Simpsons Movie: What You Need to Know about the Family

After 18 seasons, 400 episodes, and innumerable awards and honors (including a Peabody and 23 Emmys) “The Simpsons” has become a feature-length movie. To refresh your memory, here are short bios of the colorful members of the Simpson clan.

The Simpson Family

Homer Simpson

Homer is a simple man. A man who through punishing trial and error has proven that even one's loftiest goals are attainable–provided you set them low enough. Homer is well versed in the ins and outs of his job at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, having innumerable times been fired and rehired for the same position. Despite the fact that Homer is often the lumpen gristle stuck in the cogs of Mr. Burns' money-crazed machinations, Mr. Burns can never remember Homer's name.

Homer is also stuck in the middle of a classic generational parenting cycle. Having been constantly corrected and belittled by his father, Homer strives to be supportive of his own family by smothering them with indifference and vague endearments. As a result, Lisa feels left out, Bart acts out, and, as far as Homer is
concerned, Maggie rarely even exists. Yet Homer deeply loves and is intensely devoted to his wife and kids, when it occurs to him. When Marge refuses to go scrounging at the dump, Homer promises to bring her back something nice. In fact, Homer spends as much time as possible singing Marge's praises between rounds of beer at Moe's Tavern. Now, if only he could remember the words to that praise song.

Moe's Tavern is Homer's homely home away from home; a place where he will be greeted with open arms by both well and ill-wishers alike, as long as he's buying, which is seldom; a place where he can relax, scratch himself with his keys, blow his nose on his shirt, and drink glass after glass of sweet, sweet beer. A place where, after a few drinks and a pickled egg or two, anything seems possible, even his hare-brained get-rich quick schemes. After all, life is too short to get rich slow.

Marge Simpson

Behind every great man stands a woman. Marge just got caught standing in the wrong line. Marge is the emotional center of the family, the sweet, sweet jelly in the Simpson donut. As such, she is unaccountably understanding, relentlessly upbeat, and alarmingly supportive. Her extraordinary homemaking skills work miracles.

She can turn old chicken bones into necklaces, leftovers into casseroles, and an invasion of fire ants into an educational and entertaining insect circus. Though Homer is self-centered, forgets birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays (both religious and secular), chews with his mouth open, gambles, and hangs out at

Moe's Tavern with a bunch of seedy lowlifes, Marge sticks with him. It must be love. And besides that, Homer desperately needs her, deeply loves her, and does his utmost to give her everything she needs, on those few occasions when he's not thinking of himself.

In the face of Homer's countless screw-ups, Marge never gives up hope, drawing sustenance from her endless collection of words to live by (i.e. “Most women will tell you that you're a fool to think you can change a man–but those women are quitters.”).

Marge may fear the unfamiliar, but her firm moral convictions have allowed her to overcome her need to conform. This has led to her single-handedly championing crusades against the Springfield Monorail, foiling Mr. Burns' run for governor, and briefly ending cartoon violence on “The Itchy & Scratchy Show” by founding S.N.U.H.,

Springfieldians for Nonviolence, Understanding, and Helping. But the bulk of her energy is given to caring for her family. An overwhelming task, for despite the love she feels for them, it wears her ragged. But as Marge would tell you, the Simpsons can't be choosers.

Bart Simpson

Bart wants to have it all and usually gets what he wants, which is often more than he bargained for. While many accuse Bart of being too dependent on his surrogate parent, the TV, he has many outside interests, such as eating ice cream in front of the weight loss center, perfecting the art of the loogie, and sitting on the roof with a baseball bat to ward off U.F.O.'s. Dismissed by many as an unrepentant mischief-maker, Bart wrestles mightily with his conscience every day. In fact, his greatest fear is that his good conscience will one day get the better of him.

Bart is a hands-on kind of person. He lives in the present, rarely considering the consequences of his insatiable curiosity. Often fueled by the syrupy goodness of a Kwik-E-Mart Squishee, Bart's high-energy escapades keep the rest of his family in an uproar. Dealing with him can be a real struggle. Homer struggles to keep his temper, Lisa struggles for attention, and Marge struggles to pry Homer's fingers from around Bart's throat. On the other hand, Bart shares Homer's delight in junk food, slovenly behavior, and practical jokes, admires and occasionally relies upon Lisa's ingenuity and brains, and appreciates Marge's cooking and her unwavering love.

Bart's career at Springfield Elementary is equally tempestuous. Along with his best friend and spit brother, Milhouse, egghead Martin Price, bully Nelson, and a host of other meager young minds, Bart makes life worth leaving for Mrs. Krabappel, his fourth grade teacher. He has run for class president on the platform of “More Asbestos,” replaced Mrs. Krabappel's birth control pills with Tic Tacs, openly mocked Principal Skinner under his nom de graffiti, El Barto, and incited a student riot with his “Down With Homework” T-shirt. His feelings about school might have been best illustrated in one of his fondest dreams, in which Springfield Elementary is devoured by giant mechanical ants.

Lisa Simpson

Lisa is a model of good conduct, citizenship, and creativity. As a result, she finds it difficult to fit in anywhere. At home she is the Simpson family conscience, the chastening voice of political correctness, and the soul of reason.

Consequently, she is ignored. Unless, of course, her intelligence can be used to further one of Homer or Bart's cockeyed schemes. Seeking understanding and appreciation, Lisa turns to Springfield Elementary School, where she hopes her unique abilities will be noticed. And they are. Her teachers reward her intelligence, sensitivity, and talent with straight A's and total indifference. Her classmates, however, are anything but indifferent, calling her names like “Poindexter Pointy-head,” “Geekazoid,” and “The Brain Queen.”

Lisa channels her sadness and disappointment into her saxophone music, where, under the guiding spirit of her mentor, Bleeding Gums Murphy, she has composed such gems as “Pounded by the Dodgeball Blues,” “Puny Allowance Blues,” and “I Been Good So Long, It Looks Like Bad to Me.” Her other passions include ponies, watching the “Happy Little Elves,” dialing the “Corey Hot Line,” and studying the lives of women who have resisted domination by the patriarchy. Her considerable achievements include implementing Springfield's alarmingly successful recycling program, being an all-star goalie in pee-wee hockey, and finding a practical use for geometry.

Even though Lisa gets way less attention for her achievements than Bart for his mischief, she is often Bart's devoted and invaluable ally. She has helped him foil the diabolical schemes of Sideshow Bob, discover zen in the art of miniature golf, and hone his food-fighting skills by serving as a convenient target. As Bart reluctantly admits, Lisa has the brains and talent to go all the way, no matter what anyone says. And when she does, Bart will be right there to borrow money.

Maggie Simpson

Maggie is the still center in the chaos of the Simpson household. She peacefully withstands the peculiar home remedies of doddering grandparents, wears novelty baby clothes of dubious taste, and spends short bursts of time airborne. All without a word of complaint. Things might change, however, when Maggie learns to speak. Not that anyone would listen. When entrusted to Homer's care, Maggie is free to do pretty much anything she wants, including drinking from the dog dish, exploring the wonders of heavy machinery, and shooting Charles Montgomery Burns. Maggie relates best to those who understand her. As a result, her closest friends are Snowball II and Santa's Little Helper. She has even once bonded with a pack of wild grizzlies.

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