- “I'd be mortified if someone ever made a lousy product with the Simpson name on it.”
- ―Lisa Simpson
"Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy" is the fourteenth episode of Season 5. It aired on February 17, 1994. The episode was written by Bill Oakley and directed by Josh Weinstein and Jeffrey Lynch directed. Kathleen Turner guest stars as Stacy Lovell.
Lisa challenges the makers of the Malibu Stacy doll to create a less sexist and pro-feminist doll. When they won't listen, Lisa enlists the help of Mr. Smithers to find the original creator of Malibu Stacy, Stacy Lovell. Together Lisa and Miss Lovell create Lisa Lionheart in an effort to positively influence young girls.
Full Story Edit
The episode begins at the Grand Opening for the Center for Geriatric Medicine where Dr. Hibbert introduces a frail Ben Matlock to a crowd of excited seniors. But after seeing his idol mobbed to the ground by fans, Abe becomes aware, perhaps fearful, of his future death and gives the family their inheritances early: To Lisa he leaves his lifetime collection of correspondence, most seemingly by telegraph, while he leaves to Homer and his family a box of old silver dollars. The family leaves to spend them at the mall right away.
At the mall, Lisa sees a number of girls mobbing a Malibu Stacy display in a toystore. She warns Marge that she may get a little crazy, then rushes the display, shoving aside everyone in her path. A few moments later, a stockboy begins putting out the new Talking Malibu Stacy doll, and the mob shifts it's attention to the new toy.
Throughout the trip, Abe won't stop telling stories and spouting useless advice, making the family shun him. He appeals to Homer for help, and while on the couch he sees an ad for Buzz Cola with dancing, scantily-clad seniors on a beach, inspiring him.
Lisa is anxious to hear what Talking Malibu Stacy has to say, but is disappointed with her sexist phrases (see quotes). "Right on, say it sister!" says an eavesdropping Bart, launching Lisa into a tirade decrying sexist attitudes and their effect on young girls, ending with her hurling the doll through the window, which gets caught in the spokes of a bicycle Grampa is riding, causing him to fall off his bike and into an open grave.
Lisa is angry that no one else, friends or family, can see the ridiculousness of the doll. She calls the company to complain, and after getting some resistance from Marge who wishes she wouldn't complain so much, she signs up for the factory tour. There she sees assembly lines and a video detailing the doll's history, as well as the sexist inner workings of the company.
Lisa and Grampa sit at the kitchen table, bemoaning how they are treated because of their age. In walks Homer, saying how glad he is to be a white male, aged 18–49 (everyone listens to him, no matter how stupid the ideas). Abe decides to get a job, and Lisa decides to find Malibu Stacy's creator.
Lisa visits Smithers, owner of the world's biggest Malibu Stacy collection and asks for help in finding Stacy Lovelle, the doll's creator. She bikes to Stacy Lovell's house (built exactly like Malibu Stacey's dream house), she says she wants Ms. Lovell to hear what Stacy is telling a generation of young girls and plays the doll's phrases over the intercom... the gate immediately opens.
Lisa and Stacy Lovell decide to create a new talking doll, Lisa Lionheart, voiced by Lisa herself and complete with her own encouraging phrases. The doll is quietly released, and even Kent Brockman (at the request of his daughter), spends his whole newcast talking about the doll, ignoring breaking news that the President was arrested for murder. However, the creators of Malibu Stacy view Lisa's doll as a real threat, and plan to sink Lisa Lionheart.
Meanwhile Grampa struggles at Krusty Burger, suffering a war flashback at the drive-in and losing his false teeth making burgers. He soon becomes angry at the way seniors are treated, and quits, leading a group of angry seniors out of the restaurant.
On the day the doll is officially released, numerous young girls (and Smithers) rush into the toy store at the Springfield Mall to buy Lisa Lionheart. As Lisa and Stacy Levelle watch, a cart of "new" Malibu Stacy dolls with a new hat is wheeled right into the path of the group running for the Lisa display. Lisa appeals to them that it's just the same doll with a new hat, but they all prefer to stick with Malibu Stacy (largely due to a phrase from Smithers, "but she's got a new hat!")... except for one little girl, who leaves with a Lisa Lionheart doll. Lisa remarks that even though they didn't sell out of the dolls, if the doll makes one little girl happy, it'll all be worth it. Stacy agrees, and mutters under her breath, 'as long as that girl spends $4–6,000 on that doll.'