Martin Prince

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The Simpsons character
Martin Prince from the Simpsons.png
Martin Prince, Jr.
Gender Male
Job Student
Relatives Father: Martin Prince, Sr.
Mother: Martha Prince
Voice actor Russi Taylor
Dan Castellaneta ("Lisa's Wedding")
First appearance
The Simpsons "Bart the Genius"

Martin Prince, Jr.[1] is a recurring character in the Fox animated series, The Simpsons, and is voiced by Russi Taylor. Martin is Bart Simpson's classmate, and is Lisa Simpson's rival in intelligence, as well as Nelson Muntz's favorite target for bullying. He is an academically brilliant, a teacher's pet, and is portrayed as a stereotypical nerd, and is a 4th grade student at Springfield Elementary School.[1]

Profile[edit]

Martin is the son of Martin, Sr. and Martha.[1] He is an academically brilliant student, portrayed when he first appears in the second episode of the series.[1] He is also a teacher's pet with the stereotypical nerd enthusiasms for science fiction, role-playing games and not-so-great fashion sense. He has an IQ of 216. As the class nerd, he unwittingly becomes the perfect target for ruthless bullying at Springfield Elementary School. He is a member of the Springfield band, and is often seen with a French Horn. Martin's most famous catchphrases are "Behold!" and "Excelsior!".

Given Martin's fawning behavior towards adults and condescension towards his peers (such as successfully petitioning to have the school day extended by 20 minutes), most of Springfield cheers on his tormentors. An example of this is when Mrs. Krabappel assigns a World War I paper. Martin asks if he can type his report and then if it can be ten pages (minimum). Martin disappears almost immediately and Nelson lets the not particularly concerned teacher know that "he's gone now". Despite this behavior, Martin tries to be friendly with Nelson. There have been a few episodes where it is hinted that Nelson does not really want to be mean to Martin, and could even be potentially a friend, if it were not for the pressure of maintaining his bad-boy image at school, even to the extent of being the only person to care about whether Martin's apparent death was as accident in the episode "Dial 'N' for Nerder". Martin is somewhat overweight, as noted by Abraham Simpson once, and he is sent to the weight loss section of the hellish Kamp Krusty in the episode of the same name. Although his father calls it "image enhancement camp", Martin sees right through this, shouting "Spare me your euphemisms! It's fat camp for daddy's chubby little secret!" The sexuality of Martin was initially the subject of various jokes and innuendos, although he has since denied being gay. ("I'm not gay! I'm nothing yet!")

One of his more notable appearances is in an episode in which Bart challenges him for the class presidency (the side-story in "Lisa's Substitute" (season 2 episode 19)). Martin, of course, has a comprehensive (though not particularly politically well-judged) platform which Bart, with the aid of Homer, picks apart with populist nonsense. In a debate, Martin begins to speak of the high level of asbestos in the classrooms. Bart interrupts and says "That's not enough! We want More asbestos! More Asbestos!", leaving the entire class chanting this arrant nonsense. Nevertheless, Bart still loses the election as Martin and his running mate Wendell are the only ones in the class who bothered to vote on election day.

Despite the natural animosity between Bart and Martin, the two have often joined forces. In fact, for most of the series they seem to be friends despite the occasional butting of heads. In "Bart Gets an F", Martin tutors Bart in exchange for lessons on being cool (although Martin betrays Bart at the end of their collaboration). In another, Martin and Bart work together on a soapbox racer. Bart, Martin, and Milhouse all pool their money to buy a copy of the first Radioactive Man comic. In another episode, Bart must wear corrective lenses and leg supports, and temporarily looks quite nerdy and becomes an even greater target for bullying. It is during this time that Martin and a group of nerds save him by going to their "refuge of the damned," until he no longer has to wear his glasses or boots. When kids from Shelbyville steal Springfield's lemon tree, Martin joins Bart as part of the gang of raiders who seek to take the lemon tree back (Bart describes him as the gang's smart guy). Martin's closest friends are apparently Wendell, Database and the German exchange student Üter.

During one spring break, Martin accompanies Bart, Nelson, and Milhouse on a chaotic road trip to Knoxville, Tennessee. Bart is not very harsh on Martin (yet he mistakenly refers to him as "Milton" and is corrected by Milhouse) most of the time, but Martin can get out of control. Aside from being a bit snobbish in early seasons, Martin once became a bad boy even worse than Bart, once slapped Bart on the head when Bart was sad that Homer did not support him, and once threateningly held a small Shelbyville kid up against a tree, maybe as a result after all the bullying he suffers.

Many have noted that as the seasons have passed, Bart has become less and less hostile with Martin to the point of total neutrality; this has not stopped the Springfield Elementary bullies from continuing their traditional beating however. Martin also has become less condescending and more passive as the series has progressed. He is often depicted as too passive, since even Lisa Simpson can be a bit harsh to him, such as a scene in "Das Bus" in which Lisa is initially blamed by Sherri and Terri for being responsible for stranding the group of children on a deserted island because she helped set up the disastrous field trip. Lisa in turn states that Martin seconded the trip, and because of that it is his fault. Martin has been known to casually hang out with Bart's group from time to time as well, and is often seen with Bart and Milhouse in the background. He is also occasionally seen with Ralph Wiggum. Martin also sits directly in front of Bart in their fourth grade class. Although they often work together on various school projects and classwork, it is implied in many episodes that Martin and Lisa are also rivals of a sort, especially when it comes to the Science Fair. Martin is seen grinning at the back of the bus, as it rides off without her in one episode. He proclaims that without Lisa there to grab the first prize badge, he will receive first place. In "Lisa's Wedding", set 15 years in the future, Martin was believed to have died from a science fair explosion, but was actually living underneath the school in The Phantom of the Opera fashion. However, in the season 23 episode "Holidays of Future Passed",set 30 years into the future, Martin went through a sex change operation and became Marcia Princess. In the Simpsons comics, Martin commonly appears in large supporting roles. In the season 11 episode "Brother's Little Helper", it is revealed that Martin takes hormones to make his voice "lower" and makes him want to pick fights with people.

In the 2008 episode "Dial 'N' for Nerder", Martin has a lead role when Bart plays a prank on him. Lisa and Bart believed him to be dead after falling off a cliff, but he was saved by wedgie-proof underwear. Also in this episode, Bart felt guilty for the first time and said that Martin was "like Jesus, only real!". After this Bart burst into tears.

In The Simpsons Movie, there is also a short scene in which Martin attacks and savagely beats the school bullies, in revenge for years of torment, with a plank of wood, screaming "I've been taking your crap all my life!". After knocking them unconscious, Martin exclaims that 'this feels good!' before continuing.

In the opening sequence of The Simpsons Movie, he is hosted up a flagpole by Jimbo, Kearney and Dolph, whilst Bart is writing the billboard gag.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d The Simpsons, "Bart the Genius" - January 14, 1990

External links[edit]