"Loan-a Lisa" is the second episode of The Simpsons ' twenty-second season. The episode aired October 3, 2010. It guest starred Mark Zuckerberg, Chris Hansen and Muhammad Yunus. In the episode, Lisa helps fund Nelson's bicycle company with money Grampa Simpson gives her as part of his inheritance, but after Nelson meets Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and is convinced he can be successful by dropping out of school, Lisa tries to convince Nelson to stay in school. Meanwhile, Homer gets addicted to buying expensive items and returning them.
The episode received positive reviews from critics. According to the Nielsen Media Research receiving a 4.1/11 in the 18-49 demographic going up from the previous episode both in the demographic and in total viewers.
The episode was broadcast two days after the theatrical release of The Social Network, a film based on Zuckerberg's founding of Facebook.
Grampa decides to give his family their inheritance now, rather than make them wait until after his death. Each person's share turns out to be $50, and they decide to spend it at Costington's. Bart pays Gil Gunderson to walk up the down escalator, while Marge picks out a purse but mis-reads its $500 price tag as $50. Pressure from other shoppers leads her to charge it to her credit card; though she cannot afford it, Homer suggests that she use it until the store's return period is about to expire, then take it back. During dinner at a fancy restaurant, Marge tries her best to keep the purse clean, but Homer ruins it by dropping shrimp sauce on it. She is still able to return the purse despite this damage, and Homer begins buying expensive items on credit and returning them in time for a refund. Homer is eventually caught doing so on camera by Chris Hansen in a special entitled To Catch a Credit Whore, forcing Homer to flee in shame (but not before signing a contract authorizing use of his image for TV).
Meanwhile, Lisa decides to donate her $50 to charity, but an online introduction to microfinance and a video from Muhammad Yunus prompt her to use the money to support a local business instead. She gives Nelson Muntz a loan for his fledgling bicycle company, which rapidly begins to flourish. He decides to drop out of school in order to invest all his time in the business; Lisa is upset by the news, but Principal Skinner thinks it would pay nicely as a part-time job. At a meeting of entrepreneurs, Lisa tries to persuade Nelson to stay in school, but she fails when she discovers that the attendees all left college (including Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson), and that the janitor is the only person present who did not drop out. Grampa comforts her, saying that money cannot change people, and she accepts Nelson's decision to drop out. The business soon fails due to Nelson's unknowing use of defective materials to build his bicycles, such as water-soluble glue. After the experience, he concludes that returning to school would not be a bad thing and gives the original $50 to Skinner, who sees it as a huge improvement over the school's shoestring budget. Though Lisa has lost her money, Nelson makes it up to her by taking her skating, during which they knock down Zuckerberg and several other people.
In the beginning of the episode, Bart and Lisa are watching an Itchy and Scratchy parody of Up. Chris Hansen is seen hosting To Catch a Credit Whore, a parody of his previous show, To Catch a Predator. The title is a reference to the famous Da Vinci painting, the Mona Lisa. This is the fourth Simpsons episode to be named after the painting, after "Moaning Lisa", "Moe'N'a Lisa", and "Mona Leaves-a".
In its original American broadcast, "Loan-a Lisa" was viewed by an estimated 8.63 million households receiving 4.2 rating/11% share in the 18-49 demographic going up 0.5 in the demographic. It was the most viewed show on Animation Domination in both viewers and 18-49 demographic, beating Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, and American Dad!.
Rowan Kaiser of "The A.V. Club" said "spending time with The Simpsons tends to make me happy, and nothing about this episode was particularly terrible". He gave the episode a B- the second highest rated grade after American Dad!s, "100 A.D." and beating The Cleveland Show episode "Cleveland Live!" and the Family Guy episode, "Excellence in Broadcasting". TV Squad's Brad Tachek gave the episode a positive review as well saying "Tonight's episode wasn't quite as good as last week and just about as preachy, but it was still a good example of what makes 'The Simpsons' great."
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- Kaiser, Rowan (2010-10-04). ""Loan-a-Lisa"/"Cleveland Live!"/"Excellence in Broadcasting"/"100 A.D., Pt 1 of 2"". The A.V. Club. AOL, Inc. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
- Trechak, Brad (October 4, 2010). "'The Simpsons' Season 22 Episode 2 Recap (VIDEO)". TV Squad. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
- Seidman, Robert (October 4, 2010). "TV Ratings: Simpsons, Desperate Housewives, Sunday Night Football Rise; CSI: Miami Premieres". TVbythenumbers. Retrieved 2010-10-04.