If a television show is fortunate enough to make it to 27 seasons, it usually means the fanbase is scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of thoughtful analysis. But as it’s been proven time and time again, what’s true for the average show is not true for The Simpsons. That’s how we find ourselves reading the work of Todd W. Schneider—a lover of data mapping and The Simpsons alike—who recently posted a graphic breakdown of Simpsons data on his website. Using all the available scripts and information on the Simpsons World app, Schneider shows us what one of our favorite shows looks like on paper.
Unsurprisingly, Mr. Burns, Moe, Principal Skinner, and other prominent supporting cast members top the list in terms of lines spoken by characters outside the nuclear family. But Schneider makes a point to underline the gender disparity in the supporting cast, noting, “only 5 of the top 50 supporting cast members are women” and “women account for less than 10% of the supporting cast’s dialogue.” This fact isn’t exactly shocking giving the notoriously male-dominated Simpsons writer’s room, but with a modern-day perspective it can be a little depressing.
The only thing more tragic is that Gil Gunderson isn’t higher on the list.
It’s good to see that Bart and Lisa have spent slightly more time in school over the last two decades than Homer has spent at the bar.
Of course, no analysis of The Simpsons would be complete without pointing out that the show used to be better and nobody even watches it anymore. But Schneider is quick to point out that, though he admittedly stopped watching the show around season 12, TV ratings are down in general due to the fact that people have dozens of options when it comes to consuming media these days. In any case, the recent decline of The Simpsons’ popularity seems to have very little effect on the desire of its fanbase to discuss, analyze, and chart every aspect of their favorite show.