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Bart, the Mother script

When Bart accidentally kills a bird with Nelson Muntz's BB gun, he tries to save its eggs. However, when they hatch they turn out to be a pair of destructive lizards.

Episode 5F22, Season 10
First aired Sep 27, 1998
Written by David S. Cohen
Directed by Stephen Dean Moore

ACT ONE

At the Simpson home, Homer calls everyone together.

HOMER
Mail call! Gather 'round, everyone! All right, one for... resident.

MARGE
That's me!

HOMER
Well, that's it.

BART
One stinkin' letter? Why'd you make us gather 'round like that?

HOMER
I needed my power fix. (sighs with pleasure)

MARGE
Hey, listen to this! (reads letter) "Congratulations, your child, or children, have been selected to appear in 'Who's Who Among American Elementary School Students.'"

Homer gasps, then belches.

MARGE
"Please submit their names, along with ninety-five dollars, for each handsome volume you wish to order!" Oh, I've never been so proud! (kisses both of them) You both deserve a big, big reward!

LISA
Mom, they put every kid in America in that book, just so gullible parents will buy it. It's all a big scam.

BART
(quietly to Lisa) Shut up...

MARGE
Are you sure? I can usually smell a scam from two towns over.

BART
(winking at Lisa) Yeah, Lis, she is a smart, sophisticated woman. Now, let's hear more about that big, big reward.

HOMER
Yeah, quit stalling, Marge, we want our reward.

The Simpsons arrive at the Family Fun Center.

MARGE
One reward, coming up! Tada!

Everyone cheers. The family park and get out of the car.

HOMER
Oh man, it feels good to get out of that car. Ooh, go-karts! Come on, everybody, let's go!

The family, Milhouse and Nelson drive around the go-kart track.

HOMER
Hehehehe, Look at me, Bart! I'm driving!

BART
We're all proud of you, Dad.

Lisa tries to get past Marge.

LISA
Move it, pokey.

MARGE
Slow and steady wins the race! (Lisa, and the others pass Marge twice each.) Easy, easy, stick with the plan.

Nelson is passing Milhouse, who is wearing a crash helmet. He bumps into Milhouse and knocks him over, but he bounces back up off the side cushion.

NELSON
Uh, are you alright, man?

MILHOUSE
Uh, I think so.

NELSON
How about now?

Nelson bumps him harder, and Milhouse crashes.

MILHOUSE
Aah!

MARGE
That was no accident. Shame on you, Nelson Muntz!

NELSON
Cram it, ma'am.

Bart and Lisa watch Homer try out a batting cage.

HOMER
Stand back and watch the pro.

LISA
Uh, shouldn't you put on a batting helmet?

HOMER
Nah, they mess up my hair.

Homer puts a coin in the machine, and it fires a ball at him. He misses.

HOMER
Ooh, ball one. (he misses again) Ball two. This bozo's gonna walk me. (ball hits him on the head) Hey! You're goin' down, you-- (hit) d'oh! (hit) why you-- (hit) ow!!

He falls to the ground and several more balls hit him.

LISA
Hang in there, Dad, just half a basket left!

BART
Wow, you sure get a lot of balls for a quarter.

Lisa plays skee-ball. She bowls the ball, and Maggie, sat on top of the machine, catches it and puts it into the middle hole.

LISA
Yes! Maggie you!

NELSON
Hey, that's cheating!

He takes the machine apart and pulls out a roll of tickets. Bart is at the counter.

BART
Okay, what can I get for twelve, count 'em, twelve prize tickets?

TEENAGER
Two thumbtacks and a moustache comb. Or five rubber bands and an ice cube.

NELSON
What can I get for eight thousand tickets?

TEENAGER
A BB Gun or an Easy Bake Oven.

NELSON
Hmm... hot food is tempting. But I just can't say no to a weapon.

BART
Whoa! Can I try that sometime?

NELSON
Yeah, sure. Never hurts to have a second set of prints on a gun.

BART
Wow, thanks, Nelson, I'll come by your house later!

MARGE
Oh, no you won't! You stay away from Nelson Muntz.

BART
But Mom!

MARGE
Nelson's a troubled, lonely, sad little boy. He needs to be isolated from everyone.

BART
But Mom!

MARGE
Yes?

BART
That's all I got.

Back at home, Lisa talks to Bart in his room.

LISA
So what prize did you end up getting?

BART
Moustache comb. What'd you get?

LISA
Fake moustache. Wanna comb it?

BART
Oh, this sucks. It's time to punch out of this yawn factory. I'm going to Nelson's.

He jumps out of the window, onto a tree branch.

LISA
But Mom said not to.

BART
She doesn't scare me. I do what I want, when I want. (brushes himself off) Oh God, inchworms!

Bart arrives at Nelson's house. Nelson carves a message of the wall. It reads, "Mom - Dad called, Re: Bail".

BART
Won't you get in trouble if your Mom sees you doing that?

NELSON
Eh, my Mom's got bigger problems. She doesn't give a crap what I do.

BART
Wow, you are so lucky.

NELSON
Come on, let's lock and load. (stops Bart) You're not going out without a scarf, are you?

BART
Nah, I don't need one.

NELSON
Eh, it's your health.

In the backyard, Nelson practices shooting.

NELSON
Think I can hit that bottle?

BART
Yeah, probably.

Nelson shoots and hits the bottle.

NELSON
Shows what you know. Hey, check this out! (he shoots at an old car) That's my Dad's shooting car. Just three more payments and it's ours.

BART
Aw cool! Can I get a shot now?

NELSON
Hang on! First how about I try and peg you in the stomach?

BART
Mm, no thanks.

NELSON
Or what about you put on these nerd glasses and I try to shoot them off?

BART
No way! Come on, quit hogging the gun!

The boys notice a bird singing in a tree. Nelson gives Bart the gun.

NELSON
Bet you can't hit that bird from here.

BART
Are you crazy? I don't want to shoot a stupid bird.

NELSON
That's 'cause you know you can't. You're not a super-stud like me!

BART
Am too!

NELSON
Are not! You're an octo-wussy. (mocking Bart) Whoa, look at me, I'm Bart Simpson! I'm scared to use a gun! I'm gonna marry Milhouse! I walk around like this. (he dances) La, la, la, la, la, la...

BART
Hey, quit it! Hmm...

Bart aims the gun towards the bird. He lines it up, but then moves it to the right and fires. He hits the bird, and it falls to the ground.

BART
Oh my god!

NELSON
Whoa, major shot! You even compensated for the crooked sight!

BART
Crooked sight?

NELSON
You are one cold blooded killer, dude!

BART
But, but, I wasn't... I didn't...

Nelson runs over to examine the bird.

NELSON
Right through the neck! (He whistles.) Doesn't get any sweeter than that, Simpson. Savor the moment.

BART
Oh...

 

ACT TWO

At home, Homer and Marge fold laundry. Homer hands Marge a ball of socks.

HOMER
Okay, I rolled up all the socks, what's next?

MARGE
(groans) While I deal with this, why don't you start on that basket?

HOMER
All right... oh, I hate folding sheets.

MARGE
That's your underwear.

HOMER
Well, whatever it is, it's a two man job. Where's Bart?

MARGE
He's up in his room. (calls upstairs) Bart!

HOMER
It's okay, Marge, I'll get him. (yelling very loudly) Bart!!!

LISA
(walking in) What the heck's going on?

MARGE
We need Bart to help fold your father's underpants. Where is he, anyway?

LISA
Bart? Uh, he went to play with a friend.

MARGE
He didn't go to Nelson's, did he?

LISA
No, no. I'm pretty sure he's with Milhouse.

HOMER
(leaning out the window and yelling even louder) MILHOUSE!!!

MILHOUSE
(yelling from a distance) WHAT?!!

HOMER
TELL BART TO COME HOME!!!

MILHOUSE
I THINK HE'S AT NELSON'S!!!

HOMER
WHO'S NELSON?!!

MARGE
Nelson?! I explicitly forbade Bart from playing with that little monster. Ooh, Bart is in deep, deep trouble. (she starts to walk out, then turns back to Homer) Oh yes, and punish Lisa for lying to us. (she leaves)

HOMER
(giving Lisa some money) Alright young lady, I want you to march yourself directly to the Kwik-E-Mart and get me some chips and a beer! (he pauses then gives her more money.) Get a little something for your self, honey.

Back at Nelson's. The boys examine the bird.

NELSON
Should we bury it, or chuck it into a car full of girls?

BART
Hey, leave it alone!

NELSON
Okay, okay, don't kill me, killer.

BART
Don't calling me that!

NELSON
Relax, Simpson, it was either him or you. No court would convict you.

Bart imagines himself in court, with birds as the judges.

EAGLE
Bart Simpson, do you know why you've been summoned before this tribunal?

BART
Yes, sir. Because I killed an innocent bird.

VULTURE
Dear Lord! We just wanted you to put fresh newspaper on the tribunal floor!

EAGLE
We're knee-deep in our own droppings. It's disgusting.

TOUCAN
But since you've confessed to bird-slaughter, we have no choice but to peck your face off.

BART
No, not the face! Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah!

The birds peck him in the face. The scene fades back to Nelson's backyard, where Nelson repeatedly slaps Bart across the face.

BART
Ah! Ah! Ah! Ow, what are you doing?!

NELSON
Eh, I got bored, so I started slapping you.

Marge pulls up in the car. Bart stands in front of the dead bird to hide it from her.

BART
(gasp) Uh oh!

MARGE
Young man, you're coming home with me this minute.

NELSON
All right, finally, a real home!

MARGE
Not you... Bart!

NELSON
Oh. See you later, Killer!

MARGE
"Killer"? Why did he call you "Killer"?

BART
Mom, you were right. Nelson is bad news. Can we go home?

MARGE
What are you hiding there?

BART
Nothing! (some cats congregate behind him)

MARGE
What are those cats doing behind you?

BART
Uh... cats like me? (a cat jumps from the tree onto his shoulder) Get... get off! Get off!

All the cats run away, leaving the dead bird exposed.

MARGE
(gasp) Bart! Did you kill that poor bird?

BART
I didn't mean to, Mom. The gun pulled to the left--

MARGE
You disobeyed me, snuck over here, and murdered a helpless animal?

BART
I know, I really screwed up. I deserve to be punished.

MARGE
What's the point, Bart? I punish, and I punish, and I punish, but it never sinks in. So you know what? Do what you want. You wanna play with little hoodlums, fine. Have fun killing things.

BART
Mom, wait!

Marge drives off. Bart turns back to Nelson's house. Nelson is frying a carrot and humming the Simpsons theme. He then notices a nest, with eggs in, up in the tree.

BART
Oh my god! (he climbs the tree) Hi little eggs. I'm not sure how to tell you this, but... y-your mother was involved in an incident. Mistakes were made... by me. But don't worry, I'll take care of you.

Bart takes the eggs. He visits Springfield Library, where he watches a film called "Birds: Our Fine Feathered Colleagues". Troy McClure stars.

TROY
Hi, I'm Troy McClure. You may remember me from such nature films as "Earwigs, Ew!", and "Man Versus Nature: The Road to Victory". In all the animal kingdom, no mother is more devoted than the blue jay. Valuing her eggs above even her own life, the mother bird regularly fights off such fearsome predators as the badger and the mongoose.

In a tree, Troy puts a badger and a mongoose on the branch next to her. The mother chases them off.

TROY
Of course, one thing Mother blue jay can't defend against is a set of steel tongs.

He lifts the bird out of the nest with the tongs, revealing the eggs.

TROY
Eggs. Precious eggs. If they're to survive, they require the gentle warmth and tender love that only a mother can provide. Or better yet, a seventy-five watt bulb.

In a laboratory, Troy places the eggs into a glass box, lit with a light bulb.

TROY
Oh, hello! In a few days, our eggs will hatch into nestlings, like these over here.

He walks over to a cage of nestlings. A boy enters the scene.

BILLY
They look awfully hungry, Mr. McClure.

TROY
They sure are, Billy. In nature, their mother would regurgitate food for them to eat.

BILLY
That's gross!

TROY
(laughs) It sure is, Billy. It sure is.

The film ends. Bart writes a few things down, and leaves. He passes Reverend Lovejoy, checking out a book.

LIBRARIAN
You've checked out this Bible every weekend for the last nine years. Surely it would be easier just to buy one?

REVEREND LOVEJOY
Perhaps, on a librarian's salary.

In the tree house, Bart sets up the nest as on the video.

BART
Hey fellas, good news! I found an extra seventy-five watt light bulb lying around!

In the house, Homer carries a box to the basement, whistling. He switches the light on, but it does not come on and he falls down the stairs.

HOMER
D'oh!

When he reaches the bottom, he starts whistling again.

BART
Check it out guys, I've been working on this regurgitation thing. (he makes a choking sound) Oh yeah, hope you like Pop Tarts! (looking at the eggs) I think I'll call you Chirpy Boy, and you Bart Junior. And you can call me Mother. No, wait, that sounds kinda fruity. Just call me Mom.

Bart protects the eggs. He moves the light bulb closer when it is too cold and protects the eggs from the rain with a parasol. Homer falls down the basement stairs several times during this sequence. Finally, Bart appears from the trapdoor to hose the cat when it gets too close. The cat runs into the kitchen, shakes itself off onto the dog, who in turn shakes himself off onto Homer. Homer shakes himself off and gets a beer.

MARGE
What do you think he's doing up there?

HOMER
I don't know. Drug lab?

MARGE
Drug lab?!

HOMER
Or reading comic books, what am I, Kreskin? You tell me what he's doing.

MARGE
I don't know, and I don't want to know. And I'm going to find out.

Marge walks outside and sees a cable running up to the tree house.

MARGE
Oh, my good gray extension cord!

She unplugs it. In the tree house, the light bulb goes out.

BART
Oh, no! I've got to keep these warm.

MARGE
(calling up) Bart, stop whatever you're doing and come down here!

BART
Can't right now! Come back later.

MARGE
(climbing tree) Oh, I'll come back later. (reaches top) How's this for later?

BART
Mom, listen--

MARGE
Why are you sitting like that? What are you hiding this time?

Bart moves away to reveal the eggs.

MARGE
Eggs?

BART
That bird I killed was their mother. I don't want her babies to die, too.

Marge prepares to tell Bart off, but can't do it.

MARGE
Hmm, oh, oh honey come here.

She hugs him, but notices one of the eggs hatching.

MARGE
Oh my goodness, look!

In the kitchen, the eggs are sat on a table.

HOMER
Oh man, this is the most exiting thing I've ever seen since Hailey's comet collided with the moon.

LISA
That never happened, Dad.

HOMER
Sure it didn't...

BART
Is the nest still warm enough, Mom?

MARGE
Hmm, they're starting to cool down. I'll bake another pie.

She pulls out a pie from underneath the nest. Homer grabs it.

HOMER
Ooh, how about cherry this time? And would it kill ya to make some coffee?

The family stare at the eggs.

HOMER
Why's it taking so long? Bart was born in about five minutes.

MARGE
Actually, it took fifty-three hours.

HOMER
Really? Well, the time just flew by, didn't it?

Marge groans. Later, the eggs start to hatch.

BART
Everybody come quick! They're hatching!

MARGE
I see a foot!

LISA
I see an eye!

BART
I see a neck!

HOMER
I see a horn!

LISA
A horn?

Two lizards hatch from the eggs, looking cute.

FAMILY
Aw...

The lizards suddenly turn and hiss at them.

FAMILY
Aah!

 

ACT THREE

The family look at the lizards.

BART
Man, those are some funky-looking birds.

HOMER
Oh, hehehehehe, you look like a little tiny dinosaur. (He touches one, and it bites his finger.) Aah! This is one vicious baby bird.

LISA
Dad, they aren't birds.

BART
Sure they are. They came from eggs in a bird's nest. Therefore, they're birds. Ikso fatso.

LISA
One, they don't have beaks, two, they don't have feathers, and three, they're lizards!

BART
You're a lizard!

HOMER
Enough bickering! I know how to settle this.

MARGE
No kickboxing!

HOMER
Aw... (takes the pie) if anybody wants me, I'll be eating alone in the basement.

He walks out, and falls down the basement stairs yet again.

At a local bird-watching society. Principal Skinner leads the discussion.

SKINNER
Now, uh, people. There's been some confusion about our bird sighting rules. You cannot count birds that you've seen at the zoo, on stamps, or in dreams.

MOE
Well, I'm back to square one.

He tears up his piece of paper. A pigeon lands on the window sill. Jasper looks at it through binoculars.

JASPER
My god - a pigeon. That's the last bird on my list. Heh. So long, suckers!

He leaves, and Bart, Marge and Lisa enter, with the lizards.

BART
Excuse me, can you tell us what type of birds these are?

SKINNER
Good heavens! I'm very glad you brought those in, Bart. I'll just get them killed, and you can be on your way.

He puts the lizards under a paper cutter and is about to kill them, when Bart snatches them back.

BART
Hey! What the heck are you doing?

SKINNER
(holding up a notepad) My civic duty, that's what.

LISA
(reading notepad) Bolivian Tree Lizards?

SKINNER
Mm-hmm. It's a vicious ovoraptor. It feasts on bird eggs and lays its own in the nest. The unsuspecting mother bird cares for them until the babies hatch and... devour her too.

MOE
(laughing) What a chump!

SKINNER
It's already wiped out the Dodo, the Cuckoo, and the Ne-Ne, and it has nasty plans for the Booby, the Titmouse, the Woodcock, and the Titpecker.

MARGE
How vile!

SKINNER
The one thing that mystifies me is how a Bolivian Tree Lizard made it to Springfield.

APU
(coughs, looking shifty) That... is a puzzlement...

The scene dissolves to the Kwik-E-Mart some time ago. Apu opens a box of donuts from Bolivia. Two lizards escape from the box and leave the store. The scene fades back to reality, where Apu still looks shifty.

BURNS
Look, Skinner, we haven't got all day. Kill the horrid beasts... and do away with their lizards.

BART
No, don't hurt them! I'll just keep them as pets.

SKINNER
No, they might escape and breed. The law is very clear on this, they must be exterminated as quickly and gruesomely as possible. (holds up an electric drill)

BART
No, they're mine!

MARGE
I'm sure we can work this out. He's just a child. Let me talk to him.

SKINNER
All right, I'll give you a moment. That'll give us time to prepare for the splatter.

Several people put on safety goggles. Marge takes Bart outside and shuts the door.

MARGE
Bart, I'm sorry, but there's nothing we can do. Your lizards are banned by federal law.

BART
Everyone thinks they're monsters. But I raised them, and I love them! I know that's hard to understand.

MARGE
Not as hard as you think. (whispering) Run for it.

BART
Really?

She nods. Bart gives her a kiss and runs off. Skinner opens the door.

SKINNER
(looking at his watch) Okay, that's exactly one moment-- (gasps) Oh my God, he's getting away!

SMITHERS
Stop him!

MOE
Out of the way, Midge.

MARGE
(blocking the doorway) Oh, am I in the way?

BURNS
Yes, yes, you're in the way! Are you daft, woman?

MARGE
(still blocking the doorway) Sorry, I didn't realize I was in the way.

SKINNER
You're still in the way. You don't seem to be moving at all.

EDNA KREBAPPEL
Oh, for crying out loud, just knock her ass down.

She pushes Marge aside.

MOE
Way to shove, Edna.

APU
Let us roll.

Bart, hiding in an empty room, talks to his lizards.

BART
Guys, is it really true? Are you really egg-killers? (they look at him innocently) Don't use that look on me, I invented that look.

The bird-watching society burst in. Burns looks through binoculars from the wrong end.

BURNS
There he is! Off in the distance!

Bart runs up the stairs, and onto the roof.

SKINNER
Okay Bart. This is where it ends. Relinquish the lizards. (Bart turns away) I said, relinquish!

Skinner grabs the box, and they struggle. He pulls the lid off, and the lizards fly off the roof.

BART
Oh no! You killed them!

SKINNER
Good riddance to bad lizards.

Suddenly, the lizards spread out some flaps and glide to the ground.

BART
Hey! Whoa, look at them! Go Chirpy Boy! Go Bart Junior!

SKINNER
Oh, nuts!

LISA
Wow, did you know they had those webbed flaps for gliding?

SKINNER
Yes. But I was hoping they didn't know that. (The lizards reach the ground and run off) Well, I hope you're happy, Bart. You have no idea what kind of plague you've unleashed upon this town.

Kent Brockman reads the news.

KENT
Our top story, the population of parasitic tree lizards has exploded, and local citizens couldn't be happier! It seems the rapacious reptiles have developed a taste for the common pigeon, also known as the 'feathered rat', or the 'gutter bird'. For the first time, citizens need not fear harassment by flocks of chattering disease-bags.

Later, Bart receives an award from Mayor Quimby outside the town hall. Several lizards slink past.

QUIMBY
For decimating our pigeon population, and making Springfield a less oppressive place to while away our worthless lives, I present you with this scented candle.

Skinner talks to Lisa.

SKINNER
Well, I was wrong. The lizards are a godsend.

LISA
But isn't that a bit short-sighted? What happens when we're overrun by lizards?

SKINNER
No problem. We simply unleash wave after wave of Chinese needle snakes. They'll wipe out the lizards.

LISA
But aren't the snakes even worse?

SKINNER
Yes, but we're prepared for that. We've lined up a fabulous type of gorilla that thrives on snake meat.

LISA
But then we're stuck with gorillas!

SKINNER
No, that's the beautiful part. When wintertime rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death.

The family head back to the car.

HOMER
I'm proud of you boy. (sniffs candle) Mmm... loganberry.

LISA
I don't get it, Bart. You got all upset when you killed one bird, but now you've killed tens of thousands, and it doesn't bother you at all.

BART
Hey, you're right... (pause) I call the front seat!

LISA
You had it on the way over!

As the kids fight for the front seat, a pigeon is dragged to the ground and killed by a group of lizards. Fade to credits.