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"Girls Just Want To Have Sums"
The Simpsons episode
Girls Just Want to Have Sums.png
Promotional Artwork for "Girls Just Want To Have Sums".
Episode no. 375
Prod. code HABF12
Orig. airdate April 30, 2006
Written by Matt Selman
Directed by Nancy Kruse
Chalkboard None
Couch gag The living room is dark, with many eyes present. The lights go up, and many secondary characters appear behind a banner that reads, “Surprise!” The Simpsons come in and the characters yell, “SURPRISE!” Homer is so overwhelmed with shock, he has a heart attack and collapses.
Guest star(s) Frances McDormand

“Girls Just Want to Have Sums” is the nineteenth episode of the seventeenth season of The Simpsons. It originally aired on April 30, 2006.

Contents

Plot

The Simpsons and many other prominent Springfieldians go to see a performance of Stab-A-Lot: Itchy & Scratchy: The Musical. The show features the cat and felicidal mouse doing what they do best, but all in song. The audience is enthralled by the performance and give it a standing ovation. Julianna, the director comes out on stage, accompanied by Principal Skinner, to acknowledge the cheers. Skinner reveals that Julianna used to be a student of Springfield Elementary School and, while acknowledging all her accomplishments, says that she wasn’t very good in math because of her gender. Everyone is shocked at the sexist remark. Skinner’s attempts to defend himself just worsen the situation, and he ends being kicked in the crotch by the puppeteer-controlled Itchy and Scratchy characters.

The next day, the teachers of Springfield Elementary and other ladies stage a protest outside the school against Skinner, much to the displeasure of Superintendent Chalmers. Skinner assures him that he will take care of it and holds a conference in the school’s auditorium, inviting all the protesting ladies to attend. There, he tries to pacify them by wearing a skirt and saying that men and women are equal but not identical. Nothing he says has a good effect on the ladies, so finally he has a nervous breakdown onstage. Chalmers comes out and introduces them to their new principal—lady principal, that is. As her first act as principal, she separates the boys and girls into separate schools. The move is met with mixed reactions.

The next day, Otto drops off the girls at their school, and then drives a few feet ahead and releases the boys from their cage in the bus, so they can attend their school. Lisa seems to feel right at home in the girl-friendly school, with the fountains, paintings, pink paint and all. She attends math class, which will be taught by the new principal herself. However, instead of usual number-crunching, she starts speaking about feelings and smell in math. While the other girls enjoy it, Lisa asks whether they will get down to doing problems, to which the principal replies that problems are how boys look at math. Disillusioned by this “pro-female” (and illogical) bias toward her favorite subject, Lisa climbs over the wall into the boys’ school compound -- a rundown, desolate world plagued by stray wolves, grafittied walls, garbage, and rusted cars. She peeps into one of the classrooms and sees a math class in session, where actual, accurate math is being taught exactly how she likes it. She is caught by Skinner, now an assistant to Groundskeeper Willie and told to leave. Lisa asks him why she can't study normal math, but Skinner is too brainwashed by political correctness to answer her. Willie then orders Skinner to poison the squirrels, but the squirrels team up and poison Skinner.

With the help of Marge, she disguises herself as a boy (with many interests that include the word "boy" in it) named “Jake Boyman” (though the boys quickly nickname her “Toilet”) and attends the boys’ school. During the math class, she is beaten by Martin but she feels happy to have learned something. Unfortunately, being with the boys means having to act like one and, during lunch, Lisa inadvertently gets into a fight with Nelson. Despite her efforts to use her intelligence to escape her situation, she gets beaten up.

When Bart returns home that day, happy to have seen a fight and runs upstairs to tell Lisa. To his shock, he finds her sobbing silently in her room, still dressed as Jake. When Bart asks her if she told her mother about her beating up, she responds that she fears that Marge will not allow her back to the boys school. Bart feels sorry for her and he tells her that he will teach her to act like a boy.

Thanks to Bart’s help, she starts acting more like a boy, including Bart forcing her to beat up Ralph Wiggum. However, she does well in math class. Finally, at an award ceremony, she is given an award for her outstanding performance in math. She then reveals her true identity to the whole school, and she explains why she had to disguise herself. Bart gets up and tells everyone that she did well only because she was acting like a boy. Angry at hearing this, she throws her award at Bart, but ends up hitting Ralph. Shocked at how “boy-like” she has become, she apologizes to Ralph. She later decides to uphold some male traditions and promptly beats up Martin.

Cultural references

Awards

This episode was nominated for a Writers Guild of America award in 2007.

See also

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