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Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others
Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others
Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others
Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier
Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others
Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others
The nerds have a poster of the band, Devo, in their room.
According the Matt Groening, the gag where Homer boasts about how smart he is and misspells smart (S-M-R-T) was a genuine fluff by Dan Castellaneta. But they thought it was so funny and so in character that they kept it.
The closing credits include scenes of Homer waterskiing in a toga, a naked Homer being spanked by frat boys, several students being crammed into a phone box,and Homer pushing the Dean into a swimming pool.
In Homer's room, there is a poster of Einstein sticking his tougue out.
The sign outside Springfield A&M reads: ''If You Were A Student Here, You'd Be Home by Now.''
This was the last episode Conan O'Brien wrote.
Lisa: Nerds are nothing to fear, Dad. In fact, some nerds of note include popcorn magnate Orville Redenbacher, rock star David Byrne, and Supreme Court Justice David Souter.
Homer: Oh no! Not Souter! (buries face in hands) Oh nooo!
Benjamin: Come on, Mr. Simpson, you'll never pass this course without learning the periodic table.
Homer: I'll write it on my hand.
Benjamin: Hoh! Including all known lanthanides & actinides? Good luck!
Homer: I've been working on a plan. During the exam, I'll hide under some coats, and hope that somehow everything will work out.
Gary: Oh, don't worry, Mr. Simpson, we can take care of ourselves.
Snake: Uh, wallet inspector!
Benjamin: Oh, here you go. I believe that's all in order.
Snake: Wow, I can't believe that worked! (runs away)
Homer: Hey wait a minute… that's not the wallet inspector!
Homer: But Marge, we're college guys and we're up to no good!
Benjamin: Mr. Simpson, Gary spilled his ear medicine.
Homer: Marge, try to understand. There are two kinds of college students: jocks and nerds. As a jock, it is my duty to give nerds a hard time.
Homer: (reading his college rejection letters) D'oh! D'oh! D'oh! Woohoo! A flyer for a hardware store! D'oh!
Bart: Well, Pop, what are you going to do?
Homer: Something I should have done a long time ago.
Marge: You don't know, do you?
Homer: No, ma'am.
Homer: (writing) It was the most I ever threw up, and it changed my life forever.
Mr. Burns: Oh, and one more thing: you must find the jade monkey before the next full moon.
Smithers Actually sir, we found the jade monkey. It was in your glove compartment.
Mr. Burns: And the road maps, and ice scraper?
Smithers: They were in there too, sir.
Mr. Burns: Excellent! It's all falling into place...
Mr. Burns: Hello, Simpson. My lawyers and I were in the neighborhood and thought we'd stop by.
Marge: Would you like to come in for tea and marshmallow squares?
(The lawyers confer with each other)
Lawyer: Yes, he would.
Homer: Aw, you guys are pathetic. No wonder Smithers made me head bee-guy.
Marge: An A+, how did you do it?
Homer: Oh, lets just say I had help from a little magic box!
Marge: You changed your grade with a computer?
Doug: Mrs. Simpson, we all have nose bleeds.
Bart: Gentlemen, I propose we kidnap Sir-Oinks-A-Lot..
Homer: And then we roll him up in a carpet and throw him off a bridge!
Homer: Hello, Dean! You're a stupid head!
Dean: Homer is that you?
Homer: My first day of college.. I wish my father was alive to see this!
Homer: How long have you been back there?
Grampa: Three days...
Homer: Woohoo! I'm a college man! I won't need my high school diploma any more! (sets diploma on fire) I am so smart, I am so smart, S-M-R-T... I mean S-M-A-R-T.
Man: Homer, sign this application, and you're a shoe-in.
Homer: Hahaha, that dog has somebody's ham. Now this I gotta see!
Homer: D'oh! The bee bit my bottom! Now my bottom's big!
Mr. Burns: What, how dare you disturb us during nap time!
Lady: We're from the Nuclear Regulatory Comission. This is a surprise test of worker competence.
Mr. Burns: There must be some mistake. Weee... make cookies here. Mr. Burns old fashion good time, extra chewy..
Man: Get the axe!
Nuclear Saftey Engineer: Now, relax, Homer. This is a simulation of your work station and we're going to simulate a power surge in Sector 8.
Homer: What the hell are you talking about?
(After Homer causes a nuclear meltdown in a simulator)
Nuclear Safety Engineer: I don't understand it! There wasn't any nuclear material in that van!
(During the nuclear meltdown, Mr. Burns has locked Smithers out of the escape pod)
Smithers: For the love of God, sir! There are two seats!
Mr. Burns: I like to put my feet up.
(An Itchy and Scratchy toon starts: "BURNING DOWN THE MOUSE!")
Lisa: GASP! I've heard of this one. It's the one where Scratchy finally gets Itchy!
(In it, Scratchy has Itchy tied on a stake. Scratchy puts dynamite in Itchy's eyelids and ears, makes a beard and stovepipe hat out of plastic explosive material, and hangs grenades on Itchy's ears. Then he aims two atomic missiles at Itchy's eyes, lights the fuses, and hails a cab and escapes. Itchy struggles to get out.)
Bart: (as he and Lisa hold hands) My purpose in life is to witness this moment.
(The fuse is about to go out, but the picture goes blank, as Bart and Lisa scream.)
Gary: We need the outlet for our rock tumbler.
Kids: PLUG IT IN! PLUG IT IN!
Gary: What, the rock tumbler or the TV?
Kids: THE TV! THE TV!
(Gary does so, but there's a a still image of a mushroom cloud with "THE END" in red jumbled letters as the end theme plays.)
Krusty: Wow! They'll never let us show that again! Not in a million years!
Man: Umm, excuse me. What are you doing?
Mr. Burns: I'm giving you the beating of your life!
Homer: Oh, I'm going to lose my job just because I'm dangerously unqualified.
Nerd: Wait a minute, I'll put on my snow pants.
Homer: Boy, I can't wait to take some of the starch out of that stuffed shirt!
Commercial: Finally, the great taste of Worcester sauce in a soft drink. Ahh, steaky.
Lisa: List your three favorite books and how they have influenced your life.
Homer: Is "TV Guide" a book?
Homer: "Son of Sniglet?"
Homer: Katherine Hepburn's "Me?"
Homer: Oh, I suck!
Bart: Dad, start digging some nerd holes!
Richard Nixon: Oh, you'll pay! Don't think you won't pay!
Mr. Burns: Smithers, dismember the corpse and send his widow a corsage.
Bart: College?! Barber or clown?
Homer: Look, I'm supposed to get a physics tutor.
Nerd 1: Well, you've come to the right place then. If there's one thing we know, it is science.
Nerd 2: And math.
Nerd 3: And the words to every Monty Python routine.
Nerds: (in unison) We are the Knights Who Say… Ni! Ni!
Homer: Heh heh… Ni.
Dean: That sounds like a pig fainting!
Blackboard Joke: None.
Couch Gag: The family sits on the couch and gets crushed by a foot a la the opening to Monty Python's Flying Circus.
Monty Python's Flying Circus
The couch gag for this episode (with the giant foot crushing the couch) references Monty Python's Flying Circus. The nerds also mention this show during the episode.
A Clockwork Orange
Homer's cramming session, when his eyes are being held open, parodies a scene from the 1971 Stanley Kubrick film, A Clockwork Orange.
The nerd's dialogue, Intruder Alert, stop the humanoid, is a reference to the video game Berzerk.
Dean Peterson has a poster from the album, The Dark Side of the Moon, in his office.
The band, The Pretenders, never had a bass player named Bobby Peterson, though Dean Peterson claims to have played with the group.
The nerds work in Room 222, which was the name of a show, that executive producer James Burrows worked on in the early 1970s.
Bart scraping his fingernails across the blackboard to attract their attention in planning their prank is a reference to the 1975 film Jaws.
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
When Burns launches his escape pod during Homer's meltdown, the shot is almost identical to the jettisoning of the escape pod in the early minutes of the 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.
Bernie: Duh, Homer, why are we down here?
Bernie is styled and voiced very similar to Mugsy, the dim-witted sidekick of gangster Rocky in a series of Bugs Bunny cartoons.
Let's Make A Deal
The scene where Burns tries to get the inspector to trade his bribe for what's in the box parodies the game show Let's Make A Deal.
When Mr. Burns is trying to get Homer into college and starts talking about baseball, it's a take on what Al Capone said and did in the 1987 film The Untouchables.
The Kingsmen's "Louie, Louie" plays over the montage of Homer's college moments at the end of the episode. The classic 1963 number has become synonymous with collegians' tomfoolery and appeared in National Lampoon's satire on higher education, Animal House. Not to mention, many aspects of this episode (i.e., the pig fainting, Homer partying and failing school at the same time, Homer despising the Dean) are inspired by this 1978 film.
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