Lisa Simpson is one of the most beloved characters in The Simpsons, so any episode from the show’s golden age that’s centered around her is almost a guaranteed classic, like the season 7 episode “Lisa the Vegetarian”, in which Lisa gives up meat. Much like “She of Little Faith,” “Lisa the Vegetarian” changed Lisa’s characterization forever. Ever since the episode aired, she’s remained a vegetarian.
It was the first full-length episode written by David X. Cohen, who went on to co-create Futurama with Matt Groening. He was impatiently waiting for his lunch and scribbled “Lisa becomes a vegetarian?” on the back of another script he was working on. Hence, “Lisa the Vegetarian” was born.
10 Flanders Family Barbecue
Homer is inspired to host a barbecue for the whole town after being denied entrance to Flanders’ family barbecue for not being a Flanders. He decides to invite everyone but Flanders to his own cookout but accidentally invites him anyway, just seconds later.
It was hilarious to see the extended Flanders clan at Homer’s neighborino’s barbecue. All his relatives are just like him, with ever-so-slight differences.
9 Pigs Are Magic
When Lisa announces her vegetarianism to the family, Homer asks her if she’s going to eat bacon, ham, or pork chops, and she angrily tells him that they all come from the same animal. But Homer is skeptical: “Oh, yeah, right, Lisa, a wonderful, magical animal.”
Apparently, this joke was based on a comment by Simpsons writer John Swartzwelder. He didn’t pitch it as a joke; he just couldn’t believe how many different cuts of meat came out of the same animal.
8 Two Independent Thought Alarms In One Day
Whenever a student expresses an independent thought in Springfield Elementary, the nearest staff member is required to hit the “Independent Thought Alarm” to warn Principal Skinner.
After Lisa asks Lunchlady Doris if she has a veggie option for lunch, she pushes the alarm and Skinner decides to remove the colored chalk from the classrooms.
7 “You Don’t Win Friends With Salad!”
When Homer is planning his barbecue and Lisa desperately wants him to reconsider plying the entire town with grilled meat, she suggests serving salad instead. However, Homer and Bart start chanting, “You don’t win friends with salad!” to point out why that wouldn’t work.
Eventually, Marge gets involved in the chant and even joins Homer and Bart’s human train. Lisa is disappointed, but Marge tells her, “I didn’t mean to take sides. I just got caught up in the rhythm.”
6 L. Simpson
When Lisa is labeled an “agitator” for preaching to her classmates about animal rights, Principal Skinner decides to educate her class about the virtues of the meat industry.
He tells the class, “For privacy’s sake, let’s call her ‘Lisa S.’ No, that’s too obvious. Let’s say, ‘L. Simpson.’” This prompts Lisa to do a well-timed facepalm.
5 Meat And You: Partners In Freedom
After deciding to give up meat, Lisa watches a propaganda film made by the meat council starring Troy McClure entitled Meat and You: Partners in Freedom, which attempts to make the widespread slaughter of animals look like a good thing.
Subtitled “Number 3F03 in the ‘Resistance is Useless’ Series,” the film sees a young boy named Jimmy getting traumatized by a trip to a slaughterhouse.
4 Lisa Pushes Homer’s Hog Roast Down A Hill
When the guests at Homer’s barbecue refuse to eat Lisa’s gazpacho instead of Homer’s hog roast, she angrily grabs the pig and rolls it down a hill. Homer and Bart chase after it, but it goes flying into a dam and shoots out into the sky.
Homer insists that it’s fine, despite being dirty, slimy, and airborne – “It’s still good, it’s still good!” – but Bart convinces his dad to accept defeat and let it go.
3 When Pigs Fly
After Lisa sends Homer’s hog roast into a dam, which sends it shooting into the air, Mr. Burns and Smithers are shown looking out of a window at the power plant. Burns says, “You know, Smithers, I think I’ll donate a million dollars to the local orphanage…when pigs fly!”
They share a chuckle before seeing a pig actually fly across the skyline outside. Smithers asks, “Will you be donating that million dollars now, sir?” and Burns replies, “No, I’d still prefer not.”
2 Paul And Linda McCartney’s Cameo Appearance
At the end of the episode, when Lisa gets annoyed that no one in town will accept her vegetarianism and she’s constantly being tempted by meat, she goes to the Kwik-E-Mart and bites into a hot dog. However, Apu reveals that he’s a vegan and it’s a tofu dog.
He takes Lisa through a secret passageway onto the roof of the store, where vegetarians Paul and Linda McCartney are hanging out. This helps Lisa to commit to her new lifestyle.
1 Veggie Back
In the final scene of “Lisa the Vegetarian,” Homer finds Lisa at the Kwik-E-Mart and they make up. He offers her a “veggie back” home, instead of a piggy back.
Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” plays over the end credits as Homer’s pig is seen soaring through the air.
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