Simpsons Did It!: “I Love Lisa”


Ralph Wiggum has, thus far, just been a kid in Lisa’s class.  This episode gives him the spotlight and begins the idea Ralph may be the single dumbest person in Springfield.

Of course, the people behind the show would have you know that Homer doesn’t hold that position.  Nope, there is one adult in Springfield dumber than Homer.  That would be Chief Wiggum.

Following an inappropriate playing of the “Monster Mash,” and Homer falling from a collapsing drain pipe in his rush to buy and overpriced Valentine’s Day present, Lisa sees pathetic classmate Ralph hasn’t gotten any Valentines, so she quickly doctors one of her own and passes it along to the kid that eats crayons and glues himself to himself.

Bart, meanwhile, has used novelty candy hearts to break Principal Skinner with another Vietnam flashback.  Don’t those candy hearts usually taste terrible anyway?

Ralph, it should be noted, takes Lisa’s gift rather literally and decides to romance the middle Simpson child.  Lisa isn’t looking for a relationship, least of all with Ralph, and while Marge gives sensible advice and Homer just recounts all the rejections he received over the years, Ralph goes to his own father for help.

And that’s where things get ugly.  Ralph is persistent, even going so far as to re-tar the Simpson roof when Homer learns the boy will do anything for Lisa.  When the Chief scores tickets for the Krusty the Clown Anniversary Show, Lisa reluctantly goes along.  That would allow her to break Ralph’s heart on live TV.  So much more likely to make the impression that way, and Bart can freeze-frame it the exact second Ralph feels his heart ripped in half.

As dumb as the Chief is, he does give his son an advantage over other kids through rampant police abuse, though the threat of honest citizens standing up to crooked cops puts a scare into him.  The Chief had arranged for Ralph to star opposite Lisa in the school’s President’s Day pageant as George Washington.

That’s some pageant, by the by.  Very impressive dance numbers, a rather elaborate retelling of the life of George Washington, complete with a real fire, and a horrifying depiction of the death of Abe Lincoln with Bart as John Wilkes Booth.

Ralph surprises everyone with a stirring performance as the Father of his Country, which surprises everyone, so I am wondering if they rehearsed the show at some point.

Lisa patches things up with Ralph as friends.  Groundskeeper Willy had a good cry.  Chief Wiggum ignored a downtown riot.  And then the “Monster Mash” played again.

Say, that’s a lot to happen in about a week…

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