Lisa Simpson: The Burden of Being Smart

Lisa Simpson: The Burden of Being Smart

Last update: 02 September, 2020

The Simpsons is perhaps the most popular animated sitcom of all time. Almost everyone has seen at least one episode of this series. But what lies behind the jokes they make in the show? In this article, we reflect on the show’s social prejudices through Lisa Simpson’s character.

The Simpsons is an animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. It debuted in 1989 and has aired on the television network ever since. It’s one of the most iconic American television shows.

The show revolves around the Simpson family, a parody of Groening’s own family. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and little Maggie make up the Simpson family. This family lives in the fictional town of Springfield, which symbolizes the small and remote villages of the United States.

This animated sitcom is mainly a parody of the American culture, its society, and its customs. However, it’s also a satirical representation of the human condition. Some fans even claim that The Simpsons is a new way of presenting philosophy, as well as ethical and moral debates.

Homer’s character, for example, represents a white working-class man. Homer’s hobbies revolve around food and television. His wife Marge is a housewife who’s responsible for taking care of the children and their home. The eldest son, Bart, is an exact replica of his father and has no academic or professional aspirations. Lisa is a 9-year-old precocious and extremely intelligent girl. Lastly, there’s baby Maggie.

The Simpson family sitting on the couch.

After the golden age

During the year 2018, The Simpsons ended its twenty-ninth season. The show isn’t what it once was. Many of the most devoted fans of the show explain that The Simpsons had a “golden age” that consisted of the first 13 seasons, more or less. During this golden age, the sitcom’s tone was a lot lighter.

For this group of followers, The Simpsons’  character development took a remarkable turn after the golden age. This means that each character became easier to understand. They arrived at the conclusion that the writers got rid of all that ‘nonsense’ humor in order to improve the plots.

Lisa Simpson: The black sheep of the family

Interestingly, Lisa Simpson’s character changed after the tenth season. The change was subtle but became more noticeable over time. The show’s producers started punishing this character in unfair and unnecessary ways.

The other characters are usually rewarded after small punishments. These rewards range from personal growth, love, and affection to their community’s approval. However, we constantly see how no one ever rewards Lisa Simpson’s pain and suffering.

Lisa Simpson is a forlorn and lonely character. Lisa rarely finds comfort in anything and she even shows signs of depressive behavior. Due to her intelligence and her interest in learning, people catalog Lisa as a “know-it-all” and bully her for it.

Living in a society that looks down on intelligence

Lisa Simpson is clearly different from the other members of her family. She knows a lot about music and literature, as well as science. She’s cunning, wants to learn more about the world and, more importantly, doesn’t want to settle for a simple village life.

Her intelligence makes her different from the rest. However, her intelligence seems to be the reason why she can never find happiness. In several episodes, The Simpsons emphasizes the idea that Lisa will never have real friends. There are few episodes in which Lisa finds people she gets along with. Unfortunately, these friends always disappear in one way or another.

The Simpsons, a satire of everyday life, seems to push the idea that exceptional people can’t be happy. It’s as if intelligence goes against everyday satisfaction.

There’s no real reason whatsoever why an intelligent person can’t be happy. There’s a myth out there that catalogs ignorance as a blessing. Although not understanding or not knowing something isn’t necessarily a bad thing, being able to understand the world is a virtue that must be praised.

Sad Lisa Simpson.

The importance of being strong

Western societies often ridicule those who like to learn about different things. Despite this, it’s important to remember that happiness is a decision. It may be difficult to resist direct and indirect attacks when you feel you’re part of the minority. However, there will always be other people with the same tastes and interests as you. If you feel identified with Lisa Simpson, just keep looking until you find a group of friends you can share your knowledge with.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.