Yo, Bart dude.
―Otto's catchphrase

Otto Mann, known as Otto the School Bus Driver prior to Season 8 (and so stylized after Bart calling him "the Otto man" on several occasions), is a former school underachiever who now works as the bus driver for Springfield Elementary. Otto was initially conceived by Shearer himself as a caricature of heavy metal music aficionados who mostly play guitar and do 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 is notable for his drug use, maniacal driving, love of heavy metal music, and propensity for the 1980s 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 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[1] 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).[2]

He has been seen at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings: "My name is Otto, and I love to get blotto!" Otto has been seen smoking marijuana [3][4] and during Trappuccino, he used a bong.[5] He once had a hallucination in which his shoes were talking to him as a result of his drug use.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]


Busman, a superhero created by Otto.

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).[9] 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.[10] 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.[11] At a mock-medieval fair at the school, Otto played 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).[12] 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 fiancée and his music, he prefers his music, dumping her.[13]

Otto pwns marge

Rock on!

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.[14]

He is often found homeless, having been evicted from his apartment and once forced to live with the Simpsons.[15] He was once found squatting in the Simpsons' recently vacated home after the family moved to Cypress Creek.[16]

It is implied that Otto had sex with Agnes Skinner, because of leaving an overturned jester head from the aftermath of the Mardi Gras party and raising one of the straps to her dress up.[17]

School Bus Driver


The School Bus

Otto's ability and competence to drive any kind of vehicle, let alone a school bus, is highly questionable. 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. This showed that Otto at least had some common sense, or a clear desire not to go out of his way to cause trouble and put children in danger.

He once told Principal Skinner that he has a record of crashing his 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).[18] 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.[19] He accidentally drove his bus into an auto wrecking yard once, crushing it into a scale model of the bus.[20] 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.[21]


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. 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.


Ssi 5 The contents of this article or section are considered to be non-canon and therefore may not have actually happened/existed.


In Lisa's Wedding, 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, he drives his bus onto the railroad tracks, either seriously injuring or killing him.

The Simpsons Game

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.


  • He wears headphones with his Walkman because he doesn't want to let other people understand he is listening to classical music. However, he went to the 1992 Metallica concert and when he was pulled by the currents, he said, "Zeppelin Rules!" He also met Becky at Woodstock '99.
  • He once left his bride at the alter because she didn't like heavy metal.
  • He bought a tape of children's songs used to annoy bus drivers.
  • He can play the guitar.
  • He gave a urine sample that showed he took so many drugs that it only contained trace amounts of human urine.
  • He has been suspended from driving the school bus twice. The first for reckless driving and the second for spanking Bart.
  • His name might be based on the Ottoman Empire, a Turkish empire that rose in 1299 and dissolved in 1923.
  • Otto's driver's license states that he is 5'10" tall and weighs 150 lbs.
  • In the French version he is the third character voiced by Homer's actor voice (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 red light.
  • Otto and Kearney were in the same third grade class together.

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 "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.


Otto Mann
The full image gallery for Otto Foreman may be viewed at Otto Foreman/Gallery.


Incomplete This article or section is incomplete.

Please improve the article, or discuss the issue on the talk page.


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+