View Poll Results: How do you feel about The Simpsons characters are not aging through all the 30 seasons?

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  1. #1
    Junior Camper BartArt's Avatar
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    Question How do you feel about The Simpsons characters are not aging through all the 30 seasons?

    What is your attitude towards the lack of time evolution despite the fact that as the years go by, it becomes apparent that the characters evolve through time?

  2. #2
    Grappling with Local Oaf Beggs's Avatar
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    I feel it's become more of an issue the longer the show has run. Not because the concept of a floating timeline is any less plausible or anything, but rather because as the writers have sought to come up with new stories to tell, they've ended up with plots that would be a much better fit if Bart and Lisa were slightly older. It's too late to do anything about now (outside of flash forward episodes, which I definitely don't mind), so they just have to try to make them work as best they can.
    A little less Generic than before.


  3. #3
    Pervert Financial Panther's Avatar
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    I like that they haven’t aged, although Beggs is correct in that the writers seem to wish Bart and Lisa were older since the stories they give them are often more suited to teenagers. Still, I like the consistency throughout the show that keeps them the same age, even if episodes like That ‘90s Show and 3 Scenes Plus a Tag From a Marriage retcon the characters’ histories a lot.
    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

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  5. #4
    Birthplace of the Flaming Moe Welcome to Moe's's Avatar
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    I'm glad they haven't, the show wouldn't be what it was if the characters weren't who they were so I'm glad they haven't done this, that said I know a few people have felt like they would have liked it so if they did age a couple of years or so then maybe it wouldn't be too bad but personally I'd rather they didn't to be honest.


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  6. #5
    Grappling with Local Oaf Beggs's Avatar
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    The problem is that by shoehorning them into plots that would be a better fit for characters that are slightly older, they end up having them do things that aren't necessarily true to their characters anyway. Had they decided to have them get a year or two older over the course of the series, I don't think they would've had to drastically alter their core characteristics; certainly no more than they have done through being an extremely long-running series, anyway.

    That's not to say that it absolutely had to happen, but again, I do think that the longer the show has run and the more the writers have used plots that aren't an ideal fit for Bart and Lisa at their canonical ages, the more it's felt like a problem and a missed opportunity to freshen things up with a small change to the status quo.


  7. #6
    Birthplace of the Flaming Moe Welcome to Moe's's Avatar
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    That makes a lot of sense @Beggs

  8. #7
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    What they should have done is have random time skips.

    Some weeks, the kids are teens. Some week, they're adults. Most weeks, they're kids. It gives more flexibility without limiting storylines.

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  10. #8
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    While I'm all good with the fact that they don't really age (except from some of the episodes in the early seasons where Bart and Lisa celebrated a birthday) and stay in an somewhat fixed stage (after all, it tends to be a norm when it comes to non-serialized animated series and with 'The Simpsons' being episodic it makes sense and makes it more accessible to new audiences who can pick up any random episode and enjoy it) it has certainly has been a problem with some of the plotlines as already mentioned (@Beggs summed things up quite well).

    Many of the later Bart & Lisa stories would indeed be a better fit for teenaged characters and makes the two of them come off as older (I feel like the crew is definitely kicking themselves for not considering putting a teenager in the family starting with the series inception) and as for the floating timeline it hasn't really been too much of a problem for me even with the sometimes more extreme liberties taken and retcons made for the sake of one episode (such as the abeformentioned and very controversial 'That 90's Show', which while dumb due to the overhaul of Homer and Marge's past, didn't annoy me that much; I just didn't take it seriously).
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 01-29-2019 at 02:05 PM.

  11. #9
    Non-Simpsons scare me. Road Rage's Avatar
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    They could have perhaps done with a small increase in age, like John Redcorn's son in King of the Hill (personally I wasn't a fan of that choice but at least it gave the writers something to work with).

    If everyone on the show aged in real time (being 29 years older now), that would be ridiculous. Elderly characters would all be dead, kids would be way into adulthood and so on. But at the same time, I think it could have been interesting if they were brave enough to try that. Who could have predicted the show would last this long though?

  12. #10
    Junior Camper BartArt's Avatar
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    I totally agree with you, @Beggs.

    If the Simpsons characters were getting a year older every one hundred episodes of the show, it would probably be the best option.

  13. #11
    Actually an Esquilax Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    I definitely prefer it this way. Theoretically, the suggestion about the timeline not floating could work, it really could.

    Thing is, if most of the flashforwards are to be considered, it wouldn't work out at all. Especially since they're a lot more consistent since the Jean era (having several things tying a lot of them together) it would just be bad. I mean, remember Jenda? That one character with no real personality and never added anything to anything, especially not in a way that someone else easily could have? Yeah, she'd probably be a main character. Or at the very least, a highly prominent secondary on the level of Grampa or Patty and Selma.

    It'd be bleak as hell too. In just about everything except Barthood, Bart's got a miserable life and would undoubtedly be reduced to a Kirk 2.0 in a fully canon future whereas Lisa would be just as undoubtedly be rewarded for a long list of terrible actions and would probably be the only one without an incredibly depressing outcome even though she's one of the most deserving of it. Hell it's probably why Barthood was one of the only flashforwards, if not the only one, that didn't suck, that one at least ended in a hopeful manner. But that was probably because it didn't show an awful lot either. A lot of their ideas aren't fun at all and probably would be even more limiting than just keeping everyone the same age.

    For instance, for a group that already has a lot of underused characters, the kids really don't need to be fractured. Like you'd probably have them almost never encounter Bart or Lisa anymore and I doubt anyone that fills the space could be anywhere near as good. Unless maybe you had some circumstance where nearly all of the named/notable ones (Bart, Lisa, Milhouse, Nelson, Martin, Sherri, Terri, ect) all ended up working in the same place which... actually that might work, even if it's amusingly contrived.

    But yeah, the show already has a problem with being needlessly mean spirited a lot of the time and if the characters aged and all that, it'd only get so much worse in that regard.
    Last edited by Venomrabbit; 01-30-2019 at 05:23 AM.

  14. #12
    Birthplace of the Flaming Moe Welcome to Moe's's Avatar
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    I think for me, as @Beggs mentioned the only way it could be ok was if the characters aged only a couple of years, if this was beneficial to creating more story line but didn't feel like the characters had aged then a couple of years I would be fine with and could probably work, as long as it didn't feel like they'd aged or were different if you get what I mean?

    For example, say if Bart was 21, it wouldn't work but like if he was 12 then it probably wouldn't be too bad or noticeable but would also open the doors for more story line they could cover if those couple of years made a difference for this but NEVER no more than that and NEVER do it to the point where eventually they would be well out of this ratio.

    This for me, is the only way I feel it would work and be alright, as mentioned above if absolutely asked which I prefer, then it's to completely have them stay the same but I think if they did this and went ahead with it I'd warm to it and actually quite like the idea if that makes sense.

  15. #13
    Junior Camper BartArt's Avatar
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    I get your point, you don't want to see Bart as a teenager, but I'd actually love to take a look. Well, there's no accounting for the public's taste.

  16. #14
    Professional Teleporter Mícheál's Avatar
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    Yeah I've done this to death:

    I've brought this up before, and I have always taken a particular liking to storylines outside the set age of the characters (In general, mind. There have been some disappointments). However, I don't think ageing the characters permanently will do the show any favours in the long term. It's certain that they'll lose a lot of viewers if this happened.

    Although perhaps aging everyone by a single year would be beneficial. Almost nothing about the show or characters would change, but they would be able to attract some more attention and increase ratings for a while by doing so.

    The only way I can see permanently aging the characters by 20-30 years working, is with a spin-off type series in the future (when the current show has ended). It wouldn't upset the current status quo, and would definitely make a good watch. They could perhaps introduce Bart and Lisa's own (obviously dysfunctional) families - like how they tried to do a bit of in Holidays of Future past. But unless this spin off series is unbelievably good, I can't see something like that lasting more than two or three seasons, as I'm sure the novelty will wear off for most viewers.

    I believe a compromise is to maybe include future-themed episodes at a bit more of a regularity in the current series (like two a season) - because, for one, I've heard the writers enjoy doing them - and perhaps try and develop a canon storyline for the future selves of the Simpsons characters. This could even be serialised to attract viewers back to these types to episodes.

    Something really interesting could be done there, but taking into consideration that this will never happen, I'll settle for a two-part episode with a future theme instead.
    So essentially, I'd be for the idea of more episodes set in the future.
    "I may or may not die young. I haven't decided yet."

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  18. #15
    Pin Pal Szyslak100's Avatar
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    I guess it's normal that the characters do not age. Imagine how strange it would be at this point that, from one season to another, Bart is 14 years old. No, that would be terrible. Although it is true that writers have no way of exploring the world of adolescents, making such a radical change after 30 seasons would be unacceptable. Maybe it would have been good if the passage of time had been established since the first season but, of course, how would they know that the show would last for 30 years?
    SEASON 30 RANKINGS: Bart's Not Dead: 3/5 / Heartbreak Hotel: 2/5 / My Way or the Highway to Heaven: 3/5 / Treehouse of Horror XXIX: 2/5 / Baby You Can't Drive My Car: 4/5 / From Russia Without Love: 4/5 / Werking Mom: 4/5 / Krusty the Clown: 4/5 / Daddicus Finch: 5/5 / Tis the Thirtieth Season: 2/5 / Mad About the Toy: 3/5 / The Girl on the Bus: 3/5 / I'm Dancing as Fat as I Can: 4/5 / The Clown Stays in the Picture: 2/5 / 101 Mitigations: 4/5 / I Want You (She's So Heavy): 1/5 / E My Sports 4/5 / Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy: 5/5 / Girl's in the Band: 4/5 / I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say D'oh: 2/5 / D'oh Canada: 2/5

  19. #16
    Wrote the book on flimflammin Grifty McGrift's Avatar
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    Don't care. I also don't need to imagine how the timeline works. It is an animated show and the characters have a set age. That's all the explanation you need.


  20. #17
    Junior Camper BartArt's Avatar
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    April 1: Bart and Homer at the Same Age Now!

  21. #18


    I don't think cartoon characters need to age. If they did, Mickey Mouse would be long dead by now.

  22. #19
    hickory smoked dude foose's Avatar
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    I think the flash-forward episodes do the necessary amount of playing with time-skip what-ifs. My personal interest in sitcoms does often derive from watching the characters grow, but at it's best the Simpsons did this anyway, and thats because growth is not about y'know, literal age progression. They do defiintely ascribe stories more befitting to a slightly older group to characters like Bart and Lisa, but in a world where they were to age the two they wouldn't be able to do the reverse as well anymore I dont think. In any case, the issue with said stories is rarely the believability of the behavior based on their age but the writing of the conflict etc. Lisa has always skewed much more developed in intelligence of course so thats not an issue intrinsically, the issue is when it becomes the totality of their personality, same with Bart and relationships. To age the Simpsons is perhaps to gain new stories but its also to lose old reliables, and let's face it The Simpsons three decades in isn't looking for any excuse to lose the shortcuts that helps the conveyour belt continue moving.




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