With 30 seasons behind them and a promised two more (at least) on the horizon, The Simpsons has been part of the lives of many people, surpassing childhood and heading well into adulthood. (Unlike the kids on the show, the rest of us have aged.) While it’s almost unanimously acknowledged, if not agreed, that The Simpsons has gone downhill over the decades – sustaining any kind of fresh perspective over three decades is next to impossible – the series has impacted everyone, including artists.
As a creative jumping-off point, The Simpsons has allowed for endless reinterpretations and redesigns, largely in thanks to its gigantic cast of characters. Fans want to see what their favorite Simpsons kid might look like grown up, or with a different skin tone, or drawn in an entirely new style. These artists have taken The Simpsons and made them creatively, wonderfully, their own.
20 This Flesh-Toned Version
The Simpsons are instantly recognizable thanks to their yellow hue, which was a creative choice by the creators so that people would be encouraged to stop and watch the show as they flicked through channels. However, it’s pretty cool seeing what the famous family would look like in a realistic color scheme – plus how cute is Lisa with purple hair?
19 This Gender-Swapped Family
We’ve known The Simpsons family for so long, it’s kind of cool to imagine what the brood would look like if the genders of the core characters were when switched up! We love the effort made to Maggie and Lisa’s hair, as well as the mischievous glint in Bart’s (Bartina’s?) eye. The biggest shock, though? A female Homer with a full head of hair!
18 These South Park Simpsons
For a very long time, South Park and The Simpsons were considered to be emblematic of a devolving society with a dearth of family values and crude humor. (Clearly, these views were opined by people who had never seen either show.) That being said, it makes perfect sense to mash them up!
17 This Goth Group
Rarely straying from their usual outfits (which makes it easier on the animators), we rely on fan art like this to show us The Simpsons family with a whole new look. This artist ran the gamut of rock music, with Lisa in punk attire, Bart doing his best mall emo impression, Marge in her Goth glory, and Homer as a classic metalhead, complete with flaming donut.
16 These Edgy Kids
It’s Bart, Lisa, and Nelson Muntz, all grown up! We love this artist’s fresh take on the classic cartoon kids, because they haven’t changed everything about them and still used a completely different artistic style. Nelson’s vest, Bart’s pocket T-shirt, and Lisa’s pearls-and-sweater-set are all still there, but in a way that feels creative and new.
15 This Adorable Anime Lisa
While Lisa Simpson’s footwear is most recognizable for her mary-janes, we’ll let that slide because this interpretation is just so darn cute! We love seeing Lisa with hair that doesn’t melt into her face (in shape and in color), so these shaggy blonde locks fit perfectly with this artist’s anime-inspired version.
14 This Halloween Homage
The Treehouse of Horror annual episodes from The Simpsons are iconic all on their own, so it seems fitting that this artist would add some classic Halloween flicks to up the ante. We’ve got adorable Maggie as Ghostface from Scream, Marge as Jason from Friday the 13th, Lisa as Leatherface of Texas Chainsaw infamy, Homer as Freddy Kruger, and of course, Bart as Michael Myers.
13 This Mer-Family
Without their iconic coloring and Marge’s trademark bouffant, it might be easy to mistake this redesigned mer-family as a group other than The Simpsons! Looking as though they belong in the Disney universe, Homer is probably the most unrecognizable thanks to a fit body that is the exact opposite of the original character’s beer-bellied dad body.
12 This Vintage-Style Edna
There’s something poignant about this charcoal drawing of Springfield Elementary teacher Edna Krabappel. It’s probably a combination of the vintage style that makes Edna look like a gorgeous, Hollywood Golden Age actress, and the fact that the woman who voiced her, Marcia Wallace, passed away in 2013 – the year this drawing was done.
11 This Sad Lisa
Speaking of poignant, how’s this for a tragic figure? An adult Lisa, who as a child was no stranger to moments of sadness, with eyes full of tears. Designed by DeviantArt user MissFuturama, we wonder what’s going on in this grown-up Lisa’s life to make her look so very sad.
10 These Pierced Bullies
Sometimes bullies don’t grow up – in The Simpsons, that’s quite literal; after 30 years, Dolph, Jimbo and Kearney are still their obnoxious preteen selves. In this fan art, though, they’ve gotten a little bit bigger, a little bit meaner, and with a lot of facial piercings. Who knows what they’re up to in their mid-twenties, but probably more of the same.
9 These Grown-Up Cool Girls
Another entry from MissFuturama (who has a bunch of grown-up Simpsons characters, if you’re interested), we get to see some lesser-known figures who orbit Lisa’s sphere. Jessica Lovejoy, who was always a bad girl, is the same thing all grown up, with a Kylie Jenner hairdo and a Kardashian-Jenner outfit. Sherri and Terri, two other mean girls, still haven’t outgrown their penchant for matching one another, either!
8 These ‘Real’ Simpsons
A little more real and a little more edgy, these Simpsons characters have lost their obviously cartoony spin for something a little rougher and more true to life. Krusty the Clown, for example, seems to have had all his vices catch up with him, and looks more Insane Clown Posse than children’s TV clown. And can we talk about Lisa’s hair? Because, yikes.
7 This Color-Changed Interpretation
Deciding that kids deserved to see a little more diverse representation in their lives, artist Tyron Handy opted to reimagine famous TV characters with darker skin, which leads us to his version of The Simpsons, renamed The Blacksons! Different outfits, different hair cuts, and – in Homer’s case – a full beard help complete the redesign.
6 This Unrequited Love
How’s this for a bunch of Easter eggs squished into one basket? Milhouse’s unrequited love for Lisa is Simpsons canon, and we adore this painting that shows their separate personalities: Lisa’s saxophone, Malibu Stacey doll, and Valentine’s card opposite Milhouse’s beloved Puppy Goo-Goo, Bonestorm video game, and Fallout Boy mask (just to name a few).
5 This Children’s Book Cuteness
Looking like a vintage children’s book, we have artist Ann Marcellino’s colorful version of the family. Everything looks totally copacetic – Lisa is reading with Snowball II, Homer’s sleeping on the couch with Marge lying exhausted beside him while Bart plays with a Radioactive Man toy. It’s all good until we get to angelic Maggie, who is holding a pistol – and we know what happened last time!
4 This Realistic Reimagining
Another semi-realistic reimagining of The Simpsons family – this time keeping their trademark jaundiced hue – we have artist Patrick Hennings giving every character a superhero-style makeover, thanks to muscled torsos and sharp features. Honestly, if it weren’t for the coloring given to every member, we’d be seriously trying to place where this family belongs!
3 This Breaking Bad Crossover
The Simpsons had long since left behind any chance of it being considered “edgy” programming, which is why it feels so weird to see Bart, Marge, and Homer in the place of the characters from Breaking Bad! While Homer may have had the bald head and a bit of stubble, artist Pancho Vasquez gives him more wrinkles and a surlier demeanor to better play Walter White/Heisenberg.
2 This Creepy Mr. Burns
Some characters should not be given real-life makeovers, and Simpsons characters, with their exaggerated features and bulbous eyes, are firmly in the “NOT” category. Digital artist Martin Beyer, however, chose not to listen to us and gave us fresh Treehouse of Horror nightmare fuel with this all-too-real Mr. Burns. We can only imagine how Smithers might feel.
1 This Impressive Couch Gag
While not necessarily the best of all the creative redesigns we’ve seen, we’ve saved this one for the end because of the sheer number of characters! The couch gag is a staple of The Simpsons and artist Nina Matsumoto gives a manga/anime style to a ton of Springfield residents! Called Simpsonzu, it was such a hit that Matsumoto’s work appeared in tons of issues of Simpsons comics!