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Bart Gets an "F"

Wikisimpsons - The Simpsons Wiki
Season 2 Episode
013 "Some Enchanted Evening"
014
"Bart Gets an "F""
"Simpson and Delilah" 015
"I passed, I passed, I passed, I passed, I passed, I ... kissed the teacher!! Yuck!"
Bart Simpson
Bart Gets an "F"
Bart Gets an F promo.jpg
Episode Information
Episode Number: 14
Production Code: 7F03
Original Airdate: October 11, 1990
Couch Gag: The couch falls through the floor as Homer says "D'oh!"
Blackboard Text: I will not encourage others to fly.
Show Runner(s): James L. Brooks
Matt Groening
Sam Simon
Written By: David M. Stern
Directed By: David Silverman
DVD features


"Bart Gets an "F"" is the first episode of season 2. It originally aired on October 11, 1990. The episode was written by David M. Stern and directed by David Silverman. The episode ranked 31st on Entertainment Weekly's 1999 list of "The 100 Greatest Moments in Television."

Synopsis[edit]

Martin teaches Bart how to study.
"Mrs. Krabappel warns Bart that his grades are slipping, and that if he fails another test, he may probably have to repeat the fourth grade. In a last-ditch effort to avoid being held back, Bart enlists the aid of the class brain and nerd (Martin Prince, Jr.) to help him pass a history test."


Plot[edit]

When Bart presents his book report at school on Treasure Island, it is clear to everyone that he has not read the book. Mrs. Krabappel tests Bart by asking him to name the main pirate in the book, which he cannot do. She warns him that his grades have gotten steadily worse since the beginning of the term, and that there will be an exam on Colonial America the following day. Bart, however, does not pay attention to a word she says. He tries to study, but he repeatedly procrastinates until late at night, whereupon he falls asleep over his textbooks.

When he wakes up the next morning, he is worried he will flunk. He goes to Sherri and Terri for help while riding to school, and they offer him false answers in hopes that he will fail the test. Martin warns Bart of the faulty information he has received, so, right before the test, Bart "collapses". He goes to see the nurse, who suggests that Bart stay home because she believes he has amoria phlebitis. At home, Bart procrastinates again and calls Milhouse to copy his answers on the test. When he takes the test, Mrs. Krabappel tells him that he did worse than Milhouse. Homer and Marge have an interview with Mrs. Krabappel and the school's psychiatrist, Dr. J. Loren Pyror, who sees Bart as an underachiever and suggests that Bart be held back a grade. Bart, however, is strongly against this idea, exclaiming "As God is my witness, I can pass the fourth grade!" Homer then says "And if you don't, at least you'll be bigger than everyone else."

With Bart worried he might be held back, he looks to Martin for help. He helps Bart study, and Bart reciprocates by showing how to be more popular, which encourages him to take on some of Bart's bad attitudes. Bart reminds the "new" Martin about the test the following day, but he ignores it, and now Bart must study on his own. He prays to God that something will happen to make him miss school the next day so he can have more time to study. That night it snows and schools are closed the next morning. Bart immediately rushes downstairs to go outside and play in the snow. After Lisa reminds him of his wish, he decides to study for the rest of the day, while everyone is outside having fun. Bart actually concentrates while he is studying. However, even Bart's studying is a distraction; as he tries to picture himself as a member of the First Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 witnessing the signing of the Declaration of Independence, he then pictures it somehow snowing in July, to which the signers then go out and have fun in the snow (In the background someone comments about John Hancock writing his name in the snow). Bart forces himself to pay attention by slapping himself in the face repeatedly (he does this until the next day when Mrs. Krabappel tells him that the test is over). As soon as he finishes the test, he asks Mrs. Krabappel to grade it immediately. She gives it back to him and he sees that he got 59%, another F. Extremely upset at this failure after his honest effort, Bart bursts into tears. Mrs. Krabappel is surprised to see Bart cry; she always thought that he was used to failing her class. As she tries to comfort him, Bart laments that now he knows how George Washington felt when he surrendered Fort Necessity to the French in 1754. The stunned Mrs. Krabappel, realizing that he did study after all, gives Bart an extra point for demonstrating applied knowledge, pushing his grade up to 60%, a D-, the lowest passing grade anyone can get. Bart becomes so joyful about passing that he gives his teacher a kiss on the cheek and runs out shouting out about passing, then realizes that he kissed his teacher. At home, Homer proudly hangs the test on the fridge, and Bart states "Part of this D- belongs to God."

Production[edit]

The "Snow Day" sequence was one of the hardest scenes to produce, as it featured several panoramic shots and was hard to time.

When the FOX network decided to show The Simpsons on Thursday at 8:00 P.M. EST against NBC's highly-rated The Cosby Show, many were expecting this to be a war for ratings. Surprisingly, this episode of The Simpsons drew higher ratings in its first airing than The Cosby Show, and it would lead to The Cosby Show's cancellation in 1992.

"Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish" was the first episode produced this season while this episode was produced 2 episodes onward but the executives wanted it to air first in the new season because Bart was popular at the time.

New Opening Sequence[edit]

For the full article on the Opening Sequences, see here.

This episode marked the first time that the second version of the opening sequence was used, which was different from the opening used in the first season.

  • The Simpsons logo is in a lighter blue sky and is surrounded by more clouds.
  • The stores in the zoom over Springfield are different.
  • The school is now orange instead of white.
  • When Bart flies out of the school, there are two buildings (One orange, and one white).
  • The bald man eating the sandwich is now replaced by Mr. Burns and Waylon Smithers, Jr..
  • The grocery market's background walls are now orange instead of red.
  • Maggie's hands are now straight on her side rather than put in triangle position.
  • Lisa's saxophone is now deeper.
  • When Homer throws the rod, it does NOT bounce near Moe's Tavern.
  • Bart now does not pass obese townspeople and steal the stop sign. Instead he roughly skateboards past Helen Lovejoy, Moe Szyslak, Bleeding Gums Murphy, Apu, Barney, Chief Wiggum, and Jacques.
  • Maggie & Marge's car is now orange instead of red.
  • Lisa's bike sequence is replaced by a zoom over townspeople. Instead Lisa now happily passes by Homer in the driveway.
  • The TV is now violet with a brighter blue screen.

BartThruTownEarlyS2.png

Reception[edit]

The episode was ranked 31st on Entertainment Weekly' list of the 100 Greatest Moments in Television.[1]

It marked the first time that The Simpsons aired at the same time as The Cosby Show on NBC. It averaged an 18.4 Nielsen Rating and 29% of the audience. In the weeks ratings, it finished tied for eighth behind The Cosby Show which had an 18.5 rating. However, an estimated 33.6 million viewers watched the episode, making it the number one show in terms of actual viewers that week. At the time, it was the most watched episode in the history of the Fox Network.[2] At the time, NBC had 208 television stations, while Fox only had 133.[3] It is still the highest rated episode in the history of the show.[4]

In other languages[edit]

Language Name Translation
Spain flag.png Español "Bart en suspenso" Bart in failing
Hispanic America.gif Español "Bart reprueba" Bart fails
France.png Français "Aide-toi, le ciel t'aidera" Help yourself, and heaven will help you
Flag of Quebec.svg.png Français "Mauvais quart d'heure" A bad quarter of an hour
Italy Flag.png Italiano "Bart rischia grosso" Bart risks much
Hungary flag.png Magyar "Bart megbukik" Bart fails

References[edit]

The Saga of Carl - title screen.png Wikisimpsons has a collection of images related to "Bart Gets an "F"".
  1. Bruce Fretts. "The 100 Greatest Moments In Television/1990s", Entertainment Weekly{{{date}}}. Retrieved on 2008-01-25. 
  2. Scott D. Pierce. "Don't have a cow, man! More viewers watch 'The Simpsons' than 'Cosby'!", The Deseret News,, p. C5. Retrieved on 2008-02-09. 
  3. Walt Belcher. "" The Simpsons ,' "Cosby' square off in second round", The Tampa Tribune,, p. 6F. Retrieved on 2008-02-09. 
  4. http://web.archive.org/web/20070816042841/http://television.aol.com/feature/the-simpsons/3


Season 2 Episodes
Bart Gets an "F" Simpson and Delilah Treehouse of Horror Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish Dancin' Homer Dead Putting Society Bart vs. Thanksgiving Bart the Daredevil Itchy & Scratchy & Marge Bart Gets Hit by a Car One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish The Way We Was Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment Principal Charming Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? Bart's Dog Gets an "F" Old Money Brush with Greatness Lisa's Substitute The War of the Simpsons Three Men and a Comic Book Blood Feud