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Season 2

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Season 2
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Season Information
Original run: October 11, 1990 – July 11, 1991
No. of episodes: 22
Previous season: 1
Next season: 3
DVD boxset: The Complete Second Season

The second season originally aired from October 11, 1990 to July 11, 1991, starting with the episode "Bart Gets an "F"" and finishing with "Blood Feud". Matt Groening, James L. Brooks and Sam Simon were the show runners of the season, as they were for the previous season.

While "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish" was the first episode produced for the season, "Bart Gets an "F"" became the season premiere as Bart was the series' breakout character at the time and the producers wanted to debut with an episode centering on him.

The second season had two Emmy nominations, both of them for "Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment." The episode also won the Emmy award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming less than One Hour) and was nominated for "Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special," which it did not win.[1]

All 22 episodes of Season 2, including extras such as optional commentaries of all the episodes, were released on DVD on August 6, 2002 in Region 1, July 8, 2002 in Region 2 and September 2002 in Region 4.[2]

History[edit]

"Bart Gets an "F"" was the first episode broadcast for the second season, although it was not the first produced (the first produced being "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish"). The change was due to the popularity of Bart Simpson and his status as the main character of The Simpsons at this point in the show's history. (Later, Homer would assume that status.) Another reason was that the producers wanted a Bart-centered episode as the season premiere. The Fox Network decided to switch The Simpsons timeslot to Thursday at 8:00 p.m. EST, to air at the same time as NBC's The Cosby Show. This competition led to the two shows being promoted as "Bill vs. Bart", referencing the main characters. While The Cosby Show earned slightly higher Nielsen ratings (an 18.5 rating compared to The Simpsons' 18.4 for "Bart Gets an "F""). Fox's show, however, finished eighth in the weekly ratings, watched by an estimated 33.6 million viewers, making it the number one show in terms of actual viewers and surpassing The Cosby Show in terms of viewing numbers that week.[3] "Bart Gets an "F"" became the network's highest rated broadcast until January 1, 1995 and The Simpsons' highest rated episode of all time.[4] "Three Men and a Comic Book" was the only episode from the second season to beat The Cosby Show by Nielson ratings, finishing 23rd in weekly ratings opposite a rerun of a Cosby episode, which finished 26th.[5] At the end of the second season, The Simpsons finished 38th while The Cosby Show finished 5th. It would not be until Season 3's "Homer at the Bat" where The Simpsons would garner more viewers than The Cosby Show.[2] The Simpsons would remain in a Thursday timeslot until being moved back to its original Sunday timeslot in the sixth season, where the show has remained ever since.

Season 2 also introduced a new opening sequence, one which would be used for many seasons. The new opening sequence was significantly remade compared to its predecessor; for example, including many recurring characters such as Lionel Hutz, Mayor Quimby and Troy McClure, who were introduced in this season but didn't appear in Season 1. Three versions of the new sequence were created, with different lengths: One which was 1 minute and 15 seconds long, another which was 45 seconds and one which was only 25 seconds, with parts cut to fit the shorter time frames. These versions were created to adapt to the length of an episode where some would be longer than others. That is, a short episode would have a long opening and vice versa to save or fill in time.

Episodes[edit]

Key
  • In the # column;
    • The first number refers to the order it aired during the entire series.
    • The second number refers to the episode number within its season.
  • The production code refers to the code assigned to the episode by the production team. The first two characters refer to the season the episode was made for: 7F for season two, 8F for season three. The second number is the order the episode was produced, not the airing order.
Picture # Original title (top)
Alternate title (bottom)
Directed by Written by Original airdate Prod. code
Martin & Bart - Bart Gets an "F".png 14 - 1 "Bart Gets an "F"" David Silverman David M. Stern October 11, 1990 7F03
Bart is continually failing tests and is warned that if he fails an upcoming history exam, he will be held back to repeat the fourth grade. Not wanting to be held back, Bart enlists the help of Martin Prince, the class brain, to study for the history test, in exchange for Bart teaching Martin how to be cool. Bart is left to study on his own when Martin is distracted by his new popularity. However, Bart passes the test anyway, thanks to some last-minute extra credit from Mrs. Krabappel.

Guest star: Marcia Wallace.

Simpson and Delilah.jpg 15 - 2 "Simpson and Delilah" Rich Moore Jon Vitti October 18, 1990 7F02
Homer learns of a new hair growth formula, called Dimoxinil, and is eager to try it as he has come to resent being bald. Unable to afford the Dimoxinil, Homer cheats on his medical insurance forms to obtain it. The forumula works, and a no-longer-bald Homer is promoted to executive and gets a male secretary named Karl. Homer's cheating is eventually found out and Homer is nearly fired, but Karl takes the blame and Homer keeps his job. Unfortunately, Bart spills the Dimoxinil and Homer goes bald again. When a speech he gives is a complete failure, Homer is summoned to Mr. Burns' office. Burns proves to be surprisingly sympathetic (as a fellow bald man) and doesn't fire Homer, but merely demotes him back to his old job.

Special Guest Voice: Harvey Fierstein as Karl.

Treehouse of Horror (Title Card).png 16 - 3 "Treehouse of Horror"
"The Simpsons Halloween Special"
Wes Archer, Rich Moore and David Silverman Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky October 25, 1990 7F04
Opening Sequence: Marge warns viewers that the following episode is unsuitable for children, and recommends that they not be allowed to watch it.

Prologue: Bart and Lisa are in the treehouse telling stories, while Homer eavesdrops on them after trick-or-treating.

Bad Dream House: The Simpsons move to a new house, and discover that the house is alive and evil and wants to get rid of them. When the house threatens the family with horrible deaths, Marge confronts it and says that they are staying and the house will have to learn to live with the situation. The house asks the family to step outside while it thinks about it, and chooses to destroy itself rather than live with the Simpsons.

Hungry are the Damned: The Simpsons are abducted by aliens (including Kang and Kodos in their first appearance) who say that they're taking the family to their home planet for a feast. When the family are well-treated (for example, being served sumptuous meals), Lisa becomes suspicious of the aliens' motives and accuses the aliens of planning to eat them. Shocked and hurt, the aliens take the Simpsons home and tell them that because of their distrustful nature, they have forfeited the opportunity for a paradisiacal existence on the aliens' home planet.

The Raven: A retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's classic poem, "The Raven", narrated by James Earl Jones (who had guest voice roles in all three story segments). The Simpsons appear as the characters in the poem, including Homer as the narrator, Marge as Lenore and Bart as the raven.

Closing Sequence: The children sleep soundly, but Homer is so scared that he is still wide awake. He sees the raven, still depicted as Bart, perched on a tree branch and chuckling at him. Now even more frightened, Homer laments that he hates Halloween.

Special Guest Voice: James Earl Jones as a moving man, Serak the Preparer, and "The Raven" narrator.

Two Cars.png 17 - 4 "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish" Wes Archer Sam Simon & John Swartzwelder November 1, 1990 7F01
Bart catches a three-eyed fish in the river near Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. When the fish story is featured prominently in the local news, the plant is inspected and then fined millions of dollars for its many safety violations. Infuriated, Mr. Burns decides to run for governor so he can do away with the regulations that are costing him so much money. Burns mounts a serious challenge to popular incumbent governor Mary Bailey, but ends up losing—ironically, due to another three-eyed fish.
DancingHomer.jpg 18 - 5 "Dancin' Homer" Mark Kirkland Ken Levine & David Isaacs November 8, 1990 7F05
Homer becomes the mascot of the Springfield Isotopes after his spontaneous dancing to "Baby Elephant Walk" enthralls the crowd and inspires the team to a winning streak. His popularity draws the attention of the team's owner and leads to him being promoted to Capital City to back up that team's mascot, the Capital City Goofball. Homer moves the family to "Cap City," but his dancing act falls flat before the big-city crowd and they quickly return to Springfield.

Guest starring: Tom Poston and Tony Bennett.

Dead Putting Society.jpg 19 - 6 "Dead Putting Society" Rich Moore Jeff Martin November 15, 1990 7F08
Bart and Todd Flanders compete in a miniature golf tournament, which brings out the competitive sides of their fathers and leads them to have a bet on the tournament: The father of "the boy who doesn't win" must mow the other one's lawn while wearing his wife's Sunday dress. The game ends in a draw, resulting in both Homer and Ned having to wear dresses and mow each other's lawn. As the neighbors wolf-whistle at them, Ned sees the humor in the situation and starts to enjoy it—much to Homer's dismay.
Bart vs Thanksgiving.png 20 - 7 "Bart vs. Thanksgiving" David Silverman George Meyer November 22, 1990 7F07
After Bart destroys the centerpiece that Lisa had made for Thanksgiving, Marge demands that he apologize to Lisa. Bart refuses and runs away from home, taking Santa's Little Helper with him. After Bart wanders into the seedy part of town and talks to some of the bums there, he realizes how good he has it and returns home. When he hears Lisa crying, he is moved to apologize, and the family finally sits down to a thankful Thanksgiving dinner.
Bart the Daredevil.png 21 - 8 "Bart the Daredevil" Wes Archer Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky December 6, 1990 7F06
Bart sees a daredevil stunt by Captain Lance Murdock and is inspired to become a daredevil himself. After succeeding in several minor stunts, Bart pridefully announces that he plans to jump Springfield Gorge on his skateboard. Bart refuses to be dissuaded, in spite of visiting Murdock in the hospital (Murdock, however, supports Bart's plan). Homer talks Bart out of it at the last second, but accidentally ends up taking the jump himself. Homer fails, crashes in the gorge, and ends up in the same hospital room as Lance Murdock, to whom he says, "You think you've got guts? Try raising my kids!"
Itchy & Scratchy & Marge.png 22 - 9 "Itchy & Scratchy & Marge" David Silverman John Swartzwelder December 20, 1990 7F09
When Maggie copies things she sees in Itchy & Scratchy cartoons and injures Homer, Marge begins a protest against the show's producers. A citizens' group called S.N.U.H. (Springfieldians for Nonviolence, Understanding and Helping). The group quickly grows, and the producers comply with Marge's demands and remove the violence from Itchy & Scratchy. The kids of Springfield then quit watching the cartoon and embrace the concept of wholesome outdoor playtime. However, when Marge refuses to oppose an exhibition of Michaelangelo's David (to which S.N.U.H. objects because the statue is naked), the protest movement fizzles, Itchy & Scratchy returns to its old form, and children resume watching it.

Guest star: Alex Rocco.

Hospitalized Bart - Bart Gets Hit by a Car.png 23 - 10 "Bart Gets Hit by a Car" Mark Kirkland John Swartzwelder January 10, 1991 7F10
Bart is run over (accidentally) by Mr. Burns in his car. At the instigation of dodgy lawyer Lionel Hutz and with some help from Dr. Nick Riviera, Homer exaggerates Bart's injuries and brings a suit against Burns for a million dollars. Homer's dreams of easy wealth crumble when Marge is put on the stand and her basic honesty compels her to tell the truth about Hutz's and Riviera's scheme. The episode marks the first appearances of Lionel Hutz (voiced by Phil Hartman in his first guest appearance), Dr. Nick, Burns' Blue-Haired Lawyer, and Lunchlady Doris.
Blowfish.png 24 - 11 "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish" Wes Archer Nell Scovell January 24, 1991 7F11
Lisa encourages the family to try a new Sushi restaurant in Springfield, and Homer, to his surprise, finds that he likes it. Wanting to try everything on the menu, he insists on ordering Fugu, and ends up getting it from a cook who is not trained in its preparation. Homer then learns that he may have been poisoned, and if that is so, he has 24 hours to live. Homer makes a list of things he wants to do before he dies, but his plans go awry when reconciling with his father takes longer than expected and he gets arrested for speeding. The next morning, everyone is surprised and overjoyed to find that Homer is still alive. After vowing to live life to the fullest, Homer is back on the couch eating pork rinds.

Guest starring': Larry King and George Takei.

The Way We Was.png 25 - 12 "The Way We Was" David Silverman Al Jean, Mike Reiss & Sam Simon January 31, 1991 7F12
Homer and Marge tell the kids the story of how they met in high school—in detention, after Homer was caught smoking in the boys' bathroom and Marge burned a bra in a feminist rally on school grounds. Smitten with Marge, Homer pretended to be a French student to spend time with her, and asked her to the prom. Marge said yes, but when she found out about Homer's deception, she got mad at him and went to the prom with Artie Ziff instead. When Artie got fresh with Marge after the prom, Marge realized that she'd gone with the wrong date. After Artie took her home, she got into her car and drove off in search of Homer, finding him and giving him a ride home. Prom night ended on a happy note as Marge and Homer shared their first kiss, and the episode ends back in the present with them embracing while the kids look on.

Guest star: Jon Lovitz.

Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment.png 26 - 13 "Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment" Rich Moore Steve Pepoon February 7, 1991 7F13
Homer gets an illegal free cable hook-up and enjoys the programs, but Lisa is concerned that Homer will go to Hell for violating the 8th Commandment: "Thou shalt not steal." Bart, for his part, takes advantage of the situation and charges his friends admission to watch an adult entertainment channel. After Homer catches Bart and sees how distressed Lisa is, he becomes remorseful and cuts the illegal cable connection—in the process, also accidentally cutting off the electricity for all of Springfield.
Principal Charming.png 27 - 14 "Principal Charming" Mark Kirkland David M. Stern February 14, 1991 7F15
Selma is looking for a husband and asks Marge to help her find one; Marge in turn asks Homer to help. Homer decides that Principal Skinner is a good prospect and decides to set him up with Selma. However, when Homer arranges for them to meet, Skinner falls for Patty instead, to everyone's chagrin. Skinner enlists Bart's help to get him closer to Patty, while Homer decides to set Selma up with Barney Gumble instead. Skinner proposes marriage to Patty, and she is flattered but turns him down. Patty then tells Selma what happened, Selma breaks her date with Barney, and things return to normal.
Oh Brother, Where Art Thou.png 28 - 15 "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" Wes Archer Jeff Martin February 21, 1991 7F16
Grampa has a mild heart attack. Confronted with his own mortality, he reveals to Homer that he has an older half-brother named Herb Powell. Homer searches for Herb, finds him in Detroit, and takes the family to visit him. It turns out that Herb is rich and owns a successful car company. Concerned about foreign competition, Herb invites Homer to design a car for the average American. Homer's car turns out to be an unsaleable monstrosity, Herb's company folds, and Herb ends up losing his house and his money. Herb regrets having ever met Homer, and as he boards a bus, he angrily says that he has no brother.

Guest star: Danny DeVito.

Bart's Dog Gets an F.png 29 - 16 "Bart's Dog Gets an "F"" Jim Reardon Jon Vitti March 7, 1991 7F14
Santa's Little Helper goes on a bad-dog binge, destroying prized possessions and generally making a nuisance of himself. The family decide to enroll him in obedience school, but he does poorly. The night before the end of the class, Homer threatens to get rid of Santa's Little Helper if he doesn't pass. Crushed, Bart plays with the dog, thinking it'll be their last few hours together. However, Santa's Little Helper finally gets the idea and starts obeying Bart during their playtime. The next day, he passes the class and gets to stay with the family.

Guest stars: Tracey Ullman.

Old Money.png 30 - 17 "Old Money" David Silverman Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky March 28, 1991 7F17
Grampa falls in love with Bea Simmons, a fellow resident of Springfield Retirement Castle. They make plans for Bea's birthday, but it falls on the same day as the monthly outing with the family. Homer doesn't believe Grampa's protests that he has a date, and drags Grampa along to Discount Lion Safari. A mistake by Homer gets them stuck in the park overnight, and Grampa returns to the rest home the next day to find that Bea died while he was out with the family. Grampa learns that she left him her entire estate, and her ghost returns to tell him to use her money to make other people happy. After considering many options, Grampa uses the money to renovate the Retirement Castle, and has the dining room renamed in Bea's honor.

Guest starring: Audrey Meadows, Phil Hartman and Marcia Wallace.

Brush with Greatness promo.jpg 31 - 18 "Brush with Greatness" Jim Reardon Brian K. Roberts April 11, 1991 7F18
Marge rekindles her old interest in art and joins a class at the community college. She wins the college art show, and is commissioned to paint a portrait of Mr. Burns, with the condition that he be portrayed as a "beautiful man." After many attempts, Marge gets frustrated with her task, finds herself unable to see any beauty in Burns, and paints him in the nude after she accidentally sees him getting out of the bathtub. When the portrait is unveiled and shocks everyone, Marge explains that the only way she could bring out his inner beauty was to show his vulnerability. Everyone ends up liking the painting, including Mr. Burns.

Guest starring: Ringo Starr.

You are Lisa Simpson.png 32 - 19 "Lisa's Substitute" Rich Moore Jon Vitti April 25, 1991 7F19
Lisa's teacher Miss Hoover becomes ill and has a substitute, Mr. Bergstrom. Lisa enjoys his teaching methods and quickly develops a crush on him, but is devastated when Miss Hoover returns and Mr. Bergstrom leaves town to take another job. Meanwhile, Bart runs for class president against Martin Prince and proves to be a very popular candidate. However, he loses the election by a count of two votes to zero when the only people in class who remember to vote are Martin and his sole supporter.

Guest starring: Dustin Hoffman (credited as "Sam Etic").

The War of the Simpsons.png 33 - 20 "The War Of The Simpsons" Mark Kirkland John Swartzwelder May 2, 1991 7F20
Homer gets drunk at a dinner party and makes an oaf of himself. Angry, Marge signs them up for a marriage counseling retreat. However, the retreat is being held at a lake that's a famous fishing spot, and Homer gets in trouble when he skips the counseling sessions to go fishing. Homer catches a prize fish after an hours-long battle, but Marge is still angry at him. To prove his love for Marge, Homer lets the fish go, and he and Marge are able to resolve their differences.
Three Men and a Comic Book.png 34 - 21 "Three Men and a Comic Book" Wes Archer Jeff Martin May 9, 1991 7F21
Bart becomes obsessed with buying the Radioactive Man #1 comic book, but does not have enough money for it, even after doing chores around the neighborhood. He, Milhouse and Martin pool their money and buy the comic together. However, the trio have a lot of struggles as they try to share it, and in the end no one gets the comic as it's destroyed in a lightning storm.
7F22.png 35 - 22 "Blood Feud" David Silverman George Meyer July 11, 1991 7F22
Mr. Burns is gravely ill and needs a blood transfusion, and Bart is the only compatible donor. Homer encourages Bart to donate, anticipating getting a big reward from Burns in exchange for saving his life. When Bart gives his blood and no reward comes (only a thank-you card), Homer gets angry and writes a nasty letter to Burns. Marge intervenes and talks Homer out of mailing the letter. However, Bart, not knowing that Homer changed his mind, finds the letter and puts it in the mail. Chaos ensues as Homer and Bart try to retrieve the letter before Burns receives it.

Season 2 episodes script covers[edit]

DVD Release[edit]

Season 2 was released on DVD by 20th Century Fox in Region 2 on July 8, 2002, Region 1 on August 6, 2002 and Region 4 on September 2002. While primarily consisting of the original 22 episodes, the DVD release features bonus material including deleted scenes, Animatics, and commentaries for every episode.

The Complete Second Season
Set Details Special Features
  • 22 episodes
  • 4-disc set
  • 1.33:1 aspect ratio
  • Languages:
    • English (Dolby Digital 5.1, with subtitles)
    • French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
    • Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround,with subtitles)
  • Optional commentaries for all 22 episodes
    • An early interview with James L. Brooks and Matt Groening
    • Bart at the American Music Awards (with commentary)
    • The Simpsons presenting at the Emmy Awards
    • "Do the Bartman" music video (director's cut with commentary)
    • "Deep, Deep Trouble" music video (with commentary)
    • Featurette: "Creation of an Episode"
    • Foreign language clips
    • Butterfinger commercials
    • Gallery (Barbara Bush letters, animation, magazine covers)
    • Early sketches
Release Dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
August 6, 2002 July 8, 2002 September 2002

References[edit]

  1. Emmy Awards official site "The Simpsons" "1991–1991" emmys.org. Retrieved on August 31, 2007
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jean, Al. The Simpsons season 2 DVD commentary for the episode "Bart Gets an "F"" [DVD]. 20th Century Fox. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Jean" defined multiple times with different content
  3. "Bart vs. Bill results in a split decision!", The Record,, p. B8. Retrieved on 2008-02-09. 
  4. Bart Gets an "F". Wikipedia.org. Retrieved on 2010-12-29.
  5. "Nielsen ratings", The Tampa Tribune,, p. 4. Retrieved on 2008-02-09. 


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