When it comes to villains, Charles Montgomery Burns is as evil as they come. He’s kidnapped puppies, stolen Christmas, run over Bart Simpson and much more. Despite his flaws, he is still a lonely and frail old man. As evil as he can be, even Mr. Burns has a soft side.
There have been plenty of instances in The Simpsons where his moral alignment has gone from evil to good. While it does not always last long, he has proven that even he can act like a decent human being.
Here are the 10 times that Mr. Burns was a good person.
10 He becomes nice while he is high
Mr. Burns' personality sometimes changes when he is exposed to certain types of medication or illicit substances. In “Team Homer”, simply sniffing traces of ether is enough to change his personality. In this state, he hallucinates people as cartoon mascots. He is also susceptible to favors, which Homer Simpson takes advantage of to get $500 from him.
In “The Springfield Files”, it is revealed that due to his advanced age Burns requires extensive medical treatments to survive. This includes injecting himself with painkillers. While in his system, his evil personality is replaced with a much kinder one. He then wanders around a forest, wishing love and peace to everyone he meets.
9 He saved Springfield Elementary from financial debt
After Springfield Elementary is tricked by the Mafia into a $200,000 debt, principal Seymore Skinner is forced to close the school. They turn to Mr. Burns for support, but he rejects their pleas.
This forces the school to accept the aid of Kid First Industries, who uses the students to create a new Christmas toy called Funzo. While adorable, it is secretly programmed to eliminate toys made from rival companies. In the end, Burns donates the money to help save the school from its debt after being visited by three ghosts. While it may have only been brief, this moment shows that even Mr. Burns has some morality in him.
8 He has a soft spot for manatees
Considering how evil Burns is towards people, it is not that surprising that his evil extends to animals as well. On more than one occasion, he has committed severe acts of animal cruelty. However, there have been moments where he shows both mercy and concern towards certain animals like his hounds.
In “The Bonfire of the Manatees”, he appears to have a soft spot for manatees as well. After Homer uses one to take his place at work, Burns instantly takes a liking to the gentle creature. When it suffers from dehydration, Burns takes immediate action to save by giving it a bath. An activity he seems to really enjoy.
7 He was concerned for Carl's wellbeing
In “Homer vs. Dignity”, a bored Mr. Burns takes advantage of Homer’s money troubles to entertain himself. He orders Homer to throw pudding at Lenny Leonard, causing him terrible pain much to Burns’ amusement. Satisfied, Burns promotes Homer to be his personal “prank monkey”.
Excited, Homer throws another pudding at Carl Carlson. However, rather than laugh at his misfortune like he did Lenny, Burns shows genuine concern for Carl and berates Homer. He even takes the time to help him to an eyewash station. It is no secret that he mistreats his employees. Still, it's reassuring to know that he has at least one favorite among them besides his assistant Waylon Smithers.
6 He thanks Homer for assaulting him
In "Homer the Smithers", Mr. Burns appoints Homer as his temporary assistant, after he forces Smithers to go on a vacation. Due to his incompetence and stupidity, Burns constantly berates and mistreats him. Burns eventually pushes him too far, causing Homer to punch him in the face.
As a result, he becomes fearful of Homer and tries to fend for himself. Ironically, Homer's assault proves beneficial to him as he finally learns how to do things for himself. Burns quickly adapts and embraces his newfound independence. Rather than fire Homer and have him arrested, he instead shows his gratitude and hugs him. For someone like Burns, this is kind of a big deal.
5 He helped Homer lose weight
In “King-Size Homer”, Mr. Burns starts a calisthenics program to help keep his employees in shape. Unfortunately, Homer hates it and decides to become dangerously obese so that he can work from home. This leads to a series of events where a nuclear meltdown threatens to destroy the town.
Luckily, Homer saves everyone by using his overweight body to plug the leak and prevent the release of toxic fumes. Burns not only thanks Homer, but also promises to help him lose weight. He initially tries to do this via his exercise routines but eventually decides to pay for liposuction surgery instead, much to Homer’s joy.
4 He became a superhero
One of the most ironic things about Mr. Burns is that despite being evil, he loves reading superhero comics. In "Dark Knight Court", after buying all the comics in The Android's Dungeon, he decides to become a superhero himself. And thus, Fruit Bat Man was born.
Initially, the crimes he stops are fake, orchestrated by Smithers to make him happy. After Bart is falsely accused of committing a major prank, Lisa asks him for help. After he refuses, Smithers reveals his deception to him. While he is initially crushed, Burns does not give up on being a superhero. He not only comes to help Lisa but also succeeds in stopping the real culprit, Groundskeeper Willie.
3 He risked his own life to protect Lisa
Considering the events of "The Old Man and the Lisa", you would not think that Mr. Burns and Lisa Simpson could ever get along again. In "The Seemingly Never-Ending Story", he and Lisa end up getting chased by a wild sheep and are forced to take refuge in his attic, where he passes the time by telling her stories.
Eventually, the sheep breaks into the attic, but Burns puts himself between it and Lisa, greatly injuring himself in the process. Although the sheep never intended to hurt Lisa, this act of self-sacrifice speaks volumes about how even Burns is willing to stand up for the little guy, or in this case Lisa.
2 He risked his life to save his fiancée
Even though Burns has money and power, the one thing he does not have is love. In "Hunka Hunka Burns in Love", Burns falls in love with a young cop named Gloria. With Homer acting as his wingman, Burns’ successfully woes Gloria. He even manages to propose to her, which she accepts.
After Gloria is kidnapped and held hostage by her ex-boyfriend, Snake Jailbird, the house she is kept in catches fire. When Burns sees her in danger, he musters the strength to rush into the building to save her. Even though Burns ends up getting knocked unconscious, the fact remains that he surpassed his limits and risked everything to save the woman he loves.
1 He cares deeply about Smithers
Even though he does not always show it, Mr. Burns cares deeply for Smithers. In "The Blunder Years", it is revealed that Smithers father, Waylon Smithers Sr., sacrificed himself to prevent a nuclear meltdown. Burns expresses genuine sadness over his friends passing, but smiles after an infant Smithers calls him “sir”. After this tragic event, he takes Smithers under his wing.
One the one hand, there have been times where Burns takes his relationship with Smithers for granted. However, he has shown genuine concern for Smithers health and wellbeing. While their relationship is not perfect, Burns will do anything to keep Smithers by his side.