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The Genius Theory That Changes Everything On The Simpsons

No one in the town of Springfield seems particularly bright. Even Professor Frink's gadgets have a tendency of going up in flames. But then there's little Lisa Simpson, who tends to serve as the moral compass to not just her family but to every supporting character featured on "The Simpsons." She's the most gifted student in any class at Springfield Elementary, and her smarts often save the day, whether that involves calling out the fat cats in Washington, D.C. or using salad dressing to get a bully to stop punching her. 

It's all the more impressive considering her gene pool doesn't exactly seem to be the strongest. Homer can barely manage his job at the nuclear plant, and Bart has trouble just getting through the fourth grade. Marge has emotional intelligence, but even she still pronounces "foliage" as "foilage." The show tries to explain this in the season 9 episode, "Lisa the Simpson," by showing how all of the male Simpsons get the "dumb gene" while all of the female Simpsons are geniuses. That would seem to be the end of it, but it's not unlike "The Simpsons" to retcon certain details later. 

When looking at the series as a whole, one Redditor came up with a theory that explains everything that's not only in line with what we see in the show ... but also kind of tragic, when you get right down to it. 

Everyone in the Simpson family except Lisa chooses happiness over intelligence

The "gene" explanation already doesn't make sense considering Homer has a long-lost brother, Herb, who started his own successful car company before Homer came into the picture. Redditor u/kerbyklok posits that everyone in the Simpson family is actually a genius, but they choose to suppress their intelligence in order to be happy. 

Throughout "The Simpsons," we see the toll of Lisa's academic skill. She doesn't have any friends and frequently struggles with depressing and anxious thoughts. Meanwhile, everyone else is blissfully unaware of such mental turmoil even though they're clearly capable of it. Just take Homer in the season 12 episode, "HOMR," where a crayon is discovered to be lodged in his brain, and when doctor removes it, he's a genius. 

In flashbacks, we see how Marge did well in high school and even was an accomplished painter. Meanwhile, many people may have forgotten that in season 1, Bart becomes fluent in French within a short span of time. He showcases the same proclivity for picking up foreign languages when the family travels to Brazil, learning Spanish on the plane ride over (before learning they speak Portuguese in Brazil). They all have their gifts, but a majority of the time, they go squandered. 

The episode "HOMR" explains this well as Homer is ostracized from all of his social groups once he's a genius. Perhaps intellectual acumen just isn't appreciated in Springfield where everyone's an idiot, so the Simpsons dumb themselves down to actually be happy. That is... except for Lisa, who remains outwardly smart and will use her gifts to one day become the first straight female president of the United States. 

In "HOMR," she said it best: "As intelligence goes up, happiness often goes down.,"