Review: The Simpsons “The Girl on the Bus”

Will Lisa ever stop being so embarrassed about her family?  … …  Probably not.


Lisa struggles with the disruptive behaviour of the other children on the school bus.  However, when she spots a potential friend through the window, she questions what life should be like.  When Lisa goes to confront her idealized friend she is everything that she could hope for.

The girls family is cultured and intelligent, everything the Simpsons are not.  But, when they ask about Lisa’s family, she lies about their accomplishments and lifestyle.  Her lies get out of hand, and Lisa struggles to keep up with her deceptions.  When Marge finds out, she demands that Lisa invites her other family for dinner.  The Simpsons try their best to not embarrass Lisa, but the young girl cannot hold back her dishonesty any longer.

Our Take:

Once again The Simpsons describe the world around us so well with an episode about Lisa trying to be somebody she isn’t.  Homer describes the theme so well with his quote about watching television, “watching other people live full lives is our family activity.”  It is one of the worst problems with the world today, becoming addicted to television and social media and watching other people live their dreams, while they sit there doing nothing.  Of course, Lisa is the one that is ready to jump at the opportunity of living a more cultured life, while the rest of the family is content at home watching reality TV.

This episode turned out nothing like I had expected it would from the first five minutes.  The title and opening would have you believe that this would be a spin on the movie ‘Girl on the Train’.  But beyond seeing a potential friend through a bus window, there are no further connections.  The show also opened up with a musical number, which would make you assume you’d get at least a couple more songs throughout the episode.  Yet, that didn’t turn out to be the case either, which kind of makes the opening number a bit confusing.

I think I may have a contender for my new favourite couch gag!  As the Simpsons run into their living room this week, they discover a sinister character already lounging on their couch, Marvel’s Thanos.  With a complete Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos abruptly dissipates the family to dust, leaving only little Maggie Simpson to join him in watching the TV.  It may be half a year late, but still a hilarious cameo to pull out of today’s pop culture.  Simpsons Marvel cameos are adding up with us previously seeing Spider-Man and Iron Man make appearances.

This episode also carried quite the conclusion.  As things get tense between Lisa’s two families as the truth begins to come out, it is Bart who breaks the moment.  Turns out, Bart has transformed his room into a night club behind the scenes.  Suddenly, Bart’s room has become the hippest place in town, and everybody wants to be there.  Though, Homer has a tough time getting past the bouncer.

Lisa focused episodes can go two directions.  Either they are boring tripe where she falls for yet another boy with a foreign accent, or it becomes a valuable commentary on real social issues.  Thankfully, this episode was very much the latter.  Despite the absence of fan favourite characters like Homer and Bart, there is still plenty of humour to get us through.  And, seeing Lisa test her own morals when it comes to her embarrassment of her family, for some reason, never gets old.  For an episode that not a whole lot happens, it is sharply written and enjoyable through 22-minutes.


Jesse Bereta

Jesse (Green Onion) Bereta is a chef of words. Classically trained in the kitchen, Jesse changed careers in ‘015 to pursue his passion of writing (and being a full time pop culture nerd). Aside from his work as a freelance writer, Jesse also operates his own website, podcasts, and is a father of two budding sprouts. The Green Onion headquarters is located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

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