OSW Review | The Telltale Head

The Telltale Head


Season 1, Episode 8

Original Air Date: February 25, 1990
Chalkboard gag: I did not see Elvis
Couch gag: Bart gets squeezed off the couch like last time.

Plot: In an effort to impress the school bullies, Bart decapitates the statue of town-founder Jebediah Springfield, turning the townspeople into a furious mob.

• The story is bookended by Homer and Bart returning Jebediah’s head, the episode explaining what lead Bart to this point.
• Although the Christmas pilot had a title-card, this is the first episode with an on-screen episode title.
• At his core, Bart is a good kid. He verbally questions sneaking into a movie and (inadvertently) helping the bullies steal. His conscience immediately weighs heavily on him for stealing the head, until he finally musters up the courage to come clean to his family and right his wrongdoings. It uses the topic of peer pressure as a base but isn’t too heavy-handed with it.
• First of a great line of running segments where The Simpsons begrudge going to church. A topic that’s near and dear to us!
• Dialling “0” (as Chief Wiggum calls it) in Springfield will bring you to a manned switchboard where you can ask to speak to the police.
• Homer really loves his son. Without hesitation he says he’d rather they both get torn apart by the mob than try escape.
• Burns is a regular old man (i.e. not evil) in this episode, furious and sad about the desecration of Jebediah’s statue, just like everyone else.
• First speaking role for Krusty the clown. Side-Show Bob looks really rough!
• Jebediah’s full name is Jebediah Obediah Zackariah Jedediah Springfield!

Quotable Notables:
• Homer opening up the show “Back in my day, I’ve pulled a few boners”. Ha!
• Bart “How long will the story take?” “23 minutes and 5 seconds” (the actual length of the episode is 22:45)
• Sunday school teacher (exasperated) “the ventriloquist goes to heaven but the dummy doesn’t!”
• Mr Burns (after the statue is restored) “I love you Smithers”
Smithers “The feeling is more than mutual sir”
• Homer “Most lynch mobs aren’t this forgiving.”

Overall: Another strong moral story – no matter how bad you’ve messed up, come clean, and hopefully be forgiven. Well written but not that funny.



Release Date
September 3, 2014