Lisa gets an imaginary friend who makes her feel much better about her friends. Meanwhile, Homer gets a vehicle with awesome torque.
Homer is to be prescribed a drug by Dr. Hibbert for his low testosterone, but when he sees a preview commercial for a high-torque truck, he buys that instead. The truck comes with a subscription to a music streaming service. Its algorithm recommends that Lisa listen to The Snuffs, a British band fronted by Quilloughby (parodies of Morrissey and The Smiths).
Lisa is inspired by Quilloughby's veganism and gets vegan tacos on the school menu, but they are mistakenly made with bacon. Disgusted, she finds solace from the singer in the form of an imaginary friend who gives her witty retorts to Bart and her teachers. A concerned Principal Skinner calls Homer and Marge to school. Marge then cancels Lisa's music subscription.
The imaginary singer advises Lisa to steal Homer's credit card to afford entry to a music festival, where the real Quilloughby is performing. She tires of the imaginary singer's cynicism and is shocked to see that the real one is now an overweight bigot and has abandoned veganism. As an advice, The imaginary Quilloughby tells Lisa that she shouldn't let that happen to her and that she shouldn't sneer at everything and listen to people a bit. Lisa happliy tells Quilloughby that he's the best imaginary friend she could ask for before Quilloughby disappears and enters her badge. The real Quillughby is then booed off stage and Homer and Marge find Lisa, who worries about her future as a teenager. Marge, seeing the similarity between Lisa's behavior and her own rebellious phase against her mother, comforts Lisa and reassures her she will always be there for her.
Behind the Laughter
This episode has been both praised and criticized by fans of The Smiths and Morrissey.
The episode was criticized by Peter Katsis, the manager of British singer-songwriter Morrissey, upon whom the Quilloughby character is at least partially based. He called The Simpsons "hurtful and racist," referencing Hank Azaria's apology earlier in the week to people of Indian heritage for his longtime portrayal of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. He was particularly upset by the depiction of the older Quilloughby as overweight and meat-eating, while the real Morrissey remains vegan. Morrissey himself wrote that the depiction was "taunting" a lawsuit, but he did not have the means to legally challenge it, adding "in a world obsessed with Hate Laws, there are none that protect me". Katsis believed that The Simpsons staff said that the character was based on several people, so that Morrissey could not sue. He also was critical of the character's voice actor, Benedict Cumberbatch; "Could he be that hard up for cash that he would agree to bad rap another artist that harshly?".
Morrissey himself has also criticized the episode. The day after the episode aired, Morrissey said that "The hatred shown towards me from the creators of The Simpsons is obviously a taunting lawsuit, but one that requires more funding than I could possibly muster in order to make a challenge."