The Simpsons Episode Scripts

4F23 - The Principal and The Pauper

[Chorus] # The Simpsons # [Tires Screeching] D'oh! [Screams] [Humming] Mm-hmm.

[Along With Clock Ticking] Mm, mm, mm.

Oh, yeah.

[Humming] Mmmmmm.

I have it goir on.

[Humming] - [Clangs] - [Ringing In Tune] Ho-ho! Let the good times roll.

[Humming] Good Lord! The rod up that mars butt must have a rod up its butt.

Superintendent Chalmers, can I offer you a cup of coffee-flavored Bevarine? Yes.

I take it gray, with Creamium.

But first, before Skinner shows up, I have a secret announcement.

In honor of Seymour's 20th year as principal we've decided to hold a surprise tribute Friday night.

It's my 20th year too.

[Scoffs] The teachers' lounge is for teachers, Willy.

- [Groans, Scoffs] - [Door Slams] And for the tribute, I need a volunteer to present an oral report on Principal Skinner's life.

Miss Hoover, which one is "oral"? Out of your mouth, Ralph.


- Thank you, Lisa.

- No, Miss Hoover.

I'm Ralph.

I only need one volunteer, Ralph.

Miss Hoover, which one is "one"? Ralph and I could do the report together.

- It's your funeral.

- Miss Hoover.

[Humming] Bart, why are you doing that? Our class is making refreshments for Skinner's party.

- These are in honor of his army days.

- That explains the flags.

- What about the dog food? - My theory is Skinner likes dog food.

[Groans] Let's bake him a cake.

Ooh! A fresh batch of America balls! [Chomping Loudly] [Woman] Seymour, tell me what time it is, now! Time for our weekly silhouette.

No! Cutting out your ugly nose gives me a hand cramp! Oh, but you love silhouette night.

And then we go through your bird book and make up silly captions- - Why are you all dressed up? - I'm sick of this house, and I'm sick of you! Tonight we're going for a drive.

- Mmm, what's so special about tonight? - Nothing! - Put on your special suit and get in the car! - Yes, Mother.

Why are we stopping at my school, Mother? - What does it say on that sign? - I don't like your tone! [All] Surprise! [Chattering, Laughing] Happy anniversary, Son.

Oh, Mother.

[Sniffles] You are still the master of deception.

- I surely am.

- [Crowd] Ahhh.

"So, in 1966, a brave young man named Seymour Skinner enlisted and shipped out to Vietnam, where he rose to become platoon sergeant.

" - Ralph.

- Principal Skinner is an old man who lives at the school.

- Lisa.

- " Sergeant Skinner was a hero.

He risked capture many times behind enemy lines.

" Teacher made me go to Principal Skinner's office when I was dirty.

"And he survived to make it back to Springfield where he became the fine educator we salute tonight.

" When I grow up, I wanna be a principal or a caterpillar.

I love you, Principal Skinner.

[Cheering] [Singing] [Ends] "Tribute to Seymour Skinner.

" Pull over, driver.

Now, I know the school normally serves cake only on Thursdays.

And I'm also well aware that today is Friday.

Nevertheless, I have a surprise for you.

- [Drumroll] - I hope you all brought forks and plates.

- Mm-hmm! - [Murmuring] [Laughs] - [Buzzing] - Ooh! What the- An enjoyment buzzer.

[Laughing] [Applause, Laughter] Oh, thank you.

What a wonderful night to share with the people and the town that I love.

I have never been happier or prouder to be Seymour Skinner.

[Man] You're not Seymour Skinner.

[Murmuring] - [Gasps] Skinner! - Skinner? - I'm Skinner.

- Seymour? [Sobs] - Mother! - She's my mother! [Murmuring] Will someone remove that crazy man, please? No.


He's- He's not crazy.

It's true.

I'm- [Sighs] I'm an impostor.

- That man is the real Seymour Skinner.

- [Gasping, Murmuring] [Thinking] Keep looking shocked and move slowly towards the cake.

Now, let's clear this up.

Who exactly are you? Sergeant Seymour Skinner, U.



It's true.

I was in his platoon.

But they said you were killed on that scouting mission.

No, just captured.

It's kind of a funny story, really.

After five years in a secret P.



camp I was sold to China for slave labor.

Since '77, I've been making sneakers at gunpoint in a sweatshop in Huhan.

That's not a funny story.

Well, I guess you had to be there.

Anyhow, the U.


shut the factory down last week and the embassy shipped me home, and here I am.

So what's your story, Seymour, if that is your real name? Well, obviously it isn't.

My real name is Armin Tamzarian.

- [Gasping] - [Laughing] I'm an orphan from Capitol City, and those who recall my fight to outlaw teenage rudeness may be shocked to learn that I, myself, was once a street punk.

- [Shouts] - [Tires Screeching] - Yeah.

The way I was headed, it was just a matter of time - [Siren Wailing] before I wound up in front of a judge.

- [Yells] - What the- [Siren Stops] They gave me a choice: Jail, the army, or apologizing to the judge and the old lady.

Of course, if I'd known there was a war going on, I probably would've apologized.

- [Men Shouting] - [Gunfire] [Groans] Okay, who wants a piece of me? You trying to get yourself killed, Tamzarian? You've got your whole life ahead of you.

Don't you have any dreams? My dreams all involve combing my hair.

Oh, gosh, son.

Everybody's got dreams.

I come from a town called Springfield.

And my dream is to go back and become principal of the elementary school.

Some people might call that a pretty corny dream, uh, Sergeant.

Well, there's nothing corny about fresh-faced youngsters skipping to school scraping knees and spelling bees and pies cooling softly on the windowsill.

[Chuckles] Well, sir, if that's corny, then corn me up.

[Skinner Narrating] Sergeant Skinner took me under his wing and showed me that life was won'th living.

I came to think ofhim as the big brother I never had.

He made me believe I might have a future after all.

Come on! And when they told us he was missing presumed dead, my future died once again.

My life lost all meaning.

Come on! Get to the part where you steal his identity.

I'm trying to explain how emotionally fragile I was.

Oh, it's one of those stories.

[Clears Throat] Sergeant Skinner meant the world to me.

And l-I felt it was my duty to deliver the grim news to his mother.

[Clears Throat] Hello.

I'm, uh- I'm- Seymour, is that you? [Skinner Narrating] I don't know why I did what I did.

I guess I couldn't bear to tell her about her son.

What I did was wrong, but I'd do it again.

Yes, Mother, it's me.

You look different somehow.

But you must be Seymour.


You are Seymour.

[Skinner Narrating] As strange as it sounds deep down, I think she knew I wasrt her son but the lie made us both happier than the truth ever could have.

You can have some lima beans as soon as you've cleaned your room.

Go! Upstairs, third door on the left.

Don't walk on the rugs! Yes, Mother.

Don't judge her too harshly, Sergeant.

She was a lonely old woman.

If you must blame someone, blame me.

That's pretty much what I was planning to do there, Armin.

Well, that's about it.

And so, for the past 26 years I've dedicated myself to living out your dream.

I didn't dream anything about an aqua suit or a lavender shirt, but you did take care of Mom.

A dagger! A dagger through my heart! - Here, Mother.

Let me help you.

- Get your hands off me! - Please, Mom.

- You too, stranger! - I'm your son.

- I have no son.

Look, lady, you obviously have at least one son.

No! I have one stranger and one fraud.

- Take it easy, Mom.

- I said, back off! You better do as she says.

She's quick with a hatpin.

Uh, well, hey, I suppose I'll have to find a hotel.

I won't hear of it.

Tonight you can sleep on the floor of your office.

[Whistling] Hey, Armin.

[Muttering, Clears Throat] Miss Krabappel sent me.

I forged my dad's signature on my report card.

Oh, now, Bart, you know that's wrong.

I don't see how me signing Homer's name is any different from you using Sergeant Skinner's name.

[Sighs] I guess me punishing you would be somewhat hypocritical.

Why don't you just write a 30-word essay on what you've done? Hey, hey, hey.

Easy there, you big impostor.

[Beeping] So, uh, um, should I sign my original name? Just put an "X," then call yourself whatever the hell you want.

Well, now, there's no need for profanity.

My name may have changed, but I'm still the same man I was last week.

Not to us you're not.

I mean, how would you feel if you suddenly found out Ned Flanders was an impostor? - Who's Ned Flanders? - My next-door neighbor.

Religious guy? - Oh, you mean Reverend Lovejoy.

- No, I don't! What I mean is, to me you're just a stranger - pretending to be something he's not.

- Mmm.

Oh, I'm sorry, but that's just how I feel.

No, don't apologize.

It's time I stopped pretending.

I've called this assembly to announce my retirement effective as of the end of this sentence.

This sentence I'm speaking right now.

- Period.

- [Gasping, Murmuring] I wrongfully usurped Sergeant Skinner's position and I suggest you consider him to replace me.

- Thank you.

- Well, now, I don't know.

Skinner, do you know anything about being a principal? Well, it's been my lifelong ambition.

And if a man pretending to be me could do it well, then, logically, the real me must be far more qualified.

- Good enough.

- Armin Tamzariars reign of terror is over.

Now let us welcome our new Principal Skinner, Principal Seymour Skinner.

- Uh, him.

- [Cheering] Well, before I go, I've got some personal items for you.

You belong to the Radio Shack Battery Club.

Oh, 10 Canadian dollars.

That's a souvenir from your trip to Upstate New York.

[Chuckles] You've led quite a life, Tamzarian.

It's your life.

I just kept it warm for you.

Oh, I nearly forgot.

Your pocket watch.

Mother's picture is still inside.

Take good care of her.

I'll wind her every day.

I poached some fish for your trip, Mr.


They're full of tiny bones, so I want you to be careful.

I will, Moth- uh, Mrs.


[Sighs] Well, I'd better be going.

[Sighs] [Knocking] Good evening, Edna.

I know we were planning to see a film tonight but instead, I'm leaving town forever.

No, please.

I don't care what you've done.

You're still a decent, honorable man.


- That's the kind of talk that makes me want to marry you.

- Oh! But instead, I'm leaving town forever.

- Good-bye.

- Mmm.

Well, it's time to pick up where I left off- as a no-good street punk.

[Engine Starts] - Principal Skinner? - Up yours, children.

[Laughs] Now, to recap our top story in its entirety.

"The adaptable citizens of Springfield have opened their hearts to Principal Seymour Skinner, who"- Not that one.


[Cheering] Thank you.

Thank you.

I must say, in many ways Springfield really beats the old slave-labor camp.

[Cheering] I admit Sergeant Skinner seems okay.

But Mr.

Tamzarian pulled himself up from the streets and earned our respect and admiration.

- He lied about his name.

- His name doesn't matter.

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

" - Not if you called 'em stench blossoms.

- Or crap weeds.

I'd sure hate to get a dozen crap weeds for Valentine's Day.

- I'd rather have candy.

- Not if they were called scum drops.

Your new principal would like to say a few words.

Remember, you have to respect him.

- He's a war hero.

- Ha-ha! Thank you, Chalmers.

Where I come from, there's no better way to get acquainted than by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance together.

Why don't you lead us, son? Hey, America- [Spoken Lyrics] America.

- [Flatulent Sound] - [Laughter] Well, that's very concise but it's an insult to everything I suffered for.

Now, take a seat, junior, and listen to someone who gave their youth in service of their country.


Krabappel, the pledge, please.

You haven't dealt with women for a long time, have you, Sergeant? Are you asking me out? - [Siren Wailing] - Ah, 433rd Street.

My old neighborhood.


"Oh, yes.

Oh, yes.

Capitol City's nakedest ladies.

They're not even wearing a smile.

Nod suggestively.

Yes, six.

Count 'em.

Six gorgeous ladies just dying for your leers and catcalls.

- Yowza, yowza.

" - [Clock Chimes] [Groans] Seymour, it's 7:30.

Where were you? - A bar, Mom.

- I don't know what that is but on Fridays, you come straight home after school! Tonight is silhouette night.

Sit there.

I really just came home to change into a turtleneck.

Seymour, sit! In the morning.

Oh, Mom, I'm borrowing your car.

- Good morning, Agnes.

- Mmm.

Mmm, how's your new son working out? That child is the most disobedient, smart-alecky, middle-aged man in creation! Hello, ladies.

Is this the line for people who wanna bad-mouth Sergeant Skinner? - And have 10 items or less.

- Twelve, 11, 10.

The mars a weenie.

Oh, now, be fair, Edna.

I liked Armin Tamzarian too but he was at least as big a weenie as Sergeant Skinner.

- But he was our weenie.

- Now, there was a weenie you could be proud to call your son.

- Did you ever tell him that? - Hmm.

Okay, once more, where are we going? - To Capitol City.

- And why are you and the old lady in the car? We're gonna talk Armin Tamzarian into coming back.

- And why is Marge here? - I came up with the idea.

- And why am I here? - Because the streets of Capitol City are no place for three unescorted ladies.

- And why are the kids here? - Because we couldn't find Grampa to sit for them.

- And why is Grampa here? - 'CauseJasper didn't wanna come by himself.

- [Chuckles] Fair enough.

- Hello, beautiful! - In your dreams.

- We'll see about that.

[Snoring] Hello, beautiful.

[Snoring Resumes] My mind is made up.

I'm not coming back, and that's final.

- Oh, Seymour.

- And I'm not Seymour.

My name is Armin.

This is Armirs apartment Armirs liquor, Armirs copy of Swank, Armirs frozen peas.

- Can I see your copy of Swank, Armin? - Yes, you can.

This is Armirs life.

Maybe it's not perfect, but at least I'm back where I belong.

I was born a no-goodnik, and I'll die a no-goodnik.

Seymour! I didn't bring you up to use language like that! - You didn't bring me up at all.

- The hell I didn't! I've been taking care of you for 26 years! - I'm the only mother you've ever known! - But you have your real son.

You're my real son! You've been my son longer than he has.

He doesn't need me, and I don't need him! You march yourself downstairs and get in that car! - Yes, Mother.

- And the rest of you too! [All] Yes, Mrs.


[Honking Horn] Hey, everybody, look! Armin Tamzariars back! - And he's gonna take over the school again! - [Chattering] Now, hold on.

Armin Tamzarian is an unsavory character who played us all for chumps.

All right, all right.

So he's a fraud.

I don't care.

His mom doesn't care.

Do any of you care? - Nope, not me.

- I guess not.

You all seem to be forgetting that I am Seymour Skinner.

This is where I belong.

You can't ask me to disappear because you like some other guy better.

I gave half my life for you people.

Arert I entitled to a little dignity? You're, uh- You're right, Sergeant.

Well, I don't see any way out of this.

Now, if you'll allow me, I think I have a solution that'll satisfy the town and let Sergeant Skinner keep his dignity.

- [Train Horn Blowing] - But I'm a hero! - And we salute you for it.

Now, don't come back.

- [Cheering] - I'm sorry, Seymour.

- [Marching Band] It's nice you're alive, but you're just not what I'm looking for in a son.

I'm glad you understand.

- [Cheering Continues] - [Continues] Well, this is a lovely gesture, but we still have to face the fact that I'm not really Seymour Skinner.

Oh, no, we don't.

Judge Snyder.

By authority of the city of Springfield I hereby confer upon you the name of Seymour Skinner as well as his past, present, future and mother.

- Okay.

- And I further decree that everything will be just like it was before all this happened.

And no one will ever mention it again under penalty of torture.

[Cheering] - Here, Son.

This is yours again.

- Mmm.

I've never been happier or prouder to be Seymour Skinner but these last few days as that hotheaded rogue Armin Tamzarian have taught me a thing or two.

You know, maybe I've been a little too uptight in the past.

Well, from now on, you're gonna see a new Seymour Skinner.

- Oh, no, we won't! - Yes, Mother.

- [Murmuring] - Shh!