They’re the family you’ve grown up with your whole life. But instead of living across the street, they’re yellow and live inside your television screen.
Whether you’re watching the old classics where the mouths don’t quite sync up to their speech, or shiny bright yellow Homer in high definition, The Simpsons has a lesson to teach in pretty much every episode. Some wise and helpful – others a little more dubious.
We’ve outlined the 15 most important life lessons we’ve been taught from years of watching The Simpsons.
1. Keep your friends close but your enemies closer
Whether it’s Sideshow Bob trying to kill you or a competitor in the school spelling bee, it’s good to keep one eye on your enemies at all times. You can never be too sure when they’ll attack and surprise you with silent h’s, or make you over-think the word ‘necessary’.
2. Follow your gut
Every Simpson family member has been known to act upon instinct. If they have their little yellow hearts set on something they will go to the greatest extremes to reach that goal. It could be the desire to eat the longest sandwich in the world or biggest burger in the world or largest doughnut in the world or… you get the picture.
3. Always try your best. Or never try at all
Simple yet efficient life lesson here. If you don’t set any goals in the first place you can’t be disappointed.
4. Love is unpredictable
You can’t help who you fall blind in love with, or in Grandpa’s case, just turn blind.
5. Actions speak louder than words
Maggie Simpson hasn’t spoken a single word for the entirety of the show (with one notable exception), and yet some of her actions (spolier alert!), such as shooting Mr Burns and bringing a room full of mobsters to tears, are the most powerful. Silence is golden. Or bright yellow with a bow in her hair.
6. “It takes two to lie, one to lie and one to listen”
Thank you Homer for this deep and powerful message. Is a lie really a lie before it is believed to be true? Probably, yes.
7. Don’t be afraid to try new things
Don’t feel like you need to follow the crowd all the time. Even if you’re going to change your name to Max Power, find a way to express yourself the way you want too. Everybody’s doing it.
8. Don’t hold grudges
Life’s too short to spend it plotting and scheming and simmering in your own anger. But if you’re going too, watch out for rakes.
9. Money is the root of all evil
With a family like the Simpsons, and friends that shine out brighter than the colour of their skin, who needs money to be happy. You can make your own fun by rolling around on the coppers found under your sofa cushions.
10. Live freely
Spend every day like it’s your last. In The Simpsons, there are no limitations to what they can do. Live like a cartoon and anything becomes possible.
11. Some rules were made to be broken.
Let’s be honest: the TV show would be pretty boring if everyone stuck by the rules of law, gravity and general reality.
12. The future is now
It’s the way forward and it’s approaching faster than ever, with laptops getting thinner, phones getting bigger – there’s only a matter of time before we give in to mechanical legs even if we can walk and communication collapses completely. Exciting stuff!
13. Don’t gamble
Just don’t do it. Spend your money on lottery tickets instead.
14. Protect our planet and creatures
If we don’t look after them, they won’t look after us. So fear the days when killer dolphins or insect overlords take over.
15. Friends are forever
Bros before hoes. Hoes before Moe’s.