'The Simpsons' Main Characters

The Simpsons characters: Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, ​and Maggie, have been at the center of some of the best episodes.

Homer Simpson

Homer Simpson
Homer Simpson. FOX

Homer Simpson is my favorite character on The Simpsons. His greed is often foiled by his stupidity. His schemes are often saved by the big heart he has for his family. And his perception of himself and the world is just hysterical. I miss the innocent Homer of seasons past, though. I hope his "prank monkey" antics are short-lived.

Best episode: "King-Size Homer" reveals the essential Homer we know and love. He just wants to sit around at home, eat and get paid for it.

Bart Simpson

Bart Simpson
Bart Simpson. ©1999 20TH CENTURY FOX FILM CORP.

Bart is the kid in all of us. He's a prankster, a smart-mouth, and a vandal. Yet, he can show great compassion and tenderness for his family. 

Best episode: While I considered choosing "Cape Feare" and "Kamp Krusty," I think "Krusty Gets Kancelled" remains the best Bart Simpson episode. We see his loyalty to Krusty, as well as what Bart can accomplish when he puts his mind to it.

Lisa Simpson

Lisa Simpson

Lisa Simpson's sharp wit and sly observations of her own family crack me up every time. I also relate to her cursed over-achiever-ness and desire to fit in. Because she's so straight-laced, when we discover quirks, like her love of Corey, it's even funnier.

Best episode: "Lisa the Vegetarian" marks and important milestone in Lisa's character development. After visiting a petting zoo, she becomes a vegetarian, going against her family's strong taste for meat. "You don't win friends with salad!"

Marge Simpson

Marge Simpson
Marge Simpson. Twentieth Century Fox

Marge Simpson is easy to recognize in her green, strapless dress, and piled-high blue hair. She's more than a mom, opening her own businesses or standing up for her beliefs. Although she's left Homer a few times (or kicked him out), she remains loyal to her husband.

Best episode: "A Streetcar Named Marge" takes Marge through an entire arc of emotions, from feeling bored as a housewife, to angry at Homer's neglect, to relief and love when Homer makes it clear he watched the play, and it made him understand her needs more.

Maggie Simpson

Maggie Simpson
Maggie Simpson. Twentieth Century Fox

Maggie Simpson is more than just an accessory in the Simpson family. The mystery around her first words were solved when Elizabeth Taylor famously voice her saying, "Daddy" in "Lisa's First Word.

Best episode: In "Homer Alone," Maggie escapes the house while Homer does a poor job of babysitting. She goes on an adventure, searching for Marge, who is at Rancho Relaxo. Best scene? When Homer calls the "missing baby department," gets put on hold and listens to "Baby Come Back."

Grampa Abe Simpson

Grandpa Simpson
Grandpa Simpson. Twentieth Century Fox

Grampa Simpson is the perfect stereotypical old person. He can't remember what he did yesterday, but he'll tell you his war stories over and over, frequently falling asleep in the middle. He's proud and pathetic at the same time. His teeth can be used in many ways. Best of all, he's there when his family needs him for babysitting or lending money to buy a home.

Best Episode: "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish" shows up that Grampa had quite a life before he became a geezer. During World War II, he was known as "Raging Abe," the leader of his platoon (think Howling Commandos). Turns how he and his comrades hid some priceless paintings, and one when of them dies, it's time for either Abe or Mr. Burns to cash in.

Mr. Burns

Mr. Burns
Mr. Burns. Twentieth Century Fox

Mr. Burns is best when he's doing something evil. His complete ignorance of Homer Simpson ("Who is that young go-getter, Smithers?") is a characteristic of his narcissism, because he has partnered with Homer for many ventures and adventures.

Best episode: In "Rosebud," we find out that as a child Mr. Burns had a favorite teddy bear named Bobo. Mr. Burns employs desperate measures to get it back from Maggie Simpson, even taking over every TV channel in Springfield.


Krusty the Clown

Krusty the Clown
Krusty the Clown. Twentieth Century Fox

In reality, no children's television clown with Krusty's personality would be on the air. (Paul Reubens, anyone?) But in the world of Springfield, we can love the irony that a smoking, boozing, womanizing clown with mob ties hosts a children's TV show.

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon

Apu. Twentieth Century Fox

Apu seems to always have a quip ready at the counter of his Kwik E Mart. He cleverly gauges Springfield citizens with his prices. His patient explanations of Hinduism to Homer tickle me silly. He's got a killer singing voice, as proven in "A Streetcar Named Marge."

Best episode: In "The Two Nahasapeemapetilons," Apu tries to get out of an arranged marriage by pretending to be married to Marge. He winds up falling for his betrothed, Manjula.

Sideshow Bob

Sideshow Bob is a shady clown who's tried several times to kill Bart, as revenge for Bart fingering him in a Kwik-E-Mart theft. He's been his own worst enemy, foiling his own schemes.

Best episode: "Cape Feare" is a terrific episode that parodies the Martin Scorsese movie Cape Fear. Sideshow Bob sports a t-shirt that says, "Die Bart Die," only to claim it's German for "The Bart, The." He gets caught trying to kill Bart, again, when he wastes time singing the entire score of H.M.S. Pinafore.

Ned Flanders

Ned Flanders
Ned Flanders. Twentieth Century Fox

Ned Flanders has been profiled in the Christian Science Monitor, as well as books like The Gospel According to The Simpsons. He's sunny and funny, whether Homer likes it or not. Ned has faced his own demons and come out a winner, including a childhood with beatnik parents and the death of his wife, Maude. He surprised everyone with his shirtless turn in "A Streetcar Named Marge."

Best episode: "Hurricane Neddy" shows us that even the best Christian can stumble. After the Flanders house is destroyed in a hurricane, the residents of Springfield come together to restore it -- poorly. Ned blows his top and winds up in the psych ward.

Principal Skinner

Principal Seymour Skinner
Principal Seymour Skinner. Twentieth Century Fox

Principal Skinner is a paradox. He's an authority figure at school, but at home he's just a mama's boy. He has been Bart's enemy and ally. He tries to be straight-laced, but had a lurid affair with a teacher, Edna Krabappel. Skinner isout-of-touch with the children; he is the stereotypical square principal from Any School U.S.A.

Best episode: In "Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song," Principal Skinner is fired and we learn more about his life outside Springfield Elementary. He returns to the army, only to find it's not how he remembered. His temporary friendship with Bart is sweet and funny.

Mayor Quimby
Mayor Quimby. Twentieth Century Fox

Mayor "Diamond Joe" Quimby is an example of the worst kind of politician. He's a greedy womanizer who knows very little about actually leading and serving Springfield. His accent is a parody of the Kennedy accent.

Best episode: In "Mayored to the Mob," Homer becomes Quimby's bodyguard. We find out he's got strong ties to the mob, including a deal to see rat milk to school. Yuck. More »

Comic Book Guy
Comic Book Guy. FOX

Representing nerds and geeks of the world, Comic Book Guy is the proprietor of Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop. Everything he says is smug and sarcastic.

Best episode: "Treehouse of Horror X" features a segment with Comic Book Guy as "The Collector." He kidnaps Xena and we see that he's got many other celebrities in mint condition, including Matt Groening, himself. More »

The Simpsons Family with Pets
The Simpsons Family with Pets. Twentieth Century Fox

Santa's Little helper is the scrawny Greyhound dog Homer and Bart adopted in "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire." He's had it rough with surgeries, fathering puppies and booting Laddie, the collie, from his turf. Santa's Little Helper is truly Bart's best friend.

Best episode: In "Dog of Death," the family cuts their budget to pay for badly needed surgery for Santa's Little Helper. However, after he recovers, they resent him and treat him badly. He runs away and becomes an attack dog for Mr. Burns. More »