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Thread: I hate Lisa fans



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  1. #1


    I hate Lisa fans

    Well, not really hate. But it's something that ties into this thread here which is going to be moved shortly, hence the new topic. Also note that I don't mean anything personal here to luben or Thompson either, at least not as of this post, and that the ambiguous "they" is used to avoid naming specific people.

    Anyway, I think what annoys me about many Lisa fans is, more than any other character, this very rigid, almost obsessive understanding of what is and isn't in-character for her. Like they've constructed in their minds a set of rules that she has to follow, with no clear precedent in the show other than maybe coincidence, picking and choosing what traits are a part of her character and dismissing what doesn't suit them as "out-of-character" and such. I remember TerrorK once suggested she's a kind of Mary Sue for many fans. I agree, but I think it goes deeper than that. It's like they've found some specific aspect of her character that they relate to on an almost personal level (or something deeper with some of the weirder individuals), and anything that goes against this specific interpretation, even little things, borders on betrayal to her character. And holding to that specific interpretation (or not betraying it) becomes an end onto itself, at worst to the exclusion of anything else the episode was trying to accomplish (similar to how people get upset about "Behind the Laughter" betraying the idea of the Simpsons being a real family, but ignore the content in the episode itself and even past episodes like "Spin-off" that do the very same thing).

    It's a silly thing to do because, firstly, her character has never really been so rigidly defined (even if I still think very well-defined). I mentioned already the large differences between "Beauty Queen" and "Malibu Stacy", and how unfair it is to suggest Lisa was overly sensitive in "Sleeping With the Enemy" considering that, assuming you need specific episode precedent, she's even more sensitive in "Beauty Queen" and has been sensitive towards what others think of her since then and tried to conform too ("Summer of 4 ft. 2" most obviously). There are other examples of inconsistency too. Try looking at how her open-minded, well read philosophical and even religious views of "Dead Putting Society", and the how she somehow does not know about the 8th Commandment, getting blindly scared shitless as a uber-moral little girl in "Homer vs. Lisa vs. the 8th Commandment"? Or how about the fact that she was promoted as "playing to her own tune" so to speak in the opening credits and "Moaning Lisa", and is essentially outgoing to a point, but was ashamed to play her saxophone in her class in "Lisa's Substitute"? Or how about the fact that she's supposed to be intelligent, but can't reason time and time again that Bart's horror stories he tells her are fake?

    I could do many more, but I think the point is clear. There are a lot of contradictions to her character (and by extension interpretations). Some mix better than others, people can live contradictions, but contradiction is a consistency. My problem is that when episodes like "Sleeping With the Enemy" come along, the point of her plot seems to be secondary to character questions of her being too childish and sensitive, despite it being consistent with episodes like "Lisa the Beauty Queen" or "Summer of 4 ft. 2". Overstating tiny nitpicks while ignoring most everything that does work is already bad enough, but the idea of some character consistency that's not even true being more important than the actual content in the episode is just about the worst case of missing the forest for the trees possible, and it's something that seems to come up far more with Lisa and her character than anyone else in the show.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2


    I agree. It's quite annoying when people complain that Lisa is somehow "out of character" in episodes like "Scenes From a Class Struggle", "Iconoclast", and "PTA Disbands". She's EIGHT. She's still finding out what her personality is.


  3. #3
    Profound Sadness Kiyosuki's Avatar
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    Oh man! lol Channel Surfer is on the rampage.

    This is a huge topic, its one that came to mind a couple of weeks ago too. I've noticed that there is a sort of generally more hostile notion to defend or "correct" things about Lisa more than any other character. I think the reason for this could be pretty complex.

    Like you said though Channel Surfer, a lot of it could be because there's something some people relate to with the character on a very personal level...even if its not necessarilly known to even them.

    Every character has that, something relatable but no matter what theres always one character you associate with more than others. Especially in something that highlights human flaws as much as this one. I feel that way towards Bart and Ralph particularly myself. But its unique when it happens to Lisa I noticed, things get very passionate when it comes to the character.

    Mmmm....its really tough to talk about because this is such a broad subject. But I've noticed that while most at least like Lisa, I haven't seen her as highly regarded anywhere else on the net or in real life than among online Simpsons websites including this message board, and fanfiction. Thats one thing to think about. Every character I believe is loosely consistent, as in the consistency is there but its flexible so points can be made in the show. And also just for fun. So in other words...every character is defined but has a certain degree of ambiguity...everyone has a different view of each character.

    Maybe...considering that, it has something to do with her character itself. The straight man...girl. I've noticed that fans sometimes, maybe without even knowing it, really do tend to put her on a pedastal. Could it be because of her role as the voice of intelligence and reason in a sea of ignorance thing? Perhaps thats whats so relatable to some, and maybe...with some (I said SOME) people...thats why its so difficult to think about her faults. She does have enormous faults as a character, in many ways she's the same as the rest of the characters...she's got her strengths and flaws.

    She can be selfish, in her own way ignorant, judgemental, and self important. She has many strengths to counter those...but regardless, those flaws would counter the idea that she's maybe somehow "better" than the others. For some, that could be unnaceptable. She is definitely Mary Sue'd at times, its undeniable. A couple of times I've even mentioned character flaws I've been blasted, with all sorts of counters but the biggest one is that "she's kind and far from selfish!" even if there have been a ton of episodes that have distinctively shown otherwise. Its not just a difference in opinion too, its flat out "no your wrong!" kind of statements. I never get that with any other character except Lisa.

    Maybe simply, Lisa just appeals to the type who love dead seriousness and consistency. Thats why you get that sort of thing from time to time. She strikes a chorde as an "ideal" to some, a person who stands out in the crowd, and maybe thats why some are so stingy when it comes to "getting the character right".

    Everyone has their own way of enjoying the show in the end, but when it comes to this subject maybe thats one reason why. Maybe some just see a lot of themselves in the character...and at that point its not so much about the character but about themselves. We all do that with things we associate with to varying degree's, some lightly and some pretty deeply. Thats why you have fights break out over religion.

    This is real interesting, why certain characters may appeal to certain types more than others. Although I'm thinking maybe I'm going a bit too overboard even for me with this. lol
    Last edited by Kiyosuki; 09-08-2006 at 04:26 PM.


  4. #4
    big bad Bartolo sung's Avatar
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    From my experience, girls aged 8 are all self-centered... of course this is my point of view.

    Lisa, in other hand, is sometimes selfish, but in interesting way that other girls wouldn't. (vegetarian, iconoclast or Malibu Stacy...)

    Kiyosuki wrote most of what I've thought though
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  5. #5
    Profound Sadness Kiyosuki's Avatar
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    Well the way she's selfish is even ambiguous and subject of interpretation.

    Like in Iconclast...the way I took that whole thing is she originally wanted to expose Jebidiah, because it was "the right thing to do". But was it the right thing...or was it the right thing to do for her? Its only in the end she realizes how important his image is to the people of the city that she realizes that she shouldn't expose him. Thats the center of a lot of her dillemna's and conflicts in episodes I think. What she thinks and says is right versus what really is right.

    Another interesting one is the one with the fake Angel. Yes, she was right in the end...but all through the whole episode she never even considers once the idea that maybe it could of been real. It was just what she thought that was important. Thats not so intelligent more than it is a bit ego-centric.

    Thats how I interpreted those things though. That to me is whats great about the character, she is really smart but she also shows that even the smartest of us arn't immune to being stupid or flawed human beings. Above all else, she's only human...and a child to boot.

    But thats on the character. This is really less about Lisa I think and more about fan reaction and why people like some things the way they do. That isn't so simple a subject.

    Edit: Holy crap I just realized, this is my 1000th post.


  6. #6
    pineapple shoes Dark Homer's Avatar
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    I don't really have a clear definitive idea of what Lisa's character is but she definitely isn't a 20sish college protestor sourpuss type like the way she's been written at various points over the past 9 years

  7. #7
    Don't bad-mouth the head! Xt'Tapalatakettle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiyosuki

    Another interesting one is the one with the fake Angel. Yes, she was right in the end...but all through the whole episode she never even considers once the idea that maybe it could of been real. It was just what she thought that was important. Thats not so intelligent more than it is a bit ego-centric.

    Thats how I interpreted those things though. That to me is whats great about the character, she is really smart but she also shows that even the smartest of us arn't immune to being stupid or flawed human beings. Above all else, she's only human...and a child to boot.
    I'm glad someone else pointed this out so I didn't have to. People here can be too rigid with their characterizations at times (especially Lisa) that it allows absolutely no flexibility in her character. Lisa can be childish and her intelligence can carry her character into elitism (Lisa the Skeptic and They Saved Lisa's Brain are episodes I generally defend that people around here loathe. I think I like them because they show Lisa's faults the way that they do).

    One of the good things about the show is that it carries the character's faults as well as it does their positives. Characters like Bart have faults that are easy to display while for Lisa it is a lot harder. I think the show, when it does show Lisa in that light, generally does it well. I do get annoyed of the wanna be hipster Lisa as it usually comes off forced, but I don't think that prohibits me from liking her as a character. There are a lot of people who identify with her and generally feel the need to defend her because they can empathize. Ironically, it's that tenacity that they have that Lisa sometimes has that shows one of her major faults. It is as if those defenders embody her faults.

    Lisa is my favorite Simpson. I always say to my friends that you must be missing something about the show if she isn't your favorite. But I will be one to admit her more obnoxious qualities.
    Favorite Episodes (by Season): Season 1: Krusty Gets Busted, Call of the Simpsons
    Season 2: Blood Feud, Itchy & Scratchy & Marge, Bart the Daredevil
    Season 3: Radio Bart, Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk, Bart the Murderer
    Season 4: Homer the Heretic, Krusty Gets Kancelled, The Front
    Season 5: Cape Feare, The Last Temptation of Homer, Sweet Seymour Skinner's Badasssss Song
    Season 6: Bart's Girlfriend, Bart of Darkness, Homie the Clown
    Season 7: Summer of 4ft 2, Lisa the Iconoclast, Bart Sells His Soul
    Season 8: The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show, The Springfield Files, The Secret War of Lisa Simpson
    Season 9: Girly Edition, The Cartridge Family, Lisa the Skeptic
    Season 10: They Saved Lisa's Brain, Lisa Gets an A, Simpsons Bible Stories
    Season 11: Grift of the Magi, Brother's Little Helper, Beyond Blunderdome
    Season 12: Hungry Hungry Homer, The Computer Wore Menace Shoes, Trilogy of Error
    Season 13: The Bart Wants What It Wants, Poppa's Got a Brand New Badge, Sweets and Sour Marge
    Season 14: I'm Spelling As Fast As I Can, The Bart of War, Mr. Spritz Goes to Washington
    Season 15: Milhouse Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Tis the Fifteenth Season, The Wandering Juvie
    Season 16: Thank God It's Doomsday, The Heartbroke Kid, Fat Man and Little Boy
    Season 17: The Seemingly Never-Ending Story, Marge's Son Poisoning, Bart Has Two Mommies
    Season 18: The Haw-Hawed Couple, 24 Minutes, Little Big Girl
    Season 19: The Debarted, Midnight Towboy, Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind
    Season 20: Gone Maggie Gone, Take My Life Please, Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words

  8. #8
    Out of touch old timer Nebuchanezzar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiyosuki
    Edit: Holy crap I just realized, this is my 1000th post.
    I'll probably get blasted for even trying, but congratulations on the milestone all the same.

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    I suppose that the reason why so many people, like myself, construct such rigid character boundaries for Lisa is because they connect with her so well. Much the same as if you love something and you don't want to see it go, the same works for Lisa. People have connected deeply with her character, and they don't want to see the character that they've connected with bent in any way so as to destroy that connection. These people (like me again) built those constructs early on in the show, and hence anything after it will obviously be perceived as being vastly out of character for her and will border on being terrible to that person.

    I started watching The Simpsons in season 6 (And Maggie Makes Three to be precise), and thus my version of Lisa Simpson was built around seasons 6 and 7, with the occasional syndicated version coming into play. Similarly, someone who started watching in season 17 will have a vastly different interpretation of Lisa Simpson than myself, and would perceive her wish to belong in Summer of 4 ft. 2 to be a bit out of character, or something like that at least.

    Um I also haven't seen episodes as much from seasons 14-17 as much as I've seen episodes from 1-13, so yeah. Lisa rules.
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  9. #9
    formerly Keyser Soze Imperciph's Avatar
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    The title of this thread is great. Great job, Channel Surfer.

    This happens because of the fact that unlike any other character on the show, Lisa is just too broad a character.

    Even from season 1, especially beginning from Moaning Lisa it can be seen Lisa was intended to the writers' main outlet for their views on social issues. On the other hand, they wanted to keep child-like and Simpsons-esque traits in her character as well, in order to to avoid her becoming too adult-like and unlikeable in nature. From then, these two facets of her character, present in different proportions has defined how she is portrayed.

    The key problem is that different fans have developed different guidelines so as to how these two facets of her character should be proportionated while actually even judging from her different roles in season 2 it is clear the writers never defined the line themselves, obviously for allowing them the freedom to write more interesting storylines for her.

    More than any other character the interpretation of Lisa differs from fan to fan. I've found many members who share my interpretation of Bart and I've completely agreed to their interpretations of many other characters as well. But when it comes to Lisa, everyone has their own perception for her.

    For example, when asked to choose between the favorite performance of social activist Lisa it is a difficult choice. Some will like her moralistic naive persona from The 8th commandment (as it portrays more of the childlike side which a criteria for her likeability to many fans) while others will prefer her depiction in Lisa Vs. Malibu Stacy where she is more knowledgeable, aggressive and adult like in nature but yet has child-like traits of playing with dolls. Hell, some may even favor her performance in Lisa The Skeptic because they think it of a scenario which points out the flaws present in her character and how it may get out of hand. So, when in a new episode she is in a social activist role these 3 types of fans will evaluate her performance in 3 different ways.

    I'll post more of my thoughts later.
    Last edited by Imperciph; 09-08-2006 at 07:26 PM.
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  10. #10
    Profound Sadness Kiyosuki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imperciph
    The title of this thread is great. Great job, Channel Surfer.

    This happens because of the fact that unlike any other character on the show, Lisa is just too broad a character.

    Even from season 1, especially beginning from Moaning Lisa it can be seen Lisa was intended to the writers' main outlet for their views on social issues. On the other hand, they wanted to keep child-like and Simpsons-esque traits in her character as well, in order to to avoid her becoming too adult-like and unlikeable in nature. From then, these two facets of her character, present in different proportions has defined how she is portrayed.

    The key problem is that different fans have developed different guidelines so as to how these two facets of her character should be proportionated while actually even judging from her different roles in season 2 it is clear the writers never defined the line themselves, obviously for allowing them the freedom to write more interesting storylines for her.

    More than any other character the interpretation of Lisa differs from fan to fan. I've found many members who share my interpretation of Bart and I've completely agreed to their interpretations of many other characters as well. But when it comes to Lisa, everyone has their own perception for her.

    For example, when asked to choose between the favorite performance of social activist Lisa it is a difficult choice. Some will like her moralistic naive persona from The 8th commandment (as it portrays more of the childlike side which a criteria for her likeability to many fans) while others will prefer her depiction in Lisa Vs. Malibu Stacy where she is more knowledgeable, aggressive and adult like in nature but yet has child-like traits of playing with dolls. Hell, some may even favor her performance in Lisa The Skeptic because they think it of a scenario which points out the flaws present in her character and how it may get out of hand. So, when in a new episode she is in a social activist role these 3 types of fans will evaluate her performance in 3 different ways.

    I'll post more of my thoughts later.
    It is a good point. I can't help but wonder though...if maybe some don't like the idea of Lisa having flaws...somewhere deep down inside of themselves for maybe...personal reasons of some sort.

    Hey, it does happen from time to time...not in just this show. I mean...if you think about it, Lisa is the most ambiguous when it comes to her flaws. Like you said she's really broad...but here's something else. Her flaws arn't as how should I say..."open" and on the table as everyone else' is.

    Maybe some people...just some...sort of fall for that as some kind of illusion, and see her as literally a near perfect diamond in the rough, so they kinda make her a character that can do no wrong because of that.

    Mmmm....I need to rest my head after this. Maybe I'm pinpointing this a bit too much.
    Last edited by Kiyosuki; 09-08-2006 at 11:51 PM.

  11. #11


    yeah

  12. #12
    grappling with local oaf Postmaster's Avatar
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    Hmm good points CS. I don't think I've defined a rigid boundary of how I think Lisa should be, (and I know your not necessarily saying I have) but it's true there's aspects of her character I prefer to see focused on. But I think part of my criticism of Lisa being too young and sensitive in SWTE, comes from the fact that a lot of people on the net will say that the problem with Lisa's character recently is that she doesn't act like a child. Which isn't true because (1) she usually does act like a child these days, and (2) Her mature, intelligent, philisophical, introspective side is an equally if not more important part of her character and without these she wouldn't be very intresting either. And so I've often felt like I want to counterpoint the idea that she just needs to be more like a child, and it seems to me a lot of people really like the subplot in SWTE because they see Lisa acting that way and think that it must be good. And
    So that's why I think I feel a need to say that childish doesn't necessarily = good.

  13. #13
    Hired Goon Adam R's Avatar
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    Lisa's character spotlight is going to be fun!

    I've read all of the other posts in this thread, but there's way too much for me to pick out a specific piece and start adding to or challenging it, so I'm just going to throw in my two cents. A few places here are really point-out-the-obvious stuff, but I'm just summing up all of my thoughts about this.

    Lisa is (along with Ralph) my favourite character in the show, pretty much because of the same reasons that everyone else loves her (and Yeardley's cute voice ). I've actually never had a problem with Lisa's characterization in the later seasons as much as everyone else has (except in On A Clear Day I Can't See My Sister, I really hated her here).

    Homer Vs Lisa and the Eighth Commandment is how I like Lisa most probably, pretty much for all of the reasons that Imperciph said when talking about how different people like Lisa when she's portrayed as an activist.

    Yet I've never had a problem with the aggressive Lisa, that pretty much started in Lisa Vs Malibu Stacey. Admittadly, it's not really how or why I like her but I have absolutely no problem with her being like this. I recall watching Lisa the Vegetarian for the first time in years when I got the DVD and finding myself hating Lisa half way through the episode. But by the time I reached the end, I realised that the only reason she was so unaccepting (if that's a word) of other people's beliefs is that she doesn't learn to be tolerant until the end of the episode. I haven't seen the highly criticised Lisa the Skeptic in a long time, so I can't judge it's supposed flaws in characterization of this nature.

    There's one thing that I just want to quickly point out about Lisa's poor characterization in Clear Day that illustrates why I hate her here. I know these aren't exactly the same, but they're both outbursts from Lisa against people that she thinks are in the wrong. Look at this from Lisa the Vegetarian:



    This is her face when she's driving the lawnmower thing with the pig on the front. She's angry because she's mad at them for eating meat, right? Compare it to this from Clear Day:



    I think that they're quite similar, because in both she's doing things to prevent people that she believes are in the wrong from doing something. In the first, she is just mad and thinks that her taking the meat is in the best interest of everyone. In the second, she is similarly preventing Bart from being near her, which she thinks is also for the best, although this is slightly more for her benefit. The thing I really hate here is how much pleasure she's taking in Bart's suffering. In LTV she never seemed to show that she felt that ruining the barbeque was fun. What ever happened to her talking about shameful joy? Yes, I know that she learns her lesson at the end, which to some would make the fact that I like LTV in the end obsolete because I criticize this still. I just think that although she is trying to take away people's freedom in both, I dislike the difference in her enjoyment of it as I mentioned above. Not a great comparison, but I think it illustrates why I dislike her here well enough.

    As for the complaints of Lisa in Sleeping With the Enemy, I'm pretty much in the middle, slightly leaning to the "bad characterization" side. I have no problem with the premise, I just think that the execution is a little bit over the top, pretty much just the scene with her going completely crazy about the cake. Crazy Lisa has always bugged me, even if they try and justify it. I dislike her characterization in The PTA Disbands too, one of the reasons why it gives the episode my lowest-non clip show grade of seasons 3-8 of C+ (tied with Homer Loves Flanders).

    And finally, touching on the activist Lisa again, I'd just like to mention that although I prefer the 8th Commandment type Lisa, Lisa the Iconoclast is definately my favourite Lisa episode and I love how she is shown here as well.

  14. #14
    He's undeniably real George Cauldron's Avatar
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    None of the contradictions in Lisa's character as Channel Surfer mentioned bother me. One thing that struck me as odd is the fact that a lot of people took exception to Lisa's characterisation in Lisa the Skeptic. I know that she does come off as an angry protester much of the time, but she is eight years old after all, she doesn't have to be sensitive to everybody's feelings, especially if they disagree with her. Recall a short part of Lisa the Iconoclast: "You were wrong, wrong, wrong!" So why the fuss over her calling the townspeople morons in Lisa the Skeptic? She has an opinion of her own - that the 'angel' is not actually an angel (perhaps the correct opinion), yet the rest of the town would rather believe that it is the remains of being that does not physically exist except in religious stories and mythology. I'd get frustrated too, and it's not surprising that Lisa, who normally has the patience of a saint, also gets annoyed. I don't think it's too much of a stretch for her to angrily call them morons, given the situation. Plus, Marge does tell Lisa she shouldn't be calling them morons, so it's hardly just a throwaway line, and really, it's not as if she had called them 'bastards' or something even stronger.

  15. #15
    The Winter Blues
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    Quote Originally Posted by Channel Surfer
    Or how about the fact that she was promoted as "playing to her own tune" so to speak in the opening credits and "Moaning Lisa", and is essentially outgoing to a point, but was ashamed to play her saxophone in her class in "Lisa's Substitute"?
    View it in another way: Lisa fell in love with her substitute teacher. And when he asked her to play the sax, she refused to play, because she probably was afraid of doing something wrong and she didn't want to leave a bad first impression. Which would be perfectly normal for someone to do.

    I am a Lisa fan myself, but I still agree with most people on this topic. She does have flaws and she isn't perfect.


  16. #16
    Out of touch old timer Nebuchanezzar's Avatar
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    And another thing, I've never completely understood the problems people have with the portrayal of Lisa in Lisa the Skeptic. Granted, she's a bit cruel to Marge when she says, "Don't feel sorry for me mum; I feel sorry for you". Also, this is really the first episode where we find out that Lisa has departed from her previous religious ways (such as in Homer v Lisa and the 8th Commandment), which shows a bit of disregard for that particular character trait. Although that could have been overcome by an episode put inbetween by Scully, if he so badly wanted to do this episode.

    Other than those two, her character is completely believable in reference to previous outings from Lisa. She doesn't see how anyone could believe that the angel is real, and after people ignore her scientific reasoning she becomes angry. She becomes angry because of a reason, the reason is valid and it's not unlike Lisa to become angry about such a thing. Much like in Lisa the Iconoclast, she does indeed tell people that they're wrong about their beliefs. Of course, Jebediah was grounded in a lot more fact that religion could ever be. Where's the problem?

  17. #17
    Stonecutter Veryjammy's Avatar
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    Hmm suddenly I'm paranoid about my complaints over two Lisa lines recently ('What's the deal with that dot?', 'Buy me the friggin diary') Nah, I'm right

  18. #18
    Profound Sadness Kiyosuki's Avatar
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    Well one thing's for sure, without angry Lisa I wouldn't of gotten one of my favorite lines ever.

    Bart: You don't understand. Her hair is like silk, her smile is perfect, and her breath...smells like Fruit Loops.
    Lisa: Yeah? Well, I eat Fruit Loops for breakfast!

    The fact its not so common for her to act like that...but at the same time not really out of character at all that makes those moments incredibly sweet for me.

  19. #19
    Registered User Widgets and doobobs's Avatar
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    The only time I like Lisa or gave her a second thought was when she declared herself the 'lizard queen'


  20. #20
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    I don't get the enmity a lot of people here have for "Lisa the Skeptic". One of the best Lisa-centric episodes, in my opinion.

    I'm a Lisa fan myself. There are more possibilities open for her character than for most other, possibilities that some people like to think of as out of character. Homer, Bart and many secondary characters are somewhat constricted in what they can or can't do because they're stupid. For these characters, there's no choice between spouting philosophy or sight gag - but the character of Lisa offers this choice.

    Lisa is multilayered. She isn't just the nerd, just the know-it-all or just the kid. She's all those things, and more, at the same time. That some people want to remove this multilayeredness is just strange. It's like they've decided on having Lisa as their favourite before even seeing the show, based on reading a blurb in a newspaper which identifies Lisa at the smart one. As anyone with a passing knowledge of The Simpsons should know, Lisa can't be condensed into one sentence.
    It's still good! It's still good!

  21. #21
    Newbie weirddivide's Avatar
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    i'd just like to say early Lisa before she ever had a central role was a good gimmick - incongruous input of wisdom with weird timing makes for funny

    Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire:
    Lisa: What, Aunt Patty?
    Patty: Oh, nothing, dear. I'm just trashing your father.
    Lisa: Well, I wish you wouldn't because, aside from the fact that he has the same frailties as all human beings, he's the only father I have. Therefore, he is my model of manhood, and my estimation of him will govern the prospects of my adult relationships. So I hope you bear in mind that any knock at him is a knock at me, and I am far too young to defend myself against such onslaughts.
    Patty: Mm hm. Go watch your cartoon show, dear.


    Principal Charming:
    Lisa: Since I'm sure you'd only resent the pity of an eight-year-old niece,
    I'll simply hope that you're one of the statistically insignificant
    number of forty-year-old single women who ever find their fair prince.
    (then aunt selma says something like to be young again...i think)

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomerX
    On the contrary; I think it does jive. Lisa at the end of Lisa the Iconoclast is probably the smartest we've ever seen her. Of course the question "can lying be justified?" is philosophical, but the outcome shows that Lisa is capable of critical thinking and emotional thinking. The whole point of the episode is to show how shared history can bring together even the most strained communities, like Springfield. Lisa remarks that the celebration brings out the best in everyone -- this is true for her as well. She is able to overcome her own petty need to be right for right's sake and realises that no one would benefit from a revelation, while everyone benefits from a lie.
    You might agree with her decision, but that doesn't mean the decision was in character for her. The whole town was happy believing that the angel skeleton was real, but that didn't stop her from trying to prove everyone wrong. In Pranksta Rap, everyone benefited from the lie that Bart was kidnapped, but she did everything she could to reveal the truth, even though she stood to gain nothing from it, just because she believed so strongly that the truth should be out there.


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    Sorry, double post.

  24. #24
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    I don't have much of a problem with the way Lisa was depicted in Sleeping with the Enemy, or Lisa the Skeptic, or Homer vs. Lisa and the Eighth Commandment. However, so far as I know, I'm the only person who thinks that Lisa's most out-of-character moment was the end of Lisa the Skeptic.

    I just don't see Lisa as someone who believes in lying about history just to make people happy. It doesn't jive with anything we've seen from her before or since - especially Pranksta Rap, where she goes on a crusade to find out the truth about Bart going to the rap concert even though everyone is happy with the lie, just for the sake of revealing the truth.

  25. #25
    formerly Keyser Soze Imperciph's Avatar
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    This very thread has turned into exactly the same type of argument Channel Surfer was talking about in his first post. How ironic.

  26. #26
    and now i have slapped a king Mike Scully's Avatar
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    I think many people think Lisa is supposed to be a role model, while others think she should be just as flawed and human as every other character. A lot of fans truly look up to her for her kindness and intelligence, so anytime she's a little condescending or aggressive is seen as indecent. With Homer and Bart; it's a lot more clear-cut; they're obviously not role models to emulated but very realistic and flawed.

    Personally, I think she is flawed, but it's very subtle, and she should be likable and inspiring overall. It's natural for her to have somewhat of a condescending, judgmental attitude, as she does in Lisa The Simpson. But when she becomes openly harsh and calls people idiots and says she feels sorry for Marge and accuses people of living in a "childish dream world", it's a very over-the-top, poor, simplified characterization. Mohammed Jafar described Lisa best a while ago: "sweetly sardonic and quierly poetic".

    A lot of contradictions in her character are actually very realistic and believable. She once told Bart "It's naive to think you can change a person" but she ends up doing the exact same thing with Nelson. It's so typical for an intelligent young girl to analyze an outside situation objectively and come up with all sorts of theories, and then not able to follow them when she is personally involved in the situation.

    Personally, I thought Sleeping With the Enemy had some of the finest Lisa characterization in the post-classic era. For all of her feminist ideals she parades in Lisa vs Malibu Stacy, personal insults about her body image can still get to her personally. Smart and ambitious girls have the exact same insecurities and self-doubt that everyone else does. They just don't dwell on it or let it control their lives, but it's definitely there. Lisa doesn't dwell on her looks for every episode, but she did go through a phase where she bcame obssessed with her looks. It's very realistic and not contradictory at all; I have girl friends who I'd consider extremely brainy nerdy and amitious, who I was surprised turned out to have a lot of insecurity about their looks.

    But there should be some limit to Lisa's character. Lisa's behavior in The PTA Disands is bad characterization IMO. Why is she so upset at the school closing? Doesn't she realize it's just temporary, and ultimately in place to help the school and its students? What makes her go crazy? not being able to learn (which she can do anyway, as she does during spring break break)? The familiarity of the setting? Not being graded? That's just silly. It doesn't ring true, it's not relatable, and her character just goes crazy for the sake of a few laughs which aren't funny anyway (the "grade me" scene is particularly cringe-worthy).


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    Quote Originally Posted by Fidelio1980
    I just don't see Lisa as someone who believes in lying about history just to make people happy. It doesn't jive with anything we've seen from her before or since - especially Pranksta Rap, where she goes on a crusade to find out the truth about Bart going to the rap concert even though everyone is happy with the lie, just for the sake of revealing the truth.
    On the contrary; I think it does jive. Lisa at the end of Lisa the Iconoclast is probably the smartest we've ever seen her. Of course the question "can lying be justified?" is philosophical, but the outcome shows that Lisa is capable of critical thinking and emotional thinking. The whole point of the episode is to show how shared history can bring together even the most strained communities, like Springfield. Lisa remarks that the celebration brings out the best in everyone -- this is true for her as well. She is able to overcome her own petty need to be right for right's sake and realises that no one would benefit from a revelation, while everyone benefits from a lie.


  28. #28
    I'm not your friend-o Cartoonnetwork's Avatar
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    Although I've been guilty of this charge in the past, now I am starting to be a little more open minded. However I think there was something interesting in Lisa stories that they have almost never used in subsequent seasons and it's a shame, cause they would probably have done it even better if they have wanted to. I am talking about the way he is presented in Moaning Lisa, for example, which I kind of think it's more interesting than the -in my opinion-more topic and shallow way theme of "trying to be popular" in episodes like Summer... and a lot of others. Though I mostly like those episodes I think there's something deeper in Moaning Lisa, she's told to try to be popular by Marge, but she actually is a very different girl and not only because of her condition of teacher's pet or good student, also because she's more worried and sad about things in her life. I'd also wish they use her musical talent in the episodes more often.

    That said, I also think her character was perfect in Sleeping With The Enemy, it was like something directly taken from season 4. In fact it's was very similar to that Corey line subplot in the way she was developed.

    I didn't have big problems with her in Lisa The Skeptic until I enter this forum. I think she's ok in On A Clear Day too, and I have elaborated it a lot of times before. I, however, don't like her characterization in Lisa, The Simpson, especially when she says directly to Homer that she doesn't want to become like him. That's the stuff I really hate, when she actually insults a member of her family directly and when the other character hasn't done anything to her (of course Lisa The Substitute doesn't count, Homer had already done a very unpolite commentary about how less he cared about her problem).

  29. #29


    Well, I don't have much things to add, There are some great posts in this thread, even if I don't agree completely with what has been said.

    As I've already said somewhere, it annoys me when the writers force a character to follow the plot instead of acting more naturally, according to its traits. That isn't ignoring the good points or the content that the episode may have, but simply the writers should be able to give content to an episode and make the commentaries they want without neglecting characterizations.
    It's not like if I watch an episode with the only purpose to check if the characters behave according to my rigid scheme, but sometimes I simply find myself annoyed by the way a character acts in the episode and I try to check why I got annoyed, what was wrong with it.

    That said, it's true that even in the classic era there're present different characterizations of Lisa. Nevertheless this doesn't prevent to have a well defined (even if not rigid) character of Lisa. If Lisa wasn't a well defined character, she could do anything in an episode and never be out-of-character, I don't think this is the case.
    Also, justifying characterizations in an episode through consistency with a previous episode may be risky, because out of the classic era Lisa has been doing everything, and has been portrayed in so many different ways, that she's become an entity rather than a character (but I know that there're no other ways to judge if a characterization is consistent or not).

    So, the writers have the freedom to characterize Lisa in different ways, still keeping consistency with other episodes, but this doesn't prevent me to complain about Lisa's characterization in an episode, if I think they neglected an important aspect of her personality or they 'forgot' a character development in a previous episode, making her behavior feel forced to me.

    I'd like not to go back to that discussion, but I don't think Summer of 4 ft. 2 and Lisa the Beauty Queen give complete consistency to the subplot of SWTE.

  30. #30
    I'm not your friend-o Cartoonnetwork's Avatar
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    I agree they use some forced emotion or behaviour these days. Sometimes it doesn't hurt the character so much. I think Lisa was perfectly ok in Milhouse Doesn't Live Here Anymore, but some poster here (I don't remember who) told me once the final conflict was contrived and it was, it doesn't seem like Lisa should have such a big problem with Bart's revelation to Milhouse, other than he promised not to say it. This is contrived, but it would have been contrived with the characters of Marge and Homer too, it's not so much a characterization problem, it's more that the conflict doesn't take place naturally.

    One thing I dislike too, and in fact it doesn't have anything to do with her characterization either, is when they totally forget about the continuity (and that has happened with Lisa character very clearly during Jean era). Like I said I think Lisa's behaviour in OACDICSMS is more or less well justified, however I don't buy the "three nice things" stuff in the way it's presented, because we all know from other episodes Bart has done a lot of good things for Lisa previously. If she had said "Name three things he has done for me LATELY" it would have had some sense, or if she had recognized she didn't remember because she was upset...it's just that the way they presented it in the episode, it seems that they were saying LITERALLY that Bart hasn't done anything good to Lisa other than those three things in all their life.

    Another thing I disliked was that line about her first boyfriend in Dude Where Is My Ranch, because it is again so obvious that's not really true that I don't mind those -rather stupid if you ask me- excuse of the not continuity. Episodes take place in order, that's why Maude Flanders is not dead in one episode, then alife the next week. Other than that, they are poor excuses of justification in a show that has already mixed up with its universe too much during seasons 9-12 to forget about details like that in the new episodes.



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