Lisa the Vegetarian/References
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- This episode establishes Lisa's status as a vegetarian, an idea that was first hinted in the episode "Lisa's Wedding". One of Paul McCartney's stipulations for doing the guest spot was that Lisa's conversion to vegetarianism be a permanent one. Thus, it is an instance of continuity in the Simpsons universe that has been strictly held to. In fact, a major stipulation towards maintaining McCartney's request is to make constant reference towards Lisa's vegetarianism throughout the series. Whole episodes were generated due to Lisa's vegetarianism, including Million Dollar Abie, Lisa the Tree Hugger and Homer the Moe, all the while in nearly every Lisa-centric episode, there is some reference towards her vegetarianism. In all, it became the biggest, most-important, and most referred to change in the show's entire history, helping usher in a wave of further character changes and developments including the divorce of Milhouse's parents, Apu becoming a husband and father, the romance between Principal Skinner and Mrs Krabappel, the deaths of Mona Simpson, Mrs Glick, Mrs Krabappel, Maude Flanders, and the original Snowball II and Fat Tony, and most importantly, helped lead to Lisa converting to Buddhism in She of Little Faith, in which the third act is essentially a compressed remake of Lisa the Vegetarian.
- Lisa's vegetarianism originally first appeared as early as 1991, when it was mentioned in the The Simpsons Annual 1992. In the comic strip, By the Barbecue's Red Glare, Marge made a special vegetarian kebab, much to Lisa's delight.
- When Lisa flashes back to scenes of friends and family eating meat, Kent Brockman chews a turkey leg during a newscast. The sound byte of his speech in between bites comes from his line in the "Attack of the 50 ft. Eyesores" segment of that year's "Treehouse of Horror:" ["Lock your doors,] bar your windows, [because] the next [ad you see could destroy your house and eat your family!"]
- The "educational" film Meat and You: Partners in Freedom is subtitled "Number 3F03 in the 'Resistance is Useless' Series". 3F03 is the episode's production code.
- The animals silhouetted in the "Food Chain" slide (which doesn't actually depict a food chain) are: turkey, French poodle, bat, monkey, cow, slug, squirrel, alligator (or crocodile), snake, bird, camel, and duck-billed platypus.
- Strangely, Apu attends Homer's all-meat BBQ, even though he is revealed to be a vegetarian at the end of the episode. (Apu might have attended simply out of respect for Homer's having invited him, since Homer is one of his best customers. Also, given Apu's teaching Lisa about tolerance for other people's beliefs, it is in character for Apu to attend the BBQ out of respect, not eat anything, and also not make an issue of his being a vegetarian and Homer's serving meat.)
- Meat and You: Partners in Freedom is subtitled "Number 3F03 in the 'Resistance is Useless' Series", a reference to the Borg catchphrase "Resistance is futile" in Star Trek.
- The pig that Homer roasts and blasts into the air, flying over the nuclear power plant, is a direct reference to the cover of the Pink Floyd album Animals, which shows a pig flying over London's Battersea Power Station.
- Homer and Bart dance a conga line to the lyrics, "You can't win friends with salad."
- I Spit on Your Grave, a notorious exploitation film, is listed on the billboard for the drive-in cinema.
- The caption on Apu's anti-meat/pro-vegetarian T-shirt reads "Don't have a cow, man!", punning one of Bart's catchphrases.
- During the closing credits:
- Numerous references to The Beatles are present in the episode. Apu claims to have met Paul during the Maharshi period. The Beatles' visit to this guru in India was a big media story in 1967. Apu then claims to have been called "The Fifth Beatle" (mispronouncing it to rhyme with "Seattle"), a claim which Paul does not seem to agree with. The way Apu pronounces Beatles is a reference to how the antagonists in the movie Help! say it.
- Paul McCartney asks, "She's leaving home?", referencing the song of the same title from The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
- Lisa's remark, "Wow! Paul McCartney. I learned about you in history class", is a joke about the enormous cultural importance of the Beatles.
- When Linda McCartney says "whenever we're in Springfield, we like to hang out in Apu's garden in the shade!" paraphrasing a lyric from the song "Octopus' Garden" (from the album Abbey Road).
- The version of "Maybe I'm Amazed" that plays over the end credits is an original mix by the Simpsons staff that, when played backwards, contains snippets of Paul McCartney reciting a recipe for lentil soup – a throwback to an earlier gag. The recited recipe in forward speed can be found on the "Extras" section on Disc 1 of The Simpsons: Complete Season 7.
- One of the backwards snippets says "Oh, and by the way, I'm alive." - a reference to the Paul is dead conspiracy theory.