- "If I ever become famous, I want it to be for something worthwhile, not because of some obnoxious fad."
"Bart Gets Famous" is the twelfth episode of Season 5. It originally aired on February 3, 1994. The episode was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Susie Dietter. Conan O'Brien guest stars as himself.
After Bart sneaks away from a field trip to the box factory, he finds himself working as Krusty's assistant. Krusty lets Bart act out a scene on one of his gags, but Bart messes up the line and says, "I didn't do it." The phrase is an instant success and leads Bart to his fifteen minutes of fame.
Principal Skinner takes Bart's class to the box factory, something which everyone except Skinner and Martin find to be exaggeratedly dull. However, Bart gets bored with the tour and sneakily escapes from the class to go to the Channel 6 TV studio nearby, where he wanders by a beach scene and Bumblebee Man. With his absence, Skinner calls Homer who arrives, thinking that Bart was killed in one of the giant box-making machines.
Meanwhile, Bart meets up with Krusty, who is angry that he does not have his Danish. Because of this, Bart steals a Danish from Kent Brockman and gives it to Krusty who becomes grateful and asks him to become his assistant. (Krusty has forgotten all the other times Bart has helped him out, from saving his career to renewing Krusty's relations with his father.) When Bart returns home, Homer is relieved that he does not have to tell Marge that Bart was killed in a box accident. Afterwards, Bart continues his work as Krusty's assistant, though soon he gets tired, in that the cast members do not treat him well, and he does not get credited for his work helping the show. However, before Bart decides to quit, Krusty offers to let him say one line in a sketch. Bart messes up his lines and destroys all of the props on the stage. When the crowd's focus comes on him, he tries to get out of it, saying, "I didn't do it", which causes the audience to laugh and applaud. Seeing this, Krusty immediately uses Bart and his "I didn't do it" catch phrase in later sketches, and eventually creates a franchise out of it.
As Bart continues with his "I didn't do it" catch phrase, he begins to fear that the fad will wear off, so he tries to act intelligent (as during his interview on Conan O'Brien's show). Eventually Bart's catch phrase loses its humor and Bart loses his fame.
Marge gives Bart a box of items she kept during his stint, and gives it to him to help him remember his time there. When Homer accidentally breaks the Simpsons' lamp, it sets off a number of memorable catchphrases:
- Homer: D'oh!
- Bart: Ay caramba!
- Marge: [groans]
- Maggie: [sucks pacifier]
- Ned Flanders: Hi-dily-ho!
- Barney Gumble: [burps]
- Nelson Muntz: Ha Ha!
- Mr. Burns: Excellent!
Everyone looks at Lisa expectantly. However, Lisa isn't amused and says "If anyone needs me, I'll be in my room." As she goes upstairs, Homer asks, "What kind of catchphrase is that?" Lisa is the only member of the immediate family without a catchphrase.