The Simpsons

Season 10 Episode 3

Bart the Mother

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Sep 27, 1998 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
171 votes

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Episode Summary

Bart the Mother
When Bart accidentally kills a mother bird, he feels so guilty that he raises her eggs as his own. But when the eggs hatch, a shock awaits him.

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  • Feeling guilty after killing a mother bird, Bart decides to raise the bird's eggs. However all is not what it seems.

    "Bart the Mother" is a memorable episode of "The Simpsons" not just because it marks the late Phil Hartman's final appearance on the series, but also because it is one of the funniest and well written episodes of the series. There are a number of laughs here. From Bart's time at Nelson's house to the well written scenes at the Springfield Birdwatchers Society. The funniest moment of the episode for me was at its conclusion. Kent Brockman's news report of the unintended, but widely praised, consequences of the overpopulation of the Bolivian Tree Lizard was something I did not see coming. Also Seymour's explanation to Lisa as to how they will deal with the overpopulation was terrific. In closing I must admit that I loved the final scene of this episode of the Bolivian Tree Lizards attacking the pigeon. I don't know why, but I for some reason or another find myself enjoying that scene. I think you will enjoy the whole episode. See it when you can!moreless
  • It's not a good idea to be friends with somebody who is a bully. You should listen to your parents and your brothers and sisters tell you. The best thing to do is to leave bullies alone and stay away from them.moreless

    The family goes to the Family Fun Center. Marge sees Nelson knock Milhouse off the race track. After Nelson wins a BB Gun from the prize booth, Bart tells him he will come over to his houseand Marge tells him to stay away from Nelson. Later when Bart and Lisa talk about what prizes that got at the prize booth, Bart tells Lisa that he is going to Nelson's house and Lisa told him the same thing Marge said and Bart goes to Nelson's anyway. Bart accidently kills a mother bird. Marge asks Lisa if Bart went over to Nelson's and Lisa lies saying Bart went to Milhouse's. Homer called Milhouse to tell Bart to come home and Milhouse tells him that Bart is at Nelson's. Marge gets angry and she tells Homer to punish Lisa for lying and Marge refuses to ground Bart for disobeying her for going to Nelson's house and murdering a bird. Bart raises the eggs in his treehouse and it turns out the birds are actually lizards. Marge is proud of Bart for raising those lizards.moreless
  • Last apperance of Troy Mcclure.

    When Marge takes the family to The Family Fun Center, she sees Nelson bullying Milhouse numerous times. When Nelson buys a BB gun with his stolen tickets, He invents Bart over to use it sometime. But Marge forbids him to do so. Anyways, Bart being Bart, he sneaks out of the house to go to Nelson's house. I love Nelson's dad's "shooting car". When Bart shoots a bird out of a tree, Marge overhears Nelson calling him "killer". She finds out he shot a bird. But she dosn't punish him. Bart finds out what he did was wrong, and he needs to take care of the bird eggs(which are actually Bolivian Tree lizards)

    Overall Grade:B-/83%moreless
  • Underrated

    A lot of people probably dislike this episode, from reviews I have seen. I think because it doesn't try to be all out there and crazy then others personally. This is my favorite of season 10, or it is very high up there.

    Bart begins hanging with Nelson after he wins a bebe gun. Marge forbids it, so he sneaks out of the house an accidentally kills a bird, that had eggs.

    When the eggs hatch, a big surprise- they are lizards. Bolivian Tree Lizards, to be exact. They threaten other birds in Springfield.

    A very well written episode with a great plot, especially by season 10 standards. Not everything is about Homer for once, and it is a nice character plot for Bartmoreless
  • Bart takes responsibility for his actions and raises some bird eggs, or at least he thinks they are bird eggs.

    Well this episode had a great plot, and the main point I want to make is that this episode was important because we learn that Bart is a very sensitive person that can be kind at times. However, aside from the batting cage scence, Homer falling down the stairs, and the bird movie, this episode failed to deliver the knock out comedy we have grown accoustemed to. It was sad to see Troy McCulers final apperance. This was more of a heart warming episode then a funny episode if anything however. Give it a watch if you want to see a good and touching episode.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

Pamela Hayden

Pamela Hayden

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

Recurring Role

Phil Hartman

Phil Hartman

Lionel Hutz, Troy McClure and Additional Voices

Recurring Role

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Agnes Skinner, Brandine Del Roy, Dolph and others

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Sign seen at the Family Fun Center: "As seen on When Disaster Strikes 4."

    • Arcade games spotted at the Family Fun Center: "Pack Rat Returns" and "Shark Bait."

    • Troy McClure and Billy appear in the Regional Geographic film, Birds: Our Fine Feathered Colleagues. Troy also mentions 2 other educational films that he appeared in, Earwigs-Eeeew! and Man vs. Nature: The Road to Victory.

    • The door for the Springfield Birdwatching Society meeting room in the Springfield Municipal Building reads, "Pecking Order Strictly Enforced."

  • QUOTES (16)

    • (Principal Skinner explains the dangers of the Bolivian tree lizard.)
      Principal Skinner: It's already wiped out the dodo, the cuckoo and the nene. And it has nasty plans for the booby, the titmouse, the woodcock and the titpecker.

    • (The lizards have just revealed themselves from the eggs.)
      Bart: Man, those are some funky-looking birds!
      Homer: Awww, hee-hee-hee-hee! Oh... You look like a little tiny dinosaur! (as he says this he pushes one of the lizard's heads up and down with his finger until the lizard bites him) YEOWW!!! That is one vicious baby bird!

    • Librarian: You've checked this bible out every weekend for the last 9 years wouldn't it just be cheaper to buy one?
      Reverend Lovejoy: Perhaps… on a librarian's salary.

    • (In the treehouse)
      Bart: Hey fellas, good news! I found an extra seventy-five watt light bulb lying around!
      (In the house, Homer carries a box to the basement, whistling. He switches the light on, but it does not come on and he falls down the stairs.)
      Homer: D'oh! (Continues Whistling)
      Lisa: One, they don't have beaks, two, they don't have feathers, and three, they're lizards!
      Bart: You're a lizard!
      Homer: Enough bickering! I know how to settle this.
      Marge: No kickboxing!
      Homer: Aw... (takes the pie) if anybody wants me, I'll be eating alone in the basement.
      (He walks out, switches the basement light on, but it does not come on and he falls down the basement stairs yet again.)

    • Homer: Alright, young lady! I want you to march yourself down to the Kwik-E-Mart and get me some chips and a beer... and get a little something for yourself to.

    • (While waiting for the eggs to hatch)
      Homer: What's taking so long? Bart was born in like 5 minutes.
      Marge: Actually it took 53 hours.
      Homer: Really, wow the time just flew by didn't it?

    • Homer: Oh, I hate folding sheets!
      Marge: That's your underwear.
      Homer: Well, whatever it is, it's a two-man job. Where's Bart?

    • Skinner: Well, I was wrong; the lizards are a godsend.
      Lisa: But isn't that a bit short-sighted? What happens when we're overrun by lizards?
      Skinner: No problem. We simply release wave after wave of Chinese needle snakes. They'll wipe out the lizards.
      Lisa: But aren't the snakes even worse?
      Skinner: Yes, but we're prepared for that. We've lined up a fabulous type of gorilla that thrives on snake meat.
      Lisa: But then we're stuck with gorillas!
      Skinner: No, that's the beautiful part. When wintertime rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death.

    • Homer: Enough bickering. I know how to settle this.
      Marge: No kick-boxing!

    • Homer: Oh, man, this is the most exciting thing I've seen since Halley's Comet collided with the Moon.
      Lisa: That never happened, Dad.
      Homer: Sure it didn't.

    • (Bart is pacing in his treehouse)
      Marge: I wonder what he's doing up there.
      Homer: Drug lab?
      Marge: Drug lab?!
      Homer: Or, I dunno, reading comic books. What am I, Kreskin?

    • Bart: Wow, can I try that sometime?
      Nelson: Yeah, never hurts to have a second set of prints on a gun.

    • Lisa: Shouldn't you put on a batting helmet?
      Homer: Nah, they mess up my hair.

    • Homer: Man, it feels good to get out of that car. Ooh, go-karts!

    • Troy McClure: Hi, I'm Troy McClure. You may remember me from such nature films as 'Earwigs, Eww' and 'Man vs. Nature - The Road to Victory'.

    • Marge: Young man, you're coming home with me this minute.
      Nelson: All right, finally, a real home!
      Marge: Not you. Bart!
      Nelson: Oh. See you later, Killer!
      Marge: "Killer"? Why did he call you "Killer"?
      Bart: Mom, you were right. Nelson is bad news. Can we go home?
      Marge: What are you hiding there?
      Bart: Nothing.
      Marge: What are those cats doing behind you?
      Bart: Uh...cats like me?

  • NOTES (2)

    • Blackboard Joke: None.
      Couch Gag: Two firemen hold up the couch and adjust it back and forth to catch Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie as they fall from the sky. Then a screaming Homer misses the couch and falls through the floor.

    • The episode marks Phil Hartman's last appearance. Phil acted as the host of the World's Deadliest Executions show on which Snake was executed in the next episode, "Tree House of Horror IX." Because he was recently murdered, however, the producers felt that his scene would be considered tasteless and they therefore called upon Ed McMahon to take his place, re-recording the lines with Ed's voice and re-animating the scene with Ed in Troy McClure's place.


    • Octopussy
      Nelson teases Bart a calls him an "Octo-wussy." This is a pun on the title of the 1983 James Bond film, Octopussy.

    • The Andy Griffith Show
      The episode's title and basic plot, Bart killing a mother bird with his BB gun, are taken from the classic The Andy Griffith Show episode "Opie the Birdman" (Wherein Opie adopts three baby birds after he kills their mother with a slingshot).