The Simpsons

Season 1 Episode 8

The Telltale Head

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Feb 25, 1990 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (33)

out of 10
421 votes
  • 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: 7.5/10
  • 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 10

  • 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, Great
  • 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.
  • Nice

    Bart and Homer are seen with the head of town founder, Jebediah Springfield. Bart then explains what happened: he wanted to be popular with Jimbo, Kearney and Dolph, and so he thought by cutting off the head of Jebediah Springfield, they would like him. Unfortunately, when he does so, all of Springfield is mad at whoever would do this. The episode's conclusion shows that the citizens of Springfield forgive Bart for what he has done, and life goes on normally.

    decent episode, really liked the plot. My overall grade is an A+, a pretty good and well-written episode we got here
  • Bart defaces the statue of Jebidiah Springfield.

    Bart and Homer are chased through the streets by an angry mob. They stop so Bart can recount the story of the previous day. The story unfolds. Bart goes out to see Space Mutants IV at the local movie theater. Jimbo and his gang pressure Bart to sneaking in the back without paying. They get thrown out, and they start throwing rocks at the statue of Jebadiah Springfield. Jimbo tells Bart it would be cool if somebody cut the head off the statue, so later that night, in an attempt to win friends, he sneaks out of the house and saws the statue's head off. The whole town is upset. Feeling remorse, Bart comes home and confesses to his family. As Homer escorts Bart to the authorities, the angry mob starts chasing them. The story ends, and the mob forgives him.

    Pretty good episode here. I loved the parody of the tell tale heart here. Had a couple of funny jokes. Give it a watch.
  • Very good episode.

    Bart cuts the head off of the town statue of the founder Jebediah Springfield to impress some the local bullies. Every one in the town is enraged and start and angry mob. Bart tells everyone he did because of his conscious. They chase him down but after he explains he is just a kid and every kid does makes mistakes they let him go.

    This is a very good episode I like how he looks up to the bullies. It has an original story. I didn't think it was that funny but it had a good story. I give it an 8.5.
  • Possibly the greatest episode of the first season and millions of first appearances including one of my favourites Apu.

    My Favourite Quote Section – 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

    My Why I love this episode section – The first appearances and the fact its co-written by matt groening make me love the episode also the fact the whole town is there to get bart.
    First appearances include Apu, Krusty, Sideshow Bob, Jimbo, Dolph, Kearney, Reverend Lovejoy, Ms. Albright, Jebediah Springfield.

    Better or worse then the last episode-
    Better it is one of the best episodes of the season and it passes the call of the Simpsons by a fair bit the why I love this episode sort of goes into detail on why this episode is better than the last. Al jean and Mike Reiss really did a good job this season most of their episodes so far in my reviews have done better then Swartzwelders classics

    Thanks, Ahh Goobras

    Screw Flanders Screw Flanders Screw Flanders Screw Flanders Screw Flanders
  • Very enjoyable, and creative episode idea. Bravo!

    We see a big angry mob in Springfield chasing Bart, and he explains his story. When Marge wouldn't let Bart see the new Space Mutants movie, Bart asks Homer who gives him $5. Instead, Jimbo,Dolph, and Kearney ask Bart to sneak into the movie with him and he does. Bart starts hanging out with them all the time, Jimbo said it would be funny if someone cut off the head of the statue of the towns hero and founder, Jebediah Springfield. After asking Homer, how important it is to be popular, he sneaks out one night and saws Jebediahs head off. The town is distraught and angry, Bart feels an immense amount of guilt. Even Jimbo, was upset. The mob forgives Bart, and Jebediah Springfield is no longer headless.
  • Warning: Contains spoilers.

    This episode has made history of being a very famous episode in the Simpsons.. or though I think. It was referenced in South Park twice, and it was one hell of an episode of the Simpsons. Bart didn't mean it, but he did it. This episode was a very great episode. Although, the humor is not so good, the plot was excellent and this made a great addition to the first season of the simpsons.

    Bart attempts to be popular and after taking bad advice from Homer, his father, he cuts the head of a statue of the founder of the town of Springfield. The town gets depressed and angry.

    This episode was wonderful and I enjoyed it!
  • Not the most coherent of episodes

    This is the memorable episode in which Bart decapitates the statue of Springfield founder Jebediah Springfield. For some reason this action has a profound effect on everyone in town. Those Springfieldians must have a strong sense of community pride.

    While memorable, this episode is pretty rough around the edges. It seems like they didn't have enough material and had to scramble to pad it at the last minute. The book-ending mob scenes are very poorly done. Also, the B-story about Homer's gambling seems to have been forgotten completely. Even the main story seems like the writers got stuck and couldn't figure out how to end it.

    Regardless, the main story is well animated and has some sophisticated comedy for this early in the series. I particularly like the football play-by-play during Lovejoy's sermon.
  • Almost a parody of Edgar Allen Poe's Tell Tale Heart.... LOL

    Bart tries to impress Jimbo Jones and his friends by stealing the head of the Jebediah Springfield statue in the town square. The townspeople are devastated by his act of vandalism and only Homer can help him return the head to its shoulders and fend off the angry mob. This episode had a great storyline, but it was not exactly cracking out the jokes like some Simpsons fans are used to seeing. However, not a bad episode at all just it could have been funnier is all.The SImpsons are writing many great stroies in this season they just need to be funnier in order for them to be successful, but I know that the show will become funnier...
  • another great episode

    this was another great epiode of the first season of the simpsons it had one of those why this i happenng episodes which usualy turn out good in all this a very good episode of season 1

    the epiisode starts off when bart sneaks into the movies with a bunch of troublemakers.then vandlize a statue and then jimbo dares bart to steal the statues head and so he does. but sadly the whole towns grieves over decapitation of there hero. bart is till feeling cool until jimbo tells him that they will beat up the one who stole the head.
  • This episode is realy interesting to watch, you can see how kids can do bad deed's just because to get famous...

    This episode of "The Simpsons" show is an interesting material for what kids can do when they are small, and when all they thing in their age is reputation between other kids.

    Bart is seeing the worst bad guys of his school... He likes to get some reputation between them so he does whatever they do. He destroys the had of the sculpture of Jebediah Springfield, a big Hero, and the founder of the fictional Springfield...

    The people of Springfield are after Bart and Homer, but when Bart says everything that happend without missing even a word, all the people forgive them. Great episode with a good messege...
  • Homer and Bart got caught by fire.

    The Telltale Head.

    When Homer was ten, he used to live in SpringField. Bart and Homer in Moes and walked but Smithers and the other people caught Homer and Bart. They ran home.

    This episode reminds me of The Call Of The Simpsons where Bart and his family goes to RV when Rod made the first apperance.

    D'oh. Homer and Bart are far away. They can't get home. Run Homer and Bat run! Go home and see us again. I like it because it is Bart and Homer in this episode.

    Watch it and if you could see them far away. Good morning!
  • A classic

    One of the better season one episodes. Bart is a trouble maker no doubt. In this one he pulls a crazy stunt that no one ever dared to in Springfield. Homer is good as usual as he sneaks in a radio to Church for a game. As it was Barts but Marge took away. When he yells its good in church,that was great. Like he was all happy to be at church but not really. Bart wants to see Space Mutants four but Marges say no. Homer lets him and he meets some bad kids. After being kicked out. They say it be cool to cut off the head of the founder. So he does and now a angry mob wants him dead. The best part of it was Bart learning his lesson. Making things right again. I liked when they say we know this part as the mob was in it. In the end a funny and good episode.
  • This Episode made me remember how good the old ones really are.

    I had seen this episode before.You know it was no big deal, nothing special.Just another episode ticked pff my list.Then the episode came on again-Yesterday in fact, and I really loved it.I can really appreciate the older episodes,specially season 1.The episode was mainly about Bart and how he gets in with the wrong crowd and really cares about popularity.We see that he is not allowed go to the movie to see "Space Aliens 4"We see that he sneaks out and go's anyway.When he gets there he meets Jimbo and Kernie.They tell him to sneak in with them.So he does -purely on peer pressure.Later on in the episode the guys tell him to cut off the head of the "Jebidiah Springfield" statue and of course he does it -just to fi in.
    It was a great episode and really reminded me that season 1 is really great.I might buy season 1 now!
  • Excellent.

    When this episode first starts, we see Bart and Homer carrying a giant head to the town square. It turns out to be the head of the town founder, Jebediah Springfield. We learn the story from when Homer listens to a football game in church to Bart trying to sneak in to a Space Mutants movie with Jimbo and his pals. Bart tries to impress the bullies by stealing the head of the Jebediah Springfield statue in the town square. The townspeople are devastated by his act of vandalism and only Homer can help him return the head to its shoulders and fend off the angry mob but only when he realizes that he is at much fault for telling Bart to be popular. The head returns to its rightful place.

    As said, this episode has a really good storyline and is exciting to find out what happens to them later on in the episode. In closing, watch this episode.
  • Bart tells the town why he cut of the head of Jebediah Obediah Zachariah Jebediah Springfield.

    Homer and Bart are chased through the streets of Springfield by an angry mob. Someone has sawed off the head of the statue of the town founder Jebediah Springfield. Surround by the angry crowd, Bart pleads for understanding and tells the story of what happened. *Begin of Story* As the story unfolds, Bart borrows $5.00 from Homer and sneaks into a movie. On his way he runs into the local troublemakers. One of them, Jimbo, invites Bart to sneak into the movies with them. Later, they are throwing heads at Jebediah Springfield's statue and Jimbo wishes someone would cut of his head. To be cool, Bart sneaks out at night and saws of the statue's head. The next day, everyone grieves the decapitation of the town founder. Bart finds Jimbo and discovers that they are as sad as everyone else. Bart returns home and confesses to the family. Then, Bart and Homer go to the authorities where the are chased by the angry mob. *End of Story* Bart says he is sorry and puts the head back on the statue and the angry mob forgives him.
  • Starts off exciting.

    Title at the beginning. Bart tries to fit in with Jimbo, Dolph, and Kearney, so he starts hanging out with them. Homer tells Bart that being popular is the most important thing ever, so Bart saws off the head of the statue of Jebediah Springfield, which leads to a confrontation with an angry mob. Overall, good episode, I\'d say a classic.
  • Bart cuts of Jebidiah Springfields head and earns a very guilty concious eventually leading him to get caught but he earns the sympathy of the mob by a story and puts the head back on.

    This episode is a great one because at the beginning you have absolutely no clue what is going on while Bart and Homer are running, then in a story by Bart we find out everything in a flashback.. Bart befriends Jimbo and his gang and to impress them he cuts off the statue of Jebadiah Springfield’s head and earns a guilty conscious, he goes on with the story eventually earning the sympathy of the mob and he puts back on the head. This really is in my opinion a great episode as in the beggining you know nothing and at the end you know everything.
  • Bart tells a mob a story!

    Barney:How long will this story take?
    Bart: Oh about 23 minutes and 5 seconds

    Yes Barts tells us the story of how he cut off the head of the beloved jebediah obediah yadda yadda Springfield.

    Its not what I'd call a funny episode, in fact I hardly remember laughing at all! but its a great story of Bart's quest to be popular getting him in serious trouble with the entire town.

    For some reason I can't get enough of this episode. I can't understand it Its not even funny!!!
  • The Telltale Head

    This is another great episode as well. It is the one where Bart cuts the head off from Jebediah Springfield's statue but it backfires even Jimbo Dolph and Kearney are ticked off with him despite them telling Bart it would be cool to cut the head of Jebediah Springield statue.
  • this episode is cool

    i like this episode because first of all its got a gr8 storyline to it. its fast paced exciting enjoyable, which in my opinion makes one my favourite simpson episode of season 1. this episode is cool. i like this episode becuase its a nice way to end such a gr8 episode to the simpsons.
  • 4 star rating.

    Hear - the stark confessions of Bart Simpson, juvenile delinquent1 see - the thoughtless act of vandalism that turns the whole town against him! Learn - a lesson or two about empty values and stolen thrills! I did not find any quotes on this episode which were good enough to put on this review so quotes have a thumbs down. This episode was the first we see of Reverent Lovejoy. There’s not much more to say about this episode but that it shows that you shouldn’t do some thing wrong just because kids think that It is cool. 4 star rating.
  • Bart tells an irascible Springfield crowd, the story of why he cut Jebediah Sprinfield's head, relating that he wanted to impress a bad boys gang (Jimbo's gang).

    It is a fine episode. It really touched me the way Bart was regreting the time he cut Jebediah Springfield's head. And it remind me of those silly things I used to do when I was little and I tried to impress the girls or other boys who I thought were cool, and I also regret doing doing those things
  • great storyline but not funny

    this episode had a terrific plot and was very well written. starting from the end and telling the story from there was a great introduction aswell. however, despite having a few good lines, there didn't seem to be any jokes. there were no lines that made me want to laugh out loud or anything like that. it was also unbelievable that bart felt guilty over cutting off Jebediah's statue when he has done much worse stuff since then like suffocating a tent of visitors in a fake wedding. it did feature jimbo, kearney and dolph for the first time, completing the sprinfield elementary bully introductions having previously introduced Nelson 2 episodes before. besides that, nothing really special happened in this episode. so overall it was a great plot but very poorly written as far as jokes go.
  • Bart steals the head of Jebediah Springfield due to his desire to be "cool."

    All in all, this episode was pretty much average. It may have been a memorable moment, but it isn't the greatest episode. Few laughs were in it, and the plot didn't get carried out with good plan. The plot in itself was good though.

    Bart's idea of wanting to be cool to Jimbo and pals was a pretty good idea. With clear marking, it truly illustrates the situation in which students are influenced by corruption. Another perfect idea was that even Jimbo, Kearney, and Dolph didn't think chopping the head off a memorable figure was very spectacular at all.

    Bart learned another valuable lesson, but I don't see how anything was all that funny. Sure, some episodes don't have to be funny. However, this one, for it's plot, should at least have more jokes than just a couple giggles now and then.
  • Bart becomes friends with Jimbo and his gang, and tries to impress him by beheading the statue of Jebediah Springfield.

    The title of this episode is obviously related tot he title of Edgar Allen Poe's tale: The Telltale Heart.

    This episode was enjoyable to me because it had Jimbo, Dolph, Kearney, and Apu in it, and to me, any episode with Apu is worth watching. There isn't much to say about this episode except that it's a fairly good episode with an original idea. Taking a kid that in order to be 'coolcool', has to vandalize or do something mean. If you got season one, watch this episode.
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