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The Telltale Head

The Telltale Head

Rating: 3.4 (247 votes)


Homer and Bart are chased through Springfield, carrying the head of a statue of Jebediah Springfield. They become surrounded and Bart recalls how he ended up with the head. The story begins on Sunday morning. After church, Bart sneaks off to see Space Mutants IV, but runs into some troublemakers. Jimbo, the leader, invites Bart to sneak into the movie with them. Later, the boys throw rocks at the statue of Jebediah Springfield, but when Bart defends the town founder, the bullies tease him. Bart sneaks off in the middle of the night and saws the head off the statue to impress the gang. However, everyone in Springfield is upset, even Jimbo and the bullies. Bart confesses to his family, and Homer escorts Bart to the authorities, where they run into the mob. We are taken back to the present day, where Bart reminds the townspeople of their heritage, and they forgive him.

Memorable quotes

Teacher: The ventriloquist goes to heaven, but the dummy doesn't!
Bart: Oh! Oh! What about a robot with a human brain?
Teacher: I don't know! All these questions... is a little blind faith too much to ask?

Homer: I can understand why they wouldn't let in those wild jungle apes, but what about those really smart ones who live among us, who roller skate and smoke cigars?

Bart: (after crashing into a lamp post) Didn't hurt!
Kearney: Oh yeah? Well, do it again.
Bart: Nah, might land on my face and end up looking like you.

Bart: How important is it to be popular?
Homer: I'm glad you asked, son. Being popular is the most important thing in the world.

Homer: Now run along. A boy without mischief is like a bowling ball without a liquid center.

Chief Wiggum: We have no witnesses, no suspects, no leads. If anyone has any information, dial 0 and ask for the police. That number again: 0.

Homer: Just a statue? Is the Statue of Liberty just a statue? Is the Leaning Tower of Pizza just a statue?

Moe: Come on, everybody, we've got to get on with our lives! Let's try and put this tragedy behind us.
Barney: You're right, Moe. A beer please, and make sure there's a head on it.
Moe: Aah! (starts crying)

Mr. Burns: I love you, Smithers.
Smithers: The feeling is more than mutual, sir.


  • Bart's blackboard gag for this episode is "I Did Not See Elvis", however, one of the lines reads: "I Did See Elvis".
  • Marge pulls a comic book from inside Bart's jacket.
  • A sign inside the church advertises Bingo, Monte Carlo Nights and a Reno Retreat. Reverend Lovejoy's sermon was on the evils of gambling.
  • The ad for the Space Mutants movie reads: Space Mutants IV: The Trilogy Continues.
  • The football commentator mentions a player named 'Wolodarsky'. Wallace Wolodarsky is a writer on The Simpsons.
  • Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney stand on the grass, next to a sign saying "Keep Off The Grass".
  • Sideshow Bob appeared on the TV set with his hair in an afro, instead of his normal style.


  • The head of the statue talks to Bart, referencing Edgar Allen Poe's literary tale, "The Telltale Heart". The episode title also takes its name from this.
  • The scene where Bart wakes up with the head next to him in bed is a parody of the movie "The Godfather".