When last we took a good, hard look at Ralph Wiggum, he was courting his classmate Lisa.
Maybe things will go better for the lad if he hangs out with Bart!
No, I don’t believe that either.
On a trip to a science museum, Marge observes poor Ralph Wiggum getting pulled out of a giant ear. Ralph, being Ralph, takes it with his usual oblivious, good-natured aplomb. Impressed, Marge wonders what the lad would do if he had a real friend his own age instead of an imaginary dog Ralph pretends to play with or as. Ralph’s dad, the Chief, thinks that would be great but who has real friends anyway?
Well, Marge decides the thing to do is arrange a playdate with one of her kids. No, not Lisa, Ralph’s classmate. Bart. And no one would be less likely to want to be seen with Ralph than Bart. True, there are probably many people who would want to be seen with Ralph as much as Bart, but no one more so. And since Marge thinks the straight-A students are the most popular kids at school, she sure isn’t going to let Bart off the hook.
As it turns out, playing with Ralph is as much fun for Bart as he thought it would be. He even has to push the kid into a bush when Jimbo, Dolph, Kearney, and Nelson come by on a stolen meter maid cart, glad they were smart enough to record their crime spree, just so the bullies won’t think less of Bart. But then Bart realizes Ralph has access to all of Chief Wiggum’s stuff, such as crime records for all kinds of people. Homer, for example, has been in jail six times to Marge’s two.
Oh, and the Chief also has a master key to the city, as in it will open any lock in Springfield. Faking a sleepover, Bart grabs the key and takes Ralph out to open all kinds of doors. Though why there are bunk beds in Ralph’s room when he seems to be an only child I have no idea…
But then they run into the bullies again, and Bart thinks it would be cool to check out the old abandoned prison. After making Ralph cry, Bart finds the other kids have no more respect for him than they do for Ralph, and Nelson for one hopes the irony isn’t lost on Bart. Once the bullies depart, Ralph goes inside the prison to get the key back, and Bart goes along. They find it in the room with the electric chair and decide to give Ol’ Sparky a whirl. Bart says the room smells of justice. Ralph thinks it smells like hot dogs.
Chased off by an old security guard, the boys forget to turn off the chair’s juice, and the next day are shocked to see Mayor Quimby giving a press conference from the prison where he says he will demonstrate an execution by faking some convulsions in what no one realizes is a live chair. Ralph figures out Quimby may soon also smell of hot dogs, and now there’s a mad scramble to save the mayor. Too bad that old guard is tying up the phone lines trying to explain to his wife that they are too old to have children.
Can the boys think of a plan? Yes! Ralph has one! Ask Lisa!
Can Lisa think of a plan? Yes! Tie a warning message to a model rocket and shoot it to the prison. Granted, it goes off-course, but it lands in Mr. Burns’ suit pocket, and he’ll shut the juice off and inadvertently save the mayor since the prison has been getting free electricity for 30 years.
So, Ralph saved the day! Lisa objects until it is pointed out that it’s Ralph, and asking Lisa was his idea. The Simpsons cheer the pudgy kid.
Then the leprechaun only Ralph can see tells Ralph to burn the house down. Um, eep.