Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From Marge Simpson
Mother’s Day is on Sunday, and in that spirit, I thought I should write about someone really, really important to me. I always joke that Danny Tanner is my dad–and by “joke,” I mean I’m pretty dead serious–but I never give it up for the one who truly raised me. Yes I have a real mom, but I also have a TV mom, and I may have learned just as much from her because I was raised by a television set like any true 90s kid. Marge Simpson is the best mother in the world, besides my friend Nelson, but Marge could potentially edge her out because Nelson has really pretty hair, but Marge somehow has gotten hers to remain blue and beehive-y for the past like…entirety of Nelson’s life. So, anyway. Happy Mother’s Day to you guys, or to your mothers, and definitely to Marge (and Nelson).
EINTKILF Marge Simpson
1. Sometimes, husbands are exhausting.
Homer: Hey, Marge. Isn’t it great being married to someone who’s recklessly impulsive?
Marge: Actually, it’s aged me horribly.
Can you imagine being married to Homer, though? It is a good thing he redeems himself greatly on a fairly regular basis, because Marge has put up with a ton.
2. Never be afraid to voice your opinions.
Like in “Marge vs. the Monorail” in season four, Marge is totally the one who knows the whole thing is a scam the entire time, and without her, that monorail could have ruined the town forever! Jerk singers. Can’t trust them! You can never trust a jerk singer!
Marge: I still think we should have used the money to fix Main Street.
Homer: Well, you should have written a song like that guy.
Eventually the town of Springfield realizes the error of their ways–as always–and Marge comes out on top. Maybe she should have written a song, but it is okay if you don’t have one prepared, you should definitely still speak your voice. OR prepare songs about stuff you care about now and pull them out when the time comes.
3. Men never listen.
This is a borrowed lesson, but definitely an important reminder, and a mean generalization that I am sticking to!
Marge: Now the cat needs his medication…
Homer: No problem.
Marge: …every morning.
Homer: Can do.
Marge: And the furnace has been giving off…
Marge: …a lot of carbon monoxide…
Marge: …so keep the window op–
Homer: Cat in the furnace.
Marge: Uh, you know, I think I’ll take Maggie with us. And if anything happens, just use your best judgm… mmm… just do what I would do.
I have said it before, and I will say it again: never leave the baby with your reckless husband and mischievous son. And maybe don’t leave the cat either.
I don’t think I have actually ever said either of those things.
4. A craving for pancakes could mean a baby is on its way.
Homer: Oh, honey do you really think you’re pregnant?
Marge: Well, I have the same nausea and craving for pancake mix I did with the other kids.
Homer: Yeah, and I have the same tingling in my chest and profuse sweating I always get.
If this is a genuinely true lesson, I am always pregnant.
5. Stand up for your children.
(This makes me cry, I’ll try to hold it together, even though you suckers can’t see me right now!)
In “Homer Defined,” (season 3) Milhouse’s mom decides to not let him hang out with Bart anymore because Bart is a bad influence on Milhouse. When Marge finds out about it, she goes to convince Luanne that Bart is alright, just a bit of a handful (as the best of us are!) Luanne overturns her decision, and…and…I’m crying.
Marge: Well I knew his mother would come to her senses.
Bart: Thanks for sticking up for me.
Marge: What makes you think you think I did it?
Bart: Who else would?
6. Always be yourself.
In one of the saddest episodes of The Simpsons ever, “Moaning Lisa” (season 1), Marge initially tells Lisa to suppress her feelings, to fake it till you make it, even when you feel sad. Later on, Marge regrets her bad advice and tells Lisa to be herself, act how she feels, and supports her in such a tender moment between mom and daughter.
Marge: Lisa, I apologize to you. I was wrong, I take it all back. Always be yourself. If you want to be sad, honey, be sad. We’ll ride it out with you, and when you get finished feeling sad, we’ll still be there. From now on, let me do the smiling for both of us.
(Lisa smiles, and hugs her mother.)
Lisa: Okay, Mom.
Marge: I said you could stop smiling, Lisa.
Lisa: I feel like smiling.
7. Pursue your hobbies.
The plot of “A Streetcar Named Marge” (season two) revolves around Marge joining a theater troupe in which she is cast to play Blanche in Oh, Streetcar! in order to get some free time from her overly needy family.
Marge: I haven’t been in a play since high school, and I thought it would be a good chance to meet some other adults.
Homer: Sounds interesting.
Marge: You know, I spend all day alone with Maggie, and sometimes it’s like I don’t even exist.
Homer: Sounds interesting.
Plus, the play was a great way to get Homer to pay attention to his wife’s needs since the relationship between Blanche and Stanley parallels their own. Homer wises up, and don’t you see that sometimes you can teach a lesson through a hobby and/or a work of art? Like when I drop subliminal truth bombs in my EINTKILFs like in one of the lessons above? DON’T BE A STANLEY, BOYS.
8. Try new things.
Marge has been a cop, a novelist, a prisoner and a painting teacher in prison, a Power Plant employee, an erotic baker, a real estate agent, and a trade show model.
On top of all that, she is, as I have probably demonstrated at this point, a terrific mother. You can be lots of things, though, as Marge has showed us.
9. The presence of a mother is strong.
In one of my favorite episodes of all time–“Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily” (season 7)–because I love Ned Flanders, and the struggle between Christians and non-Christians, the Simpsons kids are taken away from Marge and Homer because, well, are we all that surprised? It was bound to happen eventually! Marge and Homer are not allowed contact with the kids at all, so they enroll in parenting classes in order to prove themselves worthy of getting their kids back. Meanwhile, over at the foster parent, Flanders’ house, Bart and Lisa hate being there and want to go back to their old lives, but baby Maggie is enjoying the attentiveness of her new home. Flanders freaks out when he discovers that the kids had never been baptized, so he takes them to the river to pour some holy water over their spiky yellow heads, and almost succeeds until Homer shows up and saves them. (Ooh ironic use of the word there, Jess.)
Maggie is resistant, and almost stays with Flanders and his kids until, well, until her mother shows up.
Marge: Maggie, you’re a Simpson again!
10. “Our differences are only skin deep, but our sames go down to the bone.”
And to be honest, that is really the only lesson you need in life. Thanks, Mom. I mean, Marge.