Well hello there all you classy tappers and tappettes!
As if the Halloween Update wasn’t enough to keep us busy, EA heard the groans of boredom from some and dropped Level 36 into the mix. Still think they don’t listen to the consumers?
In the mix of 36 (rhymed intentionally), came some really cool new stuff. One item though that apparently isn’t too popular is the Springfield Museum of Natural History. I personally love this building because I am a huge history buff. Some day, I hope to teach history in my real life. For now, I’ll stick with finding the “history” behind the cool new stuff we keep on getting.
At the cost of 100 donuts, our new museum is a tad expensive but is definitely a large, impressive building. Wondering just where it comes from? Well… wonder no further addicterinos… Wookiee is here! Unlike some other 5 second wonders in the game, The Springfield Museum of Natural History has been in quite a few episodes.
The SMoNH made it’s debut in Season 5, Episode 20 “The Boy Who Knew Too Much”.
In this episode, Bart plays hooky from school by forging a note from Marge saying he has to go to the dentist. Principal Skinner is on to his ruse and pursues Bart.
The first place Skinner looks for him? You got it, the SMoNH!. It is only a quick inside glimpse, but here’s the bit of dialogue…
Skinner: If I were a truant boy out for a good time, I’d be right here… the Springfield Natural History Museum.
That’s it, Skinner mentioning it in the exotic bird exhibit. The scenes of Skinner following Bart are priceless though. This quote is also amazing.
Skinner: His brand of gum… doublemint… trying to double your fun, eh, Bart? Well I’ll double your detention. Wish someone was around to hear that. And so we enter… END GAME.
Next, the SMoNH gets it’s first full frontal in Season 9, Episode 8 “Lisa the Skeptic”.
This is such great episode! The Simpsons drive past the construction of a new mall which is being built on a site where fossils have previously been found. Lisa returns with none other than Lionel Hutz in tow and convinces some the Mall Builders to let her dig for fossils.
She then convinces Skinner to get the student body of Springfield Elementary in on the dig. I love this scene with the bullies.
“Gonna dig me a hole…. Gonna put a Nerd in it… Gonna take a firecracker…”
While digging, Lisa finds some strange bones prompting the whole town to believe she has found the remains of an angel.
The town debates who owns the find, but Homer of course steals the bones to make money. The rest of the episode is a classic take on Science vs. Religion. Of course, Lisa is the skeptic (hence the title). I find it hilarious that even Professor Frink is in the angel camp.
Lisa steals a scraping of the “angel” for scientific analysis and takes it to none other than the SMoNH.
The tests come back inconclusive (mainly because they were never done) and after Lisa goes on Smartline and compares believing in angels to believing in unicorns and leprechauns, the townspeople go on a rampage against Science.
The first building to attack… you guessed it, The Springfield Museum of Natural History.
The next victim is the Springfield Robotics Laboratory. We may never get this building, but it would such a cool addition because Robby the Automaton could get a task or at least a saying.
“Why? Why was I programmed to feel pain.”
In the end, the whole archeological find of the angel skeleton ends up being a gimmick to promote the Heavenly Hills Mall. Guess those mall tycoons showed Lisa, right?
This episode is the bee’s knees. There are so many great quotes from it but I particularly like this one from Judge Roy Snyder. (Why is he not in the game yet?)
“As for Science vs Religion, I’m issuing a restraining order. Religion must stay 500 feet yards from Science at all times.”
Alright… I know I’m rambling but there’s even more references to the SMoNH. In Season 14, Episode 16 “Scuse Me While I Miss the Sky 14, 16”, the museum ends up being a refuge for Lisa.
Principal Skinner brings a documentarian to the school. His footage of the normal going-ons of the school makes me laugh. I really love his description of Bart: “Springfield’s Machiavelli of the Monkey Bars is one Bartholomew Simpson.”
Skinner of course attempts to influence the documentary by introducing Declan Desmond to Lisa Simpson. The end result, Desmond telling Lisa she is a “buffet-style intellectual, picking and nibbling until one day you’re 38 and managing a Barnes & Noble”. Lisa is hurt and goes off to find a career. The best place to start… The Springfield Museum of Natural History.
Lisa: I can find a good career at this museum… or at least see if they fixed that mislabeled raccoon I complained about? Hmmmm… maybe I can be an expert on dinosaurs.
Dinosaur Expert: Don’t do it little girl… I spent 30 years brushing the teeth of dead monsters.
Lisa further explores the museum and finds inspiration in the Stars Exhibit.
To avoid further rambling by yours truly, I’d say it’s best to just watch the rest of the episode yourself because I have two more references to get through lol.
Our next entry is from Season 17, Episode 21, “The Monkey Suit”. After the family crosses off their summer to-do lists, Lisa gets to take the family to the museum to finish hers.
At the museum, Ned Flanders sees an exhibit of Evolution which of course upsets him.
Tell me this jab at Creationism doesn’t make you think of a game you play all the time?
Ned is upset and heads to the church to discuss his outrage. The result is Reverend Lovejoy blackmailing Skinner into teaching Creationism at Springfield Elementary, much to the chagrin of Lisa.
“Lisa, you’ve said quite enough. Children! Drown her out with whistling and arm flatulence.”
This episode is another great stab at Science vs. Religion by the writers of The Simpsons. Definitely worth a watch. You know I could go on and on about it but Alissa would put me back in the attic. I’ll just say that in Springfield, evolution has to be a reality. I present Exhibit A and Exhibit B.
Moving on… The last reference (I promise), is from Season 15, Episode 13 “Smarter and Smarter”. In this one, Maggie ends up getting an IQ test by Simon Cowell at Wickerbottom’s Pre-Nursery School. Yes, you read that last sentence right. The Simpsons is pretty awesome like that.
The results of the test are that Maggie’s IQ is 167. Lisa is upset because that makes her baby sister smarter since her own is only 159. (NOTE: Regardless of the IQ test, a score above 130 is considered well advanced/gifted/frakkin genius. Here are some comparative IQs: Einstein 160, Darwin 165, Galileo 185, Bobby Fischer 187)
Lisa is so upset that she decides to try and be different. Her various attempts are quite funny but this is my favorite.
When none of that works, she ultimately runs away. After a while she finds a place to stay.
“Air conditioning, water fountains, dioramas… AND I’ll never run into my family here. It’s the perfect place to start a new life!”
There are some more really great visuals from Lisa’s squatting inside the museum.
I love that she ends up living in the human body exhibit which really looks like Homer.
Of course, Homer, Bart and Lisa end up looking for her (all in all they are a loving albeit dysfunctional family, just like most of ours). The poster they paste all over to find her is great!
Chief Wiggum finds Lisa’s things in the giant body and the family is off to the museum to reunite with her. The scene with Homer, Marge and Lisa being swallowed by the Giant Body Exhibit is classic. We all know where food comes out… funny to me that this scene wasn’t gross. I guess I was too busy laughing.
Anwho, I’ll stop blabbering and just say it is yet another great episode (I probably would say that about any Simpsons episode I watch lol.) If you don’t bother watching it, I would at least highly endorse watching the credits. Simon Cowell does a voice over during them and makes fun of all the creators. It’s hilarious and proof they don’t even take themselves seriously.
Well, there you have it. The SMoNH is in quite a few episodes. Did I miss any? I love the addition of this building into my town. One of my favorite places in the whole world in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. If you take nothing else away from this post (for all of you that made it through my ramble to the end), take away that this museum is the cat’s pajamas and you should really visit it if you have the means. One word… AWESOMENESS. Well folks, I’ll stop boring you for one day.
TTFN… the Wookiee is HISTORY!
I’m almost positive the Springfield Natural History Museum is the same museum that Malloy steals the World’s Largest Cubic Zirconium from. They call it just the Springfield Museum in that episode, but the building with its glass dome and Corinthian columns is the same.
Same deal in THOH IV, where the police burn the Egyptian wing of the Springfield Museum as a precaution after a series of vampire attacks. This episode doesn’t give the full name of the museum as the Springfield Museum of Natural History, but I believe the buildings are one and the same.
It makes more sense as a tie-in that way, given the same Treehouse episode also gave us Burns the Vampire, gremlins and Devil Flanders.
And, don’t forget, in the Simpsons Game (PS3 and I think PS2, maybe) the Springfield Museum of Natural History is the level where Dolph, Kearney and Jimbo attack Homer and Bart.
I wrote my Masters thesis in part on the Smithsonian, but for my money it’s the Met in NYC that earns the title Best. Museum. Ever. Though, Springfield does boast an impressive institution! 🙂
There are definitely many appearances of a building resembling the similarity to the museum. We try to cover the ones that state for a fact, usually by a sign or marker, that they are indeed the same building. Usual one that has a really good focal point in the episode relating to the game item. Otherwise it is just speculations. That and it is fun to not state all of them, it makes our readers reminisce too of where they saw the item. Lol. I like see what other episode our readers fondly remember seeing the item too. 🙂
We also try to stick to covering mainly the TV episodes on our information, as they are the heart and soul of the original items. There are so many branches from the episodes now. Games, comics, etc. Still so fun to spark lil memories like this. Lil “AH HAH” type moments. 🙂
I agree completely that they are probably one and the same. Thanks for the additions! I’m a museum hound and have enjoyed The Met as well. D.C.’s museum probably holds a special place because of two memories from 12 and 32. Even after 20 years, the giant Elephant had me all “Wow”. Honest truth is if it’s History, I’m all in. I even spent hours reading abut the First Ladies Dresses at the AMerican History Museum next door lol.
No, thank you for another great article highlighting an underappreciated building. History geeks unite! 😉
Given the plethora of 80s themed posts past, and watching Lincoln walk around my town in a Hawaiian shirt, I’m having a minor Bill & Ted moment here – which reminds me that I am so happy to have found a forum that practices the “be excellent to each other” mindset. 🙂 Keep up the awesome work!
Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan’s movies are two of my favorite. I laugh every time they say Socrates. Lincoln saying “Party on Dudes” is EPIC. I think our shared love can be summed up by another great president. “The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.” ~ Harry S. Truman. Appreciate the compliment filledemusee.