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The Simpsons character
Marge Simpson.png
Marge Simpson
Gender Female
Job Housewife
Relatives Husband: Homer
Children: Bart, Lisa, Maggie
Parents: Clancy and Jacqueline Bouvier
Sisters: Patty and Selma
Voice actor Julie Kavner
First appearance
Ullman shorts "Good Night" (1987)
The Simpsons "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" (1989)

Marjorie "Marge" Simpson (née Bouvier) is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons and part of the eponymous family. She is voiced by actress Julie Kavner and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Marge was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his mother Margaret Groening. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three years, the Simpson family received their own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989.

Marge is the well-meaning and extremely patient mother of the Simpson family. With her husband Homer, she has three children: Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. Marge is the moralistic force in her family and often provides a grounding voice in the midst of her family's antics by trying to maintain order in the Simpson household. She is often portrayed as a stereotypical television mother and is often included on lists of top "TV moms". She has appeared in other media relating to The Simpsons—including video games, The Simpsons Movie, The Simpsons Ride, commercials, and comic books—and inspired an entire line of merchandise.

Marge's distinctive blue beehive hairstyle was inspired by a combination of The Bride of Frankenstein and the style that Margaret Groening wore in the 1960s. Julie Kavner, who was a member of the original cast of The Tracey Ullman Show, was asked to voice Marge so that more voice actors would not be needed. Kavner has won several awards for voicing Marge, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 1992. She was also nominated for an Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature for her performance in The Simpsons Movie. In 2000, Marge, along with the rest of her family, was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Role in The Simpsons

The Simpsons uses a floating timeline in which the characters do not physically age, and as such the show is generally assumed to be set in the current year. In several episodes, events have been linked to specific time periods, although this timeline has been contradicted in subsequent episodes.[1] Marge Simpson is the wife of Homer and mother of Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson.[2] She was raised by her parents, Jacqueline and Clancy Bouvier.[3] She has a pair of sisters, the joyless Patty and Selma, both of whom vocally disapprove of Homer. In "The Way We Was" (season two, 1991), it is revealed via flashback that Marge attended Springfield High School, and in her final year met Homer Simpson. She was at first wary of Homer, but agreed to go to the prom with him, although she ended up going with Artie Ziff. However, she regrets going with Artie and ends up with Homer.[3] After the two started dating for several years, Marge discovered she was pregnant with Bart, and she and Homer were married in a small wedding chapel across the state line.[4] Bart was born soon after, and the couple bought their first house. The episode "That 90's Show" (season 19, 2008) contradicted much of the established back-story; for example, it was revealed that Marge and Homer were childless in the early 1990s although past episodes had suggested Bart and Lisa were born in the 1980s.[5]

As with many Simpsons characters, Marge's age changes to serve the story. In season one (1990) episodes "Life on the Fast Lane" and "Some Enchanted Evening", Marge is said to be 34.[6][7] In "Regarding Margie" (season 17, 2006), Homer mentions that Marge is his age, meaning she could be anywhere between 36 and 40.[8]

Marge has been unemployed for most of the series, choosing to be a homemaker and take care of her family.[9] However, she has held several one-episode jobs in the course of the series. These include working as a nuclear technician alongside Homer at Springfield Nuclear Power Plant in "Marge Gets a Job" (season four, 1992);[9] selling houses in "Realty Bites" (season nine, 1997);[10] owning her own pretzel business in "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson" (season eight, 1997),[11] and working at an erotic bakery in "Sex, Pies and Idiot Scrapes" (season 20, 2008).[12] While Marge has never expressed discontent with her role as a homemaker, she has become bored with it. In "The Springfield Connection" (season six, 1995), Marge decides that she needs more excitement in her life and becomes a police officer. However, by the end of the episode, she becomes upset with the corruption in the force and quits.[13]



 A man in glasses and a plaid shirt sits in front of a microphone.
Matt Groening created Marge while waiting in James L. Brooks' office.

Matt Groening first conceived Marge and the rest of the Simpson family in 1986 in the lobby of producer James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of animated shorts for The Tracey Ullman Show, and had intended to present an adaptation of his Life in Hell comic strip. When he realized that animating Life in Hell would require him to rescind publication rights, Groening decided to go in another direction[14] and hurriedly sketched out his version of a dysfunctional family, naming the characters after members of his own family. Marge was named after Groening's mother Margaret "Marge" Groening, who has said she bears little similarity to the character, stating, "It's really weird to have people think you're a cartoon."[14][15][16] Marge's beehive hairstyle was inspired by The Bride of Frankenstein and the style that Margaret Groening wore during the 1960s, although her hair was never blue.[17][18]

Marge debuted with the rest of the Simpson family on April 19, 1987, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night".[19] In 1989, the shorts were adapted into The Simpsons, a half-hour series airing on the Fox Network. Marge and the Simpson family remained the main characters on this new show.[20]

Matt Groening believes that episodes featuring Marge are among the most difficult episodes to write. Bill Oakley believes that the "junior" writers are usually given Marge episodes because he and writing partner Josh Weinstein were given several to write during their first season.[21] During the third season of the show, most of the writers focused on Bart and Homer, so David M. Stern decided to write a Marge episode, which became "Homer Alone" (season three, 1992). He felt that they could achieve a "deeper vein" of comedy in an episode where Marge has a nervous breakdown, and James L. Brooks quickly approved.[22]


Marge in her first televised appearance in "Good Night".

The entire Simpson family was designed so that they would be recognizable in silhouette.[23] The family was crudely drawn, because Groening had submitted basic sketches to the animators, assuming they would clean them up; instead, they just traced over his drawings.[14] To draw Marge, the animators generally start off with a sphere, similar to the way Lisa and Maggie are drawn. The eyes are then drawn, with one roughly in the middle of the sphere, and the other to the front side of the head. Then, the nose and lip are drawn. Her hair is then drawn on top as a long tube coming out of the sphere. An original idea the animators had for when Marge walked through doorways was that her hair would be forced down as she walked through, then once clear of the door, it would spring back and forth. This was never used.[24] According to Matt Groening, the original idea behind Marge's hair was that it would conceal large rabbit ears. The gag was intended to be revealed in the final episode of the series, but was scrapped early on due to inconsistencies, and also to the fact that rabbit ears would be too fictitious even for The Simpsons.[25]


Marge's voice is performed by Julie Kavner, who also does the voices of Marge's mother Jacqueline and sisters Patty and Selma. Kavner had been part of the regular cast of The Tracey Ullman Show. Voices were needed for the shorts, so the producers decided to ask Kavner and fellow cast member Dan Castellaneta to voice Marge and Homer rather than hire more actors.[26][27] Part of Kavner's contract says that she will never have to promote The Simpsons on video and she rarely performs Marge's voice in public because she believes it "destroys the illusion. People feel these are real people."[28][29] Kavner takes recording sessions seriously and feels that voice acting is "a little more limiting than live acting. And I have nothing to do with my character's movement."[30]

Marge's raspy voice is only slightly different from Kavner's, who has a "honeyed gravel voice"[31] which she says is due to "a bump on [her] vocal cords."[32] While Marge is her most famous character, Kavner's favorite characters to voice are Patty and Selma because "they're really funny and sad at the same time."[29] In The Simpsons Movie, some scenes, such as Marge's video message to Homer, were recorded over one hundred times, leaving Kavner exhausted.[33]

Until 1998, Kavner was paid $30,000 per episode. During a pay dispute in 1998, Fox threatened to replace the six main voice actors with new actors, going as far as preparing to cast new voices.[34] However, the dispute was soon resolved and she received $125,000 per episode until 2004 when the voice actors demanded that they be paid $360,000 an episode.[34] The issue was resolved a month later,[35] and Kavner earned $250,000 per episode.[28] After salary re-negotiations in 2008, the voice actors receive approximately $400,000 per episode.[36]


Marge is generally a stereotypical sitcom mother, and she also plays the "long-suffering wife" who puts up with the antics of her children and her oafish husband.[2] While she usually takes her family's problems with good humor, in "Homer Alone" (season three, 1992), her workload and resultant stress caused her to have a mental breakdown. After spending time at "Rancho Relaxo", during which her family barely coped with her absence, she returned refreshed and everyone promised to help out more often.[37] Marge often provides a grounding opinion for Homer and their marriage has often been shaky. Marge admits that she "put[s] up with a lot in [their] marriage," and has left Homer or thrown him out of the house on several occasions.[38][39][40] One of the first such episodes to depict this is "Secrets of a Successful Marriage" (season five, 1994), where Homer starts teaching an adult education class on how to build a successful marriage. He is at first unsuccessful, but gains the interest of the class when he starts giving away family secrets, many of which concern Marge. Upon finding this out, Marge is incensed and throws him out of the house. The next day, Homer is dirty and disheveled, and begs Marge to take him back, saying the one thing he can offer her that nobody else can is "complete and utter dependence." At first, Marge does not see that as a benefit, but eventually admits that he "really [does] make a gal feel needed."[38] Episodes that depict marital problems have become more frequent in recent seasons of the show. Through it all, Marge has remained faithful to Homer, despite temptations to the contrary such as the one in "Life on the Fast Lane" (season one, 1990), where she resists the charming Frenchman Jacques and instead chooses to remain with Homer.[7]

Marge is a caring, understanding, and nurturing parent to Bart, but she refers to him as "a handful" and is often embarrassed by his antics.[41] In "Marge Be Not Proud" (season seven, 1995), she felt she was mothering Bart too much and started acting more distant towards him after he was caught shoplifting. In the beginning of the episode, Bart protested her "over-mothering", but as she started acting more distant towards him, he felt guilty about it and made up with her.[42] Marge has expressed understanding for her "special little guy" and has defended him on many occasions. She once said "I know Bart can be a handful, but I also know what he's like inside. He's got a spark. It's not a bad thing... Of course, it makes him do bad things."[41] Marge has a good relationship with Lisa and the two are shown to get along quite well. Marge over-mothers Maggie, which causes her to become too clingy and dependent on Marge. In "Midnight Towboy" (season 19, 2007), Marge hires an expert to help make Maggie more independent. However, Maggie becomes so independent that she rarely needs Marge. Marge begins to miss Maggie, but at the end of the episode, Maggie starts to need her again.[43] Marge maintains a good relationship with her mother Jacqueline and her sisters Patty and Selma. Patty and Selma disapprove of Homer and are not afraid to be vocal. Marge has tolerated their criticism, but has occasionally lost patience with them, once referring to them as "ghouls."[44] Marge's father Clancy is rarely referred to in the series and has had speaking parts in only two episodes.[3] It was revealed in "Fear of Flying" (season six, 1994) that Clancy told Marge that he was a pilot, but in reality he was a flight attendant. Marge discovered this one day and developed aerophobia.[45] Clancy has not had a speaking appearance since. In "Jazzy and the Pussycats" (season 18, 2006), Homer casually mentions that they once attended his funeral.[46]

Marge has higher morals than most other characters, once leading a family values crusade against the violent Itchy & Scratchy Show[47] and being a prominent member of the "Citizens' Committee on Moral Hygiene."[48] She often provides a voice of reason for the town itself, but many of the townspeople are frustrated or contemptuous of her frequent failure to recognize or react correctly to breaches of social norms.[49] Marge is the only member of the family who encourages church attendance. In "Homer the Heretic" (season four, 1992), Homer starts skipping church and Marge tells him "don't make me choose between my man and my God, because you just can't win."[50] In "Lisa the Skeptic" (season nine, 1997), an "angel skeleton" is discovered, much to the skepticism of Lisa. As Lisa rants about the people who believe it is an angel, Marge informs her that she also believes it is an angel. She tells Lisa, "There has to be more life than just what we see, everyone needs something to believe in."[51] In spite of her morals, Marge struggles with vices such as a gambling addiction.[49] While Marge has learned to cope with her addiction, it has never completely disappeared and remains an underlying problem that is referenced occasionally on the show.[52]

Politically, Marge generally aligns with the Democratic Party, having supported the candidacy of her state's progressive governor Mary Bailey,[53] and voting for Jimmy Carter in both of his presidential elections.[9]


In 2000, Marge, along with the rest of the Simpson family, was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

At the 44th Primetime Emmy Awards, Kavner received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for voicing Marge in the season three episode "I Married Marge".[54] In 2004, Kavner and Dan Castellaneta (the voice of Homer) won a Young Artist Award for "Most Popular Mom & Dad in a TV Series".[55] For her performance in The Simpsons Movie, Kavner was nominated for "Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature" at the 2007 Annie Awards, but lost to Ian Holm from Ratatouille.[56][57] Kavner's emotional performance in the movie got positive reviews and one critic said she "gave what must be the most heartfelt performance ever."[58] Various episodes in which Marge is prominently featured have been nominated for Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program, including "The Way We Weren't" in 2004 and "Life on the Fast Lane", which won the award in 1990.[54] In 2000, Marge and the rest of the Simpson family were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard.[59]

Marge has been ranked highly in lists of the top television mothers of all time. She was ranked first on Entertainment Weekly's list in 1994;[60] first on Fox News' list in 2005;[61] eighth on CityNews' list in 2008;[62] and was included in Time's list of the "10 Best Moms Ever".[63] In a 2004 poll in the United Kingdom, Marge was named the "most respected mother" by respondents.[64]

Religious writer Kenneth Briggs wrote that "Marge is my candidate for sainthood [...] She lives in the real world, she lives with crises, with flawed people. She forgives and she makes her own mistakes. She is a forgiving, loving person [...] absolutely saintly."[65]

Cultural influence

Dear First Lady, I recently read your criticism of my family. I was deeply hurt. Heaven knows we're far from perfect and, if truth be known, maybe just a wee bit short from normal; but as Dr. Seuss says, "a person is a person". I try to teach my children [...] always to give somebody the benefit of the doubt and not talk badly about them, even if they're rich. It's hard to get them to understand this advice when the very First Lady in the country calls us not only dumb, but "the dumbest thing" she ever saw. [...] I hope there is some way out of this controversy. I thought, perhaps, it would be a good start to just speak my mind.

—Marge Simpson in her letter to Barbara Bush[66]

The October 1, 1990 edition of People included an interview with then-First Lady of the United States Barbara Bush. The article included the following passage: "She loves America's Funniest Home Videos but remains baffled after sampling The Simpsons. "It was the dumbest thing I had ever seen," she says, "but it's a family thing, and I guess it's clean."[67] The writers decided to respond by privately sending a polite letter on September 28 to Bush where they posed as Marge Simpson. On October 9, Bush sent a reply: "Dear Marge, How kind of you to write. I'm glad you spoke your mind ... I foolishly didn't know you had one. I am looking at a picture of you... depicted on a plastic cup... with your blue hair filled with pink birds peeking out all over. Evidently, you and your charming family — Lisa, Homer, Bart and Maggie — are camping out. It's a nice family scene. Clearly you are setting a good example for the rest of the country. Please forgive a loose tongue."[66][68]

In 2002, opponents of the Seattle Monorail Project planned on showing the episode "Marge vs. the Monorail" at a protest event. Following complaints, 20th Century Fox sent a letter to the event organizers ordering that the episode not be shown due to copyright laws.[69] In 2004, Marge appeared on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom for the alternative Christmas message, which is annually broadcast at the same time that Queen Elizabeth gives her Christmas message.[70]

On April 9, 2009, the United States Postal Service unveiled a series of five 44 cent stamps featuring Marge and the four other members of the Simpson family. They are the first characters from a television series to receive this recognition while the show is still in production.[71] The stamps, designed by Matt Groening, were made available for purchase on May 7, 2009.[72][73]


Marge is depicted in much The Simpsons-related merchandise, including T-shirts, baseball caps, bumper stickers, cardboard stand-ups, refrigerator magnets, key rings, buttons, dolls, posters and figurines.[74] She has appeared in each of The Simpsons video games, including The Simpsons Game, released in 2007.[75] Besides the television series, Marge regularly appears in issues of Simpsons Comics, which were first published on November 29, 1993, and are issued monthly.[76][77] Marge also plays a role in The Simpsons Ride, launched in 2008 at Universal Studios Florida and Hollywood.[78]

Marge appeared in a 2005 advertisement for Dove Styling, where her normal beehive hair was exchanged for a more stylish look for a series of ads featuring several popular cartoon women.[79]

In October 2009,[80] it was announced that Marge would be featured on the front cover of the November issue of Playboy. The edition was first published on October 16, 2009. The cover and a three-page picture spread, as well as a story inside entitled The Devil in Marge Simpson, is a celebration of the 20th anniversary of The Simpsons,[80] but is also part of a plan to appeal to younger readers. Chief executive of Playboy Enterprises, Scott Flanders, has said that the cover and centerfold were "somewhat tongue-in-cheek".[81] Darine Stern's picture on the October 1971 cover served as the inspiration for Playboy's November 2009 cover.[82]


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  78. ^ MacDonald, Brady (2008-04-09). "Simpsons ride features 29 characters, original voices". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  79. ^ "Marge Simpson getting new hairdo". The Herald-Mail. 2005-01-15. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  80. ^ a b "Marge gracing Playboy mag cover". BBC News Online. October 10, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  81. ^ "Marge Simpson strips off for Playboy (yes, really)". Daily Mail. 2009-10-10. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  82. ^ "Marge Simpson graces Playboy cover -". CNN. 2009-10-13. 


  • Richmond, Ray; Antonia Coffman (1997). The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family. New York City: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-638898-1. 
  • Turner, Chris (2004). Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Documented an Era and Defined a Generation. Toronto: Random House Canada. ISBN 0-679-31318-4. 

External links


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Marge Simpson
The Simpsons character
Gender Female
Hair color Blue
Job Housewife
Relatives Husband: Homer
Children: Bart, Lisa and Maggie
Sisters: Patty and Selma
First appearance "Good Night"
(The Simpsons short)
Voice actor Julie Kavner

Marjorie "Marge" Simpson is a character in the animated television series The Simpsons. The characters voice is done by Julie Kavner. Marge is the wife of Homer Simpson and the mother of Bart, Lisa, and Maggie Simpson. She is famous for her very tall blue hair, that is shaped into a beehive. She also is proud to have never met anyone with taller hair outside Graceland.[1] Marge was named after, and loosely based on, Margaret "Marge" Groening, Matt Groening's mother.



Marge’s image is normally that of a stereotypical sitcom mother who is sometimes seen as an inexperienced person and easy to be fooled. Despite having higher morals than most other characters, Marge has had her fair share of wild escapades throughout the show’s history. She was once a police officer in Springfield, took treatment for road rage, was once sent to jail for shoplifting, became a gambling fanatic, showed alcoholism, was an unwilling participant in a cross-country police chase, took steroids, cheated on a cooking competition and developed amnesia. She is also known for her persistent nagging and groaning. These are just some of the strange situations in which Marge has found herself. She also displays a surprisingly strong will. Marge is the only member of the family who normally tries to encourage the family to go to church. She also appears to have significant athletic ability in times of imminent danger. She can speak two languages fluently, one being English and the other in French.

Politically, Marge supports the Democratic Party. She once says that she voted for Jimmy Carter ("twice" according to Lisa), supported the candidacy of their state's governor Mary Bailey, and also stated to have been really depressed when Lyndon Johnson died.


Marge studied to be a painter. When she was a teenager she had an huge crush on Ringo Starr and painted a large number of portraits of him. She also wrote to him, but only received a reply 25 years later. His response inspired her to enter an art contest. Her portrait of a drunk Homer sleeping on the couch won the competition. She was then hired by Mr. Burns to do a portrait of him. The resulting portrait won even Mr. Burns’ praise, a massive feat in itself.

Marge also is a very skilled cook. She once started a pretzel business, which succeeded with the help of the Springfield Mafia. She has entered different cooking challenges, although situations such as cruel and ruthless competitors and overheated ovens made her to lose and even break or destroy the other competitors too. In general, she is shown as a very good cook. She is especially well-known for her pork chops, Homer's favorite dish.

In some episodes Marge is shown being a fairly skilled photographer until she decided to choose Homer over photography.



As a teen, Marge had her hair long to at waist length which she always wore down, but got the idea to wear it in her trademark beehive for senior prom in the episode The Way We Was. In the Shary Bobbins episode, her hair is shown close to her knees, meaning that a lot of hair would be needed to create her tall beehive. Marge has admitted that her hair is not really blue but is, in fact, gray. It was revealed by Homer in Secrets of a Successful Marriage that Marge dyes her hair with blue dye #56; "She’s been gray as a mule since she was seventeen." However, it is shown in the episode Fear of Flying that Marge's blue hair goes back to when she was a small child. Because of her unusually large hairstyle, her height is reported to be 8'6", as noted by Apu in the episode Marge in Chains. In The Way We Weren't, her hair was blue before she met Homer and was dark at one time because of Marge ironing a piece of her hair for a long time. In The Simpsons Season Four DVD commentary, Matt Groening states that the original idea behind Marge's hair was to hide large rabbit ears. The gag was intended to be revealed in the final episode of the series, but was cancelled early on because of its irregularity.[2]


Like most of the other Simpsons characters, Marge's age changes from time to time throughout the show's history. In first-season episodes Life on the Fast Lane and Some Enchanted Evening, Marge is said to be 34 years old, but her age was later changed to 38, possibly because she and Homer attended their twentieth anniversary high-school reunion in one episode. In the episode Regarding Margie, Homer states that Marge is his age, meaning she could be anywhere between 36 and 40 years in age.


Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
  1. Episode: Lisa's Rival, Season 6 episode 2
  2. Matt Groening, The Complete Fourth Season DVD (2004) commentary for episode Selma's Choice. 20th Century Fox

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