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Season 7 Episode
143 "Bart the Fink"
"Lisa the Iconoclast"
"Homer the Smithers" 145
"Lisa the Iconoclast"
Lisa the Iconoclast promo.gif
Episode Information
Episode number: 144
Season number: S7 E16
Production code: 3F13
Original airdate: February 18, 1996
Couch gag: The family are portrayed as The Brady Bunch
Guest star(s): Donald Sutherland as Hollis Hurlbut
Showrunner(s): Bill Oakley
Josh Weinstein
Written by: Jonathan Collier
Directed by: Mike B. Anderson
DVD features

"Lisa the Iconoclast" is the sixteenth episode of season 7 of The Simpsons and the one-hundred and forty-fourth episode overall. It originally aired on February 18, 1996. The episode was written by Jonathan Collier and directed by Mike B. Anderson. It guest stars Donald Sutherland as Hollis Hurlbut.


"As Springfield's bicentennial celebration approaches, Lisa discovers the real truth behind town founder, Jebediah Springfield and finds herself at odds with a protective museum curator who wants to keep Jebediah's unattractive past a secret. Meanwhile, Homer becomes obsessed with being the official town crier for the bicentennial celebration."


Springfield's bicentennial is coming up, to celebrate, the town prepares a parade. Lisa, decides to enter a report about Jebediah Springfield into a school contest. To research for the report, she visits the history museum, where she meets Hollis Hurlbut, a renowned scholar who specializes in researching Jebediah Springfield. Meanwhile, Homer tries out for the position of town crier in the upcoming parade. Flanders, who was originally town crier, gracefully gives up the position and Homer takes over.

Lisa finds a rolled up piece of parchment concealed in Jebediah's flute. The parchment reveals that Jebediah Springfield's real name was Hans Sprungfeld, and that he was a murderous pirate who shot a wild buffalo rather than taming it, and got in a fistfight with George Washington. Lisa reveals this to Homer and they set off to reveal the truth, largely because Homer believes Lisa has been right about things in the past. No one believes them, so they set out to dig up Jebediah's corpse: Hans Sprungfeld had a silver prosthetic tongue, so if they find the tongue, they prove that Jebediah Springfield was not the hero he was thought to be. When they dig up the corpse, they find no tongue.

Homer is banned from the parade, and he and Lisa are shunned. Lisa gives up until the middle of the night when she is visited by the ghost of George Washington, who commends her for exposing Hans Sprungfeld as a fraud and hints to look to the famous torn portrait of himself; the missing piece being where Sprungfeld wrote his confession. Determined to find the tongue, Lisa goes back to the museum. There she finds that Hollis Hurlbut stole and hid the tongue, in order to shield the town from the truth when he found out he'd dedicated his life to a criminal.

Hurlbut finally accepts that Jebediah Springfield was really a brutal pirate, and says they must stop this sham celebration. However, just as Lisa is about to reveal the truth about Hans Sprungfeld to the town, she sees positive factors such as veterans attending the parade and kids on floats, to which she simply says Jebediah Springfield was a great man. When Hurlbut asks Lisa in private why she did not speak about the pirate whom Hans Sprungfeld really was, she says the myth about Jebediah Springfield is valuable due to it bringing out the best in the community, and then sits atop Homer's shoulders as he participates in the parade (after replacing Flanders as Town crier).