Bart Sells His Soul (The Simpsons)
"Bart Sells His Soul" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons' seventh season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 8, 1995.
After conducting a prank on the First Church of Springfield, Bart sells his soul to Milhouse for five dollars. Bart comes to regret his decision, and goes on a desperate quest to regain his soul. In the end, he gets it back with the assistance of an unexpected source.
Why It Rocks
- The episode gives some justice to Bart's character, a intentionally unlikable brat, with some much needed character growth and development.
- Greg Daniels, writer of the episode, was inspired by a real-life story from his youth where he had purchased a bully's soul with the added benefit of animation.
- Writers from the fields of religion, philosophy, popular culture, and psychology cited the episode in books discussing The Simpsons about the show's approach to the nature of the soul.
- Moe is a highlight of the episode, managing to come off even more comedic and his sub-plot of making his run-down tavern into a family-orientated restaurant (partially inspired by Chili's).
- The episode is one of the most brilliantly and tightly written of the season; all the dialogue is quick, mouthful, and snappy followed by the humorous jokes and gags.
- Homer and Marge, despite the small amount of screentime they have, are pretty endearing.
- "ALF Pogs! Remember ALF? He's back! In Pog form!"
- The scene at the beginning where Bart tricks the entire Church into singing "In a Gadda da Vida".
The Only Bad Quality
- Milhouse acts a little out of character in this episode.
- Matt Groening, the creator of the series, listed it as one of his favorite episodes.
- The episode was written and executive produced by Greg Daniels (the future creator of The Office).
The episode was positively received by critics and audiences, and is regarded as one of the series' best.