The Simpsons showrunner Al Jean has said Lisa Simpson could be part of the LGBT+ community.
While the character has previously had crushes on Nelson Muntz and became obsessed with the Corey Hotline in early seasons, a number of hints have led to speculation that Lisa could be queer.
The most notable is in season 23 episode Holidays Of Future Passed, where a montage of pictures showing the family in the future depicts Lisa holding hands with two women on the couch – suggesting she might be in a polyamorous relationship.
Speaking to Digital Spy, Jean welcomed the idea of Lisa being queer. “In my opinion, and this is just my opinion, that is definitely a possibility for Lisa’s life,” Jean said. “She is open and, you know, somebody who loves everything. Why not?”
The show won’t be making Lisa’s identity official any time soon though, with a future episode set to revive Lisa’s crush on Nelson.
Jean added: “In an episode in the future, it’s actually her and Nelson, which is again, a little bit of a leap! We have a show coming up where in the future Lisa might get together with Nelson and features Simu Liu from Shang-Chi as Lisa’s husband.”
The showrunner previously suggested he could see Lisa being polyamorous during an interview with Metro in 2019, saying: “I see Lisa as President and possibly polyamorous.”
Lisa’s sexuality has been addressed in other episodes. In season 32 episode Mother And Child Reunion, a fortune teller tells Lisa she has a 42 per cent chance to have a boyfriend in the future and a 72 per cent chance for a girlfriend. In response, Lisa remarks: “I like those odds!”
In recent years, the show has pushed to diversify its characters. Last year, Waylon Smithers, who came out on the show in 2016, had a gay romance storyline with boyfriend Michael De Graaf, a fashion designer voiced by Victor Garber.
Speaking about the episode to the New York Post, co-writer Johnny LaZebnik said: “So often, gay romances are a subplot or alluded to or shown in some kind of montage or as a punchline.
“And what I think I was really excited about, with this episode, we get to see – without spoiling too much – the beginning, middle and who knows how it ends of a gay relationship, of really getting into the nitty-gritty of how gay people date, how they meet, what it’s like.”