Bart Vs Thanksgiving


  • 5/5

    Votes: 78 45.6%
  • 4/5

    Votes: 62 36.3%
  • 3/5

    Votes: 23 13.5%
  • 2/5

    Votes: 5 2.9%
  • 1/5

    Votes: 3 1.8%

  • Total voters
  • This poll will close: .
5/5. The oldies are great for the most part. Episodes like this remind me how awesome the show used to be...

EDIT- Dammit, I shouldn't have voted. I should've waited another 21 years and then voted if the site was still around. Oh well, too late now.
Awesome ending, perhaps a little slow up until that point. Nevertheless another great episode from season 2. A-
4.5/5 another good episode of the season 2.
I like this scene with Maggie and Lisa :
Pretty poor episode. Definitely a weak link in the second season.

I don't know what George Meyer was going for in terms of recreating thanksgiving family angst, but it really backfired on this one (no wonder he went to therapy after writing this). If this was meant to be a thanksgiving satire, I didn't catch the joke, or it just wasn't funny.

There's no real enjoyment to be had on this episode. It's basically an animated melodrama, seriously heavy-handed, and lacking any entertainment value. Neither Bart nor Lisa generate any sympathy. Also, the episode goes out of its way to make Bart as unsympathetic as he could possibly be. And without any humor to back it up.

The pacing isn't all bad, but it's really a way to mask the fact that there's little to no plot on this episode. Some of the secondary characters were worth watching, but that's about where the positive aspects of the episode end.

There are mostly no jokes in this episode. There's only one joke that's really worthy of a laugh:

"Homer: Operator, can you give me the phone number for 911?"

Seriously, one of the most depressing and disappointing episodes of the series. You have to balance somber aspects with jokes. That's why emotional episodes like Mother Simpson work. This one didn't...

Granted, it was the second season. The writers were still finding their voice. But this didn't age well at all.

from your description i thought you were gonna give this a 0/5 not a 2/5.
Another very emotional and touching episode. I love these, but I have to admit that some parts of this one were a bit on the depressing side, with not enough jokes. Some of the best jokes were related to Grandpa Simpson's nursing home. Still, very solid writing, and a good plot, telling a complete story. The characterization was good and every character was relatable and well-motivated. there was some creative use of animation in several scenes (like Bart's imaginary returning home nightmare).

Rating: B+
This episode has believable emotion and conflict. Bart's journey through skid row is enjoyable, and his fantasy is great. One thing that I don't really like is how Lisa turns out to be sad that Bart is missing. I can't imagine feeling that way in that situation, but I guess Lisa is really empathetic or something so maybe that is how an empathetic person would feel. I prefer the episodes that have some element of drama and aren't just a bunch of ridiculous things happening, which is one reason I like this episode so much. 8/10
Wow, i had forgotten how great this episode was. I could relate perfectly to Bart, because we have all done bad things to our sisters/brothers and then it has taken a while for us to apologize. I have never escaped from home, but i still felt pretty much the same emotions as Bart did in this episode. The ending was great and touching as well, when Bart comes back to the family. Even though this episode was mostly great because of its story. There was some hilarious moments, like when Bart helps Marge, Homer and Bart watches tv and sees a Bart doll, Homer listening to music in the car, Mr Burns releasing the hounds, Barts imagination when he is about to apologize. The caracters were in perfect caracter too. One of the best of season 2. Grade:A+
Last edited:
This episode is one of reasons why I love rewatching every episode from the beginning instead of watching re runs out of order.. All the way thru season 1, you believe the Simpsons genuinely care for one another and it's highlighted here.. Making mistakes, being stubborn yet owning up to your mistake.. The episode wasn't that funny, but had it's moments.

I don't enjoy it that much. The first act was a little too tasteless for me. The rest picks up the pace and I was creeped out by Bart's fantasy (except the Uncle Sam part).

Overall, I don't like it that much, whereas I think "Lisa's Substitute" is one of my favorites of the season. The ending is the best part, which makes my rating 3/5.
One of the more poignant episodes of the series. It exemplifies the relationship between siblings, which is another fantastic early addition to the show. Though Bart's nature is a mere exaggeration of the more rebellious human nature, I think that he captures how much struggle it is so give an apology as well as the worrisome attitude as a closely related individual disappears from your life. Bart feels guilty of his destructive behavior while Lisa (despite being infuriated by Bart) sympathizes for the possible treatment that he has received.

It's just great how the writers capture the interaction between siblings so well. Other than running away, it really relates to how most of us feel emotionally when stumbled upon these kind of situations. I recall Bart's apology being abrupt, but I guess it shows how easy an apology becomes when you really care for someone a lot. I have two siblings and this episode means a lot more to people that do have both these rivalries and love.
From my views, this episode gets a high 9/10 for sure-- it's a huge shame that the same level of poignancy aren't shown in new episodes.
Love this episode. It has a place in my heart for being the FIRST episode I saw.
6/10. This episode had a season 1 vibe to it. Not much laughs other than the whole lent brockman scene at the shelter. I also found it funny when those two homeless guys had no issue with taking Bart's money
I can't recall many Thanksgiving-themed Simpsons episodes, but this one should be the standard bearer. It's more touching and family oriented than say funny, although that is not a knock on it. There's definitely a message within this episode too. I like the "other side of the tracks" part of Springfield too haha. And the ending talk on the rooftop between Bart & Lisa is very sweet. Although I still laugh my a$$ off at the fact that Homer is listening to them while standing on the toilet in the bathroom.
Looking at modern Simpsons and comparing it to all the cynical, f**ked up families we have today in animation (Family Guy, Rick & Morty) may make it seem like weak sauce. But remember, the Simpsons were the first truly dysfunctional family on TV. An unabashed portrayal of the American family. Imperfect, but with heart. That's why the show was so controversial in its early years, whereas now it's considered tame. Something most would let their kids watch. The dysfunctional family is on full display here, in what is, in my opinion, a rather underrated episode. I'm probably just a sucker for Bart and Lisa stories, but it was on point in this episode. As seen with his frustration in 'Bart Gets an F', Bart doesn't know why he sucks at school, and this episode skillfully emphasizes the fact that Bart just doesn't know why he does bad things. There doesn't have to be some deeper or complex reason behind Bart burning Lisa's centerpiece, there are kids that are just like that. They don't know exactly why they misbehave, but it's most likely for attention. Lisa gets better grades than Bart, and he's not artistic enough to make a centerpiece as nice as Lisa's. This must frustrate him, and that's why he acts out. There's probably some underlying jealousy on Bart's part in this episode, but I'm glad the episode doesn't go that deep into their relationship. It doesn't need to.

This episode is pure, every day family drama written at its finest. I know I've criticized the dark themes of some of these earlier episodes, but even though I'm sure the fight at the dinner table was upsetting and maybe a little too-real for some people, it's probably my favourite moment of the episode. Everything from Lisa shouting "You don't even care!" to Marge telling Bart he ruined Thanksgiving. It's such a pure, well-established family dynamic in this episode that would become so dilluted as the series went on. Throw in Grampa and Patty & Selma to highten the drama even more, Bart walking the streets with Santa's Little Helper, and of course the scene on the roof and I can't find a single thing to gripe about in this episode. The humour still hadn't reached its full potential in the show at this point, but we did get the amazing Homer line: "Hello? Operator! Give me the number for 911!"

Probably the most underrated episode of season 2. 9/10
Bart vs. Thanksgiving is the only episode of the first thirty seasons that is completely set in this iconic United States holiday. I find a bit strange they have not used this as Halloween or Christmas. Apparently, it is not too easy to write a story about it. We will see how things went in the first and, so far, the only time.

There are no scenes where they are all together, but this represents what I want to say.

In the previous episode, I had highlighted how nice it is to see Bart and Lisa working together. In this, the opposite happens. Bart acts like a complete imbecile, underestimating the magnificent work of his sister in the center of the table, destroying it for a while, feeling happy for it, being offended because they demand that he apologize, and mocking his family on television. The child is completely irritating in this case. To the point that Marge told her, rudely, but also with some motive, that she had ruined Thanksgiving. In truth, I'm surprised at how inhuman Bart is here. This goes beyond a joke or prank. From what you see here, it's just a bad person. I feel very sorry for Lisa, really. Not only did he have to let go of something that had cost him work. Nor does he receive attention when reading his poem to the family because his brother's egoist appears on television at the same time. At least, no one prevented him from playing the saxophone. It's something, right?

To top it off, step on the garden flowers for their absurd rage.

However, the moment of resolution of this absurd conflict is fascinating. Since Bart is placed before the door of his house, everything is great. His imagination in which he is blamed for all the ills of the family has an enviable animation and a unique style that makes it incredible. Then, we have his reunion with all his toys that were left on the roof, which is a fun concept. Bart listens to his sister cry and pities her, which is to celebrate because, for once, we have a real sample of who he is. And when Bart and Lisa meet on the roof, we get one of the most moving scenes of the whole series. They discuss briefly until Bart realizes the damage he caused to Lisa. The performance of Nancy Cartwright and the musicalization give a special touch to the moment. After noticing his mistake, Bart asks a sincere apology to his sister, and they give each other an emotional and tender hug. And, after this, we see Homer watching his children, and telling Marge that they are good parents. Magical.

Beautiful hug for an unforgettable scene.

The final scenes detailed in the previous paragraph are excellent. But we must also highlight the beautiful start. This is one of the few times that the whole Simpson family is united. And, in addition, everyone has their good moments. Abe makes good comments towards Homer and the asylum. Jacquie has the fun gag that she does not want to use her voice but, when she does, it is to say something discouraging. Paty and Selma also add up with their bad attitudes with Marge and their fights with Homer. By the way, Selma's line "Worst prayer yet" is hilarious. And there is a detail, I do not know if they already know everything or I'm discovering a jewel, but Homer kisses Patty when she greets Selma and vice versa. If it is an intentional joke and not an error, it is very good. I like the everyday scenes of the Simpson family very much. Those beginnings worked very well. Marge preparing lunch, Homer watching a football game, Bart offering help unfulfilled, and Lisa fighting with her brother for a glue. They are things that anyone feels identified with.

"You never do anything right". Oh, maternal love.

The other personage of the family, Maggie, also has a good use, in spite of not being the protagonist in nothing. It is the element that is used at the beginning to make transitions in what one character does and another. As simple and intelligent as that. That and the cute hug that Lisa gives him when he collaborates with his work. Even Santa's Little Helper has its screen moments, accompanying Bart in his crazy adventure away from home. Out of the dysfunctional family, the character who made a memorable appearance was Kent Brockman. The hypocrisy and sincerity that he handles in his speech are great. It is an invitation to reflection disguised as a fun joke. This gag is a good closure to the duality that is shown between Mr. Burns' Thanksgiving and the people of the slums. Oh, and finally, I want to mention the first joke the show has made (or at least I've noticed) in which the fourth wall is broken since we see a balloon of Bart in the parade for being a character animated.

I could choose any character from this scene but, obviously, I selected Maggie.

Bart vs. Thansgiving is a really good Thanksgiving special. The beginning and end are excellent. Most of the characterizations are in place, and there are interesting and funny jokes. It only commits the sin of showing Bart as the son of a bitch. And it is a serious sin. That's just because I can not give it the perfect note.

Last edited:
we don't get that many thanksgiving episodes do we? I mean the show didn't have another christmas episode until the 7th season. we don't see animation like that table messing scene in that fight do we. Also another thing to point out, before the Parkland tragedy the only other place we heard the name Marjorie Stoneman Douglas was in this episode. Overall this is a good episoe but don't forget this is from the second season when the show was still on it's best legs

we meet marge's mother for the first time(oh wait there was moaning Lisa), and I don't know but did her laryngitis turn out to be permanent? because she still sounded like that the next time we saw her speak
Re-watched this tonight, as I do nearly every year, and I stand by most of my previous review from 10(!) years ago. What a masterpiece. The characterizations are excellent, the details about the lower-middle class and its relationship to Thanksgiving are perfectly observed, the ending is heartwarming and the episode is dotted with hilarious moments. This is everything right about classic Simpsons and everything that's missing in the present day incarnation of the show. The difference in tone and pacing is startling.
The best thing about this episode is how real it feels. Particularly the dialogue and line delivery are both on point sound so natural. Adding to that authentic feeling is the fact that the first act is mostly just the family getting ready for Thanksgiving. There is some set up for the Bart and Lisa conflict in the beginning, but that's only a small part of it. And I have to mention the scene on the roof which is pretty much perfect. From the visuals to the pacing, it's extremely effective.

The only thing I'm not as big of a fan of is the scene with Mr. Burns. It's not that funny and doesn't serve much of a purpose for the story. 7/10
Great episode.
It's one of the most memorables episodes in The Simpsons history. This episode contents all you need:
  • exelent humor and jokes (especially mother Bouvier's sarcastic lines). I also like the satire on Bart balloon at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade;
  • very good Bart-centric plot with conflicts against Lisa and other family;
  • VERY MUCH emotions. The bests are a) final scene on the roof; b) when Bart got his earned $12 to bums (for some reason, it makes me cry every time:gatorcry:)
Even me, was surpsises of next marks:

plot 25/25
absurdity level (the possibility of what is happening) 24/25 (the only minus was that a bit strange Bart's fantasy scene)
comedy 25/25
originary (level of references and of unoriginality) 25/25

TOTAL 99/100 (5/5 with rounding or A+). GREAT!
It's the best episode of season 2 and obviously it's THE BEST EPISODE EVER so far (I'll be happy if I find the 100/100 episode:))
One of my favorite episodes. One of my favorite holiday episodes of any holiday episodes of any show. Who wants a center piece when there is turkey to be eaten. Who guess that Bart actually cares about his sister feelings even when he acts like a complete jackass. Fatty and Smellma prove that even in adulthood they still have a tendency of being mean to the siblings when bringing food to another person's house when it's not potluck. Homer saying grace and proving that families at times are fucked up. Perfect in a way that it is true but shouldn't be said.
The second season continues with a very good and nicely family-centric episode in this one. It is probably not one of the all-time top great episodes but still an enjoyable tale with an overall down-to-earth, human and real tone, style and conflict at the center of it. As the title states, it is mainly an Bart episode, but I would call it family-themed as the whole Simpson family are the focus here as they prepare for Thanksgiving with the food, watching the parade on TV & gathering their close relatives for dinner (for which Lisa has made an beautiful and artistic Thanksgiving-themed centerpiece) until it goes awry due to Bart's insensistivity. Not the most exciting of episodes but there is a lot of heart and authentic & effective drama here, as well as some nice humor. An all around well made episode.

Right from the get go it has some thoroughly good stuff with the family scenes of Marge preparing dinner, Homer watching TV and stopping Bart & Lisa's squabble, introducing Lisa's centerpiece project& Bart "helping" Marge with the food, managing to get some fun interacting and good little humor from that. Then we have the "gathering the family" section with Patty & Selma arriving and as usual mocking Homer, Grampa getting fetched by Homer (here we also have the Retirement Castle introduced and we even see Jasper) & Marge's mother Jacqueline arrives by cab and unenthusiastically greets her daugter (with a great line which has to be one of my favorites: "I have laryngitis and it hurts to talk. So I'll say one thing: You never do anything right"). Having the whole family with relatives gathered together is nice and they get some good jokes out of it.

Then the episode gets to the scene of the family gathering for dinner, Lisa placing her centerpiece on the full table and getting into a fight with Bart once he arrives with the turkey and wants to remove the centerpiece to make room for it. Bart is a real bad guy here, insensitive and rude, and in the tug-of-war the centerpiece ends up in the lit fireplace. Lisa runs to her room crying and Bart is punished by getting sent to her room, having ruined Thanksgiving according to Marge. This was a nice dramatic scene and felt very real with the childish fight and Bart behaving like an "I don't care" thug & getting punished (he went too far but I don't think it was all too out of character; Bart, especially early classic era Bart, could be a spur of the moment jerk but later coming around when realizing how his deeds have affected others). Marge talking with both of them was also nice scenes.

Bart running away from home in protest (taking Santa's Little Helper with him as his companion) and trying to get his own Thanksgiving dinner was an entertaining chain of events (such as trying to sneak in to Burns' estate but having the hounds released on him and having to flee & getting to the shady parts of town and getting some help from two kind bums who take him to a soup kitchen). There was some nice stuff inbetween with Lisa writing a poem about the incident & the adults discussing Bart's attitude, topped off with them seeing Bart on TV (as Kent Brockman is doing a report on the soup kitchen and even interviews Bart; also kinda amusing how he stoly Lisa's spotligt. Bart seeing how bad the bums are having it and having a change of heart, giving them the money he got from a blood donation & going home was a nice sequence (showing that there is empathy in him).

Homer & Marge talk to the police who has come over about Bart running away from home (here we also meet Lou and Eddie properly, though Lou has the wrong voice), the relatives leave since it is late & Bart gets home (having an well-animated fantasy about the family's reactions to him running away; it came out great with the angles and use of colors). He goes to the roof instead to play with all the toys he has lost up there through the years, hears Lisa being sad about him being missing and has her join him. The following scene of Lisa asking why he ruined her centerpiece and Bart coming around and forgiving her was so good, utilizing the animation and emotional beats to make for an perfect little climax (topped off with Homer & Marge having overheard them, Homer stating they really are good parents). I also enjoyed the very end with the family sharing leftover the next morning. Sweet stuff.

So here we have another solid episode, with a good holiday story (the only real Thanksgiving-themed episode until last season's 'Thanksgiving Of Horror') that has some great character moments and development (such as for Bart, who is a little complex here with having his tough and bad exterior overshadow his inner heart and emotions; he is a rebel and can be real mean & reckless but beneath the surface he has the signs of a good kid with empathy), emotion and drama & nice humor throughout (mostly character based stuff but still all good). Not a favorite of mine but still a kinda overlooked episode when compared to many other season 2 outings and very good one overall.

An fairly strong 4/5
Last edited:
This one moved me in ways I'm not sure how to articulate. The concept of Bart being lost and just wandering around the city on Thanksgiving just managed to get me very emotional not only because of the plot but also the way it was drawn and animated. Powerful, and strangely nostalgic episode.

I love the family-centric episodes like this one. It's a beautiful episode and really hits home with the "be thankful for what you have" message. Why can't they make them like this anymore? WHY?
Here's some of my favorite moments.
~ Bart and Homer watching the parade on T.V. Homer saying that a Bart float would turn it into a farce and then it shows up when their heads are turned (LOL)
~ Maggie contributing to Lisa's centerpiece
~ Mr. Burns' massive Thanksgiving meal
~ The wrong side of the tracks
~ "Massage" Parlor
~ Yes we have rot gut! (lol)
6/5 A+
Last edited: