Synopsis by Mark Deming
Seymour Skinner (voice of Harry Shearer) is being feted with a special presentation to honor his twenty years as principal of Springfield Elementary School, but the party takes an unexpected turn when a man in a military uniform appears and announces he's the real Sgt. Seymour Skinner (voice of Martin Sheen). Skinner admits the man is telling the truth and shares his true story -- as a teenager, he was a greasy-haired delinquent named Armin Tamzarian, but a stint in the Army put him back on the straight and narrow when he met Sgt. Skinner and learned the value of discipline and small-town life. When Skinner was presumed dead in a mortar attack, Tamzarian decided to take his name and fulfill his great dream of becoming principal of Springfield Elementary. Disillusioned with the revelation that he's an imposter, Tamzarian is fired, and moves to Capitol City to live the sleazy life that was his destiny. Sgt. Skinner is appointed principal in Tamzarian's place, but before long everyone realizes they liked the old Seymour Skinner better than the real thing, including his mother (voice of Tress MacNeille). "The Principal and the Pauper" first aired on September 29, 1997.