As evidenced by the fact that my very first post on this blog was about The Simpsons, I clearly love that show. True, the love has waned in recent years, recent being the past decade, but I can’t deny the profound effect this television show has had on my life.
And it’s not like I could ever forget the show – even at times when I’d like to. My daily vocabulary is so peppered with Simpson-isms, I don’t even realize they’re there. This is beyond the gut reaction “D’oh!” that we all have from time to time, the ever present “meh”s, and any of Bart’s terrible “eat my shorts” or “don’t have a cow, man” bs. I’m talking about the quotes that require context to really make sense, quotes that might only make sense to other Simpsons fans, and sometimes not even that.
As I ponder going cold-turkey on new episodes (though let’s be honest, I’ll be watching every episode till the bitter end no matter how awful), I thought I would look back on ten out of context Simpsons quotes that pop into my brain on a regular basis.
Note: these quotes are in no particular order and yes, I do realize most of them are from Homer.
1. “I think he’s talking to you.”
Thinking back, this entire episode is quote-worthy. Homer’s comment on Bart’s plan to trap Sideshow Bob “Ooh, a plan fiendishly clever in its intricacies!” or a juror’s comment during Sideshow Bob’s trial “No one who speaks German can be evil,” or Grandpa’s plaintive cry “I’m cold and there are wolves after me,” this is an episode that keeps on giving. But “I think he’s talking to you,” said with the proper loud whisper is just so effective for conveying utter and ignorant stupidity it wins out.
2. “And here I am using my legs like a sucker!”
(The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons)
This quote also has a varient, “and here I am using my own lungs like a sucker.” The idea of Homer moving into the old folks home with Grandpa was absolutely inspired. It should not be at all surprising that uber-lazy Homer fit right in with people who had chairs to move them about, iron lungs to make them breathe, and liquid Lays potato chips so they don’t have to chew. This quote comes in handy any time I realize that I too have been doing something the hard way…just like a sucker.
3. “Woo hoo! Four day weekend!” (Lisa’s Rival)
From the episode that brought us Homer and his giant pile of sugar (“In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women”), we get the quote that I think I’ve probably said most often. This is one of the more popular quotes here. I feel as though this has actually taken a life outside of The Simpsons. But that doesn’t mean it’s still not an amazing exclamation of unexpected joy.
4. “Oh, that’s where you’re wrong Marge. He was a shameless self-promoter.”
(The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace)
Yet another episode that is absolutely quote-tastic. Homer’s dismay at wasting half his life, followed by Marge discovering him eating from a bag of flour (“I don’t deserve sugar”) sets up the brilliant plot of Homer as inventor. His obsession with Thomas Alva Edison is what might now be dubbed a “bromance” though I shudder to even type that word. When he goes to visit Bart at school because he can no longer go to the adult library due to some “unpleasantness”, their exchange about the Hardy Boys is spot on – Homer: And, these Hardy Boys books are great, too! This one’s about smugglers!
Bart: They’re all about smugglers.
Homer: No, not this one! “The Smugglers of Pirate Cove”. It’s about pirates.
But it’s the conversation Homer has in bed with Marge when he just cannot shut up about Edison that gets me every time. His tone of voice as he wags his fingers at her, showing off how much he knows about Edison is priceless and eminently quotable.
5. “That’s it. You people have stood in my way long enough. I’m going to clown college!” (Homer the Clown)
From the moment Homer stopped to read the new billboards, “Best in the West. Hee hee, that rhymes,” this episode became one of my favorites. So much of this episode is audio-visual, such as the family turning into clowns holding up ads for Krusty’s Clown College with the circus music in the background, I sometimes imagine whole scenes playing out in my head. Homer’s defiant declaration of his now lifelong desire to attend clown college has come up in conversation rather often. Not because I have declared my desire to go to clown college mind you, but because… Ok. It’s because I want to go to clown college.
6. “No bowl. Stick! Stick!”
(The City of New York vs Homer Simpson)
I realize this is an odd choice from that episode that sees Homer battle the evils of New York City. But Homer’s entire conversation with the Khlav Kalash vendor is gold, beginning with his “Allllllmost…” as he uses a nearby stick to get him closer to the pizza shop across the street. Of course I too would be horrified at the thought of Mountain Dew and down can after can of crab juice. Whenever someone offers me a bowl of anything – ice cream, soup, khlav kalash – my brain immediately answers with the quote above.
7. “Is it about my cube?” (Homer the Smithers)
From Homer serving Mr. Burns breakfast to his imitating Mr. Burns’ mother, this episode is full of great Homer-isms. But it’s Mr. Burns quiet inquiry about his car-turned-cube that sticks in my head. I have made the mistake of asking people that very same question without even realizing it, and then having to backtrack and explain exactly what I mean. The other person just usually shakes their head at me, not quite sure what to make it.
8. “But ‘Football in the Groin’ has a football in the groin”/”It works on so many levels!” (A Star is Burns)
Ok, this is cheating but these two quotes always go hand in hand for me.
Need I say more than ‘football in the groin’?
9. “Don’t you hate pants?” (The Last Temptation of Krust)
Krusty has always been a sell-out. From the beginning Krusty has been that clown that makes you understand why some people are afraid of clowns – he’s not malevolent, but so utterly degenerate that you avoid being near him for fear of coming down with something itchy and uncomfortable. So seeing him become a George Carlin type stand up comic, burning money in defiance of the Man and the System was great. Of course Homer would misunderstand everything Krusty was getting at and just jump on the “burning stuff” bandwagon. The need to ask someone if they hate pants isn’t a frequent one, but anytime I’m in a crowd and people are yelling, I think of this old chestnut. But I don’t burn my pants. No matter how itchy they might be.
10. “Selma Jub-jub is fantastic. He’s everywhere you wanna be.”
(A Fish Called Selma)
Honestly, this quote is just all about the execution. Phil Hartman as Troy McClure was like lightening in bottle. His false enthusiasm about this disgusting reptile just oozes with everything that sums up McClure. This quote serves as the absolute perfect non-sequitur in any conversation. It’s even better when the other person knows that I’m referring to a lizard.
Last minute Runner-up:
“Why must life be so hard? Why I must fail at every attempt at masonry?” (Mom and Pop Art)
Nothing expresses my complete frustration with life as Homer’s cry about his failed attempts at masonry whilst attempting to build an outdoor grill. “Le grille? What the hell is that?” can be substituted here as well.
Anyone else have a Simpsons quote or quotes that pop up in everyday conversation, regardless of context?