“I’ve learned that life is one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead.”
Whether you watch the show or not, chances are that you’re familiar with the yellow, overweight, balding, permanently 30-something dad known as Homer Simpson. This unstable father of three has claimed a loving place inside the homes of millions—but how much do you really know about Homer J.? Read on to find out!
Homer Simpson Facts
49. Origin Story
Homer and his family made their first TV debut on The Tracy Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. They starred in an animated short called Good Night which sees Homer and Marge putting their children to sleep for the night. It wasn’t until December 17, 1989 that the first episode of The Simpsons appeared on Fox.
48. Pitch Pinch
Cartoonist Matt Groening had been called in for a meeting with James L. Brooks to pitch an animated series based on his comic strip Life in Hell but was unsatisfied with the characters. While waiting in the lobby for the meeting to start, Groening quickly created a new set of characters to pitch: The Simpsons Family.
Groening drew on his own life and named a number of characters after his own family members. Homer is named after his father. According to Groening, "Homer originated with my goal to both amuse my real father, and just annoy him a little bit. My father was an athletic, creative, intelligent filmmaker and writer, and the only thing he had in common with Homer was a love of donuts."
46. The Voice Behind the Man
Dan Castellaneta is the recognizable voice behind Homer and his antics. In the shorts and earlier episodes, he had voiced Homer with a loose impression of Walter Matthau. It was during the second half of the second season and into the third season of the cartoon that Homer’s voice evolved into a more robust and expressive tone that allowed for more emotion.
45. Award-Winning Vocals
Castellaneta has won four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance, as well as a special-achievement Annie Award for his work with voicing Homer Simpson.
44. A Multitude of Voices
In addition to voicing Homer, Castellaneta is also the man behind the voices of Grampa Simpson, Krusty the Clown, Barney Gumble, Groundskeeper Willie, Mayor Quimby and Hans Moleman. However, it is interesting to note that Homer is the only character to have dialogue in every episode.
43. In the Dictionary
What started off as a direction in the script for an “annoyed grunt” soon evolved into Homer’s most famous catchphrase, “D’Oh!” Its first appearance was in the short “The Krusty the Clown Show”, and its first use in the series was in the series premiere “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire.” It was added to the New Oxford Dictionary of English in 1998 and The Oxford English Dictionary in 2001.
42. D’Oh is Universal
The show is dubbed and aired all over the world, and includes variations of Homer’s catchphrase “D’Oh!” In German-dubbed episodes of The Simpsons, “D'Oh!” is translated to "Nein!"; in French-dubbed episodes, it is pronounced "T'Oh".
41. Do the Walk of Fame
Homer and his family were honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2000, which is 12 whole years before their creator, Matt Groening, earned his. Groening was finally given a star in 2012 in recognition of his incredible work.
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40. I’d Know That Head Anywhere
Groening designed Homer and his family so uniquely so that they’d all be identifiable in silhouette. They premiered as a crudely drawn family since Groening had submitted rough sketches that he believed would be re-touched, but were not. The decision was also made to present the public with a yellow family since it would catch the eye of channel-surfers.
39. M.G. Was Here
Groening initially drew Homer with an intentional G and M visible on the side of his head. The G was worked into Homer’s ear, and the M was the sad hairline above the ear. The animation has since been developed and retouched, but Groening still draws the ear as a G when he does sketches for fans.
38. Dapper Homer
The only episode in which Homer is voiced by anyone other than Castellaneta is in the episode “Homer’s Barbershop Quartet” where some of his singing voice is provided by a member of The Dapper Dans. The Dapper Dans had recorded the singing parts for all four members of The Be Sharps, which was intermixed with the voice actors’ voices to produce the songs for the show.
37. Mmmmm, New Zealand
As part of the worldwide marketing campaign for The Simpsons Movie in 2007, a massive pink glazed donut was erected in the small town of Springfield, Canterbury, New Zealand. It was locally made and celebrated as an homage to the Simpson’s hometown.
36. Teacher’s Pet
Executive producer Al Jean has been noted as saying that in The Simpsons writing room, “everyone loves writing for Homer”. This may be due to the fact that the writers get to interject themselves into the show, as many of Homer’s adventures are based on their own experiences. They also explain Homer’s decrease in intelligence as being necessary to top previous jokes.
35. He’s a Nice Guy…
Castellaneta has been known to reject scripted material that comes across as making Homer too mean. He acknowledges that Homer is indeed boorish and unthinking, but doesn’t believe that he’d ever be mean on purpose. It was reported that several scenes from The Simpsons Movie were edited and toned down to make Homer more sympathetic.
34. …But He Is Pretty Stupid
Homer is cited as having a very low IQ of 55. Many factors are said to contribute to this: his alcoholism; his exposure to radioactive waste; repetitive head trauma; the dreaded Simpson Gene; and of course, the crayon that became lodged in his brain when he was a kid.
33. World’s Best Dad
Homer was named #1 on Entertainment Weekly’s “The 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years” in 2010. He also ranked second on TV Guide’s “Top 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters” in 2000, and his relationship with Marge was included in TV Guide’s list of “The Best TV Couples of All Time.”
32. Mattingly! I Thought I Told You to Trim Those Sideburns!
The National Baseball Hall of Fame celebrated Homer in 2017 to honor the 25th anniversary of the airing of the episode Homer at Bat, which saw an entire team of famous baseball players subbing in on Mr. Burns’ company team.
31. Stamp of Approval
In 2009, Homer and his family became the first characters from a TV series to receive the recognition of being placed on stamps while the show is still in production. The United States Postal Service unveiled a series of five 44-cent stamps featuring Homer and the four other members of the Simpson family.
30. Renaissance Man
Homer has appeared in in many other television shows outside of his own. He opened the show for American Idol when it was in its sixth season; He performed a special animated monologue on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; and in the 2008 fundraising television special Stand Up to Cancer, he was shown receiving a colonoscopy.
Alongside the series, Homer continues to appear regularly in issues of Simpsons Comics which were first published in November 1993, and are still produced on a monthly basis.
28. Virgin Duff
In order to coincide with Islamic traditions and customs, Arabic episodes of The Simpsons see Homer drinking soda instead of beer, and eating Egyptian beef sausages instead of hot dogs.
27. Is an EGOT Next?
Although often portrayed as a regular guy, or even below the intelligence level of the average person, Homer has achieved many great accomplishments. He has won a Grammy, an Academy Award, and A Pulitzer Prize. He has even been blasted into outer space!
26. Homer of All Trades
We all know about Homer the Safety Inspector for Sector 7G at the Nuclear Power Plant, but how many other occupations has he held during the series? The number of jobs held by Homer within the first 400 episodes of the show comes in at an impressive 188.
25. And Bongo Is His Name, Oh!
Homer had a beloved childhood dog named Bongo. After a run-in with Mr. Burns, a warrant is put out for Bongo’s capture. Rather than see the dog get hurt, Homer’s dad, Abe, convinces Homer to give Bongo away to a farm where he can be safe.
24. D’Oh! A Doppelganger?
Homer has a doppelganger named Guy Incognito whom we meet inside of Moe’s Tavern. He enters to order a beer, but the barflies believing him to be Homer—with whom they are feuding—throw him out. Homer walks by to see his “exact double” lying in the street. He then proceeds to get distracted and chase a dog with a “puffy tail.”
23. Everybody Hates Birds, Right?
There are a number of Simpsons that live in the Tri-City area, including Lisa’s Great Uncle Chet (who runs an unsuccessful shrimp company), and her Second Cousin, Stanley (who “[shoots] birds at the airport”). Luckily the defective “Simpson Gene” only affects the Y Chromosome, so the female relatives are far more successful.
22. The Entrepreneur
At age 24, Homer had a job selling fresh manure from his car. It was not reported as being successful.
21. High Hopes
As a child, Homer once threw a coin into a wishing well and wished that he would grow up to be “richer than everybody”. He hoped to have a giant mansion, his own pinball machine with infinity quarters, and eight pairs of peanut butter and jelly pajamas.
20. The Ol’ Crayola Oblongata
As a child, Homer pushed a total of 16 crayons up his nose and only sneezed 15 back out. The crayon that was stuck in Homer’s brain went undiagnosed for so long because of how Dr. Hibbert held the X-rays. After the crayon was removed, Homer found himself unable to cope with his new-found intelligence and had Moe re-insert a “Powder Blue” crayon to restore his former, much lower IQ.
19. Use The Forks
Homer once secured a job as the Mayor’s bodyguard thanks to his heroic saving of Mark Hamill from a group of enraged sci-fi fans at a convention. Empire named Hamill's performance in the episode as the tenth-best film gag in the show, commenting: "As a rule, celebrity cameos are rubbish, but good sport Hamill is hilarious when singing 'Luke, be a Jedi Tonight' in a production of Guys and Dolls, and makes this list for urging bodyguard Homer to 'use the forks.'"
18. Can’t Get Enough Of That Sweet Duff
Good news for beer fans! There is an official version of Duff beer, Homer's favorite brew, that is sold in three variations near a The Simpsons ride at Universal Studios.
An episode of the show that aired in 2003 revealed Homer’s email address as ChunkyLover53@aol.com. Prior to the show airing, Matt Selman—the episode’s writer—signed up for the email address. Within minutes of the show finishing, he logged on to find his inbox had reached its 999 message limit.
16. Sock Pupaphobia
Homer has an irrational fear of sock puppets. When Marge confesses to her fear of flying, she explains to Bart that everyone has a fear of something. When Home smugly comments that “not everyone” does, she simply says “Sock puppets” which sends him out of the room screaming.
15. Not A Biology Major
He believes his limbs can grow back. When Homer becomes “stuck” inside of two candy machines at once-an arm inside each one-the rescuers state that they will have to saw his arms off. “They’ll grow back, right?” he asks.
14. Remember When We Used to Make Out to This Hymn?
Homer has danced in his boxers inside of the church. Upon threatening a lawsuit and taking over the church, Homer and his family move in and make themselves quite comfortable. Homer is seen drinking beer from the Holy Chalice and rocking out to “I Was Made For Loving You” by KISS.
13. Woke Homer
In the episode Three Gays of the Condo Homer moves in with two gay men while he and Marge are having marital problems. This is the second episode to revolve entirely around homosexuality (the previous one being Homer’s Phobia where we meet John), and just like the predecessor, this episode received largely positive reviews from both the critics and the LGBT community. Praised for its smart comedy, the episode won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program.
12. Speak First, Think Later
His pin number is 7431. We come to learn this as he chants it out during a protest against the proposed Stamp Museum.
11. No Simpsons Allowed
Homer and his family have been banned from every US State except for North Dakota and Arizona.
10. He Beat Out Bill
The episode “Homer At The Bat” was the first episode to defeat The Cosby Show in its original airing—they shared the same time slot.
9. Accuracy is Everything
The animators had difficulty with making the drawings for “Angry Dad” look like they were drawn by a kid (Bart). In order to overcome this, the drawings were actually done by the young son of one of the animators.
8. Take That, You Lousy Dimension!
In the Halloween episode “Treehouse Of Horror VI” Homer finds himself in a spooky, alternate dimension in the wall behind the bookshelf. We come to learn that he has entered the third dimension. When the world collapses in on itself, Homer vanishes without a trace. The end of the episode shows him in a live-action sequence, walking down Ventura Boulevard in Studio City.
7. But Does it Play La Cucaracha?
When Homer meets his half-brother Herb for the first time, he is a wealthy and successful CEO of Powell Motors. He invites Homer to design a new car, which unsurprisingly is named The Homer. It is deemed as a failure and bankrupts the entire company. Well, believe it or not, a real-life version of Homer’s car has now been created out of a converted 1987 BMW by Porcubimmer Motors. It’s called The Homer Car and is actually a race car.
6. Mr. Popular
One of the best features of the show is the number of popular celebrities, both past and present, that find their way into the lives of the Simpsons family. There have been so many guest stars, that The Simpsons holds the Guinness World Record for most guest stars in a TV series.
5. Homer The Clown
If you have ever noticed or wondered why Homer and Krusty the Clown look so similar, it isn’t because of lazy animators. One of the original concepts was for Homer to actually be Krusty all along.
Homer is the only character who has explicitly aged during the show. In the early episodes he was 36, however he was both 38 and 39 in season eight. In the eighteenth season, he is aged to 40 years old, although his age remains inconsistent throughout all of the seasons.
3. It’s All In His Head
In 2015, a fan-theory emerged that almost the entirety of the show has actually been taking place within Homer’s own mind. An episode that aired in April 1993 sees Homer fall into a deep coma. With a previous episode alluding to an impending death within 6 months, theorists believe that Homer never emerged from his coma. They go on to say that this would explain the inconsistent timelines, lack of aging, and the progressively outlandish storylines.
2. Springfield Gorge Is #1
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2000, Groening was asked to name his favorite episodes of The Simpsons. He responded with a Top 10 list, but ultimately named Bart The Daredevil as his number one choice. This, of course, is the iconic episode that sees Homer falling down the Springfield Gorge. Twice.
1. Low I.Q. And Adlibbing
In order to produce Homer’s oafish sounds, Castellaneta tucks his chin in to his chest and is said to “let his I.Q. go.” This enables him to produce some of the best adlibbed, unintelligent lines that Homer has said. One of the most famous examples is from “Homer Goes to College” when he says "I am so smart, S-M-R-T," which was a genuine mistake Castellaneta made during recording.