#TBT -- Classic Simpsons: "Lemon of Troy" (Season 6, Episode 24)

Episode 2F22
Original Airdate: May 14th, 1995
Writer: Brent Forrester
Director: Jim Reardon
Commentary by: Matt Groening, David Mirkin, Greg Daniels, Jim Reardon, David Silverman, David S. Cohen


When Marge catches Bart "graffit-o-tagging" some wet cement, she bores him and the family with a lecture about town pride that actually somehow subliminally gets through to him. Then, when he finds out some kids from Shelbyville have stolen Springfield's precious lemon tree, he leads a "violence gang" (as Marge puts it) on a guerrilla infiltration mission into the bizarre--yet oddly familiar--world of Shelbyville to recover the stolen tree.


This is maybe one of the most brilliantly simplistic show ideas The Simpsons has ever done. It all basically revolves around a sense of conflict between Springfield and Shelbyville that I believe was only ever casually referenced prior to this episode and the conceptualizing of Shelbyville as basically a bizarro version of Springfield (complete with doppelgangers for several major characters), setting it up as, essentially, the ugly stepchild of Springfield. The fact that this feud plays out between warring factions of neighborhood children from each town is great and makes for some very natural comedic moments. There's also some excellent historical background brought to life through the conduit of Grampa Simpson (and his doppelganger).

Grampa has some great moments in this episode but he's far from the only one. Professor Frink has a couple of my very favorite Frink moments; Milhouse and Marge (mostly Milhouse, who is spectacular here) have a couple of the funniest lines of the episode and are really at the peak of their comedic development; Nelson and (especially) Martin are BRILLIANT together; even Database has some funny lines (even though he happens to be Matt Groening's least favorite character but screw Matt Groening, I love Database).

The narrative itself is as expertly woven as ever. The fact that the whole story is set in motion by Bart writing his name in wet cement. The fact that Bart's crusade A. is sparked by something Marge said about town pride "actually [getting] through to [him]" and B. starts because of a lemon tree ("as kids, the backbone of our economy," as Bart puts it) which they go to great lengths to portray as special and sacred to the town of Springfield. All culminating with the wildly entertaining guerrilla invasion of Shelbyville by Bart and his "violence gang."

Favorites/Fun Facts

-"Hey, son. You want to try this flying motorcycle I've just invented?"
"No time."

-"Say, let's bring him back to life by using technology!"

-"What's normal to him amazes us!"
"He will be our new God!"

-"Bart, you've graffit-o-tagged public property!"
"It was an accident!"

-The lemonade business is CLEARLY booming...

-"[gasps] We've squozen our whole supply! To the lemon tree!"

-"I know you are but what am I?"

-"Hey, everybody! An old man's talking!"


-This is one of those amazing moments on The Simpsons when like 3-5 great jokes happen rapid fire and combine into one amazing gag. How does one group of guys write SO well SO many times? Unreal.

-I dunno if you can tell but this first image is of Milhouse drifting off into a fantasy about his MAGIC CAMOUFLAGE OUTFIT.

-Why this wasn't one of the 22 Short Stories About Springfield I will never know...

-Check out these awesome shots of all the "Bizarro Springfield" people and places of Shelbyville...

-"You had your chance! WO-HAI-VIN!"

-"All this talk has made me hungry"

-Guys, this is legit one of my favorite jokes in any TV show ever. Only Homer would be so matter-of-fact about being flipped upside down in the shower of a recreational vehicle.

-Lousy Springfielders...

-How to Make Lemonade:

-Turnip juice

(ALL images contained herein are the SOLE property of Twentieth Century Fox. Please don't sue us.)
(ALL animated gifts courtesy of the beautiful people at SimpsonsGIFs)

NEXT WEEK: "Who Shot Mr. Burns (Part 1)" (Season 6, Episode 25)


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