The family is seen seated on the couch, and the camera pulls back to reveal this as a picture hanging in a sweatshop where workers are producing merchandise and animation cels for the show. Eventually, the scene zooms out to see a 20th Century Fox-esque building, complete with searchlights.
A visit by a Springfield Elementary alum-turned-Ivy-League student pushes Lisa to question her own go-getter attitude and reevaluate the scope of her extracurricular activities. Convinced that there is no such thing as having too many clubs or activities listed on her resume, Lisa jumps at the opportunity to coach Bart's little league team. Despite having little understanding of baseball, Lisa coaches the team to a record winning streak by putting her book smarts in statistics and probability into play. But when Bart questions Lisa's coaching tactics and confronts her for taking the fun out of baseball, Lisa benches him from the championship game. Hoping to lift his spirits, Marge spends the day with Bart at an amusement park where MLB manager and former catcher Mike Scioscia gives Bart sound advice and reminds him of his genuine love of the sport. Meanwhile, with one last chance to win the game, Lisa makes an unexpected call and learns that there is more to sports than winning. Lisa and Bart make up at the end, when Lisa says Bart is a good brother 51% of the time.
Approximately the first half minute of the Opening Sequence remains the same, with a few oddities: the word "BANKSY" is sprayed onto a number of walls and other public spaces, including the billboard gag from "Take My Life, Please". The chalkboard gag ("I must not write all over the walls") is written all over the classroom walls, clock, door, and floor.
After the Simpsons arrive at home, the camera cuts to a shot of them on the couch, then zooms out to show this as a picture hanging on the wall of a fictional Chinese animation and merchandise sweatshop. The animation color quickly becomes drab and gray, and the music becomes dramatic and similar to that of Schindler's List.
A large group of tired and sickly artists draw animation cels for The Simpsons amongst piles of human bones and toxic waste, and a female artist hands a barefoot child employee an animation cel, which he washes in a vat of biohazardous fluid.
The camera tracks down to a lower floor on the building, where small kittens are thrown into a woodchipper-type machine to provide the filling for Bart Simpson plush dolls. The toys are then placed in to a cart pulled by a panda which is driven by a man with a whip. A man shipping boxes with The Simpsons logo on the side uses the tongue from a decapitated dolphin head to fasten shut the packages. Another employee uses the horn of a sickly unicorn to smash the holes in the center of The Simpsons DVDs. The shot zooms out to reveal that sweatshop is contained within a grim version of the 20th Century Fox logo, surrounded by barbed wire, searchlights, and a watchtower. The entire scene is running on the Simpsons' TV set.
British graffiti artist and political activist Banksy is credited with creating the opening titles and couch gag for this episode, in what amounted to the first time that an artist has been invited to storyboard the show. Executive producer Al Jean first took note of Banksy after seeing his 2010 film Exit Through the Gift Shop. According to Jean, "The concept in my mind was, 'What if this graffiti artist came in and tagged our main titles?'" Simpsons casting director Bonita Pietila was able to contact the artist through the film's producers, and asked if he would be interested in writing a main title for the show. Jean said Banksy "sent back boards for pretty much what you saw." Series creator Matt Groening gave the idea his blessing, and helped try to make the sequence as close to Banksy's original storyboards as possible. Fox's standards and practices department demanded a handful of changes, but, according to Jean, "95 percent of it is just the way he wanted."
Banksy told The Guardian that his Opening Sequence was influenced by The Simpsons long-running use of animation studios in Seoul, South Korea. The newspaper also reported that the creation of the sequence "is said to have been one of the most closely guarded secrets in US television – comparable to the concealment of Banksy's own identity."
BBC News reported that "According to Banksy, his storyboard led to delays, disputes over broadcast standards and a threatened walk out by the animation department." However, Al Jean disputed this, saying " [The animation department] didn't walk out. Obviously they didn't. We've depicted the conditions in a fanciful light before." Commenting on hiring Banksy to create the titles, Jean joked, "This is what you get when you outsource." Although conceding to the fact that The Simpsons is largely animated in South Korea, Jean went on to state that the scenes shown in titles are "very fanciful, far-fetched. None of the things he depicts are true. That statement should be self-evident, but I will emphatically state it."
Colby Hall of Mediaite called the sequence "a jaw-dropping critique of global corporate licensing, worker exploitation and over-the-top dreariness of how western media companies (in this case, 20th Century Fox) takes advantage of outsourced labor in developing countries." Melissa Bell of The Washington Post felt Banksy's titles had helped revive The Simpsons' "edge", but after "the jarring opening, the show went back to its regular routine of guest cameos, self-referential jokes and tangential story lines." Marlow Riley of MTV wrote "as satire, [the opening is] a bit over-the-top. What is shocking is that Fox ran Banksy's ballsy critique of outsourcing, The Simpsons, and the standards and human rights conditions that people in first world nations accept. It's uncomfortable and dark, and not what's expected from the modern Simpsons, which mainly consists of 'Homer hurts himself' jokes."
AOL said: "In the end, the episode was really good at the beginning and the ending, but the middle kind of dragged." The A.V. Club compared the episode to "Lisa on Ice" although they didn't like Mike Scioscia's cameo calling it "awkward". The episode was given a A-, the best grade of the night.