The Simpsons

Season 18 Episode 14

Yokel Chords

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Mar 04, 2007 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (23)

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out of 10
202 votes
  • After telling a scary ghost story in the cafeteria just to get free food, Bart goes to see a psychiatrist

    Principal Skinner decides to allow Lisa tutor Cletus's kids instead of them enrolling into Springfield Elementary, but they end up on Krusty's show as a musical act. Bart sees a psychiatrist after telling a scary ghost story in the cafeteria in an unsuccessful attempt to get free food. I thought that this was a superb episode of "The Simpsons". Only thing keeping my score from being a 10 was the plot with Lisa taking care of Cletus' kids and then they end up in Krusty's show... it wasn't a bad plot but I did get bored with it but there were a few good laughs from that plot though. The plot that definitely had me laughing was the main plot with Bart seeing a psychiatrist after telling the ghost story in the cafeteria just so he can get free food. Bart's ghost story and scaring everyone in school was hilarious and the scenes with Bart in psychiatrist were hilarious. I also loved how Marge paid for Bart to go see the psychiatrist one more time since he has been missing her. The thing that also cracked me up was the very ending of the episode with the psychiatrist missing Bart so she goes to see a psychiatrist and she says "Oh no, it's happening again" because something dark happened in her past. Another thing I loved about this episode were the musical numbers... I don't get why other reviewers make a big deal about the musical numbers. I, for one, really loved the musical numbers and they were all amazing. Overall, a superb episode of "The Simpsons". 9/10
  • Not that good.

    Principal Skinner decides to allow Lisa tutor Cletus's kids instead of them enrolling into Springfield Elementary, but they end up on Krusty's show as a musical act. Bart sees a psychiatrist after telling a scary ghost story in the cafeteria in an unsuccessful attempt to get free food.

    This episode was probably one of the worst this season. It wasn't even funny. It definitely could have been alot better than this. 6/10
  • Worst episode of the season, and one of the worst in Simpsons history.

    The only reason it doesn't get a 1 was because there were a few funny parts around the beginning. Once the plot sank in, it was a really lame episode! I can't stand Lisa singing! Last thing we need is an episode about Cletus's kids. Why don't they make an episode about Jasper or Helen Lovejoy while they're at it? I wish The Simpsons wouldn't do so many parody episodes. One better parody episode was the one where Santa's Little Helper and some girl dog had 25 puppies. This "Sound of Music" parody; however, doesn't cut it! Also, the subplot was lame. Bart goes to therapy and him and the therapist get attached to each other. They played video games for christ sake! That's just another lame 21st century Simpsons attempt at humor.
  • Cletus's kids become singers.

    When Lisa protests denying education to Cletus' hillbilly kids, Principal Skinner offers her a chance to tutor the kids herself. However, her plans to help are diverted when Krusty spots the kids during their field trip and decides to use them as an act on his show. Meanwhile, Bart tries to scare his peers out of the cafeteria by claiming it's haunted by the ghost of an old school chef who uses students as ingredients in his recipes. When the school erupts with fear and chaos, Bart is punished and sent to receive psychiatric treatment, and he develops a unique relationship with his therapist. I didnt like the idea of this episode to begin with, but it was better than I expected. A pretty much average episode yet again from this season. Nothing bad but nothing good.
  • Just really hilarious, well until the musical parts came.... This had the potential to be a really good episode but once again the musical parts killed it......

    When Lisa protests denying education to Cletus' hillbilly kids, Principal Skinner offers her a chance to tutor the kids herself. However, her plans to help are diverted when Krusty spots the kids during their field trip and decides to use them as an act on his show. Meanwhile, Bart tries to scare his peers out of the cafeteria by claiming it's haunted by the ghost of an old school chef who uses students as ingredients in his recipes. When the school erupts with fear and chaos, Bart is punished and sent to receive psychiatric treatment, and he develops a unique relationship with his therapist.
  • South Park did it! Instead of Wing, it's Cletus' kids.

    Both the main and sub plots were totally about prostitution, and not very subtly. South Park's "Wing" (ep 128 from season 9) already covered the obvious idea of talent agents being like pimps and likened therapists to escorts. Neither one of these ideas are original, but set them in a "Sound of Music" spoof, and it makes for a pretty funny episode.

    The sub plot with Bart seeing the therapist was great. The school pays for 5 sessions, during which Bart gets emotionally attached to his (female) therapist. After the last session, he is very disappointed and behaves in a way that in other circumstances would be like a stalker client. Since Bart really wants another session so much, Marge comes up with enough cash for him to see her one more time. As if to sway a viewer suspicious about the parallel up at this point, Marge tells Bart: "This is all we can afford. But if this doesn't work, then later when you are an adult, you can pay a woman to make you happy for an hour!" I found the humor and subject matter closer to South Park than the usual lighter Simpsons style. Maybe they are hitting back against the pot shots South Park takes at them for being too much like "Dennis the Menace" sometimes?

    I agree this isn't the strongest episode they've done, but it still had me laughing quite a bit.
  • A bit silly and disjointed, with random jokes that made me think I was watching Family Guy.

    The songs were lame, and had little to do with the story line. And who came up with the names of Cletus' children?! (Incest, Crystal Meth, etc.) Appearantly no one remembers from past seasons, that Cletus' children's names are: Tiffany, Heather, Cody, Dylan, Dermott, Jordan, Taylor, Brittany, Wesley, Rumer, Scout, Cassidy, Zoe, Chloe, Max, Hunter, Kendal, Katlin, Noah, Sasha, Morgan, Kira, Ian, Lauren, Q-bert, and Phil.
  • What's with this singing crap?

    Honestly I liked the episode. However, the musical crap is out of character for The Simpsons. Whoever came up with that idea should be fired from The Simpsons writing staff.
    Bart was great as always. And when Lisa sang and fell in the mud, it was what should have happened to each character who attempted to sing.

    I only take the time out to write this review to send that message. Don't let the characters of The Simpsons sing. It truly made this episode painful to watch. Totally out of place. Maybe they are out of material and were just looking for something to fill the air-time?
  • A lot of hilarious moments but why a musical?

    I've found the previous Simpsons musical episodes (such as Supercalifragilisticxpla"d'oh"cious and even the clip show) very funny but the musical aspect of this episode didn't seem as funny, though the songs were cleverly written.

    However, the episode is still great with hilarious oments like Homer coming home at dawn and the lunches he makes th kids aswell as his misinterpretation of Marge's sex dream and Cletus' wealth going to his head.

    The twist at the end that Cletus' mother/sister/wife only gave birth to two of Cletus' children, the rest being the product of another man's seed, seemed a bit abrupt for an ending but ws still quite funny.

    Dark Stanley was an okay star but the plot continued to get better with the therapist (and the fact that Marge was saving for Homer's breast reduction) and overall, the episode is a welcome addition to the series despite a few plotholes here and there.
  • this episode didn't work well with me it was a bit odd at parts and the singing cut off for too long and the singing had little points to the story line.

    this episode was mainly about Lisa getting a good grade and she wanted a challenge and the principal said she should teach a bunch of hillbillies and she accepted it. while this Bart is going around scaring all the kids at school telling them that they're is a ghost called Stanly who eats children. Lisa then try's to teach them math and subjects. Bart is then punished by spreading rumors and thought of being crazy and Seymore is told to give bart two weeks of therapy. during therapy Bart falls in love with the therapist and so does she. Lisa then try's to win the children back from Krusty and later Cletus's wife comes and steals her children back. bart then gets over the therapist then she goes to see a therapist because she misses bart.
  • My classification for this episode is probably funnier than anything in this episode, and I am a modest man.

    In the first ten minutes of "Yokel Chords", there are five jokes which work. Considering the show now has a breakneck speed for its attempts at humour, this does not set a good ratio. Not a good ratio, at all. We open with an AWFUL couch gag. Ralph orders a miniature Homer from a vending machine, then walks away eating him. Ho, ho. Don't stop the hilarity.

    I appreciate The Simpsons trying to get guest stars who require a little culture to understand and recognise, but in this case all fell short except Meg Ryan, who manages to project a warmth in her character, and she truly deserved a better episode. In better times she would have been a classic guest star. It's not funny having an author play himself. I'm sorry, but it's just not. The scenes at the start with Marge on a beach were obviously intended to be satire of the mystery-thriller genre, but they had nothing new to say.

    Homer then talked like a teenage girl. Ho, ho. And he prepared Bart and Lisa's lunches for the day. I liked the ideas for the lunches, but they would have worked best as sight gags, and a more competent episode would have shown Homer's concept of the kids' lunches, and let our minds contemplate what Bart and Lisa thought for ourselves. It would have been funnier.

    Bart then does the logical thing when daunted with a day without food. Ask Milhouse if he can borrow some? Ring home and ask Marge to drop him off something? No, silly. He concocts a horror story about "Dark Stanley", which was really just an excuse for Yokel Chords to pad itself out with a scene done in different artistic style, and Harry Shearer laughing a few times maniacally. They also played the 12 Monkeys score to point where I honestly believe I was meant to laugh at the score being played, rather than the context. A lot of kudos has been given to the animation style. Was it well done? Yes, the animation style was done as well as it could have been. Was it necessary? Not really. This episode could have very easily used regular animation for this sequence, and it would have played just as well. Actually, I take that back, it would have worked better, as you aren't taken out of the mood, and don't forget why Bart is telling the story (not that his reason made much sense).

    Better scenario: Bart tries to sell Abe Simpson's pills in the schoolyard for cash to buy a lunch, Skinner catches him, and as Bart has ripped the label off ("Who wants to buy pills that give you wrinkles, and are probably laxatives?") Skinner recognises the pills as anti-depressants ("I remember, I was on anti-depressants after Vietnam...and then after Edna...and then after "Maria"), assumes Bart is on them, and sends him to the acting school psychologist. It would have saved us a painful scene between Snake and Apu.

    Lisa's segment of the episode is another which could have been written A LOT better. They claim to not be running out of ideas, but retconning Cletus' family doesn't support that claim. Most of them were unnecessary, anyhow. The episode was a parody for "The Sound of Music". Ew. Why bother? The episode probably would have been more enjoyable if it has featured Lisa trying to oppose Seymour and "Gary" (one of the only gags that hit) in their attempts to keep the Cletus clan out of attendance. Lisa could eventually have received guidance from Meg Ryan's psychologist to realise that idealism is good, but you can't always expect right to win, then have Ryan oppose the school on something (after being inspired by Lisa...maybe the school's motion to expel Bart?). It would have developed Lisa's character, would have given Bart some touching moments, and given Meg Ryan the credible appearance she deserved.

    When a student of film, television and comedy can piece together a better episode of The Simpsons on the spot than the writers can, you know that Yokel Chords truly missed the mark. It's truly tragic when a show misses its own mark. What Worked:
    * Meg Ryan's performance.
    * Homer's "lunches" for the kids.
    * A few good lines here and there, not enough for it to ever stand up to the classic episodes.

    What Didn't Work:
    * The bulk of Lisa's plot.
    * "Dark Stanley" (well done, kind of, but didn't work).
    * Ralph (the character went from being one of the more touching Simpsons' characters, to being a one-note joke).
    * The political satire, please do not try it again, Simpsons
    * I will never know why Apu likes being robbed by that meant to be funny?
    * See Scrubs how to do an intelligent musical episode of a sitcom
    * Homer and Marge's characters continue to struggle with any integrity they have left.
    * The rest of the lines that didn't work, which kind of bloody the ones that did. The episode gets a 4.0, mainly because of Meg Ryan's performance, and because I did admire the wit the episode occasionally displayed. That's a 4.0 on the sitcom scale, not The Simpsons scale. I'm not sure if The Simpsons scale is still of a higher standard than the sitcom scale. That's a shame.
  • Bart begins to see a psychologist after telling a scary story that is somehow linked to his past. Lisa begins tutoring.

    Another fine example that The Simpsons must now gather the majority of their ideas and writing from other shows/movies. I'm just glad that they stopped with the Family Guy style humor like they used so much last season. The worst Part about the last few seasons is that it seems like they have lost the intelligence that made the show so great and individual. Lately I feel like I could get the same satisfaction out of watching the Teletubbies. I already know that I'm going to shell out the $10 to go see the movie when it comes out. I just really hope that all of the bad writing that has been on is due to all the good writing that's been going into the movie.
  • Seems The Simpsons might be back on track

    Im actually starting to get back into the simpsons this season. After some pointless, unfunny and plotless episodes in recent months it seems the show is back, and its showing promise. I felt this episode was very good in terms of plot and entertainment value. I thought that barts story wouldnt feel as fleshed out as lisa's but in the end both of them worked well within the episode. The humour felt right, i liked the dark stanley stuff at the beginning of the episode and the animation when bart was telling the story was cool. I hope the simpsons keeps up the good work at the moment and keep the plots interesting and watchable and at the same time not overly random and pointless.
  • Not a dull moment in today's epiosde.

    There's so much intresting stuff in this week's episode of "The Simpsons," that I don't know where to began. Let's began with Principal skinner hiring Lisa to tutor Cletus kids. We haven't seen much of the clan until now. that lead to Krusty the clown putting them on his show and calling them the smashing Bumkins. Bart goes see a psychiartist with the voice of Meg Ryan. I couldn't see her, but I can hear her voice. the chemistry between Bart and the psychiartist is perfect. The Dark Stanley amination sequence is very good. this is the best part of this epiosde.
  • Really, really weird.

    Is it just me or did anyone else think this episode was just plain weird? It seems like the plot was just someone's stream of consciousness with no real direction to it. Bart, in an absurdly circuitous plan to get some lunch, invents and acts out part of a scary story which causes all the kids to run screaming out of the school which results in the destruction of some antique cologne bottles owned by Superintendent Chalmers who then sends Bart to a pyschiatrist, etc.; what happens in Lisa's story is also pretty strange. Also, there were a few things that seemed uncharacteristically disturbing or offensive for a Simpsons episode: the image of an eyeball about to be sliced with a razor blade, the yokel kids' names (Incest, Crystal Meth, etc.), and the Jew and "coon" jokes to name a few. It seems you'd be more likely to see those things Family Guy or South Park. But as bizarre and directionless as the story was, the episode still managed to hold my interest. There were some pretty witty jokes and gags throughout, but the most notable things were the really fancy animation used to illustrate Bart's Dark Stanley story and the elaborate soundtrack. I'd say this is more of a novelty than a really great episode but it's still worth seeing.
  • Bart in therapy?! Lisa as 'Henry Higgins'?! Haven't we seen this already?

    After the quality of this episode it does not bode well for my expectations of the upcoming Simpsons: The Movie... I'm beginning to think that the writers are just filling time with fluff- And the guests! James Patterson?! Stephen Sondheim?! They are really digging deep, aren't they...?! Perhaps Mr. Sam Simon was on the right track when he left the show when he did (and is still getting royalties!) Funniest moment (sadly) Agnes Skinners' 'wavy gravy' arms. But unfortunately, like any completely addicted 'junkie' I will still be looking forward to my 'fix' next Sunday... I only hope it's more enjoyable than gargling Draino. Mmmmm...Draino...
  • An outstanding episode

    This episode really pushed the envelope artistically. The "Dark Stanley" cartoon style was a departure from all other episodes and really stuck out visually. The musical score from "12 Monkeys" made it that much more creepy, which was why contrasting it with the humor of the rest of the show worked so well (my favorite joke was kid: "you're one of those funny men with those big crazy noses." Krusty: "a clown?" kid: "No, a Je-" Krusty "-joker! yeah, that's it." That and 2 more jokes made me laugh out loud. And the "in your face" close-ups and angles of crusty were hilarious.
  • The Simpsons suck.

    This is possibly one of the worst episodes ever made. I didn't even watch the whole thing it was so bad. I watched to the part where they were singing. Anything past season 15 sucks. Don't waste your time and watch this episode. I hope the upcoming Simpsons movie doesn't suck as much as this episode did. Waste of my time.

    Anyways, it was about Bart scaring people for lunch money and I think Lisa was teaching Cletus' children instead of their children going to Springfield Elementary. Like what I said two times before, this episode is the worst episode ever (well seasons 16-18 sucked) and it is not worth watching.

    Thank you for reading my review.
  • Really good, but not that awesome though.

    Another Simpson episode that's better than most horrible ones, yet weaker than the classics, it managed to stand up on it's own 2 legs. The Bart subplot was really funny, and I enjoyed Lisa's one, but really, they aren't that awesome. I like how Bart had feelings for that psychiatrist, backed up by funny jokes about his dream about a successful cartoon show on Fox News(LOL), but it could had been a bit stronger. And Lisa's one delivered the goods as well, trying to get Cletus's and his sister's kids to explore the city life, though not too much to be all it could had been. Anyways, their plots were great, and the jokes were hit and miss, like usual Simpson episodes in the later seasons. While not recommended, you can still find some enjoyment on this one, and I like musical episodes like this. But it could had been so much better, please go back to what made this show awesome again.
  • Lisa ends up tutoring cletus's kids and then they start a singing career on krustys show. Meanwhile Bart tells a scary story to scam kids out of their lunches which lands him in therapy for his actions. Full of clever jokes and a smooth running plot.

    Yokel Chords stayed fresh whether it came to new, never before used jokes which were hilarious or the smooth-running and interesting plot/sub-plot. Even without the amazing list of guest stars, this episode really held you in your seat. It felt as good as any other classic episode would and will definitely be remembered. Once again another well written and for once very clever/unique prank by Bart Simpson which shows that "The Simpsons" still got it after all these years. Even better we get to explore why he does pranks through therapy. A perfect "sound of music" theme with the school not letting the slack-jawed yokel's kids in the school. Lisa ends up teaching them which was enjoyable to watch and then because of their superb singing they get to be on Krustys show. Huzzah to the simpsons, they making a great comeback!!
  • the title might have been the most clever part of the show. I thought after the last episode maybe they would have two good ones in a row, I guess they can't do that.

    It's not like the good ole days when they used to have songs, and they didn't seem so out of place and just not really that funny. I was very dissapointed which is surprising because I thought I already lost most of my respect for the writers of this show, but I guess it's not all gone, but it's getting really low. They of course had their propaganda, I think they are trying to end the show because there are so many people that say they don't watch the show because of that. The first joke on Fox News was funny because it wasn't forced, and didn't seem like they were trying to force some propaganda, that's what they need to do, even though everyone knows they have an agenda, the 2nd one was stupid. It's too bad because they have had some funny music episodes in the past, this just among the funny one musical episodes.
  • Anouther Michael Price musical that turned out great.

    This is the second in a row for Michael Price to write a musical from last years and this years turned out better. In Yokel Chords this is a great episode that starts out with Principle Skinner and Charmers talking out of preventing Cletis kids from entering the school because their not smart enough. Usual Lisa Simpson buts in and starts a news paper and the singining begins and this time the singing was very interesting listing too. Barts story was quite good itself. Bart tells scary srories and lands himself in theripy and the theripist is voiced by Meg Ryan which I forget that she did and she did a great job. Oval this is the best musical episode in a while.
  • About as good as My Fair Laddy.

    Lots to like here. I suppose the thing at the end of the B-story with Meg Ryan talking to Peter Bogdanovich is supposed to be from a movie or something. I have no idea what was going on there. I'm glad pimped-out Cletus didn't start talking like a gangsta because that would be really annoying. The animation on the Stanley sequence was really cool. Any episode where Lisa falls off a cliff and hits her head a bunch of times on the way down gets my approval.
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