The Simpsons

Season 20 Episode 6

Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words

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



  • Trivia

    • As spoken, Homer's message to Lisa was, "Dear Lisa, you make me so happy. Really, really, really happy. Sorry, he told me I needed a hundred-and-forty-four letters. What was my point again? Oh, right. Bouvier or Simpson, I cherish you." For the record this little speech has 147 letters, not 144.

    • The words in Lisa's Hopscotch Crossword are: justice, happier, vegan, rebel, practicing, over, think, PTA, cerebral, rights, saxophone, playtime, lemonade, paradox, Jimbo, recess, Ralph, overachiever, recital, Krabappel, uniter, PhysEd, phenomena, and tree.

    • Just after Bart says "Speaking of San Francisco people mover--" the show cuts to Homer at gay club helping Grady break up. During this transition the following can be seen on the screen for a split second:

      Scene 151
      Take 2
      Akom &
      Film Roman Fix

    • Music From This Episode
      "Word Up" by Cameo (played during Lisa's cross-word competition)
      "Cherish" by David Cassidy (plays after Homer wins Lisa back at the end of the episode)

  • Quotes

    • (After Lisa loses the crossword puzzle tournament)
      Lisa: Oh, I blew it again.
      Homer: She blew it again! Woo-Hoo!
      (The bartender approaches Homer with a large tray of money)
      Bartender: (Disdainfully) Here's your money, soaked in your daughter's tears.
      Homer: You know for a bartender-bookie, you're awfully judgmental.

    • Homer: Sweetie, will you please look at daddy!
      Lisa: You stopped being my daddy when you bet against me! All I have now is a mom. That's why I'm taking her maiden name. So from now on, my name is Lisa Bouvier!
      (Homer gasps)
      Nelson: Hey, Mr. S. Lisa B.
      Homer: Nooo!
      Girl: Would you like to buy some band candy?
      Homer: Yeees!

    • Lisa: Guess what, mom? I'm a cruciverbalist!
      Marge: Oh, Lisa, another religion? You know, you'll just drop the whole thing at college when you get a Jewish boyfriend.

    • Superintendent Chalmers: I'm a bit of a crossword head myself. They help me relax after a day of having to deal with... Skinner!
      Principal Skinner: You called?
      Superintendent Chalmers: Made reference.
      Principal Skinner: My mistake.

    • Lisa: Dad, I know this is crazy, but did you plant a message to me in the New York Times crossword puzzle?
      Homer: Well, I had a little help from this guy.
      (Will Shortz and Merl Reagle appear)
      Lisa: (gasps) New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz and master puzzle constructor Merl Reagle!
      Merl Reagle: I actually wrote that crossword.
      Will Shortz: And I edited it. Now get back to crosswording!
      Merl Reagle: (dejected) Yes, sir.

    • Homer: Marge, I'm going to a hardcore gay club and won't be home until three in the morning!
      Marge: Have fun!

  • Notes

    • Tim Long credited the 2006 documentary, Wordplay which chronicles the national crossword puzzle championships, as the main inspiration for this episode.

    • Blackboard Joke: None.
      Couch Gag: The Simpson family members, dressed as ancient Romans, are covered in ash as Mount Vesuvius erupts behind them.

  • Allusions

    • Rocky
      During the crossword tournament montage of Lisa competing, there's a shot with her sitting in a corner with a towel wrapped around her similar to Rocky Balboa in the Rocky movies. When Bart is feeding her alpha-bits cereal, the spoon has the letters A-O-B, which is Boa backwards, which alludes to the last three letters in the name Balboa.