5 Reasons Why Lisa Simpson Is Low-Key The Best Character On The Simpsons

Lisa Simpsons happy between Cletus and Jasper on The Simpsons
(Image credit: Fox)

Ask most fans of The Simpsons, and they'll likely tell you that Homer is the best character on the show (or, maybe even one of the many side characters)

However, as a lifelong fan, I'm going to say that Lisa Simpson is low-key the best character there. A grown woman in a child's body (she would actually be older than I am if we were going with her being 8 back in 1989), the precocious middle child has always been the burning light on the historic series. 

Don't believe me? Well, then here are five reasons why Lisa Simpson is the best (And most inspirational!) character on The Simpsons

Lisa talking to Homer on The Simpsons

(Image credit: Fox)

She Is Given Many Of The Best Lines That You Actually Have To Think About 

I'm really glad that I grew up watching The Simpsons, as in a lot of ways, it has shaped me as a human being. For example, my appreciation for classic movies, older music, and vintage television definitely comes from watching The Simpsons as a child. However, I also think my appreciation for witty, listen-to-it-twice dialogue also comes from it, and no character is given better lines on the show than Lisa.

Whereas there’s a lot of broad comedy there, I believe Lisa is where all of the heady, Ivy League humor comes in, as many of the original writers were actually Harvard alums. For example, when I was a kid, I never really got when Lisa would say something like, “Mom, romance is dead. It was acquired by Hallmark and Disney in a hostile takeover, homogenized, and sold off piece by piece,” in the Season 6 episode, “Another Simpsons Clip Show.” But now, I find it hilarious, and disturbingly truthful (which is especially funny given how Disney itself would acquire The Simpsons in a takeover of sorts). 

Or what about in the Season 3 episode “Separate Vocations” when she predicted her future and hypothesized that she’d become a famous jazz musician who will “avoid the horrors of drug abuse,” but also plans on having “several torrid love affairs,” and might even “die young,”...but she hasn’t decided yet. 

That’s why Lisa is the character I always tell people to pay the closest attention to if they’re new to the show, since she almost always has the best lines. The Simpsons has always been a smart series, but Lisa just makes it ten times smarter.  

Lisa in the middle of her family in The Simpsons

(Image credit: Fox)

She's Changed The Most Out Of The Entire Family  

The Simpsons has been on for 35 years (even longer if we’re counting The Tracey Ullman Show), and yet, most of the cast has remained relatively the same. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as a lot of the jokes come from expecting how certain characters will react when they interact with others. But, out of the entire Simpsons family, Lisa is definitely the one who has evolved the most.

And here’s the thing – her changes almost always impact the entire family in a significant way. For example, when she stopped eating meat in the episode, “Lisa the Vegetarian,” the whole family was impacted in dealing with her change. Here’s what’s great about Lisa – she stood by her decision and has remained a vegetarian ever since. 

When Lisa became a Buddhist in the episode, “She of Little Faith,” it really put Marge into a tizzy, and the mother of three struggled to adapt to her daughter’s new outlook on faith. This is certainly different from all of the other characters on the show, whose changes usually happen within the span of a single episode. Lisa’s changes stick with her for the entire series, which I think is something we can all learn a thing or two from. If you’re going to make a lifestyle change, make it last.

Lisa blowing into a jug on The Simpsons

(Image credit: Fox)

She Has Always Been The Series’ Moral Compass 

Look, I’ll be the first to admit that some of the best moments on The Simpsons are when the characters behave badly. Take, for instance, Homer picking on Simpsons’ fan-favorite character, Ned Flanders. It’s always hilarious when Ned has to smother the side of himself that just wants to strangle Homer since Ned is so damn pious. 

Or what about Bart’s antics? Bart has always been America’s bad boy (after Dennis the Menace, of course), and so we are used to him being a pain in Springfield’s butt. All of that is great.

But, quite frankly, the entire family would probably be irredeemable (and maybe even annoying) if they didn’t have Lisa to center it all. Because while Marge does a good enough job on her own, it’s Lisa who has always been the moral compass of the family. 

Take for example when Marge ate “two measly, stinking grapes” at the supermarket, and Lisa yelled at her for stealing. Perhaps Lisa went a little overboard, but her heart was in the right place. 

In fact, it’s rare when Lisa’s heart is not in the right place. Just think about when she gave Ralph a valentine when nobody else would, and he mistakenly thought that she had feelings for him. Yes, Lisa yelled at him that she was not his girlfriend, but it’s only because she had had enough. It’s not like she meant to hurt him. She just couldn’t take it anymore. 

So, yeah, Lisa is the family’s center, which honestly makes her the series MVP for getting us to accept all of the crap from the other members of the family. 

Lisa as the President on The Simpsons

(Image credit: Fox)

She Becomes President One Day 

In the episode, “Bart to the Future,” we learn that Lisa, at the age of 38, becomes “the first straight female President of the United States,” because of course she does. If any character in The Simpsons’ universe is going to become president, it’s going to be Lisa, and I love her for that. 

The fact that it’s not even surprising that Lisa would become president just goes to show what a fantastic character she is, because honestly, I would vote for her in a heartbeat if she was a real person. I mean, hell. She wouldn’t be the first woman that I’ve voted for to be president. 

But, I truly do think it’s a testament to just what kind of a character she has always been, even as a child, for it to just seem natural that Lisa Simpson would one day become president. However, there's one last reason why I think she’s the best character on the show. 

Lisa looking disgusted on The Simpsons

(Image credit: Fox)

You Relate With Her More And More The Older You Get 

Not too long ago, we ranked the best animated shows of all time, and of course The Simpsons ended up pretty high on that list. But, the thing that impresses me the most about The Simpsons is just how differently I now view the show. 

When I was a child, I was way into Bartmania, and I honestly despised Lisa’s character since she seemed like such a buzzkill. However, The Simpsons has never been a show for children (though, many of us watched it as children), and the older I get, the more annoyed I am by Bart’s shenanigans. I also now feel like I really relate with Lisa, who always seems to be surrounded by morons. 

That’s not to say that I’m a genius like Lisa Simpson! Far from it! But, I will say that more times than not, I find myself in situations where loud-mouthed people are just spouting off utter nonsense, and all I can do is take a deep breath and roll my eyes. 

In a lot of ways, Lisa is the adult that many of us young Simpsons fans grew up to be, which is kind of shocking. Never in my youth did I imagine that I would relate more with her than any other character on the show. But, that just seems to be the case. 

Lisa Simpson’s a great character to spotlight for Women’s History Month since she’s always done things her way, and stuck to her core beliefs. Who could ask for anything more out of a human being, cartoon character or otherwise? 

Rich Knight
Content Producer

Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.