The Simpsons

Season 2 Episode 1

Bart Gets an F

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Oct 11, 1990 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
373 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Due to his constant underachieving in school, Bart is faced with the possibility of flunking the 4th grade.

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  • Perfect start of season 2

    I've noticed the opening had changed with some slightly better music and animation. So, the season 2 premiere is a simple plot focusing on Bart. This was back when he got more focus than Homer compared to today. Let's see if season 2 manages to be more enjoyable and classic than the first season (which was great imo). The funny moments in Bart Gets an F were Martin's book report (speaking like a sea captain), the way Bart made his book report (he wasn't being specific with it), "straighten and fly right," the Itchy and Scratchy part (as usual, it's hilarious), Homer's reaction on Lisa getting an "A," Bart going to sleep while reading, Bart having pain on his stomach, "blah, blah, blah," Bart's imagination of him still being in school as an elderly, Bart pushing Martin, "John Hancock's writing his name in the snow," Bart slapping himself, and Bart "kissed the teacher" after passing. Flaws for this episode, well, there wasn't anything and having a simple plot tend to be perfect as long as they add good amount of humor. On a side note, Bart's shirt is colored wrong. It's pink rather than being normally being red. Then, another side note, Homer's voice is almost close to what he sounds like today. I don't really hear the Walter Matthou impersonation that much as I heard it in the shorts and first season. While the episode was funny, there's some other emotions besides humor. The heartwarming was Martin helping Bart (sadly, it backfires, but I'll ignore that flaw). I liked the part where Bart prays to the Lord about trying to a test, wishing for school to be closed. It was cool seeing everyone having fun in the snow, but of course, Bart is missing out because he still have to study. Towards the end, it was very sad to see Bart upset about failing once again. But, all of a sudden, he knows something about George Washington, making him off the hook by getting a D minus, which earns him a happy ending. Overall, this was an excellent episode that has a very happy ending.

    Score: 10/10moreless
  • Highest rated episode of the Simpsons.

    Due to the success of the first season of The Simpsons, the Fox Network decided to switch the show's time slot to Thursday at 8:00 p.m. where it would air opposite of NBC's The Cosby Show, the number one show at the time. This episode ratings were 18.5 million viewers making it the highest rated episode of the simpsons and placing the Cosby show in second place.
  • A perfect Season 2 premiere.

    The episode begins in Mrs. Krabappel's class where Martin Prince is giving a book report. When he finishes, Bart goes next. During his book report on Treasure Island it is very clear to everyone that Bart did not read the book. Mrs. Krabappel keeps Bart after class. She is concerned of his steadily falling grades and reminds him about the major history test the next day. After school Bart goes to the arcade and tells himself that he'll hit the books later. At home while the kids watch Itchy and Scratchy, (titled: Let Them Eat Scratchy), Marge tells everyone dinner is ready and Bart tells himself that as soon as dinner is done he'll start studying. At dinner Lisa announces that she got an A on her vocabulary test, Homer takes the test and puts it on the fridge, along with all her other successes. In the process, he also covers up Bart's only paper on the fridge, much to Bart's dismay. Just as Bart heads off to study Homer yanks him into the living room to watch TV with him. Bart doesn't complain, and when the show is finally over, Bart goes to his room to study. As Bart attempts to study he quickly falls asleep. The next morning on the bus to school Bart tries to get some answers for the test from Sherri and Terri. They purposely give Bart the wrong answers but Martin notices and informs Bart of what the girls did. In the classroom just before the test, and knowing that he won't pass, Bart faints and acts as if he has a stomach ache. He is promptly sent home from school. Later after school, Lisa informs Bart that she knows he is faking it, and that sooner or later he'll have to take the test. Bart calls Milhouse and quizzes him for the answers he used on the test. The next day at school a confident Bart takes the test using Milhouse's answers. Mrs. Krabappel grades the test in front of him and hands him back an F stating that he did even worse than Milhouse. After school under Mrs. Krabappel's recommendation Homer and Marge visit with the school psychiatrist Dr. Pryor to discuss the reasoning behind Bart's declining grades. Dr. Pryor suggests that Bart be held back to the 4th grade again, at hearing this Bart tells everyone he will do better and he promises to pass the 4th grade.

    10 out of 10moreless
  • The second season begins with Bart in danger of having to repeat the fourth grade due to his terrible grades. An upcoming history test will determine his fate. Bart swears he will try his damndest to pass, but will he?moreless

    It was pretty obvious from the beginning that Bart would somehow or another pass the test. What I did like is exactly how he passed it. It kept the episode from being too predictable. As is usually the case there are plenty of laughs in the form of razor sharp dailogue and clever sight gags. Seeing Bart's attempts to get out of the test are another reason to catch this episode. Bart comes to realize the power of prayer in this episode as well. "The Simpsons" managed to get its second season started off on the right foot. Good episode.moreless
  • Bart Gets an F: Bart gets an F and is worried he will stay in the 4th Grade. Although he tries he finds it increasingly hard to revise for the test.moreless

    Review for Bart Gets an F:

    The first episode of season 2 is very well written. The plot is very simple but flows brilliantly. It is not only funny but it is also heart warming and sweet you have to feel for Bart when he is crying because he tried his best in the test. I also liked that unlike Bart he actually studied hard when everyone was having fun. I also like how at the end Bart get's excited when he get a D- it is very sweet and funny. Score for Bart Get an F: B, 3.5/5, 7.5/10, Greatmoreless
Dan Castellaneta

Dan Castellaneta

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

Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

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

Julie Kavner

Julie Kavner

Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier

Nancy Cartwright

Nancy Cartwright

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

Yeardley Smith

Yeardley Smith

Lisa Simpson

Marcia Wallace

Marcia Wallace

Edna Krabappel

Recurring Role

Jo Ann Harris

Jo Ann Harris

Additional Voices

Recurring Role

Pamela Hayden

Pamela Hayden

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

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

  • QUOTES (18)

    • Bart: (prays) Well, old-timer, I guess this is the end of the road. I know I haven't always been a good kid, but if I have to go to school tomorrow, I'll fail the test and be held back. I just need one more day to study, Lord. I need your help.
      Lisa: (spying on Bart) Prayer. The last refuge of a scoundrel.
      Bart: A teachers' strike, a power failure, a blizzard. Anything that'll cancel school tomorrow. I know it's asking a lot, but if anyone can do it, You can. Thanking You in advance, Your pal, Bart Simpson.

    • Martin: Who would have thought that pushing a boy into the girls' lavatory could be such a thrill? The screams! The humiliation! The fact that it wasn't me! I've never felt so alive.

    • Mrs. Krabappel: But look at these results: fifty-five, forty-two, twenty-six. A twelve on state capitals?
      Bart: Okay, okay! Why are we dancing around the obvious? I know it, you know it! I am dumb, okay? Dumb as a post. Think I'm happy about it?

    • Martin: As a natural enemy, I don't know why I should care, but the information pertaining to America's colonial period that you just received is erroneous.
      Bart: So, you're saying--
      Martin: A blindfolded chimp with a pencil in his teeth has a better chance at passing this test than you do.

    • (Martin gives a book report in front of class. Quoting Hemingway:)
      Martin: "You're killing me, fish. Never have I seen a greater or more noble thing than you, brother. Come on and kill me. I do not care who kills who. To catch a fish, to kill a bull, to make love to a woman, to live." I thank you. (Bows)
      (The classroom is stunned)
      Mrs. Krabappel: Oh! Absolutely brilliant! There were moments I truly believed you were Hemingway. Bravo, Martin!
      Martin: Oh, please, call me Papa.
      (Bart places a ketchup packet on Martin's seat just before he sits down.)
      Bart: A little ketchup for your buns, Papa?

    • (The Simpson family gathers around, as Homer places Bart's passed test on the fridge.)
      Homer: We're proud of you, boy.
      Bart: Thanks, Dad. But part of this D-minus belongs to God.

    • (Homer pelts Mr. Burns with a snowball.)
      Homer: (Chuckles) Gotcha Burnsie!
      Mr. Burns: (Chuckles) Why, you young ragamuffin, I was never one to back away from a snowball fight. Smithers, you may fire at will.
      Smithers: Certainly, sir!

    • Bart: I need you to help me get a passing grade.
      Martin: Well, you do need someone's help to get a passing grade, but I don't know why that someone should be me.
      Bart: Because I can make it so the other kids don't laugh at you so much.
      Martin: They...laugh at me? I'd always considered myself rather popular.
      Bart: You're not. Watch.
      (Bart grunts as he pushes Martin to the ground and nearby kids laugh.)
      Martin: But my--my speed with numbers, my years of service as a hall monitor, my prize-winning dioramas--these things mean nothing to them?
      Bart: Perhaps another demonstration.
      (Again Bart grunts as he pushes Martin to the ground and nearby kids laugh.)

    • (Bart daydreams about still being in the 4th grade as an adult with his own son in the class as well.)
      Mrs. Krabappel: All right, class, the topic is world literature. What was the pirate's name in Treasure Island? Bart Simpson.
      Adult Bart: Look, lady, I got a peptic ulcer, a wife hocking me for a new car, and I need a root canal. Will ya quit bugging me about the stupid pirate?
      Bart Jr.: (Whispers) Psst. Long John Silver, Dad.
      Mrs. Krabappel: I heard that, Bart Jr.! I want to see both of you after class today.
      Adult Bart: D'oh! Thanks a lot, son!

    • (Homer listens to school psychiatrist, Dr. Pryor's, opinions about Bart's struggles in school.)
      Dr. Pryor: One of his problems may be his short attention span which can lead to blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
      Homer: Uh-huh.
      Dr Pryor: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
      Homer: Mmm.

    • (On the bus ride to school, Bart seeks some answers for his upcoming test.)
      Bart: Okay, no reason to panic. Find an egghead, pump him for some answers and, boom, I'm back on easy street.
      (Bart looks around the bus and spots an open seat near Sherri and Terri.)
      Bart: Aha.
      Terri: Look at him. I bet he didn't study again.
      Sherri: And now he's gonna try to kiss up and get answers from us.
      Terri: He's pathetic.
      (Bart sits down in the vacant seat near Sherri and Terri.)
      Bart: Good morning, girls.
      Sherri and Terri: (Cheerfully and in unison.) Good morning, Bart!
      Bart: Say, who's up for a little cram session? I'll go first. What was the name of the pilgrims' boat?
      Sherri: The Spirit of St. Louis.
      Bart: And where'd they land?
      Terri: Sunny Acapulco.
      Bart: And why'd they leave England?
      Sherri: Giant rats!
      (Bart writes down Sherri and Terri's answers.)
      Bart: Cool! History's comin' alive.
      (Sherri and Terri giggle to themselves.)

    • (A concerned Bart boards the school bus.)
      Otto: Hey, Bart, dude! Whoa, you look freaked.
      Bart: Hey, Otto man, I got a big test today that I am not ready for. Could you please crash the bus or something?
      Otto: Oh, sorry, little buddy. Can't do it on purpose. But hey, maybe you'll get lucky!

    • (Bart gives a book report in front of his class.)
      Bart: Well, as Mrs. Krabappel already mentioned, the name of the book that I read was Treasure Island. It's about these pirates, (Looks at the illustrated cover of the book.) pirates with patches over their eyes, (Looks at cover.) and shiny gold teeth, (Looks at cover.) and green birds on their shoulders. Did I mention this book was written (Looks at cover.) by a guy named Robert Louis Stevenson? (Looks at cover.) And published by the good people at McGraw-Hill. So, in conclusion, on the Simpson scale of one to ten--ten being the highest, one being the lowest and five being average--I give this book a nine. (Clears throat) Any questions?
      (Several students raise their hands.)
      Bart: No? Then I'll just sit down.

    • (In a parent teacher conference, school psychiatrist suggests that Bart be held back in the 4th grade.)
      Bart: (Panicked) You can't hold me back. I swear I'm gonna do better. Look at my eyes. See the sincerity? See the conviction? See the fear? As God is my witness, I can pass the fourth grade!
      Homer: And if you don't, at least you'll be bigger than the other kids.

    • (Bart has just given a poor book report on Treasure Island.)
      Mrs. Krabappel: Bart, did you read the book?
      Bart: Mrs.Krabappel, I am insulted. Is this a book report or a witch hunt?
      Mrs. Krabappel: Then perhaps you'd like to tell us the name of the pirate.
      Bart's Brain: Blackbeard. Captain Nemo. Captain Hook. Long John Silver. Peg Leg Pete. Bluebeard.
      Bart: Bluebeard?

    • Otto: Get off the bus or forever hold your peace, little dudes!
      (The students climb off the bus, as Bart stays behind.)
      Bart: Otto, you know I respect you. I mean, you always let us throw stuff at cars and try to tip the bus on sharp turns.
      Otto: Heh. Damn thing never goes over, does it? Ah! So, what's in your head, little man?
      Bart: Well, I've been failing a lot of tests recently.
      Otto: Yeah-huh.
      Bart: And now they're talkin' about holding me back in the fourth grade if I don't shape up.
      Otto: That's it? Hey, relax, man! It could end up being the best thing that ever happened to ya. I got held back in the fourth grade myself. Twice! Look at me, man! Now I drive the school bus!

    • (Bart listens to Mrs. Krabappel lecture him about his failing grades.)
      Mrs. Krabappel: Your grades have gotten steadily worse since the beginning of the term. Are you aware of that?
      Bart: Yes, ma'am.
      Mrs. Krabappel: Are you aware that there is a major exam tomorrow on colonial America?
      Bart: Yes, ma'am.
      Mrs. Krabappel: Blah, blah, blah-blah. Blah, blah, blah?
      Bart: Yes, ma'am.
      Mrs. Krabappel: Blah-blah, blah-blah-blah, blah-blah-blah-blah.
      Bart: Yes, ma'am.
      Mrs. Krabappel: Bart! You haven't been paying attention to a word I said, have you?
      Bart: Yes, ma'am.
      Mrs. Krabappel: Well, then what did I say?
      Bart: Uhhh, "Straighten up and fly right?"
      Mrs. Krabappel: (Blows raspberry) That was a lucky guess.

    • (Mrs. Krabappel awards Bart with an extra point on his test, after demonstrating some applied knowledge; this brings his grade from an F to a D-Minus.)
      Bart: You mean, I... passed?
      Mrs. Krabappel: Just barely!
      Bart: (Gasps) I passed! I got a D-Minus! I passed! (Tearfully joyful) All right!
      (Bart kisses Mrs. Krabappel and dances out of the classroom.)
      Bart: I passed! I passed! I passed! I passed! I got a D-Minus! I passed!
      (Bart runs around the front of the school showing off his test.)
      Bart: I got a D-Minus! I passed! I got a D-Minus! I passed! I passed! I...(Disgusted) kissed the teacher! (Spits, coughs and blows raspberries.)

  • NOTES (6)

    • This was the highest rated single episode of the entire series run. 33 million viewers tuned in to this episode on Thursday October 11, 1990.

    • Itchy & Scratchy: Titled Let Them Eat Scratchy. Brandishing a rapier, Scratchy chases after Itchy. Itchy traps Scratchy in a guillotine and chops off his head. He inserts a stick of dynamite into the mouth of Scratchy's severed head. The dynamite explodes, leaving only Scratchy's skull.

    • This marks the first episode to air after the move to Thursday at 8PM. This episode was the highest rated episode of the season.

    • First Appearance: Mayor Diamond Joe Quimby

    • With this episode the opening titles are now different: Lisa riding her bike to the driveway is cut and replaced with her passing Homer in the driveway; Instead of carrying a banjo case with her on the bike, Lisa is now carrying her saxophone; Bart stealing the bus stop sign is cut and replaced with Bart passing townspeople; and Homer in the nuclear plant now has Mr. Burns and Smithers in the background instead of an unknown man eating a sandwich.

    • Blackboard Joke: I will not encourage others to fly.
      Couch Gag: The couch falls through the floor.


    • Marie Antoinette
      The title of the French-Revolution era Itchy and Scratchy cartoon, "Let Them Eat Scratchy," is a parody of the line attributed to Queen Marie Antoinette, who when told that the peasants had no bread to eat, supposedly replied "Let them eat cake."

    • Historic Fictional Pirates
      The pirates referenced by Bart's brain while giving his book report in class are as follows: Long John Silver from Treasure Island, Captain Hook from Peter Pan, Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Peg-Leg Pete from the 1940's Mickey Mouse shorts, and Bluebeard from Bluebeard.

    • Lisa: Prayer. The last refuge of a scoundrel.
      This is a parody of the quote, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel," from famous English author Samuel Johnson.

    • Bart: As God is my witness, I can pass fourth grade!
      A funny parody of the famous line, "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again!" This quote is from the 1939 film Gone With The Wind.

    • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
      During the snow day scene, a large group of Springfield citizens gather in a circle and hold hands as they sing. This scene parodies a similar scene from How The Grinch Stole Christmas, in which the town of Whoville gathers in a circle and holds hands singing on Christmas morning.