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The Simpsons

Season 1 Episode 11

The Crepes of Wrath

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Apr 15, 1990 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
410 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

It’s bon voyage Bart, when he is sent to France as part of a student exchange program. Meanwhile, another exchange student takes Bart's place at home.

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  • My third favorite episode of the season

    I got laughs from the following scenes: Homer trips on Bart's skateboard, the doll repeatedly saying to Homer "I like to play with you," Principal Skinner being called Spanky, Bart pull a prank on a girl's restroom with a cherry bomb, Homer and Principal Skinner high fiving each other, Albia saying Mr. Burns' catchphrase "excellent," Bart suddenly speaking French, and a few more chuckles. I liked the speech the Albanian boy, Albia gave to the school. Bart reading Marge's letter was slightly sad. I liked the part where Bart arrested the two French guys after treating him like a slave. Well, this was actually a perfect episode with no flaws whatsoever and it has another heartwarming ending. Last on the Fast Lane is still a better episode imo.

    Score: 10/10moreless
  • Not Impressed

    I was looking forward to his episode, due to the high expectations that other reviewers had set up for me. I found myself more than a little disappointed at the episode, however.

    The plot wasn't bad, but I think a lot of the jokes may have missed me due to the amount of time that has passed between now and when the episode was originally released. I think that if it were done today, it would've been a lot different, and quite possibly, a lot better.moreless
  • Great

    The episode begins with Bart coming home from school and leaving his things on the floor at the top of the stairs. Homer walks through the hallway and steps on Bart's skateboard and falls down the stairs throwing his back out. No one comes to his rescue until several hours later when Marge and Lisa discover him after coming in the front door. Marge yells at Bart to clean his room and tells him that if he would have picked up after himself, Homer's back would still be fine. While Bart cleans his room, he finds a lone cherry bomb. Cut to the next day at the schoolyard where Principal Skinner is giving his mother a tour. Bart shows Milhouse, Richard, and Lewis the cherry bomb and he decides to go for a classic, and he flushes the lit bomb down a toilet in the boy's bathroom. At the same time Skinner's mom uses the girl's bathroom. When the bomb explodes it causes all the toilets to overflow with a geyser like effect, and Skinner's mom gets drenched. The boys run out of the bathroom laughing and Principal Skinner catches them. Cut to after school, Homer is on the couch with his ailing back and being pampered by Marge, when Skinner arrives at the doorstep with Bart in tow. Skinner meets with Marge and Homer and tells them what happened at school. Instead of suspension or expulsion, Skinner suggests deportation by way of a student exchange program. Bart would be sent to France for 3 months to live with another family while Homer and Marge would take care of an Albanian student for 3 months. Marge runs the idea by Bart who agrees to participate in the program, much to the excitement of Homer and Skinner.

    9.5 out of 10moreless
  • After Bart gets in trouble for a school prank (again), Principal Skinner suggests Bart be sent to France as part of a student exchange program. In return the Simpsons have an Albanian boy named Adil stay with them. Homer couldn't be happier.moreless

    "The Crepes of Wrath" is the first episode of "The Simpsons" I ever saw. It's still as funny today as it was when I first saw it in 1990. From the terrific opening scene ("I like to play with you!".) to when Bart saves the day, the laughs just never stop coming. One criticism of the first season is that many characters portrayed in it change dramatically over time. That is true in the case of Agnes Skinner. She is certainly not the character she is today (Spanky?). However, the episode makes up for that with its many clever laughs.moreless
  • The Crepes of Wrath: Bart is exchanged with a young French boy who is snooping around Homer and the Power Plant.

    Review for The Crepes of Wrath:

    This was another great episode from the first season. The plot was very good and very well excicuted. I must admitt that this episode was good at the start sort of went down hill in the middle then really picked up near the end. This was probably the first funny episode the others were sort of funny but this one was funnier. Another thing is that this episode just didn't really feel very Simpsonish (If that is a word) The scenes in France felt like they belongs to a different show and they just threw in Bart. Settings aside this was another great season 1 episode.

    Score for The Crepes of Wrath: B, 3.5/5, 7.5/10, Greatmoreless
Dan Castellaneta

Dan Castellaneta

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

Christian Coffinet

Christian Coffinet

Gendarme Officer

Guest Star

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)

    • Springfield International Airport offers direct flights from Tirana, Albania and Paris as announced by the PA.

    • Principal Skinner's nickname is "Spanky".

    • Adil is from Tirana, the capital of Albania.

    • Homer mistakes Albanians for albinos.

    • When Ugolin drives Bart to the Chateau Maison, the scenery they pass by are actually famous French paintings. Specifically, they are Bassin aux nympheas by Monet; Champ de ble aux corbeaux by Van Gogh; Le Reve by Rousseau; and Dejeuner sur l'herbe by Manet.

    • At the end of the episode, the federal agents have figured out Adil's location incorrectly, as they are actually about to invade Flanders' house, instead of Homer's house.

    • Adil's family in Albania mirrors the Simpson family. He has a mom, a dad and two sisters, one of which is a baby.

    • Agnes Skinner is friendly with her son. This was before the creators could establish her as a mean woman.

    • During the entire scene in which Principal Skinner discusses the student exchange program with Marge and Homer, the house layout is incorrect. The scene takes place in the living room and in the background, the dining room and the family room have switched places with each other. Thus making the front door and the back door seem to be on the same side of the house, which is incorrect.

    • When Principal Skinner introduces Adil to the school in the auditorium, the American flag can be seen in the background. It is hanging incorrectly as the proper way to hang the flag in that fashion is to have the blue field of stars in the upper left corner not the upper right as this episode displays it.

  • QUOTES (18)

    • (Adil clears the dishes after dinner.)
      Homer: Did you see that? You know, Marge, this the way I've always wanted it to be. We've become a fully functioning family unit. We've always blamed ourselves, but I guess it's pretty clear which cylinder wasn't firing.
      Marge: Homer!
      Lisa: Your paper-thin commitment to your children sends shivers down my spine! May I be excused?
      (Lisa gets up and leaves.)
      Marge: Lisa!
      Homer: Oh, she's just jealous. She'll get over it. And if she doesn't, we can always exchange her. (Laughs)
      Marge: Homer!
      Homer: Just kidding!

    • (Adil and Lisa debate at the dinner table.)
      Adil: How can you defend a country where 5 percent of the people control 95 percent of the wealth?
      Lisa: I'm defending a country where people can think, and act, and worship any way they want!
      Adil: Can not.
      Lisa: Can too.
      Adil: Can not!
      Lisa: Can too!
      Homer: Please, please kids! Stop fighting. Maybe Lisa's right about America being the land of opportunity, and maybe Adil has a point about the machinery of capitalism being oiled with the blood of the workers.

    • (After mixing some anti-freeze with the wine, Cesar makes Bart test the wine.)
      Cesar: Drink this.
      Bart: Oh, no thanks.
      Cesar: Do not worry. This is France. (Chuckles) It is customary for children to take a little wine now and then.
      Bart: Yeah, but it's got anti-freeze in there.
      Cesar: Drink it!

    • (Bart likes the idea of becoming an exchange student in France.)
      Bart: And I'd get to take a plane there, wouldn't I, Mom?
      Marge: Yes, Bart.
      Bart: Wow! And one back?

    • (Principal Skinner tries to convince Marge and Homer to place Bart in the student exchange program.)
      Principal Skinner: Actually, he'd be staying in France, in a lovely chateau in the heart of the wine country.
      Marge: But Bart doesn't speak French.
      Principal Skinner: Oh, when he's fully immersed in a foreign language, the average child can become fluent in weeks!
      Homer: Yeah, but what about Bart?
      Principal Skinner: I'm sure he'll pick up enough to get by.

    • (Principal Skinner pays a visit to the Simpson home.)
      Marge: Homer, Principal Skinner is here.
      Homer: Oh, hello, Principal Skinner. I'd get up, but the boy crippled me.
      Skinner: Mm-hmm. I understand completely.

    • (Milhouse, Lewis, Richard, and Bart hang out in the schoolyard, when Principal Skinner and his mother approach.)
      Boys: (In unison) Good morning, Principal Skinner.
      Principal Skinner: (Skeptically) Morning, boys.
      Agnes Skinner: Why haven't you introduced me to any of your students, Spanky?
      (The boys all quietly chuckle.)
      Agnes Skinner: Well?
      Principal Skinner: Mother, I would like you to meet Milhouse, Lewis, Richard, and Bart Simpson.
      Agnes Skinner: (In awe) This is the Bart Simpson you're always talking about?
      Principal Skinner: (Sternly) Mm-hmm.
      Agnes Skinner: But, he looks so sweet!
      Bart: I am, Ma'am.
      Principal Skinner: Simpson! Let's move on now, Mother, shall we?
      (Principal Skinner and his mother walk away.)
      Bart: (Quietly) Bye, Spanky.
      (All the boys chuckle some more.)

    • (Bart holds a cherry bomb in his hand.)
      Milhouse: So, you're gonna flush it?
      Bart: What can I say? I got a weakness for the classics.

    • Marge: Homer, I'd love a glass of that wine Bart brought us.
      (Homer struggles with the wine bottle.)
      Homer: Sorry, Marge. Some wise guy stuck a cork in the bottle.
      Bart: (Speaking French) My father. What a buffoon.
      Homer: You hear that, Marge? My boy speaks French!

    • (At the airport, Adil is sent back home to Albania.)
      Homer: Good-bye, Adil! I'll send you those civil defense plans you wanted!

    • (Bart tries to seek help from a French policeman after he is sent into town by Cesar and Ugolin, and he walks away dejected, because he couldn't communicate in French with the policeman.)
      Bart: I'm so stupid. Anybody could have learned this dumb language by now. Here I've listened to nothing but French for the past (Speaking French) two months and I haven't learned a word. Wait! I'm talking French now. Incredible!
      (Bart runs back up to the French policeman.)
      Bart: (Speaking French) You gotta help me! These two guys work me night and day. They don't feed me. They make me sleep on the floor. They put anti-freeze in the wine, and they gave my red hat to the donkey.
      Policeman: (Speaking French) Anti-freeze in the wine? That is a very serious crime!

    • (Principal Skinner introduces the new exchange student, Adil, to the school.)
      Principal Skinner: You may find his accent peculiar. Certain aspects of his culture may seem absurd, perhaps even offensive. But I urge you all to give little Adil the benefit of the doubt. In this way, and only this way, can we hope to better understand our backward neighbors throughout the world.

    • (The Simpson family waits for Adil's arrival at the airport.)
      Lisa: You know, in Albania, the unit of currency is called the lek.
      Homer: (Chuckles). You gotta be kiddin'. (Chuckles) The lek.
      Lisa: And the national flag is a two-headed eagle on a red field.
      Homer: Give me the ol' stars and stripes.
      Lisa: And the main export is furious political thought.
      Homer: Political what?

    • (Homer gives Adil a tour of the nuclear power plant.)
      Homer: See these? American doughnuts. Glazed, powdered, and raspberry-filled. Now, how's that for freedom of choice? (Chuckles)
      Adil: Dad, do you think I might see your plutonium isolation module?
      Homer: Yeah--uh, maybe. Hold on a second.
      (Homer walks over to Lenny's work station.)
      Homer: Hey, Lenny.
      Lenny: Hmm?
      Homer: Does this place have one of those plutonium isolation deals?
      Lenny: Yeah, over in Sector 12.
      Homer: Sector 12?
      Lenny: (Impatiently) Third floor, by the candy machine.
      Homer: Oh, that Sector 12.

    • (At the airport, Bart gets ready to head off to France.)
      Homer: I'm gonna miss you, son. And listen, while you're seeing all those great sights, always remember that you're representing your country. I guess what I'm saying is, don't mess up France the way you messed up your room.

    • (Principal Skinner explains more about the student exchanger program to Marge and Homer.)
      Principal Skinner: And, uh, the whole thing won't cost you a dime, as long as you're willing to take in a student of your own.
      Homer: Wait a minute, Skinner. How do we know some principal over in France isn't pulling the same scam you are?
      Principal Skinner: (Chuckles) Well, for one thing, you wouldn't be getting a French boy. You'd be getting an Albanian.
      Homer: You mean, all white with pink eyes?

    • (Principal Skinner offers a solution to Bart's problems at school.)
      Principal Skinner: Mr. and Mrs. Simpson, we have transcended incorrigible. I don't think suspension or expulsion will do the trick. I think it behooves us all to consider…deportation.
      Marge: (Panicked) Deportation? You mean kick Bart out of the country?
      Homer: Eh, hear him out, Marge.

    • (Principal Skinner gives his mother a tour of the school.)
      Agnes Skinner: You certainly have done awfully well for yourself, Spanky.
      Principal Skinner: (Irritated) Mother, please don't call me Spanky on school grounds.

  • NOTES (6)

    • It's said on the Season 1 DVD commentary that the tenting of the fingers and the phrase "excellent" was taken from the actions of James Downey, who some of the staff worked with on Letterman and Carson. The action was later passed onto Mr. Burns as homage to their former head writer.

    • The name of Adil Hoxha was created by the writers. It wasn't until the show went into production that they found out it was the real last name of the former Albanian president, Enver Hoxha, who ruled Albania from World War II until his death in 1985.

    • The entire idea behind using Albania as the country the exchange student comes from was a combination of the fact that it was a country many didn't know about, and that John Belushi was Albanian and that quote "the staff liked him."

    • According to the production code number, this episode was meant to be the season finale, but was changed to "Some Enchanted Evening".

    • First Appearance: Agnes Skinner

    • Blackboard Joke: Garlic gum is not funny.
      Couch Gag: The family runs in and squeezes onto the couch. Homer pops out and onto the floor.


    • The Twilight Zone
      When Homer falls down the stairs and lands next to a Krusty doll that says "I like to play with you", it is reminiscent of The Twilight Zone episode "The Living Doll" when Telly Savalas tries to kill the doll Talky Tina.

    • Bart: Yeah, but it's got anti-freeze in there.
      The anti-freeze is a reference to an actual case in which small amounts of diethylene glycol were found in wine. In the commentary to the Season 1 DVD, the writers indicate that it was probably a mistake, but that's not the whole truth. Ironically, the 1985 Austro-Germanic Diethylene Glycol Wine Scandal caused Austria to implement extremely strict wine laws, such that Austrian wine is now very highly regarded.

    • Le Ballon Rouge
      Maggie holding the red balloon at the end of the episode is a quick homage to the 1956 French film Le Ballon Rouge, also known as The Red Balloon.

    • Bart: Froggy, I'm home!
      Bart says this to his frog as he returns home from school. It is a quick reference to the way Desi Arnaz would walk in the doorway on I Love Lucy.

    • Manon des sources and Jean de Florette
      The names of the two french wine farmers, Cesar and Ugolin, are from two French films called, Jean de Florette and Manon des sources (Manon of the Spring). Cesar and Ugolin are carnation farmers in the region of Provence.

    • The Grapes of Wrath
      This episode title, "The Crepes Of Wrath," spoofs John Steinbeck's classic 1939 novel, The Grapes Of Wrath.