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
Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others
One of the names on Mr. Bergstrom's buzzer is "Vitti. J", a nod at this episode's writer, Jon Vitti.
At the end of the episode, Mr. Bergstrom gave Lisa a note that says, "You Are Lisa Simpson." That note is seen again in episode 15-13, "Smart and Smarter."
Poster Homer makes for Bart's campaign: "SEX! Now that I've got your attention, Vote For Bart!"
Miss Hoover's real name is revealed to be Elizabeth.
On the wall in Lisa's classroom is a poster from Krusty's literacy campaign, it reads "Give a hoot! Read a book!"
Mr. Bergstrom resembles Simpson writer and show runner Mike Reiss.
This episode takes place in April according to the calendar in her room.
Goof: When Mr. Bergstrom was at the museum, his hair was black. When he was at the train station, his hair was brown.
When Lisa plays her sax, notice that the baseball diamond is pointing away from the school building. Unfortunately, there is no backstop and there is a tree in left-center field.
Miss Hoover: He didn't touch my lesson plan. What did he teach you?
Lisa: That life is worth living.
Miss Hoover: You see, class, my Lyme Disease turned out to be (Spells on blackboard) psychosomatic.
Ralph: Does that mean you're crazy?
Janey: No, that means she was faking it.
Miss Hoover: No, actually, it was a little of both.
(Bart shows the whole classroom the tape for his project called, "How Kittens Are Born: The Ugly Truth")
Bart: …and here comes Snowball II. This is the one we kept.
Bart: We were gonna keep the gray one, but the mother ate her.
Martin: Mrs. Krabappel, he's traumatizing the children!
Mrs. Krabappel: As usual, I agree with you, Martin. Bart, shut that off and take your seat immediately!
Bart: Oh, look! This is really cool. When I hit reverse, I can make 'em go back in.
(The whole classroom screams)
Homer: Lisa, don't hold anything back, you can tell me. Are you crying 'cause you called daddy a baboon?
Lisa: You, sir, are a baboon!
Homer: (gasp) Me?
Lisa: Yes, you! Baboon! Baboon! Baboon! Baboon!
Homer: I don't think you realize what you're saying…
Mr. Bergstrom: There is a wonderful girl's future at stake.
Homer: Well, if she's so wonderful, give her an A!
Mr. Bergstrom: I am giving her an A.
Homer: Great, but don't tell her it was a favor to me. Tell her she earned it.
Mr. Bergstrom: Mr. Simpson, she did earn it.
Homer: You are smooth, I'll give you that.
Homer: What do you mean by "suggested donation"?
Clerk: Pay any amount you wish, sir.
Homer: And uh, what if I wish to pay... zero?
Clerk: That is up to you.
Homer: Ooh, so it's up to me, is it?
Homer: I see. And you think that people are going to pay you $4.50 even though they don't have to? Just out of the goodness of their... (laughs) Well, anything you say! Good luck, lady, you're gonna need it!
Homer: Oh, oh, Marge, I'd love to, but I was planning on... [thinks to himself] Sleeping? Eating a big sandwich? Watching TV? Spending time with the boy! (speaks up) Spending time with the boy! The boy needs attention, Marge.
Marge: Homer, I've been talking to Lisa, and I'm concerned about your relationship with her.
Bart: Me too, Mom. I think you're drifting apart.
Homer: Shut up, boy.
Marge: Homer, please.
Homer: Marge, you don't understand. I can't do it because... [thinking to himself] You're trapped. If you were smarter, you might think of something. But you're not, so you just might as well... (speaks up) All right, all right, I'll take her.
Ralph: Dear Miss Hoover. You have Lyme disease. We miss you. Kevin's biting me, come back soon. Here is a drawing of a spyrokeet. Love Ralph.
Mr. Bergstrom: Lisa, your homework is always so neat. How can I put this? Does your father help you with it?
Lisa: No. Homework's not my father's specialty.
Mr. Bergstrom: Well there's no shame in it, I mean, my dad ...
Lisa: Not mine.
Mr. Bergstrom: You didn't let me finish.
Lisa: Unless the next word was burp, you didn't have to.
Ralph: What's Lyme Disease?
Principal Skinner: I'll field that one. Lyme disease is spread by small parasites called ticks. When a diseased tick attaches itself to you, it begins sucking your blood. Malignant spirochetes infect your bloodstream, eventually spreading to your spinal fluid and on into the brain.
Miss Hoover: The Brain? Oh dear god!
Mr. Bergstrom: I'm Mr. Bergstrom. Feel free to make fun of my name if you want. Two suggestions are Mr. Nerdstrom and Mr.Boogerstrom.
Homer: Did you hear that, Marge? She called me a baboon! The stupidest, ugliest, smelliest ape of them all!
Bart: Whoa! Somebody was bound to say it one day, I just can't believe it was her.
Homer: Just because I don't care doesn't mean that I don't understand.
James L. Brooks contributed the line "You are Lisa Simpson."
This episode features the first overt antagonism between Homer and his brain.
First Appearance: Ralph Wiggum.
The Simpsons producer/writer Mike Reiss named this as his favorite episode.
In the Season Two DVD commentary, we learn the majority of the script was written by Jim Brooks before it was officially handed off to a writer to complete. Everyone managed to get out of it... except for Jon Vitti
Originally, Ralph wasn't going to be Chief Wiggum's son. Matt Groening had the idea of the character just being a miniature Homer.
Dustin Hoffman agreed to do a voice for the show, but wasn't sure if he should put his name down for having done a voice. He is one of the few guest stars to be credits with a false name. He is credited as "Sam Etic."
Blackboard Joke: None.
Couch Gag: The family rushes in to find that the couch isn't there and they stare at the space where it was.
Starland Vocal Band
Before Mr. Bergstrom's train leaves the announcer calls it the "Afternoon Delight." This is an allusion to the famous song of the same name by the Starland Vocal Band.
Mr. Bergstrom: Mrs. Krabappel, are you trying to seduce me?
This line, as well as the layout of the scene, is a reference to a scene in the 1967 film The Graduate. Benjamin Braddock, also played by Dustin Hoffman, is seduced by his much older friend of the family, Mrs. Robinson, and says, "Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?"
A Streetcar Named Desire
Lisa yelling at the window outside of Mr. Bergstrom's apartment is a reference to the 1951 film A Streetcar Named Desire.
Mr. Bergstrom: The life of a substitute teacher is a lonely one.
This line is a parody of the line, "The life of a fugitive is a lonely one," from the 1947 film The Fugitive.
Dewey vs. Truman Presidential Election
When Martin is elected class president, he poses for the school paper with a headline that says "Simpson Defeats Prince." This is a parody of the Chicago Daily Tribune's mistaken 1948 headline predicting Thomas E. Dewey would defeat the incumbent Harry S. Truman. Truman held up the erroneous headline at one of his press conferences for the New York Times to print.
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