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  1. #1
    Hercules Rockefeller Homer Samson's Avatar
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    Worst Lisa-Marge conflict episode

    I know some people are gonna say How Lisa Got Her Marge Back but I still think it has a great subplot, so I am going to go with The Daughter Also Rises

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    pineapple shoes Dark Homer's Avatar
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    Springfield Splendor was fine but Marge getting jealous of her bullied depressed daughter for finding a creative outlet and getting praised for it seemed egregious. It's difficult needle to thread storywise and I don't think they pulled it off

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    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    Maybe it's just me but I didn't get that from 'Springfield Splendor' at all. I just saw Marge as somewhat disappointed that she constantly got overlooked and that Lisa got all the praise (she certainly took it well to me, only really asking if they could do one story from the POV of the mother in their graphic novels, which to me was a pretty legit question; I mean, why not let your work partner who does all the art get some spotlight time?).

    I didn't get an jealous feel from her, but rather from Lisa when the play turned out to be focused on Marge's work (Lisa let the fame and glory get to her head, making her blind to her mother's work, kinda arrogant and spiteful after getting that one question; she did come off as the one more in the wrong to me). I for one think their conflict there was pretty well done.
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 09-12-2019 at 11:02 PM.


  5. #4
    Release the Hounds Shoskin's Avatar
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    The Marge-ian Chronicles is a perfect example of Lisa looking her nose down on the family, especially Marge. Lisa thinks shes the only one in the house who is smart and can do anything. When Marge outshined Lisa in the testing of who could survive in Mars, Lisa got arrogant and defensive of how of all people, it was "Marge" who bested her. For example when Marge says that basically its chores where Lisa whines its science. Lisa looked down on what Marge was able to adapt to while she struggled on such things as cleaning, sanitation and growing crops. Lisa looked bad in this episode but probably didn't learn from it.

    Btw, I think Bart could have bested her, she would have had the same reaction, but that's for another post.
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  6. #5
    Hercules Rockefeller Homer Samson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoskin View Post
    The Marge-ian Chronicles is a perfect example of Lisa looking her nose down on the family, especially Marge. Lisa thinks shes the only one in the house who is smart and can do anything. When Marge outshined Lisa in the testing of who could survive in Mars, Lisa got arrogant and defensive of how of all people, it was "Marge" who bested her. For example when Marge says that basically its chores where Lisa whines its science. Lisa looked down on what Marge was able to adapt to while she struggled on such things as cleaning, sanitation and growing crops. Lisa looked bad in this episode but probably didn't learn from it.

    Btw, I think Bart could have bested her, she would have had the same reaction, but that's for another post.
    Seeing Bart best Lisa would be really satisfying.

    But of course then Bart would accept that he is the lightning rod of the family
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    Proud of Being Lame Nitsy's Avatar
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    "Pay Pal" was pretty bad, mainly for that moment at the end when Lisa seems delighted at having discovered a means of manipulating Marge. I just thought that was an especially nasty moment in an episode that otherwise might've been forgotten for its mediocrity.

    I didn't think "The Daughter Also Rises" had much of a Marge-Lisa conflict, but maybe it's been too long since I've seen it.
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    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoskin View Post
    The Marge-ian Chronicles
    Good episode. I think that's one of the stronger and most well done Lisa vs. Marge stories, presented as somewhat down to Earth and realistic in a sense without having either character get too unlikeable (and Marge proving to be better than Lisa, seeing all the Mars colonization work as fun tasks instead of serious work, was an interesting change of pace; really liked that aspect).

    One that I didn't like and comes to mind was the story where Lisa said that she didn't want to become like her mother or something. I remember Marge taking it badly, getting unpleasant and spiteful & letting Lisa get a piece of her mind in the kitchen, assuming she (Lisa) was thinking she was too good for her (it felt really petty) but can't pinpoint which episode.

    EDIT: The episode is 'Lisa Simpson, This Isn't Your Life'.
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 09-13-2019 at 08:47 AM.

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    Release the Hounds Shoskin's Avatar
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    @CousinMerl I think the episode is Lisa the Skeptic:

    Lisa: I can't stand those morons!
    Marge: Maybe so, but I'd appreciate it if you didn't call them morons.
    Lisa: But they are morons! What kind of grown person could believe in angels?
    Marge: Well, your mother for one.
    Lisa: You? But you're an intelligent person, Mom.
    Marge: There has to be more to life than just what we see, Lisa. If you can't take a leap of faith every once in a while, well, then I feel sorry for you.
    Lisa: Don't feel sorry for me mom, I feel sorry for you.

    Plus coming from a person who believes we should respect everyone it was totally disrespectful.

  10. #9
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    No, it's not that one (which I think wasn't that bad when compared to most later examples) or a Scully episode at all. More like a late pre-HD Jean or early HD Jean episode.

  11. #10
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    @CousinMerl You're thinking of Lisa Simpson, This Isn't Your Life.

    @Nitsy Re: Pay Pal, Lisa is allowed to have dark thoughts from time to time. It's what makes her both human and relatable. Besides which, she was merely making a conscious observation and didn't act on it as she immediately empathized with her clearly distraught mother.
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  12. #11
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Lascelle View Post
    You're thinking of Lisa Simpson, This Isn't Your Life.
    Yeah, that's the one. It's been pretty long since I last saw it but I remember it as being one of their lesser good conflict stories.

  13. #12
    Have Brain, Will Travel Wile E. the Brain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoskin View Post
    @CousinMerl I think the episode is Lisa the Skeptic:

    Lisa: I can't stand those morons!
    Marge: Maybe so, but I'd appreciate it if you didn't call them morons.
    Lisa: But they are morons! What kind of grown person could believe in angels?
    Marge: Well, your mother for one.
    Lisa: You? But you're an intelligent person, Mom.
    Marge: There has to be more to life than just what we see, Lisa. If you can't take a leap of faith every once in a while, well, then I feel sorry for you.
    Lisa: Don't feel sorry for me mom, I feel sorry for you.

    Plus coming from a person who believes we should respect everyone it was totally disrespectful.
    Even if I like this episode, I was a lot annoyed by Lisa's behavior in it. Marge had a very fair point here, and Lisa just... I don't know how to say that, but that was so cold from her. But I don't think it's the worst Lisa/Marge conflict episode since I don't think it's the main point of this episode.

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    Proud of Being Lame Nitsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoskin View Post
    @CousinMerl I think the episode is Lisa the Skeptic:

    Lisa: I can't stand those morons!
    Marge: Maybe so, but I'd appreciate it if you didn't call them morons.
    Lisa: But they are morons! What kind of grown person could believe in angels?
    Marge: Well, your mother for one.
    Lisa: You? But you're an intelligent person, Mom.
    Marge: There has to be more to life than just what we see, Lisa. If you can't take a leap of faith every once in a while, well, then I feel sorry for you.
    Lisa: Don't feel sorry for me mom, I feel sorry for you.

    Plus coming from a person who believes we should respect everyone it was totally disrespectful.

    I have mixed feelings about that scene (some key lines you left out as well). The behavior of the people in the garage and their rejection of Lisa’s scientific inquiry might justifiably lead her to call them “morons”, but she goes too far by implying that people who believe in angels can’t be “intelligent”. But then she clarifies that she has a spiritual side, she just doesn’t believe that there’s a dead angel hanging in their garage, which seems reasonable to me. And it’s at that point that Marge says she feels sorry for Lisa, as if not believing in the angel skeleton is a fault, when that’s not the point. Lisa can learn not to put down people who believe in angels, but I don’t fault her for doubting the reality of the skeleton, an admittedly outlandish claim that even people of faith might reject.


  15. #14
    Release the Hounds Shoskin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wile E. the Brain View Post
    Even if I like this episode, I was a lot annoyed by Lisa's behavior in it. Marge had a very fair point here, and Lisa just... I don't know how to say that, but that was so cold from her. But I don't think it's the worst Lisa/Marge conflict episode since I don't think it's the main point of this episode.
    We weren't talking about this episode as the worst, we were saying that the interaction between Lisa and Marge was an example of Lisa looking down on her mother, such as her believing in angels and faith.

  16. #15
    Have Brain, Will Travel Wile E. the Brain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoskin View Post
    We weren't talking about this episode as the worst, we were saying that the interaction between Lisa and Marge was an example of Lisa looking down on her mother, such as her believing in angels and faith.
    My bad, then. Since we're in a thread called "Worst Lisa-Marge conflict episode", I thought you pointed the episode as a whole even with this single scene.

    I think @Nitsy summed up the thing pretty well. While I don't blame Lisa for not believing in angels either (and especially the skeleton of a dead angel) and thinking the crowd is gullible, the execution of her behavior fells flat to me, because of how patronizing she looks like towards people with faith (when the dead angel is less the focus than believing in angels as a whole for her, like she said in her interview with Kent Brockman). The crowd isn't much better by mocking Lisa's scientific opinion, but still.

    Come to think of it, Marge's answer can't be seen as a bit clumsy as well if she implied, like you said, that she feels sorry for her daughter if she doesn't believe in the angel skeleton (or anything else related to faith for that matter), but she still has a fair point about the fact she shouldn't go as far as calling people with faith in it "morons", and that everyone can have a different opinion about the things of life we don't see.
    Last edited by Wile E. the Brain; 09-13-2019 at 02:32 PM.

  17. #16
    Grappling with Local Oaf Beggs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Homer View Post
    Springfield Splendor was fine but Marge getting jealous of her bullied depressed daughter for finding a creative outlet and getting praised for it seemed egregious. It's difficult needle to thread storywise and I don't think they pulled it off
    I liked the premise and believe it could've worked, but they missed a step in getting to the "Marge feels underappreciated" complication of the story, because we're never given a reason why the audience at the Q&A hated her. There are a few viable explanations they could've gone with - believing she's taking undue credit, using her daughter for fame and money, etc - but as it stands, they only react to her that way because the plot demanded it. Even if the point is that fanbases can be toxic and have stupid ideas, we're still left to guess that that's the reason. They needed to get to that conflict without being contrived if they wanted to properly tie the episode together.

    Paraphrasing something I said in the R&R thread, it felt like the rest of the episode after that featured Marge and Lisa being less sympathetic than either of them should've been. To really make it work, there should've been a third party driving the wedge; maybe an agent or executive who gets in Lisa's ear and poisons her against Marge, convincing her that her mother is just trying to take all the credit and live out unfulfilled artistic dreams. That would've set up a situation where they're at odds and Marge feels unappreciated, but they both remain sympathetic because the third party is clearly the villain causing the conflict.

    They had the setup right, but botched the conflict and it was downhill from there.
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    HowLisa Got Her Marge Back is the perfect example of how trying to present Lisa as sympathetic while still making Marge the victim just doesn’t work. This plotline is just lazy. Lisa knows her family doesn’t really like jazz so this really shouldn’t be that big of a surprise. Then there is how severe her reaction wasnot only did she disown marge, but the show had the gall to compare their relationship with homer and Bart’s. as The Simpson’s Index pointed out Marge doesn’t get out squeaky clean. She takes Lisa on a trip to make it up to her but does what she always does pick something that only she would enjoy showingthat she completely misses the point of why lisa is upset. Lisathe skeptic isn’t that bad when you think about it. Yes the religious side is depicted as extreame, but remember Lisa was the one who forced the issue when no one care, she was the one who kept going when they didn’t find anything, and she was the one who escalated it to the whole religion vs science. Stephen Gould wasa good contrast to lise he didn’t believe that there was an angel skeletoneither, but when she asked him to do a dna test he didn’t do it because it wasjust as big a waste of time. Lisa isn’t met to be seen as in the right she’s metto be seen as an eight year old throwing a temper tantrum. When everything wasrevealed to be a farce she wanted to keep fighting while the adults just forgot about and moved on.

  19. #18
    I love boobies! Financial Panther's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beggs View Post
    I liked the premise and believe it could've worked, but they missed a step in getting to the "Marge feels underappreciated" complication of the story, because we're never given a reason why the audience at the Q&A hated her. There are a few viable explanations they could've gone with - believing she's taking undue credit, using her daughter for fame and money, etc - but as it stands, they only react to her that way because the plot demanded it. Even if the point is that fanbases can be toxic and have stupid ideas, we're still left to guess that that's the reason. They needed to get to that conflict without being contrived if they wanted to properly tie the episode together.

    Paraphrasing something I said in the R&R thread, it felt like the rest of the episode after that featured Marge and Lisa being less sympathetic than either of them should've been. To really make it work, there should've been a third party driving the wedge; maybe an agent or executive who gets in Lisa's ear and poisons her against Marge, convincing her that her mother is just trying to take all the credit and live out unfulfilled artistic dreams. That would've set up a situation where they're at odds and Marge feels unappreciated, but they both remain sympathetic because the third party is clearly the villain causing the conflict.

    They had the setup right, but botched the conflict and it was downhill from there.
    I thought Springfield Splendor was an outstanding episode. I assumed the fans didn’t like Marge there because they just wanted to talk to Lisa and because they didn’t realize Marge’s contributions, they didn’t think she was providing anything. I’ll admit it’s a little unclear, but I always see people saying the Simpsons have a “tell, don’t show” mindset these days, so making the viewers make a judgment, whether intentional or unintentional, didn’t bother me at all.
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  20. #19
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    I'll have to side with @Financial Panther on 'Springfield Splendor. First off, great episode that I don't have any real issues with. Second and most importantly, to me it really felt like the whole thing was obvious. Lisa was the poster child, the one who was made out to be the creator of 'Sad Girl' and appeared both on pictures and by name, and as the one who did the art (and not stood for the ideas and stories) Marge was whom no one cared about since her name wasn't on the project as the co-creator of sorts. I'm thinking that if both of them had their names clearly on it and they properly brought forward Marge's work on it (which Lisa could have lobbied for or done herself) I'm sure she would have gotten her share of the fame and appreciation but as it was she got crap, essentially.

    I don't think the episode needed a third party to make the conflict deeper and more complex like @Beggs is saying. Sometimes making conflicts more in-depth it can be a detriment (as it can easily overwork the story and lead to overexplanations). Sure, there could have been clarification on why almost everyone was that uninterested in Marge's contribution but I don't think it was totally necessary (I saw it as satire on that a work's brainchild and his/her views is sometimes what matters to the fans, not the artist who only is seen as an accessory; Lisa's ideas and themes in 'Sad Girl' was all the rage, not the art. It's a take on how a part of a work can fall into the shadows even though it's as important as the rest, sometimes due to the unfair tastes of the masses and in this case almost blind hysteria around the one who came up with the thing and heads it).

    The episode stands well as is and I don't feel anything critical is missing even though it has room for some improvement (and I really liked the last act with the play based on Marge's artwork which shows that not everyone is uninterested in the art of a comic but rather prefers it to the rest. I think that alone added a bit of a dimension to the story, if not a very complicated one).
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 09-21-2019 at 11:46 PM.


  21. #20
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Above and beyond all of the points @CousinMerl raised, we Simpsons fans should be plenty familiar with how certain people's contributions in the creative process wind up largely overlooked. Like Matt Groening and Al Jean get invited to all of these Simpsons panels and asked all of the questions but do you see the animators showing up at all? Because outside of Silverman (who barely works on the show these days), it just doesn't happen.

    Where are the panels with Mike B. Anderson, Rob Oliver, Mark Kirkland, Steven Dean Moore, the team's newest director Jennifer Moeller, etc? They don't exist. They storyboard these episodes and largely frame how they look in their finished form... just like Marge did with Sad Girl. Of course she's going to be overshadowed when the star, title character (Lisa) and lead creative force is right there alongside her.

    And, of course, Marge is going to feel marginalized by the lack of attention when her art is finally getting exposure to a wide audience after years of toiling away as a stay-at-home mom.
    Last edited by Brad Lascelle; 09-22-2019 at 05:32 AM.

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