| Episode Information
- "Here's the bottom line: I need an extracurricular activity, and no one else will coach you lovable losers."
- ―Lisa Simpson
"MoneyBart" is the third episode of season 22.
- "In an effort to broaden her extracurricular horizons, Lisa decides to manage Bart's little league team. Using statistics and probabilities, Lisa leads the team to an incredible winning streak."
The same day, Ned Flanders visits the Simpsons to tell Bart he's resigning the Springfield Isotots as a coach, since they haven't won any games in a long time. Bart goes to the Springfield Stadium, where he discovers Lisa took the job as a coach for the team. She doesn't know a lot about baseball, so she goes to Moe's Tavern to seek for advices. Professor Frink, Doug, Benjamin, Gary and Bill James (on a video) tell Lisa about sabermatics, which are very useful for her to help the team to win.
Lisa uses probabilities and statistics to coach her team. Using those methods, she quickly takes the team to a winning streak. However, Bart is not very happy with Lisa because she's taking all of the fun out of the game. Lisa tells Bart not to hit the ball because the pitcher will fail. Bart doesn't listen to her and makes a home run that makes them win the game. Despite this, Lisa throws Bart out of the team because of insubordination.
This casues tension at the Simpson family. Homer is with Lisa, thinking she has to do what is good for the team. Marge is with Bart, thinking Lisa should reconsider that the family comes first. The team makes it to Capital City, but Bart goes with Marge to a rollercoaster instead of watching the game. While on the ride, Bart receives a phone call from Lisa, who pleads with him to come and play in Ralph's place because Ralph is "too juiced" (at which point, they show Ralph, surrounded by empty juice boxes, moaning "I didn't know what I was putting in to my body"). While on the rollercoaster, Mike Scioscia appears behind them and tells Bart that he should always listen to his manager, and that that was what took him to victory. When the ride finishes, Bart goes to the game. The team is down 11-10, so Bart puts aside his differences with Lisa and offers to pinch-run from first base. He then ignores her signs and steals both second and third before declaring, "I'm stealing home!" Lisa says that the odds are vastly against him. However, she decides not to base her game on numbers and cheers Bart on. The Isotots lose the game, but the team cheers Bart and Lisa for resolving their differences.
The opening sequence for this episode, created by British graffiti artist and political activist Banksy, is slightly changed in the beginning, with two "Banksy" graffiti on the billboard and the school.
The couch gag was also created by Banksy. It was elongated significantly, showing the process of animation at an Asian animating studio, where several tired and sickly workers draw animation cels of The Simpsons and make DVD's, dolls and several Simpsons merchandise. At the end, the camera zooms out to show the 20th Century Fox studio.
Banksy is credited with creating the opening titles and couch gag for this episode, in what amounted to the first time that an artist has been invited to storyboard the show. Executive producer Al Jean first took note of Banksy after seeing his 2010 film Exit Through the Gift Shop. According to Jean, "The concept in my mind was, 'What if this graffiti artist came in and tagged our main titles?'" Simpsons casting director Bonnie Pietila was able to contact the artist through the film's producers, and asked if he would be interested in writing a main title for the show. Jean said Banksy "sent back boards for pretty much what you saw." Series creator Matt Groening gave the idea his blessing, and helped try to make the sequence as close to Banksy's original storyboards as possible. Fox's standards and practices department demanded a handful of changes, but, according to Jean, "95 percent of it is just the way he wanted." Banksy told The Guardian that his opening sequence was influenced by The Simpsons long-running use of animation studios in Seoul, South Korea. The newspaper also reported that the creation of the sequence "is said to have been one of the most closely guarded secrets in US television – comparable to the concealment of Banksy's own identity."
BBC News reported that "According to [Banksy], his storyboard led to delays, disputes over broadcast standards and a threatened walk out by the animation department." However, Al Jean disputed this, saying " [The animation department] didn't walk out. Obviously they didn't. We've depicted the conditions in a fanciful light before." Commenting on hiring Banksy to create the titles, Jean joked, "This is what you get when you outsource." Although conceding to the fact that The Simpsons is largely animated in South Korea, Jean went on to state that the scenes shown in titles are "very fanciful, far-fetched. None of the things he depicts are true. That statement should be self-evident, but I will emphatically state it."
Colby Hall of Mediaite called the sequence "a jaw-dropping critique of global corporate licensing, worker exploitation and over-the-top dreariness of how western media companies (in this case, 20th Century Fox) takes advantage of outsourced labor in developing countries." Melissa Bell of The Washington Post felt Banksy's titles had helped revive The Simpsons' "edge", but after "the jarring opening, the show went back to its regular routine of guest cameos, self-referential jokes and tangential story lines." Marlow Riley of MTV wrote "as satire, [the opening is] a bit over-the-top. What is shocking is that Fox ran Banksy's ballsy critique of outsourcing, The Simpsons, and the standards and human rights conditions that people in first world nations accept. It's uncomfortable and dark, and not what's expected from the modern Simpsons, which mainly consists of 'Homer hurts himself' jokes."
AOL said: "In the end, the episode was really good at the beginning and the ending, but the middle kind of dragged." The A.V. Club compared the episode to "Lisa on Ice" although they didn't like Mike Scioscia's cameo calling it "awkward". The episode was given a A-, the best grade of the night.
Despite that the episode is frequently stylized as MoneyBART, Al Jean confirmed on Twitter on December 3, 2014 that it is called MoneyBart, as with the book that inspired the title.
- Itzkoff, Dave (October 11, 2010). ‘The Simpsons’ Explains Its Button-Pushing Banksy Opening. New York Times. Retrieved on 2010-10-11.
- Halliday, Josh (October 11, 2010). Banksy takes Simpsons into sweatshop. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2010-10-11.