The Simpsons: Season 3 (1991 - 1992)


Season 3
The Simpsons

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Air date: Sep 19, 1991

Knowing her family has a habit of forgetting important dates, Lisa Simpson (voice of Yeardley Smith) has been reminding everyone that her birthday is coming up. Homer (voice of Dan Castellaneta) is trying to brainstorm a suitable gift for his daughter, but as often happens, life takes a rather odd turn for him; after Homer's work shirts turn pink in the wash (thanks to a red hat in the washer), Mr. Burns (voice of Harry Shearer) becomes convinced Homer is some sort of troublemaker, and when Homer is given a take-home exam to measure his emotional stability, he lets Bart (voice of Nancy Cartwright) fill it out for him. Bart's answers win Homer a one-way trip for a short stay the New Bedlam Rest Home For the Emotionally Interesting, where he meets a 300-pound Caucasian bricklayer who is convinced he's Michael Jackson (voice of John Jay Smith) -- and can sing and dance just like him. Homer, not familiar with the King of Pop, doesn't think there's anything unusual about this, but when he gets his release papers, Homer informs the family he's bringing Michael Jackson home with him, leading to a great deal of confusion which doesn't cast a positive light on Homer's mental hygiene. While one John Jay Smith was credited with providing the voice of Michael Jackson in "Stark Raving Dad," it was later revealed that Smith was actually Jackson himself, appearing under an assumed name to avoid legal action over contractual conflicts.

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Air date: Sep 26, 1991

After a free copy of the magazine Reading Digest arrives in the mail, Homer Simpson (voice of Dan Castellaneta) becomes a sudden (if short-lived) convert to the joys of the written word, and when he discovers the magazine is sponsoring a children's essay competition for "Patriots of Tomorrow," he urges Lisa (voice of Yeardley Smith) to enter. Lisa's essay is good enough to land her in the competition finals, and the Simpson family is flown to Washington D.C., all expenses paid, for the occasion. While Bart (voice of Nancy Cartwright) teaches Homer some lessons about the value of room service, Lisa spots one of Springfield's congressmen taking a bribe from a lobbyist to bypass environmental legislation. Angry and disillusioned, Lisa tosses away her essay about the value of democracy and instead reads a new one about the spread of political corruption in the United States, little realizing the lengths to which the federal government will go to ensure that one little girl can believe in the integrity of America's leadership. "Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington" was first aired on September 26, 1991.

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Air date: Oct 3, 1991

Homer Simpson (voice of Dan Castellaneta) has never much cared for his next-door neighbor, the aggressively cheerful, born-again Christian Ned Flanders (voice of Harry Shearer). But it's not in Homer's nature to turn down barbecue, so he grudgingly tags along when Ned invites the Simpsons to a cookout. As it turns out, Ned uses the occasion to announce he's given up his job as a pharmaceutical salesman to open his own business, a shop called the Leftorium that specializes in gadgets for southpaws. Homer wins a wishbone-pulling contest with Ned, and in a fit of pique wishes to himself that Ned's business becomes a dismal failure. However, when the Leftorium falls on hard times and the Flanders family is reduced to living out of their car, Homer wonders if Lisa (voice of Yeardley Smith) might have a point about the dangers of "shameful joy." Meanwhile, Bart (voice of Nancy Cartwright) begins taking karate classes, but loses interest when he learns he'll have to read a book rather than break stuff -- which becomes a problem when he tries to fool the family into thinking he's still attending class. "When Flanders Failed" was first aired on October 3, 1991.

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Air date: Oct 10, 1991

Bart Simpson (voice of Nancy Cartwright) is riding his skateboard home after a hard day at school when he falls down a flight of stairs and finds himself in "The Legitimate Businessman's Social Club," a meeting place for Fat Tony (voice of Joe Mantegna) and other kingpins of the Springfield Mafia. Forced to mix a Manhattan, Bart proves to be a pretty good bartender, and Fat Tony offers him a job after school. But Bart's duties at the Social Club take up more and more of his time, and when Principal Skinner (voice of Harry Shearer) makes Bart stay after school, Fat Tony is not amused. The next day, Skinner disappears and is soon presumed dead, and when Police Chief Wiggum (voice of Hank Azaria) confronts Fat Tony, he pins the blame on Bart. Soon Bart is on trial for murder, and the various members of the "Social Club" testify that the boy is actually the godfather of a vast criminal empire. "Bart The Murderer," which first aired on October 10, 1991, also features a voice performance from Neil Patrick Harris, who plays "Bart Simpson" in a made-for-TV movie, Blood On The Blackboard: The Bart Simpson Story.

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Air date: Oct 17, 1991

No one has ever called Homer Simpson (voice of Dan Castellaneta) one of the prize employees of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, so when there's a potential meltdown of the core, and it falls to Homer to come to the rescue, everyone is pleasantly surprised when he saves the day -- especially Homer, who happened to hit the right button on the control panel through simple dumb luck. Soon, Homer is being hailed as a hero around town, getting congratulatory phone calls from basketball superstar Magic Johnson (who provides his own voice), and is invited to speak on safety at another nuclear plant in Shelbyville. However, Homer feels like a fraud, and is convinced someday people will find out he was lucky, not brave. Meanwhile, Bart (voice of Nancy Cartwright) is short one best friend when Milhouse (voice of Pamela Hayden) is told by his mother that Bart is a bad influence and that he can't spend time with his best friend anymore. "Homer Defined" was first aired on October 17, 1991.

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Air date: Oct 24, 1991

Bart Simpson (voice of Nancy Cartwright) is a loyal fan of children's entertainer Krusty the Clown (voice of Dan Castellaneta), but when Krusty finally takes Bart up on an invitation to dine with his family, he learns the clown is not a very happy man. After Krusty is asked to say grace, the Simpsons discover that he's Jewish and that the source of his depression is his father, Rabbi Krustofski (voice of Jackie Mason), who disowned his son when he chose to go into show business rather than become a rabbi in accordance with family tradition. As Lisa (voice of Yeardley Smith) so eloquently puts it, "A man who envies our family is a man who needs help," so Bart and Lisa take it upon themselves to reunite Krusty with his father; they soon learn, however, that Rabbi Krustofski is a very stubborn man. "Like Father, Like Clown" first aired on October 24, 1991.

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Air date: Oct 31, 1991

In the second annual Halloween spookfest from The Simpsons, Bart (voice of Nancy Cartwright) and Lisa (voice of Yeardley Smith) pig out on candy after trick-or-treating, against the advice of their mother Marge (voice of Julie Kavner). Soon the two kids are having nightmares, as is their father Homer (voice of Dan Castellaneta), never one to stay away from sweets. In Lisa's Nightmare, a parody of the classic tale The Monkey's Paw by W. W. Jacobs, the Simpsons are vacationing in Morocco when Homer buys a monkey's paw that he is told can make wishes come true. The Simpsons, however, don't use it very responsibly (no great surprise there), leading to misery, disappointment, and an alien takeover. Bart's Nightmare is a take-off on the Twilight Zone episode "It's A Good Life," in which Bart is a monster-child who can make his every wish come true, which makes him hell to be around, especially for Homer after Bart transforms him into a Jack-in-the-Box. And in Homer's Nightmare, Homer is fired by C. Montgomery Burns (voice of Harry Shearer), but that's not the half of his problems -- Mr. Burns and his sidekick Smithers (voice of Shearer) then steal Homer's brain to use in a robot they imagine will be the perfect worker. Appropriately enough, "Treehouse of Horror II" first aired on October 31, 1991.

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Air date: Nov 7, 1991

Shortly before she is to perform in the school's talent show, Lisa (voice of Yeardley Smith) breaks the reed to her saxophone, and she calls Homer (voice of Dan Castellaneta) and asks him to bring her a new one. Homer discovers the music store is next door to Moe's Tavern; he decides to grab a quick beer before getting the reed, but by the time he's finished the store has closed, and while he's able to persuade the owner to help him, he doesn't make it in time for Lisa's performance. Dispirited by the realization she can't count on her father, Lisa sinks into a deep depression. Homer is desperate to cheer Lisa up, and knowing her enthusiasm for horses, he decides to buy her a pony. But Homer isn't aware of just how expensive it can be to take care of a horse, and is soon forced to take a second job at the Kwik-E-Mart, where Apu (voice of Hank Azaria) gives him a crash course in the high-risk world of manning the counter at a convenience store ("I won't lie to you -- on this job, you will be shot at!"). However, the strain wears Homer down to a frazzle, and Marge (voice of Julie Kavner) tries to persuade Lisa that her father's health and well-being may be more important than the pony. "Lisa's Pony" first aired on November 7, 1991.

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Air date: Nov 14, 1991

After taking a quiz from the National Fatherhood Institute, Homer Simpson (voice of Dan Castellaneta) comes to the sobering conclusion that he knows next to nothing about his son Bart (voice of Nancy Cartwright) and that he needs to become closer to the boy for the good of them both. Homer discovers Bart is building a car for the annual Soap Box Derby, and decides to help. However, thanks to Homer's limited skills as a handyman, they end up with a car so shoddy it can't even finish the race. While Martin (voice of Russi Taylor) has built the best car, due to his limited skills behind the wheel he hurts his arm in an accident and can no longer drive. Martin persuades Bart to take the wheel of "The Honor Roller" in the interest of beating school bully Nelson (voice of Nancy Cartwright); Homer is crushed that Bart would rather drive a racer built by someone else, and ignores how much he's learned about his son from their time together. "Saturdays of Thunder" was first aired on November 14, 1991.

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Air date: Nov 21, 1991

Business has been bad at Moe's Tavern, Springfield's least inviting watering hole, and Moe (voice of Hank Azaria) has gotten far enough on his bills that he can't afford to buy beer. Moe's best customer, Homer Simpson (voice of Dan Castellaneta), decides to help out by showing how to make a new cocktail he's invented -- the Flaming Homer, a drink whose secret ingredient is Krusty's Non-Narkotik Kough Syrup for Kids. Moe gives the new drink a try, and it quickly becomes a favorite with customers -- but Moe has changed the name to the Flaming Moe. Soon, the Flaming Moe is the talk of the town, and Moe's Tavern is Springfield's number-one hot spot, but Homer is more than a bit irked that Moe is profiting from his handiwork; things become even more tense when a nationwide restaurant chain, Tipsy McStagger's, makes Moe a million-dollar offer for the rights and recipe to the Flaming Moe. "Flaming Moe's" also features a guest appearance by the legendary hard rock band Aerosmith, who provide their own voices; the episode first aired on November 21, 1991.

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Series3 starts off with an unusual cameo: Michael Jackson (a huge "Simpsons" fan) voices an insane-asylum inmate who thinks he's the King of Pop, and who helps Bart write a song for his sister's birthday. As the season progressed, the writers expanded their focus from just the Simpsons family to the entire community of Springfield, a sort of fun-house mirror of suburban America. A number of the peripheral characters get to spend time in the spotlight: Chemically impaired school-bus driver Otto moves in with the Simpsons after losing his job; bartender Moe steals a delicious cocktail recipe from Homer; Bart's best friend Milhouse experiences his first crush; kids-show entertainer Krusty the Clown reunites with his estranged father, a respected rabbi; and mild-mannered neighbor Ned Flanders tries to start his own business.

Cast & Crew

Dan Castellaneta
Homer Jay Simpson
Yeardley Smith
Lisa Simpson
Hank Azaria
Moe Szyslak/Apu Nahasapeemapetilon/Chief Clancy Wiggum/Dr. Nick Riviera/Carl Carlson
Nancy Cartwright
Bartholomew Jo-Jo "Bart" Simpson/Nelson Muntz
Julie Kavner
Marge Simpson
Harry Shearer
Principal Seymour Skinner/Ned Flanders
Pamela Hayden
Milhouse Van Houten
Maggie Roswell
Maude Flanders / Helen Lovejoy / Others
Marcia Wallace
Mrs. Krabappel / Others
Russi Taylor
Dr. Hibbert's Daughter / Sherri / Terri / Martin Prince
Phil Hartman
Man in Radio Commercial / Mobster / Troy McClure
Jo Ann Harris
Susan / Collette the Waitress
Joe Frazier
Larry McKay
Football's Greatest Injuries Narrator
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News & Interviews for The Simpsons: Season 3

Critic Reviews for The Simpsons Season 3

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1)

The emotional dynamic for "Stark Raving Dad," echoes that of "Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire," the episode that started it all.

Nov 14, 2017 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

Opening the year with a guest appearance from the King of Pop was a great way to kick off the series' third season... Big guest star, great story and the season just got better from there.

Jun 13, 2018 | Full Review…

In its third year "The Simpsons" finally solidified its politically satirical voice...

Nov 15, 2017 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

I don't need to tell you how great this season was...

Oct 31, 2017 | Rating: 10/10 | Full Review…

It's heartfelt, but not saccharine and always funny, which goes for the entirety of the season, too.

Oct 25, 2017 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Simpsons: Season 3

  • Mar 15, 2014
    The third season of The Simpsons delivers a ton of hilarity as the series kicks into high gear. Moving more into satire and parody, the show comes up with some inspired and brilliant episodes this season; including "Bart the Murderer," "Homer Defined," "Flaming Moe's," and "Homer At the Bat." Additionally, musical guest stars Michael Jackson, Sting, Aerosmith, and Spinal Tap make appearances. And, previous guest stars Kelsey Grammer and Danny DeVito return to the series to reprise their characters of Sideshow Bob and Herbert Powell. The Simpsons has really grown as a series, and Season 3 shows how rich and well developed it has become.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 09, 2020
    Wow great season like before
  • Jul 28, 2019
    A fun, goofier, wilder season of all delights the previous seasons provided. ScreenScore = 100% A+
  • Jan 09, 2019
    I absolutely love Simpsons Series 3, it has some of my all time favourite episodes on it, e.g. Stark Raving Dad (my all time favourite thus far because I haven't seen much episodes), Black Widower, Flaming Moe's, Radio Bart, Saturdays Of Thunder, Separate Vocations, Homer At The Bat, and many more episodes on the series are brilliant. This series contains so episodes which will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole way through (Black Widower for example) and barely any episodes on the series are bad, so overall The Simpsons series 3 is one of my all time favourite Simpsons series so far, and I expect other series to be as good as this. When I was watching this series, I never wanted it to end because it is that good. Watch this series, it is as good as the fourth.
  • Aug 31, 2018
    Boasting some of the most entertaining plots, the funniest gags I've seen on the show this far and more decent satire in the episode plots, the third season of The Simpsons is, in my opinion, one of the best, if not THE best, seasons of the show to date (read: my favourite thus far).
  • Nov 26, 2016
    Season 3 continues the hilarity while never forgetting the heart of the series. A good example is Homer at the Bat, a consistently hilarious episode that, while featuring things like celebrity guests, still holds the show's integrity.
  • Mar 02, 2014
    The final transition! The Simpsons finally found it's voice in this third season, and would only continue to grow throughout the decade.
  • Jan 30, 2014
    Funny at times but sometimes it isn't funny at all, show has been going on too long now i think, overall it is isn't too bad
  • Jan 18, 2014
    The Simpsons Season 3 is another great addition to the series. In this season, we even get Aerosmith!
  • Jan 05, 2014
    The show has finally found its footing as a satirical show that everyone in the family can watch. The final few episodes in particular were heartfelt and hilarious.

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