The Simpsons

Season 14 Episode 21

The Bart of War

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM May 18, 2003 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
108 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Bart of War
When Marge sees Bart and Milhouse incited to violence after watching an episode of South Park, she tries to turn them onto some good television on the PAX television network. They run out of the room and find themselves outside and bored. After tying a thread to a housefly, that lands itself inside of the Flanders home, Bart and Milhouse find themselves inside the home, unsupervised. They cause some damage and find Ned's collection of Beatles memorabilia. They drink from cans of a 40-year-old novelty beverage and start to get sick. Ned and the boys return to their home to find the house "slightly askew," and they flee to their panic room and call the police. The police arrive and capture the boys and Bart pleads that his parents not be called. The parents are called and as part of Bart's punishment he is sentenced to spending all his time under the supervision of a parent. He is also no longer allowed to play with Milhouse, who Marge believes incites Bart into his bad behavior. Bart joins the "Pre-Teen Braves" and Homer becomes the tribe leader. When Homer fails in his leadership skills, Marge takes over. Marge takes the boys on a nature walk and they meet a Native American who shows them a field that is in need of restoration. The "Pre-Teen Braves" return to the field to begin their clean-up effort, only to discover that the "Calvary Kids" that Milhouse and his father are a members of have already done the job. The two groups go to war and try to outdo each other in doing good. When the opportunity to become batboys at an Isotopes game is on the line, the two sides redouble their efforts for their candy sales. The "Pre-Teen Braves" lace the "Calvary Kids" candy bars with laxatives and believe they are going to win. Only the senior citizens, in a need of relief from constipation, buy the "Calvary Kids" a win. At the Isotopes game, the "Calvary Kids" are delayed from arriving and the "Pre-Teen Braves" take their place singing their version of the national anthem. The crowd becomes angered by the version of the anthem that is being sung and when the real "Calvary Kids" arrive, a fight breaks out between everyone in the crowd. When the image of Marge crying is shown on the Jumbotron, the fighting ends and the sweet soothing hymn of the national anthem of Canada is sung by all present. In the end, Bart and Milhouse sum it up by saying that they've learned that: "War is not the answer--except to all of America's problems."moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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  • I loved this one!!!!

    Simpsons is such a funny cartoon, and I love this episode. It was enjoyable, crazy, halirious, wacky, weird and wonderful. It's not one of my favourites, but it's a good story and good plot. Even though the South Park thing at the start was plain disgusting, and I was kinda sorry for Ned for his Beatles Shrine, but I guess that's what has to happen.
  • The worst episode of The Simpsons

    It's bad a show not only goes bad....but goes so bad that it can't get any worse...and for The Simpsons this is nearly all of season 14 is dreadful aside from a handful of episodes that had some of the old spark....but this one is so utterly dreadful that it's hard to concive that you could make something so unfunny....only thing that even was slightly funny (notice I say slightly) was the South Park rip...though I find it irronic how they jokes about it's lack of freshness in this of all episodes!moreless
  • A great way to get back at South park who made fun of them in 'Simpsons Already Did It'

    When Bart and Milhouse are banned from watching South Park they head over to Flanders’ house and wreak havoc. When they’re caught in the act, Homer and Marge decide to enroll Bart in the “Pre-Teen Braves,” a club to keep kids off the streets. Homer becomes the “tribal chief,” leading the kids in such traditional Native American activities as eating Buffalo wings and watching football. Milhouse is separately enrolled in the “Cavalry Kids,” and the two groups feud over which group can do more for charity. Now this is a great episode to say "HA-HA" at South Park.moreless
  • Great episode

    It starts off with Bart and Milhouse watching South Park then marge doesn't like it and tells then to go outside then they mess up Flander's house and learn that Flanders is a big fan of the Beatles thoes guys rock then Marge tells bart that he cant see milhouse for a long time then Bart becomes a pre-teen boy and Milhouse is the bad guy then they have a candy selling battel and then the pre-teen boys put stuff that makes you poop a lot and I like the part when everyone starts to fight each other that part is awesome I love itmoreless
  • Bart becomes a pre teen brave.

    The only questions that stands out in my mind when I think about this episode or even this whole season is why is this so hated? Maybe its not like Nelson to join the pre teen braves or Jimbo to join the Calvary kids, but the thought of making a good plot was there. This is not the best episode of the season by any means, but it certainly was not horrible, and I actually really liked it. The south park parody was funny, Nelson imagining everything his dad was funny, and seing Flanders like the Beatles was cool to see a new side of him. Give this episode another watch, especially if you hate it.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

Russi Taylor

Russi Taylor

Martin Prince, Sherri, Terri and others

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • The montage of the escalating charitable deeds and destruction of the Pre-Teen Braves and the Cavalry Kids is set to Coven's "One Tin Soldier," made famous in the film Billy Jack (1971).

    • When everyone was singing "O Canada" they sang, "The true North strong and free, O Canada we stand on guard for thee." The correct words are, "The true North strong and free, from far and wide, O Canada we stand on guard for thee."

    • When the Cavalry Kids attack the pre-teen braves at the Isotope game, Bart isn't wearing a cap in the first shot, but just 2 seconds later when Milhouse attacks him, he is... Just an animation error...

    • When Ralph is carried off by the wolf, all the trees that were there 2 seconds earlier are gone.

  • QUOTES (20)

    • Chief Wiggum: Well, well, well! Looks like a couple of punks are going to be taking the "Last Train to Clarksville"!
      Officer Lou: That's the Monkees, Chief.
      Chief Wiggum: Go wait in the car.
      Officer Lou: Fine... it was The Monkees.

    • Ned Flanders: Well, the folks at the Senior Center sure will love that peach tree we planted.
      Rod Flanders: I wish we could see their happy faces!
      Ned Flanders: Sin of pride, Roddy.
      Rod Flanders: I'm sorry.
      Ned Flanders: Sin of regret.

    • Milhouse: I'm bored!
      Bart: Hey, I've got an idea - let's tie a string around a fly.
      Milhouse: Cool! Do you think bugs feel pain?
      Bart: If they don't, I've wasted a lot of my life.

    • TV Announcer: Next on Comedy Central, an all-new South Park!
      Milhouse: I hear those kids' voices are done by grown-ups.
      Bart: Hey, there's nothing wrong with that. I just wonder how they keep it so fresh after 43 episodes.

    • The Pre-Teen Braves: (Dressed as the Calvary Kids.) Oh say can you see,
      Back in row double-z,
      That the team sucks out loud,
      And you fans are all plowed.

    • Chief Wiggum: (over bullhorn) Okay, home invaders, we don't want to hurt you! We just want to talk!
      Officer Lou: Well, if you just wanna talk, why don't we talk about Eddie sleepin' with my ex-wife?
      Chief Wiggum: I thought the divorce was final.
      Officer Lou: When is a divorce ever final?
      Chief Wiggum: Yeah, all right. Let's just move in.

    • Homer: (singing)
      I am Homer, tribal chief.
      I am wearing tiny briefs.
      Braves teach values boys should know,
      Now extended drum solo!

    • Todd Flanders: Daddy, I'm scared!
      Ned Flanders: Scared of what? All the funny camp songs we're gonna sing? (singing, to the tune of "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain")
      We'll be safe inside our fortress when they come.
      We'll be safe from creeps and killers when they come.
      Unless they have a blow-torch
      Or a poison gas injector,
      Then I don't know what'll happen when they come!

    • Bart: The fly's stuck in Flanders' house!
      Milhouse: I-I'll go contact the nearest adult!
      Bart: There's no time. We're going in!
      (Bart climbs in the Flanders' kitchen window. Milhouse follows, dropping something on the ground outside.)
      Milhouse: My eyeglass repair kit!
      Bart: (pulling him back) Let it go.

    • Bart (After drinking a 40 year-old novelty Beatles soda): Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog's eye.

    • Milhouse: Well, Bart, we've learned that war is not the answer.
      Bart: Except to all of America's problems.
      Milhouse: Amen.

    • Willy: Oh, lassie dry your tears.
      Otto: Then show us your boobs!

    • Ralph: (after being thrown through window) I'm a brick.

    • (Ralph meets a wolf)
      Ralph: Would you be my mommy?
      (Wolf picks up Ralph in his teeth)
      Ralph: You smell like dead bunnies.

    • Marge: (Nelson thinks a tree is his father) Aw for God's sakes, I could see why he left.

    • Marge: Here's some supervised activities we can all do together; Future Veterans of Foreign Wars, The 5-H Club…
      Homer: 5-H?
      Marge: They had to admit homosexuals.

    • Homer: (throwing treadmill into lake) Hey treadmill, how do you like this incline!

    • Bart: Please don't call our parents.
      Chief Wiggum: I'm afraid I have to for hijinks like these. Heh. "Hijinks." It's a funny word. Three dotted letters in a row.
      Officer Eddie: Is it hyphenated?
      Chief Wiggum: It used to be... back in the old days, you know? Of course, every generation hyphenates the way it wants to. Then there's *NSYNC. Ha! What the hell is that? Jump in anytime, Eddie. These are good topics.

    • Milhouse: Sometimes I wish a cat would eat me.

    • Moe: (about to fight Drederick Tatum) Oh, jeez. How did this happen?

  • NOTES (8)

    • The last time Nelson saw his father was in 1997 in "Bart Star"

    • At the end of the episode when the cast pays tribute to Canada with the singing of O Canada, it refers to Matt Groening's father (also named Homer) who was Canadian. Recently his father's home town of Winnipeg Manitoba named Homer Simpson an honorary citizen, but it caused a bit of controversy when it was argued that Homer Groening was actually from a small town in Saskatchewan.

    • The two (non-porn) videos you see on the trolley in the Flanders' house are "Girls Gone Mild" and "Debbie Does Penance".

    • We find out that Lenny's last name is Leonard.

    • Flanders has a shrine to The Beatles.

    • After a nod to The Simpsons appeared on South Park in the episode "Simpsons Already Did It". This show returns the compliment.

    • At the end when the group sings "Oh, Canada", the national anthem of Canada, Marge is waving two flags. One is the Canadian flag, the other is the flag of the Canadian province of Quebec.

    • Blackboard Joke: Sandwiches should not contain sand.
      Couch Gag: The family runs into the living and sits down on the couch; then giant hands reach down and pick them up. The views shifts upwards to reveal the giant hands are that of a giant toddler.

  • ALLUSIONS (14)

    • M&Ms
      When the boys are selling candies, Nelson says: "Chocolate that melts in your mouth, not in your pants!" This is a play on the famous catchphrase for the M&Ms candies, "Chocolate that melts in your mouth, not in your hands!"

    • Rolling Stone cover
      One of the "visions" Bart has after drinking novelty beverage is Milhouse naked with an Asian woman. This is a reference to the Rolling Stone Magazine cover where a naked John Lennon is embracing Yoko Ono. Incidentally, the picture was taken on the day Lennon was shot, and ran as the Rolling Stone cover on January 22, 1981 as a tribute to Lennon.

    • Michael Jackson
      When Homer does his Michael Jackson impression, he says, "I own all your songs, losers." This is in reference to Michael Jackson outbidding Paul McCartney for the publishing rights to many of The Beatles songs in 1984, effectively ending their friendship.

    • When Homer is playing with Ned's bobbleheads, he announces, "Look, I'm Brian Epstein!"

      Brian Epstein was the Beatles' manager until the time of his death in 1967. He was very careful with the band's presentation and was an integral part to their early success.

    • After Homer's "Indian" song describing the point of the Pre-Teen Braves, he goes on to say "Now extended drum solo." The beat of his solo is reminiscent of Ron Bushy's legendary drum solo in Iron Butterfly's trademark song "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida."

    • When Homer says "I shall bet no more forever" it is a reference to "I will fight no more forever," which was Nez Perce Chief Joseph's surrender speech to the U.S. Army.

    • Flander's tapes "Girls Gone Mild" and "Debbie Does Penance" are spoofs of the adult films "Girls Gone Wild" and "Debbie Does Dallas."

    • Album covers hanging in back of the novelty drinks:
      The albums covers that you can see are, from left to right, Magical Mystery Tour, White Album and Let it Be.

    • Ned Flanders: "... until your boys went Yoko and broke up my collection"
      Quote is based on the popular misconception that Yoko Ono broke up the Beatles.

    • John Lennon, on the cover of a video: "I'm fixing a my drywall!"
      The video cover, complete with John brandishing a hammer and nails, pokes fun at the Beatles' 1967 song "Fixing a Hole," which appeared on their epic "Sgt. Pepper's" album.

    • Bart: "Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog's eye"
      After Bart drinks the 40 year old novelty soda, he quotes the Beatles' song "I Am The Walrus" as he sees Milhouse "morph" through the different phases of the band's career.

    • TV Announcer: Next on Comedy Central, an all new South Park
      Finally The Simpsons makes a parody of South Park. South Park made a parody of The Simpsons in episode 607 - "Simpsons Already Did It." South Park has a few false facts about The Simpsons (like the number of episodes), Bart says "I wonder how they keep it so fresh after 43 episodes." South Park are over 100 episodes.

    • Ned Flanders: "[The Beatles] Were bigger than Jesus!"
      Reference to a comment quoted out of context by John Lennon in 1966.

      For more Beatles references/jokes, see the fifth season premiere episode Homer's Barbershop Quartet. Homer also comments that Yoko Ono ruined the Plastic Ono Band in the episode Last Tap Dance in Springfield.

    • :
      The title refers to Sun Tzu's "The Art of War."