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The Wild Bart Theory That Changes Everything About The Simpsons

There's no doubt that "The Simpsons" has gotten zanier over time. What started out as a fairly conventional dysfunctional family comedy eventually became a universe where Principal Skinner (Harry Shearer) is an impostor named Armin Tamzarian, the cast of "Futurama" is able to randomly pay a visit, and Homer can jump from job to wacky job without any apparent consequences back at the power plant.

Chalk it up to creative license. After all, "The Simpsons" has been on for more than three decades now, and while not every plot has been universally popular with viewers, the show is so iconic that it's not difficult to imagine that the writers have something pretty close to carte blanche.

But there's one fan theory surrounding the bratty 10-year-old Bart Simpson that could explain why the adventures of America's favorite family have gotten increasingly absurd over the years. And like a great many other fan theories, it's more than a bit tragic.

Bart is in a coma and The Simpsons is in his imagination

Coma theories have been floated before in regards to "The Simpsons," but they have mostly centered around Homer (Dan Castellaneta). The poor man has certainly taken enough knocks to the head to make it feasible. But according to one theory posted by Reddit user u/Allyjoseph, it is actually Bart (Nancy Cartwright) who is in a coma.

Longtime fans no doubt remember the Season 2 episode "Bart Gets Hit By a Car," in which Mr. Burns plows into him in his car, then insists to Waylon Smithers that they "give him a nickel and let's keep going." Fans will also remember that Bart briefly has an out-of-body experience right after he's struck but that ultimately, his injuries are so minor that Homer's lawsuit against Burns is dismissed.

The theory posed by u/Allyjoseph is that Bart never woke up. Everything that has happened since Season 2, Episode 10 is dreamt by him and is a glimpse into the kind of life and the kind of family he has always wanted.

Bart wants Homer to not work so hard

Homer has never had what you could call a strong work ethic. What if this is of Bart's imagined making? According to u/Allyjoseph, from this point forward, "The Simpsons" goes on a different path in terms of its storylines. Prior Season 2 episodes have seen Homer getting (and then losing) a promotion, and even taking on a second job in "Dancin' Homer, which, according to the Reddit post, would be feasible for a minor league baseball mascot.

The episodes directly after Bart's accident, however, show Homer taking another route in which work is far less important. First is Season 2, Episode 11, "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish," in which Homer accidentally eats poison fugu, is informed he has one day to live, and then, after miraculously surviving, swears he is going to live life to the fullest. The very next episode flashes back to how Homer and Marge got together. In u/Allyjoseph's view, "This now has established a fantastic basis for a steady healthy home."

Finally, the third post-crash episode sees Homer becoming more of a risk-taker, someone willing to throw caution to the wind. This is when Homer illegally gets cable television on the cheap so he can invite everyone over for a major boxing match. And from there, everything spins out into more hijinks and more fun: Monorails, going into space, even short stints working as the assistant to a Bond villain. It also explains how Homer can be in both a barbershop quartet in the 1980s with Bart and Lisa as infants and a grunge band in the '90s where neither of them have even been born!

Lisa is the angel on Bart's shoulder

There is one more very touching element to this fan theory. According to the post, when Lisa convinces Homer to stop stealing cable, this establishes Lisa as the moral conscience of the Simpsons and, more specifically, comatose Bart. As u/Allyjoseph wrote, "Every time something is going wrong in the new Simpsons world after this for Bart he goes to Lisa."

This highlights one of the many recurring devices that have viewers coming back to "The Simpsons." Sure, Bart and Lisa have what could be described as a typically fraught brother-sister relationship where they anger each other, pick on, and even torment each other. But deep down inside, Bart loves Lisa and respects her moral compass.

Perhaps this is why u/Allyjoseph's theory has appeal. Yes, it is tragic because it involves a 10-year-old boy trapped in a deep coma. But it also shows us that deep down in his psyche, he wants what every kid wants: a family that is equal parts fun and devoted.