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Grade School Confidential

"Grade School Confidential" is the nineteenth episode of the The Simpsons' eighth season, which originally aired on April 6, 1997. It was written by Rachel Pulido and directed by Susie Dietter. The episode establishes the long-term relationship between Seymour Skinner and Edna Krabappel.

Plot

Martin Prince invites his classmates to his birthday party, but the gathering turns out to be incredibly boring. To cap off the poorly received party, things come to an end when everyone becomes ill with food poisoning thanks to Martin's parents serving oysters instead of cake. In the meantime, Principal Seymour Skinner and Edna Krabappel attend and have a conversation which leads to them discovering that they have romantic feelings for each other. They end up kissing in Martin's pink playhouse in an act witnessed by Bart Simpson.

Bart plans to reveal what he witnessed, but Seymour and Edna fear that they would be fired if anyone found out and they swear him to secrecy. They hire him as their gofer so they can secretly exchange messages. Bart agrees for a while because the reward for his cooperation is that Milhouse Van Houten will inherit Bart's poor school record. Eventually, Bart grows frustrated about his home, school and social life continually being interrupted to help them advance their relationship, putting him in embarrassing situations. One afternoon at school, after he is embarrassed in front of his classmates by having to say one of Seymour's messages to Edna out loud, Bart becomes furious and bitterly gathers the entire school in front of a janitor's closet and he opens the door to reveal that Seymour and Edna are kissing.

Word of Seymor and Edna's relationship quickly spreads throughout Springfield, with the story growing more illicit and exaggerated with each passing turn. An appalled Chief Wiggum, upon hearing his son Ralph's version of the events, alerts Superintendent Chalmers. Chalmers gives Seymour an ultimatum – end the relationship or have both of them face dismissal. Seymour decides that love is stronger than his professional goals, so Chalmers fires him and Edna, expecting them to leave the school at the end of the day.

Bart learns that the couple have lost their jobs and shows remorse for them. After Seymour apologizes to Bart for embarrassing him, Bart encourages the former principal to stand up for himself. Seymour and Edna lock down the school, call the media and make their demands: They want their jobs back and the townspeople to not interfere with their relationship. However, several residents reply with their accusation about the two having sexual intercourse in the janitor's closet. Seymour insists nothing of the sort happened and that he is a virgin. Everyone accepts the explanation and Chalmers agrees to reinstate Seymour and Edna as though nothing ever happened. The couple decide to continue their relationship more privately than ever by convincing Bart that they have broken up after thanking him for helping them.

Production

The idea of Skinner and Krabappel becoming a couple had been around since the days when Mike Reiss and Al Jean were show runners. A deleted scene featured an awkward moment at Martin's party, between Bart, Milhouse and Martin, when the latter introduces the two to his parents. The Mathmagician is based on Bill Gates. Rachel Pulido took some of the inspiration for this episode from "Bart the Lover", specifically Mrs. Krabappel's line to Bart about refusing to date Principal Skinner because, "his mommy won't let him out to play". The cakes in Agnes Skinner's cake book were designed to accurately resemble the real life versions of them. Homer using his megaphone to talk to Marge and Lisa, who were standing next to him, was ad-libbed by Dan Castellaneta.

Reception

The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, called it "A delightful episode that finally brings to fruition one of the series' longest running gags: Edna and Seymour's mutual attraction. What is doubly refreshing is that it remains a constant in the subsequent episodes." The scene in which Agnes Skinner shows Bart her cake book is one of Matt Groening's all time favorite scenes.

References

External links

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