“I’m Going To My Room” – Lisa Simpson
I’ve watched The Simpsons since I was 2 years old and I can still rewatch episodes that I’ve seen many many times, some of my favourites to revisit are Lisa focused episodes. Sometimes I feel like the Lisa focused episodes are underrated, but they are usually the ones that have a beautiful message, are touching and funny and tackle difficult topics.
When I started compiling this list I didn’t realise it would be so long, but when I started going through the 25 seasons of the long running show, I just kept remembering Lisa centred episodes that I loved and all the great moments in them. She is a great character always standing up for what she believes in and herself, but also remembers to accept others as they are and the importance of her family.
There are of course more great Lisa episodes, but these are just some of my favourites.
“Moaning Lisa“ Season 1 – Episode 6.
Lisa has the major blues, wondering if the world would be any different if she wasn’t in it. Marge even tells her to just smile no matter how she feels inside, but after seeing other kids be mean to her quickly tells her to be herself no matter what (oh Marge). With the support of her family she learns how to channel her emotions through jazz from musician Bleeding Gums Murphy and the episode ends with the family at the Jazz Hole watching Bleeding Gums play a blues song written by Lisa.
“Lisa’s Substitute” Season 2 – Episode 19.
The best teacher ever Mr.Bergstrom shows Lisa a new way to learn and she is quite taken with him. Lisa and Homer run into Mr.Bergstrom at the museum and Lisa is extremely embarrassed by her Dad’s behaviour. Mr.Bergstrom then leaves to help other kids telling her to remember “you are Lisa Simpson”. In her grief she lashes out at Homer calling him a baboon, because he doesn’t understand why she is upset. He then tries to cheer her up by saying, he doesn’t know what it’s like to lose someone important because everyone important to him is under this roof (awww). Lisa apologises for calling Homer a baboon and all is well in the Simpson house again.
“Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington“ Season 3 – Episode 2.
Lisa enters a pro-American essay competition for Readers Digest winning an all expense paid trip to Washington D.C for the national finals. While there she overhears a politician making a dodgy deal which will destroy Springfield National Park. She becomes disillusioned and wanders different monuments and decides that she must stand up to the politicians and tell the truth in her essay. She reads her new essay at the competition which calls out the dodgy politician and her anger towards the democratic government. Her essay gets the politician expelled and her faith in democracy is restored. Lisa doesn’t win the contest but shows us all to stand up against corruption and to stand by what we believe in, you go Lisa.
“Lisa’s First Word“ Season 4 – Episode 10.
This flashback episode to Lisa’s first word is adorable, like all of the episodes that focus on the relationship of Bart and Lisa. This episode to be fair has a lot of Bart because Lisa doesn’t really talk till the end, but I love seeing little Bart and Lisa together. There is great moments in this episode where Bart tries to get rid of baby Lisa, a scary clown bed, “from now on the baby sleeps in the crib” and little Rod and Todd. But the cutest is when we find out that Lisa’s first word is “Bart”, which then cuts back to modern day Bart and Lisa fighting. Sibling love/rivalry is the best.
“I Love Lisa“ Season 4 – Episode 15.
Lisa gives Ralph a Valentines Day card because she feels sorry for him, but this kind gesture makes him fall hard for Lisa. He gives her gifts, walks her home and even takes her to the Krusty the Klown Anniversary show. Where he spills chocolate ice cream on her and she snaps and tells him she will never like him, breaking his heart on air. Lisa and Ralph star together in a play on the American Presidents, with Ralph giving a moving performance as George Washington and Lisa plays his wife. After the play Lisa gives Ralph another card saying “Let’s Bee Friends” with a picture of a Bee on it, and Ralph thanks her.
“Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy“ Season 5 – Episode 14.
Lisa always stands up to the man and in this episode she stands up to the sexist makers of Malibu Stacy. The company releases a talking Malibu Stacy that says such lines as “don’t ask me, I’m just a girl” or “Let’s buy makeup so the boys will like us.” Lisa seeks out the original creator of Malibu Stacy Miss Lovell and they create their own doll, Lisa Lionheart, which they hope will inspire young women with lines like “trust in yourself and you can achieve anything”. But on the day of release Malibu Stacy gets a new release with a new hat and everyone buys that doll instead of Lisa Lionheart. One girl buys a Lisa Lionheart doll which Lisa says if we can help one girl it is all worth it. Girl Power Lisa!
“Lisa on Ice“ Season 6 – Episode 8.
Another Bart and Lisa relationship episode that is really touching. Lisa is failing gym so to get her mark higher joins a pee wee ice hockey team as a talented goalie. Homer starts spending more time with Lisa after her new sports skills are put on show, which angers Bart and a rivalry starts. Lisa’s team ends up facing Bart’s team in the finals, where everyone is cheering for blood when the game comes down to a penalty shot for Bart’s team. As the crowd yells Bart and Lisa remember all the times they helped each other through their lives. They both throw their hockey sticks aside and skate off the ice together, ending the game in a tie and a crowd riot. Sibling love!
“Lisa’s Wedding“ Season 6 – Episode 19.
In this flash forward episode Lisa is told by a fortune teller at a fair about her first true love. Lisa meets and eventually falls in love with Englishman Hugh Parkfield, who asks her to marry him. She takes Hugh to Springfield to meet her family, which she is nervous about. When they arrive Homer and Bart accidentally burn the British flag and more awkward situations take place. Homer sweetly gives Hugh a pair of pig cuff links to wear at the wedding for luck, which Hugh doesn’t, he then tells Lisa they will not have to see her family again after the wedding. No way man, don’t come between Lisa and her family, she calls off the wedding after he insults her family. Little Lisa then walks back through the fair with Homer who tells her all about his day and she loves it.
“Lisa the Vegetarian“ Season 7 – Episode 5.
When the Simpsons visit Storytown Village they visit the petting zoo and see one cute lamb after another, Lisa is particularly taken by the smallest lamb. Marge then serves lamb chops for dinner, which Lisa can not eat and she decides to become a vegetarian. She gets picked on at school for being a grade A moron for her choice, meanwhile Homer is planning a huge BBBQ. Lisa in her anger at people eating meat ruins the BBQ by launching the roast pig through the air and runs away. She then finds Apu, Paul and Linda McCartney who tell her they are vegan, and to tolerate others differences, saying you can influence people without badgering them. She then finds Homer and apologises.
“Summer of 4 Ft. 2“ Season 7 – Episode 25.
After getting no signatures in her yearbook, Lisa packs an empty suitcase, hoping to leave behind her nerdy self when the family goes on a beachside vacation. When in Little Pwagmattasquarmsettport Lisa buys some cool new clothes and meets some new kids to hang out with. Lisa’s new friends are unimpressed with Bart’s attempt to become friends, so in jealousy he shows them Lisa’s yearbook, in embarrassment she runs away. Bart and Lisa fight while at a carnival, having enough Lisa walks home and Bart starts to feel bad about what he did. When she arrives home Lisa finds her friends decorated the car with sea shells saying Lisa Rocks, saying they like her for the way she is (aw). Bart shows Lisa’s friends her yearbook again so they can sign it and he gives it to Lisa on the drive back home.
“The Secret War of Lisa Simpson” Season 8 – Episode 25.
Lisa fights the status quo again and to challenge herself enrols in a military school that Bart has been sent to as punishment for his behaviour. She is the first female to enrol in the academy and while there the other cadets make fun of her and bully her. Bart tries to help her without letting his new friends know, he even helps her train for the final exam of The Eliminator (a 40 foot high rope suspended over a thorny bush). During the final exam Lisa nearly falls and the other cadets cheer for her to fall, but Bart yells out “I believe in you” and she pulls herself back up and makes it across. They both pass and are picked up by Homer and Marge.
“Lisa’s Sax“ Season 9 – Episode 3.
Another flashback episode to how Lisa originally got her sax, which Homer tells after Lisa’s sax is destroyed by a fight with Bart. The episode also has lots of cute Bart parts about his first days at school, and we learn why he acts out for attention. Lisa is shown to be an extremely gifted child, but the family can’t afford to send her to a special school. Homer eventually sacrifices money for an air conditioner to buy Lisa her first saxophone as a way to help her, he inscribes it “never forget your Daddy loves..D’oh” (after dropping the sax on his foot). Back in the present Lisa is still sad her sax is gone, Homer uses the air-conditioning fund again to buy her a new sax inscribed “May your new saxophone bring you many years of D’oh!”.
“Lisa the Skeptic“ Season 9 – Episode 8.
Lisa discovers a skeleton that has wings, and the town believes it is an angel. Lisa does not believe in angels and her disbelief brings about anger in the religious townspeople, particularly when the angel goes missing. Creating a war in court between science and religion, with Lisa on trial for destroying the angel. The angel then appears on a hill with a message saying the end will come at sundown. At sundown the angel starts talking and the townspeople are afraid, but it was just a ruse for a shopping centre opening. Lisa is angry that they would try to exploit peoples beliefs for promotion, but they don’t seem to care because there is a new mall.
“Lard of the Dance“ Season 10 – Episode 1.
A new girl comes to school and Lisa is instructed to show her around, but the new girl Alex quickly makes off with Lisa’s friends. Alex has a mobile, credit card and cool clothes and Lisa questions how mature she is. They go shopping for clothes for the dance and Lisa buys a new outfit which she is not comfortable with and doesn’t get a date. Lisa goes to the dance anyway after Marge’s encouragement and discovers that the boys and girls are standing on opposite sides of the gym. Alex doesn’t understand why, and Lisa says because they are kids not adults and that we only have a limited time to act like kids so we shouldn’t try to grow up too quickly. Words of wisdom from Lisa.
“Make Room for Lisa“ Season 10 – Episode 16.
In this episode Homer and Lisa learn from one another once again. Homer doesn’t quite like doing the things Lisa does and while at one of Lisa’s days out at the Smithsonian he ruins the Bill of Rights and to repay Omnitouch he gives them Lisa’s room for a cell phone tower (thinking she wouldn’t mind cause she likes computers). Lisa has to stay in Bart’s room and starts to get stomach pain from stress. After a fight with Homer Lisa tells him they are too different and will probably grow apart. To try and appease her they go to a store and use a isolation tank, where Lisa sees the world from Homer’s view and how he takes her to places he doesn’t like just to spend time with her. Meanwhile Homer’s tank goes on a physical adventure, when it returns Lisa says they should go to a monster truck rally where she happily spends time with him.
“She of Little Faith” Season 13 – Episode 6.
In this episode Lisa takes on religion and tries to discover what is the right religion for her, after the church becomes sponsored by Mr. Burns. She says that she will find a new path to God and eventually finds Richard Gere, Lenny and Carl at the Buddhist Temple. After some research and education on the religion she converts to Buddhism, much to Marge’s horror who with Reverend Lovejoy try to get her back to Christianity. In frustration she runs away at Christmas to the Buddhist temple, where Richard Gere says that Buddhists respect all religions based on love so she can celebrate Christmas with her family if she wants. She returns home and the family finds her under the Christmas tree, and they celebrate Christmas.
“Fraudcast News” Season 15- Episode 22.
Lisa takes on the media! Mr Burns buys out all media outlets for full media control and Lisa creates her own newspaper called the Red Dress Press which she refuses to sell to Mr Burns. Burns bribes her and even shuts off the Simpsons power, but with the help of Bart, Homer and Skinner’s printing press continues distributing the paper. Mr Burn’s tries to get dirt on Lisa from Homer, and just when she is about to give up, Homer publishes his own paper and others create their own paper in support of her. Burn concedes defeat and goes on a shopping spree with Smithers.
“Girls Just Want to Have Sums” Season 17 – Episode 19.
Springfield elementary gets split into one for boys and girls, but the girls side doesn’t teach math properly, so Lisa says stuff that and dresses up as a boy to attend the boys school. Lisa becomes Jake Boymen and attends the boy school, where she can learn but gets into a fight with Nelson. Bart finds out about who Jake really is and agrees to show Lisa how to be a boy. Lisa wins an award for math and reveals herself onstage showing that girls can do math, but Bart said she only won cause she was acting as a boy. She then throws her award at Bart, but accidentally hits Ralph, starting a fight in the hall. Horrified at her ‘boy-like’ behaviour she apologises to Ralph but then joins in the chair fight the boys have started.
“Lisa Simpson, This Isn’t Your Life“ Season 22 – Episode 5.
Lisa discovers that Marge was a top-grade student like herself, but her grades started to slip when she met Homer. Principal Skinner says that Lisa will probably be a stay at home mum like Marge so Lisa decides to make sure she is not distracted from her studies. Marge is hurt that Lisa wouldn’t want to grow up to be like her. Lisa wants to attend Cloisters Academy and sees it as a way to change her future, but Marge tells her they can’t afford it. The family meets with the principal of Cloisters who makes a snide comment, and Marge makes a deal to get Lisa a scholarship there. Lisa finds out though that Marge’s deal was that she does all the schools laundry so Lisa could attend, Lisa says she would rather not go and would be honoured to turn out like Marge rather than be at a school with snobby elitist kids.
“Lisa Goes Gaga“ Season 23 – Episode 22.
And finally as Lisa is all about being yourself it makes sense to end on the Lady Gaga episode. Lisa is voted the most unpopular girl at school and tries to make herself more popular at school by ghostwriting positive things about herself on a school blog as TruthTeller. Bart reveals this secret and Lisa becomes even less popular, making her feel extremely sad, which sends a psychic force to Lady Gaga telling her she needs help (of course). Lisa eventually yells at Gaga for trying to help, she then realises that by letting out her angry emotions and expressing herself Gaga helped her. Lisa finds Gaga and apologies, she forgives her and they perform a song together. Lady Gaga helps Lisa and Springfield learn that being yourself is better than being like anyone else.