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"Bart the Lover"
The Simpsons episode
"Bart the Lover"
A guilty Bart looks at Mrs. Krabappel, who is distraught after being stood-up by "Woodrow."
Episode no. 51
Prod. code 8F16
Orig. airdate February 13, 1992
Show runner(s) Al Jean & Mike Reiss
Written by Jon Vitti
Directed by Carlos Baeza
Couch gag An octopus-like alien sits on the couch, and then disappears, before the family arrives.
Matt Groening
Mike Reiss
Jon Vitti
David Silverman
Al Jean (Easter Egg)

"Bart the Lover" is the sixteenth episode of The Simpsons' third season which is an early look at the personal life of Edna Krabappel. Marcia Wallace, the voice actress of Mrs. Krabappel, won an Emmy for her performance in this episode.



As a yo-yo craze sweeps through the elementary school when a group of four demonstrate the potential of the toys, Mrs. Krabappel feels increasingly isolated and places a personal ad in the newspaper. Bart breaks the class fish tank with his yo-yo, and is given one month of detention by Mrs. Krabappel. While snooping in her desk to take back his yo-yo, he discovers her personal ad, and decides to pull a prank and respond by mail (complete with spelling errors), creating a new alter ego. Bart pretends to be an adult male called Woodrow, named after former President Woodrow Wilson, with a photograph which actually belongs to ice hockey player Gordie Howe, circa 1969. Bart, as Woodrow, writes Mrs. Krabappel other letters, telling her what she wants to hear. Bart then sends a letter asking for them to meet at the Gilded Truffle. Bart sees Mrs. Krabappel waiting for Woodrow, and then he goes to watch the movie "Ernest Needs a Kidney" and when he comes back sees Mrs. Krabappel still at the restaurant on the verge of tears. Bart is upset and guilty to see her crying. He tells the family what he had done, and The Simpsons then write a romantically diplomatic letter to tell how Woodrow must go and his constant remembrance of her from the wind, which heals Edna's wounds.

Meanwhile, Homer attempts to cut down on his cursing after receiving a complaint from Ned Flanders. Homer tries to criticize Flanders in return but only comes up with criticizing his moustache, which Ned promises to shave off in return for Homer curtailing uses of profanity. He promises to put money in a "swear jar" - 25 cents for each curse - after Marge relates a tale of her own father who had the same problem. In the end, he resists temptations to curse but nevertheless experiences intense feelings of rage. However, his constant swearing - when he accidentally puts $20.00 in the church collection plate, when he can't bowl a strike, when Flanders becomes a successful commercial actor after having shaved off his moustache, when he builds a doghouse with no door, and when a beehive falls on him - eventually puts enough money in the jar to purchase a dog house for Santa's Little Helper, as well as some beer as a treat for himself.

The credits roll displaying Gordie Howe's professional hockey statistics.


Marcia Wallace, the voice actress of Mrs. Krabappel, won an Emmy for her performance in this episode.

Since airing, the episode has received mostly positive reviews from television critics. It was named the eighth best episode of The Simpsons by Sarah Culp of The Quindecim.[1] Bill Gibron of DVD Verdict said "Bart the Lover" represent The Simpsons "at its apex as a well tuned talent machine grinding out the good stuff with surprising accuracy and skill."[2] Gibron added that the episode shows that the made-up romance between Mrs. Krabappel and Woodrow "works because it's so painfully true. [...] How the kiss-off to Mrs. K is created and handled shows that The Simpsons has heart to add to its humor."[2] Nate Meyers of Digitally Obsessed gave the episode a 5/5 rating. He thought the intertwining of the two plots in the episode "works very well, creating a fast paced story. Bart's alias, Woodrow, is a delight to hear in voice-overs and Homer's antics produce many laughs."[3] DVD Movie Guide's Colin Jacobson said "Bart the Lover" stands out as a "very strong episode" because it "steers clear of most potentially sappy material and offers a lively piece. [...] The 'B' story in which Homer tries not to swear also swings and creates some great moments."[4] The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, said they "loved" Homer's suggestion for the kiss-off letter from Woodrow: "Dear Edna. Welcome to Dumpsville, population: you. P.S. I am gay."[5] In 2000, the staff of the Star Tribune listed their top ten episodes. "Bart the Lover" was listed at number four.[6]

In 2002, Bill Brioux of The Canadian Press ranked the episode and it's use of Gordie Howe as the top reference to Canada on the show.[7] In 2004, ESPN released a list of the Top 100 Simpsons sport moments, ranking Gordie Howe's image in the episode at number 34.[8]


  1. ^ Culp, Sarah (February 19, 2003). "The Simpsons' Top 25 Episodes". The Quindecim. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  2. ^ a b Gibron, Bill (December 15, 2003). "The Simpsons: The Complete Third Season". DVD Verdict. Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
  3. ^ Meyers, Nate (June 23, 2004). "The Simpsons: The Complete Third Season". Digitally Obsessed. Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
  4. ^ Jacobson, Colin (August 21, 2003). "The Simpsons: The Complete Third Season (1991)". DVD Movie Guide. Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
  5. ^ Martyn, Warren; Wood, Adrian (2000). "Bart the Lover". BBC. Retrieved 2009-06-07. 
  6. ^ Justin, Neal (2000-01-28). "Homer's odyssey - What a long, strange trip it's been for TV's longest-running sitcom, " The Simpsons ." Here are 10 of our favorite stops along the way". Star Tribune. 
  7. ^ Brioux, Bill (2002-02-17). "D'oh Canada". Jam! Television. Canadian Online Explorer. 
  8. ^ Collins, Greg (2004-01-23). "The Simpsons Got Game". ESPN. Retrieved 2010-03-08. 

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Simple English

"Bart the Lover" is the sixteenth episode of The Simpsons third season. In this episode, it takes an early look at the personal life of Mrs. Krabappel. Marcia Wallace, the voice actress of Mrs. Krabappel, won an Emmy for her performance in this episode.

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