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Old 01-01-2017, 06:18 PM
Two Many Cats Two Many Cats is offline
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Bart Simpson should be 36 Years Old

According to The Simpsons episode history, Bart was born in 1981. That would make him 36, Lisa 34, and Maggie 28.

So, is Springfield frozen in time at 1991? How does that happen? Some Twilight Zone time bubble, like when that 1840's wagon train guy ran over the hill to get his kid penicillin?
  #2  
Old 01-01-2017, 06:28 PM
Kamino Neko Kamino Neko is offline
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I actually wrote a fanfic on that topic a few years ago.
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Old 01-01-2017, 06:30 PM
penultima thule penultima thule is offline
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Well he's got a while to go before he grows up.

Ginger Meggs, who was first drawn in 1921 is now aged 95.
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Old 01-01-2017, 06:38 PM
Alessan Alessan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Many Cats View Post
According to The Simpsons episode history, Bart was born in 1981. That would make him 36, Lisa 34, and Maggie 28.
In 1991, Bart was born in 1981. In 2001 he was born in 1991 and in 2016 he was born in 2006.

I don't see the problem.
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Old 01-01-2017, 06:39 PM
Just Asking Questions Just Asking Questions is offline
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When the show started, I noticed that, based on how old he was in flashbacks, Homer was about my age (28). The show has been on and stuck in time so long that if Homer was still the same age, he could be my son!

I think they've set his age so he's a bit older now.

They really should let the characters age, even if it is at a reduced rate. I enjoy the "future" episodes.
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Old 01-01-2017, 06:43 PM
Kamino Neko Kamino Neko is offline
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Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
I think they've set his age so he's a bit older now.
IIRC, Homer is officially 39 (the age I used for the calculation in the story I posted above). (Meaning they were out of high school for a decade when they had Bart, not right out of high school as stated in some early episodes.)
  #7  
Old 01-02-2017, 09:05 AM
ftg ftg is online now
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We've been watching the early episodes lately and the time warp effect is really noticeable.

In S03E02, Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington, the family takes a VIP tour of the White House, encountering Barbara Bush in the bathtub. Yet no Simpson has a problem meeting other Presidents/First Ladies, e.g., Michelle Obama in S21E15, Stealing First Base. (And that was 6 years ago. Most TV shows don't even last 6 years.)

Also noticeable are the guest stars on the show that have been dead for many years. E.g., George Harrison (2 appearances) died 15 years ago.

The one that always gets me: Homer is shown as a teenager listening to music during the Apollo 11 moon landing. He is later shown as a toddler at Woodstock. One month later.

Funny wins out over continuity.
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Old 01-02-2017, 11:34 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Quote:
Quoth Kamino Neko:

IIRC, Homer is officially 39 (the age I used for the calculation in the story I posted above). (Meaning they were out of high school for a decade when they had Bart, not right out of high school as stated in some early episodes.)
No, that sounds about right for "right out of high school". Remember, this is Homer Simpson we're talking about.
  #9  
Old 01-02-2017, 09:35 PM
Ranchoth Ranchoth is offline
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Y'know, technically speaking, Bart Simpson is old enough to be a grandfather...
  #10  
Old 01-03-2017, 07:09 AM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is online now
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I'd always thought that in basically comic material, "elastic time / time-freezing" was a quite often used and accepted convention. A British instance, involves a huge series of books of short stories on a theme with slight similarities to The Simpsons: Richmal Crompton's Willam books. The hero William Brown -- naughty-schoolboy son of respectable English suburbanites -- and his several friends / "partners in crime", remain at the age of ten or eleven, throughout the period approx. 1923 -- 1963 (complete with its associated turbulent historical events) over which the author wrote the series. William's family stay similarly "frozen" at their ages as at the start of the series.
  #11  
Old 01-03-2017, 07:48 AM
Alessan Alessan is offline
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It's not just comics - Ed McBain's 87th Precinct detective novels were published over the course of almost 50 years, each book set in the year it was written, and yet in that entire time the main characters barely aged.
  #12  
Old 01-03-2017, 09:29 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Most shockingly, Dagwood is now the world's oldest human. He attributes his longevity to frequent napping.
  #13  
Old 01-03-2017, 09:46 AM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is online now
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...Richmal Crompton's Willam books. The hero William Brown...
I meant "William", of course -- as per a few words further on in my post.
  #14  
Old 01-03-2017, 11:51 AM
psiekier psiekier is offline
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OP, check out the L.I.S.A., the List of Inquiries and Substantive Answers:

Quote:
Originally Posted by L.I.S.A.
How come the characters don't age?

The general reason given by the producers is that the nature of the series might change dramatically otherwise. One of the things that plagues long-running sitcoms is that child actors inevitably grow up and become too old for the characters they play. Often the cuteness and precociousness of those child characters is then lost.

As long as The Simpsons has the freedom to keep its characters the same age forever, it will take advantage of its ability to do that.
It sounds a lot like Marvel comics' timeline. When did the Fantastic Four's rocket go up? Ten years ago. Everything else is relative to that.
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  #15  
Old 01-03-2017, 12:00 PM
Skammer Skammer is offline
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"We're buying new shoes. You two are way overdue for a growth spurt." - Marge to her kids about 20 years ago.
  #16  
Old 01-03-2017, 12:27 PM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is online now
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There was a 2008 episode where Marge and Homer's romance was retold with them as '90s college-age hipsters, instead of in the canonical 1980ish high-school setting. Homer becomes the front man in a grunge band called Sadgasm after Marge dumps him, for instance, and he sings "Margerine" to the tune of "Glycerine." This was also when Lisa lampshaded the fact that the story always presented them as getting pregnant in high school, yet they're in their late 30s with a ten-year-old. Many fans erupted that this was a line that retconning should not have crossed.
  #17  
Old 01-03-2017, 12:46 PM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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Bart Simpson should be 36 Years Old

He is. In the Simpson universe, that's what a 36 YO looks like.
  #18  
Old 01-03-2017, 12:58 PM
Hermione Hermione is offline
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Some have commented that many of Bart and Lisa's recent storylines would make much more sense with them as teenagers or at least late-middle-schoolers (Bart's increasing number of love interests, for example) than eight- and ten-year-olds, so why NOT age them up a bit?

Quote:
How come the characters don't age?

The general reason given by the producers is that the nature of the series might change dramatically otherwise. One of the things that plagues long-running sitcoms is that child actors inevitably grow up and become too old for the characters they play. Often the cuteness and precociousness of those child characters is then lost.

As long as The Simpsons has the freedom to keep its characters the same age forever, it will take advantage of its ability to do that.
That's also the reason for Cousin Oliver syndrome...adding ostensibly "cute" new kids to a sitcom when the old ones start growing.

But in the Simpsons' case, as I said above, some believe that this is actually starting to hinder what they can do with their storylines.

Last edited by Hermione; 01-03-2017 at 01:01 PM.
  #19  
Old 01-03-2017, 01:28 PM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is online now
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I'm not a big Simpsons, or television, fan: usually only see either, when visiting relatives with tastes different in this way, from mine. I seem to recall from one such occasion a couple of years ago, a Simpsons episode where Homer is in the process of being conscripted to go and fight in Vietnam. Perhaps this is misunderstanding or mis-remembering on my part; but it would seem that some contributing to this thread would say re this matter -- "why not?".
  #20  
Old 01-03-2017, 05:08 PM
Kamino Neko Kamino Neko is offline
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I don't think Homer was in Vietnam. He joined the army in G.I. (Annoyed Grunt), and the naval reserve in Simpson Tide, but both of those are set in the present, and I think Homer's only military experience. Vietnam is part of Skinner's backstory. And I think it remains so, despite aging him more, just like WWII stays in Grandpa's backstory.
  #21  
Old 01-03-2017, 05:27 PM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamino Neko View Post
I don't think Homer was in Vietnam. He joined the army in G.I. (Annoyed Grunt), and the naval reserve in Simpson Tide, but both of those are set in the present, and I think Homer's only military experience. Vietnam is part of Skinner's backstory. And I think it remains so, despite aging him more, just like WWII stays in Grandpa's backstory.
Thanks. As said, I'm basically not into this stuff -- don't know who Skinner is. Must have seen one of the episodes which you mention above; and erroneously imagined from same, the Vietnam thing.
  #22  
Old 01-03-2017, 06:06 PM
teela brown teela brown is offline
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I know that there was an episode where Homer and Marge attended their high school reunion, and the reunion was for the class of 1974. 1974 is when I graduated high school, and I'm sixty years old.
  #23  
Old 01-03-2017, 06:47 PM
Martini Enfield Martini Enfield is offline
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Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
It's not just comics - Ed McBain's 87th Precinct detective novels were published over the course of almost 50 years, each book set in the year it was written, and yet in that entire time the main characters barely aged.
The James Bond novels are similar in many ways - James Bond himself never seems to age (despite having served in WWII), but oddly enough people around him do (such as M). There's a fan theory "James Bond" is actually an assigned codename given to whichever agent has the 007 designation, explaining why the world's top secret agent seems to be perpetually in his late 30s while his secretary and bossand other collegauges age and retire. And also why he isn't pretty much instantly made whenever he tries to do anything even slightly espionagey.
  #24  
Old 01-05-2017, 12:49 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
...Funny wins out over continuity.
This x1000.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sangahyando View Post
Thanks. As said, I'm basically not into this stuff -- don't know who Skinner is....
Behold!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wg8TicAnW90
  #25  
Old 01-05-2017, 02:17 PM
That Don Guy That Don Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Many Cats View Post
According to The Simpsons episode history, Bart was born in 1981. That would make him 36, Lisa 34, and Maggie 28.
Except that, also "according to episode history," Lisa was born in August, 1984, so she "should be" only 32, and Maggie was born in 1993, so she "should be" only 23.

But then again, Bart was born after Marge started college in 1991.

But then again again, in at least one episode, it has been mentioned that Bart foiled Sideshow Bob's attempt to frame Krusty for armed robbery "in 1990," and Bart, Lisa, and Maggie were all in the audience at Krusty's show.

And The Simpsons is not alone in this; an episode of Family Guy had Brian and Stewie go back in time ten years to meet themselves, even though neither of them are 10 years old...
  #26  
Old 01-05-2017, 02:53 PM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is online now
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And The Simpsons is not alone in this; an episode of Family Guy had Brian and Stewie go back in time ten years to meet themselves, even though neither of them are 10 years old...
Brian Griffin also has a 13-year-old son.
  #27  
Old 01-05-2017, 10:44 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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Even if Bart was conceived the night of the special edition re-release of The Empire Strikes Back instead of the original 1980 version, he'd be about 18.
  #28  
Old 01-06-2017, 03:53 AM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is online now
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As said, I'm basically not into this stuff -- don't know who Skinner is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
My thanks. Right -- the horrible headmaster: does ring a faint bell after all.
  #29  
Old 01-06-2017, 04:10 AM
Biggirl Biggirl is offline
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My thanks. Right -- the horrible headmaster: does ring a faint bell after all.
Headmaster? I think we have a foreigner here.
  #30  
Old 01-06-2017, 06:05 AM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is offline
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The James Bond novels are similar in many ways - James Bond himself never seems to age (despite having served in WWII), but oddly enough people around him do (such as M). There's a fan theory "James Bond" is actually an assigned codename given to whichever agent has the 007 designation, explaining why the world's top secret agent seems to be perpetually in his late 30s while his secretary and bossand other collegauges age and retire. And also why he isn't pretty much instantly made whenever he tries to do anything even slightly espionagey.
The 1966 version of Casino Royale did this (after a catastrophe at MI5 headquarters); they designated all agents as 007.

That's why I tend to say that my favorite Bond is George Raft.
  #31  
Old 01-06-2017, 07:57 AM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is online now
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I enjoy the "future" episodes.
In the season 6 episode Lisa's Wedding, a fortune teller at a carnival tells Lisa about her near-wedding to Hugh St. John Alastair Parkfield (voiced by Mandy Patinkin). The date of the wedding was August 1, 2010.
  #32  
Old 01-06-2017, 09:44 AM
Just Asking Questions Just Asking Questions is offline
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In the season 6 episode Lisa's Wedding, a fortune teller at a carnival tells Lisa about her near-wedding to Hugh St. John Alastair Parkfield (voiced by Mandy Patinkin). The date of the wedding was August 1, 2010.
Weddings of Future Past!
  #33  
Old 01-06-2017, 11:52 AM
ftg ftg is online now
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I don't think Homer was in Vietnam. He joined the army in G.I. (Annoyed Grunt), and the naval reserve in Simpson Tide, but both of those are set in the present, and I think Homer's only military experience. Vietnam is part of Skinner's backstory. And I think it remains so, despite aging him more, just like WWII stays in Grandpa's backstory.
Remember, Lt. Abe Simpson also served in WWI.
  #34  
Old 01-06-2017, 12:15 PM
Drunky Smurf Drunky Smurf is offline
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Remember, Lt. Abe Simpson also served in WWI.
I don't think I've ever seen that clip, or I forgot I've seen it. But that was hilarious.
  #35  
Old 01-06-2017, 06:13 PM
Martini Enfield Martini Enfield is offline
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The 1966 version of Casino Royale did this (after a catastrophe at MI5 headquarters); they designated all agents as 007.
Fortunately that movie isn't canon. *shudders*
  #36  
Old 01-06-2017, 06:55 PM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is online now
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My thanks. Right -- the horrible headmaster: does ring a faint bell after all.
Quote:
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Headmaster? I think we have a foreigner here.
We say "headmaster" (or more often in this PC age, "head teacher"); you say "school principal"; I'd reckon that either sounds equally odd, to "the other crowd" !
  #37  
Old 01-06-2017, 08:52 PM
Trancephalic Trancephalic is offline
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Kinda a spin on this trope is that characters sharing the same continuity will age faster the further from the limelight they are, e.g., Phantom Blonde, who is cognizant she's fictional, teams up with She Hulk to reclaim her youth. Likewise, Bosko and Honey (reimagined as foxes instead of black caricatures) regain their vitality after being rescued from obscurity in Tiny Toon Adventures.
  #38  
Old 01-10-2017, 02:32 PM
TBG TBG is offline
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We say "headmaster" (or more often in this PC age, "head teacher"); you say "school principal"; I'd reckon that either sounds equally odd, to "the other crowd" !
No, we just say "principal".

But that's just a job, not a title, so it's still bizarre on the show (and some other shows seem to make this error, maybe it's a californiaism?) when they call him "Principal Skinner" not "Mr. Skinner".
  #39  
Old 01-10-2017, 04:56 PM
ftg ftg is online now
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We watched I Married Marge the other night.

The deep embedding of this episode into 1980/81 is remarkable. Over and over the time period is brought up.

And this is two years into the run of the show. So if this had been a Season 1 episode the flashback should have been to 1978/79. Bart would be 37 in that Universe.

Great episode, but it contradicts others. E.g., There are no family members at the wedding but elsewhere it's mentioned that Patty and Selma cause problems at the wedding.
  #40  
Old 01-13-2017, 05:11 PM
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It's a cartoon, just like Mickey Mouse.
  #41  
Old 01-14-2017, 09:26 AM
ftg ftg is online now
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It's a cartoon, just like Mickey Mouse.
And For Whom the Bell Tolls is a novel, just like The Valley of the Dolls.
  #42  
Old 01-19-2017, 09:22 PM
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It's a cartoon, just like Mickey Mouse.
Mice have an average life span of around 2 years, he's doing amazing compared to Bart.
  #43  
Old 01-19-2017, 09:59 PM
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I think that if you spot each episode a generous 3 days in average length (some longer, some shorter), you would get right around 5 years for the run, so far. Which fails to account for the children not aging, but at least they would not be in their 30s.
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