- For the location, see Kamp Krusty (location).
- "Dear Mom, I no longer fear Hell, because I've been to Kamp Krusty. Our nature hikes have become grim death marches. Our arts and crafts hut is, in truth, a Dickensian workhouse. Bart makes it through the day clinging to his hope that Krusty the Klown will come. But I am far more pessimistic. I am not even sure if this letter will reach you, as the normal lines of communication have been cut. So I close by saying, SAVE US! SAVE US NOW! Bart and Lisa."
- ―Lisa and Bart's letter home
Kamp Krusty is the first episode of season 4. It was originally broadcast on September 24, 1992 on FOX, less than a month after season 3 finale, "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?" aired. The episode was written by David M. Stern and directed by Mark Kirkland.
Bart and Lisa spend six weeks at Kamp Krusty. However, the camp is not what it seems, as Bart and Lisa quickly find out.
It's the last day of school. After getting Mrs. Krabappel to change the Fs on his report card to Cs, Bart, his fellow students, and the faculty and staff tear down Springfield Elementary School with chainsaws, flamethrowers, a bulldozer, and even a wrecking ball, to the tune of the Alice Cooper song "School's Out". This turns out to be only Bart's dream, but it really is the last day of school.
Bart and Lisa are excited about being able to spend the summer at Kamp Krusty ("The Krustiest Place On Earth"), a summer camp run by Krusty the Clown, but Homer has said that Bart can only go if he gets at least a C average on his report card. At school, Bart finds that Mrs. Krabappel has given him a D- in each subject. On the bus ride home, he uses a marker to change each grade to an A+. Bart presents the card to his dad, but Homer sees through the ruse ("A+?! You don't think very much of me, do you, boy?"). Homer chides Bart for not faking plausible grades ("You know, a D turns into a B so easily. You just got greedy.") but tells Bart he's letting him go to Kamp Krusty anyway, for two reasons: First, Homer sees no reason to make Bart pay for any of Homer's mistakes, and second, Homer didn't really want Bart at the house all summer.
The kids of Springfield all leave for Kamp Krusty. After they arrive, the camp's director, Mr. Black (who licenses the Krusty brand for his camp) announces that Krusty won't be around for a few weeks, and instead the bullies of Springfield Elementary -- Jimbo, Dolph, and Kearney—will be serving as counselors and enforcing order. At Kamp Krusty, the cabins are decrepit and vermin-infested, the lake is too dangerous to swim in, and the kids are fed nothing but Krusty Brand Imitation Gruel ("Nine out of ten orphans can't tell the difference"). Meanwhile, with the older kids gone, Homer and Marge are having a wonderful summer together. Homer has even grown two extra strands of hair and lost a few pounds. Lisa sends a letter to Marge, describing how the camp's arts and crafts are nothing but sweatshops where the kids are forced to make wallets for export, and hikes have become brutal forced marches, but Marge and Homer think she's exaggerating. Bart clings to the hope that Krusty will come and save the kids. Krusty himself, unaware of any of this, approves more shoddy merchandise bearing his name before heading off to Wimbledon.
Mr. Black announces to the campers that Krusty has finally come, but it's just local drunk Barney Gumble dressed as Krusty. At this, Bart has finally had enough: he leads the campers in rebellion, driving out Mr. Black and the bullies and establishing Camp Bart. Channel 6 newscaster Kent Brockman arrives at the camp to report on the revolt. When Homer watches the live broadcast on TV and learns that the rebel leader is Bart, he instantly loses his newly-grown hair and gains back his weight. Brockman says, upon arriving at the scene, that he has been to Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, and that "without hyperbole, this is a million times worse than all of them put together."
Because of the camp crisis, Krusty is called back from Wimbledon in England and comes to the camp to apologize to the kids, saying he was offered "a dumptruck full of money" in exchange for putting his name on the camp. To make it all up to the campers, he offers to take them to the happiest place on Earth: Tijuana. The kids and Krusty have fun together in Mexico, shown in a montage of pictures over the closing credits.
As described in the DVD commentary, the Kamp Krusty script was suggested by James L. Brooks as a possible Simpsons movie. However, due to problems with making the story long enough for an 80-minute film, the idea was dropped.
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