The Simpsons initially promoted Bart as the main character, due to his mischevious nature and flagrant disregard for authority, which was almost unheard of in a primetime show. As time went on, the show focused more on Homer Simpson and his dim-witted antics.
The overlooked middle-child of The Simpsons has always been Lisa, whose status as the intellectual foil to many of the more popular characters on the show has led to a backlash against her role in the story of The Simpsons. Lisa often represented the moral high-ground in many situations, which left many fans feeling that she was often hypocritical and sanctimonious, depending on the plot of the episode.
The role of Lisa Simpson in the success of The Simpsons cannot be understated, as she also represented the voice of those who felt that their talents weren't being seen, as well as those who felt that they did not fit in with the people around them. Lisa Simpson may not have received as many quotable one-liners as the other members of the family, but she represented the emotional core and the heart of The Simpsons, which was just as important in helping to establish it as one of the greatest TV shows of all time.
We are here today to reveal the secrets of the cartoon life of Lisa Simpson, with the celebrities who have demanded concessions regarding her character, to the strange Scientology tale that could not be told.
Here are Twenty Ridiculous Secrets About Lisa Simpson!
20 The Lisa And Milhouse Thing
"Lisa's Wedding" is considered to be one of the all-time greatest episodes of The Simpsons. It showed us a glimpse into a potential future timeline, where the Simpson kids had grown up and Lisa had fallen for an Englishman. "Lisa's Wedding" isn't considered to be canon (due to inconsistencies like the presence of Maude Flanders and Edna Krabappel, even though they have passed away in the present) but that hasn't stopped it from being loved by the fans.
We have seen several other potential future timelines for the Simpson family and it seems that Lisa is destined to end up in a romantic relationship with Milhouse, as the two have been shown to end up together in a few different episodes that have shown the fate of the residents of Springfield.
19 A Celebrity Guest Star Requested That Lisa Remains A Vegetarian
The Simpsons is a show where the status quo is king and very little changes over time. The exception to this has involved the gradual shift of technology, with the family now commonly seen using laptops and mobile phones. The other exception has involved the passing of real-life cast members, which has meant that certain characters have been retired, such as Lionel Hutz and Edna Krabappel.
One of the few permanent changes on The Simpsons came as a request from a guest star. Paul McCartney agreed to appear in an episode of The Simpsons on the proviso that Lisa became a vegetarian and that she remain one for the remainder of the series. The creators have honored McCartney's wish and Lisa has remained a vegetarian for the past fifteen years.
18 The Hatred Toward Lisa's Hair
Lisa Simpson's hair has been a point of contention for many of the different animators who have worked on The Simpsons over the years. This is due to how difficult it is to draw her hair on a consistent basis.
Lisa has spiked hair like her siblings, but hers stretches all the way across her head, while the spikes on Bart's head are bunched up at the top. This makes it tricky for animators to draw Lisa's hair, as they need to use a special design in order to keep the three distinct parts of her consistent at all times.
The same logic concerning Lisa's difficult to draw hair should also apply to Maggie, but she doesn't appear on the show as much, so she likely gets a pass.
17 The Lisa Who Would Be Bart
It's common for young boys in animated features to be voiced by grown women, which is the case for characters like Ash Ketchum and Tommy Pickles. Bart Simpson is no exception, as he has been voiced by Nancy Cartwright since the days of The Tracey Ullman shorts.
Nancy Cartwright wasn't the only actor who auditioned for the role, as Yeardley Smith also tried out for Bart. The producers felt that Smith's voice was too high-pitched for a boy, but they thought that her voice still sounded funny, so they asked her to audition for the voice of Lisa, and the rest is history.
16 Imposter Lisa
The Simpsons first came to prominence alongside some of the earliest home video game consoles, which means that there has been a lot of licensed Simpsons video games over the years, most of which have been terrible.
Konami once released an arcade game called The Simpsons Bowling, which used a special trackball as a controller.
It's common for each of The Simpsons games to give you control over every member of the family, but The Simpsons Bowling tricks you in this regards, as it gives you the option to play as Lisa, even though you are playing as someone else. Lisa's ending in The Simpsons Bowling reveals that she was secretly a Rigellian alien all along and entered the tournament in a disguise in order to win the trophy.
15 Tracey Ullman's Lisa
The personalities of the various members of the Simpson family had yet to be established over the course of The Tracey Ullman shorts. It wasn't until the creation of The Simpsons TV show that each member of the family started to change into their more familiar forms, which is why Homer is presented as being a caring father of average intelligence in the earlier episodes of the show.
It took a while for Lisa's personality to take form, which is why she was essentially a female version of Bart in The Tracey Ullman shorts. This early version of Lisa was just as mischevious as her brother, though Bart was usually more eager to take part in pranks.
14 The Two Birthday Parties
Lisa Simpson turned eight in "Stark Raving Dad", which is the episode that featured Michael Jackson as a voice actor. The song that Bart and Leon (voiced by Michael Jackson) perform for Lisa is considered to be one of the highlights of The Simpsons, even though legal issues prevented Michael from actually singing the song.
Lisa Simpson would later turn eight-years-old again in the episode called "The Dad Who Knew Too Little." Homer and Bart have to buy a Turbo Diary for Lisa's birthday, which results in Homer making a personalized film about Lisa, which causes her to realize that he knows nothing about her personality.
13 Lisa Is Big In Japan
Comedy is one of the most difficult things to translate into different languages, especially when it revolves around pop culture. The Simpsons is a show that has struggled to find a huge audience in non-English speaking countries, due to how much of the sarcasm and self-referential humor is lost in translation.
Japan is one country where The Simpsons initially had a hard time finding an audience, as Bart was heavily promoted as the lead of the show. The Japanese didn't take to Bart's bratty behavior, but they soon found a Simpson that they could relate to in Lisa.
The fact that Lisa is an intelligent character who often comes into conflict with the dim-witted residents of Springfield is something that resonated with Japanese audiences, which was helped by her conversion to Buddhism.
12 The Mensa Episode Wasn't So Smart
"Blame it on Lisa" wasn't the only Lisa-centric episode of The Simpsons to cause outrage, as "They Saved Lisa's Brain" had also managed to create a controversy of its own.
There is a scene in "They Saved Lisa's Brain" where Comic Book Guy mentions that Springfield is placed 299th on the list of the country's most livable cities, with East St. Louis taking the last place at 300. When a journalist from a local East St. Louis newspaper contacted Matt Selmon (the writer of the episode), he claimed that East St. Louis was a "slum" which caused a backlash against the show.
11 Lisa Was Richard Gere's Mouthpiece
The fact that Lisa is a vegetarian isn't the only new aspect of the character that was introduced over time, as Lisa also became religious in "She of Little Faith" when she discovered Buddhism, which Marge did not approve of.
"She of Little Faith" starred Richard Gere, who only agreed to appear in the episode if Buddhism was portrayed in an accurate manner.
Richard Gere had also originally stipulated that Lisa should say the line "Free Tibet," but it was later changed so that he said it instead. Lisa would later say "Free Tibet" in the following season of The Simpsons.
10 The Cornish Cameo
The current monarch of the United Kingdom records a message that is broadcast on every Christmas Day. Queen Elizabeth II has been reading this annual message since 1952, which is broadcast over every form of media imaginable.
The existence of the Queen's Christmas Speech has led to several satirical alternatives that run at the same time. The Simpsons released their own Christmas message in 2004, which was recorded specifically for the British fans of the show.
It was during this special message that Lisa campaigned for Cornish independence, which involved saying "freedom for Cornwall now" in the Cornish language. This is a reference to a political movement in the city of Cornwall that campaigns for independence from the United Kingdom.
9 The Original Lisa
The Simpsons was created on the fly by Matt Groening while preparing for a meeting with James L. Brooks. Groening had originally intended to pitch his Life in Hell comic strip as the basis for a series of animated shorts that would be broadcast on The Tracey Ullman Show. When Groening realized that he would have to give up the publication rights to Life in Hell if they were animated, he created the Simpson family as a last minute replacement.
The Simpsons were all based on members of Matt Groening's family, with Bart representing his brother Mark. Lisa Simpson was based on Lisa Groening, who was Matt's sister. Lisa Groening only provided the name for the character, as Matt Groening has confirmed that the two Lisas are nothing alike.
8 The Different I.Q. Scores
Lisa Simpson has always been portrayed as the most intelligent member of the Simpson family, as well as being one of the smartest people in Springfield. This means that Lisa has often played the foil to the other characters in the show, which may explain why so many of the fans don't like her.
Lisa's IQ number has been revealed in several different episodes, where it has been different each time, making it one of the inconsistencies of The Simpsons. Lisa's IQ was said to be 156 in "Homer's Enemy," 159 in "Smart and Smarter," and 167 in "They Saved Lisa's Brain."
7 The Original Name
The Simpsons started out as a series of animated shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show before it was retooled into its own TV show. There were forty-eight shorts created for The Tracey Ullman Show, several of which have appeared on The Simpsons DVD sets.
The first animated short on The Tracey Ullman Show was called "Good Night", which was later shown in "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular." This short introduced the Simpson family to the world, yet only one of them was named.
Lisa was the only member of the Simpsons to be referred to by name in "Good Night" making her the first member of the family to be named in any form of media.
6 Lisa Is A Complex Character
Lisa Simpson will forever remain an eight-year-old girl on The Simpsons but that hasn't stopped the writers from writing romance storylines for her in various episodes, which usually take the form of crushes.
"Holidays of Future Passed" showed us one of the possible futures for The Simpsons and this included several family photos that were taken over the years. Lisa is shown holding hands in an intimate way with different women.
Lisa was first shown holding hands with an unnamed dark-haired woman. We then see a second photo where she is holding hands with two different women at once, suggesting that she experimented with polyamory before marrying Milhouse.
5 The Possible Favorite?
Matt Groening's name appears at the start of all but one episode of The Simpsons, due to his role in creating the show. The episode that lacks his name is "A Star is Burns" as Groening asked for his name to be taken off, as he objected to the fact that the episode was a crossover with The Critic.
Matt Groening's involvement The Simpsons has changed many times over the years, though he was always maintained a role on the staff. Groening revealed in 2012 that Lisa is his favorite member of the Simpson family when he was asked about his various favorites during an interview with USA Today.
4 Lisa Goes To Camp
"Homer's Phobia" is a classic episode of The Simpsons that almost never made it to the screen. This was due to several executives at Fox being worried about the controversial content of the episode. "Homer's Phobia" might seem tame by modern standards, but it was developed during an era where gay and lesbian characters almost never appeared in primetime television shows.
The original premise of "Homer's Phobia" was going to focus on Lisa and her growing love of kitsch and campy things, with the title being "Lisa Goes to Camp." This was combined with a different premise concerning Homer's growing paranoia about Bart being gay, which turned into "Homer's Phobia."
3 Lisa Is Small In Brazil
There have been several episodes of The Simpsons which ended up offending the residents of different cities around the world. This started with "A Streetcar Named Marge" which offended the people of New Orleans and led to an apology in the form of a chalkboard gag in a later episode.
The episode called "Blame it on Lisa" focused on Lisa's attempt to contact a kid who she was sponsoring. This involved the Simpson family traveling to Rio de Janeiro, which satirized the people of Brazil.
"Blame it on Lisa" sparked controversy in Brazil, due to its stereotypical portrayal of the people who live in Rio de Janeiro, which led to the episode being banned in Brazil for several years.
2 Lisa's Banjo
The first season of The Simpsons was notorious for its production issues, several of which almost threatened to sink the show before it reached the small screen. The show continued to have continuity errors and visual mistakes, but these were mostly minor and wouldn't be noticed by the average viewer.
Matt Groening has discussed one of the mistakes that have bothered him the most since the debut of The Simpsons and he has singled out one that involved Lisa during the first season. The animators would sometimes draw Lisa carrying a case for a banjo instead of a saxophone. Lisa was also sometimes drawn holding the wrong kind of saxophone.
1 Lisa Finds A New Following
A lot of the former writers who worked on The Simpsons during the classic era of the show's run have created their own Twitter accounts, where they share information about their time on the show.
Bill Oakley once revealed some unused ideas for The Simpsons that never made it onto the show. One of these was called "Lisa the Scientopteran" which Oakley claimed wasn't made due to potential legal issues and the fact that it would have been perceived as a personal attack by several members of the cast.
It's obvious that Bill Oakley is referring to Scientology, as the members of that church have been notoriously litigious against parody and satire. Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson) is also a Scientologist and has been criticised for using the Bart voice in commercials for the church.