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Bart on the Road
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We got no car. We got no money. And no one knows we're here. We're stranded!
Bart, Milhouse and Martin

"Bart on the Road" is the twentieth episode of Season 7.


With a fake driver license in hand, Bart travels the wide open road accompanied by Nelson, Martin and Milhouse. Meanwhile, Lisa spends some quality time with Homer at the power plant.

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It is the last week of school before Spring Break at Springfield Elementary. Principal Skinner is planning on spending the break in Hong Kong. While sitting in his office, he discovers that the airline has mistakenly booked him for a flight that leaves on Friday instead of Saturday. Unable to charge the huge fee that the airline would charge to change the flight date on his itinerary, Skinner plans to promote a "Take your kids to work day" on the Friday before Spring Break. Bart wants to see women in the workplace, and he reluctantly goes to the DMV with Patty and Selma (his first choice was staying at home with Marge but finds that housewife does not count as a job since you do not get paid), Lisa goes to the nuclear power plant with Homer which she doesn't like at first (especially since she has signed many petitions to shut down the plant) but eventually makes the job fun for Homer, Milhouse discovers the exciting world of Crackers and Martin makes a million dollars trading commodity futures (although seconds later, he loses all but $600).

Bart's "driver's license"

At the DMV, Bart creates a fake driver's license for himself while no one is looking. He, Nelson and Milhouse are unsatisfied with its local operations, such as admitting them to see the film version of Naked Lunch, which they assumed to be pornography and almost drinking. They eventually plan to use some money that Martin has to rent a car and decide go on a road trip. As a cover story, Bart, Martin and Milhouse tell their parents that they have been selected by their school to attend the National Grammar Rodeo in Canada. Lisa, who has never heard of such an event, can easily see through Bart's fib but Marge only thinks that Lisa is trying to get attention. Martin and Milhouse have no problems convincing their parents. Nelson just tells his mother that he is going away for a week.

The boys drive the car and enjoy the road trip, Martin still thinks they are going to the Grammar Rodeo but Bart tells him that was an alibi. Seconds later however they soon stop when they suddenly realize of not being certain of their destination. Finding an old brochure in the glove box of the car, they plan to go to the World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. But first they take a detour in Branson, Missouri (Bart: "Dad says it's just like Vegas... if it were run by Ned Flanders"), where Nelson makes them stop so he can see his hero, Andy Williams.

Lisa at work with Homer

Martin,Milhouse,Bart and Nelson after visiting the Wig Sphere

Back in Springfield, Homer asks if Lisa would like to come spend her spring break at work with him and she enjoys herself there; meanwhile, Marge becomes bored at home. After arriving in Knoxville, the boys are shocked, finding out that the World's Fair was over 10 years ago (the Knoxville World's Fair was held in 1982, nearly 14 years before the episode originally aired) and the aging Sunsphere has been turned into the Wigsphere (a wig shop). Despite the group having come a long way for nothing, Bart tries to be optimistic and points out that they still have a car and a lot of money. However, Martin informs the group that they don't have any more money as he spent their last ten dollars on an Al Gore doll. Out of extreme anger Nelson throws a rock at the Sunsphere, which topples it over and destroys their car.

Now without a car, any money and no one else knowing where they really were, the boys are forced to admit that they are stranded in Tennessee. Martin maturely says that they should call their parents. Bart, terrified of the punishment that their parents (specifically his own) would lay upon them convinces everyone to find a way to get home on their own. So, the boys go to a local pawn shop to make money. Nelson grabs Milhouse's glasses and gives them to the register. The register says that they are perfect for rebottling some antique coke bottles but takes back the money after Milhouse blindly and accidentally knocks down and shatters all of the coke bottles. The kids try to catch a train that leads through Springfield, they succeed in tossing their luggage onto the train but fail to get on themselves (after the train outspeeds them, abandoning the gang without any luggage).

With no other options left Bart calls Lisa and tells her the truth, which confirms her earlier suspicions. She gleefully states he will be in so much trouble when he gets home, however one story from Bart about how he is pretty much already in deep trouble convinces her to help without telling Homer or Marge. She suggests that he become a Courier as a possible way to get home. Bart manages to get a job (even with his unlaminated, unsigned license). His first job takes him to Hong Kong to deliver eyeballs, while his friends stay behind (during the trip, Principal Skinner sees Bart at the airport). After finally returning from his first delivery, Bart calls Lisa and tells her that she needs to help him find a method to have a package the large enough to accommodate Martin, Milhouse and Nelson that also has a shipping destination to Springfield. Lisa tells Bart that she's not sure how she could be of any help regarding that issue as such a delivery would cost a small fortune. A frustrated Bart tells Lisa that they're counting on her, before he's ordered by his manager to deliver Big Macs to Marlon Brando's private island.

The following morning, while Lisa meets with Homer, he notices that she seems troubled by something and asks her what is the problem. Lisa agrees to tell Homer on the condition that he wouldn't tell anyone else (especially Bart) and she explains just what Bart has been up to. Homer's face goes a literal red with fury and he vents his displeasure by yelling into the helmet of his hazmat suit to the point that the visor completely fogs up. Homer plans to send Bart the money to get home before murdering him for lying but is unable to otherwise he will spoil Lisa's trust in him by revealing she violated her agreement with Bart not to say anything. After some slight research about the location of Knoxville and learning that it's home to the Oak Ridge Nuclear Facility, Lisa and Homer decide that the best course of action would be to order something from the facility so Bart can act as the courier. Homer calls Oak Ridge, but quickly realizes that he doesn't know what to order, until he looks down at his T-437 console and places an order for a replacement. When the facility informs him that his console is fully operational, Homer purposefully spills Buzz Cola on it causing a malfunction and then finishes the order using a pseudonym to hide his involvement. Bart forces Nelson, Milhouse and Martin to get in the crate while flying home and after talking about his trip to the "Grammar Rodeo" at dinner everyone knows about the trip and glares at him except Marge, who smiles after hearing the story. After going to bed she receives a call from Skinner asking if Bart traveled to Hong Kong, a call asking if Bart's car was abandoned in Tennessee, and a call inquiring about Bart's availability to deliver a human kidney to Amsterdam. After saying no to all of these calls, Homer chuckles and Marge asks him if he is laughing at her.


This episode was enjoyed by fans and critics alike.


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