Milhouse Van Houten is a secondary character on The Simpsons
. He is Bart Simpson
's best friend and loyal sidekick.
Milhouse met Bart in kindergarten. He was impressed by Bart's sense of humour and the two became friends rather quickly. Even at such a young age, the Springfield Elementary psychologist believed that Milhouse had homosexual tendencies. This was not really expanded upon in other episodes.
Milhouse is the same age as Bart, which makes him perpetually ten (except in flashbacks or psychic visions). His appearance is characterized by his blue hair and thick glasses, without which he cannot see. He has mistaken sea life and moving vehicles for dogs without them.
Until the eighth season, Milhouse lived with his parents, Kirk and Luann Van Houten. Their divorce in A Milhouse Divided resulted in his father's departure, and Milhouse continued to live with his mother and her new boyfriend.
Milhouse had a girlfriend (Samantha Stanky) for a very brief period of time. Bart became jealous, tipped off Samantha's father, and she ended up sent to a private school run by a group of French-Canadian nuns. He also ends up with Greta Wolfcastle (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), Bart's ex-girlfriend, but that doesn't last either.
Lisa, however, is Milhouse's one true love. He has a rather obvious crush on her. The psychic vision in Lisa's Wedding indicates that they even end up together at some point; he proposes to her but she refuses, breaking his heart.
Despite his father's surprisingly exciting former position at the cracker factory, the aforementioned psychic vision suggests that Milhouse will end up with a high level position at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Should the vision prove to be true, he will also be Homer's superior.
His "fifteen minutes of fame" came when he was cast in the role of Fallout Boy in the Radioactive Man film. Milhouse wasn't fond of the fame and hectic schedule, however, and ran away from the production. Not even Mickey Rooney himself could convince him to return. The film was abandoned.
If Milhouse was a character from Lord of the Flies, he would be Piggy. This is implicitly stated during the parody of the novel in Das Bus. The parody even alludes to Piggy's asthma and the importance of his glasses.
Overall, Milhouse is a socially awkward kid. He has a few friends, but many would argue that this is only because of his connection to Bart. His reputation was cemented when it was learned that he bears an eerie resemblance to "the dud" in the board game Mystery Date. Homer laughed at him.
Milhouse is voiced by Pamela Hayden.