came up with the idea of Bart strutting when he was happy. The joke of Homer yelling that Bart was going out the window was added much later, after the scene was animated.
Erik Adams of The A.V. Club calls "Bart's Girlfriend" a "retread", comparing it to previous episodes "Burns' Heir" and "New Kid on the Block". He also says that the episode is good "deep down inside."
- Mirkin, David (2005). Commentary for "Bart's Girlfriend", in The Simpsons: The Complete Sixth Season.
- Collier, Jonathan (2005). Commentary for "Bart's Girlfriend", in The Simpsons: The Complete Sixth Season.
- Dietter, Susie (2005). Commentary for "Bart's Girlfriend", in The Simpsons: The Complete Sixth Season.
- The A.V. Club - "The Simpsons (Classic): "Bart's Girlfriend""
- IMDb - "Bart's Girlfriend"