There aren’t many strong role models in the Simpson clan. Homer is a negligent alcoholic, Bart is an unscrupulous troublemaker, and Maggie is a gun-toting maniac with a hair trigger. But Lisa Simpson is arguably the most inspirational character on television. She’s fair, open-minded, smart as a whip, and always fights for what’s right.

From raising global awareness of environmentalism issues to encouraging kids to take up the saxophone and other creative endeavors, Lisa has had as much of an impact on the world at large as any real person. She’s fictional and animated, but she’s also a role model we can all look up to.

10 She’s A Feminist

Lisa has always fought for feminist causes. Since the beginning of the series, she’s pursued gender equality and tried to improve society’s treatment of women. When Malibu Stacy brought out a talking doll spouting sexist stereotypes, Lisa responded by designing her own doll with strong feminist values.

When she dressed as a Wiccan on Halloween, everyone assumed she was a witch, to which she quipped, “Why is it, when a woman is confident and powerful, they call her a witch?”

9 She’s Smarter Than Most Of The Adults Around Her

One of the running jokes that’s central to Lisa’s character is that she’s immensely more intelligent than most of the adults around her. It’s a source of frustration for Lisa herself, but the fans are right there at her side when her genius goes over people’s heads.

When Homer was about to start teaching a night school class about marriage, Lisa asked him, “So, Dad, will you be teaching from a standardized text or using the more Socratic method?” Homer stared at her blankly and said, “Yes, Lisa, Daddy’s a teacher.”


8 She Doesn’t Eat Meat

In the episode “Lisa the Vegetarian,” a trip to the petting zoo makes Lisa see the lamb chops served by Marge for what they really are: the result of the slaughter of a living, breathing, sentient creature. After that, Lisa decides that, in good conscience, she can’t eat meat anymore. She also protests Homer’s upcoming barbecue and sends his hog roast into a dam when he refuses to serve gazpacho instead.

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7 She’s In Touch With Her Emotions

A balance of emotions is important. It’s impossible to feel happy all the time, but it’s also unhealthy to feel sad all the time. In “Moaning Lisa,” just the sixth episode of The Simpsons’ gargantuan run, Lisa dealt with depression, eventually finding the saxophone as a creative outlet.

Marge spends the whole episode trying to cheer Lisa up, but eventually realizes she’s in touch with her own emotions and assures her, “If you want to be sad, honey, be sad. We’ll ride it out with you. And when you get finished feeling sad, we’ll still be there. From now on, let me do the smiling for both of us.” 

6 She’s Going To Be President One Day

In the flash-forward episode “Bart to the Future,” it was revealed that in the future, Bart is a washed-up has-been musician and Lisa is the President of the United States.

And frankly, it doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch. From her steadfast morals to her undying lust for social change, Lisa epitomizes presidentiality.

5 She Always Seeks The Truth

When Lisa protested the construction of a mall in “Lisa the Skeptic,” she successfully lobbied to have the land excavated. During the dig, she found a skeleton that inexplicably had the form of an angel.

Whereas the rest of the town blindly accepted the angel skeleton and became devoutly religious as a result, Lisa sought out a scientific explanation in an intentional parallel with the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial (in which a high school teacher was put on trial for teaching evolution to his students).

4 She Cares About The Environment

Lisa’s environmentalist efforts on The Simpsons have earned the show a handful of Environmental Media Awards for raising awareness of environmental issues. The character has been credited with helping to bring environmentalism into the mainstream.

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Whether she’s protesting the pollution in Lake Springfield or camping out in a tree to save it from being cut down, Lisa is always fighting for the environment.

3 She Stood Up To Congress

Lisa wrote a patriotic essay about the United States for a contest in “Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington,” and when she makes it to the finals, the Simpson family travels down to D.C. so that she can read her essay out in front of Congress. After seeing a Congressman accepting a bribe, though, Lisa is horrified.

She’s so horrified, in fact, that she turns against the tenets of her own essay and rewrites it as a bitter treatise about the corruption in the government. Congress doesn’t like the hard truths she has to offer and she ends up losing the contest.

2 She’s Only Concerned With What’s Right

Lisa is sometimes called the first S.J.W., a term that has negative connotations, as it can refer to people who comment on complex political issues with a very narrow understanding of them, or people who only comment on those issues in some self-serving attempt to feel important.

Lisa Simpson is not like that. She’s only concerned with what’s right. She never tries to draw attention to herself, only to the issues she fights for.

1 She’s Always True To Herself

Disillusioned with the fact that her intelligence and academic ventures have left her with no friends, Lisa decides to adopt a new personality on vacation in the season 7 episode “Summer of 4 Ft. 2,” and what she learns is that she should always be true to herself.

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It doesn’t matter what other people think. One’s true self won’t be palatable to everyone; it’s simply impossible. Just figure out who you are and stick with it. It’s the Lisa Simpson way.

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