Allison Taylor is a student at Springfield Elementary and a recurring character in The Simpsons. Allison is just as smart as Lisa Simpson, or perhaps even smarter than her, and is also a year younger (as she has skipped a grade). Like Lisa, she too is a talented saxophone player. She is voiced by Winona Ryder in her debut, and by Pamela Hayden in later appearances.
She can be distinguished from most Springfield Elementary students by her long, auburn/light brown hair, red hairband, blue shirt, dark red mini skirt, and black flats/heels. A notable accessory she wears is a gold medallion around her neck.
She is shown to be a genius just like her friend Lisa Simpson, but it is hinted that she could be more superior in intellect. Whilst smart, she has no trouble in socializing, as she is shown to be quite amiable, especially towards Lisa and Ralph Wiggum, to whom she considers her friends.
Allison Taylor first appears as a new student in Lisa's 2nd grade class. Initially, Lisa is happy with having a friend who shares her intellect, and Allison returns her feelings, but that all changes when the two of them try out for first chair saxophone, which Allison is revealed to be participating in. To Lisa's disbelief, Allison wins first chair saxophone in the school band, and Ralph starts asking her for answers rather than Lisa, the other girls begin to bully her instead of Lisa.
Allison eventually invites Lisa to her home one day after school, where she introduces her to her father Professor Taylor. After performing poorly in a game of decoding anagrams, Allison's father thinks Lisa is inferior in comparison to his own daughter and hands her a ball to help "improve". Tensions then reaches its climax when Allison reveals her diorama for Springfield Elementary's annual "Diorama-rama" competition, a depiction of the infamous scene of the heart beating from The Telltale Heart, by Edgar Allen Poe, showing the protagonist going insane while a section of the floor "beats" mechanically. Seeing that she will certainly win the competition, Lisa tries to overachieve a better diorama, but fails miserably. She eventually turns to her brother Bart, and with his help and plotting, she sabotages Allison's entry by switching Allison's diorama with one containing a cow's heart.
When the scheme is set into motion by a distraction caused by Bart, Principal Skinner sees the result and criticizes the diorama and questions Allison's overall qualifications, expressing second thoughts of having her skip a grade. As Allison begins to cry, Lisa, now overcome with guilt, confesses to the switch and presents the real diorama to Principal Skinner and Ms. Hoover. However, Lisa and Allison still lose the competition to Ralph Wiggum, whose diorama consists of a box of Star Wars action figures still in their packaging – objects of sentimental value and interest to Principal Skinner. In the end, Lisa and Allison put aside their differences, reconcile, and become friends (Lisa hopes they will be for the best).
Since "Lisa's Rival", she has played some recurring roles in the series, but usually with limited dialogue. She is still regularly seen as a friend of Lisa, but also of her best friend Janey Powell and Ralph Wiggum.
Lard of the Dance
Allison's second major role comes into motion when a new girl named Alex Whitney arrives at Springfield Elementary and begins to receive a lot of attention from Allison and the rest of Lisa's friends due to her fashion choices. Just like the incident with Allison, Lisa becomes jealous of this when her friends, including Allison, begin to hang out with Alex instead of her.
Despite this setback, Alex invites Lisa to go shopping for new clothes with her friends. During the outing, Alex reveals to Lisa that all of her friends (including Allison), have dates to the upcoming dance Alex had proposed to set up at the school, to which Principal Skinner agreed to. Lisa feels dejected from this information, seeing herself as the odd one out, but Allison cheers her up by stating that there's still time and that she will eventually find a date.
When the day of the dance finally arrives, Alex is dumbfounded to see that Allison, as well as the rest of Lisa's friends and all the elementary students as well, are too afraid to dance with each other. Lisa convinces Alex that she is going too far with her maturity, to which Allison and the rest of the elementary students agree, and that she should just lay off on this trait for sometime and enjoy her childhood for the time being. In the end, Allison is seen participating in a large, friendly fight with Lisa, Alex, and the rest of the students using lard that had fallen into the gymnasium during the course of events.
Allison has also played a significant role in the episode "Wild Parts can't be Broken", where she is among the kids that side with Bart and Lisa to oppose the curfew placed on the kids in Springfield. During the song "Kids, Adults", Krusty the Clown tries to convince her to obey the curfew, but to stay in his fan club.
Allison appears in The Simpsons Movie, where she witnesses Martin Prince being laughed in the air after the dome is place around Springfield. She later appears among the angry mob behind Officer Lou after learning that Homer dumped "Pig Crap" into Lake Springfield, thus contaminating the water supply.
Allison plays a notable role in "Last Tap Dance in Springfield", where she, Lisa and her friends attend a tap-dancing school. She also plays a role in "Little Orphan Millie" where she is attracted by Milhouse's rogue personality after he opposes Bart's antics.
Allison appears in the futuristic episodes "Future-Drama" and "Holidays of Future's Past", depicted 10 and 30 years older respectfully.