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Lisa the Vegetarian

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Bart Sells His Soul
Lisa the Vegetarian
Treehouse of Horror VI
I can't believe I used to go out with you.
Ralph Wiggum to Lisa

"Lisa the Vegetarian" is the fifth episode of Season 7.


After a trip to Storytown Village, Lisa finds herself unable to eat lamb exposing her to ridicule and resentment from her father and friends. But with help from Apu and Paul and Linda McCartney, she makes an effort to stick to her new vegetarian view.

Full Story

Grampa and the Simpsons visit Storytown Village, which is a boring amusement park for 1-7½ year olds. (Marge had previously said that the trip would be fun for everyone, including Lisa, who is eight.) They also visit the park's petting zoo and are immediately enraptured as they see one little lamb after another, each one more absurdly adorable than the one before it.

Upon returning home, Homer finds that Ned Flanders is throwing a family reunion. In a moment of split-second thought, Homer then decides to throw a barbecue and only invite who he wants. When Ned asks if he can come, Homer agrees, before suddenly realizing why he was throwing the barbecue in the first place (to not invite Ned).

That night, Marge serves lamb chops for dinner, and Lisa cannot eat them. She keeps hearing the bleating voice of the lambs at the petting zoo - "Li-i-i-sa, I thought you lo-o-o-ved me-e-eee!" Lisa pushes her plate away, and says she can't eat this. Marge, trying to help, offers up rump roast, chicken breast, and hot dogs instead, but Lisa suddenly makes the connection between these dishes and their living counterparts.

At school, her newfound vegetarianism becomes a problem when she is almost forced to dissect a live worm whom she imagines pleading, "Li-i-isa, what did I ever do to you-u-u-u?" She's a little confused ("Why does it talk like a lamb?") but no less committed to her cause, and so she refuses to dissect it. At lunch, the only vegetarian option is a hot dog bun, which Lunchlady Doris proclaims "rich in bunly goodness". Lisa's caustic questioning of the exact point when Doris lost her enthusiasm for her job results in the second secret 'independent thought alarm' she's triggered that day, prompting Principal Skinner to think that the students have become overstimulated. He orders Groundskeeper Willie to have all colored chalk removed from the classrooms. The Scotsman furiously rants that he warned them before because, in his opinion, the chalk had been "forged by Lucifer himself!"

Homer's BBBQ
Skinner then tells Lisa's class that there's an independent thinker (whom he will not reveal, but unknowingly does so) in the class and shows them a (rather dated) video of man and a boy looking at cows getting killed and proposing the idea that "cows might eat us if we don't eat them". Homer then shows off his pig-shaped invitations, which advertise his "BBBQ," with the extra "B" for "BYOBB." (The extra "B," as Homer notes, is a typo.) Lisa's newfound vegetarian stance is not tolerated or understood very well either, with Homer and Bart both mocking her for rejecting meat.

Meanwhile, Homer hosts his barbecue in his backyard. Lisa - who is becoming increasingly self-righteous regarding her vegetarianism - brings gazpacho but is laughed out of the yard and into her room, where she sulks on her bed and resents the partygoers for rubbing their carnivorous habits "in [her] face". Just then, a hamburger haphazardly flipped by Homer for Bart flies through her window and lands on her face.

Homer brings a roast pig for the party, but Lisa climbs aboard a riding mower, and drives away with the roast pig in tow (Marge when witnessing this tries to stop Lisa, but due to a force of habit accidentally made it seem as though she was trying to stop Bart before Bart reminded her that he wasn't actually responsible for the problem that time). Homer and Bart chase after her, but she pushes the pig off a slope and they're too late. The pig rolls through bushes, into the river, and is shot into the air by a hydroelectric dam's suction. As this is happening, the soaring roasted pig passes by Mr. Burn's office at the Nuclear Power Plant, ironically just seconds after Mr. Burns admitted to Smithers that he'll donate to a children's fund "when pigs fly."

Back at home, Homer scolds Lisa for ruining his barbecue and sends her to her room, but she rebukes him and says he was wrong for serving and eating meat. Lisa and Homer are too angry to speak to one another. They argue and she leaves the house. While walking, she is mocked by classmates and hit with a barrage of bad meat-related advertisements. The pressures to conform to an omnivorous society finally become too great, prompting Lisa to grab a hot dog off of the grill at the Kwik-E-Mart, and take a bite.

However, Apu - himself a vegan (though he erroneously states he is a vegetarian on the show) - reveals that she has, in fact, eaten a tofu dog, and takes her through a secret passageway to the garden on the Kwik-E-Mart roof to meet guest stars Paul and Linda McCartney. One brief heart-to-heart later, Lisa is committed once more to vegetarianism. She also learns an important lesson from Apu: She can let people have their own views, and she can have her own views.

Thus inspired, she returns home to make up with her father, and finds him in the street shouting her name, exposing his fear of being viewed as a bad father. Lisa apologizes to Homer, admitting she had no right to ruin his barbecue and trying to force others to stop eating meat; he forgives her and offers her "a piggyback--I mean, a veggieback ride." During the credits, the roasted pig is seen still soaring through the air.

Behind the Laughter

This episode makes a reference to the episode I Love Lisa when Ralph says to Lisa "I can believe I used to go out with you".


MSNBC listed the episode as their second favorite in the show. They called the “You don’t win friends with salad” song "one of those archetypal “Simpsons” moments, one in which the writers hit a joke so long that it goes from funny to unfunny and back to funny again."

Promo Images


Season 6 Season 7 Episodes Season 8
Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part Two)Radioactive ManHome Sweet Homediddly-Dum-DoodilyBart Sells His SoulLisa the VegetarianTreehouse of Horror VIKing-Size HomerMother SimpsonSideshow Bob's Last GleamingThe Simpsons 138th Episode SpectacularMarge Be Not ProudTeam HomerTwo Bad NeighborsScenes from the Class Struggle in SpringfieldBart the FinkLisa the IconoclastHomer the SmithersThe Day the Violence DiedA Fish Called SelmaBart on the Road22 Short Films About SpringfieldRaging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"Much Apu About NothingHomerpaloozaSummer of 4 Ft. 2