The Simpsons

Season 9 Episode 12

Bart Carny

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 11, 1998 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
146 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Bart and Lisa are trying to get out of yard work. When Colonel Tex's carnival comes to town, Homer takes the family. He keeps talking about how much he admires carnies even though they are sleazy and rat-like. He meets a father (Cooder) and son working the ring toss game. Cooder tricks him, as Homer is really, really stupid in this episode. Tex is displaying Hitler's Mercedes, and Bart cannot resist getting behind the wheel. When Bart wrecks it, Homer and Bart agree to work until they repay the debt. They have to do a bunch of unpleasant work. When Cooder has to go to an AA meeting with his son, Homer and Bart take their place at the ring toss game. Wiggum drops by for a bribe, and Homer is too stupid to negotiate with him so Wiggum shuts down the game. When Cooder returns, he learns that he is out of a job. Conforming to the carny code, they allow Cooder and son to stay at their house. Cooder is so appreciative to Marge and Homer that he gives them tickets for a boat ride. When they return from their trip, they find the windows boarded up and Cooder and his son squatting in their house. The family has to stay in the tree house, since Chief Wiggum is holding a grudge and refusing to help them. They devise a plan to trick Cooder and get the house back (one that DOESN'T involve setting the house on fire). When they succeed life will return to normal, well as normal as it can be for this family.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
  • this was a good ep

    in this ep fo the simpsons bart and homer go to the carvial that has come to springfield and homer and bart love the carney life thing is they are put in charge a carval game that is riged and the cops come and take the game away and the boy and his dad arrested and they come to live with the simpsons and thing is it starts out nice and they get tickets to a show but thing is they were out smarted by the carnys they come back and there locked out of there house and the mailbox name is changed. and so homer thinks of a way to out smart the carnys at there own game. this was agood epmoreless
  • Bart Carny

    Bart and Homer gets jobs in a carnival, and they meet two carnies, Cooder and Spud. When their game, a ring-toss game, is taken by Chief Wiggum, they come stay with the Simpsons. When they give them a cruise ticket, they take over the Simpson home and refuse to leave. Now the Simpsons need their own plan to regain what is of course rightfully theirs. Cooder and Spud are outwitted by Homer, and the simpsons get their home back.

    Good episode, not great or perfect, just pretty good, kinda slow at parts I thought. Overall grade would be a B-moreless
  • Two family of freaks against each other

    The Simpsons are a bunch of freaks that we have seen now for 9 years. I think we all can agree that they are insane and at the same time ar enot very nice. This time they encounter two people, a small family, a Homer and a Bart, sort of. These two are as wicked and evil as Homer and Bart are. So I an not feeling bad about the Simpsons for being the victims in this episode. There is a moment in which Homer Simpson has an idea and one that works. This is the only thing that it is very strange in this episode.moreless
  • The Simpsons go to a carnival and Bart wrecks Hitler's car and must work at the carnival to work it off, They take over the ring toss game and when it's towed by police Homer feels obligated to let them into their home. Problems arise when they steal it.moreless

    I know lots of people love this episode I just didn't enjoy it as much. There were some funny moments and it's a solid episode though. My favorite parts include the appearance of Principle Skinner and his mom at the ring toss game and him trying to win the knife. I also liked Chief Wiggum trying to get a bribe out of Homer and his obliviousness and delivery of the line "It's a ring toss game" Is brilliant. I liked references to past episodes at the glass bottom boat tour were nice too. On to the next review of season 9.moreless
  • The Simpsons deliever priceless humor that you could not find on any other show in all of TV, and this is one episode to prove it

    Bart and Homer get jobs working for a carnival. While there, they befriend Cooder and his son Spud. The friendship takes a turn for the worse when Cooder and Spud are forced to move in with the Simpsons. Eventually, Cooder and Spud "steal" the Simpsons' house by locking the family out and not letting them back in. The only way Homer can get the squatters out is to make a bet with them: If he can throw a hula hoop over the chimney, Cooder and Spud have to give him the house back; if he misses, they can keep it. But just before Homer throws the hula hoop, the Simpsons dash into the house and lock the carnies out. Cooder and Spud are once again homeless.moreless
Julie Kavner

Julie Kavner

Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier

Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others

Dan Castellaneta

Dan Castellaneta

Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others

Nancy Cartwright

Nancy Cartwright

Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others

Yeardley Smith

Yeardley Smith

Lisa Simpson

Hank Azaria

Hank Azaria

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others

Jim Varney

Jim Varney


Guest Star

Pamela Hayden

Pamela Hayden

Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others

Recurring Role

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Agnes Skinner, Brandine Del Roy, Dolph and others

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • When Spud says "Seen any pigeons yet?", the closed caption says "Seen any suckers yet?"

    • When Marge directs Homer to his ass groove, she pats the living room couch (one on the left), but in the next scene she is patting the lounge room couch (one on the right). They got their rooms mixed up, it seems.

    • When Bart crashes Hitler's car, you see the hood ornament fall off - but in the next shot, the ornament is clearly attached.

    • In this episode, you see The Simpson Family has both a mail slot in their door AND a mailbox.

    • When the Simpsons and the Cooders are at the table eating dinner, the plates have what seems to be chicken, mashed potatoes, and peas on them. After Cooder does his "cigarette trick", the food on the plates is gone.

    • Though the Cooder's presumably boarded up all the Simpsons windows, just before Homer falls out of the treehouse, the home's rear windows are seen without baords.

  • QUOTES (26)

    • (Skinner tries to win a lamp in the ring toss game)
      Agnes: Well, that's no good!
      Skinner: I'm trying, Mother, it's hard.
      Agnes: You're failing, Seymour. What is about you and failure?
      (Skinner tries to throw the ring over a knife instead)

    • Spud: Hey, they just ran into the house. That Homer fella grifted you good, dad.
      Cooder: Well, there's no shame in being beaten by the best.
      Spud: But, he didn't seem . . .
      Cooder: (angrily) We were beaten by the best, boy.

    • Lisa: I was wrong about the Cooders, Dad. They're the nicest of all the transients you've ever brought home.

    • Cooder: You certainly have a nice house here, ma'am.
      Spud: It must have taken you years to win all this stuff.

    • Homer: Look at them, Bart. If a carny can wind up homeless, it can happen to anyone.

    • Skinner: All right, Simpson. Be honest with me. Is it actually possible to win this game?
      Bart: If I like you, it is.
      Skinner: Hot dog! Let's go.

    • Bart: (as Skinner and his mum walk past) Hey, high pockets? Win something for your girlfriend?

    • Cooder: Hey, you lost your money fair and square! I didn't scam nobody!
      Homer: (laughing) Put down your stick. We're here to work.
      Bart: Starting today, we're Carnies, just like you.
      Cooder: Well, in that case, let me show you how I scammed you.

    • Cooder: Oh, listen, pal. I got a son of my own. Here.
      Homer: (sniffles) A novelty comb… kings among men.

    • Homer: He's not just some guy, Marge. He's a carny and part of a noble tradition. Carnies built this country. The carnival part of it anyway ... and though they may be rat-like in appearance, they are truly kings among men!

    • Homer: Ooh, ooh! Me first.
      Marge: You can't go on that. You have a heart condition.
      Homer: Heart condition? Get out of here!
      Marge: You had a quadruple bypass. You nearly died. Don't you remember?
      Homer: Obviously, I don't. Now if you get out of my way.

    • Homer: Ooh, ooh, I want to see Lobster Boy and Shrimp Girl!
      Lisa: I want some fried sugar!
      Bart: I want to go to the Yard Work Simulator.
      Marge: But when I ask you to do yard work… (Marge sighs heavily)

    • Marge: (Going outside) Kids, I made some lemonade for you.
      Bart: Sounds great.
      Lisa: Bring it in here.
      Marge: What the... ? What are you doing in here?
      Bart: Work was hard, so we quit.
      Marge: What?!
      Lisa: Hard work made us quit.

    • Marge: That backyard is a disgrace. Now get busy.
      Lisa: That's a good suggestion, mom.
      Bart: We'll take it under advisement.

    • Homer: The experts say that if you want an animal to do something, you should do it yourself first to show him how.
      Marge: (angry) I'm not going to the bathroom in the backyard!
      Homer: Sorry, your majesty.

    • Chief Wiggum: Word around here is your game is crooked.
      HomerAnd how!
      Chief Wiggum: Well, perhaps we can come to an "understanding".
      Homer: I understand.
      Bart: Uh, Dad?
      Homer: Not now son. Daddy's talking to the policeman.
      Chief Wiggum: Let me put it to you this way. I'm looking for my friend Bill. Have you seen any Bills around here?
      Homer: No. He's Bart.
      Chief Wiggum: Okay, let's try this again and watch as I wink each time. The man I'm really looking for, wink, is Mr Bribe. Wink, wink!
      Homer: It's a ring toss game!
      Chief Wiggum: That's it, I'm shutting this place down!
      (Later on)
      Cooder: Why didn't you offer them a bribe?
      Homer: I tried but the opportunity never came up!

    • Marge: We can't just give up on our house. There's got to be a way to get these guys out of there.
      Bart: I say we set fire to the house, kill them that way.
      Marge: We don't want to kill them, we just want our home back!
      Lisa: Well...if we did set fire to the house--
      Marge: No fires!
      Homer: I've got it!
      Marge: No fires!
      Homer: Aw.
      Marge: There must be a way to outsmart them.
      Homer: Uh, you can't outsmart carnival folk. They're the cleverest folks in the world. Just look at the way they sucker regular folk with those crooked games--That's it! Fire!

    • Homer: Carnies took over our house, you've gotta help us!
      Chief Wiggum: Well well, look who's here, Mr. No-bribe! Sure, we'll help you, just sit down and wait for detective like I give a damn!
      Homer: Thank you so much!
      Lisa: Uh, Dad...
      Homer: Honey, daddy's waiting for the detective.

    • Marge: Ooh, what a nice surprise, this is so generous of you, Cooder!
      Homer: Now who's the filthy sleaze bag, huh Marge?

    • Marge: (after finding out that the kids bailed on their yard work) I see…no chores, no allowance!
      Lisa: That's okay; we get free rent here anyway.
      Bart: And Santa provides the rest!
      (Marge is obviously unimpressed, the kids hear some carnival music)
      Lisa: The carnival!
      Bart: We need money fast!
      Marge: Well, well, well, looks like somebody's gonna have to do some yar…
      Homer: Its carnival time! Here's money kids, take what you need!
      Bart/Lisa: All right, free money!
      Homer/Bart/Lisa: Ding, ding, ding…

    • Bart: But I can't go out dressed like this, what if someone sees me!
      Marge: You're just going in the backyard, no one will see you!
      Bart: (opens door)
      Nelson: Ha!
      Bart: (closes door)…(opens door)
      Nelson: Ha!

    • Bart: Allowance day. Ding ding ding ding.
      Marge: You don't deserve an allowance.
      Lisa: Sure we do. Ding ding ding ding!
      Homer: (Runs out the door) Ice cream man! Ice cream man!

    • Homer: You better not be on my ass groove!
      Marge: Homer!
      Homer: It took me years to forge that groove!

    • Homer: (about Bart) Oh, come on, he doesn't have any money! Look at his clothes!

    • Nelson: You wrecked Hitler's car! What did he ever do to you?

    • Carnival Owner: Some say the skeleton of Hitler himself is in the trunk. But, I'm a busy man, and I haven't had the time to look.

  • NOTES (4)

    • As the family rides the glass bottom boat, they can see the trash at the bottom of the lake/river. Among the items is a barrel of "Little Lisa Slurry", a reference to episode 4F17: "The Old Man and the Lisa".

    • On screen were pictures of both Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz. In one of the taped interviews shown during this tragic time, Phil commented on how much he enjoyed playing Troy McClure.

    • The May 30th rerun of this episode featured tribute to Phil Hartman who was murdered by his wife in the last week of May. The dedication was as follows:

      "In Loving Memory of Phil Hartman"

    • Blackboard Joke: None.
      Couch Gag: The family runs to the couch, but when they try to sit, the couch moves backward causing them to miss and fall on their bottoms. Nelson then pops out from the left side behind the couch to laugh, "Ha-Ha!"


    • Family Matters
      When the Simpson family is living in the treehouse, you hear the Cooders laughing from inside the house. The Dad says "That Urkel's a hoot," alluding to the character Steve Urkel from the show Family Matters.

    • When Homer is trying to re-form his "ass groove" in the couch, the song playing is Groove Me by King Floyd.

    • When Bart says he and Homer are, "natural born carnies," followed by, "If only we weren't tied down to the family," this is a reference to the title of the 1994 Oliver Stone film Natural Born Killers.