Today in “According to the Internet…”, it’s apparently Bart Simpson’s 32nd birthday. Why is it Bart Simpson’s 32nd birthday? Nobody seems to know, but it’s blowing up on Twitter, so here we are.
The character, like everyone on “The Simpsons,” hasn’t aged in the 22 years since the show debuted. Bart’s always been 10, which, if he aged like a normal character, would make him 32 this year. But to my knowledge, his specific date of birth has never been revealed. Anyone who’s steadfastly followed the show during the past 10 or so years (cheers to your stamina) is welcome to correct me on this.
The show debuted on Fox Dec. 17, 1989. The Simpson family first appeared in April 1987 in a series of shorts on “The Tracy Ullman Show.” No mention of Feb. 23 in the several minutes I have spent deeply researching this online.
“The Simpsons” always has been coy about its timeline — the characters don’t get older, but occasional flashback and flash-forward episodes have complicated the chronology. During the early years, occasional flashback episodes told the story of how each of the Simpson children was born. For Bart, that episode was season three’s “I Married Marge,” in which it’s indicated he was (accidentally) conceived and born in the early 1980s.
A season-five flash-forward episode, “Lisa’s Wedding,” took place in 2010, and puts Lisa at age 23 and Bart at age 25. A later flash-forward episode, “Bart to the Future,” puts Lisa at 38 (and as President of the United States), and Bart at 40, but doesn’t specify the year. The 2008 episode “That ’90s Show,” is controversial among fans (those who are still paying attention) because of how it retroactively messes with the show’s continuity because it placed Homer and Marge’s courtship in the 1990s.
Perhaps this is some effort by Twitter-literate (Twitter-ate? Twi-literate?) Gen-X-ers to reclaim Bart Simpson as their own, since the birth cutoff-point between Generation X and Y is generally considered to be either the late 1970s or early 1980s. However, if the Millennials want to claim late-period “Simpsons” as their own, I doubt any fans of the show’s glory years — seasons one through nine, give or take — would object.