“This is our pet. We can question his integrity and disposition, but we can't question his heart. Are you trying to teach us that the way to solve a problem with something we love is to throw it away?”
Bart's Dog Gets an F is the sixteenth episode of Season 2. It first aired on March 7, 1991. The episode was written by Jon Vitti and directed by Jim Reardon and features references to films such as Predator, Jaws, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and National Lampoon's Animal House. Tracey Ullman guest stars as Emily Winthrop.
After Santa's Little Helper gets in trouble for destroying Homer's new sneakers, Homer's large macadamia nut cookie, and Marge's heirloom quilt, Bart enrolls the dog into an obedience school, which Santa's Little Helper must pass if he wants to continue being The Simpsons' pet.
The Simpsons' unintelligent dog, Santa's Little Helper, has been causing the family all sorts of grief. He doesn't obey commands, and is just constantly making a nuisance of himself.
Lisa has the mumps and has to spend a few days home from school, While Marge teaches her sewing, Homer goes to the mall to buy some magazines for her. There he sees and purchases some expensive shoes known as 'Assassins', which he saw Ned Flanders with earlier, which Santa's Little Helper eventually destroys. Homer eventually goes to a mall's cookie shop to receive a Macadamia nut cookie as well.
Marge shows Lisa a patchwork quilt which is a family heirloom. Lisa makes her own contribution to it, but then Santa's Little Helper rips it up, and Homer's cookie eaten.
With all this done, Homer and Marge consider giving the dog away, but the children have grown to love the dog and protest to keep him, before their parents reluctantly agree that they can keep him if he passes Obedience School.
Santa's Little Helper does not do well at the Obedience School as Bart is unwilling to use a choke chain. The night before the final exam, Homer threatens that if Santa's Little Helper fails the exam, he'll have to go, but Bart and Lisa are very upset about this and ask to give the dog another chance. Bart and Santa's Little Helper play, thinking it will be their last few hours together. This bonding breaks down the communication barrier, allows Santa's Little Helper to understand Bart's commands, and to pass obedience school much to the family (bar Homer)'s happiness. Lisa marks the occasions by creating a new quilt to replace the one destroyed.