"Special Edna" is the seventh episode of the fourteenth season of the American animated television sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 5, 2003. In the episode, Edna Krabappel begins to lose faith in her relationship with Principal Skinner and becomes depressed. Bart wants to cheer her up and decides to nominate her for the Teacher of the Year Award. Edna and the Simpsons are given a free trip to a theme park in Orlando, Florida, called the EFCOT Center. Skinner decides that he needs to do something to win Edna back, so he follows them there. He tries to sabotage Edna's chances of winning the award, in hopes that she will remain at Springfield Elementary if she does not win the prize money. However, he has a change of heart and proposes to her.
Edna Krabappel tells her students to write a paper on World War I, due in three weeks. After class, Edna and Principal Skinner's apple picking date is canceled when Skinner's mother, Agnes, calls him away. At the Simpson household, Bart is distracted from writing his paper. At the end of the three weeks, he still has not started the assignment. The day before the date of submission, he asks Grampa for help. Grampa's story about his WWI experiences as a four-year-old in the trenches is anything but educational, but Bart writes it down anyway and pads it to ten pages using advertisements. Edna rejects his paper and tells Bart he will have to do it correctly after school. As Bart finishes the assignment after school, supervised by Edna herself, he observes Skinner cancel a movie date with Edna when Agnes calls. Bart consoles Edna, and she reluctantly accepts his offer to accompany her to the movie, though she is grateful.
At home, Lisa suggests that Bart nominate Edna for the Teacher of the Year award. Bart's nomination is accepted when the organizers realize that Edna actually managed to teach Bart Simpson (who was believed to be an "urban legend") and survive. When Edna is informed of her Teacher of the Year nomination, she thanks Bart at the ensuing press conference, wondering aloud if she will continue teaching if she does win. Skinner is about to congratulate Edna when Agnes calls again. Bart informs his family that, as nominator, he and his family are going to Orlando, Florida. The family is excited, until they learn the awards show is being held at the EFCOT Center theme park. At the EFCOT Center, Marge and Lisa go on a "World of Tomorrow" ride, "what the people in 1965 thought the world would be like in 1987." Homer and Bart go on an electric car ride, sponsored by "the gasoline producers of America", that tells them that electric cars can not go very fast or far, and "people will think you're gay" if you drive one.
At Springfield Elementary, Skinner is despondent at the thought that Edna could leave the school. Groundskeeper Willie lends Skinner his sports car so he can go to Orlando, where he surprises Edna with a kiss under the fireworks display - until they are interrupted by Agnes, whom Skinner brought along, much to Edna's ire. During preparation for the awards ceremony, Skinner is shocked when he hears that the winner receives enough money to be able to retire. He requests Bart to help him sabotage Edna's chances of winning, though he has to resort to blackmail after Bart initially refuses. At the ceremony, presided over by Little Richard, each finalist must ask their nominating student a question. When Bart is asked what Edna would like to teach the world, he pretends to be illiterate, until Skinner guiltily tells the truth, adding Edna should be Teacher of the Year because "If she can teach me to love, she can teach anyone anything." With one of Little Richard's rings, Skinner asks Edna to marry him, and she agrees. Edna loses the award, but looks forward to marrying Skinner.
"Special Edna" was written by Dennis Snee and directed by Bob Anderson as part of the fourteenth season of The Simpsons (2002–03). The EFCOT Center that is featured in the episode is a parody of Epcot, a theme park in the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando. A joke featured in this episode was reminiscent of one used in the season four episode "Kamp Krusty" (1992). This joke begins with Homer and Marge kissing while watching a fireworks display, and Homer says "Marge, we've got all the fireworks we need right here", which could be interpreted as him wanting to have sex with Marge, but he actually pulls away a cloth to reveal a basket of fireworks. American musician Little Richard guest starred in the episode as himself.
The episode originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 5, 2003. It was viewed in approximately 9.0 million households that night. With a Nielsen rating of 8.5, the episode finished 18th in the ratings for the week of December 30, 2002 – January 5, 2003. It was the highest-rated broadcast on Fox that week, following an NFC post-game show. On December 6, 2011, "Special Edna" was released on Blu-ray and DVD as part of the box set The Simpsons – The Complete Fourteenth Season. Staff members Al Jean, Ian Maxtone-Graham, Matt Selman, Tom Gammill, Matt Warburton, Bob Anderson, Mike B. Anderson, and David Silverman, as well as cast member Nancy Cartwright, participated in the DVD audio commentary for the episode. Deleted scenes from the episode were also included in the box set.
DVD Movie Guide's Colin Jacobson commented that though "I’ve liked episodes that focus on Krapappel, but on the other hand, her relationship with Skinner has always been a bit of a dud. Those two factors cancel each other out to leave this as an average show, though the mockery of EPCOT scores some points. I think the real EPCOT is pretty fun, actually, but the program delivers some amusing pokes at it." "Special Edna" was named the best episode of the fourteenth season of The Simpsons by IGN writers Robert Canning, Eric Goldman, Dan Iverson, and Brian Zoromski. They commented: "First and foremost, this episode, as the title implies, is a nice spotlight on poor, overworked, underpaid Mrs. Krabappel. Krabappel's relationship with Principal Skinner takes center stage [...] But there's a ton more to this episode, including Grampa's story about serving as a four year old in World War I; Milhouse showing up with his uncle to give Bart a ride in a Blackhawk Helicopter; and a trip to a very thinly veiled parody of Disney World's EPCOT Center [...] that is filled with spot on parodies like the World of Tomorrow ride, which is a horribly dated 1960s take on the far future of the year 1984."
- Simpsons World The Ultimate Episode Guide: Seasons 1–20. HarperCollins. 2010. pp. 667–711. ISBN 9780594045052.
- Canning, Robert (2010-01-08). "The Simpsons: 20 Seasons, 20 Episodes". IGN. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
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- Valdivia, Victor (2011-12-22). "The Simpsons: The Fourteenth Season". DVD Verdict. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
- "Football kicks ABC to the top of the ratings". Sun-Sentinel. 2003-01-09. p. 4E.
- Lambert, David (2011-09-28). "The Simpsons - Finalized Box Art, Details and Extras for 'The Complete 14th Season' DVDs, Blu-rays". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2012-08-19.
- Jacobson, Colin (2011-12-16). "The Simpsons: The Complete Fourteenth Season [Blu-Ray] (2002)". DVD Movie Guide. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
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