The Simpsons' third season originally aired on the Fox network between September 19, 1991 and August 27, 1992. The showrunners for the third production season were Al Jean and Mike Reiss who executive produced 22 episodes for the season, while two other episodes were produced by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, and Sam Simon. An additional episode, "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?", aired on August 27, 1992 after the official end of the third season and is included on the Season 3 DVD set. Season three won six Primetime Emmy Awards for "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance" and also received a nomination for "Outstanding Animated Program" for the episode "Radio Bart". The complete season was released on DVD in Region 1 on August 26, 2003, Region 2 on October 6, 2003, and in Region 4 on October 22, 2003.
|The Simpsons (season 3)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||24|
|Original release||September 19, 1991 –|
August 27, 1992
Al Jean and Mike Reiss, who had written for The Simpsons since the start of the show, took over as showrunners this season. Their first episode as showrunners was "Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington" and they felt a lot of pressure about running the show. They also ran the following season and Jean would return as executive producer in season 13. There were two episodes, "Kamp Krusty" and "A Streetcar Named Marge", that were produced at the same time, but aired during season four as holdover episodes. Two episodes that aired during this season, "Stark Raving Dad" and "When Flanders Failed", were executive produced during the previous season by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening and Sam Simon.
Carlos Baeza and Jeffrey Lynch received their first directing credits this season. Alan Smart, an assistant director and layout artist, would receive his only directing credit. One-time writers from this season include Robert Cohen, Howard Gewirtz, Ken Levine and David Isaacs. Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein, who would later become executive producers, became a part of the writing staff to replace Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky both of whom had decided to leave the next season. The current arrangement of the theme song was introduced during this season.
A crossover episode with the live-action sitcom Thirtysomething, titled "Thirtysimpsons", was written by David Stern for this season, but was never produced because it "never seemed to work". The crossover would involve Homer meeting a group of Yuppies and hanging out with them.
The season premiere episode was "Stark Raving Dad", which guest starred Michael Jackson as the speaking voice of Leon Kompowsky. One of Jackson's conditions for guest starring was that he voiced himself under a pseudonym. While he recorded the voice work for the character, all of his singing was performed by Kipp Lennon, because Jackson wanted to play a joke on his brothers. Michael Jackson's lines were recorded at a second session by Brooks. The January 30, 1992 rerun of the episode featured a brief alternate opening, which was written in response to a comment made by then-President of the United States George H. W. Bush. On January 27, 1992 Bush made a speech during his re-election campaign where he said, "We are going to keep on trying to strengthen the American family, to make American families a lot more like The Waltons and a lot less like The Simpsons." The writers decided that they wanted to respond by adding a response to the next broadcast of The Simpsons, which was a rerun of "Stark Raving Dad" on January 30. The broadcast included a new tongue-in-cheek opening where they watch Bush's speech. Bart replies, "Hey, we're just like the Waltons. We're praying for an end to the Depression, too".
On April 30, The Simpsons aired a repeat episode opposite the final episode of The Cosby Show on NBC. After the episode was over, a short clip of new animation showed Bart and Homer happily watching The Cosby Show finale. Bart asks Homer why Bill Cosby took the show off the air when it is still very popular. Homer replies that, "Mr. Cosby wanted to end the show before the quality began to suffer." Bart replies, "Quality, shmality. If I had a TV show, I'd run that baby into the ground!"
"Homer at the Bat" is the first episode in the series to feature a large supporting cast of guest stars. The idea was suggested by Sam Simon, who wanted an episode filled with real Major League Baseball players. They did manage to get nine players who agreed to guest star and they were recorded over a period of six months. Several new characters were introduced this season, including Lunchlady Doris, Fat Tony, Legs and Louie, Rabbi Hyman Krustofski, Lurleen Lumpkin, and Kirk and Luann Van Houten.
This season's production run (8F) was the last to be animated by Klasky Csupo, before the show's producers Gracie Films opted to switch domestic production of the series to Film Roman. Sharon Bernstein of the Los Angeles Times wrote that "Gracie executives had been unhappy with the producer Csupo had assigned to The Simpsons and said the company also hoped to obtain better wages and working conditions for animators at Film Roman." Klasky Csupo co-founder Gábor Csupó had been "asked [by Gracie Films] if they could bring in their own producer [to oversee the animation production]," but declined, stating "they wanted to tell me how to run my business."
The season was critically acclaimed and remains popular among the show's fanbase. In 2003, Entertainment Weekly published a list of its 25 favorite episodes and placed "Homer at the Bat", "Flaming Moe's" and "Radio Bart" at 15th, 16th and 20th positions, respectively. IGN.com made a list of the best guest appearances in the show's history, and placed Aerosmith at 24, Spinal Tap at 18, the "Homer at the Bat" baseball players at 17, Jon Lovitz at eight, and Michael Jackson at number five. IGN would later name "Flaming Moe's" the best episode of the third season. Chris Turner, the author of the book Planet Simpson, believes that the third season marks the beginning of "the Golden Age" of The Simpsons and pinpoints "Homer at the Bat" as the first episode of the era. Bill Oakley has described the season as "the best season of any TV show of all time", pinpointing its success to the fact that "a lot of the stories were pretty grounded, but they took a couple of crazy leaps out into space with like, ‘Homer at the Bat’", stating that he and Josh Weinstein used the season as a model when they were The Simpsons' showrunners for seasons 7 and 8.
1992 was The Simpsons' most successful year at the Primetime Emmy Awards, with the series receiving six Emmys, all for "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance", a category which is juried rather than competitive. The recipients were: Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson in "Separate Vocations"; Dan Castellaneta as Homer Simpson in "Lisa's Pony"; Julie Kavner as Marge Simpson in "I Married Marge"; Jackie Mason as Rabbi Hyman Krustofski in "Like Father, Like Clown"; Yeardley Smith as Lisa Simpson in "Lisa the Greek"; and Marcia Wallace as Edna Krabappel in "Bart the Lover". Mason is the only irregular guest star from the show to win an Emmy. The series received three other Emmy nominations: for "Outstanding Animated Program" with the episode "Radio Bart"; for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore)" (Alf Clausen) and "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special" (Brad Brock, Peter Cole, Anthony D'Amico, Gary Gegan), both for the episode "Treehouse of Horror II".
The series also won an Annie Award for Best Animated Television Production, an Environmental Media Award nomination for "Best Television Episodic Comedy" for the episode "Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington", and a People's Choice Award nomination for "Favorite Series Among Young People".
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|36||1||"Stark Raving Dad"||Rich Moore||Al Jean & Mike Reiss||September 19, 1991||7F24||22.9|
Homer's sanity is called into question when he arrives at work wearing a pink shirt. After Bart takes Homer's mental stability test for him, Homer is committed to a mental hospital where he meets a big, hulking bald man who says his name is Michael Jackson. Meanwhile, Lisa is depressed over her upcoming eighth birthday, but is very happy in the end to receive a song that is written specially for her birthday.|
Guest star: Michael Jackson (under the pseudonym of "John Jay Smith") and Kipp Lennon.
|37||2||"Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington"||Wes Archer||George Meyer||September 26, 1991||8F01||20.2|
|While reading a copy of Reading Digest, Homer finds an entry form for an essay contest for which Lisa signs up. When she wins the contest, she and the family travel to Washington, D.C. where the finals are to be held. Here, Lisa bears witness to the seedy underbelly of politics and becomes bitterly disappointed after learning of a bribery scandal involving Springfield's state congressman. In her final essay, she disdains and condemns the government system, which leads to the arrest of the corrupt congressman. While she fails to win the contest, her faith in government is restored.|
|38||3||"When Flanders Failed"||Jim Reardon||Jon Vitti||October 3, 1991||7F23||22.8|
|Homer makes a wish for Ned Flanders to be a financial failure. The wish comes to life when Flanders's store catering to left-handed people goes out of business, causing the Flanders family to end up financially in trouble. When finding out that Ned's house is to be repossessed, Homer feels guilty and decides to help by telling all the left-handed population of Springfield about the Leftorium and calling in a few favors from his friends. This helps Ned keep the store and get his house back. Meanwhile, Bart goes to the Japanese bartender Akira and takes karate lessons, but quits after he discovers that it is not as interesting as he had expected it to be.|
|39||4||"Bart the Murderer"||Rich Moore||John Swartzwelder||October 10, 1991||8F03||20.8|
After having a terrible day at school, Bart stumbles upon the "Legitimate Businessman's Social Club" Mafia bar where the leader, Fat Tony, hires him to work as their permanent bartender. However, when Principal Skinner ends up missing for nearly a week, Bart is immediately blamed for murdering him, causing Bart to get sent to court. As Bart is about to get convicted, the principal shows up which leads to Bart being cleared of all the charges.|
Guest star: Joe Mantegna, Neil Patrick Harris.
|40||5||"Homer Defined"||Mark Kirkland||Howard Gewirtz||October 17, 1991||8F04||20.6|
Homer accidentally saves the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and is ashamed when people mistake him for a hero. When another impending meltdown threatens the Shelbyville plant, he is asked to perform his heroic deeds once again. He is lucky again, but this time he is derided as a lucky imbecile, even more so than he was hailed as a hero. Meanwhile, Milhouse's mom forbids him to be friends with Bart as she feels he is a bad influence on him.|
Guest star: Magic Johnson, Chick Hearn and Jon Lovitz.
|41||6||"Like Father, Like Clown"||Jeffrey Lynch & Brad Bird||Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky||October 24, 1991||8F05||20.2|
When Krusty comes over to the Simpsons' house for dinner, he reveals to them that he is of Jewish heritage, and that his father, Rabbi Krustofski disowned him for pursuing a career in comedy, and not a successful career as a rabbi. Krusty starts to fall apart and Bart and Lisa decide to contact the rabbi and convince him to forgive Krusty. The rabbi at first refuses to see Krusty, but Bart convinces him to do so, and the two reunite.|
Guest star: Jackie Mason.
|42||7||"Treehouse of Horror II"||Jim Reardon||Al Jean, Mike Reiss, Jeff Martin, George Meyer, Sam Simon & John Swartzwelder||October 31, 1991||8F02||20|
When Homer, Bart, and Lisa eat a ton of candy, the three begin having various nightmares:|
Lisa's nightmare (The Monkey's Paw): The Simpsons visit Morocco and find a monkey's paw that makes all their wishes come true – with dire consequences.
Bart's nightmare (The Bart Zone): In this parody of the Twilight Zone episode "It's a Good Life", the town of Springfield must think happy thoughts or suffer the powers of Bart's twisted imagination.
Homer's nightmare (If I Only Had a Brain): In a parody of the 1931 film Frankenstein, Mr. Burns kills Homer so he can transplant his brain into a robot to create a super-efficient worker.
|43||8||"Lisa's Pony"||Carlos Baeza||Al Jean & Mike Reiss||November 7, 1991||8F06||23|
When Lisa requires a new saxophone reed for her talent recital, she asks Homer, who immediately promises to buy her one. Though when Homer breaks his promise, he makes up for it by giving Lisa the one thing she had always wanted, a pony named Princess. With a new pony in the house, Homer struggles with two jobs to cover the cost. Lisa, upon seeing what Homer must go through to pay for the pony, decides to sell it.|
Guest star: Frank Welker.
|44||9||"Saturdays of Thunder"||Jim Reardon||Ken Levine & David Isaacs||November 14, 1991||8F07||24.7|
|After taking a fatherhood quiz, Homer realizes that he knows nothing about Bart, and in the result, strives to be a better father after learning that Bart is one of the racers in the Soapbox Derby. Their entry is not very good, so Bart decides to drive Martin Prince's much nicer racer. Homer is at first devastated, but decides that he must be a good father and support Bart. Bart later goes on to win the race.|
|45||10||"Flaming Moe's"||Rich Moore & Alan Smart||Robert Cohen||November 21, 1991||8F08||23.9|
One night at Moe's Tavern, Homer tells Moe Szyslak of a secret alcoholic cocktail made with cough syrup and fire that he calls "Flaming Homer". When Moe tries Homer's recipe in the bar, he finds it boosts his business and patronage, so Moe steals the recipe from Homer. Later, Moe is about to sell the recipe for $1,000,000 but Homer comes and divulges the secret ingredient, only to find out that Moe was planning to split the million with him.|
Guest star: Aerosmith.
|46||11||"Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk"||Mark Kirkland||Jon Vitti||December 5, 1991||8F09||21.1|
The stock in the Nuclear Plant skyrockets amid rumors of a takeover meaning that all the workers get rich, except for Homer who has sold his stockholding for a mere $25 and fears that he will lose his job. The rumors prove true as two German businessmen buy the plant from Mr. Burns for $100 million and fire Homer for incompetence. Mr. Burns decides to buy the plant back when he discovers that his former employees no longer fear him.|
Guest star: Phil Hartman.
|47||12||"I Married Marge"||Jeffrey Lynch||Jeff Martin||December 26, 1991||8F10||21.9|
|After worrying that she may yet again be pregnant, Marge drives to Dr. Hibbert's office. While anxiously waiting, Homer begins to tell Bart, Lisa, and Maggie about how he and Marge got married at a quickie wedding chapel, and how he attempted to prove to Marge's sisters that he can provide for their upcoming child.|
|48||13||"Radio Bart"||Carlos Baeza||Jon Vitti||January 9, 1992||8F11||24.2|
When Bart's birthday party turns into a disaster, he uses a radio transmitter microphone Homer gave him to play pranks on other citizens. He decides to throw a radio down an old well and tricks the town into thinking a little boy is stuck in it. At first he is successful, but Lisa reminds him that he left a "property of Bart Simpson" label on the radio and goes to retrieve it. Bart becomes trapped in the well and the town gets angry and decide to leave him there. Homer later gets fed up with the townspeople's ignorance and frantically tries to rescue him. He digs a hole near the well, which helps the townspeople realise the error of their ways and offer help.|
Guest star: Sting.
|49||14||"Lisa the Greek"||Rich Moore||Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky||January 23, 1992||8F12||23.2|
|Homer begins to bond with Lisa after learning her unique and convenient ability to pick winning American football teams. However, Homer secretly takes advantage of Lisa's ability, using it to gamble money off Moe. When Homer selfishly chooses going bowling with Barney instead of going on a mountain hike with Lisa, Lisa finds out Homer had only been using her for gambling, and refuses to speak to him until he fully understands her.|
|50||15||"Homer Alone"||Mark Kirkland||David M. Stern||February 6, 1992||8F14||23.7|
The family's dependence on Marge causes Marge to suffer a nervous breakdown during her early morning errands, and she decides to go to a spa resort to calm down. Homer, meanwhile, has to care for the troublesome Maggie while Bart and Lisa spend their time with their spinster aunts, Patty and Selma. The entire family realizes how much they need Marge to take care of things, and everybody is happy when she eventually returns from the spa.|
Guest star: Phil Hartman.
|51||16||"Bart the Lover"||Carlos Baeza||Jon Vitti||February 13, 1992||8F16||20.5|
|When a yo-yo craze sweeps over Springfield Elementary School, Bart's errant yo-yo happens to break a fish tank, killing the class goldfish. Edna Krabappel sentences Bart to a month of detention. Bart decides to write phony love letters to her under the guise of a man who responded to her personal ad. Meanwhile, Homer tries to cut back on swearing after Flanders complains that Todd is picking up on the foul language.|
|52||17||"Homer at the Bat"||Jim Reardon||John Swartzwelder||February 20, 1992||8F13||24.6|
The Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team proves to be a huge success with Homer as their official star player. But after Mr. Burns makes a bet with Shelbyville Nuclear Power Plant owner Aristotle Amadopoulis, he hires nine professional baseball players to fill out the team. However, eight of those ringers fall victim to separate misfortunes, and Burns is forced to turn to his regular employees, who win the game.|
Guest star: Wade Boggs, Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey, Jr., Don Mattingly, Steve Sax, Mike Scioscia, Ozzie Smith, Terry Cashman and Darryl Strawberry.
|53||18||"Separate Vocations"||Jeffrey Lynch||George Meyer||February 27, 1992||8F15||23.7|
The school makes the students take an aptitude test, and it ends up suggesting Bart become a policeman and Lisa become a homemaker instead of a professional jazz musician. While Lisa becomes a troublemaker, Bart improves his grades and behavior and is chosen to be Principal Skinner's newest hall monitor.|
Guest star: Steve Allen.
|54||19||"Dog of Death"||Jim Reardon||John Swartzwelder||March 12, 1992||8F17||23.4|
|Santa's Little Helper falls ill and the family must make budget cuts in order to pay for his operation. Although his own life is saved, the family begins getting angry with him for losing out on their favorite things so he runs away. Santa's Little Helper ends up in the possession of Mr. Burns, who trains him to become a vicious attack dog. Bart stumbles across the new Santa's Little Helper and is attacked, but Santa's Little Helper recognizes Bart and decides to stop the attack.|
|55||20||"Colonel Homer"||Mark Kirkland||Matt Groening||March 26, 1992||8F19||25.5|
After his behavior at the movie theater embarrasses Marge, Homer and Marge have a large argument, causing Homer to head to a redneck bar where he meets a beautiful barmaid named Lurleen Lumpkin with a talent for singing. Homer becomes her manager and does everything he can to make Lurleen famous, but it takes a very long time for him to notice Lurleen has fallen in love with him. With Marge already upset and thinking Homer's the one with the roving eyes, it is time for him to decide on his romantic future.|
Guest star: Beverly D'Angelo.
|56||21||"Black Widower"||David Silverman||Story by : Thomas Chastain & Sam Simon |
Teleplay by : Jon Vitti
|April 9, 1992||8F20||17.3|
Selma reveals that she has a new boyfriend that she met through the prison pen-pal program, Sideshow Bob. Bart is immediately suspicious of Bob, but Bob does everything he can to romance Selma and prove he's changed. After Selma and Bob are married, Bob reveals that he plans to kill Selma, but he is stopped by Bart.|
Guest star: Kelsey Grammer.
|57||22||"The Otto Show"||Wes Archer||Jeff Martin||April 23, 1992||8F21||17.5|
Otto crashes the school bus, and is later discovered that he never actually owned a real driver's license, prompting authorities to fire him. Otto then moves in with the Simpsons after he has been evicted, and attempts to teach Bart to learn to play the guitar, though with difficulty. But it's the way he enrages Homer that might provide an inadvertent return ticket to his beloved bus-driving job.|
Guest star: Christopher Guest and Michael McKean.
|58||23||"Bart's Friend Falls in Love"||Jim Reardon||Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky||May 7, 1992||8F22||19.5|
Milhouse falls in love with the new girl, Samantha Stankey, jeopardizing Bart and Milhouse's friendship. Bart eventually calls Samantha's father and lets him know what is happening. Her father takes her away, which leads to Bart and Millhouse having a fight. Meanwhile, Homer orders a subliminal cassette tape to help him lose weight, but is sent one that helps him increase his vocabulary after the weight-loss tapes were sold out.|
Guest star: Kimmy Robertson.
|59||24||"Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?"||Rich Moore||John Swartzwelder||August 27, 1992||8F23||17.2|
When the radiation from the Nuclear Power Plant causes Homer to become infertile, he is awarded a complete $2,000 compensation. Meanwhile, Homer's half-brother, Herb, now living on the streets, returns with a plan on how to regain his name, wealth, and life back and reluctantly turns to Homer for help. Herb asks for Homer's $2,000 so he can develop a new product that will translate baby gibberish into speech.|
Guest star: Danny DeVito and Joe Frazier.
The DVD box set for season three was released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment in the United States and Canada on August 26, 2003, eleven years after it had completed broadcast on television. As well as every episode from the season, the DVD release features bonus material including commentaries for every episode.
|The Complete Third Season|
|Set details||Special features|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|August 26, 2003||October 6, 2003||October 22, 2003|
"Bart's Friend Falls in Love" is the twenty-third episode of The Simpsons' third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 7, 1992. In the episode, Bart's best friend Milhouse falls in love with the new girl in school, Samantha Stanky. Milhouse and Samantha spend all their free time together, leaving Bart feeling jealous and excluded. In order to ruin their relationship, Bart tells Samantha's strict father about it. As a punishment, Samantha is sent to an all-girls Catholic school, while Milhouse is left behind heartbroken. Meanwhile, Homer orders a subliminal cassette tape to help him lose weight, but is sent one that helps him increase his vocabulary after the weight-loss tapes sell out.
The episode was written by Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky, and directed by Jim Reardon. American actress Kimmy Robertson guest starred in the episode as Samantha. The opening sequence of "Bart's Friend Falls in Love" is a parody of the film Raiders of the Lost Ark, while the closing sequence parodies the film Casablanca. Since airing, the episode has received mostly positive reviews from television critics. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 12.4 and was the fourth highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.Bart the Murderer
"Bart the Murderer" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons' third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 10, 1991. In the episode, Bart stumbles upon the Mafia bar, Legitimate Businessman's Social Club, after having a terrible day at school. The owner of the bar, mobster Fat Tony, hires Bart to work as its bartender. When Principal Skinner goes missing after punishing Bart in school, Bart is soon accused of having him murdered and is put on trial. As he is about to get convicted, Skinner arrives and explains that he was accidentally trapped in his garage all week, clearing Bart.
The episode was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Rich Moore. Fat Tony (voiced by Joe Mantegna) and his henchmen, Legs and Louie, made their first appearances on The Simpsons. The episode features cultural references to songs such as "Witchcraft" and "One Fine Day", and the American television series MacGyver. Since airing, the episode has received mostly positive reviews from television critics. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 13.4 and was the highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.Black Widower
"Black Widower" is the 21st episode of The Simpsons' third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 9, 1992. It was written by Jon Vitti, directed by David Silverman, and saw Kelsey Grammer guest star as Sideshow Bob for the second time. In the episode, Sideshow Bob—Bart's archenemy—marries Bart's Aunt Selma. Bart believes that Bob is planning something sinister rather than marrying for love. He realizes that Bob is planning to kill Selma; he prevents the attempted murder, and Bob is sent back to prison. "Black Widower" finished 39th in Nielsen ratings for the week that it originally aired. Reviewers generally enjoyed the episode, and gave Grammer's portrayal of Sideshow Bob particular praise.Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?
"Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?" is the twenty-fourth and final episode of The Simpsons' third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on August 27, 1992. It was originally supposed to be the season premiere for the next season, but Fox decided to air it earlier, to promote the series premiere of Martin.
In the episode, Homer is awarded a US$2,000 compensation after the radiation from the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant causes him to become infertile. Meanwhile, Homer's half-brother, Herb, now living on the streets, comes to the Simpsons' house with a plan on how to regain his wealth. He reluctantly turns to Homer for help, and asks for the $2,000 so that he can develop a new product that will translate baby babbling into speech. The product becomes hugely successful and Herb regains his fortune.
The episode was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Rich Moore. Danny DeVito guest starred in it as Herb, while Joe Frazier guest starred as himself. "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?" was the second time Herb appeared on the show; he had previously appeared in the season two episode "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?", in which Homer causes him to become bankrupt. The producers decided to create this episode in part because many fans were unhappy about the sad ending to "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?". "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?" received positive reviews from critics and DeVito was praised for his guest performance.Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk
"Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk" (German pronunciation: [bœːɐ̯ns fɛɐ̯ˈkaʊ̯fn̩ deːɐ̯ ˈkʁaftvɛʁk]) is the eleventh episode of The Simpsons' third season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 5, 1991. In the episode, Mr. Burns wishes to pursue other interests and therefore decides to sell his power plant to two German investors for $100 million. Safety inspector Homer is immediately fired by the Germans because of his incompetence. Later, Burns realizes that he has lost all his respectability because he can no longer control anyone.
The episode was written by Jon Vitti and directed by Mark Kirkland. Originally, the writers wanted to have Burns sell the plant to the Japanese, but they decided that it would have been too clichéd; the plot, however, remained the same with the Germans. The title is an inaccurate German translation of "Burns sells the power plant", the correct version being Burns verkauft das Kraftwerk.
In its original airing on the Fox network, the episode had a 12.6 Nielsen rating, finishing the week ranked 38th.
"Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk" received generally positive reviews from critics and was praised for several scenes, particularly the "Land of Chocolate" sequence in which Homer dances around in an imaginary land made entirely out of chocolate. The sequence was also remade in cutscenes from the episode in The Simpsons Game.Dog of Death
"Dog of Death" is the 19th episode of The Simpsons' third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 12, 1992. In the episode, Santa's Little Helper falls ill and the Simpson family must make budget cuts to pay for his operation. Although the dog's life is saved, the family begins to feel the strain of their sacrifices and starts treating him badly, causing him to run away. Santa's Little Helper ends up in the possession of Mr. Burns, who trains him to become a vicious attack dog. Several days later, Bart stumbles upon the trained Santa's Little Helper and is attacked, but the dog eventually recognizes his old friend and stops.
The episode was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Jim Reardon. The writers enjoyed the previous episodes centered on Santa's Little Helper and decided to create another one, which resulted in "Dog of Death". The episode features numerous references to popular culture, including the films The Incredible Journey and A Clockwork Orange, and the short story "The Lottery". Since airing, the episode has received positive reviews from television critics. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 14.2 and was the highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.Homer Alone
"Homer Alone" is the fifteenth episode of The Simpsons' third season and the fiftieth overall. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 6, 1992. In the episode, stress from doing housework and being underappreciated at home causes Marge to have a mental breakdown and she decides to go on a vacation. She leaves for a spa called Rancho Relaxo, putting Bart and Lisa into the care of her sisters Patty and Selma and leaving Maggie at home with Homer.
The episode was written by David M. Stern and directed by Mark Kirkland. Stern had noticed that most of the writers were pitching stories about Bart and Homer, and he thought a "deeper vein of comedy" could be reached by having Marge suffer from a nervous breakdown. Originally, Marge's trip was to a distressed mother's institute rather than a spa. However, the plot was not well received at the table read for the episode and much of it was re-written. The episode's title references the film Home Alone, which starred David Stern's brother Daniel.
"Homer Alone" contains references to the Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons, Thelma and Louise, Home Alone, MacGyver, and the song "Baby Come Back" by Player. The episode has received generally positive reviews from critics. During its original airing on the Fox network during February sweeps, it acquired a 14.2 Nielsen rating.Homer Defined
"Homer Defined" is the fifth episode of The Simpsons' third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 17, 1991. In the episode, Homer accidentally saves the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant from meltdown by arbitrarily choosing the emergency override button via a counting rhyme. He is honored as a hero and receives praise from his daughter Lisa, but he starts to feel unworthy because he knows that his so-called heroism was just luck. Meanwhile, Bart is downhearted after learning that Milhouse's mother won't let him play with Bart anymore because he is a bad influence on her son.
The episode was written by freelance writer Howard Gewirtz and directed by Mark Kirkland. Basketball player Magic Johnson of the Los Angeles Lakers made a guest appearance in the episode as himself, becoming the first professional athlete to do so on the show. He appears in two sequences, one of which sees him calling Homer to congratulate him on saving the plant. The second appearance comes later in the episode in a basketball game sequence that Lakers sportscaster Chick Hearn also guest stars in.
The episode has received generally positive reviews from critics, particularly Johnson's appearance. In its original airing on the Fox network, "Homer Defined" acquired a 12.7 Nielsen rating—the equivalent of being watched in approximately 11.69 million homes—and finished the week ranked 36th.Homer at the Bat
"Homer at the Bat" is the seventeenth episode of The Simpsons' third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 20, 1992. The episode follows the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team, led by Homer, having a winning season and making the championship game. Mr. Burns makes a large bet that the team will win and brings in nine ringers from the "big leagues" to ensure his success. It was written by John Swartzwelder, who is a big baseball fan, and directed by Jim Reardon.
Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Ken Griffey, Jr., Steve Sax, Ozzie Smith, José Canseco, Don Mattingly, Darryl Strawberry and Mike Scioscia all guest starred as themselves, playing the ringers hired by Mr. Burns. Terry Cashman sang a song over the end credits. The guest stars were recorded over several months, with differing degrees of cooperation. The episode is often named among the show's best, and was the first to beat The Cosby Show in the ratings on its original airing. In 2014, showrunner Al Jean selected it as one of five essential episodes in the show's history.I Married Marge
"I Married Marge" is the twelfth episode of The Simpsons' third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 26, 1991. In the episode, Marge worries that she may yet again be pregnant and drives to Dr. Hibbert's office. While anxiously waiting, Homer begins to tell Bart, Lisa, and Maggie the story of how he and Marge got married and how Bart was born.
Written by Jeff Martin and directed by Jeffrey Lynch, "I Married Marge" was the second flashback episode of The Simpsons after season two's "The Way We Was". It features cultural references to The Empire Strikes Back, Charlie's Angels, and Ms. Pac-Man. The title of the episode is a play on the American television series I Married Joan. Since airing, "I Married Marge" has received mostly positive reviews from television critics. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 11.9 and was the highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.
The episode was the first of three about the births of the Simpsons children, this one covering Bart's birth, with Lisa's covered in "Lisa's First Word" in the fourth season, and Maggie's covered in the sixth-season episode "And Maggie Makes Three". The episode also expands upon the family's origins as a result of Marge falling pregnant with Bart, briefly referred to in "The Way We Was", and introduces key moments, such as Bart's conception at a Mini-Golf course, which would ultimately become a major part of the series' canon.Like Father, Like Clown
"Like Father, Like Clown" is the sixth episode of The Simpsons' third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 24, 1991. In the episode, after recalling a traumatic memory, Krusty the Clown reveals to the Simpson family that he is of Jewish heritage, and that his father, Rabbi Hyman Krustofski, disowned him for pursuing a career in comedy. Krusty is emotionally upset and Bart and Lisa decide to try to reunite Krusty with his long-estranged father.
"Like Father, Like Clown" was written by the duo of Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky. Krusty's religion had not been part of the original concept of the character, so Kogen and Wolodarsky decided to parody the 1927 film The Jazz Singer and establish that Krusty is Jewish. The episode was carefully researched and two rabbis, Lavi Meier and Harold M. Schulweis, were credited as "special technical consultants". It was directed by Jeffrey Lynch and Brad Bird; as it was Lynch's first credit as a director, Bird was assigned to help him. Comedian Jackie Mason, who had once been an ordained rabbi, provided the voice of Rabbi Krustofski. The rabbi later became an infrequently recurring character voiced by Dan Castellaneta. Mason returned to voice the character in several later episodes.
In its original broadcast, "Like Father, Like Clown" finished 34th in ratings with a Nielsen rating of 12.7. Jackie Mason won a Primetime Emmy Award in 1992 for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for his performance as Rabbi Krustofski.Lisa's Pony
"Lisa's Pony" is the eighth episode in the third season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 7, 1991. In this episode, Homer goes drinking at Moe's Tavern instead of buying a new reed for Lisa's saxophone, resulting in her flopping at the school talent show. Desperate to win back his daughter's love, Homer gives Lisa the one thing she has always wanted: a pony. Homer struggles with two jobs to cover the cost of sheltering and feeding the pony. Lisa, upon seeing what Homer must go through to pay for the pony, decides to give it away.
The episode was written by Al Jean and Mike Reiss, and directed by Carlos Baeza. Lunchlady Doris, a recurring character on The Simpsons, made her first appearance on the show in this episode. "Lisa's Pony" features cultural references to films such as The Godfather and 2001: A Space Odyssey and the comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland. Since airing, the episode has received positive reviews from television critics. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 13.8 and was the highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.Lisa the Greek
"Lisa the Greek" is the fourteenth episode of The Simpsons' third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 23, 1992. In the episode, Homer begins to bond with his daughter, Lisa, after learning her unique and convenient ability to pick winning football teams, but, secretly, uses her ability to help him gamble. When Lisa finds out Homer's secret, she refuses to speak to her father until he fully understands her. "Lisa the Greek" was written by Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky, and directed by Rich Moore.
The episode was designed to satirize the Simpsons staff members' "love affair with gambling, particularly on football." "Lisa the Greek" references both the Super Bowl and the National Football League (NFL). It aired only days before Super Bowl XXVI, and correctly predicted that the Washington Redskins would win the game. Since airing, the episode has received mostly positive reviews from television critics. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 14.2, and was the highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington
"Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington" is the second episode of The Simpsons' third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 26, 1991. In the episode, Lisa enters in an essay contest to write an essay about America's greatness. When she wins it, she and the family travel to Washington, D.C. where the finals are to be held. Lisa is dismayed after witnessing a bribery scandal in the House. In her final essay, she disdains and condemns the government system, which leads to the arrest of the corrupt congressman who accepted the bribe. While Lisa fails to win the contest, her faith in government is restored.
The episode was written by George Meyer and directed by Wes Archer, and it was the first episode for which Al Jean and Mike Reiss served as show runners. It features multiple references to the 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, including the scene in which Lisa appeals to Lincoln's statue at the Lincoln Memorial for advice. Other Washington landmarks referenced in the episode include the Jefferson Memorial, the Watergate Hotel, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the White House, the National Air and Space Museum, and the Washington Monument.
The episode acquired a Nielsen rating of 12.9, and was the third highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.
It received mostly positive reviews from television critics, who praised the episode for its satire on American politics. However, the timber industry criticized the scene in which Lisa witnesses a timber industry lobbyist offering a bribe to the congressman in order to demolish the Springfield Forest. The scene was described as "an easy shot at hard-working people whose only crime is to have been born in a timber town."Radio Bart
"Radio Bart" is the thirteenth episode of The Simpsons' third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 9, 1992. In the episode, Bart receives a microphone that transmits sound to nearby AM radios. To play a prank on the citizens of Springfield, he lowers a radio down a well and uses the microphone to trick the town into thinking that a little boy is trapped. At first he is successful, but soon realizes that he left a "Property of Bart Simpson" label on the radio and goes to retrieve it, only to actually become trapped in the well. The town finds out about the prank and decides to leave Bart in the well as a consequence, before his father Homer decides to rescue him.
The episode was written by Jon Vitti and directed by Carlos Baeza. Musician Sting guest starred in the episode as himself, though the producers originally approached Bruce Springsteen to appear. The episode features cultural references to charity singles such as "We Are the World". Since airing, "Radio Bart" has received a positive critical reception from television critics. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 14.1 and was the highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired. It was nominated for an Emmy Award, but lost to A Claymation Easter.Saturdays of Thunder
"Saturdays of Thunder" is the ninth episode of The Simpsons' third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 14, 1991. In the episode, Homer takes a fatherhood quiz and realizes that he knows nothing about Bart. He strives to be a better father and learns that Bart is participating in a Soap Box Derby. Homer and Bart make a racer together; however, it is not very good. Bart decides to drive Martin's far superior racer instead, after Martin is involved in an accident where he receives a broken arm. Homer is at first devastated, but decides that he must be a good father and support Bart.
The episode was written by Ken Levine and David Isaacs, and directed by Jim Reardon. American actors Larry McKay and Phil Hartman both made guest appearances as a television announcer and Troy McClure respectively. "Saturdays of Thunder" features cultural references to films such as Ben-Hur, Lethal Weapon, and Days of Thunder. Since airing, the episode has received mostly positive reviews from television critics, who praised its sports theme. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 14.9, and was the highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.Separate Vocations
"Separate Vocations" is the eighteenth episode of The Simpsons' third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 27, 1992. In the episode, the Springfield Elementary School makes the students take career aptitude tests. When Lisa discovers that she is best suited to become a homemaker, her dreams of becoming a professional musician are shattered and, as a result, she becomes a troublemaker in school. Meanwhile, Bart discovers that he is best suited to become a policeman; this significantly improves his grades and behavior and he is chosen to be the school's new hall monitor.
The episode was written by George Meyer and directed by Jeffrey Lynch. American actor and television personality Steve Allen guest starred in the episode as the electronically altered voice of Bart in a fantasy sequence. The episode features cultural references to films such as Bullitt, The Wild One, and Beverly Hills Cop, and the television series The Streets of San Francisco. Since airing, the episode has received mostly positive reviews from television critics. It acquired a Nielsen Rating of 14.8 and was the highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired. Nancy Cartwright received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for her performance as Bart in the episode.The Otto Show
"The Otto Show" is the 22nd episode of The Simpsons' third season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 23, 1992. In the episode, Bart decides that he wants to become a rock star after attending a Spinal Tap concert, so Homer and Marge buy him a guitar. He shows the guitar to Otto the bus driver, who plays it and consequently makes the children late for school. Racing to Springfield Elementary, Otto crashes the school bus and is suspended until he can get his license back. Bart, who respects Otto, invites him to move in with the Simpson family.
The episode was written by Jeff Martin and directed by Wes Archer. It was the first episode of the show to feature Otto Mann in a prominent role. "The Otto Show" features an appearance from Spinal Tap, a parody band that first appeared in the 1984 mockumentary film This Is Spinal Tap. The episode guest stars Michael McKean as David St. Hubbins and Christopher Guest as Nigel Tufnel. Harry Shearer, who is a regular Simpsons cast member, also starred in This Is Spinal Tap and reprises his role as Derek Smalls.
In its original airing on the Fox Network, the episode had an 11.5 Nielsen rating and finished the week ranked 41st. The episode received positive reviews and Spinal Tap was ranked as the 18th best guest appearance on the show by IGN.When Flanders Failed
"When Flanders Failed" is the third episode of The Simpsons' third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 3, 1991. In the episode, Homer makes a wish for Ned Flanders's new left-handed store to go out of business. The wish comes true and gets the Flanders family into financial troubles. Ned is forced to sell his possessions, and Homer gleefully buys many of his things. When finding out that Ned's house is to be repossessed, Homer feels guilty and decides to get the store back in business by telling all the left-handed citizens about it. Meanwhile, Bart takes karate lessons but quits after discovering that it is not as interesting as he had expected it to be.
The episode was written by Jon Vitti and directed by Jim Reardon. It had an unusual amount of animation glitches because the animation studio was training a new group of animators. The episode features cultural references to playwright William Shakespeare and the film It's a Wonderful Life. The title of the episode is a reference to the title of the poem "In Flanders Fields". Since airing, the episode has received mostly positive reviews from television critics. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 13.9, and was the highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.