Ruth Powers was the Simpsons’ next-door neighbor and a single mother.
Ruth is married and has a daughter, Laura Powers, who no longer lives with her. The circumstances behind Ruth's marriage aren't explained, but she has said her ex-husband acts similarly to Homer, and he was continually stiffing Ruth on child support. For revenge, she stole his car.
Ruth and Marge became fast friends after Ruth moved in next door. One evening, they went to a ballet after Homer, who was originally supposed to go with Marge, literally got stuck at work (with his arms in two vending machines). Later they had a girls' night out where they went line dancing at a country bar called Shotkickers, did some target shooting (using a farmer's antique cans as targets), and went up to the Springfield sign overlooking the city. They ended up going on the run from the law, however, after Chief Wiggum tried to pull them over because of a broken taillight, and Ruth decided to flee because they were driving the convertible which she had stolen from her ex-husband. One possibility for she not getting any punishment from stealing the car is that her ex-husband didn't give any money even though the court demanded it.
The auto theft charges against Ruth were dismissed (undoubtably due to the fact that Lionel Hutz was representing her ex-husband), but she was later imprisoned for a short time for another offense, which is unspecified. While she was in prison, Ruth built up her muscles and became a bodybuilder, earned the title "Miss Mexican Mafia," and took steroids to expand her muscles. She and Marge remained friends, though this didn't stop her from joining the angry mob that attempted to kill Homer, and possibly the other Simpsons, for getting the town sealed in a dome.
She might also be a alcoholic, since she is seen at an alcoholics anonymous meeting in Simpsons: The Movie, as well as watching a video on the results of drunk driving with a horrified expression on her face.
No Longer in Evergreen Terrace
Ruth's house was seen being sold to a disguised Sideshow Bob. Lisa mentions that Ruth moved to Detroit, but Ruth was seen attending the party Bob (as Walt Warren) was hosting, and then she was seen in “The Fool Monty”, obviously still a Springfield citizen. As a result, it can be said that Ruth sold her house to someone else, who then sold it to Bob after some time, as Lisa didn't exactly mention Ruth when she said Ruth's house's resident was moving to Detroit. Additionally, she wasn't seen greeting Homer and Marge when they visited her house in “All's Fair in Oven War”, and her house was also referred to as "the neighbor's house" instead of "Ruth's house." In "Tis the Fifteenth Season", Flanders is seen giving Ruth a Christmas present on the front stoop of the house next door to the Simpsons house, indicating that Ruth still occupied the house and was still their neighbor. It's also unknown if Ruth still does Bodybuilding.
- On June 17 2015, as part of the level 54 update, Ruth was added to The Simpsons: Tapped Out. You first have to build Shotkickers to unlock her.