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The Simpsons - S13E20

Family . Comedy . Animation

Lisa is failing gym. So that she won't fail and lose the Springfield Elementary the only accreditation they have, Principal Skinner gets Lisa a private coach. After seeing a vision of President Kennedy, Lisa is inspired to give gymnastics her best shot. While Bart is spending time with Grandpa he gets bitten by a Chinese mosquito. Lisa finds out that her fellow gymnastics students are actually college age, and rather than be embarrassed by her real age, she lets them think she is college age as well. Bart is diagnosed with "Panda virus" which makes him contagious, so Dr. Hibbert puts him in a plastic bubble for a week. Meanwhile Lisa has started hanging out with college age students at a coffee house listening to Robert Pinsky read his poetry. Bart starts using his plastic bubble to rescue nerds from the bullies. Some of those nerds follow Lisa when they think she is up to something. They find her at college analyzing "Itchy and Scratchy" cartoons and Milhouse exposes her. Embarrassed she leaves and back at home, she gets in trouble for going to college (16 credit hours worth) and her fellow grade school students won't relate with her anymore. She gets advice from Bart on how to win them back, which she does by making a splash on the cake created for Seymour Skinner Day.

Episode Title: Little Girl in the Big Ten
Airs: 2002-05-12 at 08:00 pm
  • Ken Tucker

    Groening has created a group of characters whose personalities and motives are more vivid and detailed than the vast majority of sitcoms featuring flesh-and-blood actors.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Richard Zoglin

    [The show] has a good deal of savvy wit.... The Simpsons, however, is strangely off-putting much of the time. The drawings are grotesque without redeeming style or charm (characters have big beady eyes, beaklike noses and spiky hair), and the animation is crude even by TV's low-grade standards.

    Time Full Review
  • Howard Rosenberg

    Easily the the best, cleverest and nuttiest arrival of the 1989-90 season is The Simpsons...It's very small-scale, but perfectly conceived and executed. What we have here from creator Matt Groening is a rare confluence -- delightful writing, pictures and voices fitting like a Matisse. [12 Jan 1990, p.F1]

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • John Engstrom

    "The Simpsons" is both a challenge and a delight. It's also that rarest of TV fauna, a cartoon show with levels of mirth for every brain and pair of eyes in the family. [12 Jan 1990]

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    A hilarious holiday package. [15 Dec 1989, p.3D]

    USA Today Full Review
  • John J. O'Connor

    There is, admittedly, a fine line between being hilariously perceptive and just plain, even objectionably, silly. While habitually teetering on that line, 'The Simpsons' has shown a remarkable ability to come down on the right side most of the time.

    The New York Times Full Review
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