3 Ways Bart Simpson Might be a Secret Genius


Ah, Bart. The oft-misunderstood renegade of the Simpson household.

Ever the class clown, Bart “El Barto” Simpson relishes in his antagonism of not only Homer and Mrs. Krabappel, but the entire town. As such, Bart’s gained a reputation among his family and neighbors as a dimwitted troublemaker, despite Marge’s repeated proclamations that her son is a “special little guy.”

But really, just who is Bart fooling? He’s not a moron. He’s simply misunderstood and probably a little bored. Evidence for Bart’s hidden genius is spread throughout the entire series, regardless of what those fat cats at the state capitol want you to think.

3. Bart’s scary when he focuses

Proof: “Brother’s Little Helper” – S11E02

No one’s ever doubted Bart’s ingenuity when it comes to his pranks. The boy’s a legit mini-ninja.

In “Brother’s Little Helper,” Bart puts that ingenuity to use when he floods the gymnasium and yard of Springfield Elementary. As a result, Principal Seymour Skinner proclaims Bart has ADHD and the scamp is put on “Focusyn” to help his attention.

And it works! Bart begins to, as he put it, feel “an urge to straighten up and fly right.”

But it works too well. Bart basically becomes addicted to Focusyn and ends up so hyper-focused he starts making wild claims about satellites controlled by Major League Baseball spying on him.

But here’s the thing: Bart was right! Major League Baseball really was using a satellite to spy on the town. Why? For market research. Honestly, anyone who’s watched five minutes of the MLB network probably wouldn’t be surprised if this happened in the real world. Where’s my tinfoil hat?

Now, this episode is probably an allegory for ADHD’s tendency for over-diagnosis and the perils of over-medicating pre-teens, but “Brother’s Little Helper” proves that Bart’s not a dimwit. He just needs focus.

Because of Focusyn, Bart was able to not only figure out that professional baseball was spying on Springfield, but realize that the league was using a satellite to do so. Bart then figured out when the MLB satellite would be above the town, stole a tank from Fort Springfield and shot the damn thing out of the sky.

A tank. Now, I’m not a military dude, but it’s got to be beyond the abilities of a normal 10-year-old to drive and fire a tank, right? RIGHT?!

The point is, Focusyn didn’t increase Bart’s intelligence, it merely helped him focus long enough to use it.

Well, you know what they say; “There’s a fine line between genius and insanity.” Now we know Bart walks that line every single day.

2. Bart has a knack for languages

Proof: “The Crepes of Wrath” – S01E11 &”Blame it on Lisa” – S13E15

It’s another classic example of one of the unintended consequences of one of Bart’s pranks. After dropping a cherry bomb down the toilet in the boy’s bathroom at Springfield Elementary, Bart, as part of his punishment, is forced to take part in a student exchange program. In France.

Does Bart live a charmed life, or what?

So Bart’s shipped off to France. But when he gets there, he’s picked up by two grouchy Frenchmen César and Ugolin (César’s nephew), who hold him captive in a dilapidated farmhouse, forcing him to help make wine mixed with antifreeze.

Sounds like my kind of Friday night.

Bart eventually escapes and finds a French policeman, who doesn’t speak English. Though, let’s be honest here, a cop who sees a young, disheveled boy who doesn’t speak a word of French, probably still a little drunk off a glass or two of Chateau de Antifreeze, and decides, “What this little fella needs is a nice piece of candy” is probably not a model for effective community policing.

Way to be France, way to be.

Frustrated, Bart begins to talk to himself like any self-respecting antifreeze drunk does. Bart soon realizes that in his despair, he’s come to speak fluent French!

Bart runs and tells Cop-of-the-Year that two dudes have been holding him hostage and forcing him to add antifreeze to their wine. César and Ugolin are arrested.

For making shitty wine. Thanks, France.

But the real story here is that somehow Bart managed to become fluent in French in only two months. Sure, he was under extreme duress and learning French may have been his brain’s way of trying to find a way to survive, but there’s no way Bart, son of one Homer J. Simpson, should have been able to gain proficiency in the language in that short a time. Not with his gene pool.

Unless he’s secretly a genius!

That’s not the only time the show has hinted at Bart’s aptitude for languages. In Season 13’s “Blame it on Lisa,” the family decides to travel to Brazil to help Lisa find Ronaldo, a little boy she’s been sponsoring.

On the way there, Bart becomes fluent in Spanish using a book on tape. Fluent. In Spanish. Over the course of one eight-hour flight. The only reason we don’t have a bilingual Bart is because Brazilians speak Portuguese and Homer made him “forget every word, boy. It’s useless.”

Father of the year, over here.

1. Bart has some serious driving skills

Proof: “Bart on the Road” – S07E20, “Brawl in the Family” – S13E7 & “The Old Man and the Key” – S13E13

It’s something that’s referenced more than once throughout the entire series; Bart Simpson is damn good behind the wheel.

In “Bart on the Road” Principal Seymour Skinner wants to start spring break early, so he implements a Go To Work with your Parents Day to get out of work. Bart ends up at the DMV with Patty and Selma Bouvier, where he ends up making himself a fake driver’s license.

Of course he does.

Bart enlists Milhouse, Nelson and Martin —who just came into a $600 windfall playing the stock market — to come along on a grand spring break journey. The boys rent a car and find themselves bound for Knoxville, Tennessee.

Once they arrive, the car gets crushed and Martin spends the last $10 on an Al Gore doll, leaving the boys to find a way to send themselves themselves back to Springfield via courier.

Smooth move, Martin.

In “Brawl in the Family,” an out-of-control Simpson family argument leads to the appearance of Gabriel a social worker who plans to stop the arguments and violence. Poor, naive Gabriel.

A family outing goes wrong and ends up with Homer and Gabriel clinging to a fallen tree above a pit full of wolves and cougars. The family must band together to bail them out, but Marge hurts her driving ankle when running to get the car, leaving Bart to take the wheel.

Bart does no actual driving in “The Old Man and the Key,” which is an episode focusing on Abe Simpson’s desperate need for some action. Grandpa has his drivers license reinstated, causing a series of extremely unfortunate, yet hilarious events.

Soon after, Grandpa’s new beau, Zelda, runs off with another man to Branson, Missouri. Rather than let some other prehistoric sack of bones steal his gal, Abe resolves to steal Marge’s car. Things aren’t going great when who should appear but Bart with some helpful advice.

“It’s actually blue wire to yellow wire.”

Car starts right up.

Bart asks if he can come along and Grandpa replies, “Sure. Why not? School ain’t helpin, ya.”

Abe, you dear old man, you’ve never spoken truer words.