The Simpsons

Season 3 Episode 2

Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Sep 26, 1991 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
270 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Lisa enters a nationwide patriotism themed essay contest, and the Simpson family heads off to Washington D.C. for an all expenses paid trip, when Lisa qualifies for the essay contest finals to be held at the Kennedy Center.

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  • good.

    Lisa enters a nationwide patriotism themed essay contest, and the Simpson family heads off to Washington D.C. for an all expenses paid trip, when Lisa qualifies for the essay contest finals to be held at the Kennedy Center.

    Overall, not my favorite episode, but still okay

    8 out of 10
  • this was a good ep

    in this ep of the simpsons it was lisa ep that was really well made. anyway this ep is about lisa who goes to washington because she won aessy contest and has made it into the final round. the family comes along also homer is fasinated with the mint and is caought drooling over the money and bart flyes in the spirt of saint louis and this was a good ep with some funny parts and lisa at the end of the day she gets congres to pass a bill to save the her beloved forest. thi was a good epmoreless
  • good

    lisa wins an essay and the family goes to Washington D.C. but whilst there, lisa discovers how corrupt some politicians are acting, and so she decides to write an essay on that. she does and she tries to fix the problem, which it seems, works.

    i am not too keen on politics but i overall liked this episode. it has some nice laughs, a good satire on politicians, and it has good characterizations. my overall grade is a B+ or so, because whilst I did in fact like it, I thought some minor parts of it were boring. Still good!moreless
  • Lisa and family goes to Washington D.C.

    I really enjoyed watching this episode after a while. The first part of this episode was Homer being a book worm, but he quickly loses that trait when Lisa wins a trip to Washington D.C. after writing a patriotic essay. Before the final around though, Lisa witnesses a congress man accepting a bribe to cut down a forest. Lisa changes her essay into something darker, and doesn't recieve a lot of applause for it. Then the asian boy wins, but Lisa still "wins" in the end because the congress man is kicked out of office. So overall this was a good episode with character development on Lisa's part.moreless
  • Good episode centered around corrupt politicians

    Lisa writes an essay for a Readers Digest competition and the family gets an all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. The morning of the contest, Lisa wanders off to a little known memorial, where she witnesses a Congressman taking a bribe from a lobbyist. Her faith in democracy now destroyed, she tears up the essay she prepared for the final. She writes a new essay exposing the Congressman and condemns the politicians in Washington. He is immediately arrested in a sting operation. Lisa loses the contest, but her faith in the democratic system is restored. Good political episode; one of the best one's centered around politics.moreless
Dan Castellaneta

Dan Castellaneta

Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others

Hank Azaria

Hank Azaria

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others

Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others

Julie Kavner

Julie Kavner

Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier

Nancy Cartwright

Nancy Cartwright

Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others

Yeardley Smith

Yeardley Smith

Lisa Simpson

Lona Williams

Lona Williams

Minnesota Girl

Guest Star

Jo Ann Harris

Jo Ann Harris

Additional Voices

Recurring Role

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

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Nelson: (Reading his essay at the contest) So burn the flag if you must. But before you do, you'd better burn a few other things. You'd better burn your shirt and your pants. Be sure to burn your TV and car. Oh yes, and don't forget to burn your house because none of those things could exist without six white stripes, seven red stripes, and a hell of a lot of stars.
      (The crowd claps and cheers)
      Nelson: Thank you very much!
      Homer: Yeah, damn right!

    • Singer: The deficit rag, oh yes the deficit rag! Those budget gaps can be a 12-digit drag! I'm telling you, that's the deficit, they really made a mess of it, that's the deficit ra-a-ag!

    • Singer: The trading gap shuffle, we're in a heap of trouble, doing the trading gap shuffle!
      Bart: He already sang this song!
      Marge: No, that was about the budget gap. This is the trading gap.

    • Losing Contestant's Father: "We the purple"? What the hell was that?

    • Moe: Aw, isn't that nice. Now there is a politician who cares.
      Barney: If I ever vote, it'll be for him!

    • Congressman: I'd like to give you a logging permit, I would. But this isn't like burying toxic waste - people are going to notice those trees are gone.

    • US Mint Tour Guide: Folks, we print more than 18 million bills a day. Oh, and in case you were wondering, no, we don't give out free samples.
      Homer: Lousy cheap country.

    • Steward: Yes, sir, can I get you something?
      Homer: Playing cards, note pad, aspirin, sewing kit, pilot's wing pin, propeller-shaped swizzle stick, sleeping mask, and anything else I've got coming to me.

    • Homer: Oh, Marge, cartoons don't have any deep meaning. They're just stupid drawings that give you a cheap laugh.

    • Burns: Who is that bookworm, Smithers?
      Smithers: Homer Simpson, sir.
      Burns: Simpson, eh? How very strange. His job description clearly specifies an illiterate!

    • Homer: I had a feeling it was too good to be true. Every time you get a million dollars, something queers the deal.
      Lisa: I don't think real checks have exclamation points.

    • Homer: Give her the check! (the crowd laughs) Oh, I was serious.

    • Homer: (the phone rings) What the..... D'oh, stupid welcoming mint! (picks up phone) Yallow!
      Bart: Good morning, this is your wake up call!
      Homer: Wake up call? It's 2am!
      Bart: Sorry fatso!

    • Bart: I call first bedsies!
      Lisa: Bart, there's no such thing as first bedsies. You just made that up.
      Bart: Well, okay. Which one do you want?
      Lisa: I ... want ... that one.
      Bart: Really? You want that one? Well, it's all yours, whatever you say.
      Lisa: Why, what's wrong with it?
      Bart: Nothing! Have a good night's sleep, Lisa.
      Lisa: No, really, what?!
      Bart: Nothing!
      Lisa: What did you do to it?
      Bart: Nothing!
      Lisa: MOOOOOM!

    • Lady: Are you a professional writer?
      Homer: mm, mm... (in a 'no' kinda way)
      Lady: Are you interested in politics and government?
      Homer: mmmm...(in a 'i dunno' kinda way)
      Lady: Are you interested in anything?
      Homer: mmmm.. (same as above)
      Lady: Could you touch your nose for me?
      (Homer twists and bends but doesn't touch his nose)

    • Homer: Then I heard the sound that all Arctic explorers dread, the pitiless bark of the sea lion! (gasp) He'll be killed!
      Marge: Homer, he obviously got out alive if he wrote the article...
      Homer: Don't be so.....(turns the page). Oh you're right.

    • Homer: They take hundreds of magazines, filter out the crap, and leave you with something that fits right in your front pocket! (Homer struggles to fit it in his pocket)

    • (The Simpson family tours The White House.)
      Bart: (Reading plaque) On this spot, Richard Nixon bowled back-to-back 300 games.
      Homer: Yeah, right.

    • (Homer talks with a Reading Digest representative.)
      Homer: Ooh, I love your magazine. My favorite section is, "How To Increase Your Word Power." That thing is really, really...really...good.

    • Marge: Look, Homer, it's the IRS.
      Homer: Boo!
      IRS Agent: Oh boo, yourself!

    • Homer: Who would have guessed reading and writing would pay off?!

    • Faith Crowley: These are special VIP badges. They'll get you into places other tourists never see.
      Homer: Miss, what does the "I" stand for?
      Faith Crowley: Important.
      Homer: Ooh. How about the "V"?
      Faith Crowley: Very.
      Homer: Oh. And Miss, just one more question.
      Faith Crowley: Person.
      Homer: Ah... What does the "I" stand for again?

  • NOTES (3)

    • This was the first Simpsons episode to be broadcast in Dolby Surround Sound Stereo.

    • Blackboard Joke: Spitwads are not free speech.
      Couch Gag: Everyone sits on the couch, Santa's Little Helper can be heard whimpering; Homer reaches underneath his bottom and pulls the dog out from under him.

    • We learn that Springfield is in the SE corner of a land-locked state that looks like Utah - but Springfield also has a coastline. When panning over the map of the United States, you actually see what state Springfield is in. The initials "NT" appear above the city name, which is why if you asked most of the crew where Springfield is, according to the Season 3 DVD commentary, they will tell you it is in North Takhoma. In the end, this is all boiled down to nonsense due to one six digit number: 192005. The ZIP code on all of Homer's mail.


    • Mark Russell
      The singer of "The Deficit Rag" is a reference to political satirist Mark Russell. The song is a parody of Russell's "The Vatican Rag".

    • Hamlet
      A banner reads "Brevity is... wit". This is a reference to the line "Brevity is the soul of wit" said by Polonius in William Shakespeare's Hamlet (Act 2, Scene 2).

    • Presidential Seal
      When Lisa sees a bald eagle in the forest, it's holding an olive branch in its right talon. A moment later, it spreads its wings and an arrow appears in his left talon. This refers to the United States Presidential Seal, which symbolizes a desire for peace, but the capacity for war.

    • Winnifred Beecher Howe
      Her name is an amalgamation of Winnifred Huck (one of the first women to serve in the US Congress), Harriet Beecher Stowe (abolitionist and author of Uncle Tom's Cabin) and Julia Ward Howe (suffragette and writer of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"). Her placement on "the highly-unpopular 75-cent piece" refers to Susan B. Anthony, who appeared on an unpopular quarter-sized $1 coin originally minted from 1979-1981.

    • Thomas Nast
      The political cartoon parody scene is based off of the comics by turn of the century satirist, Thomas Nast.

    • The Sting
      When the fake representative from the logging company taps his nose as the signal, this action is taken directly out of the film The Sting.

    • Reader's Digest
      Homer reads Reading Digest, which is essentially identical to the real-life Reader's Digest. Both magazines include a feature on "How To Increase Your Word Power."

    • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
      The title, and much of this episode's plot, owes itself to the classic 1939 Jimmy Stewart film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.