What I’ve learned watching The Simpsons for 25 Years

Clockwise from top left: Marge, Homer, Bart, S...

Clockwise from top left: Marge, Homer, Bart, Santa’s Little Helper (dog), Snowball II (cat), Lisa, and Maggie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I saw a headline today “5 Lessons Learned from the Simpsons” and couldn’t help but read it. As someone who has watched The Simpsons from the very beginning (although I had to hide it from my mom for several of the early seasons, and it took me quite a while to catch up on all the episodes I missed during my two year mission), any headline like that will catch my attention.  Apparently the editors at ABC News decided to come up with these reasons to celebrate The Simpsons being on air for 25 year.

Click on the link above to see what the editors at ABC News came up with.  I decided to add my own personal 5 as an avid fan.

  1. Lisa is the moral core of the family, but she is an evolving one.  In early episodes Lisa was the most religiously devout and would often seek counsel from Reverend Lovejoy.  She also wanted to grow GMO giant tomatoes to help starving people in impoverished countries.  Nowadays she is a Buddhist-vegetarian-environmentalist, who is sometimes also a Humanist-Atheist.  I believe that Lisa has evolved along with wherever Hollywood attributes the greatest moral thought to come from.  I’m sure that some criticism could be written up about these changes to Lisa, but I’m just gonna say this: anyone who truly wants to help their fellow man can find examples of moral behavior anywhere, and should recognize the value of their example no matter where it comes from.
  2. Conan O’Brian is a funny guy.  He hasn’t written a Simpsons episode in 20 years, but his are still the best.
  3. No matter how many times you fail, you should keep on striving towards improvement. Whether it’s Homer putting coins in a jar to stop swearing or him using a subliminal tape to lose weight (“the triumvirate of Twinkies merely overwhelmed my resolve”), the journey of self-improvement never truly ends so keep at it.
  4. “Don’t forget, you’re here forever” turned into “Do it for her.” By far the most sincerely sweet moment on The Simpsons ever.  Every dad needs reminders to keep on doing crappy stuff for the benefit of your kids, even Homer Simpson.
  5. (I’m copying the same one from the ABC editors, but hey, news reporters do get some stuff right sometimes.)  Blood is thicker than water.  The Simpsons as a family stick together throughout the worst of everything, and they’ll keep on sticking together no matter what challenges they will continue to face.