Top 10 Best Lisa Simpson Storylines
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Diandra D'Alessio
Top 10 Lisa Simpson Storylines
As one of the most compelling characters on the show, Lisa has had some memorable storylines throughout the show's 27 seasons.
Lisa Simpson: Resident of Springfield, sister of Bart Simpson and Maggie Simpson, daughter of Homer and Marge Simpson and part owner of Santa's Little Helper. In addition to being all those things, Lisa is intelligent, a feminist, environmentalist and a vegetarian. She is a strong liberal, advocates for various political causes and stands with the Tibetan Independence movement. Above all, Lisa is only 8 years old.
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Top 10 Lisa Simpson Storylines
She might not have a catchphrase like her dad or brother, but this smart Simpson sure has her moments. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Lisa Simpson storylines.
For this list, we’re looking at storylines from “The Simpsons” that feature Lisa as a main character. These are scenes or moments during episodes in which she plays a pivotal role or that affect who she is or will become. Fair warning – because these moments often have a big impact on Lisa, there are some spoilers ahead.
#10: The ‘Simpson Gene’
“Lisa the Simpson”
It’s no secret that Lisa is one smart cookie. But when she can’t solve a puzzle at school, she discovers she also has trouble with easier things. Even playing the sax is impossible! Grandpa tells her that the Simpson gene might be to blame. Homer and Bart were once smart, but by her age, their grades plummeted. Afraid that she’ll follow in their footsteps, Lisa appears on TV, pleading with Springfield to cherish their brains. Homer invites extended family over, trying to convince Lisa that the Simpson gene won’t affect her future. The Simpson men don’t prove his point, but the Simpson women are very successful. Lisa is a Simpson through and through, but that doesn’t take away from her intellect - fortunately for her and for viewers who find her to be a refreshing role model.
#9: Lisa and the Real Jebediah Springfield
“Lisa the Iconoclast”
While researching town founder Jebediah Springfield, Lisa discovers that the man does not measure up to the myth. Far from a wholesome figure, Springfield was actually an evil pirate who attacked George Washington. Only Homer believes her, and they’ll do whatever it takes to expose the truth. Springfield allegedly had an artificial silver tongue, but it’s nowhere to be found when the town exhumes his body. After more sleuthing, Lisa learns that the town historian hid the tongue, wanting to protect himself and Jebediah Springfield’s legacy. Lisa wants to share the truth at the town’s bicentennial parade, but her realization that they’re better off celebrating the myth behind the man, and not the other way around, shows us another side to her character – namely that she’s willing to put others before her desire to be ‘right.’
#8: The Lisa Lionheart Doll
“Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy”
Lisa loves her Malibu Stacy dolls, but something’s off with the new one. Upset with her sexist phrases, Lisa tracks down Malibu Stacy’s reclusive creator, Stacy Lovell (low-VELL). Also bothered by the doll, she teams up with Lisa to create Lisa Lionheart. This new doll becomes a big seller after a news show appearance, especially thanks to her empowering catchphrases. The heads at Malibu Stacy see her as a threat, however, and introduce their own new doll. Well, the only new thing is her hat, but she leaves Lisa Lionheart in the dust. Naturally, Lisa’s sad that big business trumped her doll’s message, but one little girl still takes it to heart – which means that Lisa is at least able to say that she made a small difference to someone.
#7: Lisa and Little Miss Springfield
“Lisa the Beauty Queen”
Lisa is crushed after getting an ugly caricature at the school carnival. Homer enters her in the Little Miss Springfield pageant to boost her self-esteem, selling his prized Duff Blimp ticket to pay the entry fee. With her family rooting for her, Lisa lets loose on stage, killing it in the talent segment. To her disappointment, she wins first runner-up, but replaces the winner after Amber gets struck by lightning. Lisa uses her new role to denounce corruption and pageant sponsor Laramie Cigarettes. She later loses the crown – thanks to Homer – but Lisa isn’t too bothered. He wanted her to gain more confidence, and that’s exactly what she did.
#6: Lisa and Bart Patch Up on the Ice
“Lisa on Ice”
She may be an overachiever, but if there’s one thing Lisa’s not good at, it’s gym. Her teacher will let her pass, but only if she takes up a sport outside of school. After one of Bart’s hockey games, Lisa discovers that she’s an amazing goalie. Ever the pushy hockey dad, Homer pits the siblings against each other. This rivalry comes to a head when Lisa’s team plays Bart’s team. In the nail-biting match, Bart gets a penalty shot with seconds to spare. Facing each other, the siblings realize they’ve always had each other’s backs, and decide to hug it out. The game ends in a tie, resulting in a riot, but it’s because of the loving brother-sister relationship that we picked this moment.
#5: Lisa Dates Ralph
“I Love Lisa”
Lisa’s a good girl, but she often attracts the outcasts: Nelson, Milhouse, and in this case, Ralph Wiggum. When Ralph doesn’t get a card on Valentine’s Day, Lisa gives him one out of pity. Ralph wants her to be his girlfriend, but when Lisa tells him she’s not ready, he still tries to win her over. He gets her tickets to Krusty’s 29th Anniversary Show, but Lisa humiliates him on TV. She tries to apologize backstage at their President’s Day pageant, but Ralph just wants to play George Washington – and does he ever! When Lisa and a newly confident Ralph patch things up, it proves that Lisa’s not only a good girl; she’s also a good friend.
#4: Lisa and Mr. Bergstrom
Everyone has a teacher he or she’ll never forget. For Lisa, that’s Mr. Bergstrom, her friendly and funny substitute. He brings out the best in the class, and Lisa takes a shine to him right away. He quickly becomes her role model, and she wants to spend more time with him. Lisa runs into him at the museum, but is embarrassed by her dad’s typical antics. She plans to invite Mr. Bergstrom over for dinner, only to learn he’s off to another school. Lisa catches him boarding the train, and before he leaves, he gives her the most important lesson of all: he may be a one-time character, but Mr. Bergstrom will always have a special place in Lisa’s heart.
#3: Lisa’s Beach Friends
“Summer of 4 Ft. 2”
Smart kids aren’t usually the most popular, and Lisa learns this the hard way. Bart gets all the yearbook signatures, but she comes up empty. Now that the Simpsons are on vacation, Lisa sees it as a chance to reinvent herself. The new Lisa gets a cool group of friends, and shares her love and knowledge of nature with them. Bart gets jealous, and tries to expose who she really is. He humiliates Lisa by showing the yearbook to her friends. But just when she thinks she’s lost her new friends for good, they show her how much the real Lisa means to them. Not only does Lisa learn the power of friendship, but she also learns the importance of being herself; meanwhile her brother learns a lesson too.
#2: Lisa Becomes a Vegetarian
“Lisa the Vegetarian”
Lisa converts to Buddhism in season 13, but this season 7 episode sees her most iconic change. After seeing an adorable lamb at a petting zoo, Lisa stops eating meat. This isn’t an easy choice, especially with Homer, Bart, and the school always on her case. Things only get worse when Lisa ruins Homer’s barbecue. Feeling more and more pressure to eat meat, she finally bites into a Kwik-E-Mart hotdog. Luckily, Apu tells her that it was only tofu, and while it’s great that she went veggie, she should not force her beliefs on others. Lisa apologizes to Homer, and even gets to meet the McCartneys. As it turns out; you can win friends with salad after all!
Before we get to our top pick, here are some honorable mentions:
- Lisa Meets Eco-Friendly Jesse
“Lisa the Tree Hunger”
- Lisa’s Future
- Little Lisa’s Recycling Plant
“The Old Man and the Lisa”
- Lisa Makes a Rival
- Lisa and Smart Homer
- Lisa’s Newspaper
#1: The Death of Bleeding Gums Murphy
It’s likely that no one has had a bigger influence on Lisa than jazz musician Bleeding Gums Murphy. Their surprise jam session in Season 1 inspires her to express her emotions through music, and Lisa’s sax is one of her most precious belongings. This is what makes his sudden death especially hard for her. She’s the only person who attends his funeral, and she desperately wants to keep his memory alive. With Bart’s help, she buys his rare record and takes it to the local jazz station. As the town enjoys his music, Bleeding Gums appears from a cloud to play with Lisa one last time. Their friendship may’ve been cut short, but through Lisa, his legacy lives on.
Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite Lisa Simpson storyline? For more brainy Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.