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» » Simpsonid Lemon of Troy (1989– )

Short summary

Shelbyville kids hijack Springfield's sacred lemon tree after being pelted with lemons, and Bart leads a guerrilla war against them (I say a war, but it's nowhere near violent.) They find out that the tree is in "the impenetrable fortress of suburbia"- a car impound lot, owned by the leader's (Shelby's) dad. Homer and the parents of the kids find them and team up with them to get the tree back. But how are they gonna get it from a car impound lot?

The title refers to Helen of Troy of Greek mythology. She was the daughter of Zeus (King of the Gods), and Leda (wife of King Tyndareus of Sparta). Her abduction by Paris brought about the Trojan War between the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Greeks). Helen was described as having "the face that launched a thousand ships." The allusion to the Trojan War is further reinforced when after using the illegally parked RV to sneak into the impound lot, Homer says "[n]o one in history has ever done anything this clever."- a reference to the Greeks who used the Trojan horse to sneak into Troy.

The lead Shelbyville kid is never referred to by name, but the Simpsons Complete Guide to our Favorite Family reference book lists his name as Shelby.

Country Time Lemonade, briefly mentioned by a Shelbyville kid, actually exists.

The establishments in Shelbyville "mirror" those of Springfield. Speed-E-Mart spoofs the Kwik-E-Mart, and has an Asian-looking Apu-type character. Joe's is a parody of Moes, and features a Moe look-alike with a different hairstyle. Shelbyville Elementary School is identical to Sprinfield Elementary, and features a groundskeeper who is a female version of Willie.

Flanders' RV was previously seen in Simpsonid: The Call of the Simpsons (1990), in Season One.

If you look behind the boys when they enter Shelbyville, you can see two girls flying a kite at the border, one of whom is Lisa. The other is Samantha Stankey, Milhouse's ex lover from Simpsonid: Bart's Friend Falls in Love (1992).

Early on in the production stage, the writers decided that the leader of the Shelbyville children, Shelby, and his father should be modeled after Bart and Homer.

Hank Azaria based Shelby's father on Walter Matthau as Dan Castellaneta originally based his performance of Homer on Matthau.

Matt Groening called the episode a "classic" and said it is one of his favorites from the show.

Lisa says that town pride has been going downhill ever since the lake caught fire. Pollution in the lake also causes problems for Springfield in Simpsonite film (2007).

After Bart labels Todd the "Quiet religious guy who ends up going crazy," Todd can be seen looking at the fourth wall nervously.

Bart mentions Springfield has many angel sightings. There was a angel skeleton discovered in Simpsonid: Lisa the Skeptic (1997).

The writers wanted to have the Springfield children find an area of Springfield that was not decimated, and the animators designed a version of Springfield that was very idyllic. They drew several scenes of the children running through non-polluted streams and woodlands. The animators gave Shelbyville's nature a more dark feeling in comparison to Springfield.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Ienekan
    This has to be my favorite episode of The Simpsons. It features some great humour, a original and engaging plot and some memorable moments. When Marge catches Bart trying to draw his name in wet pavement cement she lectures him on town pride and this sticks in Bart's mind. Bart and Milhouse go to the sacred lemon tree on a hill near the border with Shelbyville and soon a fight breaks out between Shelbyville and Springfield kids over the tree when Shelbyville kids, with almost Seinfeld style similarities to Bart and his friends (the episode where Elaine meets these friends who are like alternate universe Seinfeld and friends). Bart and his friends go undercover as Shelbyvillians and Bart is 'caught' when he reveals himself by spray painting a message and telling the Shelbyville kids his true identity. He makes a getaway on skateboard after a failed attempt to use spray paint cans as jet packs and is followed by the leader of the Shelbyville kids. His skateboard gets stuck in some wet cement, an ironic twist. All round good episode.
  • comment
    • Author: Whatever
    Great episode, allowing us to see a bit more of Shelbyville and the people that live there. Some great one liners, good back story and all in all, one of the better Season 6 episodes.
  • comment
    • Author: DarK-LiGht
    I loved Lemon of Troy. It was more about Bart and his buddies retrieving the Lemon Tree from Shelbyville, it was a turning point for Nelson, who became part of Bart's posse that crossed the border into Shelbyville. Nelson became more likable and you see this evolve in future episodes.

    We also I think get the debut of Database, so good to see him on The Simpsons. The spirit of unity amongst Bart and Co was evident throughout the episode and I'm pleased all's well that ends well with the Lemon tree in its rightful place in Springfield. A very charming episode.
  • comment
    • Author: LoboThommy
    Marge's lecture to Bart about town pride hits a nerve and proves to be the basis of a nice episode of the show, and one that mixes humour and heart well.

    I liked the scene were the parents intervene and try to steal back the lemon tree using Flanders's RV as the get away vehicle, that was great.

    A lovely episode overall.
  • Episode cast overview:
    Dan Castellaneta Dan Castellaneta - Homer Simpson / Isotopes Player / Grampa Simpson / 'Where'd he go?' / Shelbyville Martin / Shelbyvillian #2 / Shelbyville Groundskeeper (voice)
    Julie Kavner Julie Kavner - Marge Simpson (voice)
    Nancy Cartwright Nancy Cartwright - Bart Simpson / Nelson Muntz / Database / Todd Flanders (voice)
    Yeardley Smith Yeardley Smith - Lisa Simpson (voice)
    Hank Azaria Hank Azaria - Professor Frink / Future Man #2 / Shelbyville Milhouse / Shelbyville Manhattan / Kirk Van Houten / Lemonade Kid's Big Brother / Shelbyville Nelson / Shelbyvillian #3 / Shelby's Dad (voice)
    Harry Shearer Harry Shearer - First Future Man / Jebediah Springfield / Ned Flanders / Shelbyvillian #1 / Shelbyville Grampa (voice)
    Marcia Wallace Marcia Wallace - Edna Krabappel (voice)
    Pamela Hayden Pamela Hayden - Milhouse Van Houten (voice)
    Tress MacNeille Tress MacNeille - Shelby (voice)
    Maggie Roswell Maggie Roswell - Future Tour Guide / Luann Van Houten / Shelbyville Lemonade Kid (voice)
    Russi Taylor Russi Taylor - Martin Prince (voice)
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