The Simpsons

Season 11 Episode 20

Last Tap Dance in Springfield

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM May 07, 2000 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
137 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Lisa is inspired to learn dancing, so she begins taking classes. All the while, Bart and Milhouse pretend they are at camp, when they are actually staying overnight in the Springfield Mall. Police Chief Wiggum is conviced that giant rats have made their home in the mall, so he tries to exterminate them.moreless

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  • Hillarious!

    Bart and Milhouse are trapped in the Mall and chased by a lion. The funniest moment is when Milhouse discovers a Lion behind the plant and is speechless to Bart! Chief Wiggum gets trapped with a weight when he wants to take some cheese (Hillarious!) Lisa wants to be a tap dancer so she gets help from the professor with the self-taping shoes. At the performance, loud clapping makes shoes go bizzare and destroyed. Professor wants to spare Lisa's feelings by saying that the whole time the machine was off so Lisa believes that she did it on her own, but Homer spoils it all, typical!moreless
  • Take a typical season 11 and downplay the wackiness by a large margin...

    ... and you might end up with something like Last Tap Dance In Springfield. At a time when the show seemed to be running itself to the ground with unlikeable characters and insane storylines, Last Tap Dance emerges as one of the more genuinely entertaining episodes of the era.

    Let's put the bad out there first. To start, this is still no classic. While a lot of the most frustrating elements of the show are toned down here, the episode is neither consistently hilarious nor particularly touching. On top of this, we've still got the obligatory annoying moments to concern ourselves (Homer strangling Bart in different levels of clarity, perhaps his eyes crusting over as well).

    This being said, that's nothing compared to a lot of the stuff that came out around this time. And while I wouldn't say the humour was amazing, it's clear the comic timing for the show was still intact if put it to the right use. The Shirley Temple-esque film and numerous bits with the present day Little Vicky give us some laughs.

    Let's also not underestimating the impact some less extreme characterizations can have as well. Homer is closer to a bumbling father in the last two acts than a tangent-driven imbecile, and it certainly helps the episode maintain a needed level of groundedness. Lisa, to her credit, still had a level of sweetness to her character at this point of time, so it helps to have her prominence in the episode as well.

    We've also got a subplot that, while nothing spectacular, certainly doesn't diminish the episode too far and provides a silliness to contrast the main story. Bart and Milhouse being alone in the mall was certain a good idea with interesting enough results.

    I can't decide whether this or Days of Wine and D'oh'ses is the strongest episode of season 11, but on its own terms I'll give Last Tap Dance In Springfield a solid B (7.5).moreless
  • Decent

    Lisa takes tap dancing. Now, I'll be honest, I hate tap dancing, and therefore for some reason I just don't like the plot. It was decent, had a lot of good laughs, but I strongly preferred Bart's subplot with him and Milhouse at the mall.

    This is probably one of the most real episodes of the season. Not one joke seemed too cartoony or anything like that, which is a plus. And no one seemed to act out of character, for the most part.

    So, it had some good humor and some good moments, but I just don't like the type of plot. But it still is a great episodemoreless
  • Lisa takes up Tap dancing and Bart and Milhouse camp out in the mall.

    Let me start by saying that this is another episode from season 11 that many people do not realize had some great gags and the overall plot was great. Im not going to lie and say both stories were equally strong because they werent. The Bart and Milhouse story was clearly stronger then the Lisa story, but the Lisa story was definately entertaining. Probably one of my favorite gags from the episode is when Bart plays a childish prank on Homer and makes him say I 8 PP during his eye exam, or when Homer can't see and the school bullies make him buy them beer. Give this episode a watch for some great entertainment and silly gags.moreless
  • Didn't like the main story, but the "b" story was fantastic.

    During an outing at the mall, Homer gets his eyes examined while Marge and Lisa shop for items Bart will need for his camping trip. Seeing a film about tango dancers, Lisa is inspired to get dance lessons. Lisa, however, does not prove to be the most talented of dancers. Her role in an upcoming dance recital: curtain puller. Lisa is crushed. Meanwhile, Bart and Milhouse sneak out of their camping trip and decide to spend a week in the mall. Hiding out in an air vent until the mall closes the boys stuff themselves silly with candy, cookies and play with all the toys. The next morning Chief Wiggum is called in to investigate. Thinking he is on the trail of an enormous rat, Wiggum tries to catch them using various traps and tricks. Meanwhile, with a little help from Professor Frink, Lisa becomes the star of the recital.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

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Agnes Skinner, Brandine Del Roy, Dolph and others

Recurring Role

Karl Wiedergott

Karl Wiedergott

Additional Voices

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Where did Lisa's shopping bags go after the movie? Her and Marge both had two when they were looking at the title outside, and then when they come out, Lisa's are gone.

    • When Professor Frink claps the can moves but when he puts the microchip in Lisa's shoe it is off.

    • In the scene where the three bullies (Dolph, Jimbo, and Kearney) kidnap a blind Homer and make him go to the liquor store to get Jack Daniels and cigarettes, Jimbo's hat is mustard yellow instead of the usual grape purple.

  • QUOTES (18)

    • Vicky: I'm sorry, but giving everyone an equal part when they're not clearly equal is what again, class?
      Girls: Communism!

    • Ralph: Lisa's bad dancing makes my feet sad!

    • Lisa: What am I doing wrong?
      Vicki: Well, you're falling a lot. Maybe you should work on that.

    • Homer: Now, honey, what were you trying to say before we kept interrupting with our loving proudness?
      Marge: Yes, our tiny tapper, what was it you were going to say after "I wanted to be a dancer, but"?
      Lisa: But, I just... need more practice! See ya! (exits kitchen, her shoes tap)
      Homer: Oh, what's that awful sound?
      Marge: The furnace?
      Lisa: It's me!
      Homer/Marge: Aww....

    • Vicki: You've just got to turn that frown upside-down!
      (Lisa smiles.)
      Vicki: That's a smile, not an upside-down frown! Work on that, too!

    • Milhouse: The mall?
      Bart: Yeah, it's just like my dad always says:
      Homer: (in a thought balloon) For an evening or a week, there's no place like the mall. Food, fun and fashion, the mall has it all!
      (Bart runs to the mall, leaving Milhouse behind)
      Milhouse: What? What did he say?!

    • (to the tune of "Good Ship Lollipop")
      Cast: On the Spaceship Lollipop,
      Gingerbread men like to do Hip Hop;
      And chocolate chips,
      Make a rockin' fuel for rocket ships!
      We just love to dance on Mars,
      Where everything's made from candy bars...

    • (to the tune of "If you're Happy and you Know it Clap Your Hands")
      Stan: If you're happy and you know it shop at Stan's. Giant discounts on your favorite major brands.

    • Mexican Milhouse: Qué malo, once again I must sugar my own churro.

    • Professor Frink: These shoes are in the off position!
      Lisa: You mean I danced all by myself?
      Marge: See, honey? All you needed was to believe--
      Homer: What are you talking about, Professor Frink? They're clearly in the on position. See? "On".
      Professor Frink: I was merely trying to spare the girl's feelings, you insensitive clod.
      Homer: Oh... oh! Well, now that I look even closer--
      Lisa: Forget it, Dad.

    • Vicky: We all do crazy things when we're desperate. I once destroyed Buddy Ebsen's credit rating.
      Lisa: Why?
      Vicky: He knows why.

    • Vicky: Nobody upstages Little Vicky! Hissss!

    • Marge: Hi, Little Vicki!
      Vicki: Oh, that was such a long time ago. I'm just plain Vicki now.
      Marge: All right, I'd like to sign my daughter up for lessons, Vicki.
      Vicki: LITTLE Vicki.
      Marge: But you just said...

    • Kearney: (Imitating Marge while driving Homer's car) Now, Homie, when we get to the liquor store, buy me some Jack Daniels and a carton of smokes.
      Homer: Yes, dear.
      (Dolph and Jimbo snicker and exchange a high-five.)

    • Ralph: My daddy shoots people!

    • Milhouse: I don't want to go home. My grandma's sleeping in my bed and she has skin like a basketball.

    • Vicky: I'm ever so pissed!

    • Professor Frink: Jesus, Mary, and Glavin!

  • NOTES (2)

    • This episode was nominated for the 2001 Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing - Television Animation - Music.

    • Blackboard Joke: I will not dance on anyone's grave.
      Couch Gag: The family is swinging on vines in Tarzan-style clothes. Homer swings past the couch and crashes off-screen.

  • ALLUSIONS (11)

    • Tommy Hilfiger
      The store that Marge and Lisa walk out of before going to the movies is called Tommy Hillclimber, an allusion to the clothing line Tommy Hilfiger.

    • The series Homer watches at the beginning features a robot similar to Robo Cop.

    • :
      When Milhouse is scared by seeing the lion's on the other side of the plant they're hiding in, he is scared speechless and communicates only by pantomine and whimering and growling. That is a parody of "Scooby-Doo" when Scooby sees a monster near them and pantomines the monster.

    • :
      The MORG synthesizer featured at Stan's Keyboards (a store at the Springfield Mall) combines the Moog synthesizer and the Korg keyboard brand names.

    • :
      The main inspiration for the episode's climax – Lisa tap-dancing uncontrollably while wearing a pair of red slippers and unable to remove the Professor Frink-altered shoes – is found in Hans Christian Andersen's "The Red Shoes" (wherein a ballerina wears a pair of cursed slippers that won't stop dancing).

      A similar plot was found in the Warner Bros. animated classic, "The Wearing of the Grin," where Porky Pig – accused by a pair of paranoid leprechauns of attempting to steal their gold – is sentenced to wear a pair of magic green shoes that cause him to continuously dance a jig.

    • Lou: Sure hope this Acme kit works.
      Chief Wiggum – who has somehow concluded that a giant rat has wreaked havoc at the mall – uses an ACME trap to catch the non-existant culprit. Acme, of course, is the mail-order company Wile E. Coyote patronized to purchase items to catch the Road Runner. Chief Wiggum tests the trap (a piece of cheese tied to an overhanging anvil) and is clonked just the same as the Coyote. See Rule 7 in the More Info link.

    • :
      Several Shirley Temple references here:

      • The episode's main guest character, Vicki Valentine, was a child movie star who endeared audiences with her singing and dancing performances years ago. She's now a 60s-something adult who has remained active in her childhood profession.
      • The Spaceship Lollipop (a prop in the recital) is a play on Temple's "The Good Ship Lollipop."
      • The movie Lisa watches, about an African-American servant teaching a deeply saddened young girl how to tap dance, is similar to Temple's "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm".

    • :
      Elements of this episode's plot – Lisa being (at best) a marginally talented dancer and getting cut from an upcoming recital – are borrowed from The Brady Bunch episode "Try, Try Again" (where Jan was (at best) a marginally talented and is not asked to participate in an upcoming recital).

    • :
      The episode title is a play on the title of the 1972 film "Last Tango in Paris."

    • Chief Wiggum: Now shut this place down before the old folks come in for their morning walk.
      After saying that, Chief Wiggum points to the mall entrance where the old folks try to get in. That sequence resembles a scene from George A. Romero's 1978 film "Dawn of the Dead" where a bunch of zombies try to get into the mall where the main characters of that movie are hiding.

    • Homer: Ooh, my favorite Door!
      Homer thinks actor Val Kilmer is one of the Doors. Kilmer played Jim Morrison, the late lead singer from the Doors, in the movie "The Doors", which was directed by Oliver Stone. Recently, Kilmer played Morrison again in an episode of "Saturday Night Live".