Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters / The Simpsons - The Simpson Family

Go To

Main Character Index | Simpson Family | Springfield Elementary School | Government, Judges and Lawyers, Police and Criminals | Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, Springfield Shopkeepers | First Church of Springfield, Doctors, Celebrities | Friends and Neighbors, Families | Other Recurring Characters | Itchy & Scratchy Characters | One-time Characters

    open/close all folders 
Advertisement:

Immediate Family

    General 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/latest_979.png

  • All of the Other Reindeer: With the exception of Maggie, the immediate family is occasionally put down by their hometown, Springfield. The people of Springfield are generally known to be fair-weathered and fickle, earning the reputation of "Meanest Town in America". There is even a "Code of the Schoolyard" in Springfield Elementary School, where children amongst themselves are expected to always make fun of those different from them. This trope is usually put into effect due to Homer's blunders, Bart's mischief, or a series of events which brings out the town's general nastiness.
  • All Work vs. All Play: Marge and Lisa are All Work while Homer and Bart are All Play. This gets lampshaded a couple of times.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: The family may argue a lot on even the pettiest things but they still love each other no matter what.
  • Badass Family: All of them have their awesome moments but only a couple at a time are allowed to be badass together.
    • It's a bit of a Running Gag that Maggie is the most badass member of the family. She saved Homer's life on four separate occasions and was the one who shot Mr. Burns.
    • Strangely, Homer shows some elements of this, especially in the movie. In the main series, he's often got involved in car chases that required him to kick someone's ass.
    • Marge is regularly shown to be very physically gifted and a skilled fighter. She was once a police officer, a bodybuilder, and won an MMA match.
    • Lisa has her moments, most notably with the episode "Lisa on Ice". There's also the time that Lisa one-hit KO'd Bart in a MMA ring and she also connects a gloriously-animated punch on Bart in the movie.
  • Black and White Insanity: Marge and Lisa have strong moral values and refuse to accept a gray area. Bart and Homer, on the other hand, are comfortable with breaking the law for their own amusements but will atone when they think they've crossed a line. This is best shown with Marge and Lisa's views on lying.
    • In "Reality Bites" Marge becomes a realtor and uses her morals to prevent people from buying a new house. Lionel Hutz explains that telling the truth has both good and bad consequences, only for Marge to go against the business and try to return the Flanders' money after they happily bought a new house from her. The reason why she wanted to return the money was that she lied about the house since it had a history with homicide, and she felt that she should have pointed it out sooner.
    • In "Lisa Gets An A" Lisa cheats on her literacy test and gets an A+++. Even though her cheating would benefit everyone in the school, she ultimately confesses her guilt from cheating and that the school was using funds they didn't earn.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Homer is usually the one to say "D'oh", but Marge, Bart, Lisa, Grampa and Mona have all said it too. The only family member who hasn't said it is Maggie, and that's only because she can't talk yet.
  • The Conscience: Both Lisa and Marge are the sources of moral guidance for Bart and Homer. Lisa often becomes the voice of logic when Bart and Homer are forced to deal with a situation that they may have caused or worsened.
  • Dysfunctional Family: The obvious exemplar, we could be here all day with examples to back up their inclusion. However, even if the President wished Americans could be "more like The Waltons and less like The Simpsons," they stay together, go to church together and eat dinner together every night, and they're ultimately closely-knit.
  • Flanderization: All of their traits have been exaggerated over time, most notably Homer goes from an ignorant, short-tempered but loving father to an idiotic Jerkass Manchild and Lisa goes from a sweet, intelligent and well-behaved girl to a Little Miss Perfect Soapbox Sadie who is often Holier Than Thou.
  • Friendless Background: The female Simpsons, depending on the episode (justified with Maggie because she’s a baby). They are occasionally seen hanging out with other people (a few random classmates for Lisa or random local women for Marge) but they have no consistent friendships with other characters. Both Marge and Lisa explicitly say "I have no friends" several times and it sometimes becomes a plot point, like in "Pay Pal".
  • Hollywood Genetics: Homer (had brown hair) and Marge (blue hair) have three blonde kids. None of the Bouviers are blonde, and Abe Simpson also had brown hair... One episode claims that Bart's natural hair color is red which makes it weirder. Downplayed when it comes to eye color. Different blink-and-you’ll-miss moments across the series reveal Homer and the kids have blue eyes, but Marge’s eyes are hazel.
  • Iconic Item: Homer has his doughnuts and cans of Duff Beer, Bart has his slingshot, Lisa has her saxophone, and Maggie has her pacifier, leaving Marge as the only immediate family member without an item ironically associated with her.
  • Never My Fault: They often refuse to take their share of blame when something goes wrong. Homer refuses to believe that his abusive wrath is a constant cause of Bart's bad behavior, Marge and Lisa often justify their actions with their motivations despite the damage caused by their acts and finally Bart often pins the blame on friends or Homer.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: Out of the Simpson children, Lisa is nice (the well-behaved girl), Bart is mean (disrespectful and proud of it), and Maggie is in-between (mostly a harmless baby but with a violent, dark side).
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Their particular design and physical features are unique family traits and not used for any other character on the show (with rare exceptions), like Homer’s beard line, Marge's ridiculously tall Beehive Hairdo, or Bart, Lisa and Maggie's skin-coloured "hair" (they are supposedly blonde but every other blonde haired character in the show is drawn with more realistic hair).
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Averted, for Homer and Lisa. But played straight for Marge (Marjorie), Bart (Bartholomew) and Maggie (Margaret). This also extended a bit for the extended family: Abe (Abraham), Patty (Patricia), Jackie (Jaqueline) and Herb (Herbert).
  • Positive Discrimination: The show is renowned for using this at its most intense form, with Marge, Lisa and Maggie often established as gifted, intelligent, and sensible people, while Homer and Bart usually act like immoral idiots who instigate the dilemma of each episode. The show's long run (along with Flanderization taking its toll) has led to numerous reversals and deconstructions (Lisa has gained an ego complex due to this trope, sometimes condescending and underestimating Bart and Homer, while Marge's sensible demeanor was exaggerated to the point she needs Homer for any impulsive drive), but the trope's formula is still easily the most consistent.
  • Principles Zealot: Both Marge and Lisa have uncompromising moral principles and will often sacrifice the benefits of a bad decision, on the basis of morality. While the two have a strong moral fibre and are able to set an example for Bart and Homer, there are times where it was more beneficial to keep quiet about their misdeeds.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Impulsive Homer and practical joke artist Bart clearly form the Red Oni half of the Simpson household to pragmatic, tradition-worshipping Marge and bookworm Lisa's Blue Oni.
  • Tuckerization: All of the members of the Simpsons family are named after Matt Groening's family members, except Bart, which is an anagram of brat. Bart was originally going to be named Matt.
  • Women Are Wiser: The trope gets taken to its logical extreme in the episode "Lisa The Simpson", where Lisa discovers that even though all Simpsons start out intelligent, only the men have a genetic condition that causes them to gradually lose their intelligence as they age, ending up as bumbling, idiotic man-children working menial jobs, while the women keep their intelligence into adulthood and thus are all very successful.

    Homer Jay Simpson 
The father, the dope, and more or less the main character of the show. Homer is overweight, almost completely bald, and rather selfish, short-tempered and stupid, but is a good person at heart and has a bright outlook on life. Voiced by Dan Castellaneta.
  • For tropes related to him, see here.

    Marjorie "Marge" Jacqueline Simpson (née Bouvier) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/margesimpson_1431.jpg

The mother and typically both The Straight Man and closer to earth, Marge is predominantly a homemaker, but does have her wilder side. Loving and supportive, her devotion to her family may be strained at times but is never broken. Voiced by Julie Kavner.


  • Action Mom: She despises violence but, somewhat ironically, is regularly shown to be very physically gifted and a skilled fighter. She was once a police officer, a bodybuilder, and won an MMA match.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: While not as much as Homer, she tends to embarrass her kids especially Bart.
  • Aesop Amnesia: No matter how often she meddles in someone else's affairs and inevitably makes things worse because she's against it for whatever reason the episode gives her and learns she shouldn't do it, she keeps doing it anyway in later episodes.
  • The Artifact: Apparently, the original reason for the giant beehive was that it hid rabbit ears. Eventually, the idea was scrapped.
  • Beehive Hairdo: Yes. Some flashbacks depict her as having had it since she was a baby, though the first full-episode flashback shows her only doing it like this for her high school prom.
  • Belief Makes You Stupid: Despite her standing as the voice of reason and common sense to her husband's stupidity and impulsiveness, Marge has a tendency to let her religious views cloud her judgement, leading her to act as a narrow-minded fundamentalist at best or a self-righteous moral guardian at worst.
  • Berserk Button: Any woman who displays has an interest in Homer - even when it is purely platonic - will bring about her wrath. In "Friends and Family" Homer had to explain multiple times to Marge that Julia was just a friend but she still went absolutely ballistic.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She even stood up to the entire population of Springfield because they drove Bart to suicide over a little league game. She's easily the scariest member of the Simpsons family when angered. You do not want to piss her off. For example, when driven past breaking point by Homer being an extra-strength jerkass, Marge finally loses her temper completely and attacks Ned with a broken bottle. Ned, it should be pointed out, is much stronger than he looks, and even he admits he's having difficulty keeping Marge at bay (it's later shown she did eventually manage to stab him).
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: While early seasons would have Marge be more Innocently Insensitive (see Aesop Amnesia above), Flanderization has caused her to become this trope especially when dealing with her family. Anytime someone in her family chooses a new political point or religion outside of her own, even if it's more beneficial to them or even society as a whole, Marge will stop at go to great lengths to prevent this. She also will gleefully say that she will always support Bart as he becomes an utter failure in life.
  • The Bore: Marge's incredibly bland taste in everything is a frequent source of humor. For example; looking for some adrenaline in her life, Marge decides to stop buying regular ham, and go instead for deviled ham.
  • Catch-Phrase: "Hmmmmmm..." According to one of the DVD audio commentaries, the writers wanted to establish "I don't think that's a good idea" as her catchphrase in earlier seasons.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Any woman getting to close to Homer (even if they are genuinely just friends) will drive her insane. One of the main reasons she stays married to Homer is because she feels the need to possess him and have him dependent on her. After forgiving Lurleen, she threatens her with serious bodily harm if she comes near her husband again. Luckily for her, Homer is oblivious to all attraction other women have as Marge is the only woman he loves.
  • The Comically Serious: Noted for her rather dull and no-risk demeanor, occasionally getting dizzy thrills out of monotonous activities like household chores (she does desire excitement and diversity every once in a while however, which is revealed to be a partial reason she likes Homer).
  • Covert Pervert: In some episodes, she does some perverse things including getting drunk. Also this line from when Homer was reading Kama Sutra.
    Homer: Hey, look, Marge, they took our idea.
    Marge: Ooooh.
  • Daddy's Girl: This isn't very apparent, as said dad has very few appearances and isn't mentioned very often, but "Fear of Flying" seems to imply that Marge was close to her father. So finding out his Unmanly Secret was shocking to her.
  • Double Standard: In an early episode, she has several dates with a man who makes numerous explicit romantic overtures with her, and she only backs out from sleeping with him while she's driving to a rendezvous to do just that. In the very next episode, she finds a photo of Homer platonically dancing with a bellydancer at a stag party and acts like she cheated on him, to the point of yelling at him and throwing him out of his own house. Although part of it was because Homer lied repeatedly that there won't be a stripper, and Bart is the one that took photos of it and she thinks it will set a terrible precedent for him on how to treat women.
  • Dude Magnet: Many men were attracted to her, like Moe, Mr. Burns, or her high school classmate who was still obsessed with her after 20 years.
  • Education Mama: Especially with Bart, she even home-schools him for a period of time.
  • Extreme Doormat: As Homer became more of a Jerkass, Marge appeared to be more and more of a doormat, forgiving him over and over again, not only for stupid accidents and acts of ignorance, but huge acts of genuine deceit. While Bart and Lisa weren't willing to put up with it in many cases, Marge overlooked almost everything he did. Finally addressed in the movie where Marge declares she has put up with Homer's jerkass nature and shenanigans long enough and decides to leave him. Homer spends the rest of the movie figuring out why Marge left him and what he can do to correct it. Some episodes show that this behavior came from how Patty and Selma treated her.
  • Fan Hater: In-universe example. When at her worst, Marge is willing to protest anything she despises because others like it, even outright admitting this in The Great Wife Hope.
  • Fanservice Pack:
    • The main plot of the episode "Large Marge" is all about her accidentally gaining huge boobs (they were meant for Mayor Quimby's female intern).
    • In some Halloween specials she is more busty than in regular episodes.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Marge seems to buy into this quite a lot. Subverted somewhat, a long-running background joke is that Marge is actually a pretty bland cook, once claiming that her secret ingredient was salt.
  • Flanderization:
    • She went from being a loving, prepared, down to earth mother who lectured Bart whenever he was up to his old tricks to overprotecting him and being paranoid about his well-being.
    • Her somewhat no-nonsense personality was also Flanderized somewhat. In early episodes, she was merely wiser and something of a nag, though she did cut loose on several occasions. In later episodes she is extremely boring and un-impulsive by nature, getting hyped up by household chores and monotonous hobbies.
    • In the earlier episodes of the show, Marge was a very supportive mother and the family's voice of reason and moral authority when Lisa's personality was not yet fully developed (actually, Lisa's Soapbox Sadie tendencies were lifted from Marge). However, she was Not So Above It All at times (like in "Rosebud", where she lampshades it with a "Well, why can't I be greedy once in a while?"). In later episodes, her good parenting became an Informed Attribute due to her transformation into a Stepford Smiler ("Catch 'Em If You Can " is a good example) and she became more likely to join Homer and the rest of Springfield in whatever stupid shenanigans they were getting into in the episode.
    • It could be partly thanks to Homer's Flanderisation into a gluttonous manchild, but Marge used to call Homer out on his behaviour. As Homer became more of a Jerkass, Marge became a Stepford Smiler who wanted their marriage to succeed no matter what crazy things he did. Then Homer became a greedy, selfish, lying alcoholic who endangered and abused his family. Since Marge chastising her husband every time he's stupid would get boring, she started by forgiving him impulsively at the end of every episode and now seems completely blind to his flaws. But Fox seems to have enough problems with showing Homer being locked out of the house for the night, let alone Marge filing for divorce, so by doing nothing, she's basically an enabler.
    • Her boringness. The first time Marge learned her husband and children thought she was no fun, in season 5, Marge was actually hurt and angered by this. In later years, Marge actively seeks the best ways to be duller than dishwater, and make other types of fun illegal.
  • Foil: To Homer. While Homer is goofy, aggressive, and unintelligent, Marge is serious, calm, and rather smart. Typically she's the one who prevents Homer from doing anything too foolish.
  • Friendless Background: A fact made clear several times is that Marge has little to no actual friends, for a variety of reasons. One big reason is Homer himself, who it's implied has routinely (accidentally, mind) driven away anyone who might want to socialize with her. A secondary reason is due to being a card-carrying wet blanket, as shown at the beginning of "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson".
  • The Fundamentalist: It's not overt, but Marge is incredibly intolerant when Lisa decides to convert to Buddhism, first saying she couldn't get dessert and later trying to bribe her with a (fake) pony on Christmas, and when Bart decides to become Catholic, she even kidnaps him from the Catholic School. Marge hates Catholics and thinks they are strange... despite being proud of and "knowledgeable" of her French heritage. France is a historically Catholic nation with the Christian population of France being overwhelmingly Catholic with over 13 million members, in comparison the Protestant population is only around 500,000. Likewise, she's outraged when Homer desires to forgo church in lieu of passively worshipping God from his couch, going as far as calling him wicked, or when he joins Bart in becoming Catholic. She eventually accepts her family's choices, as long as they perform lip-service at Church on Sunday. This is a really weird trait for her to have, as one episode showed that she hadn't even bothered to have her children baptised.
    • Marge's moralizing is so infamous that the entire town knows about it. When the townspeople are debating whether to adopt legalized gambling, Mayor Quimby asks if there are any moral objections. Everybody in the room immediately turns towards Marge.
  • Gag Boobs: She briefly had a case of this in "Large Marge" in which she was accidentally given breast implants. Amusingly the first gag about it comes from her, no less, in which she describes that her "maguppies became bazongas!"
  • The Gambling Addict: In the episode where a casino is built in Springfield, Marge loses quite a fortune at the slots. Since then, her gambling is mostly under control, though it is mentioned every now and then.
    Comic Book Guy: Hey, I'm watching you!
  • Green-Eyed Monster: In "Friends and Family", the prospect of Homer getting a new female best friend named Julia causes her to become irate with him and complain that if another woman is his best friend then that makes their marriage feel less important if Marge herself isn't his best friend. She of course comes around to her senses (but feels right being angry at him anyway).
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Marge tends to be oblivious to bad people such as bullies. However she does seem to be aware of Nelson's bullying as she asks him if he was the boy who beats up her son, suggesting that she is either naive towards bullying or is easily manipulated by the bullies.
  • Gossipy Hens: She does love her gossip. When Maggie's baby monitor picks up on phone calls, she becomes addicted to listening to it.
  • Guttural Growler: A rare female version. She has a trademark deep and raspy voice.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: Zig Zagged. Depictions of her earlier years vary between her having the same Beehive Hairdo (sometimes shorter than it usually is) or a different style.
  • Hammerspace Hair: Her total height including the hair is eight foot six. Her hairdo is strong enough to hold everything from Maggie to a beach umbrella to a jar full of money to a ten-pin bowling ball.
  • Happily Married: For most of the show's run with Homer. Despite the many conflicts they get into, they'll always find their way out of it.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Occasionally, though she's normally more of a social drinker.
  • Hidden Depths: She is great at making sculptures and wanted to be a painter once.
  • Hidden Eyes: In the aforementioned "Little Orphan Millie", to keep Homer guessing her eye color.
  • Hikikomori: Spends a period like this in "Strong Arms of the Ma". She eventually overcame this after using the weight-lifting set Homer bought from Rainier Wolfcastle.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Zigzagged. Marge is sometimes naive towards people or tend to let her fundamentals influence her better judgement, but she's still depicted as the Only Sane Man of the family. When Bart is told to make a Valentine's Day card for Nelson, she quickly tells him that Jesus told his followers to "love thy enemy", despite recognising Nelson's bullying history with Bart. When Bart was being hunted by Jimbo, Kearney and Dolph for having an affair with Jimbo's girlfriend Shauna, Marge genuinely believed that they were friends with Bart and told them to wait. She also unintentionally ruined the marriage of Otto and then girlfriend Becky by telling her to make an ultimatum by making him choose between her and his his music. He chooses the latter in a heartbeat despite Marge thinking that he would choose Becky out of love.
  • Housewife: While she does have a few jobs over the show's run, she spends most of her time as a housewife.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Begs Homer to get rid of his gun, claiming she doesn't want a gun in her house. After Homer gives it to her to dispose of, she keeps it for herself.
    • In episode 9 of the first season, Marge basically has an affair with a man she met while bowling, and only got a change of heart when driving off to a sexual rendezvous with him. The VERY NEXT EPISODE, Marge finds a photo of Homer dancing (with no sexual overtones) with a bellydancer at a stag party he went to (with her knowledge), and proceeds to treat him highly condescendingly, throw him out of his own house, and act like he cheated on her.
    • Doubly so with Homer's platonic relationship with Lurleen Lumpkin another hundred or so episodes later, where she is against him spending any time with Lurleen (despite him being her manager) and treats it like he is cheating on her.
    • She supports gay rights and is proud of Homer for marrying gay couples, but when her sister comes out of the closet she refuses to accept her sexuality.
  • I Can Change My Beloved: Marge did this with Homer, and insists it worked and that now he's a "whole new person", despite the evidence that he's still an often-inconsiderate slob. Lisa's response is to just pretend to agree with her.
  • I Have No Son!: While she doesn't officially disown Bart nor kicks him out of the house, she either distanced herself from, became so disappointed in, or flat-out gave up on Bart at least four times. Three ("Marge Be Not Proud", "Bart the Mother", and "Peeping Mom") she had reason to, but one ("Love is a Many Splintered Thing") was for petty reasons.
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Inverted. In Husbands and Knives, she got upset when she realises her hips were too wide and she had lost her "perfect" 26-26-26 figure.
  • Impossibly-Low Neckline: Her regular dress. Once even lampshaded by a prison warden.
    Warden: NOTHING IS KEEPING UP HER DRESS! ONLY HER MELONS!!!
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: Marge gets thrills out of monotonous activities such as household chores and evening walks (of which she tends to prefer the dullest route). The family actually tend to find doing Marge's ideas of fun more unbearable than Homer or Bart's troublemaking.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Marge was not designed with the intention of being attractive, and is in fact described as plain or even homely looking multiple times early on. However, as the writers became more aware of the Perverse Sexual Lust parts of their fan base had for her, they turned her into someone who is way out of Homer's league, despite not altering her design at all.
  • It's All About Me: A minor example, but Marge often makes efforts to prevent her family from doing things they like because it might embarrass her. Then again, the embarrassment ranges from dressing inappropriately or drinking at a party to hitting the Queen of England and angering Australia.
  • I Want Grandkids: Her greatest fear is dying without grandchildren.
  • Jerkass Ball: While she's normally the most down to earth of the family, she does act more insensitive than usual in a few episodes, especially "Regarding Margie".
  • Karma Houdini: A combination of Double Standard and her status as the show's Designated Victim makes her this. She can be a Jerkass on the same level as Homer, but if her actions aren't ignored or played for laughs, her bad behavior is a sign that she's unappreciated or overworked. This includes things such as praying that Lisa's vegetarian diet makes her sick, tricking her into eating meat, and even trying to kill Homer because she had to take over his driving duties, and not once did she even show that she was the slightest bit sorry. There are episodes where Marge is clearly shown in the wrong, only for it to go through a Shocking Swerve or Halfway Plot Switch so not only are her actions forgotten, she usually ends up getting exactly what wanted. Her abuse and neglect of Bart is also regularly ignored in favor of focusing on Homer's.
  • Kick the Dog: Marge puts meat juice in her vegetarian daughter's food and, when hearing that Lisa has an iron deficiency, actually hopes that her vegetarianism was causing it. In "Dogtown", she literally kicks the alpha dog as a display of dominance, though she immediately apologizes for it.
  • Knight Templar: Slips into this in some episodes when she goes too far to keep the family's life normal. A few episodes with the other family members questioning religion, for example, has her almost rival Ned in her zealotry.
  • Laughing at Your Own Jokes: She does this occasionally. She gives her best one liners when no one's around.
  • Literal-Minded: Marge has shown multiple times to have a poor recognition of sarcasm and is sometimes literal-minded towards jokes.
    • For example, when Bart makes a joke about Homer's weight disrupting satellites, she still believes it to be true despite Homer telling her it was a joke.
    • Another example would be Marge becoming confused when Bart tells her that he was being sarcastic when he sarcastically clapped in celebration of Lisa's promotion to school president.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Her marriage to Homer is what stops him from crossing a line. Homer loves Marge so much that he's willing to let many people (such as Patty and Selma) speak to him with such cruelty and callousness. It's fair to say that without Marge's support in Homer's life, he would become a Villain Protagonist due to his abusive behavior towards Bart, alcoholism, negligence of Maggie and poor connection with Lisa despite his unconquerable love for all of his children.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Her possessiveness of Homer can lead her to become paranoid and a court actually finds her "insane". She suspects any woman who gets along well with Homer is actually trying to steal him away from her. She threatens to hurt Lurleen, is glad that Mindy lost her job, attempts to get rid of Julia (not the yandere one), and tries to kill Becky because she believes she is trying to take her place in the Simpson's family (although in the last case she was right). Marge can be downright terrifying.
  • Lust Object: Marge has gained attention from a majority of male characters like Moe, Mr. Burns and a number of celebrities.
  • Mama Bear: Any attack against her children, even through her son is a well-known troublemaker; Marge will go on the war path… even if you’re part of the 99 percent of Springfield. Don’t mess with the Simpson children in general. It also helps to know this same rules applies to Homer... most of the time.
  • Marital Rape License: She overpowers and rapes Homer in "Strong Arms of the Ma", and it's Played for Laughs.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Marge is this to pretty much everyone. She presents herself as an overworked and under-appreciated housewife and mother despite repeatedly showing that she gets thrills out of monotonous activities such as household chores. She also becomes incredibly neurotic whenever she gets a chance to relax as seen in "Regarding Margie".
  • Meaningful Name: The name Marjorie means "pearl", which shows how valuable she is to the family, and also why she values her antique heirloom pearl necklace so much.
  • Moral Guardian: In her more insufferable moments, she forces her sense of morality onto others when she does not possess the authority to do so.
  • Morality Pet: To Bart and Homer. Whenever Bart and/or Homer did something too far, they'll know when their actions upsets Marge.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • "Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy" has several moments showing Marge has an astounding body.
    • She becomes this in "Large Marge", in which she is accidentally given breast implants and becomes a model.
    • In "The Devil Wears Nada" after sexy pictures of her end up on a charity calendar.
    • Several of the Halloween specials have Fanservice scenes with her too.
    • In Real Life she appeared on Playboy posing semi-nude!
  • Ms. Vice Girl: Marge is normally a loving wife and mother, but suffers from a gambling addiction, which can occasionally pop up every now and then. More commonly she is also something of a finicky wet blanket, often unwilling to break from her standard comfort zone, which can make her rather overbearing and humourless. It says something that as often as the kids feel more comfortable around Marge than Homer, they actually find the latter's antics more tolerable than her fussy moods.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: Her dullness is often Played for Laughs. She gets excited over very mundane things, such as potatoes.
  • Nervous Wreck: The antics of her family sometimes drive her to nervous breakdowns.
  • Nice Girl: While she can be somewhat judgemental and narrow-minded from time to time, Marge is generally portrayed as being an incredibly loving and extremely patient mother and wife.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: She doesn't mean it, but she often scares the crap out of people around her.
  • Not Me This Time: A non-villainous example. When the town tries to legalize gambling, Mayor Quimby asks if anyone objects, and everyone turns to look at Marge, who's okay with it.
  • Not So Above It All: Will join in on some antics at times. For example, when Homer starts a food fight with the Flanders, Marge (along with Lisa) hesitates for a moment before joining in with the same glee as Homer and Bart. During "Rosebud", when the family are discussing what to do with Bobo, it's Marge who suggests extorting Mr. Burns, defensively asking "well, why can't I be greedy once in a while?" During "The Old Man and the Lisa", she actually manages to get two pretty solid burns in on Burns in the space of a minute.
  • One True Love: "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer" reveals her to be Homer's soul mate, and there are more than enough episodes that show that they were made for each other.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: She's primarily called "Marge" by relatives and friends alike.
  • Only Sane Woman: Most of the time. The straight man role is usually traded between her and Lisa.
  • Parental Substitute: Marge has often become a replacement mother for characters who have either been abandoned by their own parents, live in poverty or live in a household that lacks parental love. Examples of this include Nelson Muntz ("Sleeping with the Enemy") and Dwight ("I Don't Wanna Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"). It's also due to her motherly personality that she is unknowingly able to convince Simon ("Double, Double, Boy in Trouble") to stay with them after his troublesome first day of pretending to be Bart.
  • Progressively Prettier: Although Marge's appearance hasn't changed, how attractive she is stated to be has changed from housewife to centerfold. Also present in the original The Tracey Ullman Show shorts. Marge started out as quite dumpy, but quickly began slimming down.
  • Properly Paranoid: While Homer was oblivious to Lurleen's love, Marge is right in that she wants to sleep with him.
  • Same Clothes, Different Year: Certain depictions of her as a kid have her wear a dress similar to her present-day one.
  • Series Continuity Error:
  • She's Got Legs: When she and Homer get "frisky". This is explicitly mentioned by Lenny in one episode.
    "She's got legs from here to yah-yah!"
  • Ship Tease:
    • With Ned Flanders sometimes, but it doesn't go anywhere because she loves Homer. Although Flander's Ladder shows that she married him after Homer's death.
    • It's sometimes implied that she has a crush on Homer's friend Lenny, even if she rarely interacts with him.
  • Show Some Leg: Marge once distracted Chief Wiggum by flashing her (temporarily surgically enhanced) breasts. Which Krusty referred to as "Mugumbos". Which happened to be the control word for Stampy the Elephant.
  • Shy Blue-Haired Girl: Most notably during her youth.
  • The Southpaw: In "Booys Meet Curl" Marge says that she is naturally left-handed, but she learned to use her right hand so she wouldn't be antagonized by people, which actually makes her ambidextrous in the end.
  • Stacy's Mom: Several young characters, such as Nelson and Milhouse, have admitted to finding her attractive.
    Bart: My mom wears earrings. Do you think she's cool?
    Milhouse: No, I think she's hot! ...Sorry, it just slipped out...
  • Stepford Smiler:
    • From very early on. Marge mentions in "Moaning Lisa" that her mother always told her to smile, otherwise people would judge her, though Marge couldn't bring herself to make Lisa do this. She frequently refuses to talk about subjects she doesn't like (such as one of her uncles going on a shooting spree). Her long-suppressed fear of flying is not helped by Marge's utter refusal to admit there actually is a problem, even when it's causing her to become increasingly neurotic.
    • More pronounced as of recent, although it's understandable considering Homer's increasing Jerkassness. Comes to the fore in The Movie where she admits that she can't overlook Homer's jerkass qualities anymore and actually gets to the point where she decides to leave him. This immediately shakes Homer out of his jerkass bravado, making him realise what the hell he's done wrong and immediately begin to set about putting it right.
  • Straight Man: Shares this role with Lisa, most of the time.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Looks the same as her mother when she was her age.
  • Token Religious Teammate: Lisa's self-proclaimed Buddhism notwithstanding.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: While she was always prone to Not So Above It All moments, later seasons crank these up to a point where she plays the Only Sane Man much less regularly.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: From approximately season 20 onwards, Marge has been depicted as much more petty and manipulative over her family, alternating between trying to live out her dreams through Lisa and passive-aggressively guilt-tripping any family member who dares to be more successful than her into giving up said passion for her sake. She also verges towards being straight-up abusive towards Homer on occasion, even when he hasn't done anything, all while being pretty quick to contemplate cheating on him herself.
  • True Blue Femininity: Her hair.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Hot Wife to Homer's Ugly Guy. The episode "The Italian Bob" even seems to reference it; when the end of the episode shows Marge and Homer taking a romantic gondola ride, the gondolier providing his services for the evening puts his own spin on the song That's Amore, much to Homer's annoyance.
    Gondolier:When a wife looks like that and her husband's so fat, that's immoral!
  • The Voiceless: In the episode "Krusty Gets Kancelled".
  • Wet Blanket Wife: Marge started off more as a Closer to Earth spouse for Homer, though she was eventually Flanderized into a more dull and neurotic character who tends to find the least enjoyable way of doing things the most acceptable. One episode lampshaded that Marge needs Homer's reckless antics for any excitement in her life, to the point where she ended up taking his place when a Jerkass Realization made him this trope instead.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: It was not until season 19 we find out the color of Marge’s eyes. They are hazel. Homer even wrote a song about her called “Beautiful Eyes.”
  • Women Are Wiser: She takes this Up to Eleven to the point of parody. Homer is the archetypical dimwitted sitcom husband who nearly always needs to learn a moral lesson in any given episode, which he is almost certain to forget by the next. Marge, on the other hand, is so down-to-earth that she is incredibly boring.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Frequently asked exactly why she stays with an insane, boorish drunken clod like Homer. Usually she's able to give an answer.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Flying, due to finding out her father was a stewardess as a child (and also because she never addressed the shame this caused her).
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Marge naively believes in the best in people and often puts her faith in love conquering all. For example, she believes everyone should be married or in a relationship despite Lisa telling her that some people prefer to be single or alone.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: And an outrageously tall hairdo.

    Bartholomew "Bart" Jo-Jo Simpson 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bartsimpson_615.jpg

"I didn't do it. Nobody saw me do it. You can't prove anything."

Debut: "Good Night"
Debut on The Simpsons: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"

The son and original protagonist of the show in its first couple seasons. Though the oldest child of the family, Bart is a self-professed hellion and mischief-making little punk, though not incapable of good things for the right reason. Voiced by Nancy Cartwright.


  • Abandoned Catchphrase:
    • Bart has changed his catchphrase several times. He has used "Eat my shorts", "Don't have a cow, man", "Ay Caramba", and when introducing himself, "I'm Bart Simpson, who the hell are you?" Lampshaded when Lisa borrows "Don't have a cow, man" to seem cool to some kids who were at the beach with her. He complains that Lisa stole it, while Marge points out that he hasn't said it in four years.
    • His most obscure catchphrase is "Bitchin'," which was only said in at least four episodes (all in Season 2): "Treehouse of Horror", "Bart vs. Thanksgiving", "Bart the Daredevil", and "Brush with Greatness".
  • Adorkable: At times. Especially when around girls. Like Father, Like Son.
  • Always Second Best: He's labelled as the unfavourite child of the family and is constantly in Lisa's shadow.
  • Amazon Chaser: Bart used to develop crushes on rebellious girls. In later seasons, this changed with Mary Spuckler and his future ex-wife Jenda.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: In earlier seasons Bart was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) but in later seasons Bart's behaviour became increasingly psychopathic and antisocial. For example, in “What To Expect When Bart's Expecting”, he drowns an insect in the paint bucket and makes it walk across the page until it dies. His reason? He hates art classes.
  • Anti-Hero: An Unscrupulous Hero example. Can be a Pragmatic Hero on his good days.
  • Anti-Role Model: In the early 1990s, Bart was the most popular character of the show, especially with merchandise (like T-shirts). Since he was considered a bad role model for children, several American public schools banned T-shirts featuring Bart next to captions such as "I'm Bart Simpson. Who the hell are you?" and "Underachiever (And proud of it, man!)".
  • Arch-Enemy: To Sideshow Bob and, evidently, Doctor Demento.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Arguably, more so than Homer. Bart can only concentrate when under direct pressure while Homer is able to works three days on a flimsy project he thought of by sheer obsession like inventions or a new football stadium.
  • Attention Whore: Many of his pranks are merely for recognition or approval from his friends. May stem from the fact that when he started school he was taught by a completely unsympathetic teacher who constantly told him he was a failure. When this was brought to his parent’s attention they completely ignored it and instead bought Lisa a saxophone.
  • Author Avatar: Bart's family members are all named after Matt Groening's family members. Bart, as the main character, was originally going to be named Matt. In a way, Bart seems to represent Matt Groening with his art skills because Bart was a cartoonist and did publish his own comic book known as Angry Dad.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Bart and Lisa have a complicated relationship, but generally they do care about each other. Though that doesn't stop them trying to kick the crap out of each other. Also, Bart has his occasional sweet moments with Homer, too, despite their usual antagonism.
  • Badbutt: Bart was conceived as a non-badbutt version of Dennis the Menace, but edgier animated shows with their tendency to rely Dead Baby Comedy levels of Comedic Sociopathy make him look Badbutt by comparison. This was pointed out in South Park when a Bart Expy told Cartman he once cut the head off a statue, to which Cartman replied that he once tricked a boy into eating his parents.
  • Berserk Button:
  • Big Brother Bully: Bart often antagonizes Lisa, but when the two truly get physical, Lisa frequently overpowers him.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He usually couldn't give a damn what happens to Lisa on a mundane basis, and the two have an intense sibling rivalry, but his instinct does kick in every time something serious happens.
    • In "Bart the General", he has been insulting Lisa all morning. Upon getting to school, one of Nelson's cronies takes a batch of muffins Lisa had baked earlier. That's all it takes for Bart to attack the cronie and he winds up punching Nelson in the face and is challenged to fight. It's the first sign in the series that Bart isn't a total jerk towards his sister.
    • In "Separate Vocations", an Aptitude Test tells Lisa that her suitable career is housewife. In response she becomes a delinquent, and eventually steals the teacher's guides, an expulsion-worthy offense. When Bart finds out what Lisa did, he takes the blame, staying in school due to his work as hall monitor. When she asked why, Bart tells Lisa that test or no test, she's the one with the makings to be a success.
    • In "'Round Springfield" when Lisa is absolutely crushed that she can't get the last copy of Bleeding Gums' album for a tribute after his death, Bart spends all the remaining money from his recent legal settlement involving Krusty the Clown's cereal to get it for her. He was thanking because she was the only one who believed him when he said his stomach hurt.
    • In "The Secret War of Lisa Simpson", he helps Lisa when they're at military school.
    • In "Das Bus", when Nelson threatens Lisa to get to Milhouse, Bart immediately defends her.
    • In "Gone Abie Gone", he helps Lisa keep her college fund through poker because he secretly cares about her.
    • In "Black-Eyed, Please", Homer asks Ms. Krabappel to get rid of Lisa's bully substitute teacher. You know what she does? She gets Bart to play a transfer student in the woman's class, and he then proceeds to cause absolute havoc during a two-minute bathroom break and makes the woman quit her job. While it isn't shown, the fact that Bart agreed to do this at all shows that he does care about Lisa.
    • In "Moe'N'a Lisa", he's shocked when he finds out that Moe won't give Lisa credit for his success as a poet and teams up with Homer to get revenge on him.
  • Book Dumb: He's a known underachiever, but he's able to come up with clever solutions to his problems including strokes of genius Loophole Abuse. When working with Lisa, Bart was able to help write award-winning comedy.
  • Brats with Slingshots: He's a Bratty Half-Pint who regularly uses a slingshot as a weapon. He even provides the page image.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: His first name is an anagram of "brat" after all.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: It's hinted at various points in the series that he could actually be very bright, he just isn't interested in schoolwork or applying himself seriously, something more prominent in the early seasons. In one future he even manages to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. In one episode it was shown he created a passable body double "mostly out of latex." The reason: to have to double sit at his desk so Bart can skip class. At one point Bart finds he really likes being a cop and begins acting like one in school with Skinner's approval. He brought order to an otherwise completely unruly Springfield Elementary in only a few days. And, like Homer, he has a strange ability to pick up languages out of nowhere. One episode even has him scoring an A to his test because studying was the only way to drown Skinner and Krabapple making love ([1]) so it's more lack of focus than anything.
  • The Bully: He's not this officially, but some of his more malicious pranks and contempt for other, nerdier kids in school portrays him as a borderline case, especially in later episodes. Depending on the Writer, this role is ironically subverted as he himself can fall victim to the schoolyard Gang of Bullies.
  • Bullying a Dragon: He constantly angers his father to no end, even though that'll just provoke his father to strangle him in the neck ("Why you little!")
  • Bully Hunter: In "Bart The General", he ends up mobilizing all the school kids into forming an army to take down Nelson.
  • Butt-Monkey: Not as much as Homer, but he still attracts a lot of slapstick, and in the earlier season was on the receiving end of a lot of violence from Nelson ("The Last Temptation of Homer", "Lisa on Ice" in particular).
  • Catch-Phrase
    "Get bent"
    "Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger!"
    "Eat my shorts!"
    "Ay carumba!"
    "Don't have a cow, man!"
    "I'm Bart Simpson, who the hell are you?"
  • Character Development: In the past seasons an adult Bart was often depicted as a man who threw away his education and became a deadbeat who scrounges off of his family and friends or having low income jobs/unemployment. Since the episode "Future-Drama" and "Barthood" Bart's future self is depicted as a creative/artistic man who has matured from pranks and jokes while still having a sense of humour. Alternatively he's also depicted as a recovering divorced dad with two sons and an awkwardly amicable ex-wife.
  • Chick Magnet: He had a few girlfriends, one of them fifteen years old. In the episode "Moonshine River", Bart revisits five of these ex-girlfriends.
  • The Chosen One: In "Gone Maggie Gone" Homer reveals that he left Bart with the nuns after taking Maggie back home but when Bart sits on the throne he brings Hell on Earth which potentially makes him Satan's chosen one.
  • Class Clown: He's this to a tee, and sometimes his friends get pulled in as well.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Sometimes. Although he occasionally plays the role of a Kidanova, Bart is usually surprisingly clueless about the effect he seems to have on girls, some of which are quite a few years older than him.
  • Cool-Kid-and-Loser Friendship: Depending on the Writer, he plays the cool kid to Milhouse's loser, as sometimes Bart is depicted as the coolest kid on the block, while Milhouse is a loner in the form of a Butt-Monkey.
  • Cool Loser: Depending on the Writer. There's no doubt he's the coolest character on the show, but his popularity in school (or even with the rest of the town) runs the gambit from adored by everyone for how awesome he is, to being a loner whose only friend is Milhouse. "'Scuse Me While I Miss the Sky" illustrates how easily he can lose his cool status.
  • Creepy Child: Occasionally sinks into it, such as during the teacher's strike in "The PTA Disbands".
  • Cunning Linguist: Bart has an uncanny ability to learn foreign languages, and has been seen doing so repeatedly. To date, he has been seen speaking French, Japanese, Cantonese, and Spanish—though the the latter was made less impressive in that he learned it while traveling to Brazil.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Still a main character, but he was the central character in the early days of the show until Homer replaced him later on (he was originally the most prominent character even in the Tracey Ullman shorts).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Easily one of the snarkiest characters on the show, with the exception of Comic Book Guy.
  • Depending on the Writer: He can be the most popular kid in school by a huge margin, have Milhouse as his only friend or anywhere in between depending on what best suits the story, though one episode did show that popularity can change rapidly as he went from the former to the latter after crying when hit with some mud. Also, he can range anywhere from a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who's more talented than people give him credit for, a hyperactive idiot, or a sociopathic troublemaker, and everywhere in between.
  • Deuteragonist: He was initially The Protagonist in the show's beginning, courtesy of being an infamous Anti-Role Model. However, Homer eventually took his place as such, essentially labeling Bart as the second-most important character.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Perhaps due to Status Quo Is God, but Bart's relationships never, ever go anywhere. It was even the plot of an episode (season 24's "Moonshine River") where he goes and sees all of the girls he used to have crushes on to see if he can rekindle a relationship, with every one of them rejecting him. Even his Accidental Marriage spouse Mary doesn't want him.
  • The Dog Bites Back: While Homer strangling Bart has been a long Running Gag for the series, several episodes Bart can give as good as he gets. When Homer spent a fortune Bart made from doing humiliating commercials as a baby, Bart starts to strangle him with his own belt. In another episode, when Homer was reaching to strangle Bart, he reacted quickly and smashed a lamp over Homer's head to knock him out.
  • The Dreaded: He was apparently an urban legend among teachers, and the confirmation that he was real was enough to get Edna Krabappel a nomination for Teacher of The Year Award. Also happens earlier in Stark Raving Dad, where finding out Bart was real was enough to get Homer out of the sanitarium.
  • Driven to Suicide: In "Lisa's Sax" (in which Bart gets abused and belittled by his kindergarten teacher to the point of this) and "The Boys of Bummer" (in which Bart loses a championship baseball game and is treated by the town as a pariah).
  • Dumb Blond: Book Dumb. He's actually quite intelligent otherwise despite some lack of common sense.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: In the first shorts appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show Bart wore a blue shirt, but as of the switch to their own show he wears orange. Despite the change happening so early, a lot of merchandise in The '90s had Bart wearing a blue shirt.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In some futures, Bart is shown to have done all right for himself as a demolition worker (noting that he's finally getting paid to do something he loves) or as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: "Jo-jo".
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Marge seems to be the only member of the family Bart doesn't drive crazy on a regular basis. Granted, he's a headache for being such a brat, but he doesn't go out of his way to bother her like Homer and Lisa. Many of the times he thinks a prank has gone too far is if it genuinely upsets her. On that note, he also defended her on at least one occasion. One notable occasion being when Ned Flanders went into a total breakdown in regards to what happened and lashed out at everyone, and tried to defend her telling Ned to back off. Later leads into an Even Evil Has Standards moment below.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • There are some things that even Bart won't do, such as stealing from church collection plates or stealing all the teacher's edition textbooks. One episode has him expressing worry that he's being turned into a criminal by an eviler girlfriend when all he really wants to be is a petty thug.
    • Hurting animals, at least above insects. He genuinely loves and cares for his dog, as well as his once-pet elephant Stampy and Duncan the horse. Then there was the time he not only refused to shoot a bird, but when he accidentally did shoot it much to his horror, he raised the bird's eggs by himself. So, Bart can be a Jerkass to people, but he will NEVER be one to animals.
    • Disappointing his mom Marge in any way possible with the episode "Marge Be Not Proud" as a shining example of this. He may not be too rattled when Homer and Lisa get angry with him (since he doubles as their Berserk Button), but if Marge gets mad at him, he knows he's crossed the line.
    • After trying to defend Marge from Ned Flanders (who was verbally assaulting everyone during his mental breakdown), Flanders eventually started violently tearing him down, and even suggested a new catchphrase when he is an adult: "Hey, buddy! Got a quarter?!". Bart even states that he is "both shocked and appalled" at Ned's statement.
    • Even at his worst, Bart doesn't treat Maggie the same way he treats Lisa.
    • When Homer had him doing a grease racketing job, and Homer was shoveling the grease into the back of Marge's car (without any containers), Bart objects and says "Mom's going to kill you!"
    • He absolutely hates it when someone hurts his pet dog, and had Mr. Burns not happened to have brought his gun, he certainly would have brutally assaulted Burns when he arrived at the town meeting discussing Mr. Burns' vile behavior.
    • While he may intentionally drive people insane for the sake of a prank or gag, he completely draws the line at destroying somebody's spirit emotionally, to the extent of becoming either The Atoner or a Well-Intentioned Extremist in order to make up for it when he feels he's gone too far.
    • When Homer takes him, Lisa, Rod, and Todd to see a horror film called The Re-deadening (a parody of Dolly Dearest), while Rod, Todd, and Lisa were freaked out of the film. At first, the viewer would expect him to enjoy just as much as Homer was. Instead, he covered his eyes throughout the film, despite the fact that he once tried to sneak into a horror film in an earlier episode, and he, along with Lisa, was shivering after the film.
    • In "Homer Simpson in: Kidney Trouble", Homer runs away to avoid giving his kidney to his father. Even Bart stated that even he wouldn't do that to his father.
    • In "The Simpsons Guy", he was deeply unnerved by Stewie Griffin's Enfant Terrible tendencies, from Stewie's prank call to Moe saying Moe's sister was being raped, to Stewie taking all of Bart's enemies (plus Apu, for an Overly Pre-Prepared Gag) hostage, and obviously setting them up for Cold-Blooded Torture, as a "thank you" to Bart.
  • Evil Laugh: Nancy Cartwright pulls these off eerily well.
  • Fanboy: Of Radioactive Man. Bart has every issue of the comic, which started in the 1960s.
    • Bart is also Krusty's biggest fan.
  • Flanderization:
    • He simply started out as a 1990s version of Dennis the Menace (oft-lampshaded) who liked to piss off authority, but actually learned his lesson in the end, like when he stole Jebediah Springfield's head or when he burned Lisa's centerpiece and, after appearing on the news in a homeless shelter, returning home and apologizing for what he did after a soul search. These days, his negative qualities have been exaggerated to the point where he's a sociopath wanting to ruin Homer and Marge's marriage merely to get him out of homework (as seen in the episode "Postcards from the Wedge"). The only times Bart shows kindness to anyone are when the story demands it, as seen in "A Totally Fun Thing that Bart Will Never Do Again," in which, despite his sociopathic measures to make the cruise trip last longer, did it because he loved his family and wanted to see them be happy, as they never had a decent vacation where everyone was happy.
    • Bart seems to have lost all empathy towards everyone, including his own family, if it means getting a quick laugh. When Homer is forced to go to a fathering class after accidentally making Bart pee in front of everyone when he was tickling him too much, he was forced to be strangled by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to show what Bart experiences when he does that to him. When Homer vows not to strangle or physically punish Bart again, Bart milks it for all that it's worth. He does many blatantly illegal acts since he knows he won't be punished by Homer. He even tries to get his father killed during the bonding exercises. This was actually established all the way back in "The Itchy And Scratchy Movie". After Homer backs out from punishing Bart, he becomes increasingly rambunctious, destroying and causing mayhem in the house for reasons even he doesn't know outside that he can get away with it, smugly confident that Homer will let everything slide. As such, it was established as early as the fourth season that discipline is the only thing keeping Bart from acting like a complete sociopath.
    • He endangers Principal Skinner's life with his peanut allergy, exploiting this to make Skinner do what he wanted. Bart is willing to threaten to kill someone just because the results amuse him, though the joke was on Bart when Skinner fought back with knowledge of Bart's shrimp allergynote 
    • Bart's intelligence also has dwindled down as much as Homer's. Bart started off as Brilliant, but Lazy. He didn't pay attention in class and any ignorance was mostly due to lack of study. Then he became unable to read basic sentences in books or relying on Lisa or the Internet to do his school work for him. This is best reflected in the "future" episodes. "Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie" and "Lisa's Wedding" imply that Bart will gradually outgrow his rebellious tendencies to eventually become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (the title is actually "Chief Justice of the United States," but anyway), but all later depictions show him as a Future Loser who, if he continues along his current path, will become a complete bum. Worst of all, he doesn't seem to care much.
  • Former Teen Rebel: In episodes based in the future, Bart does eventually grow out of rebellious hobbies.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Bart is shown to love animals, from raising Santa's Little Helper, raising Lou while on the 4 H club, and is completely against killing animals, even to a point of crying when Homer tried to force him to shoot a Deer.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: He and Lisa are among the most extreme and well-known examples. He's a Book Dumb mischievous troublemaker (Foolish) while Lisa is very studious, well-behaved, and respectful (Responsible).
  • For the Evulz: At several point in the earlier years, Bart had a habit of doing things just to be bad, like stealing his grandfather's teeth, or getting Milhouse on the FBI's Most Wanted List, and repeatedly tipping them off whenever Milhouse tried to hide, or manipulating the tensions between Skinner and the school's teachers to cause a strike.
  • Freudian Excuse: His preschool teacher belittled him and verbally abused him to the point that Bart considers suicide. This probably what lead him to become a troublemaker, if you ignore the series' Negative Continuity that Bart's always a been a bad kid since birth in the earlier seasons. His dad mistreating him probably contributes to his behavior as well.
  • Friendly Enemy:
    • His relationship with Ms Krabappel and Principal Skinner; he has served as emotional confidants to both teachers, helped them in their pursuit of happiness of multiple occasions. He clearly cares a great deal about both of them, and only terrorizes them "on principle" as a delinquent because "it's not intentional, just keeping the flow".
    • 24 long years of familiarity has dulled the terror and rage between Bart and Bob, so much so that Bart casually greets him like meeting an old friend, and Bob asking Bart and Lisa to remove the "Sideshow" from their scream of terror since they have known each other for so long.
  • Friend to Psychos: While this trait arguably runs in the family, Bart has more psychotic friends; although they do pick on him as well, the school bullies often help him in episodes, and Bart has been repeatedly associated with the Springfield Mafia. At one point, he is even told that he has potential to join a rival mafia family by its leader.
  • Future Loser: Plenty of future episodesnote  depict him as such, but it's also worth mentioning that the oldest version of himnote  will become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. A little far-fetched? Well, Bart did say he was planning on going to law school...
  • Genius Ditz: He's a terrible student, and usually does no better than a D- in classes, but he's shown many different skills over the course of the series. Exactly what skills he has and how this contrasts his dimwittedness depends a lot on the episode.
    • When he actually uses it, he's a crack-shot with his slingshot.
    • He's a natural for picking up languages, often doing so with great ease.
    • As Lisa puts it "When there's cruelty involved, Bart knows his history".
    • He is decent to gifted in almost every artistic discipline, drawing being his most consistent.
  • G-Rated Drug: Once went on a "Squishee bender" that greatly resembled an alcoholic binge. He was also put on Ritalin Expy, Focusyn, and then Ritalin itself, for his ADD. At one point where he wonders why he is so mischievous while downing half a gallon of soda and a box of candies, quivering at the high.
  • Greater Need Than Mine: He's demonstrated this on numerous occasions such as in "The Boy Who Knew Too Much".
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He's best friends with Milhouse and is usually seen hanging out with him. Although their friendship borders on With Friends Like These... sometimes, they are still very close. He's the only one in the family with a consistent friendship with another character.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Practically prides himself on being Book Dumb, but has consistently managed to outwit Sideshow Bob on several occasions. He's also shown to have latent artistic ability and an untapped intellectual potential almost on par with Lisa's. As with a lot of his traits, though this is Depending on the Writer; for example, one infamous episode states that he's destined to lose his intelligence and become an absolute moron as he grows up, but not a lot of people like to remember that one and it's been contradicted by other episodes.
    • He was a talented drummer in "Jazzy in the Pussycats", and also mentions he has a stamp collection that got stolen in "Homer the Vigilante". He is also a good driver at age 10.
    • During "Bart Sells his Soul", he curtly informs Lisa he's familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda when she quotes him.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: It's deep in his body, but Bart occasionally shows a very deep empathic side, especially when it comes to his family or friends.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Homer strangles him on a regular basis, and Marge generally does nothing to stop it from happening. Heck, Bart provides the current page image.
  • Hot-Blooded: Not as much as his father, but when something goes wrong, Bart will get mad to the point of hurting someone. He once beat the crap out of an attacking ostrich with a frying pan, before finally grabbing it by the neck and choking it into submission, much to his father's approval.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Has a balanced habit of bullying and defending Lisa.
  • Ironic Name: He is technically named after a Christian saint (his first name is "Bartholomew", but nobody uses it in full), but Bart thinks Hell is awesome and is on good terms with Satan.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • In "Gone Abie Gone", he decides to gamble on Lisa's college fund, only to find that he's losing. When Lisa decides to gamble the money back, after she succeeds (and gets an extra $50), Bart persuades her to stop because gambling can lead to lose all of her money, but she gets addicted to it and eventually loses all the money to Sideshow Bob. However, it turns out Bart posed as him to teach her a lesson about gambling. Not only that, but her college fund was still safe (though because they were underage, they could only keep the original $5,000).
    • In "Lisa the Veterinarian", Bart is the only one to catch onto Lisa's growing arrogance and constantly tries to warn her, but she refuses to listen until Bart brings the class pet Nibbles (which was in Lisa's care for the summer). Nibbles was dangerously ill and depressed, and died afterwards, which was caused by Lisa's negligence when she focused on other people's pets.
    • In "The Man Who Grew Too Much", when Lisa decides to spend time with Sideshow Bob, Bart quickly objects and mentions how Bob has made multiple attempts to kill the family, but she shrugs it off by pointing out that Bart was his main target. As usual, Bart is Properly Paranoid about Bob.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Though he loathes to admit it, underneath all his mischievousness, Bart actually has a pretty strongly developed core of decency. He is well-known for the mayhem he causes in Springfield, although this is mostly done to drive authority figures crazy, rather than cause any real harm. He gets a number of Pet the Dog moments in helping people he'd normally antagonize, like when he noticed how his teacher Mrs. Krabappel was lonely and depressed.
  • Karma Houdini: His pranks can be downright criminal behavior and he still gets away scott-free, his dossier takes a whole binder for himself and all it gets him is a few weeks at juvie (where he unwillingly breaks out of yet it still count as time served so they let him go). He even smothered Homer with dirt while his back was broken in "Homer of Seville" and got no punishment for it.
  • Kidanova: Depending on the Writer, he can be this. In later seasons he's seen with quite a few girlfriends in many different episodes.
  • Kid Sidekick: Bart has frequently been this to Homer in the latter's various Get Rich Quick Schemes.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: On more than one occasion, Bart has been implied to steal, with Marge once chiding him for "prying and jimmying" with a crowbar. He's also proven able to steal a plot-valuable key from Mr. Burns without the old man noticing. But then there's "Marge Be Not Proud", where he has tremendous guilt of stealing.
  • Likes Older Women: Most of his love interests are older than himself. His relationship with Mrs. Krabappel alternates between arch-enemy and Well, Excuse Me, Princess!. Then there's that episode with a child therapist which plays out like an actual relationship.
  • Lovable Rogue: Most of the time (there are cases when he is genuinely just being a jerkass at times) his pranks and borderline criminal behavior entertains the audience.
  • Meaningful Name: His name is an anagram of "Brat". Also applies to his middle name, considering his tendency to get involved in bizarre adventures.
  • Momma's Boy: There is an episode where he briefly flirts with becoming one, but Marge realizes that she doesn't want that kind of relationship with him. However he truly does love his mother, and she's the only person who he'll obey without resistance most of the time.
  • Mooning: One of his signature ways of mocking people.
  • Mouthy Kid: He has a lot of sass and snarky comments towards every character on the show.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Bart experiences this trope whenever he realizes that one of his stunts has gone too far, especially if Marge is concerned.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!:
    • When Lisa starts dating Nelson in "Lisa's Date with Density", Bart kindly asks her to break the relationship. Bart's concern is justified because Nelson is a bully and a vandal.
    • Subverted in another episode, a boy asks Bart for permission to date Lisa. Bart looks completely relaxed but he never answered the question.
  • Naughty Is Good: He'll often use his schemes to take down a villain like Sideshow Bob, Fat Tony, or Kang and Kodos.
  • Never My Fault: Bart lacks responsibility for his mischievous antics and frequently blame-shifts. The quote below his picture just shows.
  • Omniglot: Has spoken French (when he was living with those abusive winemakers), Cantonese (when he got a job as an international courier after a driving trip gone terribly wrong, which saw him delivering human eyes to some doctor in China), Vietnamese (yelled "Mau! Di di mau!" while torturing Skinner), Japanese (when he and Homer were thrown in jail for wreaking havoc at a sumo wrestling match), and once became fluent in Spanish during a plane trip to Brazil, then tried to forget everything he learned once he realized that Brazil's main language is Portuguese. And he's learned to read Russian after a couple days of exploring the dark web.
  • Outnumbered Sibling: Between Maggie and Lisa, he often finds himself backed into a corner.
  • Papa Wolf: Inverted, Bart always jumps to Marge's aid when someone threatens her and he will become furious if someone makes lewd comments about her. With Homer, however, it depends on the episode. Primarily Bart will revel in his suffering because of Homer's abuse and because he knows it won't kill him. If Homer is at death's door then Bart will become concerned.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • At the end of the 500th episode, when Skinner's been forgotten in Springfield, Bart comes to get him on a wooden helicopter bike. Sure, Skinner hits the Jebediah statue and both of the nuclear plant's cooling towers, but it was still pretty nice of Bart.
    • In "Special Edna", where he nominated Mrs. Krabappel for the Teacher of the Year prize just to help her get over her depression after one too many breakups with Skinner.
    • In "Milhouse Doesn't Live Here Anymore" after ditching Lisa for Milhouse, he feels guilty and gives her homemade monopoly cards that say things like "Bart will defend you when you're bullied." Then again in "The Secret War of Lisa Simpson" he cheers her on as she climbs The Eliminator. If Bart feels guilty, he's usually one to pet the dog.
  • Ping-Pong Naïveté: Due to being a 10-year-old boy, he fits the trope when it comes to things like sex, but that doesn't stop him from constantly making crude jokes and innuendo. There is even a joke about him freaking out when Homer gave him The Talk in one episode but it is not carried over.
    Bart: What a beautiful day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the bees are trying to have sex with them, or so is my understanding.
  • Prank Call: A running gag involves him making prank calls to Moe's Tavern.
  • The Prankster: He loves to play all sorts of childish pranks, mainly prank calling Moe.
  • Primary-Color Champion: In his more benevolent roles, he falls under this considering he has yellow skin, a red shirt, and blue pants.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Bart is normally a brash mischief-maker who loves pranks, skateboarding, and violent cartoons. However, in "Homer vs. Patty and Selmaa", he has to take a ballet class and is initially embarrassed, as he considers ballet a "girl sport". He is surprised as anyone else to find out he's good at ballet, and that he loves it.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Sometimes he screws the law or moral law in order to do the right thing.
  • Screwy Squirrel: Bart enjoys pulling pranks on authority figures ranging from the town priest to his teacher and principal to his own father. That said, he's more interested in driving these same authority figures nuts rather than causing any genuine harm.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The brash, confident Manly Man to Milhouse's insecure and nerdy Sensitive Guy.
  • Significant Birth Date: His birthday is April 1st which explains his love of pranks.
  • The Sociopath: Was lampshaded by Lisa in "Postcards from the Wedge". Played with in "Paths of Glory." Homer and Marge think Bart's a sociopath/psychopath, and he plays along when he finds out to get special treatment. When he eventually gets committed to a psychiatric house, he still plays along with it, until he finds out that a video game simulation he played was the real thing. He's horrified to think he actually killed people, but was then informed that the situation was a simulation to his relief. While Bart will revel in causing pain to others, whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual, actually thinking he's killed someone is the line.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Sometimes leans in this area with "Bart The General" being a standout example.
  • Taking Advantage of Generosity: Bart often does this whenever his parents give him a break. At one point he is denied pizza for another prank, after which Homer gives him a slice anyway so long as he promises to be good. Bart obviously lied, to the point that his behavior degrades to completely random and unsatisfying acts of destruction simply due to the knowledge that Homer will let him get away with it. Homer finally snaps and gives Bart a genuine punishment. This discipline is implied to have positive effects on Bart's life directions in the future.
  • Token Evil Teammate: In the early seasons he was the most amoral person in the family, but now he ties with Homer.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Much like Homer before him, Bart has become increasingly stupid in recent seasons. In earlier seasons he didn't do well in school, mainly because he didn't care and he couldn't stay focused for long periods of time, but he was brilliant in other fields as he could manage to pull off time consuming schemes and pranks in minutes, could master languages in relatively short time, and was a skilled detective. In recent seasons he's depicted as illiterate, is easily entertained, and has trouble figuring out simple tasks.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In the earlier seasons Bart would be a prankster and a bad boy that still knew his limits and knew when to apologise. In the later seasons, his pranks became more destructive, to the point where in "Peeping Mom", he stole a bulldozer to destroy the Springfield sign, which also resulted in city-wide destruction.
  • Totally Radical: During the early years of the show. He actually did say "Cowabunga" a couple of times, but it's so rare that even the show's creators note to being surprised to find out it happened.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Anything from the Butterfinger brand, though this has barely been touched upon in the actual show.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Bart has engaged in this on occasion. While his enjoyment of the extremely gory Itchy and Scratchy is shared by almost all kids in Springfield, there are times, especially in the recent seasons, where he enjoys such violent actions in real life. Also, his behavior during the school strike unnerves Marge.
    Marge: There's something about flying a kite at night that's so unwholesome.
    Bart: (sotto voice) Hello, mother dear.
  • The Trickster: Bart takes great pride in defying authority figures and loves pulling pranks on them. His favorite victims are without a doubt Skinner and Mrs. Krabappel, though he is not above targeting his friend Milhouse and occasionaly his family.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: With Jenda in "Days of Future Future". Though he's not really ugly, just slovenly.
  • The Un-Favourite: His parents both prefer Lisa over him. Homer explicitly says that Lisa is his favorite multiple times and Marge is often too pre-occupied with Maggie. Even at a young age he was second fiddle to Lisa with nobody understanding his anger, which is the main theme of the episode "Barthood". In "How Lisa Got Her Marge Back", Homer told Bart that he does love him, but if there was a second Bart he'd hang himself. Unlike everybody else though, Bart has a good relationship with Grampa and he wonders why parents are nicer to their grandchildren than their actual children in "Holidays of Future Passed".
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Depending on the Writer. He's usually a mischievous self-admitted hellion who often bullies those closest to him.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: His relationship with Lisa often has this quality in that they squabble a lot but truly love each other and have even turned to one another in the deepest crises.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Sometimes when he does something with the legitimate intent of helping someone "chill out", it backfires. A notable instance was when he got Mrs. Krabappel fired when he and the other students attempted to get her to become cooled down by spiking her drink with alcohol, because of Bart's experiences with his dad.
  • What You Are in the Dark: When Bart skipped school in one episode, he inadvertently became the sole witness of a serious crime involving the mayor's nephew Freddie Quimby. Without Bart's testimony, Freddie would have been found guilty of severely beating a waiter. The only one who knows this aside from Bart is Lisa, who merely urges Bart to tell the truth. Complicating this is the fact that he will face a severe punishment for skipping school; but in order to testify Bart has to admit that he had skipped to everyone including Principal Skinner. Bart has no reason to put himself on the line for Freddie who is by all accounts a cruel and petty person; but in the end cannot knowingly condemn him for a crime he did not commit. Bart testifies on Freddie's behalf knowing full well he will be punished for his truancy.
  • With Friends Like These...: His friendship with Milhouse, among others, often comes off as this. Bart frequently bullies Milhouse, while Milhouse has been shown to weasel or turn his back on Bart on numerous occasions. Perhaps the most egregious example is Bart inexplicably managing to place Milhouse on America's Most Wanted for no specified reason, while in return Milhouse has refused to share his Bonestorm game with Bart, and tattled fake lies just to get him in trouble, to say nothing of the incident where him bought Bart's soul for $5, but jacked the price up to $50 when Bart wanted it back.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • Principal Skinner and Edna Krabappel may hate him at first glance, but both teachers admire his sharp wit and kind-heart. Bart for his part respects both teachers for their integrity and their devotion to children, and is quite fond of them.
    • Sideshow Bob is not shy about expressing how much he hates Bart and his wish to destroy his life, but all the same he has an undeniable respect and admiration for the boy's tenacity, cunning and bravery.
    • Homer sometimes views him as this.
Advertisement:

    Lisa Marie Simpson 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lisa-simpson_6078.jpg

"Why do I get the feeling that one day I'll be describing this to a psychiatrist?"

Debut: "Good Night"
Debut on The Simpsons: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"

The smart one and the middle child, Lisa is both a bookworm and something of the "hippie" of the family. Her intelligence, as seasons roll on, can sometimes make her into an annoying know-it-all. Has trouble fitting in with other kids her age. Voiced by Yeardley Smith.


  • Academic Alpha Bitch: She prides herself on her intelligence and always coming top of the class with straight 'A's. One episode has her world collapsing when she gets her very first B; another deals with an even brighter girl joining her class and Lisa's utter jealousy of her, and another when she skipped a grade and was no longer the big fish in a small pond.
  • Academic Athlete: Although generally portrayed as unathletic and disinterested in sports, however, she has demonstrated considerable talent in certain athletic activities such as ice hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and even gymnastics. She was even interested in joining a football team (although she mainly did this to break the norm for her own sake) only to find out that there are already girls on the team.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: As sophisticated, intelligent, and wordly as Lisa may be at 8 years old, she has more growing up to do than she thinks, and so she is not above lapsing into childish behavior if the situation calls for it.
  • Adorkable: As smart as she is, she's still a little girl, so she does have her moments of adorable dorkiness.
  • All Girls Like Ponies:
    • On her Christmas list, she listed "pony" over and over again. She finally got one in Season 3, "Lisa's Pony".
    • The moment she's at a country club, complaining about the snobs, and sees someone riding a horse. The predictable happens.
    • In "She of Little Faith", her family attempted to bribe her into converting back to Presbylutheranism by presenting her with a gift shaped like a pony (it was really Milhouse and Ralph inside).
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys:
  • Always Second Best:
    • To Allison in the episode "Lisa's Rival" where Allison was slightly better than Lisa at everything, mostly slightly more knowledgeable and better on the sax.
    • Lisa's voice actress Yeardley Smith even remarked about how often Lisa would enter a contest and end up in second place; two notable examples are "Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington" and "Lisa the Beauty Queen". Also when she entered a cruciverbalism (crosswords) contest, she went to the finals and lost to Gil. In the spelling bee episode, she also loses to another kid in the finals.
  • Always Someone Better:
    • She plays this to Bart, who she is often proved to be smarter and more gifted and capable than. It's revealed in a season 27 episode that Bart been upstaged by Lisa since he was 6 and his resentment of her stems from his inability to be better than her at anything. Even in her earlier brattier days in the shorts, a running gag had Bart constantly bested by Lisa (and sometimes even Maggie) in his pranks and showboating.
    • To Martin Prince, her school rival in Science Fair. Even if Martin's IQ is 216 (Lisa's IQ is 156 or 159), she is often stated to be the smartest person in Springfield above him.
  • Author Avatar: To creator Matt Groening when it comes to his viewpoints.
  • Badass Bookworm: Lisa is very intelligent and able to knock out her older brother.
  • Badass Pacifist: She uses words, speeches, blackmail, and trickery to deal with her problems. Later, however, she becomes a lot more willing to resort to violence.
  • Big Brother Worship: As a toddler, she absolutely adored Bart, to the point that her first word was her brother's name. The "worship" part went away over time, though she still loves her brother.
  • Bi the Way: "Holidays of Future Passed" showed family pictures that have Lisa going through her "sexual experimenting" period (where she dates women instead of men) in college. "Mr Lisa's Opus" has her thinking that her female friend may be "more than a friend".
  • Brain Bleach: In "Whiskey Business", Lisa seems to need some after seeing Moe in disturbingly tattered clothes. Thankfully, it looks like it's minimal:
    (Moe knocks at the door; Marge opens it and sees Moe in his ruined suit)
    Marge: Moe? What are you doing?
    Moe: Midge, uh, the suit got a little mussed up... But I gotta ask ya... Is it noticeable? (turns around and shows his butt)
    (Beat.)
    Marge: Thank God, the kids aren't here.
    Lisa: I was.
  • Break the Cutie: Multiple times. One notable example is in "Milhouse Doesn't Live Here Anymore" when Bart and Lisa form a close bond, before Bart ditches her for Milhouse, causing her to start crying.
  • Butt-Monkey: On occasion. Her family is a bunch of idiots (with the exception of Marge, although she is frequently Not So Above It All in later seasons), she gets insulted or ignored for her gifted status, and she is a loner and an outcast, although her outcastness borders on Wangst terrain.
  • Bystander Syndrome: In "Postcards From the Wedge" Bart tries to avoid studying and doing homework by driving a wedge between Homer and Marge but resorts to destroying the school when Homer and Marge decide to neglect him so that they can preserve their marriage. Lisa knew about what Bart was doing from the beginning, but chose to do nothing rather than telling her parents about what Bart is doing. This example borders on Accomplice by Inaction.
  • Catch-Phrase: Lisa didn't have a catchphrase since the beginning of the show until she said "If anyone wants me, I'll be in my room.", which is said in the end of the episode "Bart Gets Famous". Lisa also said this in "Lisa the Vegetarian", "Grift of the Magi", and "Dude, Where's My Ranch?". She also frequently yells out a shrill "MOOOOMMMM!!!" in response to Bart's antics or "DAAAAAD!!!" whenever Homer says or does something stupid. And, of course, there is "Meh."
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • Throughout the Ullman Shorts and most of the first season, she is a disrespectful troublemaker and not particularly bright, much like her brother. The writers conceived her and Bart as something of an interchangeable duo of bratty kids designed to drive Homer and Marge crazy. As Bart became the show's rascally Breakout Character, however, Lisa as a female version of Bart seemed redundant, so they rewrote her as a brainy, yet socially awkward girl.
    • In the early episodes, she was a big fan of The Happy Little Elves while Bart preferred to watch Krusty the Klown and The Itchy and Scratchy Show (along with horror movies and, on the episode where Homer steals cable TV, X-rated movies). Later episodes either show both of them being childish, both of them being mature or, in a lot of cases, Bart being the childish one and Lisa being the more mature one.
    • Her artistic side arguably dates back the development of the show, since her saxophone solo is part of the opening credits. Another case of this would be her rebellion against her music teacher Mr. Largo. It's part of the opening credits, and is emphasized considerably in a couple early episodes. Later, not only did Lisa avoid conflict with her teachers to the point of becoming a grades-obsessed teacher's pet, but Mr. Largo has been Demoted to Extra (and in some cases, Put on a Bus).
    • Early episodes showed her being friends with other average girls in her class, liking ponies, and having small sleepovers at her house. The later episodes established her as a sad loner who is very disliked, constantly bullied for being "smart", a very uppity Granola Girl, and always trying to find friends outside her school and joins environmental groups and MENSA.
  • Child Prodigy: She's 8 years old and has a genius IQ.
  • The Chosen Wannabe: There's no denying the level of Lisa's intelligence but she sometimes overestimates herself with her ambition. She tries to make herself a paragon to the cause but she ends up back where she started. In "The Musk Who Fell To Earth" she stows away on Musk's rocket to be his apprentice but she's immediately returned home. In "She Used to Be My Girl" she decides to be a great journalist and stows away in Chloe's car. She ends up reporting an erupting volcano and surrounded by hot magma. A more direct example is in "Gone Maggie Gone", where she believed she was part of a religious prophecy that would bring world peace, only to discover that the prophecy was about Maggie.
  • Cute Bookworm: She just loves books, libraries and reading.
  • Daddy's Girl: While her father is a complete idiot and often manages to embarrass her, she still loves him no matter what. Examples: "In Lisa's Wedding", she stops her own wedding because her British fiance was disgusted with her family (that, and he wasn't wearing her father's cufflinks. Which look like pigs.) Homer even - not once, twice - sacrificed buying an air conditioner for his family to buy Lisa a new saxophone. And he sold his ride on the Duff Blimp to enter her in a beauty pageant when she was suffering from a lack of self-esteem. Several times, she comes to realize this and loves him back.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • Though she is never popular, just how unpopular she is varies from episode to episode. In some episodes, she hangs out with Janey Powell and some of the other girls but in other episodes she says she has no friends with even Janey teasing her.
    • Her intelligence can range from her being a Child Prodigy, having above average intelligence for her age group, to only getting good grades because Springfield Elementary is a Sucky School with low standards.
    • Similarly, while they eventually settled on her being Buddhist, there was a time when Lisa could switch between a hard-nosed skeptic, Flanders v2.0, or a New Ager at the whim of the writing staff.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Lisa started out more or less as a Distaff Counterpart of Bart (though, unlike Bart, she had a smart side and felt like an outcast compared to the other students). In Krusty Gets Busted, we get the first evidence of the smart Lisa that we all know, as she agrees to help Bart clear Krusty's name.
  • Driven by Envy: Some episodes show Lisa trying to ensure that she stays the smartest in school and home, then overreacting when she fails. "Lisa's Rival" and "Smart and Smarter" are examples of this.
  • Dude Magnet: Despite being a social outcast and generally unpopular, multiple boys have had a crush on her, including Milhouse, Ralph, Nelson, and many One-Shot Character love interests.
  • Easily Forgiven: Whenever Lisa does something morally wrong she is often quickly forgiven by her family whereas whenever Bart and Homer do something wrong, they both suffer the consequences until they apologise.
  • Enraged by Idiocy: Lisa is like this sometimes.
    Lisa: (to Homer) You, sir, are a baboon! BABOON, BABOON, BABOON!!!
  • Even Nerds Have Standards: Lisa may be a classic nerd in a way but she has standards.
  • First Kiss: A "Shut Up" Kiss from Nelson Muntz. Lampshaded.
  • Flanderization:
    • She started out as a sweet-natured, intelligent and very well-behaved little girlnote . She wasn't even that brilliant or mature in the early episodes (for example, she believes in Santa Claus), but she was clearly quite an achiever for her age. However, over time, she became Little Miss Perfect. Her intelligence was taken Up to Eleven, with her doing things like trigonometry while still in second grade and understanding fractions in a flashback to when she was three years old. She started complaining about anything and everything that didn't meet her high standards. Her strong progressive streak became activist tendencies (as seen in "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy," when she protested against the Talking Malibu Stacy's misogynist phrases like "Thinking too much gives you wrinkles" and "My name is Stacy, but you can call me ((Wolf Whistle)), then full-out environmental and uber-liberal extremism (as seen in "Lisa the Vegetarian," "The Old Man and the Lisa," and "Lisa the Treehugger"). Her sardonic view of society as uncultured, phony, pandering, and lowest-common-denominator-focused became extreme intellectual superiority and being Holier Than Thou (as seen in "They Saved Lisa's Brain") and her quirkiness and nerdy interests became patronizing enthusiasm for the most pretentious of vocations (as seen in "Elementary School Musical" and "The Day The Earth Stood Cool"). She went from being a model child and the voice of reason (and therefore, Bart's contrast) to a stuck-up genius prude.
    • While she had some friends in the early seasons, including Janey, who was the closest she had to a best friend, the Lisa of recent seasons has become Flanderized as a friendless outcast due to the Flanderizations mentioned above. This is especially true in the episode "Lisa Goes Gaga", where she is voted Springfield Elementary's least popular student.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Bart and Lisa are among the most extreme and well-known examples. Bart is a Book Dumb mischievous troublemaker (Foolish) while Lisa is very studious, well-behaved, and respectful (Responsible).
  • Friendless Background: Glaringly enough Depending on the Writer. Some episodes have her spend time with one or a bunch of them, but then the next she's so incredibly neglected by her peers with the excuse she's too smart for them.
  • Go-Getter Girl: Lisa goes back and forth between being this and acting like a normal girl.
  • Granola Girl: Starting in season seven's "Lisa the Vegetarian." She feels guilty about eating meat after bonding with a lamb at a petting zoo, which leads to her becoming first a vegetarian, and then an ecological activist over the series.
  • Honor Before Reason: Lisa is willing to bend the rules, but only if she comes to that conclusion by herself. If someone tells her to lie, cheat, or even just conceal the truth, she will refuse, even if lying, cheating or concealing the truth would be to everyone's advantage.
  • Hypocrite: More often than the other family members, Lisa tends to become this, changing her stance on a cause in the very same episode. She claims she wants to be challenged, but whenever she finds herself challenged becomes sulky and resentful.
    • One time she enters a crossword competition and later confesses to her father that she always fails herself at the last minute. She then becomes offended when she learns that he bet against her in the last match, even though he's been betting on her to win up until that point. Even though she lost just as she'd feared she would. To Gil Gunderson.
    • Once after she cheated to gain a perfect score in a test, the school was awarded extra funding to buy some basics. But even after she confessed to Skinner and he requested she keep quiet for the school's sake, she confessed to the School Inspector, which ultimately would sabotage her fellow students' learning - regardless, her conscience was wiped clean.
  • Hypnotize the Princess: Four times. In the Tracey Ullman short "Home Hypnotism", in the first "Treehouse of Horror"'s segment "Bad Dream House", due to the titular house's possession, in "The Joy of Sect" due to cult brainwashing, and in the opening of "Treehouse of Horror XXIV" thanks to the Hypnotoad. Other Simpsons were subject to this along with her in the former three, though.
  • I Can Change My Beloved:
    • In "Lisa's Date With Density", she falls for Nelson, gushing out how dark and mysterious he is and insisting that only she can change him. Subverted when Lisa comes to realize that she could never change Nelson.
    • In "Lucas", she inexplicably falls for a hopeless boy who wants to be a competitive eater (despite Bart's warning that he's just "Ralph Wiggum with a dream") and then thinks about changing him. Marge fears that Lisa goes out with him because he reminds her of her father.
  • I Can't Dance: She can do jazz dancing (as seen in "Lisa the Beauty Queen"), but she's terrible at tap and ballet (as seen in "Last Tap Dance in Springfield" and "Smoke on the Daughter").
  • Idiot Ball:
    • A surprising number of examples, like running up hundreds of dollars in charges to a 900 number, spending the time she should have been studying for a test playing a video game (and then cheating to pass it), and downloading $1,200 of music on her MyPod. Then there's "Lisa The Simpson", where she's led to believe that she's biologically predisposed to be like this (and finds out in the end that it's actually Bart's cross to bear).
    • Played for Laughs in "Bart of Darkness"; the Simpsons get a pool, and Lisa gains popularity among the kids of Springfield, causing her brain to leave her and Lisa to speak in a Simpleton Voice. Her brains come back when everyone leaves for Martin's pool on the other side of town.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: While in some episodes, she does have friends, she is sometimes portrayed as a lonely outcast Depending on the Writer and this trope provides the plot of several episodes.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: The show tries to portray her as this, although it's not always played straight (see Not So Above It All). She has utterly refused to watch stolen cable with the rest of the family and has generally remained the voice of reason in crisis situations. Though sometimes tempted into giving in, she mostly remains an example of hope for humanity. Matt Groening even admitted this symbolism during an interview, saying that she might be the only character who will eventually be able to escape Springfield.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Lisa Simpson’s Fatal Flaw is that she defines herself by being smarter then others and due to flanderization this aspect of her has only gotten worse throughout the years. Lisa has done things such as willingly staying a Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond, to completely alienating her fellow student (by being a Soap Box Sadie to those who don’t share her interest and an Insufferable Genius to those that do). At her worse Lisa will flat out sabotage someone she considers her better out of jealousy. While she will usually feel sorry for her actions it’s only after she gets what she wants.
  • Informed Deformity: On several occasions it has been stated that Lisa has a large backside, despite her body shape resembling most other Springfield kids.
  • Innocent Prodigy: Usually rather level headed and one of the most intelligent people in Springfield. However her brattiness and childlike naive perks up many times, especially where her Sibling Rivalry with Bart is involved.
  • Insufferable Genius: At her worst. She longs to be challenged, but at times it's clear she enjoys feeling smarter than her peers.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Played straight sometimes. In earlier seasons Lisa had a best friend called Janey and had quite a lot of friends, but they got pushed aside and forgotten. The latest episodes show some of those friends, Janey included, but they tend to push Lisa away whenever she shows her smarts.
  • Introverted Cat Person: Aside from early seasons, Lisa is usually presented as a friendless loner. She has a fondness for cats and has owned several.
  • It's All About Me:
    • Just like Bart, Lisa shows many signs of this trope. She defines herself by being better then others, to the point where many of her worst moments are more about proving that she's right then proving her point.
    • One example of this comes from the episode "Gone Abie Gone", Lisa gains $413,762 through gambling but loses the money. When Bart tells her that he was the user who won Lisa's money, Lisa immediately claimed ownership and thought that she would use the money to go to college and then use the rest of the money to live like a queen.
  • Jerkass Ball: She's prone to this at times, usually when she tries to force her own personal beliefs on everyone else.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • In her earlier days, she was essentially a female Bart, but shrewder in her mischief, so had a much greater tendency of going unpunished than her brother. Allegedly the creative team were stated to be dead against the suggestion of Homer violently disciplining Lisa in the same way he does Bart.
    • It happens occasionally in the later seasons. While in the early seasons if she ever went too far in being Academic Alpha Bitch she would receive some form of Laser-Guided Karma. Later episodes would not only do away with this, but reward her.
    • Many episodes in the later seasons have treated Lisa’s actions as in the right, even when people are heavily injured or even killed by having a third party actually do the deed.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: The Trope Namer. Though Lisa is very smart and knows stuff people don't already know, Homer and Lisa's argument at the dinner table in "Lisa the Vegetarian" has Homer calling his daughter a "barbecue-wrecking, know-nothing, know-it-all". She does have a moment of this in "Money BART". When Lisa becomes the manager of Bart's baseball team, she claims that there have been several women managers and lists some off like Terry Francona and Connie Mack. Nelson tells her that all of her examples are men, much to Lisa's shock. At times, Lisa skirts this trope in the sense of having the knowledge and not knowing how it applies in a more practical sense.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: She's usually portrayed as the "nice one" of the Simpson kids and she's a big cat fan. She is the primary caretaker of Snowball II.
  • Lady And A Scholar: She's a very intelligent child who is more well-spoken and philosophical than the other kids. Despite a few Insufferable Genius moments and her Sibling Rivalry with Bart, she is mostly polite, pleasant, and friendly to everyone.
  • The Lancer: To Bart, whenever they take on Sideshow Bob.
  • Lady Macbeth:
    • In "The Spy Who Learned Me", she helped Nelson gain a great physical condition, but didn't stop him from hurting innocent kids, only commenting that "He's hard on the nerds but easy on the eyes".
    • In "Dial 'N' for Nerder" she manipulates Bart to prevent him from confessing about the murder and tried to offer herself as Nelson's girlfriend to prevent him from revealing her confession.
  • Like Parent Unlike Child: Lisa gets her morals from Marge. Lisa and Homer share little in common.
  • Little Miss Badass: Has her moments. Lisa one-hit KO'd Bart in an MMA ring and she also connects a gloriously-animated punch on Bart in the movie.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Her snark is her defence mechanism amidst her dysfunctional family. She's the smart one and educated one among the uncultured and the others are boorish or stupid. Her mother alternates between being like the others or a sophisticated, artistic woman.
  • Magic Skirt: Lisa's trademark red sundress; especially egregious as it's a dress with no waist, which should logically fall all the way down to her shoulders whenever she's upside down.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: She often has trouble fitting in with her family, and they often have trouble understanding her. Several episodes explore this dynamic in detail.
  • Morality Chain: Like Marge, Lisa often plays the conscience for the family and often becomes a morality pet for people outside of the family.
  • Morality Pet: She's probably the only one of Homer's kids whom he makes a conscious effort to be a good father to. In addition, if anyone, even his wife, somehow hurts her in some way, he gets intensely angry. It is implied that Lisa was neglected by Homer as a baby, when Homer observes some old videos of him completely ignoring her early talents, he is driven to tears in guilt.
  • Mouthy Kid: Her intelligent comments earn her the ire of the rest of Springfield's citizens.
  • Ms. Exposition:
    Lisa: Dad! The flash [of the camera] must have scrambled [the robots'] circuits!
    Homer: What are you, the narrator?
    Lisa: Aah, just keep taking pictures.
  • Ms. Imagination: Lisa occasionally drifts off into a fantasy world to avoid the grim reality of living life in Springfield.
  • Ms. Vice Girl: Lisa is intellectually gifted, philosophical and compassionate, and all at the age of eight years old. Perhaps because of the awareness of her gifts however, she can sometimes be incredibly egomaniacal and self righteous, with an over insistence on being the centre of attention and pushing her beliefs down others' throats, and often insensitively dismissing others as stupider or less significant than her.
  • Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork: From time to time. In one episode the school has to shut down, and by the time Lisa gets home she is hysterical due to withdrawal. She immediately takes out an emergency kit she keeps under the couch, which contains a picture of Spingfield Elementary and a tape recording of a teacher yelling at students.
  • Nice Girl: Lisa is a nice and caring girl who usually tries to do the right thing and has a strong sense of morality, although in later seasons she becomes more rude and pushy about her beliefs.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Ironically, despite being the voice of reason, everytime Homer gets into a position of power, once he takes advice from Lisa, it usually ends up meaning that things go horribly wrong and everyone jumps ship. Then again, the people working underneath Homer tend to be idiots who don't want things to change, the prime example being the Stonecutters.
  • Nominal Hero: In later seasons Lisa can become this in some episodes. She does promote a good cause and is genuine in her egalitarian beliefs, it's just her motivations for it aren't exactly pure. The episode "A Father's Watch" is a good example of this, she decides to protest against the excessive use of trophies because she knows they have to be earned (and rightly so). However, when she protested in class. It was more of a case of jealousy than actual justice since she got the smallest trophy despite being in first place.
    Lisa: Why is my trophy the smallest? You all lost, to me.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Every time Lisa finds herself in a classroom setting other than Miss Hoover's second grade class and is actually challenged by the teachers and coursework, she doesn't get the A's she's used to.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • Though often priding herself on her intelligence and maturity, she is still a kid and enjoys some of the same things as Bart (such as Itchy & Scratchy or prank-calling Moe). Even with Bart's pranks, if she's not the first to scold them, she's likely the first to laugh at them. And as noted above, she is not above bending the rules completely.
    • Later episodes show Lisa daydreaming about murdering Bart, and she was all too willing to cover up the assumed, if accidental, murder of Martin Prince to stay out of trouble. It looks as if she's not entirely immune to Springfield's corruption.
  • Only Sane Woman: She often finds herself thrust into the role of only sane girl. Quite often, when her family (or occasionally, the entire town) is caught up in some insane course of action, she's the one who points out how absurd things have become. Her comments are usually ignored. The straight man role is usually traded between Lisa and Marge. Sometimes Lisa is also caught up in the craziness, for example with the Movementarians.
  • Ping-Pong Naïveté: She switches between world-weary cynicism and childlike naivete as the plot demands. In one instance, within seconds - she hurls a bucket of red paint at Krusty (who's wearing a coat made from some kind of animal skins), screams "Fur is murder!" then follows it with "When's the Krusty movie coming out?"
  • Poor Communication Kills: Lisa often has trouble conveying her ambitions in a positive manner. In "Lisa Simpson, This Isn't Your Life", she decides to devote herself to her education after discovering Marge's childhood achievements before meeting Homer. She wanted to have a good future and improve her education, however, an offended Marge took this as "my mother is a failure because she chose to be a housewife".
  • Positive Discrimination: She is female, intelligent, and good, while Bart is a male, jerkass, and dumb (at least, Book Dumb). There are occasional aversions to this however (see above).
  • Proud to Be a Geek: Zigzagged. There are times where she doesn't feel that way and wants to be like everyone else, and others where she takes pride in her geekier aspects.
  • Ridiculously Successful Future Self: She either becomes a successful businesswoman or the President of the United States when she grows up. Her personal life however is mixed, with a strained relationship with her husband and daughter.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Lisa rarely compromises with her principles and never takes a bribe.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: She is not safe from slapstick. She has been punched in the face at least twice (one of those times by a man!), hit in the face multiple times with a basketball, strapped to an airplane propeller that was then turned on at full speed as part of a military academy hazing, and - probably her most humiliating moment - dared by Bart into drinking canal water from the "Little Land of Duff" ride in Duff Gardens which turned her into a hallucinating, naked "Lizard Queen".
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Lisa is the schools outcast and takes pride in this and maintaining her intelligence which causes her to become envious and jealous towards anyone who outsmarts her.
  • The Smart Girl: The smartest one in the family, and easily one of the smartest people in Springfield.
  • Snap Back: Averted in "Lisa the Vegetarian." Originally, the writers wanted it to be a one-time, What If? thing and go back to normal the next episode. However, Paul McCartney (the episode's guest star), when originally asked to appear, would only appear if he was assured that the change would be permanent. Also averted in "Sleeping With the Enemy" when Lisa tells Homer that she still feels insecure about her body and she's not going to go back to acting like she's not. However, later episodes never again mention Lisa and her eating disorder.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Became one of the most infamous examples after Flanderization.
    • In the "Bart Star" episode, her soapbox was deflated, as she tried to join the pee-wee football team. "That's right, a girl wants to join the team." After it was revealed that there were four girls already on the team, she tries to raise a fuss about the fact that footballs are made from pigskin. She then learns that the balls are synthetic and with each purchase, money is donated to Amnesty International. Unable to cope with not being on the moral high ground, she runs off crying.
    • Lisa also has a habit of jumping on a soapbox for boys - though she already has views on the subject she will amp them up to get boys to notice her.
  • The Stool Pigeon: She's pretty much this constantly, with many many plots throughout the seasons (as an example, "Lisa Gets an "A"") revolving about someone building a lie (and sometimes the plot showing that the lie is the better thing for everybody (even Lisa herself) and everybody saying so) and Lisa trying to tell the truth regardless. She thinks of herself as a Concerned Claire-type (in that she says it's the legal/moral thing to do), but what type she really is depends on the plot at hand (at least sometimes shows to be doing it out of some desire to thumb her nose up at the liar).
    • "Bart the Daredevil": Despite trying to convince Bart the dangers of daredevil stunts, Lance Murdock is instead impressed by Bart's interest in it, which causes Lisa to tell Homer about it, fearing that he may get hurt or die despite getting the most attention.
    • "Mypods and Boomsticks": She squeals on Bart after pulling a prank on Steve Mobbs and the rest of the consumers and employees.
  • Straight Man: Lisa has the thankless task of playing foil to her entire town. In the early days she and Bart were a classic Straight Man and Wise Guy combo, and while this is still true, she often finds herself playing straight to almost everyone else in Springfield. Luckily, she is usually excellent at it. Occasionally, especially in later seasons, Lisa's more extreme personality traits will come to the fore and she gets to have someone else play off her for a change.
  • Straw Feminist: While being a peaceful feminist, she used to get unfairly irate at certain points.—>Lisa: Dad, put aside your selfish male ego and tell the truth!''
  • Surrounded by Idiots: She actually once voiced that she lives in a town of idiots in an issue of the comic.
  • Teacher's Pet: Her ego is often a result of her parents and school teachers putting her on a pedestal because of her intelligence and morals.
  • Telepathy: She reads a worm's mind in "Lisa the Vegetarian".
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: In most Future Episodes, Maggie is usually a tough, laid-back tomboy and Lisa is usually a prim and proper girly girl.
  • Too Clever by Half: In the first "Treehouse of Horror", Kang and Kodos abduct them in their flying saucer to live in luxury. Lisa snoops around the ship and finds a book titled "How to Cook Humans". Offended at the notion, the aliens blow some dust off the book's cover revealing the title to be "How to Cook For Humans". To which Lisa points out that there is still dust on the book, with the title now "How to Cook Forty Humans". Kang (or Kodos) then demonstrate that there is yet still more dust on the book's cover, finally revealing the book's full title "How to Cook For Forty Humans" (the Simpsons were gluttons).
    Marge: Now you know what we mean when we say you're too smart for your own good?
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Zigzagged. An unfortunate aspect of Lisa's Character Development over the seasons was her growing not only more "saintly", but also becoming full of herself, rude towards those she considered less than her, and pushy about her beliefs. Recent seasons have mostly fixed this by having Lisa focus on self-improvement and making friends instead of political activism.
  • TV Genius: Zigzagged. Lisa does at very least have Insufferable Genius qualities and on occasion is rather blindly obnoxious and self serving in her ethics, to the point of being a Soapbox Sadie. These flaws obviously became less significant as the rest of the cast was Flanderized excessively but her shortcomings still show on occasion. While she sometimes has problems with Intelligence Equals Isolation, she's actually one of the most well-adjusted characters on the show. Her level of knowledge is totally implausible for an eight-year-old, but it depends entirely on Rule of Funny.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: What she'll grow up to be, as seen in episodes taking place in the future.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: With Milhouse in some possible future. Milhouse grows up to be balding with a gut and Lisa grows up beautifully in "Holidays of Future Passed."
  • Unknown Rival: Lisa fears and hates Sideshow Bob as much as Bart and has outgambitted him just as often. Despite this, Bob's psychotic vendetta sticks with just Bart (and sometimes Krusty and rakes on the side), even lampshading that he is utterly apathetic towards Lisa.
  • Virgin in a White Dress: In a Flash Forward episode where we see Lisa's wedding, she and Marge briefly discuss this as they are a church-going family.
    Lisa: Mom, I feel kind of funny wearing white. I mean... Milhouse.
    Marge: [dismissive] Oh, Milhouse doesn't count.
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: Being the Only Sane Woman and Child Prodigy genius she is, Lisa plays the Serious Child role to her Wacky Parent of a Bumbling Dad Homer.
  • White Sheep: Sometimes she's portrayed as this and is seen as Token Good Teammate of the family. In "Lisa's Wedding" her (future) boyfriend Hugh tells her "You're like a flower that grew out of a pot of dirt". She doesn't take it well.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Lisa was this in earlier seasons. She followed her ideals the best she could but the rest of Springfield either didn't understand her ideals or didn't want to conform to them. Her vegetarianism is the best example of this, she became a vegetarian because she became horrified and guilt-ridden for eating meat after playing with a lamb. She tried to convert her family, school and friends but they couldn't understand. She became aggressive with her views but eventually calmed down after Apu, Paul and Linda McCartney taught her that aggression won't get people to understand her views but patiently influencing them will slowly get them to understand her viewpoint.
  • Wise Beyond Her Years: In fact, one episode had Mayor Quimby surprised that she's a child, saying that he always thought she was a midget—Lisa explains that she isn't and that the preferred term is "little person." When she was two, she was as articulate as any person, with only a few grammar errors. Believe it or not, this is actually Truth in Television- some two-year-olds can have conversations with you.
  • Women Are Wiser: Compared to Bart, although they play this trope to a much lesser extent than their parents. Lisa is certainly much more intelligent and mature than Bart, but Bart is the more socially adept of the two, and isn't nearly as dumb as his father.
  • Worthy Opponent: After thwarting scheme after scheme with her ingenuity and sharp wit, Lisa has earned Sideshow Bob's respect as a worthy adversary.
  • You Are Not My Father: She did this to both of her parents when they really upset her (to Homer in "Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words", and to Marge in "How Lisa Got Her Marge Back").
  • Your Tradition Is Not Mine: Lisa only inherits her morals from her mother. Other than that, she's different to her family in many ways. Unlike her family, Lisa is a vegetarian, a bookworm and a Buddhist.

    Margaret "Maggie" Evelyn Simpson 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/maggiesimpson_8675.jpg

*sucks pacifier*

Debut: "Good Night"
Debut on The Simpsons: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"

The youngest of the children. Typically a marginal figure, but she does get her share of scenes. Most famous for turning out to have accidentally shot Mr. Burns in the series' first two-parter episode. Voiced by Elizabeth Taylor, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, James Earl Jones and Jodie Foster.


  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • The short The Longest Daycare was shown in theatres before Ice Age 4: Continental Drift. It's perhaps the only piece of Simpsons media that focuses exclusively on Maggie. Marge only appears at the start and the end to drop off and pick up Maggie, Baby Gerald is the villain, and all the other characters are nameless background babies.
    • There was also a two-part Tracey Ullman sketch involving her wandering off when Bart and Lisa were neglectful in babysitting her.
    • "And Maggie Makes Three" and the second half of "Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder" more or less focus on her (or rather, the father-daughter relationship between herself and Homer, who constantly neglects and forgets her existence, despite that he has her baby photos at work collaged around the "Don't Forget: You're Here Forever" demotivational plaque so that it reads, "Do It For Her").
    • There were a couple of picture books released in the '90s starring her, and aimed at a much younger audience than the show itself.
  • Advertised Extra: As part of the main family, she appears in promotional illustrations and is featured prominently in the opening, however most of the time she is just a mute toddler who serves as a Living Prop to the point that the others (especially Homer) often forget about her existence. It can be said that the show has four main characters instead of five (in contrast with Family Guy, where the baby is one of the most prominent protagonists).
  • Anti-Hero: As demonstrated with her competence with firearms and the ending to "Master and Cadaver" where she channels Alex DeLarge.
  • Arch-Enemy: Gerald, the baby with one eyebrow.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Maggie is the youngest child and the youngest Simpson family member.
  • Badass Adorable: Saved Homer's life on four separate occasions and was the one who shot Mr. Burns.
  • Berserk Button: Losing her pacifier. Often she'll cry, but "Crook and Ladder" from Season 18 shows that she will rampage if she's forcibly separated from her pacifier.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Despite being a quiet Cute Mute toddler, she has taken down a gang of mobsters, saved Homer from drowning, and saved Homer and Bart from the head of the EPA when he was about to kill them in the movie. She isn't above hurting people when she needs to.
  • Big Brother Worship: She seems to get along with Bart pretty well and likes to spend time with him. In "Oh Brother Where Bart Thou", Maggie is excited to see him, and she is playful with him in the final moments of "The Yellow Badge Of Cowardage".
  • Brainy Baby: Numerous episodes have implied that she's very smart for her age. She may be more intelligent than the rest of the family. Yes, even Lisa, as demonstrated when one-year-old Maggie effortlessly plays her sax and outperforms her by eight points on an IQ test. But when Bart, Homer, and Marge nearly die later in the same episode, she confuses the button she must push to save them and needs Lisa to bail her out. It transpires that Lisa subconsciously helped her sister on the spot because she wanted her to do well. The episode still implies after this that she might still be really clever, as she's seen effortlessly playing the saxophone without any help, which causes Lisa to panic again.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Most future episodes had Maggie being in a relationship with baby Gerald.
  • The Chosen One: In "Gone Maggie Gone" she's revealed to be the gem child that is prophesied to bring peace to the world. Marge takes her from the throne due to parental instincts, but feels guilty and selfish for disrupting the prophecy.
  • Creepy Child: On occasion, she'll dip into this territory, for example when she hit Homer with a mallet after watching Itchy and Scratchy.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: In earlier seasons, Maggie tended to fall whenever she walked, likely because she hadn't completely mastered walking yet.
  • Cute Mute: A series-long Running Gag is that she never speaks, at least not when anyone can hear her. Even in "Holidays of Future Passed", she's forbidden from speaking due to being pregnant, as apparently the vocal cords and the umbilical cords have been proven to be connected.
  • The Cutie: She's oh so adorable and innocent. Justified, since she's just a baby.
  • Daddy's Girl: Maggie's first spoken word throughout the series was "daddy". "And Maggie Makes Three" was very sweet when Homer was worried about having a third baby in the family, but the minute he saw her, she won his heart. Even more so since Maggie's been the only one who called him "daddy" as a baby instead of "Homer". In a future episode where Maggie has grown to be a teenager, she has a picture of herself with Homer above her bed.
  • The Dividual: With Marge. Marge and Maggie are always together (mainly due to parental aspect as well as Homer's incompetency) and are often treated as one character.
    • In "Treehouse of Horror X", when Marge is immediately chosen as Lisa's +1 for the escape trip to Mars, Maggie is taken with her without question.
    • When Marge is playing Pictionary with Maggie, she is the only one to understand Maggie and win the game against Patty and Selma.
  • Drop the Hammer: When she sees Itchy bonk Scratchy on the head with a mallet, she does the same thing to Homer. The blow knocks him out cold and causes Marge to protest against cartoon violence.
  • Enfant Terrible: On some occasions her behaviour is rather cruel for her age.
  • Facepalm: Will occasionally react this way whenever Homer and Marge get into trivial disputes.
  • Felony Misdemeanor:
    • In "At Long Last Leave", when Mayor Quimby cites that the family drove Springfield into bankruptcy due to their trademark antics, Maggie's fault was due to never crying once.
    • Like with the rest of her family, Sideshow Bob wants to kill Maggie just for being a Simpson.
  • Friendly Sniper: She certainly knows her way around firearms and it's saved her family members on more than one occasion.
  • Friend to All Living Things: She seems to love people and animals a whole lot; Mr. Burns and Sideshow Bob are the only exceptions to the people she's willing to befriend.
  • Friend to Bugs: In "The Longest Daycare", she goes to amazing lengths to protect a butterfly she befriended.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Sure, there's "The Longest Daycare", but at the same time it is implied that she deliberately shot Mr. Burns.
  • Greater Need Than Mine: She chooses to return Mr. Burns' teddy bear Bobo back to him after she saw how much he loved it. This makes perfect sense considering that Homer had also chosen Maggie's happiness over his own when he told Mr. Burns that he was going to let her keep the bear earlier in the episode.
  • Heavy Sleeper: She's a baby, after all.
  • Infant Immortality: For the most part, especially being a baby. Maggie has shown to survive and evade situations that any character of an older age within the series would otherwise not be as lucky in. An excellent instance is in episode "The Call of the Simpsons", though there are few other similar instances.
  • It Runs in the Family: Her skills with weapons and aggressive traits may have been influenced by Bart and Homer, as they're both notable in terms of trouble making (another example of this is when Homer helps a woman raise a baby, but the baby nearly kills Maggie in a zoo and learns how to serve beer). Due to her Big Brother Worship relationship with Bart in the episode "How Lisa Got Her Marge Back", Homer has to directly tell Bart not to influence Maggie.
    Homer: Bart, you're a great kid but if I had another one like you, I'd hang myself from a highway overpass. Please give your sister the precious gift of not being you.
  • Kid Hero: Maggie's only a year old and has played the role as Little Miss Badass numerous times.
  • Little Miss Badass: For an infant, she sure knows her way around a firearm. And then there was the time she knocked Homer unconscious by bonking him on the head with a mallet. She can also bowl a perfect game.
  • Living Lie Detector: Maggie is the only one in the family that Bart can't lie straight to her face, and Lisa refers to a Noodle Incident that confirms that Maggie can figure out when someone lies.
  • Living Prop: Usually just sits in the background and contributes little to the plot. Granted, she's just a baby and is only precocious if the plot demands it.
  • Morality Pet:
    • Homer initially doesn't like having another child, but upon seeing Maggie for the first time, he is willing to return to working for Mr. Burns for her sake.
    • Even at his worst, Bart doesn't treat Maggie the same way he treats Lisa.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Pretends to be a normal baby. Averted in the Tracey Ullman shorts.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Is almost never referred to as her formal name. Homer often forgets this.
    Homer: Who the heck is Margaret Simpson?
    Bureaucrat: Uh, your youngest daughter.
    • Made doubly funny on recollection that Marge had told Homer what Maggie was legally known as only a few episodes earlier.
    Homer: Fathering children is the best part of my day. I'd do anything for Bart and Lisa.
    Judge: *reading a page in a file* And Margaret?
    Homer: Who? Lady you got the wrong file.
    Marge: *whispering to Homer* It's Maggie.
    Homer: Oh, Maggie. I got nothing against Maggie.
  • Oral Fixation: Her pacifier, which she treats like a cigar on occasion.
  • Only Sane Woman: When Marge and Lisa get caught up in the insanity, the camera will frequently cut to Maggie facepalming.
  • Out of Focus: She becomes even less of a character over the years. Maggie was an actual character in the first seasons, with emotional reactions and even some relevance to the plots (she even shot Mr. Burns). She later develops some individuality and has her own adventures... But after Season 8, she basically becomes a Living Prop as Homer and Lisa became the most prominent characters.
  • Satellite Character: She mostly exists to be the Simpsons' family baby, unless the writers want to explore her precociousness.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Played with.
    Maggie: Maggie talk! Maggie talk!
  • The Silent Bob: Being a baby, Maggie is mute and solely communicates through body language.
  • Silent Snarker: Conveys her sarcasm through body language. Subverted when she speaks in baby talk that is subtitled for the viewers, saying "Bald mommy will surely fail."
  • The Speechless: Justified because she's a baby and can't talk. Especially in "future" episodes, where she is shown as a sullen teenager who still never says anything, because she is prevented or simply disappears off-screen as she is about to speak in a Running Gag. Don't you know she has a beautiful singing voice? There are a few non-canon episodes (including several Halloween specials) where she does talk, usually in a deep, scary masculine voice. Other than that she has said several canonical words in the series, including "Daddy", "Ja", "Daddily-doodily" and baby talk that was translated as "Bald Mommy will surely fail."
  • Suddenly Voiced: By Elizabeth Taylor, James Earl Jones, Harry Shearer, Jodie Foster, Nancy Cartwright (who usually does vocal effects, like cooing and crying), and even Meg Ryan.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to Lisa's Girly Girl. Not so much in the present, but it's apparent in most future episodes, where Maggie dresses like a punker, is the lead singer of a rockband etc. There is also her tendency to pick up on Homer and Bart's violent tendencies, such as her love for weapons, and she seems somewhat close to Bart. In the episode where Burns begins to live in a virtual reality, she gains a very butch appearance when she is pregnant. Lisa, on the other hand, is usually a prim and proper girly girl. In "At Long Last Leave", when the Simpsons family become outcasts and went to live in the more anarchistic Outlands, Lisa wore a turquoise dress with a floral print and black boots. Maggie, on the other hand, wore just her diaper, but sported a Mohawk and had the American flag tattooed on her chest, giving her quite a contrasting appearance from Lisa.
  • True Blue Femininity: Her bow and clothes.
  • Tsundere: Toward Gerald, the baby with the one eyebrow, at least according to the comics, where they get married in the future.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: What she grows up to be.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: She looks a lot like Lisa.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Marge, considering the fact that she liked living with the Flanders family, but loved Marge a whole lot more.
  • The Un-Favourite: She isn't mistreated by Homer like Bart but there's a running gag of Homer forgetting Maggie exists.
    Marge: We have three kids!
    Homer: Marge, the dog doesn't count!
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Doesn't appear for entire episodes or just disappears from them. This can be seen clearly in "Trilogy of Error" - Maggie appears at the beginning but never again after that.
  • Wise Beyond Her Years: She's led a revolt in daycare, successfully driven a car for miles (albeit into a prison wall), and sniped mobsters without being seen... with a shotgun. And the ONLY ONE bold enough to shoot Mr. Burns with his own gun after he stole her candy!

Extended Simpson Family

    Grampa Abraham "Abe" Jedediah Simpson II 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/grampa_9529.jpg

"I'm cold and there're wolves after me!"

Debut: "Grampa and the Kids"
Debut on The Simpsons: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"

Homer's eldery, cranky, senile father, a sergeant in WW2. For all Homer's failures as a father-figure, his father has proven he was worse. Voiced by Dan Castellaneta.


  • Abusive Parents: There's at least one flashback that shows him strangling young Homer just like Homer now does to Bart. And one where Grampa's father does it to him. Must be a Simpson trait. However, the main trait was that he was very emotionally abusive of Homer, often calling him a failure and overall not being an encouraging or supporting parent.
  • Ambiguously Bi: He obviously married a woman (even if the relationship was terrible), homophobic, and Homer even has some half-siblings due to Abe sleeping around. However...
    • In "Homer the Great", when Homer wants to join the Stonecutters' Lodge:
      Ok, I'm an Elk, a Mason, a Communist, the president of The Gay and Lesbian Alliance for some reason. Oh, here it is... The Stone Cutters.
    • In "Gorgeous Grampa", the Simpson family bids on a storage unit containing mysterious clothing and make-up, and Marge decides to lend her unconditional support to Grandpa, only for him to reveal that in his younger days, he was a professional wrestler with a Gorgeous George gimmick.
  • Awful Wedded Life: With Mona from the start and even before that. Abe was a neglectful and abusive man who treated Mona and Homer terribly. Mona found his flirtation annoying when they first met and he cheated on her with a carnival prostitute (whom he also impregnated) when they started dating. It boggles the mind that the two actually got married in the first place. Abe says Homer was an "accident" and so he might have been forced to marry a pregnant Mona in a Shotgun Wedding just like how Homer did with Marge.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He may be a senile old man who spouts nonsense but when things gets serious, Grampa's old soldier instincts will kick in.
  • Bowdlerization: Conversed in "You Kent Always Say What You Want". Grampa talks about how television in his day couldn't say the following words: booby, tushy, burp, fanny burp, water closet, underpants, hot dog, dingle-dingle, Boston marriage, LBJ, Titicaca, or front lumps.
  • Butt-Monkey: Is often ignored, treated with contempt, and otherwise left to rot at the nursing home (which is implied to be just like the crooked home Homer saw on 60 Minutes) by his own son, after Grampa sold his old house (that he won during the 1950s quiz show scandal) and used the money to pay for the house Homer lives in now. Homer's treatment of Abe seems to reflect the emotional abuse and lack of support Abe provided for him in his youth. He is giving what he got.
  • Characterization Marches On: Early seasons tended to show him as being a really bad and abusive father towards Homer. A number of newer episodes have focused on softening him, showing him as a lonely man who watched many of his dreams go up in smoke and who often did more for his son than Homer ever knew. However, it is acknowledged that he is not perfect and that he made plenty of mistakes that affected Homer in the long run.
  • Cool Old Guy:
    • In "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish" he performs a variety of feats to save Bart and take back the paintings from Mr. Burns.
    • This also includes his time as a pro wrestler! "You're the luckiest people in the world: you get to look at ME!" His moves included posing for a painted portrait in the middle of the ring, then grabbing it and smashing it over the babyface's head. He was a monster, and it was awesome.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite the fact that he's senile, cranky and a bit of a harmless nuisance most of the time, on occasion, we can see just why he rose to the rank of Master Sergeant in the US Army and why he is not someone you mess with. In his one encounter with Mr. Burns he completely mops the floor with the old miser despite Mr. Burns having every advantage imaginable in the situation including being armed.
  • Cruel Mercy: Give this to Monty Burns in "Curse of the Flying Hellfish", proving that he's still a badass underneath.
    Abe: I ain't gonna kill ya! That'd be cowardly! Monty Burns cowardly! I'm just gonna watch you squirm...
  • December–December Romance: Has had several, with Marge's mom, Beatrice, and a hoochie named Zelda.
  • Disguised in Drag: Has dressed as a female on several occasions, including in 1942 when he dressed in drag and played for a female baseball team to avoid fighting in the war and another incident where he wore a dress for a while ("Oh, they had designers back then").
  • Grandparental Obliviousness: He often doesn't pay attention, which generally has bad consequences.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Grumpier than Homer.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Literal example, in "Gorgeous Grandpa" He wrestled as Gorgeous Godfrey, a notorious heel, whom he played as a vain selfish man. Everyone hated him, save for Burns, so he retired. He came out of retirement per Burns's request, and began to enjoy being a bad guy. When Bart becomes his wrestling partner, he sees the effect it has on Bart's outlook, so he becomes a face, Honest Abe, for his last match.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: "I was once the handsomest man in Albany, New York!"
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While Abe is hardly a good parent, his anger towards Mona is justified. Abe is upset at Mona not because she left him, but more because she abandoned Homer. When Mona calls Abe out for lying to Homer about her being dead, he replies that this was better than telling him the truth.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: At times, particularly in his younger days, despite being a gruff, uninterested father figure, he did dress up as Santa Claus for Christmas to cheer up Homer, and sold his house in order to allow Homer and Marge to buy a place of their own. And he does care about his grandchildren.
  • Karma Houdini: He won his house on a crooked '50s game show. He then ratted on everybody and got off scot-free.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: It's often demonstrated that while he did sacrifice a lot for Homer, he was ultimately a disinterested, neglectful, unsupporting and sometimes downright emotionally abusive parent to Homer. Homer's own treatment of him now that he's a frail old man is in many ways Abe reaping what he's sown.
  • Medal of Dishonor: Apparently, he was so inept at clearing minefields that he was awarded the Iron Cross in WW2 while serving in the US Army.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Even just the versions of his past that are confirmed as true (and not senile ramblings) by other characters should be self-contradictory. Apparently they're all true and none of them are true at the same time.
  • The Munchausen: Although there is the occasional implication that his rambling and nonsensical stories are actually true, or at least have grains of truth in them. There is also at least one implication that he is actually aware that he is rambling nonsense, but does it anyways because he thinks his grandkids don't actually pay attention to his stories anyways.
    "You mean I have to think of an ending to this nonsense?!"
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Zigzagged. When asked if he's stalling the FBI or just senile in "Mother Simpson", he says that he's doing both. On some occasions, Abe is shown to be exaggerating various traits such as senility, rather than faking them outright as most examples of this trope do, which is very good for catching people off guard.
  • Papa Wolf: Quite protective of his grandson Bart, although not so much for his actual son, Homer.
  • Parental Substitute: Abraham and Bart have more of a father-son relationship than either of them do with Homer, their actual respective son and father. The episode "Barthood" shows just how much Bart loves his Grampa, and they have bonded in other episodes.
  • Perma-Stubble: Like Homer, he's one of the few characters who has a stubble beard. Must be a family trait because even adult Bart has the same beard line in some future episodes.
  • Rambling Old Man Monologue: Practically the Trope Codifier.
    "So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Gimme five bees for a quarter, you'd say. Now where was I … Oh yeah. The important thing was that I had an onion tied to my belt, which was the style at the time. You couldn't get white onions because of the war; the only things you could get was those big yellow ones…"
    • Parodied twice: The first was in "Double, Double, Boy In Trouble", where in the middle of Grampa's ramble, "Bart" (actually Simon Woosterfield) exclaims shock and pride that Grampa shot a buffalo. Grampa then turns around and expresses shock that "Bart" was even listening to his ramble, and complains about now having to find an ending to his nonsense. The second is in "Thursdays with Abie" after Homer saves his life from an Ax-Crazy humanitarian journalist trying to kill him, and rewards Homer with the opportunity to have his "first ramble", indicating that it's a family tradition to have the Simpson males do rambling.
  • Retired Badass: It turns out he's a World War II veteran and his stories about his fighting days are generally true (except for the one where he posed as a German cabaret singer and flirted with Hitler, until his fake boob popped out. The only true thing about that was that he wore a dress for a time in the 1940s and that the designers back then were better than the ones today). It resurfaces when Burns tries to drown Bart during the hunt for the art tontine.
  • Scatterbrained Senior: Abraham "Grandpa" Simpson has a pretty heavily eroded mind. This can range from simple forgetfulness to being completely divorced from reality. He once kept two policemen occupied by claiming to be the Lindbergh baby and wanting his "fly-fly dada". When the police ask if he's trying to stall them, or if he's just senile, he admits it's "a little from Column A, a little from Column B". This is consistently played for laughs.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: His conversations sometimes get dirtier than Homer's.
  • Senior Sleep Cycle: Always falls asleep mid-sentence, like when he's singing "The Funky Grampa" or when he complains about how bad Star Trek XII: So Very Tired was.
  • Sergeant Rock: Abe was one of these in World War II.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: There are very occasional hints that part of the reasons for him being such a jerk is because he's this.
  • Sissy Villain: As "Glamorous Godfrey", his heel of a wrestling persona.
  • The Sixth Ranger: Occasionally fills this role, when the family isn't actively avoiding him.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": It's "Grampa", not "Grandpa".
  • Took a Level in Kindness: During Homer's childhood, Abe was not exactly the best father or husband. In the present day, he is a much better person, especially to his grandchildren.
  • Unexplained Recovery: He recovers from a variety of disturbing conditions.
  • Unreliable Narrator: His stories have little to no truth in them. He even lied to Homer when he was 9 that Mona died while he was at the movies.
  • Vague Age: "God only knows", as Marge puts it. To make it especially confusing, in "The Mansion Family", Kent Brockman is trying to determine the oldest person in town by having everyone stand up and then sit down when Brockman calls out a number greater than their age. At about eighty, Grampa sits down, and then at ninety, he stands up again. One episode says he's 83 (this obviously cannot be the case anymore since he's also a WW2 veteran). Not helping are episodes showing he's got at least two decades on even-vaguer-aged Mister Burns.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: A good deal of Homer's personal problems stem from Abe's Abusive Parenting (which is portrayed as eerily similar to Homer's own treatment of Bart). In turn Homer stuffed him in a nursing home at the first call and often attempts to ignore his existence. They do get genuine moments of bonding at times however.
  • When I Was Your Age...: He loves these.
  • Your Cheating Heart: He impregnated a carnival prostitute during his courtship with Mona. This event lead to her cheating on him with multiple other men in retaliation.

    Grandma Mona Penelope Simpson (née Olsen) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/monasimpsonpic_2001.jpg

A militant hippie in her youth, she had to leave Homer and her husband alike when Homer was young because she made an enemy of Mr. Burns and fled into the hippy underground. Sincerely loves her family, and desperately wants to be with them. Dies in her third appearance. Voiced by Glenn Close, Maggie Roswell, Tress MacNeille and Pamela Hayden.


  • Action Mom: She never let being a mother stop her from being a political activist, up to and including what are technically acts of eco-terrorism, like "bombing" Mr. Burns' germ weapons lab with antibiotics to kill off his microbe cultures.
  • Awful Wedded Life: With Abe pretty much right from the start.
  • Cool Old Lady: Especially in contrast with Homer's father. She's a hippie, educated and cultured, and she bonds with her grandchildren, especially book-smart Lisa who finally feels she is a Simpson.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: A deconstructed example. She had to leave her family when she helped Mr. Burns after her group sabotaged him, because he identified her as a criminal. While she did have good reasons for leaving the family, the reasons for the events leading up to it were the opposite. Mona did not balance her duties as a mother with her Granola Girl lifestyle and political activism properly, and this is why she got into trouble with the law. When Abe calls Mona out following her first return, he reveals that his anger towards her was not over leaving him, but more over abandoning Homer. A couple of flashbacks show that Mona did start out as a better parent than Abe, but gradually neglected Homer in favor of her activism.
  • Dying Alone: Homer feels plenty of guilt over the fact he never got to forgive his mother before she died.
  • Family Theme Naming: With her first-born granddaughter, Lisa. Together, their names create "Mona Lisa" - which are regularly used for puns in episode titles such a "Moaning Lisa" and "Mona Leaves-a". Matt Groening originally gave her name as "Penelope Olsen" on a family tree but the writers changed it to "Mona" (turning "Penelope" into her middle name) to create a connection between the two and explain where Lisa got her intelligence and activist personality from.
  • Granola Girl: Deconstructed. Her extreme involvement in the hippie movement as well as political activism cost Mona her reputation with the law as well as her chance to be a mother to Homer. No wonder Abe was angry with her.
  • Greasy Spoon: She worked as a waitress at an Air Force station diner before becoming marrying Abe and becoming a housewife.
  • Irony: When Mona was forced to go into hiding, Abe attempted to cover up the truth by telling Homer she was dead. In her third appearance, however, Mona does die for real.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: She was quite good-looking in her youth.
  • Missing Mom: Mona wants to be with her family, but her visits to Homer put the entire Simpson family at a risk of getting into trouble with the law, all because Mr. Burns had her criminalized for ruining a germ lab. Even worse, she got arrested a second time for a technicality that was arranged by Burns, and upon escaping the bus taking her to jail, was forced to abandon her family again.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: She stopped to help Mr. Burns up after he'd been trampled, following her hippie group's sabotage of his biological weapons. This made her a wanted criminal since they ended up getting her photo.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: This is why she got into the hippie lifestyle; she was opposed to many of the decisions of big businesses and the government, and felt that she needed to do something about it, even if it made her a criminal.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: A meta example. "Mother Simpson" aired during the seventh season and averting the trope was the initial impetus to producing the episode. Showrunners Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein admitted surprise that in all those years the status of Homer's mother had never been given on-screen. (She had been seen a couple times in flashbacks, but her present-day whereabouts had never been mentioned until "Mother Simpson.") In an issue of Simpsons Illustrated, published years before Mona's debut, a reader wrote in asking where Homer's mom was. The editors said that Homer's mom "went to the grocery store one day and never came back".
  • Your Cheating Heart: She's cheated on Abe quite a few times while they were married. Of course, he cheated on her first.
Advertisement:

    Herbert "Herb" Powell 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/herbpowell.png

Voiced by: Danny DeVito
Debut: "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?"

Herbert "Herb" Powell is Homer Simpson's seldom-seen long-lost older half-brother. He is first mentioned by Abraham Simpson when Homer comes to Abe's side after Abe suffers a heart attack. Herbert is also the half-uncle of Bart, Lisa, and Maggie.


  • The Alcoholic: It is implied that Herb drinks due to stress - in the EA mobile game Tapped Out, Herb has a number of drinking-based tasks.
  • Cool Uncle: He is a really nice uncle to Bart, Lisa, and Maggie, even insisting that they call him "Unkie Herb".
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Responsible to Homer's Foolish.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In "Brother Can You Spare Two Dimes". He treats Homer pretty badly (due to still not forgiving him) and only hunts him down to use his money, but he is a good uncle and gives every family member their own gift on top of paying the money back. And Herb eventually does forgive Homer, calls him "brother" again, and buys him the massage chair he wanted.
  • Lonely at the Top: Herb is overjoyed to learn that he has a birth family and bonds with his nieces and nephew, and - in his role as CEO - allows Homer to design a car.
  • Mean Boss: Herb is extremely dismissive and temperamental to his employees, viewing them as privileged idiots (in stark contrast to his own upbringing). This ends up his own undoing, as he refuses to take their warnings of Homer's incompetence seriously, and forces them to continue with his doomed project until it's too late. They apparently know not to give what people want.
  • Never My Fault: Herb blames Homer for ruining his company despite putting him in charge, shelving all other projects and outright ignoring his employees' warnings, who despite being 'privileged idiots' as he put it still know enough about business to be on the board of a car company. Then again, Homer did have the greatest car designers on his side and refused to listen to their advice. In the end it's about 50/50.
  • Rags to Riches: In "Brother Can You Spare Two Dimes", Homer gives Herb $2,000 (from the power plant, as compensation for making him sterile from radiation), which Herb uses to build an invention that translates baby babble into comprehensible English, based on observations he made of Maggie Simpson. He proceeds to mass-produce his new product and regain his fortune. After going back to living a rich life, a throwaway line in "Changing of the Guardian" revealed he once more lost his fortune. Somehow.
  • Riches to Rags: When Herb invites Homer to make a car, thinking he will have some idea of what the average man is looking for, Homer ignores all the advice he's given, while Herb ignores all the warnings from his advisors. The car has a horrible design aesthetic and a ridiculous price tag of $82,000. The car is called "blunder of the century", and sends the already ailing company into bankruptcy, and Herb into the street.
  • Self-Made Man: He grew up in Shelbyville Orphanage, washed cars for his college classmates to pay for his education and became a car manufacturer, with said classmates being now his board of directors.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Homer. He is an intelligent, ambitious, charismatic, passionate, but also lonely person.

Bouvier Family

    Grandpa Clarence "Clancy" Bouvier 
Debut: "The Way We Was"
Marge, Patty, and Selma's deceased father. He was of French origin.
  • Posthumous Character: He's already dead by the start of the show and is only seen in a few flashbacks.
  • Sir Swearsalot: Used to work as a baby photographer but his foul mouth cost him his job.
  • Smoking Is Not Cool: He was a heavy smoker like Patty and Selma. Puffless reveals he died of lung cancer.

    Grandma Jacqueline Ingrid Bouvier (née Gurney) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jacqueline_bouvier.png
Debut: "Moaning Lisa"

Marge, Patty, and Selma's mother. Voiced by Julie Kavner.


  • Abusive Parents: Of the Emotional variety, it's suggested that Marge's repressions and insecurities were to be blamed on Jacqueline pushing Marge to repress her feelings like a "good girl", with "Moaning Lisa" stating her motivation being that Margie needs to smile so everyone will know what a good mommy she has. There is also her allowing Selma and Patty to smoke so they'd be more popular.
  • Flat Character: She's Marge's grouchy mother but that's about it.
  • Guttural Growler: Seems to be a family trait. It's even harsher and raspier than her daughters (which might have something to do with her sparse appearances).
  • I Was Quite a Looker: In her youth, she looked nigh-identical to Marge, even telling Abe she was a guy magnet, which irritated her friends to no end.
  • Jerkass: One of the first things she's introduced as saying is telling Marge "you never do anything right".
  • Makeup Is Evil: Back in The '70s, on Marge's prom night, Jacqueline has Marge pinch her cheeks to make them look rosier, urging her to try and break some capillaries. Marge asks if she can just use rouge instead. Jacqueline replies, "Ladies pinch, whores use rouge."
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Downplayed, she shares her name with John F. Kennedy's wife.
  • Not So Above It All: She joins in the rest of the family in singing the Armor Hot Dog song at Maggie's birthday, followed by the Chicken Tonight jingle.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Doesn't think too highly of Homer, though even she thinks Patty and Selma go too far with their dislike of him.
  • Old Shame: In-universe, she was once arrested for indecent exposure - showing her ankles at the beach.
  • Parental Favoritism: Implied, Marge is very close to her mother and she doesn't think highly of Patty and Selma's attitude towards Homer.
  • Parental Neglect: She continued to allow Patty and Selma to smoke despite the fact that their father died of lung cancer because she thought it made them look cool.
  • Secret Keeper: On the topic of her husband's death. (He died of lung cancer.)
  • Stepford Smiler: The flashback in "Moaning Lisa" shows that she instilled this mindset into Marge when she was younger.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Lampshaded in a DVD commentary by Matt Groening, that they just "took Marge's model and squashed it a bit".
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: It's where Marge got it from.
  • Young Future Famous People: Not her, but her childhood friends included people like "little" Sylvia Plath.

    Patricia "Patty" and Selma Bouvier 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/image002pattyselma.jpg
Debut: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"

Marge's older twin sisters, addicted to smoking and notoriously crabby. Both dislike Homer intensely, especially Patty, who hates almost all men. Voiced by Julie Kavner.


Tropes applying to both

  • Berserk Button: Do NOT speak ill of MacGyver in their presence.
  • Big Sister Bully: Both of them were this to Marge especially when they were younger. Marge's flashbacks have shown that she's pretty much gotten her doormat personality from Patty and Selma's constant bullying. This is mostly gone in the present, where both generally act less hostile than usual when speaking with Marge, and often express worry that Homer won't be able to sufficiently care for her. Despite this, Selma admits that at least part of her hatred of Homer was due to her jealousy over Marge getting married before her, showing that they still hold some hostility towards her but choose to convey it indirectly.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Patty wears a pink press and Selma wears a a blue dress.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both, especially towards Homer.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: The personality tropes they have in common were apparent from the start, while the ones that differentiate them have developed over the course of the show.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Especially where Homer is concerned.
  • Formerly Fit: Back when they were younger, they had curvy hourglass figures (but still those bad attitudes, the voices, and those faces) and now they're very chubby.
  • Flanderization:
    • They went from just making mean jokes about Homer being fat, ugly, and a lousy father and husband who should never have knocked up their baby sister Marge to kidnapping him and locking him in a dirty bathroom a la Saw.
    • In earlier seasons, Patty was merely uninterested in dating, and actually had a serious relationship with Seymour Skinner before determining that she couldn't abandon Selma to a relationship with Barney. Later in the series, her disinterest in men was exaggerated... to the point that she became a lesbian.
    • At the same time, Selma was originally portrayed as a lonely singleton in her thirties, hoping to still find love. Later on her man-craziness and multiple failed marriages became a Running Gag, and she was married off to practically every single man in Springfield at some point or another, and always doomed for divorce.
  • Guttural Growler: Due to being heavy smokers on top of Bouvier genetics, their voices are even deeper and raspier than Marge's.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: In addition to being Color-Coded for Your Convenience, Patty has a circular afro with triangular earrings, Selma has an M-shaped hairstyle with circular earrings.
  • Jerkass: Once, they went so far as to murder Homer (technically they did so twice; in "the Great Louse Detective", they threw a cinderblock at a dummy, which tore the dummy's head off, thinking it was him). Marge has actually said they just wanted him to suffer.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Their low opinion of Homer isn't completely unwarranted. His antics do tend to result in trouble for the family, and their concerns about his ability to care for Marge are shown several times to have basis in reality. This just isn't so obvious because they tend to harangue him anytime they meet, even when Homer is trying to be civil to them, resulting in Not Helping Your Case due to their sheer obnoxiousness.
  • Kavorka Man: Female examples. Many Springfieldians consider them to be ugly, and their personalities aren't anything to write home about either, yet they have dated many people over the years, with Selma in particular managing to find several different men willing to marry her
  • Loony Fan: In "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bangalore", they finally meet MacGyver star Richard Dean Anderson, who was actually in Springfield for a Stargate SG-1 convention, and he's less than thrilled speaking about MacGyver. So, they kidnap him.
  • Maiden Aunt: Both embody the "bitter spinster" archetype to a T.
  • Must Have Nicotine: They are very heavy smokers, and started at a very young age.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: Out of the Bouvier sisters, Marge is nice (much more pleasant than her sisters), Patty is mean (the more embittered and spiteful of the twins), and Selma is in-between (initially cynical like Patty but has more Character Development and becomes slightly more sympathetic towards Homer).
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: They hate Homer so much they've nonchalantly reacted to his heart attack then proceeded to find Marge a new man despite the fact that he hadn't died, bought a tombstone with "Homer J. Simpson. We are richer for having lost him.", tried to get him kicked out of town, and kidnapped/tortured him during his renewal of his vows with Marge. This doesn't even include the verbal insults.
  • Single-Minded Twins: Initially. Over time, both have developed more distinct personality traits as individuals, particularly Selma.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Towards Homer. While the two have professed multiple reasons to dislike Homer, there is always an undercurrent that they look down on him and view themselves as better than he will ever be. Homer is a bit bumbling, but manages to support the family in slightly above average comfort through his job at the nuclear plant, while Patty and Selma share an apartment while having jobs at the DMV, making any times they profess superiority towards him come across as largely unmerited.
  • Smoking Is Not Cool: Selma provides the image for the page itself. They are also are very unpleasant company (especially to Homer).
  • The Stoic: They speak in apathetic, bitter groans at all times, especially in the earlier episodes. Later on, both, particularly Selma, are shown to be capable of having much more emotional reactions to certain things.
  • The Unfettered: They will do anything to ensure that Marge divorces Homer, even if it ruins both of their lives (and their children's lives) in the process.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Light purple, actually. One episode revealed that Patty and Selma are actually redheaded and blond, respectively, and the "purple" in their hair is from cigarette smoke. Then again, they were shown with this color when they were children and they were smoking then, so this is actually speculative.

Patty

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/patty.png
  • Ambiguously Gay: Was hinted at a few times before she came out.
  • Does Not Like Men: While it's subverted with Selma who comes off like this at times, but is actually obsessed with finding a husband and having a child, Patty plays this trope straight.
  • Foreshadowing: Patty is seen leaving the burlesque house in "Bart After Dark", and is in the "in the closet" float (along with Mr. Smithers) in the Gay Pride Parade in the beginning of "Jaws Wired Shut", as well as numerous other hints.
  • Hates Being Touched: Zigzagged. She really doesn't like being touched in general, but she rather likes getting a foot rub, which is part of why she starts warming up to Seymour Skinner during their brief romance..
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Patty's fixation with MacGyver may dance around Fridge Logic after the revelation that she's gay. This is lampshaded in The Simpsons Game, where she out-and-out says she's a lesbian "in general", but when it comes to MacGyver, she's "straight as an arrow". This also seems to be the case with Seymour, since Patty seemed to genuinely love him romantically and only broke up with him to be with Selma.
  • Jerkass: She is by a long shot the more embittered and spiteful of the two.
  • Pet the Dog: Patty softens up to Homer when she leaves Selma over an argument, and despite Homer's usual disdain (he bleaches his eyes when he sees her in the shower and preemptively bleaches Bart's eyes, who thanks him for it), she takes it because she knows taking her as a guest is hard. She also admits that she envies him and Marge for having so much while all she has is her twin sister.
  • The Reveal: Patty is a lesbian.
  • Satellite Character: For nearly half the series, Patty existed as the more callous of Marge's older sisters and nothing else while Selma received several focus episodes revealing her to be a sympathetic Jerk with a Heart of Gold. This was finally rectified later on when Patty came out as a lesbian and received a focus episode of her own, though she still remains the much less focused-on part of the pair. "The Book Job" (the episode where Homer and Bart recruit various Springfieldians to write a book) is notable for being the only episode where Patty appears without Selma.
  • Tuckerization: Is named after Matt Groening's sister.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: Even after it's revealed that she's a lesbian and Homer shows he is clearly more supportive of her than Marge initially was, despite this, Patty still shows nothing but utter contempt for him.

Selma

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/selma_bouvier_2.png
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: While she does not like Homer, Selma has proven multiple times to be able to genuinely care for him.
  • The Beard: To Troy McClure for a period of time — in a variation, not because Troy is gay, but because A: he has a certain unlawful sexual fetish and he wanted to have some way of refuting the rumors about it, and B: he thought it might be a boost to his career. She divorces him when he tries to have a baby with her, saying she couldn't bring a child into a loveless marriage.
  • Character Development: Her relationship with Homer, which started out as pure vitriol, has improved as Selma has come to understand the hardships he has gone through.
  • Formerly Fat: When Selma becomes Fit Tony's mistress, she manages to get him to not kill her but convinces to pay for her liposuction on various parts of her body, resulting in a shapelier figure.
  • Friendly Enemy: Ever since the fiasco where she took the children to Duff Gardens, Selma begins to confide in Homer in matters of parenthood, and their hostility softens further when Homer saves her and Patty from being fired while smoking on the job. It is when Homer helps her become the adoptive mother of Ling that Selma truly comes to respect him, and even though she may not openly like the man, at worst she dislikes Homer a little less than Patty does now. Selma's antagonism towards Homer seems to noticeably disappear whenever Patty isn't around, implying that it's actually Patty who truly hates Homer and Selma merely goes along with it due to peer pressure. Homer likewise is far nicer to Selma when Patty isn't around.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Selma has admitted in the past that she is hostile to Homer because she was jealous that Marge was to able to get married whereas Selma has trouble going into relationships, let alone making them last.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She is shown to be much more capable of acting genuinely kind towards others than Patty is. Unlike Patty, who has grown to accept that she will never be happy and acts apathetic and callous as a result, Selma still desperately wants to find love and raise a family. This allows her to gradually grow to respect Homer and his devotion to his family over time, despite her initial hostility towards him.
  • Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: She has multiple failed marriages under her belt, because she seems to keep falling for guys who are either jerkasses, morons, or scum. She first got married to "Sideshow" Bob Terwilliger because he was after her money — and apparently remarried & divorced him again offscreen at some point afterwards, married Troy McClure because he was handsome and feigned interest in her, dated (and thought she got married to) Fit-Fat Tony, got offscreen marriages (and divorces) to Lionel Hutz the incompetent lawyer and Disco Stu, and married Abraham Simpson, her legal father-in-law. She's also dated Hans Moleman, Moe Syzlak and Barney Gumble, and slept with Apu, as well as with dotcom millionaire Artie Ziff (Marge's old boyfriend from High School).
  • The Mistress: Selma becomes this to Fit-Fat Tony for an episode, although she has been led to believe she's actually his wife. She is heartbroken and angry with Fat Tony when she finds out... but then gets into a Cat Fight with another woman who also claims to be Fat Tony's wife.
  • Noodle Incident: Selma's relationship and marriage to Disco Stu. Nobody knew about that until Stu danced into the room announcing that he got an annulment from the Catholic Church (and had a certificate in his hand to prove it).
  • Parental Substitute: With some help from Homer (and a sympathetic Chinese bureaucrat), Selma adopts a baby girl named Ling. (Patty does help take care of Ling, too.)
  • Serial Spouse: Big time. So far, she's been married to Sideshow Bob (twice, according to the banner shown at her wedding to Abe Simpson), Lionel Hutz, Troy McClure, Disco Stu, Abe Simpson and Fat Tony (or so she thought; he was actually just recognizing her as his official mistress).
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: In one Treehouse of Horror episode she does this with the Ultrahouse computer's remote, much to its disgust. It proceeds to try and kill itself.

    Ling Bouvier 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ling_bouvier_tapped_out.png
Debut: "Goo Goo Gai Pan"

Selma's adopted baby daughter from China. Voiced by Nancy Cartwright.


Simpson Family Pets

    Snowball II 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/snowball_v.png

Debut: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"

Lisa's pet cat. Snowball II was named after Snowball I. Though Snowball I had white fur, which obviously inspired her name, Snowball II had black fur and greenish/yellow eyes. As a non-speaking character she usually interacts with Santa's Little Helper and Maggie.

According to the episode "I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot", Snowball II was hit by a car, and replaced by an identical cat named Snowball V, who was renamed Snowball II for convenience's sake.


  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: She only wears a collar, and sometimes not even that.
  • Animal Jingoism: Subverted. Snowball is usually friendly towards the family dog, Santa's Little Helper.
  • Back Up Twin: Snowball dies in "I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot", yet the episode ends with Lisa finding an identical cat, calling it Snowball II and pretending Snowball II's death never happened. A Lampshade is hung as Lisa mentions not wanting to spend money on a new food dish and Principal Skinner points out the whole thing is a cop-out leading to Lisa calling him Armin Tanzarian leading to Skinner withdrawing his point.
  • Butt-Monkey: Everybody treats her terribly except for Lisa and she serves no purpose story-wise. Santa's Little Helper gets more of a role in the series, whereas Snowball's largest role involves her getting killed.
  • Cats Are Superior: She is often presented as being much more intelligent than Santa's Little Helper and can perform complex tricks on command but nobody cares. Homer, however, temporarily starts to believe that cats are better than dogs after Snowball II saves his life in "Old Yeller-Belly". Official art of the series shows Snowball II juggling dressed in a tutu while riding Santa's Little Helper and her intelligence is a plot point in the Coralisa segment of Treehouse of Horror XXVIII.
  • Cute Kitten: Quite affectionate and craves attention. Lisa dresses her up as a baby in "Treehouse of Horror VII".
  • Female Feline, Male Mutt: The female cat to the male dog, Santa's Little Helper.
  • Furry Confusion: When she and Scratchy show up together in the "Treehouse of Horror IX" segment "The Terror of Tiny Toon".
  • Humanoid Female Animal:
    • Inverted to the point of Furry Confusion when she and Scratchy show up together in the Treehouse of Horror IX segment "The Terror of Tiny Toon".
    • Played straight in "Holidays of Future Passed", where she and Santa's Little Helper appear together, complete with oversized brains.
  • Ironic Name: A black cat named Snowball.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: The current Snowball II is in fact the fifth, though to save money on food bowls, Lisa came to the conclusion to just make her a Legacy Character, essentially making the replacement non-canonical in episodes afterwards. Skinner lampshaded the spuriousness of this, though one mention of the name "[[The Simpsons S9 E2 "The Principal and the Pauper" Tamzarian" shut him up.
  • Living a Double Life: As Smokey.
  • Negative Continuity: In a spoof of the episode, The Simpsons S9 E2 "The Principal and the Pauper", "I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot" has the original Snowball II die only to get replaced by an identical looking and acting cat with the simpsons pretending Snowball II never died.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Snowball II carries on the original's name despite having dark fur and is actually the fifth Snowball according to "I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot".
  • Out of Focus: Snowball II doesn't get nearly as much limelight as Santa's Little Helper, though has been the subject of a few B-Plots in later seasons.
  • Replacement Goldfish: The current Snowball II is actually Snowball V, the last in a series of cats bought to replace the original Snowball.
  • Secret Other Family: The Simpsons family consistently neglects her and so she starts visiting another family, where she is known as "Smokey".

    Santa's Little Helper 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/santas_little_helper.png

Debut: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"

Bart's pet dog, a greyhound that was adopted by the family when Homer lost all his Mall Santa money at the dog tracks and Bart and Homer see Santa's Little Helper being abused by his master. Once ran away and was taken in as Mr. Burns' new guard dog, while another prominent interaction with Mr. Burns was when he ended up purchasing the 25 puppies he had fathered with a champion racing female greyhound, who all turned out to be world champions. As a result, Mr. Burns can remember Santa's Little Helper, but not Homer. Voiced by Dan Castellaneta and Frank Welker.


  • Ambiguously Bi: He's sired 25+ puppies with at least two dogs, but he also had to be physically dragged away from the Springfield pride parade once the Gay Dog Alliance came on the scene.
  • Animal Jingoism: Subverted. Santa's Little Helper generally gets on well with the family cat, Snowball II.
  • Butt-Monkey: Gets treated pretty bad often (usually by Homer; there are no photos in which Homer and SLH aren't abusing each other). He actually runs away in "Dog of Death" when the entire family condemns him due to the financial burden caused by a needed operation. He is still well-loved and has had his Day in the Limelight - unlike Snowball II.
  • Canine Companion: Bart's loyal but dumb dog. A few early episodes focused on their bond.
  • Cone of Shame: Comes with doggie-wheelchair.
  • A Dog Ate My Homework: Santa's Little Helper does this once, much to Bart's surprise, as he didn't think that excuse had any real merit.
  • Dogs Are Dumb: There are many intelligent dogs in the series so Santa's Little Helper stands out as not just a dumb dog but the dumbest in the series. One time Bart throws a frisbee for him to fetch but he just lets it him in the face.
  • Female Feline, Male Mutt: The male dog.
  • Go Fetch: He can be distracted by sausages, along with Homer.
  • Heroic Dog: From time to time, especially when Bart is concerned. Subverted when the Simpson house is on fire and Homer is asleep on the couch. It appears that Santa's Little Helper is trying to rouse Homer, but rather he is getting a chocolate candy bar from Homer's pocket. Once the candy bar is out, Santa's Little Helper leaves Homer to his fate. This happens again in a later episode where Homer is caught in a fire in the Simpson's newly constructed treehouse but Santa's Little Helper is too cowardly to do anything so Snowball II ends up saving Homer's life instead.
  • Interspecies Romance: Played for Laughs with Snowball II. In Donnie Fatso Santa's Little Helper and Snowball II mated, Whistler's Father reveals that the two are involved in a secret romance, and a future episode reveals they had babies together. In Fear of Flying, Marge gets worried that the family never held a wedding for the two pets and thus they are "living in sin".
  • Lovable Coward: In one early episode.
  • Morality Pet: He is literally this to Bart.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In "Dog of Death", after which it fluctuates but generally doesn't drop too far. Justified because Mr. Burns brainwashed Santa's Little Helper into being a vicious, soulless killer.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Bart.
Top

Example of:

/

Feedback