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Thread: R&R: "The Telltale Head"

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  1. #61
    Truly Outrageous ! Tilly's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
    Over the Rainbow

    I liked it 3/ 5

    It's odd and strange how they don't really care about the Town Founder anymore and in this episode even if you looked at the statue funny you were basically viewed as Satan and even in the new HD opening the bullies cut of his head and nobody really seem to give a toss. :/
    Favorite by season
    1.Krusty Gets Busted 2. Bart Gets An F 3. Lisa's Pony 4. Duffless/Last Exit to Springfiled 5. Homer's Barbershop Quartet 6. And Maggie Makes Three 7. The Curse Of The Flying Hellfish 8.Hurricane Neddy 9 Das Bus 10. Wild Barts Can't Be Broken 11. Saddlesore Galactica 12. HOMR 13. Weekend at Burnsie's. 14. How I Spent My Strummer Vacation. 15. The President Wore Pearls.

  2. #62
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    Nov 2012
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    Not as good as i remembered but still a pretty good episode. Even though the town perhaps overreacted about Bart cutting off the statues head. I could actually relate to Bart, as he was in fear that he had done something bad, when he saw the towns reaction and he was afraid he would get in trouble, so i did not really mind it. Homer listening to football in the church is probably one of my favorite season 1 moments, the sunday school scene was also great. Overall, while its not as good as i remembered its still a good episode. Grade:B
    Last edited by Jerkass Homer; 07-14-2013 at 06:07 AM.

  3. #63
    Junior Camper kid_gruesome's Avatar
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    Sep 2013


    Good episode

  4. #64
    Junior Camper
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    Sep 2013

    I really enjoyed this one. The first episode with Jimbo Jones. 4/5

  5. #65

    average episode, still ok though

  6. #66


    Love the setup with it being a flashback type-thing.

  7. #67
    the protagonist of reality Two Guys, a Girl, and a kat's Avatar
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    Mar 2014
    hamilton, on
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    It's got everything.

    Good plot, Good characterization, Good jokes, Good good, Good episode.

    4.5/5 rounded down to 4/5

  8. #68

    -from my blog: A Simpsons random review

    The Telltale Head

    This episode is much different from most. It's mostly a flashback episode, but it only flashes back to the previous day, and because of this, most of it is setup mounting to the big event near the end. A bit like Who Shot Mr. Burns: Part 1 in a way.

    Because the event is so serious, this episode is not very funny. A Mirkin episode might have been able to do both, but this is still a great
    episode. And it still has funny parts, such as the Sunday school scene.

    Homer and Bart are both characterised perfectly here. Bart's a boy who just wants to make friends. He is mischievous, but he is still reluctant to become friends with Jimbo's gang. Homer's a father who loves his son, but has different ideas about his life to Marge's ideas. All Homer wants to do is watch/listen to the big game, but Marge says he has to go to church. I wouldn't want to go, either (I'm not religious) but Homer just get's a sneaky idea and you can't blame him, really. Although he is meant to be setting an example, in the Simon era he doesn't seem like he knows that.

    But I give this episode a 4.5/5 for being funny in parts, being gripping and for having great characterisation. One of the best of Season 1.

  9. #69

    7/10: I found this episode pretty enjoyable. My favorite part was the scene where Bart goes to Homer for advice on popularity and Homer tells him its the most important thing in the world. Another one of my favorite moments was the Ninja Bart scene. All in all a pretty well rounded episode more enjoyable than i first remember it.

  10. #70
    Stonecutter Mazamaxe's Avatar
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    Jun 2014
    Planet Earth

    Another early classic.


  11. #71
    Junior Camper GeniusEthanFoley's Avatar
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    May 2015

    Yes right away i admit i'm part bias to this episode because it was the first Simpsons episode i ever saw and i was obviously hooked. My personal fav from Season 1, I just like the plot, and the flashback story-telling. That's all! It's just enjoyable to watch and i never tire of it when i watch it again.

  12. #72
    Stonecutter angeldeb82's Avatar
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    Nov 2015
    East Hartford, CT.
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    Since the forums were down for over a day, perhaps I'd like to say that I would like to give "The Telltale Head" a score of four out of five. There were many funny moments like the opening in medias res (and of course the introduction of Jimbo, Dolph, Kearny, Apu, Reverend Lovejoy, and Bart's future frenemy Sideshow Bob), but overall, this episode is good. Not great, but good nonetheless. 4/5

  13. #73

    It was a pretty good intro to a bunch of characters, and it's a good story, but there was minimal humor. 4/5
    Quote Originally Posted by snowstormented View Post
    they're accurate as of the 2015 alien dick census

  14. #74
    Junior Camper
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    Jul 2018

    For it's time, this was a very strong episode. Good story arc, relatable plot that's easy to get invested in, and strong world building for Springfield and the extended cast. Once again Bart carries the better episodes of season 1. The whole "episode starts towards the end and the characters recount what got them there via flashback" is a tried and true narrative technique which the Simpsons usually does well at, and this is no exception. While the premise is odd in retrospect (considering the town really doesn't give a shit about the statue in subsequent seasons, and we know Jebidiah Springfield was a fraud) I can't hold the episode accountable for that, it's the result of time. Create characterization for everyone involve, especially Bart. A tad sappy, but hey, it is season 1.

    Definately a memorable outing. 7/10

  15. #75
    Pin Pal Szyslak100's Avatar
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    Jul 2017

    When Bart cut off the statue of the town's head.

    The Telltale Head is one of those episodes that you like the most when you go to an age where you already have a certain maturity. Until before I saw him again to write this review, I would surely have included him among the five worst episodes of the first season, because I did not have the best memories of him. But my perspective changed too much when I saw it again with a critical eye. And this time, unlike some previous cases, it was a positive change.

    The plot is too serious and does not give rise to laughter. More about that in paragraph 5.

    On this occasion, we have a remarkable story. First, because we are shown one of Bart's most iconic antics, which cuts off the head of the emblem statue of the town, destroying the citizens' morals and showing us the other side of several of them. Get crying in rude characters (e.g. Moe), anger in those who are calm (e.g. Lovejoy) and empathy in the selfish (e.g. Burns). Second, because we are allowed to know a little about the history and reality of Springfield. Until then, Springfield was just a name. But, from here, we know its founder, the controversial Jebediah Springfield, and his heroic victory in a battle against the bear (or, perhaps, his defeat, as that documentary doubts). An enjoyable plot is the necessary basis to have a good performance.

    South Park made reference to this prank in his episode 'Simpsons Already Did It'.

    The greatness of story generates, in turn, other positive things. We know new places in the city, such as the central square, the Aztec cinema or the popular Kwik-e-Mart. In addition, we have the debut of some secondary/recurring characters. Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney present themselves as something more than the bullies of the town. They are criminals, without worries and evil by nature. We also have the first appearance of Apu that, as it could not be otherwise, happens in the Kwik-E-Mart. Sideshow Bob is another character who makes his debut. He does it as patiño, and then as part of the crowd that wanted to kill Bart (this was an omen?). Thanks to this appearance, its protagonism in Krusty Gets Busted would be more fluid. The other character that appears for the first time is Tim Lovejoy, who has good moments exercising his trade.

    Look at that innocent face. He did not know the future that awaited him.

    Bart is the absolute protagonist of this story. And the child was really put to good use. The contrast between him and the bullies is remarkable. He likes to tease and vandalize them. He feels remorse after doing something wrong and they do not. He has limits, and they do not. Bart is not a criminal or a sociopath, and it is something that was understood on this occasion. I also find Homer's characterization very appropriate. His version as a well-meaning father who gets everything wrong is my favorite. His advice is the trigger of the problem in which Bart got himself, and he, far from washing his hands, assumes to the ultimate consequences with his son. Marge, meanwhile, is too irritating in the first act. His reactions to Homer's actions are too exaggerated. I do not like it when she seeks to take everyone to her religion. If your husband prefers the game to religion, it's not your problem, woman.

    This reaction of Bart before the theft to the Kwik-E-Mart is fantastic.

    Another positive aspect is the animation. Since Bart the General has improved markedly, although I mention here to highlight the crowd scenes. They have made an effort to include characters instead of figures, and that is remarkable. The only thing that works against here is humor. There are some moments of fun, like when Homer interrupts Lovejoy, or when Homer advises Bart. However, in general, it is an episode that lacks humorous scenes. Something that is not necessarily negative but that, particularly, I did not like, is the development of the plot in the style of flashback. I think it tries to generate a surpassing effect that is not achieved. Maybe, if the narration was normal, it would have been better, because, come on, a mob like that would not wait 20 minutes.

    Bart could have omitted certain details, or no?

    The Telltale Head is a good episode that I have refused for years for his lack of humor, but he reconquered me when I understood that he has a fantastic story, presentations of new characters, shows the history of Springfield and good use of Bart and Homer.

    Last edited by Szyslak100; 11-09-2018 at 07:22 PM.

  16. #76

    4.6/5 - One of the middling episodes from me from Season 1, it's still one I remember fondly. Season 1 is unique for giving Bart a reason for acting out, here wanting to be one of the "cool kids", whereas later seasons show him trying to keep up a self-conscious bad boy persona or compelled by some internal darkness (sometimes literally the Devil). In Season 1, Bart doesn't want to be bad - he wants to be popular or special.

    For me what keeps this from being a 5/5 episode for me is that the moralizing is a bit heavy-handed and not satirized enough. Bart steals the head, feels bad about it, returns it and is cheered for his honesty. "Bart the Genius" has a similar plot of Bart doing something bad and getting away with it, then eventually doing the right thing. In that episode, however, Bart's honesty isn't rewarded - he's chased through the house, naked and green, by an enraged Homer. The Simpsons was unique in subverting the traditional moral messaging of other family sitcoms by showing the reality that oftentimes there is no reward for honesty. There is some attempt in this episode to highlight the silliness of a bloodthirsty torch-wielding mob being instantly appeased ("Somehow I don't feel like killing anymore!") but it's not as effective as it could be.

    Still this episode is well worth watching, and as a bonus includes Bart dressed as a ninja which I always thought was pretty funny.

  17. #77

    Another underrated episode. The plot was great some character introduction like the prototype of sideshow bob. I love the fact this episode had two different endings 5/5

  18. #78

    There's not much to say about this episode. I don't find the episode to be very interesting, the story ends up devolving into a boring guilty conscience plot, and I don't know why this episode is told in flashback form. All it does is provide more build up to an ending that turns out to be a huge anticlimax. I do like the jokes with the kids in Sunday School, but that's the only stuff I found that funny. I can understand why other people would find this episode more enjoyable, but it doesn't do much for me. 5/10

  19. #79
    Junior Camper Simpson's Fan's Avatar
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    Jun 2019
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    Thumbs Up The Telltale Head

    The Telltale Head.gif

    "The Telltale Head" is a solid episode of "The Simpsons", nothing more, nothing less. Personally speaking, however, it isn't one of my favourite episodes of season 1 or in the series in general. Despite this, it is an episode that stands out from the rest of the season, given the storyline and the direction they were going for.

    I really like the flashback in the beginning (even though it is poorly animated), because this is not just a story, but the narration of a story. I have to say that I was kind of skeptical about it, but the series proved me wrong.

    I think they made the right choice to slowly get into the main plot, with a nice set up, instead of just immediately going for the reason, why Bart cut Jedediah Springfield's head off. The first act is my favourite, given how the rest of the family actually wants to go to church, while Homer wants to watch a football match. Marge inspecting the kids is so funny! I love her face, whenever she is mad! I am also glad they gave Homer a reason for not wanting to go to the church, because usually, Homer is always just bored.

    The direction they went is very structured. It required Marge nagging about Homer's behaviour in church, Bart seeing a movie, while in the car, Marge refusing and Homer eventually giving Bart the money, resulting in just handing the plot to Bart. This is also the episode that mark the appearances of the three bullies, Kearney Zzyzwicz, Dolph Starbeam and Jimbo Jones. These three characters are partly responsible for the plot, as they give Bart the motivation he needs. I like to think Bart was just naive, like every 10-year-old and this is why he did it, not because he wanted to impress these three. I understand a kid wanting to impress his idols, but a kid who knows that what he is going to do is bad, yet he still decides to do it, is unacceptable. Sometimes, I just don't understand Bart! He is not a bad kid, but he usually chooses to do something that he knows will get him in trouble.

    Overall, I view Kearney, Jimbo and Dolph as big hypocrites that pretend to be cool, but they would never do something that will get them into trouble and Bart as naive and childish.......... for the most part!

    ACT 1

    As I stated before, act 1 is my favourite, as it has a nice set up. So, the story begins with the Simpson family going to church with Marge inspecting her husband and kids, so that nothing will go wrong. I love Marge in an inspector-like style, wearing gloves, searching, if Bart has anything in his pockets! It annoyed me a little, because she was a little more insistent than she should be, but I believe it was for the family's own good. If it wasn't for her, the family would probably be dead within weeks, because Homer isn't really that good at cooking, washing the dishes, washing clothes etc. and I doubt season 1 Homer knows anything other than watering the plants, taking out the trash or feeding the pets. Eventually, they arrive outside the church, where Marge discovers Bart listening to music and Homer listening to the football match in the car. She, obviously, gets mad and tells them to behave at church. I love Homer not realising he is in a different environment and happily proclaims "YES!". Bart was also pretty good with his questions about life in heaven or hell and if someone isn't meant to go to heaven!

    Later, we see the Simpson family in the car driving home, during which Bart sees that there is a new movie and wants to see it. Homer doesn't mind, but Marge refuses. Fortunately for Bart, he manages to get the money from Homer and goes to the movie theatre on his skateboard. Upon his arrival, he encounters Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney, three of the most popular bullies in school. I am surprised by Bart's comment on Jimbo being the toughest out of the three, because I don't see a difference in them really.
    Nevertheless, the trio liked Bart (especially Jimbo) and they decided to invite him to watch Space Mutants 4 with them. Here is the end of act 1.

    ACT 2

    Bart and The Bullies.jpg

    Act 2 is where we get the material for the main plot. So, as they are watching the movie, the manager discovers they had sneaked into the theatre and kicks them out for not paying. They go to the Kwik-E-Mart, where they are able to steal some goods and magazines. I don't know what Apu hasn't put a camera yet and I am even more surprised that he wasn't suspicious about teenagers stealing, but he was with Marge in "Marge In Chains"! I guess this something that has to do with his character development. Anyway, they meet at the parking lot and Bart realises that he was used as a distraction for the bullies, while getting some squishes for all four of them, but he decides not to tell them anything, just to be in the group. They wander around the town to throw rocks at the statue of Jebediah Springfield, until someone tells them to go away. Bart doesn't agree with it, but doesn't say anything to remain cool again. The scene cuts to them lying down, while watching the clouds and they talk about how cool it would be if someone cut the head off the statue. Bart tries to defend Jedediah and for that the trio teases him. I understand Bart doesn't want be made fun of, but this very irresponsible, even for a 10-year-old! He leaves embarrassed and as he walks by the statue, this gives him an idea. Before doing anything, however, he decides to ask Homer the importance of being popular, but Homer tells him it is the most important thing in the world. So, at night, Bart, disguised as a ninja, heads to the town square, climbs the statue, cuts the head off. Act 2 ends.

    ACT 3

    The next morning, Bart wakes up with the head of Jebediah Springfield's statue. Bart heads down to the kitchen, with the head on his backpack, where everyone is eating breakfast, when they hear a report about the missing head. Now, he is in Deep, Deep Trouble. Bart becomes nervous, after seeing everyone being so angry about it, even more when he meets up with Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney and is about to show them his achievement, when they say that they were just kidding and they would never want such thing to happen. Bart quickly takes his backpack and hurries to go home, when he walks by the statue and sees everyone being so angry, with his guilt soon taking over, as the head starts talking to him! He gets scared and goes back to the home to bury the head, but the head convinces him differently. He walks with head in his hands, eventually confessing his mistake and Homer realises his mistake and this is how they ended up with the head in their hands in the town square.

    The story ends and Bart is ready to receive his punishment, but before that, he tells that only when the head was cut off, everybody realised someone took the town's heritage. Moved by his words, they allow them to put the head back in his place, as Bart asks for forgiveness from the head. I am glad he did the right thing! It is such a moving and noble act from Bart.

    To sum up, "The Telltale Head" feels fresh and different from other episode, but with a moral and a good story. This episode takes a 4/5.
    Season 1 R&R's:"Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire" 5/5,"Bart The Genius" 4/5,"Homer's Odyssey" 3/5,"There's No Disgrace Like Home" 5/5, "Bart The General " 5/5,"Moaning Lisa" 5/5,"Call of The Simpsons" 4/5,"The Telltale Head" 4/5,"Life On The Fast Lane" 5/5,"Homer's Night Out" 3/5,"Crepes Of Wrath" 5/5,"Krusty Gets Busted" 4/5,"Some Enchanted Evening" 5/5

  20. #80
    Stonecutter ComicBookGal's Avatar
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    Aug 2014

    WELCOME TO THE SHOW JIMBO, KEARNEY, AND....actually even though Dolph appears in this episode he isn't mentioned by name in this episode, and sometimes it's hard to see who is the main bully of the series (obviously it's Nelson since he was introduced 3 episodes prior) but you know I'm starting to understand what happened to Nelson's flunkies, he replaced them with the bully trio.

    well at least the reason for Bart's stunt has nothing to do with him being a prankster, it has to do more with peer pressure, and oh is this Apu's first episode as well? I can't remember if he was in the other ones even though the Kwik-e-mart was in Bar the General.... oh yeah I guess this was technically Sideshow Bob's first episode as well since he makes a silent slide whistle cameo

    so first appearance of the entire cast at once as well?
    Simpsons Comics 1993-2018

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