Principal Charming

Principal Charming                                       Written by David Stern
                                                      Directed by Mark Kirkland

Title sequence

Blackboard :- `I will not belch the national / anthem'.
              `I will not belch the |' at cutoff.

Driveway   :- no oil on the driveway.
              Homer does not shake his fist at Bart.
              Homer says `D'oh!' when Lisa scoots past.

Couch:     :- The couch sproings out into a bed.

Didja notice ...

  ... Mrs. Krabappel spills a not insignificant amount of the highly
      toxic sodium tetrasulfate on the table?
  ... the `Board of Education' is an honest wooden paddle?
  ... when Principal Skinner arrives at the Simpson's house, Homer is watching
      football and they show an `Instant Replay' of a linebacker (#56) breaking
      the leg of the quarterback (#7)?  The uniform numbers match Joe Theismann
      and Lawrence Taylor.  (Though the uniform colors are reversed.)  The
      real-life incident occurred in 1985...  (Chronology problem?)
  ... the jar of `Gee, Your Lip Looks Hairless'?
  ... Principal Skinner is singing the Inchworm Song as he rings the bell
      to Patty and Selma's apartment?  Been hanging around kids too long.
      (And the music reappears as the incidental music later in the episode.)
  ... Patty and Selma's apartment is number 1599, yet the next-door
      apartment is number 1601?  (Traditionally, rooms on the 15th
      floor are number 1500 to 1599.)
  ... the view from `Sit-n-Rotate' included a billboard for tires, an
      attempted suicide, and a prison riot?   You know, food tastes much
      better when you're revolving.
  ... Bart has reached a new level of cockiness by calling Principal
      Skinner by his first name?
  ... the jewelry store was named `Family Jewels'?
  ... the next-door store was named `Discount Meat Hut'?  (cf Life in Hell)
  ... the name of the book Selma was reading in her apartment was ``Kiss Me,
      Shoot Me... Again'', the sequel to ``Kiss Me, Shoot Me,'' the book she
      was reading at the cafeteria?
  ... All the Egyptian do-dads in P & S's apartment?  (Pyramid lamp base,
      with a lampshade depicting camels in the desert.)
  ... Barney's shirt was hanging out of his fly when he went on the date with
  ... Happy hour at Moe's is from 5:00 to 5:30? (?)

Note that the fellow in the DMV was <not> Ralph Mellish (a character from
Monty Python), but rather Arthur Mellish.  Sorry.  (But read on...)

Dave Hall ( also points out:
  ... the guy who got his driver licence revoked is `Raliph Melish'.
      (Is close as I can tell.)
  ... the signboard in front of the Church states `Peterson Wedding' at
      2:00, followed by `Hayride to Heaven' at 8:00.
  ... when Homer walks out the door of the Qwik-E-Mart, He pushes the door,
      marked `PUSH' outwards. (i.e. He should be pulling the door.)
  ... the `Jack Pot Play Here' sign in the window of the Qwik-E-Mart when
      Patty and Selma walk in to buy cigarettes.
  ... when Marge applies the `Gee your Lip Looks Hairless' cream to Patty's
      lip, she sort of stands in front of the mirror, giving the illusion that
      she has three-eyes.
  ... at the door, Skinner spits into his hand, then slicks his hair back.
  ... according to the twin's photo album, they'd visited Lenin's tomb
      (in Russia)?  [Sure, why not? --rjc]
  ... when Bart tells Selma about the marriage proposal, a little cigarette
      ash falls onto her dress.

Movie References

    Beatles' White Album
       - Stanley says, ``Martha my dear'' and later, ``Martha my love''. {he}
    Some Escher print
       - the school's bell tower {mn}
  + Vertigo
       - the school bell tower is identical to the mission.
       - the entire scene with Skinner climbing the stairs and looking down.
       - also when he stands at the top of the tower in the wind.
       - `Vertigo' has a running theme of `twins'.  Patty and Selma?
  ~ The Thirty-Nine Steps
       - the staircase `right from the movie'. {gb}
         [I just watched the movie, and there wasn't any staircase
          of note in it.]
    The Terminator, Robocop, etc.
       - `Homer analysis sightings' (cf Arnold's character in Terminator)
       - sound effects borrowed from Robocop.
       - basic idea from any number of similar-minded movies.
  ~ A Good Man is Hard to Find (short story by Flannery O'Connor)
       - Homer says `A good man really <is> hard to find.'
  ~ Heaven Help Us
       - The `board' of education might be related to the paddle the
         priest used to discipline kids.  It had `Patience' written on it.
         [I think they're just recycling an old joke. --rjc]
    Cool Hand Luke
       - Bart planting grass.
       - the groundskeeper could be a reference to the movie's
         head groundskeeper.
  ~ Cabaret
       - Look what I brought... Schnapps! (maybe)
    Hunchback of Notre Dame
       - Skinner carries Patty up the steps of the bell tower,
         as did Quasimodo with Esmerelda.
    Jabberwocky (the poem, not the movie)
       - Principal Skinner yells, ``Calloo, Callay!'' {cb}
  + Hamlet (Shakespeare) Act 5 Scene 2 line 311.
       - Good night, sweet Prince-ipal.
  + Gone With the Wind
       - The `Tomorrow is another school day!' scene is a hybrid of two
         scenes from GWTW.  The line itself is from the final scene of
         the movie, but the scenery is from a scene in the middle when
         Scarlett pulls a carrot (or a radish, if you read the book) out
         of the ground and swears she'll never go hungry again.
         (It was not a turnip.  You're thinking of Bloom County.)

Freeze Frame Fun

Bart's Disciplinary File, courtesy of Ron Carter {rc}

    Simpson, Bart
    Simpson, B.
    Simpson, B.
    Rude Behavior
    Making Faces

Another folder toward the bottom has "Misc..." on it...

More phone numbers, observed by David Albert {da}

Note on phone numbers:  Homer's phone numbers appear to have changed
since `Simpson and Delilah'.
On his insurance form, the numbers were Home: 555-6528 and Work: 555-7334.
The numbers on the school rolodex are Home: 555-6832 and Work: 555-6754
(and Moe's Tavern: 555-1239).

Also note:  Bart was supposedly calling Moe's Tavern, but if you
listen carefully to the touch-tones you'll notice that he could not
possibly be dialing the number he's supposed to be dialing.

From: (Brian Westley (Merlyn LeRoy))

Just more realism.  School emergency phone numbers never get updated,
those must be their OLD phone numbers when Bart entered school.

Other Stuff

From: (Andrew S Krzywdzinski)

The funniest scene was when the family came back from the
all-you-can-eat place, and Homer popped off his belt, then when he
tried to tuck his fat under the shirt, and it wouldn't
stay in there! And then, when one of the sisters was snoring on
the couch.
From: phil@zorch.SF-Bay.ORG (Phil Gustafson)

Nobody so far has mentioned the "Sit + Rotate" restaurant at the
top of Springfield Tower.  "Sit and rotate" used to be a far nastier
challenge than "Eat my shorts".
From: (John P. Connolly)

  Did anyone write down everything that happened outside the school when
  the kids were trashing the place during their free-play time??

I don't know if anyone knows this, but there IS a car the shape of a
bowling pin at the Bowling Hall of Fame in St. Louis...

Jym Dyer noticed that one was a sequel graffito:
        <Picture of Spanky>:  "I am STILL a weiner."

From: (Wayne T. Lytle)

When Homer's friend is on the couch talking to Homer on the phone, his legs
contain a perfect HEART shape (pink).  I freeze-framed it, and it's
definitely enhanced with shading to look almost like a heart pillow --
a special V-day treat, I guess.

Animation goofs

Dave Hall observes that when Patty drives off, there appears to be street lamps
(seen from the rear-view mirror), but from Skinner's point of view, there are
none to be found.

Quotes and scene summary

 Barney phones Homer early in the morning to tell him about Greasy Joe's
 Bottomless Barbecue Pit.  Homer comes into the living room, where Marge
 is exercising with the television.
   Homer: Marge honey, I've got five words to say to you!
          [one word per finger] Greasy Joe's Bottomless Barbecue...
          [realizes he needs his left hand] Pit.
   Marge: Oh, Homey, remember you told me you'd try to limit pork to six
          servings a week?
   Homer: Marge!  I'm only human!
   -- ``Principal Charming''
 Homer suggests they dump the kids on Patty and Selma and go to dinner there
 Saturday night.  Marge calls her sisters (at work at the department of motor
 vehicles), who say they have to attend Stanley Peterson's wedding.  But they
 say they'll sneak out early.  A driver fails the eye test.  At the wedding...
   Friends, relatives, work-related acquaintances...
   -- Rev. Lovejoy greets the wedding guests, ``Principal Charming''
 Selma flashes back to how Stanley had sat down next to her in the cafeteria,
 then Patty arrived and told him to scram.  That evening, Selma sings Lisa
 a sad bedtime song...
   Lisa:  Aunt Selma?
   Selma: [grunt]
   Lisa:  Do you think you'll ever married?
   Selma: [sadly] Oh, I don't know.  [perks up]  Why?  You know somebody?
   Lisa:  No.
   Selma: [grunt]
   Lisa:  Since I'm sure you'd only resent the pity of an eight-year-old niece,
          I'll simply hope that you're one of the statistically insignificant
          number of forty-year-old single women who ever find their fair prince.
   -- ``Principal Charming''
 Marge and Homer return home, and Homer pops his belt, and more.  He sits
 down on the couch to call Barney, and finds Patty snoring.  Not that it
 bothers him much.  Meanwhile, Selma begs Marge to help her find a husband
 before it's too late.  In bed, Marge cashes in a favor Homer owes her from
 their last family vacation.
   Marge: You owe me a favor.
   Homer: [whining] Oh...
   Marge: To be called up whenever and for whatever reason I desire.
   Homer: But that was just an idle promise!
   -- Marge cashes in a favor, ``Principal Charming''
 She tell Homer to find Selma a husband.
   Homer: Which one's Selma, again?
   Marge: She's the one who likes Police Academy movies and Hummel figurines,
          and walking through the park on clear autumn days.
   Homer: Oh, yeah yeah yeah.  But I thought she was the one that didn't like
          to be ... you know ... touched.
   Marge: It's Patty who chose a life of celibacy.  Selma simply had celibacy
          thrust upon her.
   -- ``Principal Charming''
   Marge: You will find her [Selma] a man!
   Homer: [conceding] All right.
   Marge: And not just any man.
   Homer: [annoyed] Okay!
   Marge: He should be honest, and, and caring.  And well-off.  And handsome.
   Homer: Hey!  Why should she have a better husband than you do!?
   -- ``Principal Charming''
 Meanwhile, at school, Mrs. Krabappel introduces the class to sodium
   Mrs. K: Sodium tetrasulfate is highly toxic, and can remove your skin.
           [pours into a beaker] Say when... [chuckles]
   Martin: That will do. [Mrs. K stops pouring, and spills quite a bit]
   Bart:   What's this stuff for?
   Martin: It's chiefly used in the manufacture of rayons, film, and
           as a preservative in fast foods.
   -- Chemistry class, ``Principal Charming''
 Bart learns that it is also a herbicide.  Meanwhile, Homer wanders through
 the nuclear plant muttering robotically, `Must find man...'
   Karl...      Too handsome.
   Smithers...  Jerk.
   Ms. Finch... Not a man.
   -- Homer weighs the pros and cons of potential suitors for his sister-in-law,
      ``Principal Charming''
   Boy, a good man really <is> hard to find.
   -- Homer searches for a husband for Selma, ``Principal Charming''
 Meanwhile, Principal Skinner scolds Bart and his friends for conspiring
 to all drop their pencils at precisely 2:15pm.  Bart offers to show his
 buddies the work of a true vandal, and pulls out a bag of sodium
 tetrasulfate.   Meanwhile...
   One seafood burrito, Apu.
   -- Homer makes a purchase from the Kwik-E-Mart, ``Principal Charming''
   Apu...  Pro: Discounted snack treats.   Con:  Dangerous profession.
   -- Homer weighs the pros and cons of potential suitors for his sister-in-law,
      ``Principal Charming''
   I am loathe to interrupt your meditation, sir, but the time has come for
   money to change hands.
   -- Apu snaps Homer out of his daze at the Kwik-E-Mart register,
      ``Principal Charming''
 The Homer analysis sightings continue...
   ?...  Pro:  Nice stride.   Con:  Complete stranger.
   -- Homer weighs the pros and cons of potential suitors for his sister-in-law,
      ``Principal Charming''
   Pro:  Smoker.   Con:  Just a sign.
   -- Homer weighs the pros and cons of potential suitors for his sister-in-law,
      ``Principal Charming''
 Principal Skinner is eating his lunch...
   Say what they will about our cafeteria, I still think they're the best
   tater tots money can buy.
   -- Principal Skinner eats his lunch at school, ``Principal Charming''
 He recognizes the smell of ``sodium tetrasulfate bonding with chlorophyll''
 and looks out the window to see the word `BART' written in the grass.  He
 calls Bart into his office.
   Principal Skinner: Bart, I'm flabbergasted.  Surely you knew that you were
         writing your own name in forty-foot-high letters on the field, and that
         you would be caught.
   Bart: Maybe it was one of the other Barts, sir.
   Principal Skinner: There are no other Barts!
   Bart: Uh oh.
   -- Another visit to the principal's office, ``Principal Charming''
 Skinner contemplates bringing the `Board of Education' out of retirement,
 and tells Bart to call his father.  Bart calls Moe.
   Bart: Hello, is Homer there?
   Moe:  Homer who?
   Bart: Homer... Sexual.
   Moe:  Wait one second, let me check. [calls]  Uh, Homer Sexual?  Hey, come on,
         come on, one of you guys has got to be Homer Sexual!  [guffaws from the
         gang]  You rotten liver pot!  If I ever get a hold of you, I'll sink my
         teeth into your cheek and rip your face off!
   -- ``Principal Charming''
 Skinner calls Homer into his office and tells him that he's going to
 punish Bart by making him re-sod the field.  Homer's eyes do that funny
   Principal Skinner...
   Pros:   *  Uses big words.
           *  Dislikes the boy.
           *  [something]
   Cons:   *  Possible Homer Sexual.
   -- Homer weighs the pros and cons of potential suitors for his sister-in-law,
      ``Principal Charming''
 Homer learns that Skinner is unmarried and interested in women, so he
 invites him to dinner to pay him back for all the crummy things Bart has
 done to the school.  He accepts.  In the background, Bart slaps his
 forehead.  Homer says, ``Excellent...'' and does that funny thing
 with his fingers.

 [End of Act 1.  Time: 9:15]

 Principal Skinner arrives at the Simpson residence, and the Bouvier twins
 watch nervously from the kitchen.  Skinner tells Homer that he hopes the
 dinner isn't a scheme to introduce him to a woman, but he never finishes
 his sentence.  He sees Patty.
   Homer:   Principal Skinner, allow me to introduce you to my wife's lovely
            (and available) sister, Selma.
   Patty:   You bozo, I'm Patty!
   Homer:   What!?
   Skinner: [dreamily] Patty...
   Homer:   D'oh!!  Wrong one!
   -- Homer introduces Principal Skinner to the wrong woman,
      ``Principal Charming''
 At dinner, Skinner talks to Patty, who is uninterested, as Selma can only
 watch helplessly.  Skinner invites Patty to a movie.  In the car on the
 way home, Selma tells Patty she is <not> going to cancel the date, seeing
 as it's her first in 25 years.
   I tried to repel him, I really did!
   -- Patty to Selma, on Principal Skinner, ``Principal Charming''
   Patty: I'll have a Lady Laramie 100's please.
   Selma: We both know it could have easily been me.  Very easily.
          [to Apu] Laramie Hi-Tars, hard pack, and I don't have all day.
   Apu:   Ooh, all right, here you go.  Smoke them in good health.
   -- ``Principal Charming''
 The next day, Bart suffers through re-sodding the field, one seed at a time.
 Skinner learns from Bart what sort of candy Patty likes, and tells Bart
 he's free to go.  Marge helps Patty prepare for her date.  Principal
 Skinner arrives, and Patty leaves with him.  ``Let's get this over with.''
   I suggest we start with the Springfield Revolving Restaurant.
   You know, food tastes better when you're revolving.
   -- Principal Skinner takes Patty out for a date, ``Principal Charming''
 At the restaurant, Skinner recognizes the busboy as a former student.
 Meanwhile, Selma bemoans her fate.  At the movie, Skinner tries a
 schoolboy ploy to put his arm around Patty, with no success.
   Principal Skinner: That was the worst movie I've ever seen.
   Patty: Not as bad as the service at the revolving restaurant.
   Principal Skinner: Ho ho ho.  Isn't it nice we hate the same things?
   -- The end of a first date, ``Principal Charming''
   Principal Skinner: So, see me again tomorrow?
   Patty:  [grunt] I'm afraid that's my microwave cookery class.
   Principal Skinner: Then the day after that.
   Patty:  Oh, gee.  Tae kwon do.
   Principal Skinner: The day after that, then.
   Patty:  Seymour, you're touching me.
   Principal Skinner: Kiss me, Patty.  I don't have cooties.
   Patty:  Hai-ya!  [gives him a healthy karate (or whatever) chop]
   -- The end of a first date, ``Principal Charming''
 Bart learns to take advantage of Principal Skinner's being enamored of Patty.
 After Principal Skinner returns Patty home after another date, she allows
 him one kiss, as Selma watches sadly through the door peephole.

 [End of Act Two.  Time: 15:41]

 At the schoolyard, Bart brags to the gang how Skinner is eating out of the
 palm of his hand.  Skinner catches Bart spraypainting the wall...
   Principal Skinner: I'm going to ask for your Aunt Patty's hand in marriage.
   Bart:              It's your funeral, Seymour.
   -- ``Principal Charming''
 Homer tells Moe about his current predicament, and Barney offers to date
   Wheel her in, Homer.  I'm not a picky man. [belch]
   -- Barney comes to the rescue when Homer needs to find a husband for Selma?
      ``Principal Charming''
 Skinner takes Bart to the jewelry store.
   Clerk:             A good rule of thumb is two years' salary, sir.  Try this.
   Principal Skinner: I can't afford that, I'm an educator!
   Bart:              Seymour...
   Principal Skinner: I'll take it.
   -- Buying an engagement ring for Patty, ``Principal Charming''
 Marge tells Homer she is <not> letting Selma go out with Barney.  Selma
 asks Bart what he learned today, and Bart says what he knows.  Selma
 realizes she can't be picky and decides to take whatever she can get.
 Selma is prettied up for her date, and Barney arrives (complete with
 hovering horsefly and bottle of schnapps).  Meanwhile, Skinner carries
 Patty to the top of the bell tower and removes her blindfold.  Etched
 in the field with sodium tetrasulfate is the phrase, `Marry me, Patty.'
 Patty is flattered, but declines.  (Using logic that still eludes me,
 but then again, since when did logic rule the day in such matters?)
 They bid each other farewell.  Skinner cries, then sees the graffiti
 on the `Springfield Elementary' sign: ``Bart Simpson, Owner and
 Propriator [sic]'.
   Oh, Springfield Elementary!  I will have you back again.  After all,
   tomorrow is another school day!
   -- Principal Skinner, ``Principal Charming''
 Meanwhile, Barney has taken Selma to Moe's Tavern.
   And then when I got out of the service, eh, uh...  Well, the next few years
   are a blur.
   -- Barney, ``Principal Charming''
 Patty comes in and tells Selma what happened.  The two leave.
   Barney: She broke my heart, Moe. [sobs]
   Moe:    Don't worry, Barney.  Time heals all wounds.
   Barney: [perks up]  Well, whaddya know!  You're right!
           And look, a whole pitcher to myself!
   -- Every cloud has a silver lining?  ``Principal Charming''
 The next day, Bart is back, planting grass.

 [End of Act Three.  Time:  20:44]
   Episode summaries Copyright 1991 by Raymond Chen.  Not to be redistributed
   in a public forum without permission.  (The quotes themselves, of course,
   remain the property of The Simpsons, and the reproduced articles remain
   the property of the original authors.  I'm just taking credit for the

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