Mathlete's Feat

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"Mathlete's Feat"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.574
Directed byMichael Polcino
Written byMichael Price
Dan Harmon, Justin Roiland (couch gag)
Showrunner(s)Al Jean
Production codeTABF16
Original air dateMay 17, 2015 (2015-05-17)
Couch gagRick and Morty crash into the living room, killing the Simpson family, and attempt to revive them.
Guest appearance(s)

"Mathlete's Feat" is the twenty-second episode and season finale of the twenty-sixth season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons, and the 574th overall episode of the series. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 17, 2015.


The Springfield Elementary School Math team is competing against Waverly Hills Elementary's Math team, in an event organized by Benjamin, Doug and Gary. Lisa boasts that their poor school will surprise them all, which they do by scoring no points at all. Lisa is especially despondent, because Waverly Hills Elementary has way more funding than Springfield Elementary, and thus can afford the latest in technology, while Springfield Elementary is stuck using antiquated tools. After this educational embarrassment, the nerds decide to modernize Springfield Elementary School by cutting a massive check directly to Skinner (similar to Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million direct donations to the public schools of Newark, NJ) which enables each student to receive a tablet connected to a school network, replacing the blackboards with a giant touch screen device and even building a 3D printing lab.

Since all books are now digital, Principal Skinner decides to burn the "old" paper books, but a meltdown in the server breaks all the digital devices in the school. As all the paper books were destroyed, the teachers have nothing they can use to teach the students. Miss Hoover shows a movie in her cellphone. Lisa, unable to see the movie, looks out the window and sees Groundskeeper Willie using a rope with equally spaced knots to measure some grass patches. This gives Lisa the idea to turn the school into a Waldorf School, based on hands-on activities and creative play.

All the kids like the new system, and Willie is promoted to math team coach. While teaching the math team, Willie sees that Superintendent Chalmers is abusing his services and tries to chase him down. During the chase, Bart throws an egg and hits Chalmers in the head, making him crash his car into a tree. Surprised by Bart's capacity of calculating angles, Willie invites Bart to be the new math team captain. Later, the Waverly Hills Elementary and Springfield Elementary Math teams have a rematch, but Bart is unprepared, as he did not realize there would be math (despite Lisa telling him there would be nothing but math). Despite this, the score is tied (29-29), and the teams are given a final: in a M shaped figure, the competitors have to draw three straight lines to form 9 non-overlapping triangles. All the competitors are stumped, until Bart remembers the "M" shaped hair in Homer's head and finds the solution, leading the Springfield Elementary's Math Team to victory. Lisa is very happy, though she's also horrified when Willie admits that the rope-measuring technique he showed her was actually a device that was used to torture and kill sheep thieves as the knots kept the victim alive longer to make the punishment more brutal.


On September 26, 2014; while in a conference at the London Science Museum, Al Jean told that there would be a future episode with the following plot: "It will have Lisa on a math team and features the most complicated math jokes we [The Simpsons crew] can think of."[1][2] This episode's couch gag features a crossover with the animated series Rick and Morty.[3] Dan Harmon wrote the first draft of the sequence with Justin Roiland performing rewrites.[4] A sequence during the second Mathlympics scene features a section of the Kate Bush song "π" from her album Aerial.[5]


The episode received a 1.3 rating and was watched by a total of 2.82 million people.[6] The episode also received negative reviews. Many critics and viewers have said that the "Rick and Morty"-themed couch gag was better than the actual episode itself. Dennis Perkins of The A.V. Club gave the episode a D, saying "as the final act of "Mathlete's Feat," the final episode of the 26th season of The Simpsons went to commercial. I was genuinely pissed at how disjointed, lazy, and downright lousy this season finale was."[7] Jesse Schedeen of IGN gave the episode a 7.3/10, ultimately saying the episode was unfocused but was still amusing.[8]


  1. ^ "The Simpsons: One big numbers game". Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-06-21.
  2. ^ "Al Jean on Twitter: "@87Loco87 @fred_malcolm yes on math team and math jokes. Prepare for a 50 share!"". 2015-01-24. Retrieved 2015-06-21.
  3. ^ "Al Jean on Twitter: "@justinchaney6 Mathlete's feat, season finale ."". 2015-03-10. Retrieved 2015-06-21.
  4. ^ Couch, Aaron (May 14, 2015). "'The Simpsons': Matt Groening Dissects 'Rick and Morty' Opening Credits Crossover". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  5. ^ "Simpsons, Episode 574, clip feat. Kate Bush's "π"". May 18, 2015. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  6. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 19, 2015). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'The Simpsons' & 'Billboard Music Awards' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  7. ^ Perkins, Dennis (2015-05-17). "The Simpsons: "Mathlete's Feat"". Retrieved 2015-05-18.
  8. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (2015-05-17). "The Simpsons: "Mathlete's Feat" Review". IGN. Retrieved 2016-12-13.

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