Much has been made of the rivalry between the town of Springfield and the neighboring town of Shelbyville.
Where did that come from?
Bart’s sense of destruction is hardly limited to wet cement. It’s his second favorite sign, right after high voltage. How is Bart not dead by now? Anyhoo, Marge catches him defacing public property and chastises him and the rest of the family for lacking town pride. Lisa at least points out town pride has been at an all time low since the lake caught fire. That’s…not good.
But with this newfound sense of town pride, Bart is taken to the city’s lemon tree, planted there by Jebediah Springfield. As explained by Grampa Simpson, the town founder had reached the land that became Springfield with a partner named Shelbyville Manhattan, and it seems the two had not really discussed whether or not marrying your cousin was kosher or not. So, while Jebediah insisted on chastity and root marm, Shelbyville founded a different town nearby to allow men the rights to marry their cousins.
Can I just say both those choices suck?
Well, it turns out the tree is on the boundary, where the grass is a different shade of green on the Shelbyville side. And after a scuffle involving lemon theft, Nelson makes a horrifying discovery where he has no time to explain and rushes Bart’s entire class to the spot where the tree used to be. Yes, the kids of Shelbyville have stolen the tree.
Marge, it should be noted, hears Bart say he is off to teach some kids a lesson and decides he’s gotten a job as a tutor. Toot on, says Homer.
Gathering an elite strike squad consisting of himself, Milhouse, Martin, Nelson, Todd Flanders (or is it Rod?), and Database, Bart leads his troops into Shelbyville to retrieve the tree.
Don’t remember Database? He was that kid in the comet episode that looked like this:
A shout out to Jimmy for uploading that one!
As it turns out, Shelbyville is a disturbing place to be for Bart and his friends. Everything seems slightly off, from fire hydrants the wrong color to people who look similar to Springfield types like Apu, Moe, and Groundskeeper Willy (a woman who seems a lot like her male counterpart in disturbing ways). Splitting up leads Bart into trouble, what with his earlier refusal to try a rocket motorcycle or learn Roman numerals, but he manages to escape.
Meanwhile, back in Springfield, Marge learns from Lisa that Bart invaded Shelbyville, and a horrified Marge realized Bart quit the tutoring job he never had to join a violence gang. Gathering the fathers of the missing boys, Homer reveals he has an RV they can take into Shelbyville: Flanders’ RV, last seen when Homer took the family camping.
The long and the short of it is the tree is in a car impound lot, and when the fathers and sons learn of this, they decide to do the old Trojan Horse thing to get the tree back, a plan that works despite the lot’s Homerish owner realizing there are doin’s a’transpirin’.
Autocheck does not like those last two words.
But escape with the tree the heroes of Springfield do, no matter how hard the Shelbyville types shake their fists. Once back where it belonged, we see Grampa telling the story we just saw to a group that includes kids that went on the trip, so why? Well, Grampa’s Shelbyville counterpart is telling their side how they let the Springfielders take the tree due to it being haunted.
But Springfield got the better end of the deal with the lemon tree. All they have growing in Shelbyville to make summertime drinks from is turnips.