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"Brother's Little Helper"
The Simpsons episode
Brothers Little Helper.jpg
Bart becomes smart after he starts taking Focusyn.
Episode no. 228
Prod. code AABF22
Orig. airdate October 3, 1999
Show runner(s) Mike Scully
Written by George Meyer
Directed by Mark Kirkland
Chalkboard "Pork is not a verb"
Couch gag The Simpsons are blank paint-by-numbers figures; Asian animators come in and color the family, but don’t detail their eyes.
Guest star(s) Mark McGwire as himself
Mike Scully
George Meyer
Mark Kirkland
Ian Maxtone-Graham
Matt Selman
Tim Long

"Brother's Little Helper" is the second episode of the eleventh season of The Simpsons. It aired on October 3, 1999. The title refers to an early Rolling Stones song, titled "Mother's Little Helper", which is about stressed housewives abusing prescription drugs.



Principal Skinner introduces a fire safety skit to the students. When Ned Flanders catches on fire, the fire department tries to extinguish him, but it does not work because Bart is pulling a prank with the fire hose. Skinner has Homer and Marge come to the school. It is then when Bart is diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Principal Skinner tells Marge and Homer that Bart must take a radical, untested new behavioural medicine called Focusyn, or else he leaves him expulsion as the only other viable choice.

After several failed attempts by Homer (including naming off several celebrities who are on drugs, such as Motley Crue's Tommy Lee, sitcom actress Brett Butler, and actor/comedian Andy Dick and offering Bart taffy laced with several Focusyn pills sticking out), Marge convinces Bart to take the medication, and his behavior immediately improves. He begins paying attention in school and being respectful to his parents (even tutoring a Navajo child in his spare time). However, side effects soon occur, as Bart becomes paranoid that Major League Baseball is spying on the town using satellites. The doctors recommend that Bart go off Focusyn, but he refuses. Before anyone can stop him, he swallows several handfuls of Focusyn and runs away.

Bart wanders onto a U.S. Army base and manages to steal a tank. He cuts a swath of destruction through the town, until he eventually stops at the school. There, he points the tank's cannon into the sky and shoots down a Major League Baseball satellite, proving his theory right. Mark McGwire appears, but instead of explaining the bizarre situation, he distracts the townspeople by asking “Do you want to know the terrifying truth, or do you want to see me hit some dingers?” (the latter choice being selected by everybody present); he accommodates them, and then runs off with the evidence under his cap. Marge takes Bart off Focusyn for good and puts him back on "hugs, fresh air, and good old-fashioned Ritalin". Major League Baseball, however, is still able to spy on the Simpson family due to an autographed bat McGwire gave Bart, with which he hit his 70th home run of the 1998 Major League Baseball season, which contains equipment that notes down every detail of 742 Evergreen Terrace.

Cultural references


This episode marks the last time that Maggie Roswell voices Maude Flanders before Maude's death in "Alone Again, Natura-Diddly" (however Maude's voice fluctuates between Maggie Roswell and Marcia Mitzman-Gaven in the scene where she and Ned Flanders perform the play at Springfield Elementary's Fire Prevention Day).

External links



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