Round 37: Lemon of Troy vs. Bart’s Inner Child

Round 37: 2F22 vs. 1F05.

2F22: “Lemon of Troy” (Season 6 / May 14, 1995)
Written by Brent Forrester
Directed by Jim Reardon
Showrunner: David Mirkin

Marge Simpson vacuuming underneath Homer's feet.

A quintessential David Mirkin episode, full of, as Conan would say, the old switcheroo kind of joke they and I love so much. I’ve watched this more times than I can count and it still makes me laugh.

  • One highlight is definitely the pairing of Nelson and Martin. Perfect.
  • In that brief period of time where the Internet existed but Google did not, I was convinced I had imagined that TV series where young Jerry O’Connell used spray cans to fly around, because I couldn’t find any evidence of it anywhere. (Turns out I was not crazy.)

1F05: “Bart’s Inner Child” (Season 5 / November 11, 1993)
Written by George Meyer
Directed by Bob Anderson
Showrunner: David Mirkin

Milhouse van Houten crawling out of Homer Simpson's mattress fort.

“Ooh, the Springfield Men’s Shelter is giving away 60 soiled mattresses!”

That joke above, set up by an ad Homer reads in the paper and then visualized in his fantasy sequence, is one that I missed the first however-many times I saw this episode but finally caught this time around.

We basically get three stories in a row here, first the fantastic saga of Homer and the trampoline, then Marge’s nagging problem and turn towards a self-help guru, and finally Bart’s carefree attitude plunging the town into chaos. But the plot progresses organically and doesn’t feel forced, and we get a ton of great jokes on the way.

  • James Brown saying “Wait a minute, this bandstand wasn’t double-bolted!” would be the greatest thing in any other episode, but it is only the second greatest thing in this one, because…
  • … there’s this moment of pure perfection. (And just as great is David Silverman quietly laughing to himself on the commentary track when this scene happens.)

The winner: 1F05, “Bart’s Inner Child.”