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Some Enchanted Evening
Bart Gets an "F"
Simpson and Delilah

I passed, I passed, I passed, I passed, I passed, I ... kissed the teacher! Bleech! Bleech!
Bart Simpson

Bart Gets an "F" is the first episode of Season 2. It is also the most viewed episode in Simpsons history, with over 33 million households watching the premiere.


Bart is told by Mrs. Krabappel that his grades are slipping and he may have to repeat fourth grade if he fails another test.

Full Story

When Bart presents his book report at school on Treasure Island, it is clear to everyone that he has not read the book, instead commenting on the cover. Mrs. Krabappel tests Bart by asking him to name the main pirate in the book, which he cannot do. She warns him that his grades have gotten steadily worse since the beginning of the term, and that there will be an exam on Colonial America the following day. Bart, however, does not pay attention to a word she says. He tries to study, but he repeatedly procrastinates until late at night, whereupon he falls asleep over his textbooks.

Martin warns Bart about Sherri and Terri's false information

When he wakes up the next morning, he is worried he will flunk. He goes to Sherri and Terri for help while riding to school, and they give him false answers in hopes that he will fail the test. Martin warns Bart of the faulty information he has received, so, right before the test, Bart "collapses". He goes to see the nurse, who diagnoses Bart with amoria phlebitis (loss of vision), and sends him home. At home, Bart procrastinates again and calls Milhouse to copy his answers on the test. When he takes the test, Mrs. Krabappel tells him that he did worse than Milhouse. Homer and Marge have an interview with Mrs. Krabappel and the school counselor, Dr. J. Loren Pryor, who sees Bart as an underachiever and suggests that Bart will be held back a grade if he doesn't shape up. Bart, however, is strongly against this idea and proclaims he could pass fourth grade. Homer replies that he may have to repeat the fourth grade as warned.

Snow Day

With Bart worried he might be held back, he looks to Martin for help. He helps Bart study, and Bart reciprocates by showing him how to be more popular, which encourages Martin to take on some of Bart's bad attitudes. Bart reminds the "new" Martin about the test the following day, but he ignores it, and now Bart must study on his own. He prays to God that something will happen to make him miss school the next day so he can have more time to study. That night it snows and schools are closed the next morning. Bart immediately rushes downstairs to go outside and play in the snow. After Lisa reminds him of his wish, he plans to study for the rest of the day, while everyone is outside having fun. However, even Bart's studying is a distraction; as he tries to picture himself as a member of the First Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 witnessing the signing of the Declaration of Independence, he then pictures it somehow snowing in July, to which the signers then go out and have fun in the snow. Bart forces himself to pay attention by slapping himself in the face repeatedly.

Bart excited about his D-

The next day, as soon as he finishes the test, he asks Mrs. Krabappel to grade it immediately. She gives it back to him and declares that his score is 59, another F. Devastated at this failure after having made a bigger effort, Bart breaks down in tears; Krabappel is surprised, having always assumed he was used to failing in class. He tells Krabappel that he really did try this time and he still failed. As she tries consoling him, Bart laments that now he understands how George Washington felt when he surrendered Fort Necessity to the French in 1754. The stunned Mrs. Krabappel, impressed Bart's knowledge to such a difficult and obscure historical reference, gives him an extra point for demonstrating applied knowledge, pushing his grade up to 60, a D-, the lowest passing grade. Bart becomes so joyful about passing that he gives his teacher a kiss on the cheek and runs throughout Springfield shouting out about passing, then realizes that he kissed his teacher and spits in disgust. At home, Homer proudly hangs the test on the fridge and Bart states: "Part of this D- belongs to God."


Bart Gets an "F"/Transcript


"Bart gets an 'F'" was the first episode of The Simpsons written by David M. Stern. David Silverman directed it. Over the summer of 1990, Bart was characterized by some parents and conservatives as a poor role model for children because of his rebellious nature. Several American public schools banned T-shirts featuring Bart's image with captions, like "I'm Bart Simpson. Who the hell are you?" and "Underachiever ('And proud of it, man!')". Several critics thought the episode was a response to these controversies. However, executive producer James L. Brooks responded it was not, but added, "we're mindful of it. I do think it's important for us that Bart does badly in school. There are students like that. Besides, I'm very wary of television where everybody is supposed to be a role model. You don't run across that many role models in real life. Why should television be full of them?" Sam Simon commented, "There are themes to the shows we did last year, important themes, I think it's a tribute to how well we executed them that nobody realized we had a point." Bart says "Cowabunga" for the second time (the first time being in "The Telltale Head"). This was commonly associated with Bart through its use as a T-shirt slogan. Mayor Quimby makes his first appearance in this episode, without his trademark sash that says "Mayor". The sash was later added because the writers feared viewers would not recognize him.

The episode was the first to feature a new opening sequence, shortened by fifteen seconds from its original length of roughly 90 seconds. The first season's opening sequence shows Bart stealing a "Bus Stop" sign; while the new sequence features him skateboarding past several characters, introduced during the previous season. Lisa's bike ride was cut, replaced by a one-second whiplash pan of Springfield showing other characters, before Homer's car pulls up in the driveway. Starting with season two, there were three versions of the opening: a full roughly 75-second version, a 45-second version, and a 25-second version. This gave the show's editors more leeway.

David Silverman believes the animators began to "come into their own" as they became used to the characters and were able to achieve more with character acting. During the scene where Bart delivers a speech saying he is "dumb as a post", Silverman wanted to cut quickly from several angles to give a sense of anxiety. Martin Prince's design was changed several times during the episode. There was a different model with larger eyes and wilder hair designed for the scene where Martin betrays Bart and runs off. Silverman describes the "Snow Day" sequence as one of the hardest things he ever had to animate. It features several long pans showing many characters engaging in various activities difficult to time correctly. Bart's fantasy where he sees the founding fathers of the United States uses muted colors and variations of red, white and blue. Silverman also had to work hard to make Bart cry without making his design look too off-putting; for this reason he is shown covering his face with a piece of paper.

Broadcast History

United States

Broadcast date(s) Channel aired
  • October 11, 1990
  • December 30, 1990
  • May 20, 1993
  • February 5, 1995

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  • December 20, 2020
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Behind the Laughter


David Stern wrote this episode

When the FOX network chose to show The Simpsons on Thursday at 8:00 P.M. EST against the highly-rated NBC sitcom The Cosby Show, many were expecting this to be a war for ratings. Surprisingly, this episode of The Simpsons drew higher ratings in its first airing than The Cosby Show, and it would lead to the cancellation of The Cosby Show in 1992.

"Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish" was the first episode produced this season while this episode was produced three episodes onward but the executives wanted it to air first in the new season because Bart was popular at the time.


The episode was ranked number 31 on Entertainment Weekly's 1999 list of the "100 Greatest Moments in Television".

It marked the first time that The Simpsons aired at the same time as The Cosby Show on NBC. It averaged an 18.4 Nielsen Rating and 29% of the audience. In the weeks ratings, it finished tied for eighth behind The Cosby Show which had an 18.5 rating. However, an estimated 33.6 million viewers watched the episode, making it the number one show in terms of actual viewers that week. At the time, it was the most watched episode in the history of the Fox Network. At the time, NBC had 208 television stations, while Fox had only 133. It is still the highest rated episode in the history of the show.

New Opening Sequence

For the full article on the Opening Sequences, see here.

This episode marked the first time that the second version of the opening sequence was used, which was different from the opening used in the first season. However, this episode had slightly different colors and brightnesses.

  • The Simpsons logo is in a lighter blue sky and is surrounded by clouds instead of mist and all dies down.
  • The stores in the zoom over Springfield are different.
  • The Semi-Painless Dentistry is replaced, appropriately, by Candy Most Dandy.
  • The school is now orange instead of purple.
  • The walls in the school are now dark green.
  • When Bart flies out of the school, there are two buildings (one orange, and one white).
  • The bald man eating the sandwich is now replaced by Mr. Burns and Waylon Smithers.
  • The grocery store's background walls are now orange instead of red.
  • Maggie's hands are now straight on her side rather than on her hips.
  • Lisa's saxophone is now deeper.
  • When Homer throws the rod, it does NOT bounce near Moe's Tavern.
  • Bart does not pass obese townspeople and steals the bus stop sign this time. Instead he roughly skateboards past Helen Lovejoy, Moe Szyslak, Bleeding Gums Murphy, Apu, Barney, Chief Wiggum, and Jacques.
  • Marge's car is now orange instead of red, but during Marge's view, it turns red.
  • Lisa's bike sequence is replaced by a zoom over townspeople. Instead, Lisa now happily passes by Homer in the driveway.
  • The TV is now bluish-purple with a VCR and an antenna.
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