The Simpsons redefined animation for an entire generation that had grown up with The Flintstones and Disney cartoons. Suddenly animation was no longer kid stuff. It could be a biting social commentary for grown-ups. If TV was the internet before the internet was a thing, then The Simpsons was the meme-spewing satire machine that dominated the pop culture zeitgeist for decades.
Then came Family Guy, and it was... different. It paid clear homage to The Simpsons, but it was not quite The Simpsons. It took more risks in the name of humor. It took absurdity and meta humor to new levels. It pushed the boundaries of animation in a way that The Simpsons had not. And for that, it was reviled and appreciated in equal measure.
Whether you are a fan of The Simpsons or Family Guy, or both, you will remember them for their extremely memorable characters. And for the younger generation, our point of reference in both the shows were the children characters. Bart and Lisa and Maggie, and Chris and Meg and Stewie, along with the children they went to school with, were our placeholders in the animation-for-grown-ups landscape.
It is a general rule of thumb that characters in cartoons don't age. Bart and Lisa may have celebrated dozens of New Years, but they stay perennially in their tweens. Chris and Meg are stuck forever in their school days. But some fans have envisioned grown-up versions of all the kids from the two shows. Here they are:
24 Six Years Later
This picture takes us six years into the future, and really it seems the best case scenario based on what we know about the characters. Bart may look bored, but at least he's not in jail yet, so his juvenile pranks don't seem to have given way to more serious misdemeanors.
Also, Lisa is the bright-eyed and perky schoolgirl that we all expected her to become. She seems to be happier and more stylish but with her satchel full of books sill a prominent part of her life. And Maggie is now an adorable tween minus her pacifier.
23 Lisa The College Professor
Lisa is now a full grown adult, and she has chosen a life of academics. We don't know which subject she is specializing in, although knowing her brain, it could well be multiple subjects. All we know is she's a college professor now, but a hip, stylish one.
Also, she is still just as obsessed with solving problems.
After all, one of the most prominent characteristics of Lisa from the show was her desire to look for a way to resolve issues. And judging by her look of concentration, she's still the same as an adult.
22 Meg Is A Mom Now
Depending on whether you are a fan of the show Family Guy or of its brand of humor, your feelings probably oscillate between 'Poor Meg', and 'Shut up, Meg!'. Whichever side you fall on, it is an accepted fact that Meg is the loser of the family doomed to a life of unhappiness.
But this picture envisions a future where Meg has found peace and a loving relationship with her daughter Molly. We don't know who the father is, but Meg has become the spitting image of her mother, hopefully without the abiding drinking problem.
21 Adventurer Stewie
We always knew Stewie was destined for a life less ordinary. This piece of fan art imagines him as an intrepid adventurer complete with a muscular physique and a cocky expression on his face. He still prefers the clothing scheme of his toddler days.
The only question we have is, is the dog in the background Brian or a new companion? It's unlikely Brian lived that long, and this dog seems to be missing Brian's intelligence. It's more than possible Stewie is trying to fill the gap left by the passing away of his best friend by getting another dog who looks like him.
20 Milhouse Gets Over Lisa
Milhouse is one of the saddest characters in The Simpsons. He is a child of a broken home, his schoolmates frequently subject him to ridicule, even his best friend Bart, and he has nursed a hopeless crush on Lisa for decades.
But in this future possibility, Milhouse has left his awkward tween years behind and become quite the stud! He's handsome, stylish, and no longer awkward around girls. Look at him confidently chatting up a girl (Maggie?). Even Lisa seems to realize she missed out on something special when she kept rejecting Milhouse for all those years in their tweens.
19 Nelson And Lisa Still Dancing Around Their Feelings
Nelson and Lisa getting paired together was one of the most unexpected developments in the show's history. On the surface, the two have nothing in common. And yet there was something sweet about the relationship. Lisa helped smooth out the rough edges of Nelson, while he was the bad boy rebel she could not help but be attracted to.
It was a tumultuous relationship, to say the least. But it seems that even after growing up, the two are still dancing around their feelings for each other. Just get together already!
18 Stewie And Olivia
The pairing of Stewie and Olivia is one of the most frequently recurring relationships in Stewie's life. Not exactly in a good way, perhaps. In fact, Olivia has probably done more to hurt the usually unflappable Stewie than most other people on the show.
And yet, they are undeniably into to each other.
Perhaps as they get older, they will learn to act on their attraction in a mature manner without resorting to tricks. Also, don't miss the goatee that Stewie is sporting in the picture. We can't say that we're a fan of his facial hair, but Olivia seems to be into it!
17 Old Man Chris
This picture is a curious case of the drawing style clashing with what we already know about the drawn character. Based on the clothes, this is a young Chris Griffin. And yet, the face looks like it belongs to a middle-aged man.
The only thing we can conclude is that Chris is now well into his fifties, but for some reason, he still prefers to wear the clothes of his teen years. We wonder what sad past event is holding Chris back mentally from becoming a fully-actualized adult. Here's hoping he'll get over it someday soon.
16 The Crossover Wedding
So... lots of questions about this image. How is it possible that Bart is marrying Meg when she is canonically much older than him? But Bart has stayed the same age a lot longer than her, so is he older than her in cartoon years?
Also, is Meg really Bart's type at all? Based on their personalities, we would have to say no. This seems to be simply a bit of wish fulfillment on the part of a fan who just likes the characters and wants them to get together. Also, where is Meg's family in this whole situation?
15 The Cool Trio
We're calling it right now, it's almost impossible to believe that Bart, Lisa, and Maggie will ever grow up to be this cool. The funky hairstyles. The sharply tailored suits. The confident smiles bursting out of their faces. It's all a bit too good to be true.
But fans can dream that the cartoon kids they grew up watching and identifying with will grow up to be the coolest of the cool. We have to assume Maggie is some kind of a rock star, and Bart seems to have become her manager. But you can bet Lisa is the one who is actually in charge of everything.
14 Your Pal Stewie
This has to be the most normal portrait of a grown-up Stewie that we've seen yet. He is no longer a deranged character. Instead, he's got a full head of hair, a well-tailored suit, and a charming smile.
This Stewie appears to have made a thorough success of his life. And you can tell by the sly look on his face that he hasn't lost his considerable intelligence since growing older. Even that big head of his no longer looks odd or out of place. But where is the rest of his family, we can't help but wonder?
13 Meg Is All Woman Now
Va Va Voom, Meg! Who would've thought that the ugly duckling and laughing stock of the entire world of Family Guy would grow up to be such a swan? Well, this particular fan obviously did. And the result is a picture that looks like it belongs in a centerfold.
We're really liking the confidence that is being exuded by Meg in this picture.
You can tell she is no longer the one getting pushed around by the world. This is a woman who knows she looks good and is also some kind of a professor, apparently.
12 Stewie In Love
This is a new side to Stewie, one that most fans are unfamiliar with. This Stewie appears to be a teenager about to go on his first date. His eyes are literally swimming in love, and he's got the formal suit and bunch of flowers at the ready.
It's hard to imagine any person, male or female, having that kind of an effect on someone as self-centered as Stewie. In fact, we're not totally convinced this isn't some kind of elaborate plot that Stewie has hatched to mess with someone. But there's no arguing with those googly eyes.
11 A Teen Drama
In this scene, we seem to be entering the territory of a teen drama starring Lisa, Bart, and Milhouse. Lisa is still holding on to her saxophone, but the changes to the other two are harder to believe. Who could imagine Bart growing up to be a clean-cut athlete standing politely with his hands behind his back?
Milhouse also seems to be deal with a kind of 'Twilight' effect. He is no longer the sweet kid of his youth, but a broody and overmuscled specimen who probably writes poetry about how no one can understand him. Not a very cheery bunch.
10 Some Things Never Change
This grown-up version of the Simpsons kids seems to stick most closely to the source material. Bart and Lisa don't seem to have become rock stars or secret agents. They're just two regular grown-ups.
Lisa in her business suit and Bart in his casual jacket.
And they still seem to have the same fractious relationship from their childhood. Bart is still clearly the carefree soul, and Lisa still seems to be just as disapproving of his careless attitude. But what is particularly heartwarming is that, while they obviously have their differences, they are also still together after all these years.
9 Stewie The Emperor
Sigh... looks like Stewie's megalomaniacal aspirations have finally borne fruit. His head is still too big for his body, but we're guessing no one dares point that out to him now. This Stewie has clearly gained a tremendous amount of power and is now plotting to get more.
We have to wonder what happened in his past that set Stewie down this path again, considering that he seemed to be outgrowing his cruel instincts in later seasons of the show. Could it be that the passing away of his dog Brian due to old age turned him against humanity again?
8 The Boys Are Back
Bart and Stewie have had one in-canon meeting in the past, and several meetings in the realm of fanfiction. In the official version of events, Stewie was besotted with Bart, seeing him as a kindred spirit with age and experience on his side. Bart was less impressed and in fact, disturbed, by Stewie's instincts.
In this imagining, the two meet again during a time when they appear to be in their teens.
Stewie and Bart seem to be enjoying a more equal friendship this time around. And of course, Milhouse is at Bart's side to complete the trio.
7 Sisters Standing Together
Lisa has always been very protective and supportive of little Maggie. And here it seems the two are still able to hold on to that connection after all these years. Maggie seems to have a strong preference for the color blue from her infancy.
But Lisa has branched out a bit in her fashion choices.
As often happens in fan works, these versions of the characters are considerably more fashion-forward than the canon versions we all know. All we can do is hope that Bart also looks as good as these two in the future imagined here.
6 So Many Possibilities
This time we get several possible future scenarios for the Simpsons kids. Including a fourth possible child of Homer and Marge who evidently takes after her in the hair department. Bart has grown into another version of Homer. And fate appears to have saddled him with another Bart.
Lisa has also got a younger version of her childhood self. Maggie has turned into a muscle woman and comes complete with a couple of rugrats of her own. We can't say much about the unknown Simpson, except that he takes a great deal after Marge.
5 The New Parents
At its core, both The Simpsons and Family Guy are about the importance of family. The main cast on both shows are made up of weird and downright disturbing characters who ultimately stick up for each other. Now imagine a new spinoff show revealing the life of the youngest members of the Simpsons and Griffins after getting hitched.
It seems that both Maggie and Stewie have a solid grasp of the whole 'parenting' business. The two have already been revealed to have extremely high intelligence. If they could keep their sociopathic instincts in check, this could be one formidable family.
4 The Age Of Disillusionment
This drawing has a new take on Meg as an adult. It seems that she is now a successful professional, judging by the opulence of the room she's in. Or maybe she's in a relationship with someone rich.
But despite her lavish surroundings, Meg has clearly still not found happiness.
Could it be that the scars of her childhood run so deep that adult Meg is now incapable of feeling happy or at peace? We would like to believe that the sadness conveyed by this scene is only a temporary part of Meg's grown-up life.
3 Saying Goodbye
Full disclosure, we have no idea what exactly Lisa is saying goodbye to in this picture, but she definitely looks like she is saying goodbye to something. And it is a painful goodbye, too, like the scene in the episode where adult Lisa had to break things off with her fiance at the last second.
Maybe something similar is occurring in this scene. Or maybe a member of her family has passed away (Grandpa Simpson?). Whatever the reason, adult Lisa has to learn the lessons of the world of grown-ups just like everyone else does. No matter how painful the lessons might be sometimes.
2 The Prank Caller Radio Jockey
Bart has long been an expert in the art of prank calling. Moe the Barman was his most frequent victim, but every other authority figure in his life also met the same treatment at some point. It would be a dream come true for Bart to become a radio jockey and use his improvisational prank calling talent on the job.
By his side is Jessica Lovejoy, a somewhat surprising addition to the scene.
And judging by Bart's reaction to her proximity, she still makes him feel like an awkward tween trying to talk to his first crush.
1 Still Bad To The Bone
Jimbo and his cronies were an indelible part of Bart and Lisa's childhood. One almost feels sorry for them as viewers, because we occasionally got a glimpse of their messed up family life that created these delinquents.
In this fan art, we see that the passing of the years has not done anything to slow down the three hoodlums. In fact, they look like they've been indulging in more serious crimes than ever. One can only hope that they have stopped preying on Bart and Milhouse. Also, it looks like Nelson Muntz has managed to break away from their influence, so that's something.