The Simpsons

Season 8 Episode 25

The Secret War of Lisa Simpson

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM May 18, 1997 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
158 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Secret War of Lisa Simpson
Bart's class goes to the police station on a field trip and while he is there, he just can't resist pulling a prank; meanwhile, Lisa's class is not challenging for her at all. Chief Wiggum meets with the Homer and Marge and recommends military school for Bart. Homer and Marge tell Bart they are going to Disneyland, but trick him and take him to military school. Bart does not want to be there from the get-go, but Lisa sees the discipline the cadets receive and decides to stay there with Bart. She is the first female ever to join the academy, so she gets a hard time from the other cadets. Bart starts to fit in after a while, and tries to keep the fact that he cares about her a secret. A final challenge awaits Bart and Lisa; they must pass a physical test called "The Eliminator". Bart helps Lisa to train in secret and when they both pass, they go home.moreless

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  • The eighth season ends with Bart being shipped off to a Military Academy after yet another prank. Lisa, finding school boring, asks to be enrolled as well.

    The season eight finale is a little formulaic, but it is still very enjoyable. Willem Dafoe is quite good as the commanding officer of the academy. He delivers a solid performance in his guest appearance. I say it was formulaic because it could not have been more obvious that the cadets would hate Lisa initially and then by the end of the episode respect her. The finale of the cadets crossing The Eliminator was funny and very well done. I guess the writers of this episode must be big ZZ Top fans. Overall it was a good way to end the season. On to season nine (and beyond).moreless
  • this was a good ep

    in the season 8 final of the simpsons bart gets sent to millitery school because of the pranks he has been pulling at school . and as he is getting out of the car lisa joins also . thing is they dont really accept girls so they are making fun of her there. and bart cant really do anything. and lisa is upset thing is she sends mom and dad letters and they think she is enjoying it there. so when it comes time for the big test to pass or not they must climb arcross a rope that has below lots of prickers and stuff. and lisa is having troulbe till bart goes and helps lisa to practice.and when it comes time for the test lisa pass it . and so does bart . this was a good ep to end season 8moreless
  • The Secret War of Lisa Simpson

    Bart is enrolled in military school, and so is Lisa, because she wants a challenge in life. But she is bullied by others because she is the only girl there. She wants to quit, but Bart convinces her to stay because of the challenge she wanted. In the end they both leave, after completing a tough challenge {that could kill}.

    A good episode, an interesting plot development and some good jokes. Not one of my favorites though, I like it but it could have been handled better. My overall grade would either be a B+/A- or just a B-. Still goodmoreless
  • Bart and Lisa go to military school.

    Bart sneaks away from the group while on a field trip to Springfield Police Station. He groups together a large amount of bullhorns. Speaking into the end bullhorn, a soundwave explosion rocks Springfield, shattering windows and deafening the populace. Homer and Marge enroll Bart in a military academy as punishment. Lisa decides that she would also like to enroll. The facility has never had a female cadet. Nevertheless, the commandant relocates a group of cadets, giving Lisa her own barracks. The male cadets, take an immediate disliking to Lisa, and Bart refuses to speak to her. Bart secretly apologizes to her and asks her to stay, however Lisa is convinced she will not pass a test in which she must walk a 150-foot rope over thorns. Bart secretly trains her for the course. On the day of the test she makes it across with the help of Bart's encouragement. This was a wonderful way to end a magical season. This episode was funny and touching as was this whole season. Definately not only watch this episode but also the whole season.moreless
  • Lisa goes ballistic

    And once again, a Lisa Simpson centered episode we have here. I am not of fan of them as you know and this one is not the exception. This started off very interestingly with Bart being given a very special punishment for his reckless behavior. But, later in the show, it turns out that the story is going to be much more centered around Lisa Simpson than on his brother. This is not a bad episode but we are starting to see some kind of strain or wear on the writers. This causes that we get strange stories with really strange jokes to make up for the lack of original material.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

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

Military School Commander

Guest Star

Maggie Roswell

Maggie Roswell

Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others

Recurring Role

Pamela Hayden

Pamela Hayden

Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others

Recurring Role

Marcia Wallace

Marcia Wallace

Mrs. Krabappel

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Animation Goof: When Lisa goes on the Eliminator to train with the rope that held her, it isn't shown on Lisa until she falls, and Bart pulls her to safety.

    • Goof: When Homer takes Bart to military school, his car is purple. But when Homer and Marge are about to drive off, the car is orange.

    • When it's Lisa's turn on the "Eliminator" rope test, you can hear the call of a crow -- evoking the same desperation as the usual Springfield Nuclear Power Plant exterior establishing shot.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Instructor: Since you've already attended public school, we're assuming you've already had experience with small arms. So, we're gonna give you something... a little more advanced. (Hands Bart a mini-rocket launcher)
      Bart: Wow.
      (Bart begins firing away at his targets, destroying four. The last rocket flies off into the distance)
      Instructor: Four out of five, Simpson. Impressive. But you missed your last target.
      Bart: (Slyly) Did I?
      (Cut to Springfield Elementary. Principal Skinner is standing next to the smoldering crater that was his car.)
      Nelson: (From school window) Ha ha!

    • Marge: It certainly was nice of you to accept Bart in the middle of the semester.
      Commandant: Fortunately, we've had a couple of recent "freak-outs," so that freed up a couple of bunks.
      Bart: Freak-outs?

    • (After conquering "The Eliminator.")
      Lisa: You thought I couldn't do it but I could, I did, and I could do it again! Let's do it again!

    • Bart: Cleaning graffiti off a statue makes a mockery of everything I believe in!

    • Cadet: What's the matter? Don't girls like doing push-ups in the mud?
      Lisa: Is there any answer I can give that won't result in more push-ups?
      (The cadets talk amongst themselves)
      Cadet: Uh, no.

    • Bart: But if you quit, it would be like an expert knot-tyer quitting a knot-tying contest right in the middle of tying a knot!
      Lisa: Why did you say that?
      Bart: I don't know. I was just looking at my shoelaces. But the point is, you're gonna make it, Lise, and I'll stick by you.
      Lisa: Don't do that. Why should we both be outcasts?
      Bart: Then I'll stick by you in secret. Like a sock maker secretly working on a top secret sock that . . .
      Lisa: Will you stop looking at your feet!

    • Commandant: LIGHTS OUT! (The lights go out and a thump is heard) Commandant: Ow! Damn it! Lights on! Lights on!

    • Instructor: Well done, Bart. Although that was more cursing than I like to hear from a cadet in peacetime.

    • Lisa: (On eliminator) If only I was back in Springfield, all my friends would be cheering me on! Oh, God, I'm delirious.

    • Commandant: Gentlemen, we now have a girl cadet among our ranks, so there are going to be a few changes. First of all, Franklin, you are no longer the girliest cadet here.
      Franklin: (In a very effeminate voice) Well, we'll see about that.
      Commandant: Second of all, this is now the girls' barracks, so pack your things, you're moving in with Company L.
      Cadet: Company L? But they smell!
      Commandant: Yes, we've all heard the chant...Now fall out!

    • Marge: Lisa, if you ever want to quit and come home, I'll be here in half a jif.
      Bart: I want to quit and come home! (Pause) I want to quit and come home!
      Marge: (Kissing him goodbye) Oh, honey, I heard you the first time.

    • Instructor: (To Lisa, after she loses control of her gun.) Why don't you just learn to use this. (Hands her a whistle) If there's a war, just blow on it, and I'll come help you.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Blackboard Joke: None.
      Couch Gag: The room is upside-down. The family runs in on the ceiling and sit down on the couch, until they fall to the "real" ground.


    • Marlboro Cigarettes
      The military school commander says to the boys at The Eliminator, "Welcome to Flavor Country," the slogan for Marlboro Cigarettes.

    • This episode's title is a play on the 1968 film "The Secret War of Harry Frigg."

      ^--It also refers to The Private War of Major Benson, which also served as the inspiration for the Damon Wayans movie Major Payne. Major Payne was about an ex-marine leading an ROTC troop at a private school, similar to the situation that Bart finds himself in.

    • The poem being discussed in the cadets' English class is "Ode On A Grecian Urn" by John Keats.

    • Erwin Rommel
      The military school is called Rommelwood. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was a German military officer in World War II. Dubbed the "Desert Fox", he is well known for commanding the Deutsche Afrika Korps from 1941 to 1943.

    • Bart: "Did I"
      The scene where the weapons instructor tells Bart "very good, but your last shot missed" and Bart replies "Did I?" is a reference to the 1979 James Bond film "Moonraker."

    • :
      Springfield's finest(?) chasing Bart driving a lawn mower parodies the famous O.J. Simpson police chase.

    • The Citadel
      Lisa becoming the first female student to enroll at Rommelwood is a takeoff of Shannon Faulkner becoming the first female cadet at The Citadel. Unlike Ms. Faulkner, who withdrew days after becoming a student at the previously all-male academy, Lisa sticks out the rigorous basic training regiment.