Round 2: Lisa’s Date with Density vs. The Crepes of Wrath

Second Round! 4F01 vs. 7G13 (128th-final 2 of 128)

4F01: “Lisa’s Date with Density” (Season 8, December 15, 1996)
Written by Mike Scully
Directed by Susie Dietter
Showrunners: Bill Oakley & Josh Weinstein

Milhouse making eyes at Nelson

“Guess who likes you!”

What a wonderful episode! The “Lisa loves Nelson” storyline explores a new side to Lisa without corrupting her established character (like a more recent episode might) and Homer’s tele-panhandling adventures (which I forgot were in this episode) are among The Simpsons‘ finest moments.

  • Great performances by Yeardley and Nancy. One thing the show has always excelled at is making the kids do, say and feel things kids might actually do, say and feel.
  • Remember how I hate Angry Homer? Well, I love Happy Homer, and we get a lot of him in the autodialer B-story. Sure, his plan to call every number in town and ask for a Dollar is misguided, but it comes from a loving place, not a mean one. Mean Homer is the biggest turn-off for me (as in, turn off the TV, not what you perv were thinking), but there’s no sign of him here.
  • We do get Homer yelling at the Flanderses (“Will you two shut up? People are trying to sleep!“), but it, too, doesn’t come from a mean or cruel place. And Dan‘s staccato screaming makes it one of the most enjoyable things in this episode.

I’d quote some of the many great lines, but I was too enthralled to take notes, which is always a good sign.


7G13: “The Crepes of Wrath” (Season 1, April 15, 1990)
Written by George Meyer, Sam Simon, John Swartzwelder, Jon Vitti
Directed by Wes Archer, Milton Gray
Showrunners: James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon

Bart Simpson, wearing a beret, coming home from France

Yep, he’s been to France alright.

This episode feels like a childhood memory to me, which, given that I first saw it when I was around ten years old, I guess it is. To this day I use what it taught me about Albania (the flag is a two-headed eagle on red ground) and France (cops wear funny hats) on a daily basis.

  • The first season’s opening titles are 90 seconds long! If you’d send me a link to a YouTube clip this long I’d think twice on whether I want to waste my precious time on that.
  • Homer’s voice is still very much Walter Matthau’s. And the big thing is still that Bart is Homer’s nemesis. And Skinner’s nemesis. (Bart is nemesis to a lot of people.)
  • – “Ah, the life of a frog. That’s the life for me.”
    – “Bart, how would you like to spend the next three months living in France?”
  • Many crazy character designs that would look very off in the show just two years later, but also very beautiful animation, especially with light and shadows.
  • My very favorite thing: Bart and César driving through lovingly rendered versions of famous paintings:
    7G13 PaintingsClaude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Rousseau, Édouard Manet (Click to enlarge. From top-left, clockwise: Monet, van Gogh, Rousseau, Manet.)

I give it 3.5 stars. It’s nice, but it’s not quite the show that I love, yet.

Winner: 4F01. And, again, here’s the bracket. Have you picked your Sweet 32, yet?

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