- “Haw Haw!”
- ―Nelson's most popular catchphrase since birth.
Nelson Mandela Muntz is a major character and recurring antagonist of The Simpsons and a child citizen of Springfield. He is the leader of the school bullies at Springfield Elementary School (despite being the youngest and shortest), even though he is also the most independent of them. He is a fourth-grader.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Family
- 3 Relationships with others
- 4 Physical appearance
- 5 Personality
- 6 Catchphrases
- 7 Non-canon appearances
- 8 Behind the Laughter
- 9 Quotes
- 10 Trivia
- 11 Episode Appearances
- 12 Gallery
- 13 Citations
Nelson was first shown as a bully and the arch-rival of Bart and as a bully/kid taking/picking him up off the stage. Nelson took Bart to a fight. Over the years, he has terrorized most male kids in Springfield and was even seen bullying teenagers (also known as Jimbo Jones and the Squeaky-voiced Teen). Nelson has a manner of showing up in awkward situations of surprise or misfortune and regularly pinpoint it by laughing at the concerned people ("Haw-haw!" became his catchphrase). When cornered about the awkwardness of those situations, Nelson usually gives a very reasoned explanation as to why he acted the way he did, sometimes even pseudo-scientifically proving it ("See, epidermis means your hair, so technically it's true. That's what makes it so funny.")
Nelson currently studies in the fourth-grade but was already a student when Bart came to school, which suggests that he may have repeated a couple of years. As he said on one occasion "I can't count the number of times I've been held back. Probably why I'm being held back." As such, he mainly remains skeptical of Edna Krabappel's remarks and laughs at nerds present in his class as he well knows all the correct answers to the teacher's every question.
Nelson represented Japan at the Model UN club  and serves as a quarterback for the Pee-Wee school's football team (on one occasion he even catches his own pass and plows through the opposing team with extreme ease), which he almost single-handedly carried over the rivals at some point. He has a surprising facility for planning, as he tells Marge when she says she wants to take down Mixed Fighting that she will need parents, sympathetic school officials and clergymen, a place to meet, snacks, staplers, and a phone-tree; (which he considers to be invaluable in regards to organizing a protest) to even have a chance at taking down an entire sport. He turns out to be a fan of many unexpected things, such as Andy Williams and Snow White. He is also an expert in the proper preparation of Huckleberries and eats tadpoles for brunch and lunch. Another time he was apparently a master of disguise, fooling even Bart and Ned Flanders. Finally, he was also depicted as having master answer sheets to various tests and assignments at school. He has an "office" located in a toilet stall where he has the answer sheets hidden in the toilet cistern.
In "Loan-a Lisa", he starts his own business using the fifty dollars Lisa donated to him. In a video link, Nelson says that he used some of the money to treat his mother the way she deserves. In the same episode, he is very caring towards Lisa at the end as he makes up an excuse to hold her hand as they are rollerblading.
Nelson's choice of social ethics seems to sprout from edgy reasons and rules understood only to himself: when Bart (truthfully) claimed to have been Krusty the Clown's assistant, Nelson punched Bart in the stomach, saying: "That's for taking credit for other people's work!". Nelson also hit Bart after the latter accidentally wrecked Adolf Hitler's vehicle at a carnival. ("You wrecked Hitler's car! What did he ever do to you?") Bart also got beaten for "Wasting teacher's valuable time!", after constantly raising his hand with the wrong answer to answer a question Mrs. Krabappel asked, and received pain for "Besmirching an innocent girl's name!" after trying to flaunt his relationship with Jessica Lovejoy to the other kids. Milhouse claims to care about the environment to impress Lisa. Nelson stands over him with a fist raised and demanded he "say global warming is a myth!" Milhouse does so, and Nelson punches him anyway, stating "That's for selling out your beliefs!" 
Nelson's enigmatic personality had an impact on many individuals, notably some who try to find good traits in him, if any, and "convert" his demeaning character into whatever it is that they see in him. Mrs. Krabappel once tried to make a teacher's pet out of Nelson after he passed a test with A+. Bart was able to befriend him in order to gain popularity, notwithstanding their earlier conflict, which resulted in Nelson bullying Bart even harder at the end. Lisa went out with Nelson for the same reasons, only to be persuaded that he will never change. At some point Nelson teamed up with Martin and attempted to put him straight, therefore not all of his actions are mere intimidation.
After Season 10, Nelson became portrayed rather as an insecure teenager who is ashamed of his ways and beats kids out of fear that they will find out some piece of his biography he cherishes most, rather than out of fun and boredom. Since his father left the family at that time and Nelson remained with his mother, who is a drunken prostitute, he fears the judgment of others on this and dreams that one day his dad (whom he calls "papa") will come home. In several instances, Nelson has visions where he sees his dad and goes up to hug him, but he is actually hugging a tree. Nelson also was revealed to have worn diapers at some point in "Midnight Rx" since he says he was grateful to Homer and Abe's drug smuggling operation as it cured his diaper rash.
Nelson lives in a dilapidated house with his mother, from whom he learned his trademark laugh. The negligent Mrs. Muntz works either as a waitress at Hooters or in a topless bar. In "Brother From the Same Planet", Nelson's father appears. It is indicated many times that Nelson's father abandoned Nelson and Mrs. Muntz when he "went to pick up some cigarettes", and never returned. Mr. Muntz appears as the children's soccer coach and awards Nelson with a free trip to Pele's Soccer and Acting School.
At one time, Nelson is adopted by Marge Simpson. To get rid of him, Bart finds Nelson's father and brings him to meet Nelson. It turned out that he did not leave Nelson deliberately; he bit into a chocolate bar, not knowing it had peanuts and had an allergic reaction. Looking like the Elephant Man, he ran out of the store and encountered a circus that made him a part of its freak show. At performances, audiences threw peanuts at him, which perpetuated his allergic reaction, never allowing him to return to normal. When the circus came through Springfield, Bart recognized him and brought him home to rid himself of the needy Nelson, who had been taken into the Simpson home by Marge, and wouldn't leave.Nelson is the youngest of three siblings including half-brother Norman.
Relationships with others
Nelson spends quite a lot of his time with other bullies Jimbo, Dolph, and Kearney. While it was once clear that he was their 'leader', he's spent more time being independently developed as a more sympathetic character, and just as often as not Jimbo can be seen calling the shots now - although Nelson's almost always present when there's a chance to cause trouble for Principal Skinner. He also has two cronies whom he calls The Weasels (rarely seen alongside him after the earlier seasons). Nelson himself was subjected to a beating at the hands of Kearney and Jimbo at the racetrack when he used the word "guff" instead of swearing when noting that Furious D, Bart's horse, "took no guff from nobody" when exiting the race track to chase off a paparazzi in a violent manner. However, Nelson is shown to be a lot tougher than the other bullies, when protecting Bart and in "Dial "N" for Nerder" when the other bullies' punches don't hurt Nelson and he doesn't even notice them hitting him.
Although he does admire Bart and looks up to him like most children of their school, Nelson basically treats him the same as he would most people he bullies. Nelson once described Bart as having "spiky hair, soft kidneys, and always hitting himself". Nelson sometimes hangs out with Bart. Indeed, despite Nelson periodically bullying Bart, he is also a frequent participant in many of his schemes, often serving as his muscle man or (to a lesser extent than Milhouse) his right-hand man. It should also be noted that Bart has also beaten Nelson on occasion; such as when he deliberately allowed Martin to sing a girlish song while skipping and pummeled him for this. Bart also beat up Nelson when they were imitating mixed fighting on the playground. In "The Debarted", Bart smashed his head with a trash can when Nelson replied "Yes" to a question (*the correct answer was "Yes, sir"). At one point, he also asked Bart if he wanted to play with him in a friendly manner, the implied reason being was that both he and Bart had mothers who were in jail. He also supplied Bart with some advice as well, such as when Bart wanted a little brother despite his parents, or more specifically Homer, refusing, where Nelson suggested that the trick Homer and Marge into getting a younger brother and implied that he based this suggestion on his own mother nearly doing so with Charles Bartley.
Nelson has many other moments where he displays his hidden good nature, such as his brief amorous relationship with Lisa. Although he cannot control his delinquent tendencies, he treats her with respect and even tries to change for her, although both of them realize that he is not being true to himself by doing so. Nelson kisses Lisa, only to be berated by Jimbo, Kearney, and Dolph, who believe that kissing girls is gay (despite the fact that Jimbo kissed Laura Powers). They stop dating when Lisa finds out that Nelson threw old coleslaw at Principal Skinner's house. He also helps Lisa punish Sherri and Terri for tormenting Lisa about her butt. Their romantic relationship has been referred to several times throughout the series, most notably in the Season 22 episode, "Loan-a Lisa" in which Lisa invests in Nelson's business venture. The episode ends with Nelson taking Lisa rollerblading and the pair holding hands. Nelson has even told God "If you don't bring my Lisa back ants will burn tonight". He has actually said this twice, first in "Lisa's Date with Density" and again in "The Great Simpsina". He also admitted that she broke his heart and that he has a fake tattoo of himself on a cross captioned "Lisa". He also played a prank on Sherri and Terry as revenge for their making Lisa insecure about her weight (although in this case, it's implied that another reason for it was out of sympathy for Lisa due to having a sister who held similar insecurities about her appearance and may have even died because of it).
Throughout Tapped Out, when Lisa notices other boys, Nelson shows some jealousy, outright calling them sissies and wimps, and they have plenty of shared tasks that could be classed as 'dates'. Many of these interactions are the result of Premium-based tasks.
Another curious example of his "good side" is with Martin Prince, the school genius, whom he cruelly bullies. However, there are occasional hints that Nelson does not harbor any hate towards Martin and only bullies him to maintain his 'tough guy' reputation. Both Nelson and Martin attend Space Camp and it is implied that Martin had helped Nelson quite a bit and the two may have been very friendly. When it is believed that Martin has died after accidentally falling over a cliff, Nelson seeks to learn the truth and find Martin's alleged killers, adopting an Inspector Columbo demeanor. When it is revealed that Martin is alive, Nelson mocks and punches him, but adds he is glad Martin is not dead. While helping rescue the Springfield Lemon Tree, which is in the hands of some kids from Shelbyville, Nelson saves Martin from getting beaten up by a Shelbyville kid, even though he is clearly embarrassed by doing it, but did it so he could maintain Springfield pride.
He frequently bullies Milhouse, even forcing him to denounce it as a myth only to punch him in faux-self-righteous vengeance for "selling out beliefs". However, in some episodes, he is shown to be friends with him. He also sympathized with Milhouse when he learned his parents had recently divorced, due to his own family life when his mom not only divorced his dad, but also cleaned herself to such an extent that his father's scent was no longer present.
Nelson has only been seen interacting with Bart's mother, Marge, on rare occasions, although they seem to have an awkward, yet at the same time, friendly relationship. Although the two do not interact much (if at all) in the earliest episodes, they do so more often in the later seasons of the series. In Bart the Mother, Marge forbids Bart and Lisa from seeing Nelson, thinking he is a bad influence on them. However, in another episode, she doesn't seem to have anything against him, like when she forced Bart to attend Nelson's birthday party in The Haw-Hawed Couple. Also, in Lisa Simpson, This Isn't Your Life, she claims to be happy to see Bart and Nelson as friends once again. In Sleeping with the Enemy, the two forms a mother-and-son-like bond, which ends up as short-lived, but Nelson and Marge remained friends.
Nelson has light brown hair, dark brown hair, and dim brown hair and wears a short-sleeved light orange shirt with a dirty, torn light blue vest and blue shorts with matching Mary Jane loafers. Nelson's front teeth are false, and on a removable plate.
Although physically tough, Nelson is not always emotionally tough, as shown in the episode "The Haw-Hawed Couple", where after learning Bart had been playing with Milhouse, Nelson finds tears in his eyes. He has a sensitive side as seen when he cried during Andy William's "Moon River" rendition in Las Vegas with Bart and the gang.
He is also very aware of his poverty and frequently has very little food, normally eating tadpoles and on one occasion drywall, this goes to an extreme where he has never even tasted hot dogs before, only "reading about them in catalogs". Nelson's home is extremely dilapidated and is not quick to invite people over. An example is in "Sleeping with the Enemy"; after spending a day with Marge Simpson, she brings him to a broken-down house which she believes is his home, the second she drives away, he gloomily goes next door to an even worse looking house.
The most likely cause of Nelson's poor behavior is his low self-esteem, brought on by having a poor relationship with his mother, and a lack of a stable father figure in his life. On one occasion he developed an intimate relationship with Marge who gave him self-respect. At the climax, he even tells Marge "thanks lady, for making me feel good about myself". In his movie entry for Springfield's movie contest, he indicates the only time he cries is when he goes to the beach, since he knows the Ocean is far bigger than he is, implying he has to give the appearance of being tough specifically to hide his more depressed side from his horrible family life.
Despite this, Nelson remains aggressive and bullying by nature. While he alienates some with his violent ways he forces others to be his friends with threats. An example is when he tells his fellow students "come to my party or die" for his birthday; however, when they are persuaded by Bart to not go, he is reduced to tears. The few friends he does have, Nelson is protective towards, such as Bart, who he protected from being bullied by Jimbo. He also saved him from drowning during a field trip. However this was only because they were field trip buddies, and Bart meant "barf to him". When Bart asks Nelson upon the latter being reunited with his father if that means he will stop bullying people, he while implying refusal states he wishes that were possible, indicating that he to some level doesn't wish to bully yet ultimately felt resigned to it.
He has also engaged in some delinquent behavior, such as burglary and arson, and was also implied to have stolen IDs, as he managed to avoid being "taken downtown" for violating curfew by supplying Chief Wiggum with Julius Hibbert's ID.
Nelson's catchphrases are "Ha-ha!" (also spelled as "Haw-haw!"), "Aw, crud!", "Smell you later!", and "Stop hitting yourself!" The last phrase can be modified to suit the current situation/method of beating, resulting in phrases such as "Stop endangering yourself!", "Stop zapping yourself!", etc.
In "Love, Springfieldian Style", the story of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen is told by Bart. It stars Nelson as Sid, and notably Lisa as Nancy. The two embark on a tragic and abusive love story fueled by chocolate addiction. However, the story ends with Nelson and Lisa kissing in a garbage-strewn alley before it can reach its real-life conclusion, in which the real Sid was charged with Nancy's murder, and went on to overdose on heroin barely a year later in what most considered a successful suicide attempt. While non-canon it shows that the writers have not yet put aside their previous relationships.
The episode "Future-Drama" depicts Nelson to have dated and impregnated identical twin sisters Sherri and Terri, becoming the father to two sets of identical twins who share his signature laugh. He then claims to be going out to the store for a pack of cigarettes, and then flees, later explaining himself in a similar manner to his father.
In "Bart to the Future", Nelson is shown to be a rich, powerful businessman (or mob boss) who owns a bar.
In "Holidays of Future Passed", Nelson is shown to be in love with Lisa Simpson. It is implied that the two were almost married, as Lisa asked Bart, "Should I have married Nelson? "Cause we still talk on the phone!", while drunk. Secondly, Nelson talks to Lisa, asking her, "Is your marriage still dead and unfulfilled?", implying that the two had an affair. Also, Lisa says to Bart, "Well, someone calls someone.", when asked, "Nelson calls you?", implying that she calls him, rather than he calls her.
The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants
He appeared as the first boss of the game. He generally jumps and causes minor quakes that will stun the player if caught in them, as well as throwing water balloons. To defeat him, the player needs to hit him. Depending on whether the player spelled Maggie's name earlier, the player can either rely solely on water balloons to beat Nelson, or otherwise utilize bowling balls to beat him. It takes eight water balloons/three bowling balls to defeat him.
Bart Simpson's Escape from Camp Deadly
He appeared as the boss for the second round of Capture the Flag. The player needs to throw boomerangs at Nelson enough times to knock him out. If the player freed Madman Mort earlier, Mort will appear to pin Nelson long enough to allow the player to have a clear shot at Nelson and take him out easily.
Aside from being in the background during round transitions alongside Dolph, Kearney, and Jimbo, he also has a voice-only cameo if the player selects Bart as one of the players. When selecting Bart, Nelson can be heard off-screen yelling "here's your ball, loser!" and then throwing the bowling ball at Bart hard enough in the gut to force him on his back and then made his trademark laugh, with Bart weakly thanking Nelson.
The Simpsons: Road Rage
He acts as a potential passenger in the game.
The Simpsons: Hit & Run
Nelson Muntz appears throughout the game in every level save for the final level (due to zombies replacing all the characters in the street races), where he acts as a referee for car races that were sponsored by the Springfield DMV, and more specifically Selma and Patty Bouvier. He always acts as the second referee for the street races. He repeatedly implies in the first and second level that he was forced to act as referee as part of the sentencing to Community Service, due to being caught selling bootleg CDs on a street corner near Kwik-E-Mart when asked by Homer and Bart what he was doing, as Homer recognized him from his sales (claiming it was either that or reading to the Elderly). When announcing, he proceeds to do a countdown only to end up making a taunt after saying "two" before giving the final number. He also claimed that he isn't allowed to beat people while on duty, which he made clear takes some getting used to on his part.
Aside from his role as a judge for street racing, he also has a fairly major role in the Level 4 mission "Wolves Stole my Pills", as he had earlier stolen Abraham Simpson II's crazy pills, and then traded them to someone in a black sedan for the latest Playdude issue, forcing Marge (who needed to talk to Abe to gain information on crop circles) to pursue the car and intercept the pills upon learning this.
The Simpsons Game
Nelson mostly appears whenever both playable characters are killed off or failed to taunt the player. Nelson is mentioned by Lisa idle in Springfield and the house. a picture of Nelson Appeared in Bartman Begins. Nelson later Sees Hans and tells him to give him his Lunch Money Moleman says that he's an old man Nelson thought he was one of those kids with a disease that makes you look like an old man. Nelson also says that he hates Poeticums, Moleman then gives Him his Lunch Money. Later he meets Gill who says it's really Terrific to talk to him about Singaltion Vynal Siding Nelson says that he was just a kid Nelson was about to punch him but lets him say his A Script. Nelson later Buys the New Itchy and Scratchy Game and attack Marge and Lisa. Nelson laughed at everyone because they were frightened. Manjula came and told Nelson he was a mean little boy and wonders what would his mother say. Nelson replied she wouldn't give a crap and she was shanking her fun bags for money Manjula says that breaks her heart and tells Nelson that does he want to live with her family Nelson thought Manjula meant but she didn't and laughed at Nelson. Nelson was watching on The News on a device about Homer and Bart fighting Lard Lad Nelson Commented and said Ha-Ha. A picture of a Caveman Nelson appeared in NeverQues. Nelson is later mentioned in Medal of Homer when Bart's idle on the ship he says that World War II is scarier then Nelson.
Nelson has a card in The Simpsons Classic Collection Volume Two.
"A riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a vest, Nelson Muntz is a born bully with a talent for thievin', whose life seems dedicated to teaching all sissy wimps a lesson. Yet beneath Nelson's rough exterior lies a delicate soul longing for a good laugh, as long as the joke's on someone else." Special offer: A recess and lunch protection package that's very affordable.
- Good Listener: 1
- Personal Hygiene: 3
- Intelligence Quotient: 94
- Shamelessness: 42
- Huggability: 3
- Prone To Mayhem: 96
In "Treehouse of Horror VI" segment Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace, he is terrorized by Groundskeeper Willie in his nightmares. In particular, he had been run over with a floor buffer, causing him to appear exceedingly waxed.
In Treehouse of Horror X's segment Life's a Glitch, Then You Die, Nelson during the chaos caused by the Y2K glitch is proceeding to use a Xerox to make photocopies of his own butt, only to instantly regret it after the glitch causes him to be sealed within the Xerox machine.
In the final segment of "Treehouse of Horror XIX", when the Grand Pumpkin is to eat him he threatens to cut a yellow pumpkin but the does not about a yellow pumpkin cut and eats Nelson. Later, Nelson is free after Tom Turkey kills the Grand Pumpkin.
In the first segment of "Treehouse of Horror XXV", he along with other students have their phone in order to see the naked lunch lady Bart made false rumor. In the second segment Nelson, Jimbo, Dolph, Kearney attack Moe in his home.
In the first segment of "Treehouse of Horror XXIV", he steals Milhouse's candy.
In the first segment "Treehouse of Horror XXVII", Nelson is killed in battle.
Behind the Laughter
- "Who hath summoned me?"
- "Ha ha!"
- "You ruined Hitler's car! What did he ever do to you?"
- He drinks beer.
- In Blazed and Confused, Nelson is called 'Smelson', Nelson then states that he would that pray no one would ever tease his name by calling him Smelson.
- He is part Eskimo.
- He looks like a child version of Barney Gumble.
- His name is a play on Nelson Mandela.
- Sleeping with the Enemy
- Teenage Mutant Milk-caused Hurdles
- "The Simpsons MABF17 Episode Script - SS". Springfield! Springfield!.
- Bart the General
- Das Bus
- Bart Star
- Sleeping with the Enemy
- The Monkey Suit
- Lisa Gets an "A"
- Bart Gets Famous
- The Simpsons Movie
- Little Big Girl
- Much Apu About Nothing
- The Haw-Hawed Couple
- Lisa's Date with Density
- Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"
- Brother from the Same Planet
- Sleeping with the Enemy
- Saddlesore Galactica
- The Haw-Hawed Couple
- 24 Minutes
- Marge in Chains
- Lisa's Date with Density
- I'm Spelling as Fast as I Can
- Dial "N" for Nerder
- Lemon of Troy
- Girls Just Want to Have Sums
|Nelson Muntz ● Mrs. Muntz ● Mr. Muntz ● Nelson Muntz, Jr. ● Judge Muntz ● Chuck Muntz ● Reilly Muntz|