The Simpsons

Season 1 Episode 8

The Telltale Head

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Feb 25, 1990 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
425 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

All of Springfield becomes enraged at Bart after he decapitates the town statue of Jebediah Springfield.

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  • All of Springfield becomes enraged at Bart after he decapitates the town statue of Jebediah Springfield.

    It's a decent episode, not as a great as the previous episode. I like how the plot of the episode was told by Bart on why he cut the city's founder's head off. While the episode was sort of lacking humor, I didn't mind here. What I minded in the episode were the bullies doing bad stuffs like sneaking in at a movie, shoplifting, throwing rocks at the statue (10 points off), Bart ripping off the city founder's statue (15 points off). I had a bigger problem with the latter because Bart did it on purpose and try to hide the evidence. The ending when Bart put back the city founder's head back was very heartwarming. As the for humor, I laughed at when Homer listens/watches a golf game at church and yells in front of everyone. The same thing goes to Jebiah Springfield talking to Bart and the story of Jebiah Springfield attacking a bear. Overall, a decent episode of the Simpsons.

    Score: 7.5/10moreless
  • review

    An average Simpson epsiode. By the way a Running gag is that no knows where Springfield is located! However in the Series "Family Guy" Cool Hand Peter" 10/8 when Peter and his friends are in a Georgia Chain gang at "Dunegas County Georgia" the local jury is made up of the Simpsons and friends! SO SPRINGFIELD IS IN GEORGIA!
  • Perfect.

    The episode begins with Homer and Bart walking on a sidewalk in downtown Springfield at nighttime. Bart has the head of a statue in his arms. As the two turn the corner an angry mob advances on them. Homer and Bart are forced to turn and run away. The mob corners Homer and Bart in the town square next to the headless Jebediah Springfield statue. As the mob angrily advances, Bart climbs up onto the statue and begs everyone to please listen to his story. Flashback to Sunday morning: the family is getting ready for church and Homer is preoccupied with a football game. On the way into church Marge confiscates Bart's personal radio with earphones and gives them to Homer. During Sunday school the teacher and students discuss the topic of who is allowed in Heaven. Back in the church while the sermon is about sports gambling; Homer is oblivious because he is using Bart's headphones to listen to the game. On the way home from church Marge expresses her disapproval of Homer's headphones and Bart sees that the movie theater is playing "Space Mutants 4", and begs to go see it; Homer doesn't care but Marge tells him no. Later at home Bart asks for 5 dollars from Homer and then takes off on his skateboard. Bart skates over to the movie theater, once there he encounters 2 of the worst kids in school: Jimbo and Kearney. Bart makes a good impression on them and when a third kid pokes his head out the emergency exit door and says the coast is clear, they invite him to sneak into Space Mutants 4 with them. Bart, a little unsure of the situation, agrees to sneak into the movie also.

    Overall, a perfect episode

    10 out of 10moreless
  • The Tell-Tale Head: Bart cuts off the head of a statue for a dare which upsets the whole town.

    Review for The Tell-Tale Head:

    This is the beginning of the classic simpsons every episode after this are great. This episode is great so funny and makes you feel for the characters. This is not a wacky far out episode it just focuses on the characters and the great story. The jokes are the seasons best and is one of the best season 1 episodes (Only behind Krusty Gets Busted) This episode also introduces some great characters (Apu, Krusty, Sideshow Bob and the bullies)

    A great story, Great jokes = A great episode

    Score for The Tell-Tale Head: B, 3.5/5, 7.5/10, Greatmoreless
  • the town is outraged at bart for cutting off the head of the statue

    the ep starts out as homer and bart running from the mob and it flashes back to how it all happen which i thought was pretty good the way they did it. anyway bart sees the bullys throwing stuff and saying out rages things about jeb but bart defends the jeb statue but the bullys start think think he is uncool so he starts to agree with them. and so at night to be really cool he seeks out acting like a ninja an skate boards there and then cuts it off and hides it . the next morning he goes to meat the bullys and they say the guy who did this was a loser and say out rages things about the person who did that and bart says i thought you guys wanted it to happen and they said they were only playing around and bart startes to hear the voice of jeb and pounding come from were he hid it and that is how he got to were the ep begins from were bart and homer are infront of the mob surrounded with fire and pitch forks. and the mob forgives bart but he has to do clean up.moreless
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

Marcia Wallace

Marcia Wallace

Edna Krabappel

Recurring Role

Hank Azaria

Hank Azaria

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

Recurring Role

Pamela Hayden

Pamela Hayden

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

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

  • QUOTES (15)

    • (While Reverend Lovejoy preaches in church, Homer listens to a football game using a personal radio and headphones.)
      Football Announcer: Now they're lining up for this crucial kick. One final tick of the clock remains. If they win, it will cap an amazing comeback. But, it's a 49-yard field goal into the wind.
      Homer: (Quietly) Make it! Make it! Make it! Make it!
      Football Announcer: The kick is up.
      Homer: (Quietly) Oh, please, please, please, please!
      Football Announcer: It's got the distance. Holy Toledo, it's good!
      Homer: (Homer stands up and shouts.) It's good! It's good! It's good!
      (The entire congregation murmurs and stares at Homer.)
      Homer: It's...good to see you all in church.

    • (Homer looks through his bowling ball catalog.)
      Homer: Ooh! Look at this one! "The Hammer of Thor: It will send your pins to...Val-halla." Lisa?
      : Valhalla is where Vikings go when they die.
      Homer: Oh, that's some ball!

    • (The topic of Heaven is discussed in Sunday School class.)
      Milhouse: Will there be cavemen in heaven?
      Sunday School Teacher: Certainly not!
      Bart: Um, ma'am, what if you're a really good person, but you get into a really, really bad fight and your leg gets gangrene and it has to be amputated. Will it be waiting for you in heaven?
      Sunday School Teacher: For the last time, Bart, yes!

    • Bart: Murderous mob, I beg you to spare our lives. At least until you've heard the story of how we ended up with the head of our beloved town founder.
      Barney: How long will this story take?
      Bart: Uh, about twenty-three minutes and five seconds.

    • (Moe consoles his patrons after hearing the news of the town statue.)
      Moe: Okay, come on, come on, everybody. We gotta get on with our lives. Let's try and put this tragedy behind us.
      Barney: You're right, Moe. A beer, please, and make sure there's a head on it.
      (Moe starts sobbing.)

    • (At breakfast the Simpson family listens to the radio report of the decapitation of the town statue.)
      Bart: It's just a statue.
      Marge: It's a statue of the trailblazing founder of our town.
      Lisa: It's a symbol of what we can all do if we put our minds to it.
      Homer: Just a statue? Is the Statue of Liberty just a statue? Is the Leaning Tower of Pizza just a statue?

    • (Grampa Simpson reacts after hearing the bad news about the town statue.)
      Grampa: I said it before, and I'll say it again. "Hell in a hand basket!" I hope they find the punk who did this, and I hope they cut his head off!

    • (Chief Wiggum leads a press conference about the town statue.)
      Chief Wiggum: (Clears throat) Well, we have no witnesses, no suspects, and no leads. If anyone has any information, please dial "0" and ask for the police. That number again, "0."

    • Jimbo: You know Bart, I've been kicked out of all four Space Mutant movies.
      Bart: Wow, man.

    • Bart: Dad, can I talk to you about something?
      Homer: Sure, boy. What's on your mind?
      (Homer puts Bart on his lap.)
      Bart: Well, I was wondering. How important is it to be popular?
      Homer: I'm glad you asked, son. Being popular is the most important thing in the world.
      Bart: So, like, sometimes you could do stuff that you think is pretty bad so other kids will like you better?
      Homer: You're not talking about killing anyone, are you?
      Bart: No.
      Homer: (Sternly) Are you?
      Bart: No!
      Homer: Then run along, you little scamp.
      (Bart's climbs down from Homer's lap.)
      Homer: A boy without mischief is like a bowling ball without a liquid center.

    • Marge: Lisa, Bart, what did you two learn in Sunday school today?
      Lisa: The answers to deep theological questions.
      Bart: Yeah. Among other things, apes can't get into Heaven.
      Homer: What? Those cute little monkeys? That's terrible. Who told you that?
      Bart: Our teacher.
      Homer: I can understand how they wouldn't let in those wild jungle apes, but what about those really smart ones who live among us, who roller-skate and smoke cigars?

    • (Bart skateboards down to the movie theater.)
      Jimbo: Hey, hot dog.
      Bart: What?
      (Bart crashes into a lamp post.)
      Jimbo: Nice dismount, man.
      (Jimbo and his friends laugh.)
      Bart: Didn't hurt.
      Kearney: Oh, yeah? Well, do it again!
      Bart: Nah. Might land on my face and end up looking like you.

    • (More discussion about Heaven.)
      Sunday School Teacher: (Exhausted) The ventriloquist goes to heaven, but the dummy doesn't.
      (Bart raises his hand.)
      Bart: Oh, oh, oh! Me!
      Sunday School Teacher: Bart?
      Bart: What about a robot with a human brain?
      Sunday School Teacher: I don't know! All these questions! Is a little blind faith too much to ask?

    • Krusty the Clown: (Grimly) There's someone out there in Krustyland who has committed an atrocity! If you know who cut off Jebediah's head--I don't care if it's your brother, your sister, your daddy or your mommy--(Cheerfully)--turn 'em in, and Krusty will send you a free slide whistle just like Sideshow Bob's!

    • (The angry mob reacts when Bart returns the statue head.)
      Dr. Marvin Monroe: Look! It's glorious!
      Otto: It's beautiful, man.
      Mr. Burns: I love you, Smithers.
      Smithers: The feeling is more than mutual, sir.

  • NOTES (4)

    • This is one of the few episodes to actually put the title of the episode at the start.

    • First and possibly only utterance by Bart on his skateboard of "cowabunga" in the series. For years many of the crew thought it was a line just added to T-Shirts out of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles craze.

    • First Appearances: Apu, Krusty, Sideshow Bob, Jimbo, Dolph, Kearney, Reverend Lovejoy, Ms. Albright, and first time anyone mentions Jebediah Springfield.

    • Blackboard Joke: I did not see Elvis.
      Couch Gag: The family runs in and squeezes into the couch. Bart pops up and out of frame and he comes crashing down seconds later while the credits are shown on the TV set.


    • Wallace Wolodarsky
      The football commentator mentions a player named "Wolodarsky". Wallace Wolodarsky is a writer on The Simpsons.

    • The Whole Earth Catalog
      When Homer is selecting a new bowling ball, he flips through The Bowl Earth Catalog. This is a parody of The Whole Earth Catalog, which was published periodically between 1968 and 1998.

    • The Godfather
      Though it isn't as drawn out as other episodes have shown it, Bart waking up to see the head of Jebediah Springfield is a parody of the horse head incident in the 1972 film The Godfather.

    • The Tell-Tale Heart
      The title and the plot of this episode is an allusion to Edgar Allen Poe's famous short story, "The Tell-Tale Heart." In the short story, a man murders another man and hides the body under the floorboards of his home. He later confesses to the murder when his guilty conscience makes him "hear" the beating of the dead man's heart, and he thinks others can hear it too.