The Simpsons

Season 2 Episode 7

Bart vs. Thanksgiving

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Nov 22, 1990 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (18)

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out of 10
320 votes
  • Honestly for me Unnecessary cruelty would be 10

    Yes, Homer, you guys are pathetic; it's pathetic that you've gone on longer than Family Guy and they're somehow even WORSE than you could ever try to be. God help you don't ever try to reach that low. It's pathetic that you've taken so long to become syndicated to another American network and allowed yourselves to be whored out so badly, and it's also pathetic that whenever Fox does air your older better material it's edited for more commercials! But that's neither here nor there. Even in their early years, The Simpsons have had a bad episode every now and again. I mean we all know how bad Some Enchanting Evening is beyond the terrible animation, and I'll get to it soon. But my point is even in their best years they've had duds. And this might have been their worst holiday special for their best period.

    I know Bart is a hellspawn, but he CANNOT be that inconsiderate! He destroyed Lisa's centerpiece which she poured God knows how many hours into! And he legitimately believes he's in the right for doing this! I don't mean he thinks he didn't do anything wrong like Peggy did in Lupe's Revenge, he thinks destroying something his sister made was a good idea! I can't wait to revisit this with My Sister My Sitter, what a dick. I know Bart is how you do those bad boy rebel kids right but that was way too cruel, even for him to hurt Lisa's feelings like that! Imagine your making a masterpiece painting and then some dochebag comes along on the unveiling day and sets fire to the museum to destroy it! And then they have the nerve to say your art deserved to die along with all that priceless Art!

    I can't help but feel really bad for Lisa here, even though the episode wants me to sympathize with Bart! And then he acts like a spoiled baby and runs away from home, crushing his mom's flowers in the process! He then tries to pull a "Pie Pirates" routine by stealing a pie off Mr. Burns' property, despite having been there before and knowing how crazy the guy is about mauling trespassers! I don't think he should be hound chow, but that was stupid even for him. I can't sympathize with Bart and his hunger because of he actually kind of deserves this for ruining Thanksgiving for his family and he makes it even worse by running away!

    Not to mention Marge's family are complete assholes; with Patty and Selma I expect this, but her own MOTHER!? I mean yeah Abe's always a dick to Homer but he has his reasons, Grandma Bouvier just wants to spite Marge for how badly she fucked up marrying Homer! Bart actually ends up conning a homeless Shelter out of free grub thanks to taking advantage of two homeless gents hospitality. Also Kent Brockman, you really have to rub in how badly most treat the homeless? No Kent, being hospitable one day a year to the homeless ISN'T ENOUGH! People need a conscience the entirety of their lives! Yes, some homeless folk these days look way too clean cut and fancy, we call them panhandlers and scammers, but what of those that are really in need of a home and food? Think before you speak on their air buddy.

    The little bastard actually has the gall to shit on his family via the news! If I were Homer, I'd look for Bart, take him home and give the prick a good strangling for not only ruining Thanksgiving but making me worry so badly! No dinner, no tv and no Radioactive Man for months! I've actually seen another show pull this episode off much better, what was it now? Oh yeah, Hey Arnold! Arnold's Thanksgiving is one of the shows best episodes ever, it's up there with The Journal, Helga on the Couch and Pigeon Man. And yes, I will review it come Thanksgiving as an admirable animation. This though this is pure crap. I'd feel more for Bart giving those homeless gents his $12 if he didn't just insult his family on the news!

    The worst part of the episode, however, is just the family feeling sorry that Bart had to resort to this as if it was their faults! NOOOOOO!!!! BART IS THE ONE TO BLAME! It is his blame entirely that he got in trouble and acted like a little baby running away from home! After what Bart has done throughout the episode I would not feel sorry for him at all! I can't fully understand what they're going through not being a parent myself or having a sibling, but if Bart were to do that shit to me I would just send the cops after him! Bart deserves to be punished for all the grief he's caused his family.

    In the Fairly Oddparents episode, The Grass is Always Greener, while Timmy's parents were happy to find

    him after he had run away to a carnival, he was still in major trouble, but they weren't mad so it works out. Bart never gets punished for any of this whatsoever! In fact, Lisa has to FORCE HIM to dig deep inside to fake an apology to her! It doesn't come off as natural whatsoever, he looks like he's gonna shit his pants rather than find the words needed to say he's sorry. BTW these are nitpicking, but after Bart gets found by the homeless guys we don't see Santa's Little Helper again until the end of the episode, also do they really think they can hide a music piece from Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire in the mission?

    Truth be told Bart imagining his family blaming him for everything isn't completely unwarranted, especially if this aired in seasons 11-12, but this is a season 2 episode! When the show was still trying to find itself and whatnot. The only remotely funny parts were the above quote and the hilarious in hindsight joke with the Bart parade float. Even with troublemaking kids you have to give us something to like about them and make us still sympathize with them, later episodes would do this better, but for so early on this is just jarring
  • The show's only Thanksgiving episode at this moment

    Another episode that could sounds interesting. It's surprising how it's the only Thanksgiving themed episode on the show. American Dad had a couple, The Cleveland Show had four in its whole run, King of the Hill and Bob's Burgers had a couple, and Family Guy have two (one aired and one for next season). It would be great if the writers make another Thanksgiving episode (as long as the plot is not recycled from this one). The episode contains memorable moments like Bart not knowing who the balloon is, "Mom, it's broken," Homer dancing to the song in the radio, Marge's mom saying she have laryngitis, Bart sneaking in Burns' place, SLH eating Bart's cookie, and Bart apologizing to Lisa. However, this episode is not perfect. The problem I had was the part where Bart and Lisa were fighting over the centerpiece, which ruin it and the family's Thanksgiving. Also, Bart's imagination was very random and weird for my tastes. Overall, it was a great Thanksgiving themed episode for the Simpsons.

    Score: 8.5/10
  • Classic.


    he episode begins on Thanksgiving Day morning, with Marge in the kitchen preparing a turkey, while Homer diffuses an argument between Bart and Lisa. The two are fighting over a bottle of glue. Lisa claims that Bart only wants the glue because she does, and when she gives Bart the glue he doesn't want it anymore. While Homer and Bart watch a parade on TV, Maggie follows Lisa upstairs where she has taken the glue to work on a centerpiece for Thanksgiving dinner. Back downstairs Bart pesters a busy Marge in the kitchen and tries to make cranberry sauce. Meanwhile, in the living room Homer watches a football game with Maggie, Marge comes in from the kitchen and tells Homer to go pick up Grandpa. Homer says he will go get him at halftime of the game, the doorbell rings and it is Marge's sisters Patty and Selma. Marge is upset when she sees that her sisters have also brought food to eat, they cite that her turkey is usually a little dry as their reasons for bringing extra food. Homer greets the sisters and makes his exit to leave and pick up Grandpa. At the nursing home Homer quickly ushers Grandpa out to the car, meanwhile a taxi pulls up in front of the Simpson home and a much older looking version of Marge gets out. The old woman walks by the kitchen window just as Marge and her sisters are basting the turkey. They all see her, and Marge rushes to the door to greet her mother. Upstairs Lisa is still diligently working on her centerpiece. Back downstairs Homer tries and fails to light a fire in the fireplace when Marge calls everyone for dinner. Homer leaves the fireplace unattended with a giant log in the middle that is barely smoking.

    10 out of 10

  • Lisa spends a lot of time preparing a centerpiece for the table at Thanksgiving. Bart tries to remove it from the table and in the process throws it into the fireplace. Bart is sent to his room but soon sneaks out and embarks on a Thanksgiving adventure


    This is a good episode of the The Simpsons but it's not one of the best because it recycles a very old formula of Thanksgiving dinner being ruined. This has been done an infinite number of times on an infinite number of shows. Either it's family quarrels or a series of mishaps that ruin Thanksgiving dinner. I think it's time to put this tired old formula out to pasture. The second half of the episode, where Bart embarks on his journey with Santa's Little Helper, does improve this episode slightly.

  • The Simpsons are getting better and better.

    The Simpsons are getting better on this season, and that is shown on this chapter.
    Some really funny and classic jokes are on this chapter, like the praying, and Marge's grandmother with faringitis, only speaking to complain.
    But even more interesting is the relationship in the family that the Simpson shows on this chapter... on a very big difference from newer chapters, where the family is just dumb, fights for nothing and repeat lame jokes that even the fiction characters should notice, here all seems real. Lisa and Bart fighting and then making peace is very touching, and the ending with the family eating in peace is one of the best endings in all the serie.
    So, a very good chapter that has everything, a total winner on a list of the best chapters in the serie.
  • a instant classic thanksgiven

    its thanksgiven time in the simpsons family home and marges sisters come over patty and selma and there celbrating and given thanks lisa makes a diagram to show how the first thanksgiven was celbrated bart was tring to put things on the the table and he and lisa were arguing and it went in the fire and burned and lisa cried and bart was sent to his room and he runs away and donates alot of his blood for a free cookie and passes out on the street coner and he ends up comeing home and apolgizes to lisa for what he did.
  • classic tale on thanksgiving

    bart ruins lisa's piece for thanksgiving dinner and instead of apologizing, he runs away from home. the rest of the episode is the simpsons trying to look for him. in the end he comes back home, apologizes to lisa, and all is forgiven as the simpsons enjoy a feast.

    a classic tale, I think. it has good humor, heart, and a decent plot. when this episode is on around thanksgiving time i usually watch. of course i also have it on DVD, but this is a great episode nonetheless. My overall grade, without a doubt, is an A+, simply classical
  • Family holiday dinners are usually filled with dramatics, and Bart vs. Thanksgiving gives us a perfect insight with a touch of humor and heart.

    Bart vs. Thanksgiving, must be one of the most underrated Simpsons episodes there is. It is a flawless account of a family holiday dinner, down to its tiniest details. The scene that penetrates in my mind most, although insignificant, was when Bart romps around the kitchen with nothing to do, an in an attempt to help Marge with the cranberry sauce ("Mom it's broken, Mom it's broken..), Bart instead angers Marge, for obvious reasons, because she is overwhelmed and stressed with presenting a delicious dinner. The rest of the episode continues to touch upon the importance of family squabbles; and how sometimes they show us how important those squabbles are to realize how touching the bond of family is. No matter how mad Lisa was at Bart when he ruined her centerpiece, she immediately felt a sense of loss and guilt when it seemed her brother would never return. Although Bart feared his demise upon returning to the house, his family welcomed him openly. What is also touching is the fact that the creators alluded to helping the needy during the holiday season with the soup kitchen and the fact that Bart himself, the child with no morals and the one who ruined Thanksgiving, found it in his heart to give. In essence, Bart vs. Thanksgiving was perfect grounds for the series to grow off of because it showed one of the most intimate moments in life; family holidays.
  • bart vs. the simpsons

    Bart destroys lisa's centerpiece by accident at thanksgiving and the whole family wants him to apologize but it was an accident so he doesn't think he should have too. So Bart runs away with santa's little helper to try to find food somewhere else. Along the way bart's gives some blood for money. He ends up at a homeless shelter and once he sees how bad off those people are he gives the money to the bums and goes home. He apologizes to Lisa ,and Homer says he is a good parent. The end.

    I didn't like the begining but I really liked the parts where bart was alone. 8.0
  • A touching episode that had some great humor.

    The Simpsons and Bouvier flock gather at the Simpsons household for a thanksgiving dinner. Lisa plans on unveiling her centerpiece at the dinner. Bart complains the centerpiece is in the place where the turkey should go. The two fight and the centerpiece ends up roasting on an open fire. Furious, Lisa runs upstairs crying, and Bart is sent to his room. Feeling mistreated, Bart runs away. Felling cold and hungry he finds a homeless shelter and eats their thanksgiving dinner. Kent brockmen interviews Bart and puts him on the news, while at home the family is watching him. Bart eventually wanders back home, but instead of going in to apologize, he goes up on the roof. He hears Lisa crying and too, pulls her up onto the roof. When Bart realizes what he done was wrong, he apologizes while Marge and Homer look on.
  • Another solid Season 2 episode.

    Bart decides to leave his house after "ruining Thanksgiving" by destroying Lisa's centerpiece. Bart lives on the street and ends up at a soup kitchen, where he is at first happy, but soon realizes that he made a big mistake. He gives some homeless guys money and rushes home and contemplates on whether or not he should enter the house. At first he doesn't want to, but he climbs on the roof to get inside. He hear's a crying Lisa, who talks to Bart, and he eventually apologizes. Homer, standing on a toilet seat listening, tells Marge that they're great parents. Early the next morning, the family is shown eating breakfast.

    "Bart Vs. Thanksgiving" is a very solid episode, and a fantastic Thanksgiving episode, but it's nowhere near as good as most other episodes from the season. Still, it's very well worth watching, for sure.
  • A better than usual Episode

    Who would have believed that Season 2 would begat another absolute classic? This episode uses the basic human emotions, anger, sorrow, fear, and joy, in a sort of emotional surround sound system, engulfing you in every emotion. There are very few jokes, but then again, this is the dramatic era (Seasons 2-3). In all a very powerful episode, and well worth watching as a brilliant classic of the series.
  • Bart vs. the world

    Bart is most popular of the Siumpson clan and this episode, the spotl;ight is again on Bart. In this 1990 episode, he sat Lisa's mini-float on fire, then ran away from home. It was the view of thanksgiving that is seen though the eyes of Bart, which really made this episode work. He is seen walking on the poor side of the street, and visited to a homeless and is intervew on television. This is a classic thanksgiving episode of the show which is part rauchy and part big heart. I love the ending as Bart and Lisa hug on thop of the roof of the simpson Home.
  • A good Thanksgiving episode with Bart.

    It\'s Thanksgiving and Homer is betting on football, and Marges mom is critizing everything. Lisa has prepared a beautiful centerpiece. When Bart tries to move it of the table he winds up accidently throwing it into the fire. Homer accuses Bart of ruining Thanksgiving and sends him up to his room. Bart and Santa's Little Helper run away. Everyone wonders where Bart is and Bart steals a pie from Mr. Burns. The family finally spot Bart on a news broadcast at a homeless shelter. Bart finally comes home and he apologizes to Lisa. Overall, this was a good Thanksgiving episode. I really liked it.
  • Bart Vs Thanksgiving

    This is quite a good episode from Season 2. This is the first appearance of Marges mother Jackie and this episode is the rare time that Bart actually cared for Lisa after destroying her wonderful masterpiece by putting it in the fire place and setting alight. In the end The Simpsons turned out to have a best thanksgiving afterall.
  • Very sweet episode. :)

    I loved it. It was a sweet episode where Bart runs away from home when he burns Lisa's centerpiece and has a fight with her, and can't imagine what his parents are thinking when he goes all the way downtown. Whenhe appears on TV with Kent Brockman, they go out looking but can't find him, and return home, worried. Bart is on the top of their roof, wondering what would happen if he went back, and imagines that he wuld have to bow down to his family. Eventually Bart goes into the house and sees that Lisa worked hard on her centerpiece and that she was sad when it was burned. Bart apologises and even kisses Lisa. Soon the family are together again. It's such a sweet episode and very well-written. It has an excellent moral that could one day teach someone something. Bart vs. Thanksgiving is a heartwarming Simpsons episode I enjoyed form start to end and I really loved the ending. I knew Bart and Lisa would like each other again in the end, because fi they didn't it would be a horrible ending. Anyway this episode is very, very nice and I truly loved. A Season 2 ep to remember.
  • seemed more like a season 1 episode

    this episode was filled with jokes and humour that all come out of not apologising such as bart's imagination gone wild at the thought of returning home. the ending is also good with homer standing in the toilet and staring out the window letting bart and lisa run around on the roof and saying "you know what marge? we're great parents" refering, of course, to the fact that they raised bart to apologise but oblivious to the fact that their 'great parenting' may not be as great as he thinks. the animation and shmultzy ending seemed more like a season one episode and so it does not go well against the rest of the season 2 episodes. however the humour in it raised my score a little because of bart's views on the blood bank and the mr burns scene with what i think may be the first time the hounds were released though he's threatened to release them in previous episodes.
  • A little too emotional for my tastes. But a solid Thanksgiving episode. Hey, they had to one. It occurs to me that these "sweet ending" episodes are quite common in the 2nd season, but would go out by the time the 3rd and 4th seasons rolled around.

    The highlight in this episode for me was Kent Brockman's heartless thanks to the local bums and the declaration that he smells another local emmy. Everything else just had the tendency to be kinda cheesy.

    Also an aspect that I almost forgot to mention that I really enjoyed: Mrs. Bouvier, Marge's bitter mother. One sardonic comment after another. Ditto for Patty and Selma. I've always been fans of theirs.

    But hey, this was a sweet episode that was well written. I felt bad for Bart when Marge accuses him of ruining Thanksgiving. And I felt bad for Lisa when Bart destroyed her centerpiece. When a cartoon can make you feel for the characters like this, it's something special. Not easy to do and for that the writers and animators deserve a lot of credit.