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American History X-cellent

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The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed
American History X-cellent
Chief of Hearts

"American History X-cellent" is the seventeenth episode of Season 21, which aired on April 11, 2010. The episode was written by Michael Price and directed by Bob Anderson. The episode features several references to Stephen King's novels The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption.


When stolen paintings are found in Burns Manor, Mr. Burns is arrested, so he has Smithers take over duties at the nuclear plant, but when he starts working the employees night and day, they try to get Burns back, even if it means breaking him out of prison - which it does; Bart and Lisa bond over one ant that survives an accident involving Lisa's ant farm.

Full Story

Mr. Burns celebrates the Fourth of July in his typically despotic way - by using his workforce as slave labor for a picnic. He is unimpressed by their efforts, which leads to Lenny, Homer and Carl getting drunk in his wine cellar and destroying his study. When Burns calls the cops, they focus not on his employees but on the fact that he possesses art stolen in an infamous (and taken-from-real-life) heist from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Massachusetts. Burns tries to bribe his way out of jail but gets imprisoned, where he changes his ways due to the guidance of a fellow inmate, and by influence meaning literally sucking out the evil from Burns and eating it (both the character and his power parodying John Coffee of The Green Mile by Stephen King). Smithers is placed in charge of the plant in his absence, where he initially proves an improvement over Mr. Burns. Unfortunately, he catches Homer, Lenny and Carl mocking him behind his back at the bar, resulting in him turning into a tyrant and the three friends launching a mission to spring Burns from the penitentiary. But does Mr. Burns want to return to his old ways?

Meanwhile, Bart and Lisa, left to their own devices because Homer’s so busy at the nuclear plant, reluctantly team up to care for an ant farm; when a fight between them results in all but one of the ants being eaten by Santa’s Little Helper they take special care of Annie, the sole survivor, and must choose between letting her live out her dotage in the wild or keeping her in captivity.

Behind the Laughter


"American History X-cellent" was viewed by 5.649 million viewers and a 2.7 rating and 8% share in the 18-49 demographic tying with last week's episode.


Season 20 Season 21 Episodes Season 22
Homer the WhopperBart Gets a "Z"The Great Wife HopeTreehouse of Horror XXThe Devil Wears NadaPranks and GreensRednecks and Broomsticks O Brother, Where Bart Thou?Thursdays with AbieOnce Upon a Time in SpringfieldMillion Dollar MaybeBoy Meets CurlThe Color YellowPostcards From the WedgeStealing First BaseThe Greatest Story Ever D'ohedAmerican History X-cellentChief of HeartsThe Squirt and the WhaleTo Surveil With LoveMoe Letter BluesThe Bob Next DoorJudge Me Tender

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