I'm Spelling As Fast As I Can
Production Code
Broadcast Index
Episode Number
16 February 2003
Kevin Curran
Nancy Kruse
Executive Producer
Al Jean
Guest Stars
George Plimpton
DVD Commentary
Al Jean
Kevin Curran
Ian Maxtone-Graham
Matt Selman
John Frink
Brian Kelley
Dan Castellaneta
Yeardley Smith
Davis Silverman
Jimmy Heenan
  • Character Debuts:
  • • Booberella
Plot Bart and Homer are watching a program featuring Boobarella, a well-endowed female vampire similar to Elvira. A commercial plays for the "Ribwich", a new Krusty burger in which meat from an unidentified animal is processed and molded into the shape of ribs. Homer can't wait for it to come to Springfield. The next day at a school assembly, Principal Skinner announces that the school is holding a spelling bee.<br /><br />Homer samples the Ribwich, recently arrived at the Krusty Burger in Springfield, and becomes addicted.<br /><br />Lisa is excited when she wins the school spelling bee, for which she is awarded a "scale model of the planet Mars" (a kickball with the word "Mars" written on it). She continues to the state spelling bee, and wins again, qualifying her for the Spellympics to be held in Calgary.<br /><br />Marge suggests they celebrate, but Homer says he has "important daddy business" - which turns out to be eating Ribwiches with Lenny and Carl. Unfortunately, when they arrive at Krusty Burger, the limited-time-only Ribwiches are no longer in stock. Homer is shattered, but a "Ribhead" (a fan of the Ribwich) tells him that it is being tested in other markets and shows him a tour schedule. Homer decides to follow a group of Ribheads as they track the release of the Ribwich.<br /><br />At the Spellympics, hosted by George Plimpton, Lisa wins the semi-finals and secures a spot in the finals. Homer says he still cannot attend, as he wants to eat Ribwiches in the last release in San Francisco. The other two finalists are Sun Moon, an Asian girl, and Alex, a cute little boy with big round glasses. George Plimpton takes Lisa aside and gives her a speech about Spelling Bees' low ratings, thanks to the dominance of reality shows. He tells her that if she lets Alex win, she will be given a free scholarship to any Seven Sisters college and a free George Plimpton hotplate. Lisa is torn between wanting to win the Spellympics and free college.<br /><br />That night, Lisa dreams of an ancient Greek setting in which each anthromorphized Seven Sister tries to lure her to her college (Plimpton also appears to add, "and a hotplate!"). She wakes up and asks Marge whether they can afford to send her to college. Marge is unsure, but promises to do whatever it takes to get Lisa into college. Despite Marge's reassurances, Lisa is still uneasy.<br /><br />In San Francisco, Homer pigs out on Ribwiches. A limousine pulls up and Krusty pops out of the sun-roof and informs all the Ribheads that the Ribwich can no longer be made, as the small animal from which it is made (one with "more legs (than a cow)") is now extinct. He tosses the last one into the crowd. Homer catches it, fighting off the others. When an Italian Ribhead promises him "the lease-a of my car" in return for the last Ribwich, Homer suddenly remembers Lisa and the Spellympics. He agrees to the trade and takes off in the sports car. The Italian suffers "buyer's remorse" after finishing the Ribwich.<br /><br />At the Spellympics finals, George Plimpton asks Sun Moon to spell "whether/weather", deliberately confusing her by using both words in a sentence. He disqualifies her when she starts "W-E..." Next is Alex's turn, in which he spells "rigged" correctly. Finally, Lisa steps up and is asked to spell "intransigence". She is about to start, when Homer shows up and shouts encouragingly at her. Lisa, happy to see her father, tells everyone that she was told to take a dive and proceeds to spell the word, but she spells it "I-N-T-R-A-N-S-I-G-A-N-C-E". She is disqualified and George tells her that now she gets nothing.<br /><br />On the way back to Springfield, Lisa is crestfallen at having lost the Spellympics. Homer tries to cheer her up, but she feels that she has let down the whole town. However, she finds that the town has assembled at the Simpson residence to felicitate her. Mayor Quimby tells her that even though she did not win first prize, she has done better than anyone else in Springfield (even outachieving the Springfield woman who once dated Charles Grodin!) They have even carved out her likeness in a mountain nearby. Lisa is thrilled.<br />
Intro Gags
The Living Room is drawn on an Etch-A-Sketch
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