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Thread: Why did Maggie’s appearances gradually decline?

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  1. #1
    The lovable chimney sweep Financial Panther's Avatar
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    Why did Maggie’s appearances gradually decline?

    In the Simpsons shorts, Maggie was one of the most prominent characters, and although she wasn’t featured as a main character in the first few seasons, she was always there. But as the show went on, she seemed to get phased out of scenes, only appearing during the rare times she would do something or something would be done with her. So what happened? I understand that as a baby who can’t talk, only so much can be done, and maybe they thought her falling got old, but you’d think they’d remember to bring her along when the family is out and about. Does the family just hire a babysitter every time they go out of the house? I guess with their seemingly unlimited supply of money now, they could do it if they wanted...

    What do you think? Do any reasons come to your mind about why Maggie no longer appears very often?
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  2. #2
    Yup, still the worst. Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    I guess it's almost entirely to do with not talking. In a short that's maybe a minute or two long? Not much of a problem, heck with a small duration like that one can do cartoons with no dialogue at all... maybe not The Simpsons though. I guess that's the issue, a lot of the time the show is based around dialogue. Sometimes she'll have some inclusion in plots but oftentimes it seems she operates more as a little-miss deux-ex-machina. And it's a shame because there's a lot of great moments that can either be mostly or solely accredited to her but I imagine she'd be difficult for a writing team to use frequently.

  3. #3
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    I'm thinking it's mainly because of them having a hard time coming up with reasons for her to appear more often and a lack of ideas for things for her to do on the show, which shows as they do writer her out of a lot of plots and sometimes have her not appear at all (there is only so much they can do with a baby character who doesn't speak and in most shows the baby character in a family, at least when not being a focal character, usually gets the least amount of focus, especially later on if it's more or a long runner than a short series).

    However, even if they really cannot come up with ideas and roles for the character going forward it's still lazy to exclude her altogether and commonly not show where she is when the family is out somewhere and she is absent for some reason (such as in travel episodes). I wish they wouldn't relegate her to being a prop to forget about in a lot of cases (mostly since she has given viewers a lot of amusement throughout the years and a lot of nice little scenes and gags and what they are doing now feels disrespectful to the legacy of the character and what made her popular in the first place).

    (Also, I'm surprised they never really did an episode where she was the main focus of a main plot, such a story from her point of view. The Longest Daycare short was something like this but not an full episode, obviously).

  4. #4

    I think that, if they do not have frames for Maggie, it does not have to appear

    What's more, if more Homer or Bart appears, it's because they have ideas with them, with Maggie no.

  5. #5

    She's a baby.

    Babies are notoriously boring creatures. If I had a nickle for every time I've met a boring baby, I'd have enough nickles to fund a woman's abortion.

  6. #6
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    I remember even back in the Scully years the writers didn't like doing anything with Maggie since they considered her a "prop" for Marge.

  7. #7
    Professional Teleporter Mícheál's Avatar
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    I can't say I'd really noticed this myself, but now that you point it out...

    The writers have always said, consistently throughout the years, that the most difficult things to write were visual jokes. It's because there's no real way of telling how good they are until the animation is done, at which point it's sometimes too late to properly fix.

    The main strength of an animated show is it's writing: It's waht made The Simpsons what it is/was, and that will always be the part they will concentrate mostly on.

    It could be simply that the ran out of good visual jokes they could do with Maggie, which is why seeing something like teenage Maggie in Lisa's Wedding was really funny, because they were still doing visual jokes, but had essentially a new character to make up stuff for.
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  8. #8
    Uh, Hugh Jass? Welcome to Moe's's Avatar
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    Probably because she's not really got anything left that can be done with her that hasn't been done already? It kinda reminds me of the whole Bart and Homer thing where the transition from Bartmania went into Homermania and he became the popular character simply because the writers found him easier to write for than Bart after a while and it just transitioned over that way for them, the only difference being Maggie doesn't have a replacement character as she was never overly popular anyway (as opposed to the main cast if you get what I mean), she's quite limited in regards to what she can do and I think they've maxed that out really with her with things like "Who Shot Mr Burns" and of course the "Sequel" thing at the end of The Simpsons Movie.

    There's only so many times we can hear Maggie speak or her first word etc.. so I think it's a case of that really, she's just not that easy to write for anymore in regards to doing something outstanding with her due to her being quite a limited character

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  9. #9
    Grappling with Local Oaf Beggs's Avatar
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    There's only so much you can do with a baby character that's funny or interesting, unless you go the Stewie Griffin route (which The Simpsons should not). As long as they preserve the status quo with Maggie, there's really not much more they can do with her, and the well basically ran dry many years back.
    A little less Generic than before.

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