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  1. #1
    “Pretension” by Calvin Klein ataeaf's Avatar
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    Sep 2015
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    Why are Bart or Lisa/Marge episodes so rare; and why does Bart rarely have a good time with Marge?

    Firstly, why are so few Bart/Marge or Lisa/Marge episodes. Of the four speaking family members, Marge rarely has episodes with either of her speaking kids (Maggie can’t talk, and never will unless scienticians can bring Elizabeth Taylor back to life).

    Secondly, we rarely see Bart and Marge on their own, doing stuff together, and when they do Bart rarely seems to enjoy it. I mean, when they went clothes shopping in Lisa the Greek, or when she started playing an MMO with him, or when they briefly tried to play basketball together in Lisa on Ice. The obvious exception is Marge’s Son Poisoning, where they both ride a tandem bike. He’s also fine with being her tennis partner in Tennis the Menace; and, this last one’s a stretch; but he and Lisa joins her in writing a food blog in The Food Wife.

    I’d guess that with Bart/Marge, other pairings do its job better. Homer and Lisa is more satisfying as an “odd couple” pairing, and if they want to have a Bart redemption story like Bart vs. Thanksgiving, they prefer to go for Lisa. Not to mention when they do make Bart/Marge episode, they seem to be repetitive. Bart the Mother is similar to Marge Be Not Proud, Peeping Mom is similar to Lost Verizon. As for why they rarely hang together? Well you probably think it’s obvious! Bart is a “hot tamale” in his own words (from the Pie Man episode), and Marge is a boring stick-in-the-mud. But think back to Homer/Lisa episodes like Lisa the Greek and Lisa the Iconoclast. There aren’t as much conflicting personalities with Homer and Lisa so much as they’re just very different. Where as Marge is just too much of a nag to impress Bart. Like how, Bart at first couldn’t care less about Grampa in the Flying Hellfish episode, but was exited to tag along once Grampa told him about his time as a Hellfish. Or in the aforementioned The Food Wife where Bart convinces Marge to try a crazy dish because “dad would.”

    Whereas with Lisa/Marge, it’s the default that they like each other’s company; in Life’s a Glitch, Then You Die she chooses her to save over Homer without hesitation, and Lisa and Marge both agree that one of them needs to stay home to prevent Bart and Homer’s antics in Missionary Impossible. Presumably the writers originally didn’t think Lisa and Marge needed conflict episodes, simple as that. Though they have made more as of the HD era like The Daughter Also Rises or How Lisa Got Her Marge Back or Springfield Splendor.
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  2. #2
    Junior Camper
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    Mar 2017

    I don't think either Bart or Lisa have a great relationship with Marge. In Bart's case, her default answer to his behaviour is to sporadically give up on him and give him the silent treatment.
    But strangely, this is still better than how she treat's Lisa - constantly pressuring her to get married, to convert to her religion, and then acting passive-aggressive when Lisa expresses any desire to be more than a house wife. It's an incredibly messed-up relationship, because Marge seems to resent her daughter's intelligence.

    But maybe this is more modern Marge. And honestly, I'd rather not see any more episodes with her, considering their efforts to turn her into a religious extremist and basically butcher her entire character.

  3. #3
    The lovable chimney sweep Financial Panther's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
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    I think Bart and Homer are just the easiest characters to make episodes out of because they’re the main sources of jokes in the family. Most of these episodes don’t have much heartstring-tugging, but they reliably come up with some entertaining antics. I actually really like when Bart and Homer team up because it shows that despite their frequent conflicts, they’re really a lot alike and can have some good bonding moments.

    As for why Bart rarely has fun with Marge, it’s probably because he’s more of a rebellious kid (well, was, but let’s not get into that), and Marge is a traditionalist who exercises caution, so their personalities clash. Also, as Marge’s Son Poisoning illustrated, he might be self-conscious about being with her all the time. As for why Homer/Lisa episodes are much more prevalent despite Homer and Lisa’s differing personalities, I think the characters’ roles in the family may have something to do with it. As the parent, Marge has authority over Bart, and the nagging parent and the misbehaving child is pretty common. And we’ve seen that Bart doesn’t respond to any punishments, so a lot of these episodes become those that you just feel bad for Marge. When it comes to Homer and Lisa, the dad being the source of the antics can be funnier because it’s not typical, and seeing Lisa trying to control her dad can make for some amusing situations too. It can be taken too far, though; Make Room for Lisa comes to mind as an episode where Homer is a bad character and the whole episode moral is misguided.

    And Lisa/Marge episodes have the issue of lacking a lot of jokes, so if one of those is made, it usually needs a subplot with Homer or Bart doing something wacky to make up for the lack of humor. I’m not saying that an episode needs to be wall-to-wall jokes to be good, and I think they could definitely make good episodes with Bart/Marge or Lisa/Marge pairings, but I think it would be harder to write them and make them have a wide appeal.
    Favorite and least favorite by season
    1. Krusty Gets Busted There’s No Disgrace Like Home 2. Bart Gets an F Dead Putting Society 3. Homer at the Bat Like Father, Like Clown 4. Brother From the Same Planet Krusty Gets Kancelled 5. Cape Feare Lady Bouvier’s Lover 6. Homer Badman Another Simpsons Clip Show 7. King-Size Homer Lisa the Iconoclast 8. Homer’s Enemy El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer 9. Bart Carny The Trouble With Trillions 10. Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo Homer Simpson in: “Kidney Trouble” 11. Guess Who’s Coming to Criticize Dinner? Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder 12. HOMЯ Tennis the Menace 13. Tales From the Public Domain She of Little Faith 14. The Dad Who Knew Too Little Helter Shelter 15. I, Annoyed Grunt)-bot Bart-Mangled Banner 16. A Star is Torn On a Clear Day I Can’t See My Sister 17. My Fair Laddy Bonfire of the Manatees 18. The Haw-Hawed Couple You Kent Always Say What You Want 19. Funeral for a Fiend All About Lisa 20. Gone Maggie Gone The Good, the Sad and the Drugly 21. The Bob Next Door The Color Yellow 22. Donnie Fatso Love is a Many Strangled Thing 23. The Falcon and the D’ohman A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again 24. Hardly Kirk-ing Moonshine River 25. The War of Art What to Expect When Bart’s Expecting 26. Sky Police Let’s Go Fly a Coot 27. Halloween of Horror Lisa With an ‘S’ 28. There Will Be Buds Moho House 29. Springfield Splendor Throw Grampa From the Dane

  4. #4
    Yup, still the worst. Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
    In the tall grass
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    It's a bit of a strange thing with Bart and Marge. Most of the stuff mentioned above is true enough but it's not like Bart doesn't care (usually). In fact one of his more admirable, if less sensible and almost always thankless, traits is getting defensive over people he cares about, even if he's going against someone twice his own size. And at least twice he's stuck up for her when he probably wouldn't for Homer. I like to think he just has a much harder time getting up to his usual shtick around Marge. Kinda like in that one Simpsons comic where Marge becomes a Weatherlady and iirc, Bart got an umbrella at the end, with her face all over it and felt too guilty to get up to any misdeeds because of it. On top of that, he can't really mess with her the same way he can to Lisa or Homer, it's not like she tends to react in a way he finds amusing.

    So I think in her case, it's a guilt thing. He's been around a fair few other stick-in-the-muds, wet blankets and other uptight folks and didn't mind, mostly because he could get under their skin. And sometimes he's even been okay with spending time with Skinner for reasons other than to piss him off.

    That and the other kids really liked to give him grief in episodes like The PTA Disbands for being a "momma's boy" so I guess it only makes sense a guy who cares about his public image and will frequently be targeted by bullies for any reason might be reluctant to spend time with his mom.

  5. #5
    الذهاب المغيرين Paul Stanley's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Detroit Cock City
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    the writers have said for years that marge is the hardest character to write stories for.
    Fuck Donald Trump. #NotMyPresident

  6. #6
    SuperFriend Kaine's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    The Netherlands
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    I think that Marge as a whole feels underrepresented when compared to Homer, Bart and Lisa. She lacks episodes of her own and she rarely moves the plot where its more family centered, as she plays the role of being the voice of reason. The writers probably know that she's the least popular Simpson member (alongside Lisa, but she still gets a lot of her own episodes) and that most roles she could fill can be done by Homer why has shown to be the most flexible character. And as said before its a lot harder to write Marge than other characters, its actually rare for other cartoons to write proper episodes without having to go trough a very wacky road. I do think that she has a lot of good episodes of her own which are mostly of her finding a job or career to pursuit, not the marriage crisis episodes which feels way more overdone in comparison.

    Pairing her with Bart or Lisa more often is something I'd like to see more of. We did get a proper Marge/Lisa episode in last seasons ''Springfield Splendor'', where Homer and Bart only had a couple of mere short scenes of their own. Its a lot easier to try to do pairing episodes with Homer as he's easier to come up with jokes, something the writers often try so eagerly to deliver. But I do think the Homer/Lisa duo is one of the best in the show due to their major differences in traits, and yet are willing to get along. Marge and Bart had their best moment in ''Marge Be Not Proud'', though its not much of a duo episode but more about investing into Bart's feelings. A good duo episode is Marge's Son Poisoning which did a good job portraying a mom who wanted to be closer with her son. Episodes like these are more then welcome and it freshens up their relationship a lot more.

    I don't get why they overdeliver the show with marriage crisis episodes if they can just try to write more episodes of her being an actual mother to the kids, get her more involved in the kids situations, whether its for school or other activities. They had a gag where Marge was thinking that Millhouse was strong enough to beat up Bart's bully or something, maybe I misremember he exact scene but I knew it felt out of place. And in ''Springfield Splendor'' which I mentioned earlier, she learned how sad Lisa felt when she is at school but she does nothing to try to improve her conditions. It didn't have to take over the main plot but at least use it as some kind of resolution for near the end of the episode.
    Episodes rated best and worst from each season:
    1: Krusty Gets Busted/Homer's Night Out 2: The Way We Was/Bart's Dog Gets an F 3: Colonel Homer/Dog of Death 4: Marge vs. The Monorail/So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show 5: Cape Feare/Bart Gets An Elephant 6: Treehouse of Horror V/Another Simpsons Clip Show 7: Mother Simpson/Homerpalooza 8: You Only Move Twice/The Canine Mutiny 9: Lisa's Sax/The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons 10: Lisa Gets an A/Sunday Cruddy Sunday 11: Behind The Laughter/Beyond Blunderdome 12: Trilogy of Error/The Computer Wore Menace Shoes 13: I Am Furious Yellow/Homer the Moe 14: The Dad Who Knew Too Little/Large Marge 15: The Way We Weren't/Diatribe of a Mad Housewife 16: Thank God Its Doomsday/Mommie Beerest 17: Marge's Son Poisoning/Bonfire of the Manatees 18: Marge Gamer/Revenge is Best Served Three Times 19: Treehouse of Horror XVIII/That 90's Show 20: Gone Maggie Gone/Coming To Homerica 21: O Brother, Where Bart thou?/The Devil Wears Nada 22: Homer Scissorhands/The Fool Monty 23: Holidays of Future Passed/Moe Goes From Rags To Riches 24: Adventures In Baby-Getting/Whiskey Business 25: Brick Like Me/White Christmas Blues 26: Bart's New Friend/The Musk Who Fell to Earth 27: Halloween of Horror/Every Man's Dream 28: There Will Be Buds/Moho House 29: Gone Boy/Throw Grampa from the Dane

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