|"If you should die before you wake~"|
In this flashback episode, in what seems like the third in a series, we learn what the first words of Bart, Lisa and Maggie all were. As the family tries to get Maggie to say her first word, its asked what Bart's first word was: "Ay caramba!" after sneaking in to see his parents "snuggling". Opting not to actually tell that story, Marge instead tells them about Lisa's first word.
The year starts off at 1983, two years following Bart's birth as seen in I Married Marge. Homer and Marge, now living in an apartment by themselves along with Bart who refuses to call Homer anything but "Homer", have their share of adventures. One day, though, Marge reveals she's pregnant, and because the apartment just can't handle two kids, they decide to go house shopping. After several bad houses are tossed aside, they come across a good house (the current Simpson house), but find they can't afford it. Homer asks his father for money, and his agrees to sell his old place so Homer can have the money to buy the house. Homer, grateful for his father's gift, agrees to let him stay at the house - something that only lasts three weeks, much to the amusement of the family today.
Baby Bart, though, just can't seem to settle into the new place. After annoying Marge, Homer is able to settle him for a bit by watching Krusty the Klown, who is offering a free burger if the US wins certain 1984 Olympic events (most of which were rigged in favor of the Soviets - who then boycotted those Olympics, which costs Krusty millions). At a later point Bart refuses to give up his crib for the new baby, so Homer builds Bart a bed. Remembering Bart liked Krusty, but also with Homer's rather limited ability, the bed becomes a twisted clown abomination that scares Bart immensely.
Soon, though, Marge goes into labor, and Bart is forced to stay at the Flanders' house, where even more unfun times are had. With all these bad things happening at once, when Bart finally gets a chance to see baby Lisa, he just hates her. With more unfortunate occurrences that happen to Bart afterward, he tries to get rid of Lisa one way or another, but fails. Eventually he decides to run away, but before he can he hears Lisa mutter her first word: "Bart". Happy, he takes Lisa to Homer and Marge and she repeats the word there, among other things (including calling her daddy "Homer") much to everyone jubilation. Bart and Lisa share a bonding moment there, not so much in the present day. From that, Homer takes Maggie to bed and hopes she doesn't start speaking for awhile yet. Just then, Maggie speaks her first word: "Daddy" (as voiced by the late Elizabeth Taylor). Its so heartwarming its heart-melting.
Compared to the other flashback episodes, its an improvement over I Married Marge though still not as great as The Way We Was. The whole Olympic sidestory and the clown bed were the best parts of the episode. Standalone, its another solid entry in what has been a superb season thus far.
Final Score: 8.5