The Simpsons Life Lessons (Season 6 – Part 1)

It’s been over twenty years since I can remember the first time I saw Matt Groening’s “crudely drawn” family of five deal with the almost surreal problems that life seemingly presents on a daily basis. From that moment I laid my eyes on “The Simpsons” I became enamored and, eventually, a life-long fan (more than likely I’ll be re-watching episodes when I’m old enough to shout at clouds). During my time as a “Simpsons” viewer I’ve discovered many relatable life lessons that I plan to share with you. Welcome to “The Simpsons Life Lesson” series (season six).


Never Assume the Worst (Episode 1: “Bart of Darkness”)




Summer had hit Springfield with almost unbearable temperatures when the season began. With the promise of constant pestering throughout the hottest season of the year, Bart and Lisa Simpson convinced their father to get the family a pool. But Bart’s attempt at showing off in front of friends mixed with a poorly timed joke saw Bart fall and break his leg. Stuck in a cast and unable to swim left Bart stuck by himself (especially after his sister’s popularity exploded thanks to her family’s latest acquisition). Loneliness and paranoia eventually overtook Bart, culminating in spying when he heard a womanish scream emanate from the Flanders family’s home followed by the family’s patriarch exclaiming, “I’m a murderer! I’m a mur-diddly-er-gler!”




Parodying Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window”, Bart embraced the usage of his sister’s telescope to figure out what happened only one house over. Bart eventually convinced Lisa to investigate and unveil Ned Flanders for being the killer that Bart assumed he was. Eventually the truth found its way to the figurative surface and Ned admitted to killing … his wife’s favorite ficus plant while she was at Bible Camp.




Though it may be easy to assume the worst during a vague situation, try not to let your mind get the better of you. It could result in sheer embarrassment for all involved and a revelation that your male neighbor screams like a girl.


Ned Flanders Scream Bart of Darnkess


You Can’t Always Be Number One (Episode 2: “Lisa’s Rival”)


Lisas Rival


On one random day, Lisa Simpson took it upon herself to literally be just typical Lisa: an upstanding student with the hopeful intent of becoming a great jazz musician. So color Lisa surprised when a new girl one-upped the smartest Simpson in town. Lisa, known for her impressive intelligence and immaculate abilities with the saxophone, found herself playing second fiddle to this new girl Allison; be it in the classroom or on stage for the promise of being first chair saxophone in the school’s orchestra. It didn’t take long before Lisa’s position as the top-tier student in her class was unceremoniously usurped and a downward spiral of self-loathing and mental anguish began for her (displayed perfectly when Lisa’s old crush, Ralph Wiggum – who looked to cheat off his old infatuation at the episode’s beginning – didn’t want anything to do with Lisa when she attempted to take the unnecessary moral high ground).


Ralph Wiggum Cat Lisa's Rival


Desperate to regain her above-average status, Lisa enlisted her brother’s help in digging up non-existent dirt on Allison before attempting to ruin her “friend’s” chances of winning their Springfield Elementary’s diorama building contest. Lisa’s conscience eventually got the better of her and Lisa was forced to swallow her pride; accepting someone was a little more gifted than her.


It's the beating of the baboon heart!

It’s the beating of the baboon heart!


Don’t be upset if there’s someone better at the things that you believe makes you unique and special. It’s better to be number two than trying to be number one and forced to watch a diorama competition deteriorate into “Star Wars” fandom overcoming all.


Ralph Lisa's Rival Skipping


Ralph Wiggum Wookie Lisa's Rival


Love Conquers Kill (Episode 8: “Lisa on Ice”)


Lisa vs Bart Simpson Lisa on Ice


Brainiac and straight-A student Lisa Simpson found herself in a bad predicament when Principal Skinner informed her that she was failing gym class. Given the option of joining an outside-of-school peewee sports team, Lisa’s lack of athleticism moved her closer toward her first failing grade when no sport seemed to click with her. Bart, being an all-star hockey player, took his opportunity to pelt trash like a puck at his sister post-game. To the shock of everyone watching, Lisa defended herself impressively enough to be offered a spot on Apu’s “Kwik-E-Mart Gougers” – the rival of Bart’s team, the Chief Wiggum-headed “Mighty Pigs”.




The “professional” rivalry between Bart and Lisa, something emphasized since the series’ beginning, spilled into their home life; distressing Marge to the point she feared if irreparable damage had been done to the unique bond of brother and sister. Homer didn’t help matters by putting whatever child was doing better on the ice on a higher pedestal. Eventually, The Mighty Pigs and Gougers faced off in a bout that, according to Homer, would determine the better child. As the final seconds ticked down, Bart and Lisa finally saw the light and ignored the audience’s cries for death (oddly, Marge also chanted, “Kill!” with everyone in attendance); embracing to settle the war not with bloodshed, but love.


Bart and Lisa Lisa on Ice


If you have children who want nothing more than to beat each other for attention and glory and are worried how their lives will turn out, put them on opposing sports teams and wait for their dramatic confrontation. With the reek of wanted violence spewing from the crowd, your offspring will find themselves drawn to peace and leave you either proud (like Marge) or disappointed (like Homer). Either way, at least they won’t be tearing up the house anymore (or at least until next week when everything magically resets itself).




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