Books are great. Games are greater. But when I need a good ol’ cry, there are a few go-to shows which can get me every time and leave me a blubbering, snotty and red faced pile of dismay. Enter: The Simpsons. That’s right. I could have lied and said that the Notebook really gets me, but it doesn’t. I just don’t care. I care about The Simpsons as if they were my own family, and for me nothing beats the older episodes in the way of heartfelt, family oriented feels. I am going to countdown these post by post, as I have realised that there are far too many to put in one article without boring the pants off you(‘you don’t have to bore me to get my pants off’). Before I begin my countdown, let me just stress that there will be nothing past season 9. To me, these aren’t real Simpsons episodes. I don’t begrudge anyone who still continues to love the show, I just found the later episodes lacked the characteristics I fell in love with.
#10- Bart Gets an “F” Faced with the prospect of having to repeat the fourth grade, Bart enlists the help of resident brainiac Martin Prince to help him pass his test. Bart prays to God for a miracle,and in turn is blessed with a snow day and after a stern talking to by Lisa, settles down to study which proves harder than anticipated. The next day, Bart takes his test and eagerly asks Mrs K. to grade it there and then. Despite all his efforts, Bart misses out on passing by 1 point, gaining a score of 59. He breaks down and begins to cry, stunning his teacher as she ‘thought he would be used to failure by now’. Bart then compares his failure to George Washington’s surrender of Fort Necessity to the French in 1754. Impressed at Bart’s historic trivia, Mrs K gives him an extra point – HE GOT A D MINUS! HE PASSED! Bart, elated, kisses Mrs K and runs home. Homer displays the test on the fridge proudly while Bart adds ‘part of this D minus belongs to God.’
This episode resonates with me as someone who suffers from a frustratingly short attention span due to anxiety. Everyone has been in Bart’s position here, whether it be the procrastination or the little promises made to the universe in exchange for a miracle (I hope no one has kissed their teacher though). Bart’s reputation as America’s bad boy wavers, and we see his desire to not be left behind and also wonder if his behavioural problems aren’t actually his fault. For me, the emotion(and tears aplenty) come from the line ‘You don’t understand, I really tried this time!‘. How many of us have tried our hardest only to fail miserably or not be good enough? The journey we embark on with Bart here is one we have already been through ourselves many times in day to day life, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Although Bart only passes by the skin of his teeth, his success sends the message that hard work really does pay off in the end.