The Simpsons

Season 1 Episode 2

Bart the Genius

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 14, 1990 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
580 votes

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Episode Summary

Bart is mistakenly placed in a school for “gifted children” after he cheats on an intelligence test at school.

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  • Great episode

    Bart is mistakenly placed in a school for "gifted children" after he cheats on an intelligence test at school. I thought this was a great episode of the Simpsons. Since it's the first episode to have the well-known opening, you'll noticed how different it is. It was only used in this season. The animation and the art looks terrible, but thankfully it'll get better later on. I understand people not considering this as their favorite season due to the show barely starting. The characters, especially Homer, noticeably the off-model scenes, looks different, as well as their voices. Well, the episode is not my favorite and there are a couple problems. The main problem was that it was pretty lackluster for some of the parts. Also, that scene when the Simpsons were in the opera was pretty annoying. Everyone but Marge was laughing at something and it was getting dragged after a while. There are only a few moments I laughed here, like Bart defining the word "kwyjibo" in which he describes it as Homer, Bart visualizing the test, Bart and Martin making Faces, all of the off model throughout the episode, Bart singing the opera, Homer chasing Bart naked because Bart cheated in the test. The two funniest scenes are the first and last I listed. I think that part where Bart made a word "kwjibo" was very funny as he use it to describe Homer, who chases him. He would do the same reason at the end and that was LOL funny. All in all, not the greatest Simpsons episode due to its heavy off model and horrible animation, but it's great.

    Score 8/10moreless
  • Oh, the Bart we loved!

    Still not all that funny, this episode however was very well made. This is the mischievous Bart we loved, not a man who has turned into a criminal as of Season 20. I mean, in that "Beware my Cheating Bart" episode, I heard he dates this old woman or something. I mean WTF!?! This is the Bart we loved and I love this episode. Though, I don't believe this episode is somewhat rewatchable.moreless
  • Superb

    The episode begins as the Simpson family plays Scrabble, in the living room, in an effort to build Bart's vocabulary for his aptitude test tomorrow at school. The game ends when Bart cheats and makes up an imaginary word, "Kwyjibo," and defines it as, "A big, dumb, balding, North American ape with no chin." Homer is instantly angered and chases Bart out of the room. The next day before class, in the schoolyard, Martin Prince, the school genius, tattles on Bart, for spray painting graffiti that defames Principal Skinner on the school building. Skinner orders Bart to see him after school. As the children file into class, Mrs. Krabappel hands out aptitude tests to everyone. When she instructs the class on taking the timed intelligence test, Martin raises his hand, and reminds her that Bart is supposed to face the window during any test so he can't cheat. A grumbling Bart turns his desk to face the window and the test begins. In an attempt to figure out a lengthy math word problem, Bart tries to visualize the problem so he can solve it. The visualization turns into a daydream and when Bart finally comes back to reality, Martin announces that he has finished his test already. Mrs. Krabappel sends Martin outside to read a book, during the remainder of the testing period. While Bart is still taking his test, he looks out the window to see a smug Martin sticking his tongue out at him. In retaliation, Bart makes faces back at Martin; Mrs. Krabappel spots Bart making faces and looks out the window to see what Bart is looking at. While her back is turned, Bart, who is seated at the front of the class, reaches over to Mrs. Krabappel's desk and steals Martin's test, replaces Martin's name with his own and then puts the test back on her desk. Bart then quickly fills out random answers on his own test and then writes Martin's name at the top and turns it in.Later, after school, Marge and Homer are called to Principal Skinner's office for a meeting about Bart's behavior at school. Skinner informs Marge and Homer about Bart's graffiti from earlier that morning. As he reaches for Bart's rather extensive permanent record, and is about to suggest something along the lines of expulsion for Bart, his secretary buzzes in and says that Dr. J. Loren Pryor, the school psychiatrist is waiting to see him. Dr. Pryor walks in on the meeting, and surprises everyone when he tells them that Bart is a "gifted child," and according to the aptitude test from earlier, Bart has an I.Q. of 216. Dr. Pryor suggests that Bart's history of bad behavior stems from a lack of interest in his school work, due to the fact that it is too easy for him. Skinner wants Bart retested, but when Dr. Pryor suggests moving Bart to a school for "gifted children" Skinner jumps on board with the idea, and Bart quickly agrees when he hears that the school doesn't have much structure and that you get to make your own rules. Dr. Pryor hands Bart some paperwork for the "gifted children" school, and he, Homer and Marge leave the meeting stunned.

    9 out of 10moreless
  • Second Episode.

    This episode begins with the family playing scrabble to prepare Bart for his quiz. Bart plays the work Kwyjibo, which he describes as a fat, balding, North american ape(with 2 chins)

    On the day of the quiz, Bart switches his test with Martin prince's, the smartest kid in the class. Homer and Marge get called to the school, when The Principal sees Bart's "score" on the test. Bart is soon sent to a school for gifted children. He dosn't fit in there, seeing that he's not actually a genius. He finally tells Homer this, and he chases hin through the face.

    This was pretty good, considering that it's only the second episode. But there were still a few funny bits, like the opera scene, and Homer's messy handwriting.

    Overall Grade:75%/C+moreless
  • Bart cheats on his achievement test and he is deemed a genius.

    Facing the prospect of flunking an intelligence exam, Bart changes the name on Martin's test to his name. The school psychologist advises Homer and Marge that Bart has a very high level of intelligence, calling him a genius, even. Bart is enrolled at a new school for smart kids, where Bart feels out of place with the other students. When his Science project explodes, nearly destroying the school, he admits to the psychologist about his scam. As you would imagine, Homer is furious and chases him around the house.

    This is a very underrated episode. I found the plot to be nice and the jokes were funny. I always loved this episode and even tho its in season 1 I find it enjoyable to watch.moreless
Nancy Cartwright

Nancy Cartwright

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

Dan Castellaneta

Dan Castellaneta

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

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

Yeardley Smith

Yeardley Smith

Lisa Simpson

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

Russi Taylor

Russi Taylor

Martin Prince, Sherri, Terri and others

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • When Bart declares "kwyjibo" during the Scrabble game, he says it is worth 22 points. However, if it were an actual word, then it would be worth 26 points before any double and triple letter and word scores were considered (K=5, W=4, Y=4, J=8, I=1, B=3, O=1).

    • There is a picture of Bart on the wall adjacent to one of Albert Einstein in Dr. Pryor's office.

    • Marcia Wallace's name is misspelled "Marsha" in the closing credits.

    • The opera the Simpson family heads out to see is the famous Carmen.

    • In Bart's new advanced classroom, some of the books on the shelf include: Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, Dante's Inferno, Crime and Punishment, Plato, Babylonian Myths, Homer's Odyssey and Homer's The Iliad.

    • Bart's graffiti of Principal Skinner is shown later in the episode, after Bart has moved on to the "gifted children" school. The graffiti is now roped off, with a sign in front of it that reads, "'The Principal' by Bart Simpson I.Q. 216."

    • Bart's permanent record takes up a whole drawer.

      * Cr -- Dl
      * Em -- Kl
      * Ty -- Cz
      * Simpson, Bart
      * Zs -- Ds

    • All of the words on the Scrabble board (with the exception of Bart's "kwyjibo") are very simple, consisting of two or three letters. However, their positions change between turns, while additional words appear out of nowhere: for instance, when Homer declares "do" and Lisa declares "id", we see "me", "my" and "arm", none of which are present when Marge declares "he".

  • QUOTES (19)

    • (Bart reads a math problem aloud from his aptitude test)

      Bart: "At 7:30 a.m., an express train traveling 60 miles an hour leaves Santa Fe bound for Phoenix, 520 miles away..." (chews his pencil)

      Mrs. Krabappel: Shh! (points to her forehead) Visualize it, Bart!

      Bart: (pauses, then continues reading in his head) "At the same time, a local train traveling 30 miles an hour and carrying 40 passengers leaves Phoenix bound for Santa Fe. It's eight cars long and always carries the same number of passengers in each car. An hour later a number of passengers equal to half the number of minutes past the hour get off, but three times as many plus six get on. At the second stop, half the passengers plus two get off, but twice as many get on as got on at the first stop."

      (As he reads, Bart visualizes, in black-and-white, himself on a train, surrounded by numbers and getting trampled by other passengers. Then a conductor taps him on the shoulder)

      Conductor: Ticket, please.

      Bart: I don't have a ticket!

      Conductor: Come with me, boy.

      (He drags Bart to the front of the train)

      Conductor: (to the engineer) We've got a stowaway, sir.

      Bart: I'll pay! How much?

      (The engineer turns out to be Martin Prince, shoveling numbers into the engine)

      Martin: Twice the fare from Tucson to Flagstaff, minus two-thirds of the fare from Albuquerque to El Paso. (laughs evilly)

      (Bart sees Principal Skinner spraying graffiti and laughing evilly at him, before the train he's on crashes into another, throwing him into the air... and back to reality, lying on his back on the classroom floor)

    • (In science lab, Bart is about to mix two substances.)
      Ms. Melon: (to Bart) Say, what's that? It looks dangerous.
      Bart: Well, it's really pretty top secret, ma'am.
      Ms. Melon: All right, keep going. But you do know what happens when you mix acids and bases, right?
      Bart: 'Course I do.
      (Bart pours one substance into another, it explodes and covers the whole room in the yellow mixture.)
      Bart: (Upset) Sorry.

    • (The Simpsons go to the opera.)
      Bart: Hey, Lis, keep an eye out for the guy with the peanuts.
      Marge: There's no guy with peanuts, dear.
      Homer: Geez. No beer. No opera dogs.
      Marge: Shh!
      (The orchestra plays, "March of the Toreadors.")
      Bart: (Singing) Toreador, oh, don't spit on the floor. Please use the cuspidor. That's what it's for.
      (Bart and Homer laugh.)
      Marge: Bart, stop fooling around. Homer, stop encouraging him.
      Homer: Don't stifle the boy, Marge. We're supposed to encourage him.
      Marge: Shush!

    • (Homer drops Bart off at his new school.)
      Homer: Now go on, boy, and pay attention. Because if you do, one day you may achieve something that we Simpsons have dreamed about for generations. You may outsmart someone.

    • Dr. Pryor: The child is not supposed to know his own IQ, of course, but, uh, you can see it's beyond the range of any doubt.
      (Dr. Pryor hands Homer a slip of paper with Bart's IQ on it.)
      Homer: Nine hundred and twelve!
      Dr. Pryor: Uh, no. You have it upside-down. It's two hundred and sixteen.
      Homer: (Disappointed) Oh.

    • Principal Skinner: I caught your son defacing school property this morning. We estimate the damage at $75, and frankly we think it's terribly unfair that other taxpayers should foot the bill.
      Homer: Yeah, it's a crummy system, but what are you going to do?
      (Marge whispers in Homer's ear.)
      Homer: Oh no. He can't mean that. (To Skinner) My wife thinks you want me to pay for it.
      Principal Skinner: That was the idea.
      Homer: Oh.

    • (Homer encourages Bart, after he comes home from "gifted" school covered in green.)
      Homer: Don't be discouraged, son. I bet Einstein turned himself all sorts of colors before he invented the light bulb.

    • (A green covered Bart runs through the living room screaming.)
      Marge: What's going on out there?
      (A growling Homer runs through the living room chasing after Bart.)
      Lisa: I think Bart's stupid again, Mom.
      Marge: Oh, well.

    • (At the breakfast table)

      Homer: How about a tie, son? Everybody knows boy geniuses wear ties.

      Bart: (mouth full of cereal) It'll stifle my creativity, Dad!

      Homer: Sorry, boy.

      Marge: (arriving with fried eggs, bacon, toast, and a glass of milk) Bart, this is a big day for you. Why don't you eat something a little more nutritious?

      Homer: Nonsense, Marge! Frosty Krusty Flakes are what got him where he is today. (reads the box) It could be one of these chemicals here that makes him so smart. Lisa, maybe you should try some of this.

      Marge: Homer!

      Homer: I'm just saying, why not have two geniuses in the family? Sort of a spare in case Bart's brain blows up.

      (Marge glares at Homer as the two walk out of the kitchen)

      Lisa: I don't care what that stupid test says, Bart. You're a dimwit.

      Bart: Maybe so, but from now on, this dimwit is on easy street.

    • (The Simpsons go to the opera.)
      Homer: Who's the lard-butt?
      Lisa: He's the bullfighter.
      Bart: No way a bull's gonna miss a target that big, man.
      (All three laugh.)

    • (More from the opera.)
      Homer: P.U. When is this over?
      Bart: It ain't over till the fat lady sings.
      Homer: Is that one fat enough for you, son?
      (Homer points to the stage.)

    • Marge: Bart, I feel so bad for going so many years without, mmm, hmm--What's that word where you encourage something to grow?
      Bart and Homer: (Both mumble "I don't know," in unison.)
      Lisa: Nurturing.
      Marge: Nurturing your brilliant brain, so I got tickets to the opera tonight. Hurry up. Get dressed. It starts at 8:00.
      Bart: Oh, Mom. Not tonight!
      Homer: Come on, Bart, your mother's only trying to help, so go ahead and enjoy the show.
      Marge: Homer, you're going too.
      Homer: But I'm not a genius. Why should I suffer?

    • (Homer and Marge meet with Principal Skinner about Bart's behavior.)
      Principal Skinner: Mr. and Mrs. Simpson, this is our district psychiatrist, Dr. J. Loren Pryor.
      Homer: What do we need a psychiatrist for? We know our kid is nuts.

    • (Principal Skinner spots Bart's graffiti.)
      Principal Skinner: Whoever did this is in very deep trouble.
      Martin: And a sloppy speller too. The preferred spelling of "wiener" is 'W-I-E-N-E-R', although 'E-I' is an acceptable ethnic variant.

    • Homer: Doc, this is all too much. I mean, my son a genius? How does it happen?
      Dr. Pryor: Well, genius-level intelligence is usually the result of heredity and environment.
      (Homer looks confused.)
      Dr. Pryor: Although, in some cases, it's a total mystery.

    • (The Simpsons play Scrabble)

      Bart: (bored) Come on, Mom!

      Lisa: Yeah, Mom, hurry up!

      Marge: All right! Mmm... how about... "he"? (places a "H" on the board to spell that word) Two points! (to Homer) Your turn, dear.

      Homer: Hmm... how could anyone make a word out of these lousy letters? (the seven letters in Homer's rack spell out the word "oxidize") Oh, wait! Here's a good one. "Do".

      (Homer places the "D" from his rack on the board to spell that word, and then Lisa places an "I" above the "D")

      Lisa: "Id". Triple word score!

      Homer: Hey, no abbreviations.

      Lisa: Not I. D., Dad. "Id"! It's a word!

      Bart: (still bored) As in, "This game is stup-id."

      Homer: Hey, shut up, boy.

      Lisa: Yeah, Bart. You're supposed to be developing verbal abilities for your big aptitude test tomorrow. (Bart glares at her)

      Marge: We could look this "id" thing up in the dictionary.

      Homer: We got one?

      Marge: I think it's under the short leg of the couch.

      (Homer picks up the dictionary from said location and hands it to Lisa)

      Lisa: (reads aloud) "Id: Along with the ego and the superego, one of three components of the psyche."

      Homer: (picking up a banana) Get outta here!

      Bart: My turn. (looks at his rack) "Kwyjibo". (places the tiles on the board) K-W-Y-J-I-B-O. Twenty-two points, plus triple word score, plus fifty points for using all my letters. Game's over. I'm outta here.

      (An angry Homer grabs Bart with his left hand, holding his banana in his right)

      Homer: Wait a minute, you little cheater! You're not going anywhere until you tell me what a "kwyjibo" is.

      Bart: "Kwyjibo." Uh...a big, dumb, balding, North American ape... with no chin.

      Marge: And a short temper.

      Homer: I'll show you a big, dumb, balding ape! (leaps for Bart, knocking over the table in the process)

      Bart: (fleeing) Uh-oh! "Kwyjibo" on the loose!

    • (The "gifted" children discuss paradoxes in class.)
      Ms. Melon: Well, it seems the smartest child in the class is also the quietest. Bart, what other paradoxes affect our lives?
      Bart: (Hesitates)'re damned if you do...and you're damned if you don't.

    • Martin: Bart, I hope you won't bear some sort of simple-minded grudge against me. I was merely trying to fend off the desecration of the school building.

      Bart: (spiteful) Eat my shorts.

      Martin: Pardon?

    • Mrs. Krabappel: (handing out the aptitude tests) Now, I don't want you to worry, class. These tests will have no affect on your grades. They merely determine your future social status and financial success. (looks at Bart) If any.

  • NOTES (7)

    • Bart's line, "Well, you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't" can be heard in several parts of the song, "Deep, Deep Trouble," on the album entitled The Simpsons Sing the Blues.

    • According to the DVD commentary, Dr. Pryor was given the name because he pries.

    • On the DVD commentary from this episode, Jon Vitti says that the writers were worried about how stupid Homer's poor hand writing skills might make him look.

    • Dr. J. Loren Pryor was the original drawing for Principal Skinner. The current look of Skinner is based around several teachers and a principal Groening knew, as well as the principal from the "Life In Hell" comics.

    • During the opening credits, when Maggie is scanned at the grocery store checkout, the display reads that she is worth $847.63.

    • First Appearance: Edna Krabappel, Martin Prince, Rainier Wolfcastle, Dr. J. Loren Pryor

    • Blackboard Joke: I will not waste chalk.
      Couch Gag: The family runs in and squeezes into the couch. Bart pops up and out of frame and he comes crashing down seconds later while the credits are shown on the TV set.


    • Gabor Csupo
      A poster advertisement at the opera identifies the conductor as Boris Csupovski. This is a reference to Gabor Csupo, the Supervising Animation Director at the time.

    • E=MC^2
      While the family plays Scrabble, Maggie plays with lettered blocks. While playing with the blocks she spells out EMCSQU, which refers to Einstein's famous equation, E=MC^2

    • The Adding Machine
      The dream Bart has while trying to do his math problem is based around the designs in the play The Adding Machine.