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Bart Gets Hit by a Car
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Hutz is the name, Mr. Simpson. Lionel Hutz, attorney at law. Here's my card. It turns into a sponge when you put it in water.
Lionel Hutz

Bart Gets Hit by a Car is the tenth episode of Season 2.


After Bart is run over by a car, his family tries to create a lawsuit against Mr. Burns. Both Burns and the Simpsons elaborate on the true story, which leads to yet another strain on Marge and Homer’s marriage.

Full Story

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While out riding his skateboard with reckless abandon, Bart is hit by a car driven by Mr. Burns. While Burns and his assistant Waylon Smithers, Jr. bicker about what to do about him, his soul floats out of his body and he ascends a luminous stairway to Heaven. He watches the rest of the Simpsons' ancestors, including Great-Grandpa Simpson strangling a young Abraham. When Bart spits over the edge, the stairway turns into a chute and Bart descends directly to hell. After the devil looks over his case history on his computer, he sees that Bart is not due to arrive in hell for nearly another century. As he begins to regain consciousness, the devil tells him to continue to sin. Bart wakes up in a hospital bed with Homer, Marge, Lisa, Maggie, and a strange man hovering over him. Asking the strange man who he is, he introduces himself as Lionel Hutz, an attorney at law. Lionel presents Homer with his card and tells him if he wants to make a lot of money to give him a call. Marge quickly rejects Hutz' offer, stating they're not interested in suing anyone and demands he leave at once. After he leaves, Dr. Hibbert arrives to gives out his prognosis and that Bart's injuries are minor. He advises Marge not to over-mother Bart too much and Homer is hesitant to sue Mr. Burns. Acting on his lawyers’ advice, Mr. Burns offers Homer money to ensure he does not take legal action against him. But he only offers Homer a paltry $100. He turns it down because it barely covers the medical bill. Burns take this as an attempt to by Homer to make a fast buck, so he angrily throws him out of his office. Shaken from that encounter, Homer wipes himself with the business card Hutz gave him at the hospital, which is a trick sponge. Homer decides to take Lionel Hutz up on his offer.

After learning that Homer is going to sue him, Mr. Burns becomes furious and prepares to fire him. After Smithers reminds him that firing a man whose son he hit with a car would be bad for his image, Burns' option is to settle the lawsuit in court or talk the Simpsons out of it.

Act 2

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At Hutz's office, he assures Homer that if he does exactly what Hutz says, he can get a settlement for a million dollars (of which he gets 50% as part of his fee). However in order to succeed, Bart has to lie about the extent of his injuries. To further stack the deck in their favor, Hutz uses the legal testimony of a shady doctor, Nick Riviera, to come up with his own diagnosis. Though he succeeds and puts Bart in bandages, Marge is skeptical of his medical qualifications and is convinced that this is dishonest. She decries Dr. Riviera as a quack for exaggerating Bart's condition and quickly confronts Hutz for his actions. Marge immediately reminds Homer that Dr. Hibbert has been their family physician for years and determined Bart will make a quick recovery. The only restitution she would demand from Burns is for him to pay Bart's medical bills and make an apology for the accident. When Homer tries to denounce Dr. Hibbert by claiming him to be too boring, Marge sees the first warning signs of his greed and is horrified by the fact he is encouraging their son to lie.

Later on at the Simpson house, Hutz coaches Bart on exaggerating his condition to help win the jury's sympathy. However, Marge's suspicions doesn't go unnoticed as Lisa also sees what they're doing is wrong and dishonest. They make their objections clear that they're against suing Mr. Burns and demands Bart tells the truth in court. Hutz quickly dismisses them, but his claims in what he does is "truth" does little to convince Marge and Lisa otherwise. They are more convinced that everything they're doing is still lying and dishonest.

Both Bart and Mr. Burns present exaggerated, outrageous memories of the accident on the stand. Bart's story is that he was peacefully playing when Burns in "the luxury car of death" went out of his way to intentionally hit children. Burns' story is that "that incorrigible Simpson youngster darted out of nowhere", and was hit accidentally, and Burns cried out to God to spare Bart and take him as he is old, and the accident interrupted his plans to "deliver toys to the orphanage". However, the civil jury is more accepting of Bart's fabricated story and shows sympathy for him. Whereas, Marge and Lisa show their shared disgust for Hutz because they're the only ones in the courtroom still convinced that he made Bart lie. Things seem to be looking up for Hutz and Homer. After the trial, Mr. Burns is seen yelling at his lawyers for their incompetence in failing to curry the civil jury's favor because they hate him. His main lawyer suggests an out-of-court settlement between him and the Simpsons. Mr. Burns then orders them to bring Homer and Marge to his house at once to do so.

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In a last attempt to get them to drop the lawsuit, Burns invites Homer and Marge to his mansion. He offers them $500,000 to settle the case and then leaves the room to let them discuss it. Burns listens in on their conversation in the next room by looking through the cut-out eyes of a painting. Back in the living room, Marge is feeling guilty for being dishonest and lying in court. She pleads with Homer to drop the case and accept the money. Mr. Burns has a panic attack when he hears Homer openly and abrasively object to her request. He demands to know why Marge wants him to accept the settlement money and not wait to be paid the full $1 million like Hutz promised them. Angered by this, Marge reveals she and Lisa were against suing Mr. Burns from the start. She says they would've been much happier with settling the case with him rather than let this go to court. Marge also wants Homer to accept the generous settlement so they can move on with their lives and get Hutz out of their lives. He refuses by stating that he knows Mr. Burns is going to lose the case and will have to pay them the full million anyway. Having enough, Marge admits she dislikes the situation for what it's become including his greed, the falsified testimony, the dishonest shifty lawyers and using fake doctors with shady medical qualifications. Mr. Burns overhears that Homer and Hutz are using a quack and he gets an idea to win the case. He returns with Smithers just in time to catch Homer and Marge arguing. He maintains his stance in telling her that waiting to win the full million is the right thing to do and doesn't care if she and Lisa are uncomfortable in this. Marge still insists they should accept the money because Hutz is a dishonest fraudulent man who will leave them with less than what he promised them. She closes the argument by saying if the decision were left to her instead of Homer: she would gladly accept the $500,000 settlement so they can pay off Bart's medical bills and have Mr. Burns apologize for the accident so she can send Hutz on his way out with nothing. Mr. Burns announces that he has withdrawn his offer and claims they should let a jury choose in court. He then sends Homer and Marge on their way out by releasing the hounds.

Act 3

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The next day in court, Mr. Burns' lawyer calls an unprepared Marge to the stand, much to the shock of everyone. After taking the oath to tell the truth, she nervously sits on the witness stand. Mr. Burns' lawyer starts off his interrogation by asking Marge of her opinion on Dr. Hibbert. Relieved, she explains she's proud of the fine work that Dr. Hibbert has done. Marge admits that Hibbert has been there for her family ever since she became a mother and knows he is a good physician with real medical qualifications. Soon Mr. Burns' lawyer employs a dirty tactic in feigning shock about hearing "expert" testimony from Dr. Riviera and this makes Hutz extremely nervous when he catches people staring at him in suspicion after hearing Marge's testimony crediting Dr. Hibbert as the Simpsons' real family physician. When Mr. Burns' lawyer asks her about her opinion about Dr. Riviera, Marge is hesitant to talk and this makes him very angry with her. She tries to plead the fifth by stating her mother's advice in not talking about someone when she doesn't have anything nice to say. Homer has hopes about what Marge said will hold up and they can still win the case. However, Hutz glumly admits to him it won't do anything for them. He reveals his concerns about losing the case to Burns if she continues refusing to lie and testifies against them by telling the truth. Mr. Burns' lawyer asks his question on Marge's opinion on Dr. Riviera again and reminds her that she is under oath. In her testimony, Marge tells the truth by denouncing Dr. Riviera as a quack who isn't a qualified doctor and outlines Dr. Hibbert's earlier prognosis in how limited Bart's injuries actually were. Overhearing this, Homer curses out in anger at her testimony as his chances to win the $1 million begins to slip away. While watching Maggie, Lisa is the only one proud of Marge for doing the right thing by telling the truth. Mr. Burns' lawyer decides to play the sympathy card by asking Marge about Bart's mental anguish and her opinion on her lawyer. Out of spite for Homer in going through the lawsuit against her wishes, Marge abrasively denounces Hutz as a greedy, dishonest and fraudulent man who isn't a qualified lawyer. She reveals that he and Homer both made Bart commit perjury by lying about being in intense anguish from his injuries when he was really fine. Homer continues listening in disbelief and Bart feels betrayed by Marge. Mr. Burns' lawyer continues playing the sympathy card by asking Marge to tell the court the dollar amount in the hardships she went through with accident. She admits to the hardships of the accident, a value worth $5 that they would have paid Bart every week to take the trash out, if he had been able to. Marge admits the trouble he caused her with the three days he stayed at home recuperating from the minor injuries. As a result, Marge's honest testimony destroys Hutz's case and the family gets nothing, though Bart receives good treatment for his injuries. After the case, an overjoyed Mr. Burns offers Homer another check and though it isn't as generous as his first one, he believes it's fair: $0. Realizing they lost the case, Hutz tells Homer they should take it and he shudders in dejection.

That night at dinner, a downbeat and angry Homer mentally blames Marge for costing him the $1 million, while maintaining his composure in being polite when she asks him if he wants dinner. Bart breaks the silence by wishing to have won the money from Burns. He is silenced by Marge saying she did the right thing to stop the case by telling the truth. Bart mentions there was a lot of things they could've done with the money, even if what they did was dishonest, and Marge stands her ground by saying honesty is more valuable than gold. Having enough of hearing the conversation, Homer goes to Moe's to drown his sorrows and is unwilling to return home. Marge suspects what he's about to do from her women's intuition and follows him.


At the bar, he listens as Moe tries to console him, telling him that rich people aren't happy anyway. Homer ignores him, still believing that he would've been much happier with the money because he could've bought a lot of things with it for his family. He is unsure if he should come home as he continues blaming Marge for betraying him with her testimony for costing him the $1 million. She arrives at Moe's and apologizes to him for her testimony. Marge admits they had argued over the family's financial issues in the past. However, it wasn't up to this level it got to when he decided to sue Burns over Bart's minor injuries. However, Homer says this isn't about the family's financial issues that he's angry and depressed over. He admits it's Marge that he is very angry with because she betrayed him with her testimony by telling the truth in court that lead to her costing him his only chance to win the $1 million and better their family's lives. Her testimony allowed Mr. Burns to win the lawsuit against him and left them with nothing. Homer is unsure if he could continue loving her after all this. She, Moe, and the bar's denizens are shocked by it. Marge encourages Homer to look her in the eye and follow his heart. When he does, he starts at her feet and her body but he's still convinced of his own anger. Homer gulps down a beer to help his brain make the final decision, and when he reaches Marge's head, his brain says who is Homer fooling, he loves Marge like always. As the episode finishes, the couple hugs and the bar's customers cheer, and Moe marks down the next round of beer.


Behind the Laughter


The episode's plot was based on Billy Wilder's 1966 film, The Fortune Cookie in which Walter Matthau plays a dishonest lawyer who convinces Jack Lemmon's character to fake an injury for a large cash settlement. While working on the court room scenes, director Mark Kirkland watched To Kill a Mockingbird and The Verdict to get ideas for different angles he could use. Although the episode was written by John Swartzwelder, a lot of the ending was pitched by executive producer James L. Brooks. Brooks felt that the episode needed a more emotional ending, so some shots were reworked so that voice overs could be added.

The episode includes the debuts of three recurring characters, Lionel Hutz, Dr. Nick and the Blue-haired Lawyer. Lionel Hutz was designed by Mark Kirkland, who gave him an evil design, but was asked to make him more "bland looking." He gave him a powder blue suit to make him stand out more. Phil Hartman, who voiced Hutz, also guest stars for the first time. He would later become one of the most frequently appearing guest stars, with Hutz and Troy McClure (who was introduced later in the second season) being his most well-known characters.

Dr. Nick Riviera is voiced by Hank Azaria, who used a "bad Ricky Ricardo" impression. The animators modeled Dr. Nick after then-supervising director Gábor Csupó, because they mistakenly believed that Azaria was impersonating him. The Blue-haired Lawyer, who does not have a proper name, was based on Roy Cohn, who became famous as Senator Joseph McCarthy's lawyer. His voice, provided by Dan Castellaneta, was also an impression of Cohn. The devil is also shown for the first time, and he was designed by Mark Kirkland, who originally tried to give him a scary design, but the writers asked him to use a more comedic look.

The show's script supervisor at the time Doris Grau also appears in the show for the first time. She was used because of her unique voice, and appears as a minor character in this episode, but would later become known for voicing Lunchlady Doris.

Season 1 Season 2 Episodes Season 3
Bart Gets an "F"Simpson and DelilahTreehouse of Horror (aka "The Simpsons Halloween Special") • Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every FishDancin' HomerDead Putting SocietyBart vs. ThanksgivingBart the DaredevilItchy & Scratchy & MargeBart Gets Hit by a CarOne Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue FishThe Way We WasHomer vs. Lisa and the 8th CommandmentPrincipal CharmingOh Brother, Where Art Thou?Bart's Dog Gets an FOld MoneyBrush with GreatnessLisa's SubstituteThe War of the SimpsonsThree Men and a Comic BookBlood Feud