Marjorie "Marge" Simpson (née Bouvier) is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons and part of the eponymous family. She is voiced by actress Julie Kavner and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Marge was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his mother Margaret Groening. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three years, the Simpson family received their own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989.
Marge is the well-meaning and extremely patient mother of the Simpson family. With her husband Homer, she has three children: Bart, Lisa and Maggie. Marge is the moralistic force in her family and often provides a grounding voice in the midst of her family's antics by trying to maintain order in the Simpson household. She is often portrayed as a stereotypical television mother and is often included on lists of top "TV moms". She has appeared in other media relating to The Simpsons—including video games, The Simpsons Movie, The Simpsons Ride, commercials, and comic books—and inspired an entire line of merchandise.
Marge's distinctive blue beehive hairstyle was inspired by a combination of The Bride of Frankenstein and the style that Margaret Groening wore in the 1960s. Julie Kavner, who was a member of the original cast of The Tracey Ullman Show, was asked to voice Marge so that more voice actors would not be needed. Kavner has won several awards for voicing Marge, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 1992. She was also nominated for an Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature for her performance in The Simpsons Movie. In 2000, Marge, along with the rest of her family, was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Simpsons uses a floating timeline in which the characters do not physically age, and as such the show is generally assumed to be set in the current year. In several episodes, events have been linked to specific time periods, although this timeline has been contradicted in subsequent episodes. Marge Simpson is the wife of Homer and mother of Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson. She was raised by her parents, Jacqueline and Clancy Bouvier. She has a pair of sisters, the joyless Patty and Selma, both of whom vocally disapprove of Homer. In "The Way We Was" (season two, 1991), it is revealed via flashback that Marge attended Springfield High School, and in her final year met Homer Simpson. She was at first wary of Homer, but agreed to go to the prom with him, although she ended up going with Artie Ziff. However, she regrets going with Artie and ends up with Homer. After the two started dating for several years, Marge discovered she was pregnant with Bart, and she and Homer were married in a small wedding chapel across the state line. Lisa was born soon after, and the couple bought their first house. The episode "That 90's Show" (season 19, 2008) contradicted much of the established back-story; for example, it was revealed that Marge and Homer were childless in the early 1990s although past episodes had suggested Bart and Lisa were born in the 1980s.
As with many Simpsons characters, Marge's age changes to serve the story. In season one (1990) episodes "Life on the Fast Lane" and "Some Enchanted Evening", Marge is said to be 34. In "Regarding Margie" (season 17, 2006), Homer mentions that Marge is his age, meaning she could be anywhere between 36 and 40.
Marge has been unemployed for most of the series, choosing to be a homemaker and take care of her family. However, she has held several one-episode jobs in the course of the series. These include working as a nuclear technician alongside Homer at Springfield Nuclear Power Plant in "Marge Gets a Job" (season four, 1992), owning her own pretzel business in "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson" (season eight, 1997), and working at an erotic bakery in "Sex, Pies and Idiot Scrapes" (season 20, 2008). While Marge has never expressed discontent with her role as a homemaker, she has become bored with it. In "The Springfield Connection" (season six, 1995), Marge decides that she needs more excitement in her life and becomes a police officer. However, by the end of the episode, she becomes upset with the corruption in the force and quits. She was also a bodybuilder. (Strong Arms of the Ma)
Matt Groening first conceived Marge and the rest of the Simpson family in 1986 in the lobby of producer James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of animated shorts for The Tracey Ullman Show, and had intended to present an adaptation of his Life in Hell comic strip. When he realized that animating Life in Hell would require him to rescind publication rights, Groening decided to go in another direction and hurriedly sketched out his version of a dysfunctional family, naming the characters after members of his own family. Marge was named after Groening's mother Margaret "Marge" Groening, who has said she bears little similarity to the character, stating, "It's really weird to have people think you're a cartoon." Marge's beehive hairstyle was inspired by The Bride of Frankenstein and the style that Margaret Groening wore during the 1960s, although her hair was never blue.
Marge debuted with the rest of the Simpson family on April 19, 1987, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night". In 1989, the shorts were adapted into The Simpsons, a half-hour series airing on the Fox Network. Marge and the Simpson family remained the main characters on this new show.
Matt Groening believes that episodes featuring Marge are among the most difficult episodes to write. Bill Oakley believes that the "junior" writers are usually given Marge episodes because he and writing partner Josh Weinstein were given several to write during their first season. During the third season of the show, most of the writers focused on Bart and Homer, so David M. Stern decided to write a Marge episode, which became "Homer Alone" (season three, 1992). He felt that they could achieve a "deeper vein" of comedy in an episode where Marge has a nervous breakdown, and James L. Brooks quickly approved.
What has always impressed me about The Simpsons is that each member of the Family is quite distinct and is important to the show as a whole. Lisa is the intellectual who provides ratioal and reasonable thought. Bart is America's Badboy who helps us to find a moral center in ourselves. Homer is the oaf but still a good family man. Yet Marge seems to be the balance of the entire family. She is not so excessive in her moral tendencies as Lisa and not nearly as loose with … more