Otto Mann is a former school underachiever who now drives the school bus for Springfield Elementary. Otto was initially conceived by Shearer himself as a caricature of heavy metal music aficionados who mostly play guitar and uses drugs while occupying a low-level labor job. He then became a character well known for his party tendencies and calling others slang such as "dude", "lady", or "pops". He is friends with Bart on some occasions, despite their age difference, and dreams of starting his own rock band to become a celebrity, all while getting the school bus into trouble one time after another.
Otto’s real name is Otto Foreman (This was shown in episode 21, season 26 in an end credit scene where he is woken up during jury duty). Otto is notable for being the cool, pot-smoking bus driver, maniacal driving, love of heavy metal music, and propensity for the 1980's junkie lifestyle. According to his driver's license, he was born on January 18, 1963, thus making him 29, as of "The Otto Show." He is also confirmed to be 5 ft 10 inch (5'10),, on the back flap of the Season 15 box set, showing said license to hold the guide.
He was placed under suspension at least twice: Once after he not only crashed a school bus full of kids for the fifteenth time, but was also revealed not to possess a driver's license and another time when he spanked Bart out of fury after Bart stole the bus (and thus cost him his one and only chance of proving himself to Metallica by giving them a ride).
He has been seen at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings: "My name is Otto, and I love to get blotto!" Otto has been seen smoking marijuana  and during Trappuccino, he used a bong. He once had a hallucination in which his shoes were talking to him as a result of his drug use. Skinner stated that also, at one point, he was apparently driving the bus while on narcotics, wondering if Metallica was indeed the real Metallica with their tour bus broken down, until a narcotic-induced hallucination of a dragon confirmed he wasn't seeing things in regards to Metallica. Otto once submitted a urine sample as part of an application for a job as a prison guard, which contained "crack, smack, uppers, downers, outers, inners, horse tranquilizers, cow paralyzers, blue bombers, green goofers, yellow submarines" and "LSD Mach 3". He only managed to pass because he swapped his sample with Homer's. During the Simpson Movie, Otto barely noticed the Dome causing the town's self-destructive spiral, as he spent most of his time high while bent over a bong.
Otto has a passion for rock music, being very skillful at playing the guitar (saying that it was the only thing he did in high school). Otto's favorite songs include "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath, "Dazed and Confused" by Led Zeppelin, "Frankenstein" by The Edgar Winter Group, "Freebird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison, "Purple Haze" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience and "We're an American Band" by Grand Funk Railroad. He claims that music is about far off lands (Immigrant Song), deals with the devil (The Devil Went Down to Georgia) and smoke in relation to water (Smoke on the Water). He also likes Metallica, which is referenced several times, but he doesn't state particular songs. He once actually met the band after driving past their broken tour bus. Otto apparently saved Kirk Hammett from quitting the band after seeing his lighter in a concert at Springfield Arena in 1997. When he tried to offer Metallica a ride, Bart drove off with the school bus. He also once mistook a line at the Post Office set up for tax day for a Metallica concert, and didn't realize his mistake until after Kent Brockman asked him why he waited until the last minute to file his tax returns. At a mock-medieval fair at the school, Otto played a song with a strong metaphor towards oral sex ("Dragon in my dungeon, maiden in my lair, there's potion in my wizard's pot, now drink it if you dare), then performed a lute solo in the style of Jimi Hendrix's guitar solos. He put the lute behind his head to play it, smashed it, and then lit the remains on fire on the floor (just as Hendrix did on June 18, 1967 at the Monterey Pop Festival), receiving a round of applause. Otto was engaged to be married and plays "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison while proposing to Becky, but when forced to choose between his fiancee and his music, he prefers his music, dumping her.
Otto seems to be a comic book fan and even artistic such as creating his own superhero named Busman, a man who drives a school bus by day and fights vampires in a post-apocalyptic warzone by night. He went to a comic book convention to present the idea to Jack Tate, and it is unknown what came of the event.
He is often found homeless, having been evicted from his apartment and once forced to live with the Simpsons. He was once found squatting in the Simpsons' recently vacated home after the family moved to Cypress Creek.
School Bus Driver
Otto's competence in driving any kind of vehicle, let alone a school bus, is highly questionable, however he is the character most frequently depicted as driving any bus or coach in an episode. Otto does not seem to have any respect for the rules of the road, although on one occasion, he told Bart that state law disallowed him from intentionally crashing the bus. Similarly, he seems to at least subconsciously desire to be a safe bus driver, as he once dreamed that he won an award for the district's safest bus driver and was proud enough at the achievement after years of viewing himself as a screw-up to declare in his acceptance speech that it was "like a dream come true." Ironically, he actually dreamed this while asleep at the wheel, which resulted in him driving the bus into an auto-wrecking yard in order to avoid running over Jasper at the last possible minute when told to wake up by Milhouse. It's also implied that the School keeps him on retainer despite his questionable competence in driving the school bus because he was the only one they could afford to use as a bus driver, as after Otto ended up suspended with pay for inflicting corporal punishment on Bart for ruining a chance meeting with Metallica, Marge Simpson was forced to act as a carpool for the various children in the neighborhood due to the bus being rendered unavailable as a result.
He once told Principal Skinner that he has crashed the school bus fifteen times without a single fatality (although whether he had indeed achieved it without fatalities is questionable, as it was implied that he killed Spinal Tap when he demolished their tour bus when he was rushing to school). He was dismissed from his job when the authorities discovered that he did not hold any kind of license, or any kind of identification at all (he stated that his identification was the fact that he wrote his name on his underwear, only to discover that he was wearing a different pair). He only attained his driving license thereafter because Patty passed him, and this was despite him completely failing to drive the bus in a restrained and secure manner (she passed him because they shared a mutual hatred of Homer, although Otto's license had a "PROBATIONARY" stamp on it). Otto has also been shown smoking or being under the influence of marijuana while driving the bus.
At one time, Otto crashed the bus full of children into the ocean (in this particular instance, it isn't his fault; he has grapefruit citric acid in his eyes that was caused by Milhouse rolling a grapefruit down the passenger aisle and it being caught between the brakes), leaving his passengers to be washed up on an exotic island. Otto himself was seemingly rescued by a Chinese fishing trawler, unaware that its crew was actually planning to enslave him below decks. He accidentally drove his bus into an auto wrecking yard once, crushing it into a scale model of the bus. Once, Otto got the bus stuck onto a railroad track, and while he was jamming to rock music, the bus was struck by an oncoming train.
Otto's father is an Admiral in the United States Navy, and the two do not get along (Jim Morrison's father was also a naval admiral, also having an estranged relationship). His father warned Otto that if he spent all day playing his guitar, his life would amount to nothing, although Otto doesn't really consider his words to have come true, despite everything. He was once engaged to a girl named Becky, but at the wedding she revealed she couldn't stand heavy metal after he hired a Poison cover band to play at the ceremony. Marge then told him he had to choose between Becky and his music - he chose the latter, leaving Becky at the altar. In other episodes Otto has made reference to a girlfriend named Crystal, though this could be a joke about crystal meth.
At age 44, he apparently retired from being a Bus Driver and founded a Taxi service business in Springfield. Otto himself appeared on a video screen in "Muhammad Jafar's" cab when he was driving Lisa Simpson and Hugh Parkfield to 742 Evergreen Terrace to tell him, while addressing him by his real name that after doing the fare, he should "get his indicted ass to the convention center pronto!" In 24 Minutes, Otto drives the school bus onto the railroad tracks, either seriously injuring or killing him. In Barthood, he was seen driving a Blood Zoni.
Otto first appears in the level Around the World in 80 Bites as a contestant in the Duff Ultimate Eating Challenge. He later appears in the form of a ghostly skeleton that attacks Homer, Marge, and their army of Hobbit-like children in NeverQuest.
- In The Otto Show, he showed that he can play a guitar both left-handed and right-handed, right way and upside down, like Jimi Hendrix. He is just that good.
- He wears headphones with his Walkman because he doesn't want to let other people understand he sometimes listens to classical music.
- He bought a tape of children's songs used to annoy bus drivers.
- His urine sample shows he takes so many drugs that it only contained trace amounts of human urine.
- He has been suspended from driving the school bus twice. The first time was for reckless driving and the second time was for spanking Bart.
- In the French dub he is the third character voiced by Philippe Peythieu, Homer's voice actor (the second being Abraham Simpson).
- In the Simpsons Comics Clubhouse, it was mentioned that Otto was colorblind because he accidentally ran over Hans Moleman because he did not see the traffic light switch to red.
- Otto and Kearney were in the same third grade class together.
- Based on his having a gun in the bus that Skinner forced him to give up when suspending him, Otto was either a legally registered gun owner, or at the very least he was allowed by the School to own a gun as part of his duties as a bus driver.
Behind the Laughter
Otto's look is based on Former Simpsons writer Wallace Wolodarsky. In the commentary for "Bart the Daredevil," it is revealed that the writers planned to name him Otto Mechanic, but the joke never appeared in an episode. His name is a joke on the Ottoman Empire, as well as Bart's tendency to greet him with "Otto, man!" In The Otto Show we see his surname on his bus licence, and Principal Skinner sings at the end, "Hail to the bus driver; bus driver Mann." In "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge," when Otto puts on a top hat to propose to his girlfriend, Becky, he looks similar to Velvet Revolver and former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash.
|The Simpsons: Season Two|
|"Bart Gets an "F"":||"Simpson and Delilah":||"Treehouse of Horror":||"Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish":||"Dancin' Homer":|
|"Dead Putting Society":||"Bart vs. Thanksgiving":||"Bart the Daredevil":||"Itchy & Scratchy & Marge":||"Bart Gets Hit by a Car":|
|"One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish":||"The Way We Was":||"Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment":||"Principal Charming":||"Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?":|
|"Bart's Dog Gets an F":||"Old Money":||"Brush with Greatness":||"Lisa's Substitute":||"The War of the Simpsons":|
|"Three Men and a Comic Book":||"Blood Feud":|
|The Simpsons: Season Three|
|"Stark Raving Dad":||"Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington":||"When Flanders Failed":||"Bart the Murderer":||"Homer Defined":|
|"Like Father, Like Clown":||"Treehouse of Horror II":||"Lisa's Pony":||"Saturdays of Thunder":||"Flaming Moe's":|
|"Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk":||"I Married Marge":||"Radio Bart":||"Lisa the Greek":||"Homer Alone":|
|"Bart the Lover":||"Homer at the Bat":||"Separate Vocations":||"Dog of Death":||"Colonel Homer":|
|"Black Widower":||"The Otto Show":||"Bart's Friend Falls in Love":||"Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?":|
|The Simpsons: Season Four|
|"Kamp Krusty":||"A Streetcar Named Marge":||"Homer the Heretic":||"Lisa the Beauty Queen":||"Treehouse of Horror III":|
|"Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie":||"Marge Gets a Job":||"New Kid on the Block":||"Mr. Plow":||"Lisa's First Word":|
|"Homer's Triple Bypass":||"Marge vs. the Monorail":||"Selma's Choice":||"Brother from the Same Planet":||"I Love Lisa":|
|"Duffless":||"Last Exit to Springfield":||"So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show":||"The Front":||"Whacking Day":|
|"Marge in Chains":||"Krusty Gets Kancelled":|
- Homer Defined
- The Otto Show
- The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer
- Weekend at Burnsie's
- The Strong Arms of the Ma
- The Simpsons Movie
- The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer
- The Seven-Beer Snitch
- The Otto Show
- The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer
- The Trouble with Trillions
- The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star
- It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge
- Three Men and a Comic Book
- The Otto Show
- You Only Move Twice
- No Loan Again, Naturally
- The Otto Show
- Das Bus
- 24 Minutes
- Lisa's Wedding