Pop Culture

Game theory in film, music, and fiction.


The Simpsons


Rock-Paper-Scissors is often imployed on The Simpsons to settle disputes. In one game (episode 9F16), Bart thinks "Good ol' rock. Nuthin' beats that!" which Lisa of course predicts, highlighting the importance of unpredictability in mixed strategies.


In episode 7F21, Bart and two friends are deciding how to share among them a single copy of Radioactive Man #1, a comic book of great value to all three:

Martin: How about this, guys? Bart can have it Mondays and Thursdays, Milhouse will get it Tuesdays and Fridays, and yours truly will take it Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Bart: Perfect!
Milhouse: Wait a minute! What about Sundays?
Bart: [suspiciously] Yeah, what about Sundays?
Martin: Well, Sunday possession will be determined by a random number generator. I will take the digits 1 through 3, Milhouse will have 4 through 6, and Bart will have 7 through 9.
Bart: Perfect!
Milhouse: Wait a minute! What about 0?
Bart: [suspiciously] Yeah, what about 0?
Milhouse: Yeah!
Martin: Well, in the unlikely event of a 0, possession will be determined by Rock Scissors Paper competition, best 3 out of 5. How's that?
Bart: Oh, okay.
Milhouse: Yeah, all right.