Mr. Burns' Most Deplorable Acts in Simpsons’ History

By Jake SchroederLast Updated Apr 2, 2020 5:32:31 PM ET
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After 31 seasons, it's no surprise that Fox's long-running cartoon The Simpsons has made plenty of history over the years. Throughout that time, Mr. Burns — easily the series' most despicable character — has committed all kinds of horrendous acts. From murder to environmental sabotage to human rights violations, nothing is off-limits for this scourge of society.

As the series inches ever closer to 700 episodes, we’re taking a look at the absolute worst things that Springfield Nuclear Power Plant owner Charles Montgomery Burns has ever done. See if you agree with our choices!

Triggered a Financial Crisis by Raising Electricity Prices

Episode 10 of season 24 saw Mr. Burns raising the town's electricity prices. Although it might seem like nothing out of the ordinary for a money-hungry man like Charles Montgomery Burns, the aftermath of his relatively ordinary act reached much, much farther.

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Photo Courtesy: Cartoon Madeen/YouTube

The episode, titled "A Test Before Trying," showed that Mr. Burns' decision to raise prices actually initiated a financial crisis that spread throughout Springfield. His greedy decision ultimately endangered the entire community, making electricity impossible to afford for pretty much everyone but Mr. Burns himself.

Stole Famous Artwork

Mr. Burns' most evil deeds have the potential to overshadow his smaller crimes, but that doesn't mean that they aren't still crimes. Season 21, episode 17, titled "American History X-cellent," revealed that — in addition to everything else — Burns is also an art thief.

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Photo Courtesy: Homer Simpson/YouTube

Despite his massive fortune (believed to exceed the one trillion dollar mark), Mr. Burns still saw the need to steal art masterpieces instead of paying fair prices for the creations. He eventually went to prison for his actions, of course, but it didn’t make up for the crime.

Hit Bart with His Car

While he's certainly capable of some of the most horrendous behavior known to man, Mr. Burns isn't above even the most rudimentary wrongdoing. Episode 10 of season two, also known simply as "Bart Gets Hit by a Car," followed a story that was exactly what it advertises itself to be.

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Photo Courtesy: The Simpsons/YouTube

While out driving, Monty smacked right into the Simpsons’ son with his infamous vehicle. Anyone could have hit Bart with their car, but no one but Mr. Burns could feel zero remorse for the criminal act. It's so typically Burns, isn't it?

Barely Thanked the Person Who Saved His Life

Now, Mr. Burns might seem indestructible, but the truth is that the old man has still seen his fair share of medical problems throughout the years. Season two, episode 22 "Blood Feud" is the episode where Mr. Burns needed a life-saving transfusion.

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Just 12 episodes after hitting Bart, the boy was the one who gave Mr. Burns the donation he needed to live another day. It's the kind of act that could have changed Burns' cold, evil heart — but it didn’t. All he did was send Bart a simple "Thank You."

Stole Christmas Presents from Springfield Residents

The residents of Springfield don't ask for much. Representative of Middle America, the setting and people are designed to depict just about any suburb in any state in the country. The people of The Simpsons are nothing short of the epitome of America and its values. That's why it hurts to see Mr. Burns do them so wrong.

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Episode 10 of season 31 saw the nuclear baron stealing Christmas presents right off their porches. "Bobby, It's Cold Outside" was definitely a low point, even for him. It was the Grinchiest thing he's ever done.

Tried to Seal Homer in a Tomb

There's nothing more frustrating than an incompetent co-worker or employee. This is a truth that Mr. Burns probably knows more than anyone. However, season 14, episode 15, titled "C.E. D'oh," showed the bossman going to new lows to deal with his most troubling worker.

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It was a shocking visual: Mr. Burns, brick by brick, attempted to seal Homer Simpson in a crypt. Sure, Homer can definitely be a pain, but is encasing him in a tomb — while he's still alive! — really the best solution? Just fire the man, Burns. It’s a super simple solution!

Tried to Bust a Strike by Shutting Off Springfield's Power

Union busting isn't allowed. It's part of the American worker's rights as an employee of a company. If workers want to strike, they are allowed to strike. Of course, this would never stop someone like Mr. Burns from interfering, and season four, episode 17 proved it.

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Titled "Last Exit to Springfield," the episode highlighted the power plant employees' struggle to secure a dental plan and Mr. Burns' retaliative efforts. The most dastardly of these efforts was when the man shut off the town's power supply, potentially endangering thousands of civilians in the process.

Tried to Kill Bart and Grandpa Simpson

For whatever reason, two of the oldest Simpsons characters have always been engaged in the strangest sort of rivalry. Throughout the series' run, Mr. Montgomery Burns and Grandpa Abe Simpson have been seen fighting over the most ridiculous things. Eventually, Burns had enough and decided to take it a step farther.

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Season seven, episode 22 showed something that some fans never saw coming: an attempted murder. Let it be known that Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson had to fight for their lives in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish," the episode where Mr. Burns tries to kill both Bart and Abe.

Blocked Out the Sun

Before there was such a thing as Prestige TV and episode binging, The Simpsons had its viewers waiting on the edge of their seats for the next installment in shocking two-part episodes. Part one of the "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" in season six, episode 25 shows off one of the most unthinkable acts in Mr. Burns' history.

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To put it simply, the man blocked out the sun. Desperate to keep a stranglehold on the town's power supply, the wealthy businessman constructed a cartoonishly evil device to shield sunlight.

Tried to Make Clothes from Puppies

Everyone knows the Walt Disney classic 101 Dalmatians and the intentions of the film's infamous villain Cruella de Vil (that cruel devil!) — to make a coat out of the coveted, spotted Dalmatian fur. Season six, episode 20 of The Simpsons makes light of this desire by applying it to Mr. Burns.

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In "Two Dozen and One Greyhounds," Monty hoped to make clothing from greyhound puppy fur. As any Simpsons fan knows, greyhounds are very important to the titular family — their dog, Santa's Little Helper, is a greyhound.

Tried to Kill His Own Mother

As evidenced many times before, murder isn’t beyond someone like Mr. Burns. In past seasons, the man has either attempted to kill — or has actually carried out a plot to kill — all kinds of people, either directly or indirectly with his actions as head of the power plant.

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Season seven, episode 17 saw him take his deranged, murderous behavior to new lows. Titled "Homer the Smithers," the 1996 episode featured a scene where Mr. Burns actually attempted to murder his own mother. The man is truly beyond any redemption.

Engineered Bioweapons

As the head of Springfield's nuclear power plant, it's not surprising that someone as dastardly and vile as Mr. Charles Montgomery Burns would attempt to use that nuclear power for evil instead of good.

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Season seven, episode eight, titled "Mother Simpson," mainly focused on Homer's mother Mona's life in the 1960s for a decent chunk of the episode, and Mr. Burns had little time to shine. However, he still managed to manufacture and engineer biochemical weapons, much to the disgust and dismay of Mona Simpson and her environmentally conscious group of friends.

Sexually Harassed Marge

There's no way to quantify the evils in this world. Some are obviously worse than others on the surface, but who's to say which crime is definitively the worst? Whatever the answer may be, it's more than likely Mr. Burns has probably done it at some point or another.

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Season four, episode seven saw Springfield's wealthiest resident sexually harassing Marge Simpson, which was low, even for him. "Marge Gets a Job" is a favorite episode of many Simpsons fans, but you can be sure it's not cherished for this moment.

Intentionally Killed Endangered Sea Animals

As The Simpsons continues to march toward 700 episodes, it's safe to assume that almost every type of main character combination has occurred at this point. In fact, it's part of what makes the show so enjoyable. When it comes to Mr. Burns, though, it means a cursed interaction for anyone matched up with the man.

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Episode 21 of season eight is one of the earliest instances of pairing up Mr. Burns and Lisa Simpson. In the episode, he created a net made of plastic to trap all the endangered sea animals.

Crippled a Man with a Bumper Car

In episode 10 of season five, Simpsons viewers were treated to another glimpse of a young Monty Burns. Still sporting his signature evil looks at this young age but still sporting a curly head of hair, Mini Mr. Burns was as dangerous as his adult self.

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"$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)" isn't what you'd call a Mr. Burns-centric episode, but he had a revealing scene that flashed back to when he was young. In it, little Burns nailed an Irish laborer with his bumper car.

Dumped Nuclear Waste in the Park

"Marge vs. The Monorail" is easily one of the most iconic episodes of The Simpsons. It's revered by even the most casual fans, praised for encapsulating everything that makes the show so significant. As such, that means the episode featured a little glimpse of Mr. Burns' evil behavior.

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As the title suggests, season four, episode 12 spent most of its time focusing on Marge. However, there's a small part featuring Burns and Smithers sneakily trying to dispose of some nuclear waste in Lake Springfield. The man has no limits.

Abandoned His Family

Judging by Mr. Burns' actions in season seven, episode 17, also known as the episode where the mogul tried to kill his mom, it might not be too shocking to learn that the man abandoned his family as a boy. For those watching the show in real time, though, the murder attempt was still two seasons away.

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Season five, episode four, titled "Rosebud," has a main plot that deals with Mr. Burns yearning for his childhood teddy bear. This longing for his younger years ultimately resulted in the revealing flashback from his earlier life.

Stole Oil from Springfield Elementary

After the Treehouse of Horror episodes, it seems safe to say that the "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" two-parter is the most recognizable and prolific thing even the most inexperienced Simpsons viewers are familiar with. For this reason, Mr. Burns' bad deeds in these two episodes are probably his most notable.

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After blocking out the sun in "Part One," Mr. Burns is shown stealing oil from Springfield Elementary School in "Part Two." (Wait a second. What is an elementary school doing with oil in the first place? Best not to think about it too much.)

Stole a Trillion Dollar Bill

There's no such thing as a trillion dollar bill. That much is definitely true. Thankfully, though, The Simpsons is just a cartoon. For this reason, Mr. Burns is able to take a trillion dollar bill from the U.S. government as if it was simply a Benjamin.

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Season nine, episode 20, dubbed "The Trouble with Trillions," shows Mr. Burns' experience fighting in World War II. When President Truman hoped to send some monetary relief over to Europe, he tasked a young pilot named Monty Burns with the job of delivering it. Naturally, he stole it.

Built a Stadium on a Nature Reserve

Initially framed as an episode about basketball, fans of The Simpsons should know that most episodes are likely to take a drastic turn into a completely different story at some point. That's exactly what happens in season 20, episode eight, "The Burns and the Bees."

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Mr. Burns wanted to give his newly acquired basketball team a nice home, so he planned to build a great stadium for them. The problem? His construction was smack-dab on top of a nature reserve for endangered bees. He doesn't care, though. Why would he?

Abandoned His Illegitimate Son

Just a season earlier, a young Mr. Burns was depicted leaving his entire family without warning, so by the time season eight, episode four "Burns, Baby Burns" rolled around, you would have thought viewers wouldn't have been surprised when he did the same thing again. You would be wrong.

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That's because Burns takes it a step further in the episode. He abandoned his own illegitimate son simply because he doesn't like him. The man has no heart, clearly. That's the joke, though — Mr. Burns really doesn't have any limits to his vast treachery.

Robbed Springfield of Free Speech by Purchasing All the Newspapers

There is a segment of Simpsons fans who completely disregard any late-season episodes because they don't consider them to be as high-quality as the earlier installments. (Essentially, anything around or after The Simpsons Movie is off-limits to them.)

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This decision to stop watching robs them of some of the worst Mr. Burns moments, though. Season 15, episode 22, titled "Fraudcast News," saw the nuclear power baron snatching up all the publications in Springfield because he didn’t like the way they talked about him. This effectively robbed all Springfield residents of their Constitutional right to freedom of the press.

Degraded the Simpsons in Exchange for Homer's Raise

There have been plenty of memorable fights throughout Simpsons history. With more than 250 hours of content already created, this shouldn't be surprising. Season 12, episode five included one of the more memorable battles. Called "Homer vs. Dignity," this one wasn't a physical fight — it was a battle of wits.

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When Homer asked his boss for a raise, he agreed to give him one on one condition: Homer had to do all his bidding. Burns essentially demoralized and demeaned his employee and his family for his own sick enjoyment. It was truly demented behavior.

Stole Grandpa Simpson's Girlfriend

Grandpa Abe Simpson and Charles Montgomery Burns will likely never settle their differences. It's been a rivalry that has lasted the entire run of The Simpsons, which means that they need to keep it up for the sake of the show's self-contained nature. Season five, episode 21 showcased one of their more legendary disputes.

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In an episode titled "Lady Bouvier's Lover," Burns did something that was just plain wrong: he stole Grandpa's girlfriend (who just so happened to be Marge Simpson's mother). Alas, as they say, all's fair in love and war.

Took Away His Employees' Healthcare

What in the world does Mr. Burns have to do with Apu's healthcare? Decidedly, there's not really any connection at all there. However, Apu is Homer's friend, and Homer works for Mr. Burns. That's why the two are seen teaming up when Mr. Burns decides to rob his employees of their prescription drug coverage.

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Season 16, episode six, titled "Midnight RX," followed Homer, Apu, Ned and Grandpa as they headed into Canada to get medicine. Mr. Burns was only marginally involved, but his action was quite significant: He canceled their coverage.

Attempted to Nuke the Amazon Rainforest

The link between Homer's mom, Mona, and the head honcho of Springfield's nuclear power plant is quite clear. As someone who is even more environmentally conscious than her granddaughter, Lisa, Mona would leap at any opportunity to get back at Burns for all his damage to the earth.

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In Season 19, episode 19, she finally got her chance. Titled "Mona Leaves-a," this episode featured Mr. Burns' plans to shoot nuclear waste at the Amazon Rainforest in an attempt to dispose of it for good. It's the kind of reprehensible thing he is famous for doing.

Robbed His Employees of Food

Mr. Burns has taken a lot from his employees throughout the years. From healthcare to prescription drugs to basic safety procedures, the man never ceases to rob the less fortunate of the things they need to have a decent life for themselves. In season 21, episode 10, he stooped to an all-time low.

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Also known as "Once Upon a Time in Springfield," this late-run episode revolved around Mr. Burns' executive decision to cut costs and stop providing meals to his employees. Naturally, Homer and his friends had a problem with this.

Started Fracking in Springfield

Fracking is happening all over the world. However, many countries forbid it in or around their territories because of the potential harm this practice tends to have on the surrounding environment, specifically the water supplies.

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Season 26, episode five made a comment on this oil extraction process in the most Simpsons-y way possible. Titled "Opposites A-Frack," the episode tracked the implications of Mr. Burns' decision to frack in Springfield. As one might have been able to surmise, the aftermath wasn’t good at all. It’s not like Mr. Burns cared, though.

Tried to Pull the Plug on Homer

In the 30 years since The Simpsons premiered, just about every member of the family — and even their extended group of friends and family — have been seriously injured in some way, shape or form. Yet, it seems, no one has been hurt as frequently or as severely as Homer.

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An early entry in the series, season four, episode 18, mainly focused on clips from earlier episodes. There was still a main plotline, though, and it involved Homer on life support. Leave it to Burns to attempt to pull the plug during the episode.

Attempted to Cover Up Crimes by Running for Mayor

While Mr. Monty Burns seemingly feeds off corruption and greed, no one seemed to think he would take all that nastiness and attempt to score a position of higher power with it. They should have seen it coming. Season two, episode four followed Burns as he attempted to run for mayor — but there was more to it than that.

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You see, Mr. Burns had obviously committed all kinds of serious and despicable crimes — not just on an American level, but on a global scale. To try and cover it all up, he wanted to take Quimby's job.