Nelson Mandela Muntz is a recurring antagonist in the TV series The Simpsons and a supporting antagonist in the 2007 theatrical film The Simpsons Movie.
He is the lead bully at Springfield Elementary School and serves as both Bart Simpson's friend and rival and one of the few bullies Bart actually fears, although the relationship between them usually varies.
Nelson also tends to act alone, and unlike the other bullies of the show (Jimbo Jones, Dolph, and Kearney, he is also more openly hostile towards everyone in the town, while the other bullies tend to show some (limited) respect to the adults of the town.
Nelson likes to beat up on people who anger him (or just happen to be in his way) and is very well-known for mocking people with his now famous laugh. He laughs at others misfortune in almost every appearance he has in the show and has become so famous for this that it has become a recurring joke in the series.
Behind his tough-guy exterior, however, Nelson does have a softer side, which has been explored in some episodes, and has even become friends with Bart on rare occasions. However, such friendships are short-lived and he tends to return to his bullying ways by the end of each episode. Lisa once developed a crush on him, which he slowly began to reciprocate. However, they broke up when Lisa realized he would never be able to stop bullying for her. It is hinted that he and Lisa have stayed friends since then, as Nelson occasionally opens the door for her and exchanges friendly greetings. He also does favors for her, like helping her do research on bullies and playing a prank on Sherri and Terri when they teased Lisa about her weight.
Home and Family
Nelson lives in a rough part of Springfield in a run-down cabin with a neglectful mother who has worked multiple jobs, including working at Hooters'. In later seasons, it was revealed that Nelson had a strong attachment to his father, who disappeared at some point. Occasionally he would have delusional moments and believe he saw his father.
In the episode "Sleeping With the Enemy", Bart helps find Mr. Muntz, who, it was revealed, was trapped in a circus sideshow after an allergic reaction to some peanuts. With Nelson reunited with his family, it seemed likely that he would become a gentler person. Later episodes, however, have had him continue his bullying behavior.
Surprisingly enough, even though his tragic past and the stereotype that bullies go nowhere in life, it is shown that he grew up to become a rich businessman.
Nelson is of German descent.
Despite being a male, he is voiced by the female actress Nancy Cartwright who also voiced Bart and a few other students in the show.