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Bart the Genius/References

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Season 1 Episode References
001 "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"
"Bart the Genius"
"Homer's Odyssey" 003

Cultural references[edit]

Maggie spells out EMCSQU.
  • The Simpsons play Scrabble.
  • In the opening scene, Maggie spells EMCSQU with her blocks, a reference to Albert Einstein's mass-energy equivalence equation. A picture of Einstein also appears on the wall of Dr. Pryor's office. At one point Homer mistakes "Einstein" for "Edison", referring to Einstein as the inventor of the light bulb.
  • While in Principal Skinner's officer, Dr. Pryor puts his calipers against Bart's head to conduct what is known as phrenology, a mental state analysis which had previously been discredited by the scientific community in the 1840s.
  • Dr. Pryor compares Bart's proposed work among ordinary children to Jane Goodall's study of chimpanzees. Goodall was pleased to be mentioned in the episode, sending the program a letter, and Vitti a signed book.
  • The opera attended by the family is Carmen, by Georges Bizet; the song Bart mocks is a famous aria called the "Toreador Song".
  • Books on the shelf in Bart's new advanced school classroom include Crime and Punishment, Babylonian Myths, Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, Plato, Inferno, Iliad, Design of Computers, Astrophysics, Nana by Emile Zona, Puskin, Shakespeare I-XV, Quantum Mechanics and Life of Leonardo.


  • "Bart the Genius" is the first "proper" Simpsons episode and the second Simpsons episode of the show.
  • This is the first episode of the show to feature the introduction sequence.
  • This is also the first episode to have Bart's name somewhere in the title.
  • There is a picture of Bart on the wall opposite one of Albert Einstein in Dr. Pryor's office.
  • After Bart comes home green, Homer washes him in turpentine.
  • Homer thinks it was Albert Einstein that invented the light bulb.
  • This is the first Bart is seen naked on The Simpsons
  • Maggie spells out EMCSQU (or E=MC²) on her building blocks.
  • This is the first (and so far, only) couch gag to visually continue into the TV scene.
  • Milhouse has black hair in this episode.
  • When the Simpsons are playing Scrabble and Homer is complaining that he has no good letters, his slate of letters shows "O-X-I-D-I-Z-E", which is the highest word score one can achieve in Scrabble by using seven letters.
    • This would only be useful if there was an S to play on (to form "oxidizes") or if it was the first move of the game. As such, the word may have been unplayable.
  • Martin Prince, Jr. is the train conductor when Bart is told to visualize his IQ problems.
  • Principal Skinner devotes an entire file drawer to Bart Simpson.
  • Homer makes a cheque of $75, to pay for Bart's defacing of school property, to "Dept. of Education".
  • Martin's IQ is 216.
  • Bart wears a pink shirt to his first day of class at the Enriched Learning Center for Gifted Children.
  • The Simpsons attend the opera Carmen. advertised as "Tonight Only in Russian".
  • On the opera poster, the conductor is identified as Boris Csupovski, a play on the name of producer and supervising animation director Gabor Csupo.
  • After he is dubbed a genius, Bart's Principal Skinner graffiti is framed and labeled as a work of art entitled "The Principal" by Bart Simpson.
  • Martin and his parents were at the opera. Mr. Prince is the man commenting on Homer and Bart's boorish behavior.
  • In the smart class, there is an overweight student with glasses, character sketches on the Season 1 DVD reveal this was a preliminary design for Martin Prince.


  • Ms. Melon, teacher at The Enriched Learning Center for Gifted Children is seen dancing with Jacques in the music video Do the Bartman.
  • Homer comments to Bart that for generations Simpson men have dreamed of outsmarting someone. Homer does just that, by outsmarting Cooder in "Bart Carny".
  • Bart spray paints defamatory graffiti of Principal Skinner on a school wall in the comic The Kiss of Blecch!, this time spelling "wiener" correctly.
  • This is the first episode where Bart uses his soon to be famous catch phrase "Eat My Shorts".
  • A Radioactive Man comic book is seen, though the title character's appearance is vastly different from his appearance is later episodes.
  • Bart's lab accident apparently closed The Enriched Learning Center for Gifted Children since some of the students were later seen at Springfield Elementary. Do the Bartman and "Bart Gets an "F"".


  • There are no answers on Martin's paper.
  • When Homer enters Skinner's office, he starts talking. There is a brief shot of Homer's mouth, which is closed when Homer starts talking.
  • There is a blackboard behind Dr. Pryor, although when the camera does a close-up on him there is just a purple wall behind him.
  • When Homer tells Bart about ties, his hair is missing.
  • In one shot at the breakfast table, Homer is missing his hair.
  • When Bart makes his science experiment explode, he is at the right (our view) side of the room. After a shot of the outside of the school, there is a shot of the classroom, where Bart is holding his test tube, surrounded by kids, at the LEFT side of the room. However, the impact of the explosion could have moved everyone from the right side of the room to the left side of the room.
  • In the breakfast scene about 10 minutes into the episode, Homer lifts up the box of Frosty Krusty Flakes and looks on the back. The back is blank. When he puts the box back on the table a few frames later, there are three boxes on the back, one saying "Take Offer". Also, when Homer holds the box lopsided, Krusty's hair on the left (our view) side of the box goes up, with the outline looking like someone has drawn a squiggle going up to the top of the box.
  • When Bart and Ms. Melon walk towards the bookcase, some of the kids appear in two places at once.
  • In one shot of Bart's class, Calvin is visible despite the fact that he should be at the Enrichment school.
  • When Ian, Calvin and Ethan Foley talk about Bart in the lunchroom, Ian's voice changes instantly.
  • The absence note that Skinner pulls out of his filing cabinet is initially written in neat, clear handwriting, but then suddenly changes to a childish scrawl to match the check that Homer wrote out.
Season 1 References
Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire Bart the Genius Homer's Odyssey There's No Disgrace Like Home Bart the General Moaning Lisa The Call of the Simpsons The Telltale Head Life on the Fast Lane Homer's Night Out The Crepes of Wrath Krusty Gets Busted Some Enchanted Evening