Brush with Greatness
Lisa's Substitute
The War of the Simpsons


  • This is one of the only two episodes in which the guest star uses a pseudonym instead of their real name (the other being "Stark Raving Dad"). Following the legal troubles surrounding "Stark Raving Dad", the producers stated henceforce no pseudonyms would be allowed. As a result, all voice actors must use their true names in the credits of The Simpsons.
  • Dustin Hoffman's pseudonym 'Sam Etic' was chosen as reference to his character being Jewish or "Semitic".
  • In one particular scene, Maggie whimpers a little, Nancy Cartwright was asked to play Maggie and she accepted but she spotted her husband (they are divorced now) and her daughter (who was a baby at the time) walk in the studio. She asked one of the directors if her baby could do the little whimpers for Maggie. The director said yes and Nancy Cartwright's daughter actually made the whimpers of little Maggie. Ariel Winter plays the Speaking part.
  • This episode marks the full first appearance of Ralph Wiggum. (Before this, he made a short cameo at the beginning of the show's Christmas pilot, as well as an appearance in "Moaning Lisa" as a nameless prototype character. He also made a few background appearances in "Bart the General" and "Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment".)
  • Lisa makes reference to there not being many Jewish cowboys, to which Mr. Bergstrom says that there were a few. In actual history of the Old West, there was a multiracial makeup of cowboys and settlers, with there being cowboys of black, Mexican, and Indian heritage, as well as cowboys who were recent immigrants from places such as Russia, Germany, and France.
  • The book that Mr. Bergstrom was reading to the class was Charlotte's Web.
  • During the montage of Bart, there is a blonde girl that looks the same as Lisa, the only difference is that her hair was curly.
  • During Martin's celebration after clinching the class president election, he is photographed holding up a newspaper that reads "SIMPSON DEFEATS PRINCE". This is an obvious reference to a notorious printing error by the Chicago Tribune that read "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN" in regards to the 1948 presidential election between incumbent Harry Truman and challenger Thomas Dewey. The headline was printed in advance due to telephone polls overwhelmingly favoring Dewey. Following Truman's election, a photograph of him was taken jovially displaying the erroneous headline which has become the iconic image associated with the 1948 election.


  • Lisa's classroom is shown to be on the first floor of the building in the beginning of the episode. Later it is shown to be on the second floor.
  • According to Bart's narration of his "kittens" video he shows his class, Snowball II was a kitten that the first Snowball had. But in "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", it's clearly stated that Snowball II was bought.
  • Near the end of the episode, when Homer is talking to Lisa, he says he never lost anyone special, when he actually did lose someone special- his mom.
  • In the couch gag, Marge's dress is colored yellow.
Season 1 Season 2 References/Trivia Season 3
Bart Gets an "F"Simpson and DelilahTreehouse of Horror (aka "The Simpsons Halloween Special") • Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every FishDancin' HomerDead Putting SocietyBart vs. ThanksgivingBart the DaredevilItchy & Scratchy & MargeBart Gets Hit by a CarOne Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue FishThe Way We WasHomer vs. Lisa and the 8th CommandmentPrincipal CharmingOh Brother, Where Art Thou?Bart's Dog Gets an FOld MoneyBrush with GreatnessLisa's SubstituteThe War of the SimpsonsThree Men and a Comic BookBlood Feud