The Simpsons: Moaning Lisa   Rewatch 
March 8, 2023 1:01 AM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Lisa meets a mentor and Bart kicks Homer's butt (at Nintendo).

Aired: February 11th, 1990
Written by: Al Jean and Mike Reiss
Directed by: Wes Archer
Production Code: 7G06

Lisa is feeling the blues. She's pulled out of her existential funk by Marge and fellow saxophonist Bleeding Gums Murphy. Homer tries to break a humiliating losing streak against Bart at a boxing video game by paying a professional (some kid down at the arcade) to lift his game.

I call the big one Bitey
  • Lisa: I'm wailing out for the homeless family living out of a car. The idle farmer whose land has been taken away by uncaring bureaucrats. The West Virginia coal-miner caught... Largo: Well, that's all fine and good, but Lisa, none of those unpleasant people are going to be at the recital next week.
  • Bleeding Gums Murphy: You know, you play pretty well for someone with no real problems.
  • Marge: Lisa, I apologize to you, I was wrong, I take it all back. Always be yourself. You want to be sad, honey, be sad. We'll ride it out with you. And when you get finished feeling sad, we'll still be there. From now on, let me do the smiling for both of us.
  • Homer: What did you do this time you little hoodlum? Bart: I didn't do it, no one saw me do it, there's no way they can prove anything!
  • Bleeding Gums Murphy was apparently based on foundational blues musician Blind Lemon Jefferson.
  • The voice of Bleeding Gums Murphy, Ron Taylor, was also the voice for Audrey II in the original off-Broadway production of Little Shop of Horrors.
  • This is the first episode to centre Lisa, and the first episode that really differentiates Lisa's character.
  • One of the arcade games is called "Robert Goulet Destroyer." Robert Goulet would go on to guest star in the fifth season of The Simpsons, when he hits Milhouse in the face with a microphone.
  • Once again, the premiere of this episode went up against a new Murder, She Wrote.
I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder
  • Homer's key doesn't match the front door lock.
  • When Bart vacuums up a deck of cards, he nets two Aces of Spades.
Worst episode ever
  • "Overall, this was a pretty drab episode. It had some moments, such as the videogame boxing matches between Homer and Bart, but Lisa lacked the strength at this point to carry an entire show. Of all the main characters, the show's producers seemed to have the most trouble getting a bead on Lisa; it took them quite some time to focus her personality, and though "Moaning" helped tighten her role, she still remained lackluster. “Moaning” is watchable but bland and unmemorable Simpsons." Colin Jacobson
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posted by Paragon (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"You know, you play pretty well for someone with no real problems" still resonates with me a third of a century later.
posted by phooky at 7:08 AM on March 8, 2023 [2 favorites]

Pffft. "...and boys will like you, and happiness will follow" is frankly great stuff from youngish male comedy writers.
posted by praemunire at 7:54 AM on March 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

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