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The Simpsons - S14E12

Family . Comedy . Animation
 

The kids are getting ready to go back to school. On the first day, Principal Skinner holds an all school Spelling Bee, which Lisa easily wins, allowing her to go to the state spelling finals. If she wins there, she can then go Spellympics. Meanwhile, Homer has been trying Krustyburger's new "Ribwich" and enjoying it immensely. At the state Spelling Bee Lisa wins, but is disappointed with Homer who tells her that "very serious Daddy business" is going to keep him away from her celebration. Homer's daddy business consists of getting more Ribwiches. He is disappointed when the Ribwich is no longer available. Another Ribwich fan (and member of Ribwich Nation) informs Homer that the sandwich is going to be tested in other markets and he shows him the tour schedule. For a moment, Homer considers joining them on their bus tour. For her spelling efforts, Lisa is rewarded with a double-wide locker and she prepares for the Spellympics. At the Spellympics, Lisa makes it to the finals. Homer regrets that he won't be able to attend the finals, as he will be in San Francisco for the last day of the Ribwich. George Plimpton talks to Lisa about getting her to throw the spelling bee so that a more popular competitor can help keep spelling a viable sport. For throwing the bee, Lisa is offered a full scholarship to one of the seven sister's college of her choice. Lisa wrestles with her conscience. In San Francisco, Krusty stops by and tells the crowd they will no longer be making the Ribwich and he tosses them the last one. Homer catches it, and offers are made to him for the last one. He realizes that he's forsaken his daughter's big day for a sandwich and he trades it for a car, which he drives off to Lisa's big event. At the Spellympics, Homer arrives just in time for Lisa to do her final word. With her dad present, she blows the lid off of the rigged contest, but then misspells her word in the process. She loses the contest, but back home in Springfield she is celebrated as "the biggest winner this town has ever had." They even have her likeness carved into the side of a mountain.

 
Episode Title: I'm Spelling as Fast as I Can
Airs: 2003-02-16 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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