The Simpsons

Season 20 Episode 6

Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Nov 16, 2008 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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out of 10
189 votes
  • This is Simpsons old school.

    This is Simpsons old school. It was funny and it had both a heart and a soul. It was very creative in showing the visual gags in the crossword puzzles. I loved it when Homer showed that he still loves Lisa. Her reactions were priceless when Homer told her that he betted against her. Showing her to ask for her forgiveness was the icing on the cake. the b story was funny. I loved it when Homer was helping breaking up couples and the humans and the furniture came as ghosts to haunt him. I hope they continue this way.
  • IMO, Lisa episodes are usually the highlights of the seasons, and this one was no exception.

    This episode had a really great storyline (though I will admit it was somewhat similar to Lisa the Greek). There were many great gags in this episode like Homer riding Lisa's bike to Moe's, Homer breaking up various couples, the scene between Bart & Lisa in the dark bedroom, Otto forgetting about the bus, and Homer trying to hand the crossword bartender cash while they were both looking away from each other. The scene where Homer keeps asking Lisa if she's mad was well written and I also laughed when he was talking to the teddy bear, "Could you drive me home? I'm a little drunk." I also found the ending very heart-warming. Al Jean seems to be trying to infuse more emotion into the 20th season, than in some of the previous seasons. Let's hope it continues that way.
  • An episode that gave me its share of laughs, and I was glad to see Homer's sensitive side at the end of the episode.

    Lisa discovers her amazing talent for doing crossword puzzles and becomes an expert cruciverbalist, and she soon enters a citywide crossword puzzle tournament. Homer, short on cash after abandoning his "Sweet Conclusions" professional break-up artist business, goes to cheer Lisa on at her tournament and discovers an underground crossword puzzle betting ring. In the ultimate betrayal, Homer profits from betting against Lisa in the championship match. When the heartbroken Lisa finds out, Homer must spell out his love for her with a little help from New York Times crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz (guest voice as himself) and master crossword constructor Merl Reagle (guest voice as himself).
  • An episode that revived The Simpsons' classic episode plot style and made Season 20 all that much better. An excellent episode that played a good father and daughter story line..

    As most people, I felt that Season 20 was losing a bit of it's touch on what The Simpsons is really about, but this doesn't mean it's a bad series; not at all.

    I was hoping that an episode like "Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words" would appear sooner than later to give that extra bit of plot to Season 20, and I believe it did.

    This is one of the reasons 'why I watch this series'. It had an alternative start, middle, and finish, that lately we haven't seen in The Simpsons episodes. It gave a different scenario that lead from one thing to another, and I feel this is what makes The Simpsons so successful; it doesn't have flat story lines.

    Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words started off with Bart and Lisa and their lemonade stand. Business got a little too popular, and the lemonade stand was "shut down" as Bart and Lisa didn't have the rights to distribute and sell lemonade.

    Meanwhile, Homer made some extra money after successfully breaking up Edna and Principal Skinner's relationship, which lead him into being people's personal assistant in breaking up with their partners. However, after a bit of a nightmare, Homer gave up this 'hobby'.

    So after Lisa's stand was shut down, Lisa went to get a license to "legally" sell lemonade, but was stuck in a long line as the officer was doing a cross-puzzle. Fed up with waiting, Lisa took the cross puzzle and finished it; thus her excitement in doing cross puzzles began, and through this, Lisa entered in a championship cross-word tournament.

    Finding the opportunity to make a little extra money, Homer made bets on Lisa to win without her knowing, and was winning each and every time. But when Lisa spoke to her father about her lack of self esteem in being happy and winning, Homer bet against her, winning a heap of cash.

    From here, the episode reveals a few twists as Homer tries to win back Lisa's heart.

    To be honest, I enjoyed this episode because of it's wide range of activities that lead up to the final structure of what this episode was mainly about; if The Simpsons was an hour length series, this would have been pure win as I feel it was cut a bit short.

    Otherwise, this was the episode I was waiting for, and couldn't be more happy with the laughs and giggles that was brought to me.
  • sweet

    When Lisa discovers she has a thing for crossword puzzles, she decides to enter a crossword puzzle competition. But she becomes extremely mad with Homer, when she finds out he's been betting against her on her crossword competitions.

    Meanwhile, Homer starts breaking realtionships up for a living.

    This was a great episode. It made season 20 even more great. Some great parts were Homer's highlights in his hair, Homer betting on the asian kid, and the whole breaking up scene. The ending of the episode was also very sweet, and showed The Simpsons still have some emotion.

    Overall Grade: 85%/B+

    Wonderful episode. Woo Hoo!!
  • Lisa discovers that she has a knack for solving crossword puzzles and soon enters a nationwide tournament. Homer wins a huge amount of money betting on her in the tournament, but bets against her in the finals upsetting Lisa tremendously.

    There are some very clever moments in this epiosde and genuinely funny moments as well (Like when Lisa forms crosswords in her mind when she is riding on the school bus) which is why I am giving this episode a higher rating than I think this episode deserves. Once again we see Homer taking up a new job. Enough already. One thing I would like to say: The man playing against Lisa in the finals obviously cheated by throwing down his fake eyeglasses to distract Lisa. So wouldn't he have been disqualified for cheating? A good episode, but it's flawed.
  • Two sub-plots does not a storyline make.

    This episode seemed very uneven, and lacked much relation to "classic" Simpsons. It had some interesting tangents that could have been explored more deeply, but somehow the writers completely missed the boat.

    We are introduced quite early to one sub-plot: Homer the expert breaker-upper and founder of Sweet Conclusions. While his interaction with Skinner was somehat entertaining, and his opening statement to Lenny's girlfriend Doreen was nearly classic, at the end of the day, there was no point in even introducing this concept as it didn't seem to go anywhere. It culminates in a Christmas Carol-esque dream sequence starring the Spirits of the Relationships [Homer] Killed, the Babies Those Couples Would Have Had and the Antiques Those Couples Would Have Bought Together. This sequence lacked any real clarity or direction, and made for the most un-Homer-like moment in recent memory: Homer changes his mind about something he has cared about for a short time. End of sub-plot.

    A second sub-plot, the cruciverbalist Lisa, has glimmers of some of Lisa's finest moments -- including competing and relating with adults on a level playing field -- but has none of the lengthy conflicts that usually confront her interactions with her family (à la She of Little Faith or Lisa the Vegetarian). Her day-dreaming about words is a little too straight-forward, and could have been executed much better. The fact that Superintendent Chalmers is a fellow crossword enthusiast was somewhat out of character, and his yelling of "Skinner!" and "Skimmer!" were cheap ploys by the writers. The Citywide Crossword Tournament shold have been a great opportunity to install some classic Simpsons moments, but, alas, except for a rather bland Tribute To Words That Have Been Removed From The Dictionary In The Last Year, and a rather slick Gil Gunderson (he wins?!), the entire sequence was much too rushed. The betting Homer sub-sub-plot was perhaps perfect, but a little too trite.

    Upon finding out that her own father had bet against her in the final, Lisa decides to take her mother's maiden name: Bouvier. This is an idea that could have been worth an entire episode, but somehow only comes up in the final five minutes. A very quick resolution of this turn is had (aided by a quite good Homer brain monologue), and we are magically back to square one, except I'm thirty minutes older.
  • Emotion Was Really Forced

    OK, Lisa discovers a talent in solving crosswords, and enters tournaments. Homer starts betting for her to win, and when she does, he wins money. But in the final part of a tournament, Homer bets against his daughter. The opponent wins by tricking Lisa, and so Homer won. But then Lisa finds out, and is heartbroken her father would bet against her. Homer tries to cheer her up, but it seems nothing will work. So Homer gets to make the crossword clues arrange and be a message of apology for Lisa. They make up.

    There was some humor in it, but I really cannot hold a straight face when people say the ending was sad. It was tacked on and forced, not sad