The episode featured several references to war films:
Lifted directly from the 1970 film Patton: The music, several lines of dialogue, and the scene where Bart slaps one of his soldiers for "being a disgrace." Fox owned the rights to Patton, so it was no problem to use the soundtrack.
The marching sequence is a nod to Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket" from 1987, as well as the children appearing as silhouettes as they climbed the gymnasium.
The marching chant is in some ways like the chant from the 1949 war film Battleground.
Star Wars - Bart refers to the Star Wars Trilogy as being one of the few exceptions to "there are no good wars."
When Bart and his army defeat Nelson and the kids all celebrate, a boy kisses Lisa in a similar fashion to the sailor in the famous photograph "V-J Day in Times Square."
This is the First Appearance of Nelson and his only Appearance in Season 1.
In the Czech version, due to a "liberal" translation, Herman is more of a Nazi character. He greets Bart "Sieg Heil, meine Junge" and then tells him "never [to] do the Hitler salute out of a moving bus's window".
In this episode, the credits are shown in a shot of the Simpsons house. It's possible they wanted to replace the black background for the credits, but it didn't work and the credits were back to normal by "The Call Of the Simpsons".
Grandpa's list of words he does not want to hear on television again:
Ironically, the words 'Family Jewels' are used several times before that scene. The censors did not want them used on prime-time TV, but the producers ignored the censors’s notes and left them in the episode.
This is the first episode Bart is seen crying. Homer then proceeds to dry his tears with a hairdryer.
Also in the French dubbing of this episode, sad background music was added in this scene to make it seem more emotional.
During their first "fight," Nelson hits Bart twelve times in the face before he knocks Bart out.
The password to Herman's shop is "Let me in, you idiot!"
This is the first episode in the series to show blood.
This is the second episode to have Bart's name in the title.
In this episode Marge tells Bart that to stop Nelson is to talk to him only to be interrupted by Homer. In "Lisa Simpson, This Isn't Your Life", Bart tries to stop Nelson with words and it works.
In this episode Bart fails to stand up to Nelson alone but does it successfully in "The Devil Wears Nada".
Lisa is seen giving a cupcake to a girl named Janey, who has a different hairdo and skin color from the Janey who is considered, at times, Lisa's best friend.
Much to Lisa's dismay, this is the first time she is kissed by someone other than a Simpson family member, being her first kiss aired in the series. Strangely, in Lisa's Date with Density, she mentions that Nelson was her first kiss, meaning she doesn't consider this one, possibly because she was forced to.
Herman said he cut his arm by not keeping his arms inside the bus when he was a kid and Mrs. Krabappel did mention a kid keeping his hands out the window and they got cut it is possible that was Herman.
At the start when the bully takes the cupcakes, you can see that, after he has started eating them, there are 4 left in the box. Just before he shuts the lid to drop it, you can just see the tops of 6 cupcakes.
When Bart enters the tree house after being beaten up, he puts his hat on a peg behind him. In some later shots at an angle you can just see the hat behind him. In the shots from directly in front of Bart, the hat is not on the peg.
Lisa mistakenly calls Miss Hoover, her teacher, "Mrs. Hoover". This is an early episode, and it is possible Miss Hoover got divorced "off camera" and still would have been "Mrs. Hoover" at the time.
If Herman really lost his arm by sticking it out of the window of a moving bus, it should be his left arm rather than his right.
When Nelson and the weasels take cover with each other from the water balloons, the White Weasel's skin is black.
At the beginning of the episode when it cuts to the Simpson's household instead of playing the theme, the treehouse is nowhere to be seen.
↑Groening, Matt. (2001). The Simpsons season 1 DVD commentary for the episode "Bart the General" [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
↑Silverman, David. (2001). The Simpsons season 1 DVD commentary for the episode "Bart the General" [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.