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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Kent Wang

The 2016 presidential candidates as 'Simpsons' characters

Written by
Dave Siegel
Matt Negrin

Remember that episode of The Simpsons where Bill Clinton shows up playing the saxophone? Or the one where George H.W. Bush moves in next door to Homer? It’s not so hard to see the presidents of the United States as cartoon characters, and, it turns out, it’s not so hard to imagine the 2016 candidates like that either.

Think about it—this cast of characters includes a braggadocious reality TV star, a doctor who has ruined the “OH - You must be a brain surgeon” insult (because now that person really might be a brain surgeon) and a Brooklyn Jew asking for votes in Iowa, where most voters’ knowledge of Judaism begins and ends with Michele Bachmann mispronouncing “Chutzpah.” But instead of changing the pigmentation of Trump, Carson, Bernie and the rest, we scanned our expansive Simpsons memories to find their most dopplegangy 2D renderings who, in some cases, seem more animated than the candidates themselves (are you listening Jeb?). 

Donald Trump & Mr. Burns

A cartoon super-villain megalomaniac tycoon...and then there’s Mr. Burns. If C. Montgomery Burns was fatter, taller and his skin was exactly the same color, he’d be a dead ringer for the Donald. Really, the only difference between these super rich men is “yuge” vs. ”excellent,” and honestly, how much of a difference is that?

Who said it, Mr. Trump or Mr. Burns?

“By building a casino, I could tighten my stranglehold on this dismal town.”

Rick Santorum & Ned Flanders

Hokily Dokily! If not just for the right wing hella Christian factor, how about the forest green sweater over the button down? Jesus!

Who said it, Rick or Ned?

“I just wanna say that for those watching this network, you’re all going to hell - and that includes FX, Fox Sports and our newest devil’s portal - The Wall Street Journal. Welcome to the club!”

Dr. Ben Carson & Dr. Julius Hibbert

Before you start screaming “racist!”, consider that both of these gents are doctors and Republicans (however, Dr. Hibbert’s stance on the origin of the Egyptian pyramids is unknown).

Who said it, Dr. Carson or Dr. Hibbert?

"Throwing rocks at cars, I really liked that. Sometimes, the police would come, always in unmarked cars. And, they'd be chasing us across the field, and they would think they trapped us. Now, that was back in the days before they would shoot you. (Chuckles) I'm just kidding! You know they wouldn't do that.”

Bernie Sanders & Rabbi Hyman Krustovsky

Sanders had to be the Brooklyn Jew because, well... he's a Brooklyn Jew, and we can say that because we’re both totally... anti semitic. Krusty's wise, old grumpy father was the natural choice for Larry Dav… er, Bernie Sanders.

Who said it, Bernie Sanders or Rabbi Hyman Krustovsky?

"I am who I am. And what I believe in and what my spirituality is about, is that we’re all in this together."

Mike Huckabee & Reverend Lovejoy

Sticking with the theological variety, who’s a better match for Governor Huckabee than Springfield’s own Reverend Lovejoy? Can’t you just see Lovejoy raising the arm of Kim Davis to the tune of "Eye of the Tiger?" Wait, was that The Simpsons or real life?

Who said it, Huckabee or Lovejoy?

“I didn’t major in math. I majored in miracles, and I still believe in them, too.”

Carly Fiorina & Edna Krabappel

Just in case, that's Fiorina on the left and Krabappel on the right. “Look at that Face!” These two look exactly alike, down to that aloof sneer. Plus both seem like a nightmare eHarmony date.

Who said it, Mrs. Fiorina or Ms. Krabappel?

“I don’t entertain much. Usually, it’s just salad for one, soup for one, wine for three.”

Chris Christie & Mayor Quimby

Despite presumably being of opposing parties, both blowhards are no strangers to political controversy nor afraid to stomp on a rival. Closing a bridge, embezzling public funds—tomato, tomahto. Hey, we didn’t even make a fat joke.

Who said it, Christie or Quimby?

“Thanks for the civics lesson. Now listen: if {she} goes to jail, I can kiss the chick vote goodbye. And if I go down, you're gonna break my fall!”

Ted Cruz & Side-Show Bob

The Republican Party hates them, but at heart they're unabashedly everything a conservative voter wants. They're well-read, philosophically brilliant instigators who crave the spotlight. And they're both so inflammatory and sneaky that it can't be known whether Bob is a caricature of Cruz, or the other way around.

Who said it, Cruz or Bob?

“Your guilty conscience may move you to vote Democratic, but deep down you long for a cold-hearted Republican to lower taxes, brutalize criminals, and rule you like a king.”

Marco Rubio & Milhouse Van Houten

I would say they’re both nerds but as Milhouse points out, “I’m not a nerd. Nerds are smart.” So we’ll go with: both are dorks. Dorks who get haircuts that culminate with lollipops.

Who said it, Marco or Milly?

“We’re broke. Remember the last administration’s decision to invest in our nation’s children? Big mistake!”

Rand Paul & Martin Prince

Every group needs its know-it-all. They may have aced every test and protected every pen, but they’ll always be the target of bullies. After all, Martin can never escape Nelson, and we all know that Rand has night terrors about Donald.

Who said it, Rand Paul or Martin Prince?

“I never, ever cheated. I don't condone cheating."

Jeb Bush & George H. W. Bush

We kept it in the family on this one. Cheap? Yes. Easy? Definitely. But READ MY LIPS: Jeb’s debate performances aren’t doing much to eradicate Daddy’s “wimp” image.

Who said it, Jeb Bush or Springfield resident George H. W. Bush?

“Just happy to be here among good, average people with no particular hopes or dreams.”

John Kasich & Gil Gunderson

Oh, you unappreciated characters, you! You Willy Lomans! You Jack Lemmons from Glengarry Glen Ross! Will either of you ever catch a break? Wipe those beads of sweat from your brows and keep selling, uh, whatever it is you’re selling.

Who said it, John Kasich or Gil Gunderson?

“Oh boy, your whole life you work and you slave and scrimp and you steal just enough to get a sweet, sweet lick of that shiny brass ring.”

Martin O’Malley & Duff Man

Both look the part, but under those tough-guy exteriors are the soft souls of underdogs without much chance for success. O’Malley can’t seem to leap that Everest-sized 1 percent hurdle, and after public appearances where he’s the life of the party, we envision Duff Man going home to sleep on a futon without even bothering to pull it out. O’Malley won’t be pulling it out either.

Who said it, Martin O’Malley or Duff Man?


Hillary Clinton & Future Lisa Simpson

It might bother some that we’re comparing Hillary to a character who actually becomes president, but what’s possibly more troubling is that President Lisa Simpson’s administration followed “President Trump’s.”

Who said it, Hillary or Lisa?

“My administration will focus on the three R’s. Reading, Writing and Refilling the ocean.”


  • Mr. Burns
  • Ned Flanders
  • Dr. Ben Carson
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Mike Huckabee
  • Mrs. Krabappel
  • Mayor Quimby
  • Sideshow Bob
  • MIlhouse Van Houten
  • Rand Paul George
  • George H. W. Bush (2-D version)
  • Gil Gunderson
  • Duff Man
  • Lisa Simpson

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