Simpsons Wiki
Simpsons Wiki
Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire
Bart the Genius
Homer's Odyssey

Cultural References

  • In the opening scene, Maggie spells EMCSQU with her blocks, a reference to Albert Einstein's mass-energy equivalence equation. A picture of Einstein also appears on the wall of Dr. Pyror's office. At one point Homer erroneously refers to Einstein as the inventor of the light bulb.
  • Dr. Pyror compares Bart's proposed work among ordinary children to Jane Goodall's study of chimpanzees.
  • When he puts the calipers against Bart's head, Dr. Pryor conducts what is known as phrenology, a mental state analysis which was discredited in the scientific community by the 1840s.
  • The conductor of the opera the family attends is named Boris Csuposki, a reference to animator Gábor Csupó. The opera attended by the family is Carmen, by Georges Bizet; the song Bart mocks during the overture is the famous aria called the Toreador Song. The aria is later sung by "the bullfighter". Oddly enough, he doesn't sing it in French.
  • The Simpsons are playing Scrabble at the beginning of the episode.
  • After the explosion which occurs when Bart mixes acids and bases, Bart turns green like The Incredible Hulk. Bart is also open about his love of comic books when he opts to read, and then takes, a disregarded Radioactive Man comic book which was being used as by Ms. Mellon's class as a prop in a film about illiteracy.
  • Homer banging on Bart's locked bedroom door, yelling at Bart to open it, is a reference to the closing credits of The Flintstones where Fred is banging on the locked door outside, yelling at Wilma to open it.
  • The form of education used at the Enriched Learning Center for Gifted Children may be a reference to the Sudbury method of education, in which students take complete responsibility and control of their education and choose what they want to do every day.


  • Milhouse has black hair in this episode. But in Season 2 onward, his hair is blue, even though his hair was blue in his first appearance.
  • This is the first episode where Bart uses his soon-to-be-infamous catchphrase "Eat My Shorts!"
  • A Radioactive Man comic book is seen, though the title character's appearance is vastly different from his appearance in later episodes.
  • This is the first episode production-wise appearance of Principal Skinner and Milhouse Van Houten, yet Milhouse's actual first appearance was in The Butterfinger Group.
  • This episode contains the first guest star of the show, Marcia Wallace as Edna Krabappel and Ms. Mellon.
  • This is the first couch gag to visually continue into the TV scene.


  • This is the first episode to primarily focuses on Bart.
  • There is a picture of Bart on the wall opposite one of Albert Einstein in Dr. Pyror's office.
  • After Bart comes home green Homer washes him in turpentine.
  • Homer thinks it was Albert Einstein that invented the light bulb. In fact it was Thomas Edison about which would Homer be interested in "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace".
  • When the Simpsons are playing Scrabble, Homer is complaining that he has no good letters; his slate of letters shows "O-X-I-D-I-Z-E", which is the highest word score one can achieve in Scrabble by using seven letters.
  • Martin Prince is the train conductor when Bart is told to visualize his IQ problems.
  • Principal Skinner devotes an entire file drawer to Bart Simpson.
  • Martin's IQ is revealed to be 216.
    • Originally, it was intended that, thanks to Bart's cheating on the IQ test, in addition to Bart being sent to a school for gifted children, Martin would have been sent to a school for intellectually disabled kids.
  • Bart wears a pink shirt to his first day of class at the "Enriched Learning Center for Gifted Children". Homer later (unintentionally) does this same thing in a future episode.
  • This is the first episode to feature a character naked.
  • Books on the shelf in Bart's new advanced school classroom include Crime & Punishment, Babylonian Myths, Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, Plato, Dante's Inferno, The Illiad, Design of Computers (remember this is 1990), Astrophysics, Wana by Emile Zona, Puskin, Shakespeare I-XV, Quantum Mechanics, and the Life of Leonardo.
  • The Simpsons attend the opera "Carmen", advertised as "Tonight Only in Russian."
  • After he is dubbed a genius, Bart's Principal Skinner graffiti is framed and labeled as a work of art entitled "The Principal" by Bart Simpson.
  • Bart's word Kwyjibo is later used in Champions Online as the name of a super-powered gorilla. Here it's spelled with a Q instead of a K. It is also used in the demo version of the LucasArts game The Secret of Monkey Island, also released in 1990.
  • Some people consider this to be a prequel to "Bart Gets an "F"".
  • When Martin is telling Principal Skinner that Bart is spray painting the wall, there is a blonde girl in the background that resembles Lisa except that her hair is more spikey than Lisa's and is wearing a blue-green dress.
  • This is the first episode to air in the 1990s.
  • This is the first episode to have the 1993 20th Television logo with the bylineless on it.
  • The plotline for this episode was inspired by Jon Vitti's own childhood, where several of his peers did not take IQ tests seriously and ended up suffering for it academically. He also reversed the situation due to Bart not really coming across as intelligent in the first place.
  • This episode, or more specifically, its animation quality, was the reason why the show was allowed to air another episode, as the extremely poor animation quality for "Some Enchanted Evening" meant that if this episode had as bad of animation quality as the aforementioned episode, the show would have been cancelled.
  • Ironically, regarding the catalyst for Bart admitting he cheated in the IQ test, Bart would later be revealed to be gifted in chemistry in Haw-Haw Land.


  • Ms. Mellon is seen dancing with Jacques in the music video Do the Bartman.
  • Homer comments to Bart that for generations Simpson men have dreamed of outsmarting someone. Homer does just that, by outsmarting Cooder in "Bart Carny".
  • Someone suggests to Bart that he build a rocket ship. In "She of Little Faith", Bart worked on a rocket ship.
  • Dr. Pyror explains that high intelligence is usually caused by heredity. In "Homer Loves Flanders" it is mentioned that genetics are making Homer a loser. The Simpsons' genetic intelligence was further explored in "Lisa the Simpson".
  • In this episode, Mrs. Krabappel states that the IQ tests will have no effect on the students's grades and are merely a reflection of the students's future success, but in the "Treehouse of Horror VI" story, "Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace", she encourages the class to fail their latest standardized test because the school gets more funding this way.
  • Principal Skinner has a secretary and an intercom in this episode. However, in "Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One)", Principal Skinner says he doesn't have a secretary or an intercom.


Homer missing his hair

  • Marge believes 'He' to be worth 2 points, but in reality, it is worth 5, as H= 4 points and E = 1 point.

Milhouse with black hair

  • In one shot at the breakfast table, Homer is missing the wisps of hair at the top of his head, and it appears that Bart’s forehead is unusually tall.
  • When Ms. Mellon writes the solution to the RDRR calculus problem, she omits the 'r' variable in the second line, causing the equation to read as if the 3 is squared instead of the r.
  • Marcia Wallace's name is misspelled as "Marsha Wallace" in the closing credits. This may have been intended, as cast members sometimes use an pseudonym.
  • Earlier in the episode, Milhouse's hair is the regular blue, but later in the episode, it appears to be black.
  • In a shot in the classroom the background is just blue.

Shorts: Season 3 Season 1 References/Trivia Season 2
Simpsons Roasting on an Open FireBart the GeniusHomer's OdysseyThere's No Disgrace Like HomeBart the GeneralMoaning LisaThe Call of the SimpsonsThe Telltale HeadLife on the Fast LaneHomer's Night OutThe Crepes of WrathKrusty Gets BustedSome Enchanted Evening