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I'm Spelling As Fast As I Can/References

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Season 14 Episode References
302 "Barting Over"
"I'm Spelling As Fast As I Can"
"A Star Is Born Again" 304

Cultural references[edit]

  • The title of the episode is a reference to the 1981 book I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can, by Barbara Gordon. The book describes Gordon's addiction to prescription medication and her rehabilitation. This episode depicts Lisa's addiction to fame and longing for acceptance.
  • Portions of this episode were a parody of a Darren Aronofsky film called Requiem for a Dream. The use of a 'hip-hop montage' around a central theme, in the film and this episode, addiction (the Ribwich); also the visuals when Homer eats the Ribwich (dialating pupils, blood pulsing through veins, etc.).
  • Booberella is a parody of television personalities Vampira and/or Elvira.
  • Ray Romano stars in the film Frankenstein and the Harlem Globetrotters Meet the Mummy and the Washington Generals. The Frankenstein's Monster says that he was made from the corpses of the Denver Nuggets.
  • The song "Tastes Like Liberty", in the Ribwich commercial, is a parody of "Like a Rock" by Bob Seger.
  • The Ribwich is a parody of the McDonald's McRib sandwich, which was also noted for its intermittent availability and the less than obvious origin of its meat.
  • While opening the school, Principal Skinner sings "School's Back", a parody of "School's Out" by Alice Cooper.
  • The shirt that Martin wears when he meets Bart and Nelson shows a picture of him and Nelson in Star Trek costumes.
  • After Lisa wins the school spelling bee, she yells "Free Tibet".
  • This episode contains some Grateful Dead references. "Ribheads" are touring the country in devotion to the Ribwich and end up in San Francisco. At the end of the episode, Krusty says, "What a long strange product rollout it's been".
  • The lawsuit against the Spellympics by the Olympics (for using -lympics) is a parody of the law made by Congress which says that the Olympic Committee can sue anyone who uses "Olympics" or makes an arrangement of the five rings.
  • Otto asks Lisa to spell AC/DC.
  • Barney, with some help from Lisa, sings "Relapse", a parody of "Respect" by Aretha Franklin.
  • The stairs Lisa runs up are similar to the Rocky steps.
  • George Plimpton says that he's the founder of The Paris Review.
  • The Blue Angels are a parody of the Red Arrows.
  • Homer references ESPN with a sign saying "English Spelling Promotes Nowledge".
  • The song played during the Spellympics is "I Put a Spell on You" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins.
  • Bart says that he didn't bring a Game Boy to the Spellympics.
  • When Homer wants to justify to Lisa for his desire to go to the last Ribwich day in San Francisco he tells her "It's about brotherhood..It's about freedom" phrases that are a quote from Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech.
  • The framed number 0 jersey in George Plimpton's office is in the style of the Detroit Lions, the team Plimpton practiced with in his book Paper Lion.
  • George Plimpton says that students would rather watch Ozzy Osbourne.
  • This episode is often noted for its famous parody of the Seven Sister Colleges (as they were prior to the 1970s; Vassar College is now coeducational and Radcliffe college merged with Harvard) who appear to Lisa Simpson in a dream:[1]
    • Barnard College: (wearing glasses): We are the Seven Sisters. And you can attend any one of us! Like Barnard, Columbia's "girl next door."
    • Radcliffe College: Come to Radcliffe and meet Harvard men.
    • Wellesley College: Or come to Wellesley and marry them.
    • Mount Holyoke College: (slurring, champagne glass in hand) No. Party with me! (Falls face first.)
    • Vassar College: Or nonconform with me! (Raises arms, reveals hairy armpits.)
    • Smith College: (muscular, carries lacrosse stick, husky voice) Play lacrosse with me!
    • Bryn Mawr College: Or explore with me! (She and Smith kiss with passion.)
  • The song that plays during the Spellympics finale is "Get Ready for This" by 2 unlimited.


  • An alternate version of the first scene is used in 17th season episode "The Monkey Suit".
  • George Plimpton later appears on the movie in "Bart Gets a "Z"".
  • In Lisa's dream, the girl who represents Bryn Mawr College proposes to "..or explore with me" by kissing the girl representative of Smith College, giving an evident sexual connotation to her proposal.



Season 14 References
Treehouse of Horror XIII How I Spent My Strummer Vacation Bart vs. Lisa vs. the Third Grade Large Marge Helter Shelter The Great Louse Detective Special Edna The Dad Who Knew Too Little The Strong Arms of the Ma Pray Anything Barting Over I'm Spelling As Fast As I Can A Star Is Born Again Mr. Spritz Goes to Washington C.E. D'oh 'Scuse Me While I Miss the Sky Three Gays of the Condo Dude, Where's My Ranch? Old Yeller-Belly Brake My Wife, Please The Bart of War Moe Baby Blues