Dab those nostalgic tears from your eyes and don’t be afraid to do the Bartman as Caitríona O’Malley tells you what she’s learned from The Simpsons

  1. No matter how annoying he may be, unhealthy your big brother will always have your back. Think of when Bart took the rap for Lisa stealing the teacher reference books, or when he stood up to the bullies who tried to steal her muffins. This works the other way, too. Lisa got Bart his soul back that time he sold it to Milhouse. In short, never underestimate the ability of your siblings to help you out of a tight spot.
  2. True love doesn’t always run smoothly. Homer and Marge have had frequent low points over the years. From the time Marge met a hunky man at the bowling alley, to when Homer got kicked out of the house and replaced Marge with a plant, they’ve had their share of ugliness. However, what’s truly moving is that they always patch things up.
  3. You will be disappointed by someone you greatly admire. Lisa in particular has learned this. Two of her role models, Bleeding Gums Murphy and Mr. Bergstrom, sailed out of her life, leaving her broken-hearted and crestfallen. It’s one of life’s painful truths that sometimes, people leave our lives, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
  4. Don’t be afraid to be who you are. Lisa is bookish and proud. Bart revels in his mischief. Homer is boorish, and Marge nags a lot. Their imperfections are what make them relatable. Perfection is boring, after all.
  5. A dog is a man’s best friend. Santa’s Little Helper went from greyhound racer to beloved family pet. When you’re lonely, your dog will always be there to wag his tail and give you a big, slobbering kiss.
  6. Adults make mistakes, too. When you’re a child, this can be an especially difficult lesson. You tend to think that your parents and teachers are infallible. This is not the case. Marge neglected her family when she became addicted to gambling. Homer almost ruined his marriage when he fell for his pretty colleague. Adults are only human, and they will mess up.
  7. Respect your elders. Grandpa Simpson may be a rambling fool, but he’s got a big heart. He admits that he didn’t show Homer enough love as a boy. Don’t forget that they were young once, too, and you can learn a lot from them.
  8. Music plays a crucial role in the most memorable moments of our life. Homer and Marge’s song, Close to You by The Carpenters, can be heard at various points in their relationship, beginning at their high school prom. There’s always that song that can transport you to a time in life when you were blissfully happy.
  9. Don’t underestimate the depths of the people around you. Barney is the town drunk, but when he made a poignant film about his life struggles, we saw a more complex side to his character. Homer is foolish, but he cares deeply about his family, and always does right by them in the end.
  10. Life isn’t easy. The Simpson family and their neighbours go through many trials and tribulations over the years. What’s important is that you can emerge unscathed from the other side. Life can be cruel, but it can be very beautiful, too.

– Caitríona O’Malley