- "I'm impressed you were able to write so legibly on your own butt!"
- ―Lisa Simpson (to Bart)
| Bart vs. Australia
| Episode Information
"Bart vs. Australia" is the sixteenth episode of Season 6. It aired on February 19, 1995. The episode was written by Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein and Wes Archer directed. The episode marks the first time the Simpson family has visited another country.
- "Bart makes an hours-long collect call to Australia, which results in the family he calls receiving a phone bill for $900. When Bart refuses to make good the charges, Australia indicts him for fraud and the family takes a trip to the Land Down Under so Bart can apologize for his shenanigans."
The episode begins with a bathroom products race between Bart and Lisa in the bathroom sink. Lisa wins and Bart suggests she won because her shampoo was in the "inner lane" to his toothpaste. Lisa explains the Coriolis Effect to Bart (not entirely correctly), but he does not believe her. He makes a collect call to an Australian boy, and asks him about which way the water drains. When it seems that Lisa will be proven right, Bart asks the boy to ask his neighbors, not realizing the boy lives in a rural area, and has to travel a great distance to do so. The line is kept open for several hours. When Bart does not hang up, the boy's father is billed $900.00 ("Nine hundred dollareydoos"). The man wants Bart to pay, but Bart mocks him. Bart receives dozens of collection letters in the mail, but does nothing about them.
Eventually, Australia indicts Bart for fraud. The United States State Department's 'brat and punk division' wants to send him to prison, but settles upon having Bart personally apologize in Australia. The family is sent to Australia, where they start exploring the culture. Bart makes his apology, but they want to give the additional punishment of a boot to his buttocks. Bart and Homer escape the booting and they run back to the embassy, picking up Marge, Lisa and Maggie along the way. Bart agrees to have them do the booting anyway, but as he is about to receive his punishment, he moons the Australians, writing "Don't Tread On Me" on his buttocks. The Simpson family leaves the outraged country in a helicopter in a scene similar to the Fall of Saigon. A subplot through the episode where Bart brought his pet frog into the country past customs. where it reproduces and spread rapidly throughout the country and ruins Australia's ecology (a reference to the actual introduction of non-native Cane Toads into Australia). As the family is being flown home they happily remark upon the destruction that can be caused by introducing a foreign species into a new environment… as the camera pans out to reveal a koala hanging from one of the helicopter's struts.
In Australia, the episode was met with criticism due to its hugely inaccurate and stereotypical portrayal of the country, although it has been accepted as typical American satire and is still aired as a re-run as often as all other episodes. Some Australian fans of the series rather consider it an honor that Australia was featured so prominently in an episode at all. Subsequent Simpsons episodes exploited existing stereotypes of other countries, but this episode actually contains wholesale fabrications about Australia, as the Simpsons producers admit in the DVD commentary for this episode.