Some Examples of Jerkass Homer From More Recent Seasons

The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show11

“Hey, kids?  Always recycle . . . to the extreme!” – Poochie

Johnny Sugar, who once wrote a guest post for us titled “Where Al Jean Went Wrong”, has made it to what passes for the big time if you’re a blogger, Uproxx. There, he’s been the driving force behind their expanded number of Simpsons posts (you know, the ones that keep showing up in Reading Digest). On Sunday, he put up another one:

Homer Simpson’s Changing Ways On ‘The Simpsons’

It’s a rundown of things which will be sadly familiar. In order, they are:

He’s More Of A Jerk

Zany Homer Is Now The Norm

There Are Way Fewer Consequences for His Actions Now

He’s Good At Everything Now

Shortly after the article was published, Al Jean took to Twitter to belittle it:


“Article how Homer is “now” w eps from seasons 9,11.12.15.  All 10+ years old.  Is Homer the researcher?”

Jean is, of course, correct. All of the examples are from episodes that are now themselves more than a decade old. But his implication, that these traits are not present in more “now” episodes, is demonstrably incorrect.  Here are examples of each from just the last three seasons:

He’s More of a Jerk:

Season 24 – “Moonshine River” – The family goes back to New York City (Bart is investigating his many, many past loves).  Homer doesn’t do well in the “not being a jerk” department:


Season 25 – “Yellow Subterfuge” – Homer helps Bart get revenge on Skinner by pretending to murder Skinner’s mother:


Season 24 – “A Test Before Trying” – Homer scams the entire town with a broken parking meter:



Zany Homer Is Now the Norm:

Season 25 – “The Winter of His Content” – Homer becomes a zany old person:


Season 26 – “Bart’s New Friend” – Having done him as an old person, they went the other way and had Homer spend an entire episode thinking he’s 10-years-old.  Here he is playing tag with children on the school playground:


Season 25 – “Steal This Episode” – Homer opens a bootleg movie theater, gets arrested, breaks out of prison, hides in an embassy, then goes on trial, all in one episode:


This is the lame Fugitive scene, and, yes, they did it a million times better back in Season 7.

Season 24 – “The Day the Earth Stood Cool” – Homer changes his whole life around and becomes a hipster, so it’s zany, but in an ironically un-ironic way:



There Are Way Fewer Consequences for His Actions Now:

Season 24 – “Homer Goes to Prep School” – Homer gets obsessed with the apocalypse, becomes a doomsday prepper, then releases an “EMP” that wipes out the town, whereupon the Simpsons flee, only to return and find out that everything is fine:


In this scene, Marge and the kids think Springfield has just been destroyed.  Of course, it wasn’t.

Season 26 – “Waiting for Duffman” – Homer becomes Duffman, feels bad about being a corporate shill, then everything goes back to normal.  The picture speaks for itself:


Season 26 – “The Wreck of the Relationship” – Homer and Bart go on a father son cruise where Homer repeatedly falls overboard to no noticeable effect:



He’s Good At Everything Now:

Season 26 – “Covercraft” – Homer picks up guitar, gets immediately good, and ends up replacing a real band on stage in a stadium:


That’s Homer with Apu, Reverend Lovejoy, Dr. Hibbert, and Kirk van Houten.  The crowd loves them.

Season 26 – “The Musk Who Fell to Earth” – Homer goes into successful business with Elon fucking Musk of all people.  They basically destroy society, but it all gets wrapped up before the credits:


Season 25 – “Labor Pains” – Homer delivers a baby in an elevator and becomes a great father to the kid:


Season 25 – “You Don’t Have to Live Like a Referee” – Homer becomes a frickin’ World Cup referee:


Season 24 – “Pulpit Fiction” – Homer becomes a hugely popular deacon at the church:


They are still capable of a good sign gag on occasions.  Don’t say I never write anything nice.

I could cite a lot more examples, or keep going through Seasons 23, 22, etcetera, but the record is pretty clear.  And lots of these episodes could easily fit into more than one category.  When Homer delivers that woman’s baby and starts being a super parent to the kid, he neglects his own family and almost gets Maggie eaten by zoo animals (seriously), that’d certainly qualify him as a jerk in addition to being instantly good at something he’s always been terrible at.  Or when he goes into business with Elon Musk, they wreck society, but there’s no real consequences or fallout and everything gets wrapped up quickly.

The problems that Homer developed as the show slid into senility and Zombie Simpsons haven’t gone away.  They haven’t even changed much.  Any way you slice it, old examples or new, Homer’s been a successful, zany, consequence free jackass for fifteen years running.  And if FOX decides to exercise that option of theirs and take the show through Season 30-31, he’s going to keep being the same jerkass he’s been since Season 10 or so.

29 Responses to “Some Examples of Jerkass Homer From More Recent Seasons”

  1. 1 Disenchanted Viewer
    29 July 2015 at 3:14 pm

    In addition to what Charlie wrote, the fact that Jean attacks that post saying that the examples are dated and now it’s different only shows that he acknowledges the flaws pointed out and he has no arguments to counter them. Even in his early years as only showrunner, the period somebody even call ‘silver’ era, Homer (and the other characters, for that matter) was horribly characterized most of the time.
    And his quick answer only shows that his primary goal is to keep as many idiots as possible watching, so that he can keep his golden job. I’m so sick of him.

    • 2 Victor Dang
      29 July 2015 at 4:15 pm

      I can’t really blame Jean for Jerkass Homer (…’s creation) since all those awful effects went down during the Scully era (but then Scully was already being handed an aging show, so what to do?). What is his problem is how he did little (well, nothing, really) to undo all these changes.

      I’ve also read elsewhere on this site about the so-called “silver era” of the first few double-digit seasons of Jean’s solo run (or even overlapping with Scully’s last couple seasons as runner). Honestly, I think that moniker’s more applicable to Seasons 8-10, but even the last one there (10) is probably far more deserving of shameful, shameful bronze.

    • 4 Staniel
      30 July 2015 at 1:13 am

      He’s like a car salesman, selling you a jalopy and mentioning that it’s only been in accidents 10 years ago and prior. What the fuck? You just can’t like that guy, not only is he a total asshole in his job, I’m also sure he’s a prick no better than Roger Myers Jr. in real life.

  2. 6 Victor Dang
    29 July 2015 at 4:48 pm

    I’ve got nothing to add to your post, since those are all cromulently awful examples of Homer’s superjerkyness (and wow is he ever jerky here), but I have to say I’m surprised you kept all those episodes on your hard drive. I thought you would’ve deleted them after you posted all your Behind Us Forevers, Crazy Noises (now discontinued), and Compare & Contrasts. No use keeping them IMO since they all blend together, but I digress.

    And that leads in to my next point. All the examples listed in the article date from seasons 9 to 15, but none come in from more recent seasons. And that’s because all the episodes from that point on are basically indistinguishable from one another (which was already pointed out in the site post “Where Al Jean Went Wrong” above). The whole lot of those S9-15 episodes are terrible (counting from 11 and beyond), but they’re distinguishable from one another.

    • 7 Sarah J
      29 July 2015 at 7:35 pm

      Plus, I don’t think there are many people who regularly watch the newer episodes. Even then, nobody seems to find them memorable. It’s rare to see any episode or scene from the past ten seasons make it onto “best jokes/scenes/episodes of The Simpsons” lists.

      • 8 Charlie Sweatpants
        30 July 2015 at 1:20 pm

        The absence is very noticable. Rarely do you see internet images or memes from the show that aren’t from twenty years ago, and half or more of those are the “Old Man Yells At Cloud” headline, that itself is ten or so years ago. Compare that to something like Rick and Morty or Kimmy Schmidt, or even Bob’s Burgers, which pop up on-line all the time.

        • 9 Sarah J
          31 July 2015 at 1:53 am

          Oh, totally. I have seen a few ZS gifs get posted in comments sections and such, but not very often and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one used more than once. And I’ve never seen any become a full-on meme like the one where Homer is sinking into the bushes, or the one where Abe casually walks into the burlesque house, only to immediately walk out in the same fashion. Compare that to shows that are currently actually popular, like you say, images, gifs, and memes will pop up all the time. When I’ve just finished a new episode of Steven Universes, I’m almost always looking for gifs of a certain scene right after. And those gifs are easy to find, because lots of people love the show and think the scenes are great and memorable. Comedy shows tend to be a popular source for reaction gifs, so you’d think ZS could’ve produced a few large-scale memes by now.

          For all the people who say ZS is good, they certainly don’t show it.

  3. 10 spiderterry84
    29 July 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Odd, I don’t recall Al Jean copping the “that’s so dated” attitude whenever someone says “The Simpsons is the best show on TV” and only cites examples from the first eight seasons. My, what a coincidence… about as big a coincidence as “We always meant to call her Lunchlady Dora; we just never changed the design or mentioned any of this until we were repeatedly criticized for spitting on the memory of Doris Grau.”

    Really, it speaks poorly for someone that the best defense against criticism is “That was years ago.” Is his defense against Charlie’s list gonna be “Well, those are from the last three seasons. That’s over. And, y’know, “Bart’s New Friend” was a really old spec script, too, so there”?

    Last I checked, there wasn’t an expiration date on criticism of bad work (or praise of good work, for that matter). If someone wants to criticize Homer’s antics in, say, “Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder” or “Children of a Lesser Clod,” then I suggest Al Jean get the hell over it. It’s not the critic’s fault that those episodes were terrible; it’s the fault of the writing staff, particularly whoever had his name under the “Written by” credit. *cough*

    See, Bart was right in “The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show.” We have gotten lots of hours of free entertainment (well, assuming you’re old enough to remember watching the good seasons when they were on network TV, and you aren’t just watching the DVDs or cable (aka “things that cost money”)). Thing is (and this is something many writers have failed to grasp for the last 15 years), you can’t just accept plaudits and adoration, but then cry foul about criticism. You gotta take the good with the bad. And if they don’t like taking the bad, then they should learn to write a better show or just quit.

    Also, y’know, keep this in mind: whether Season 1, Season 8, or Season 26, the writers collected paychecks for their work. So, you’ll excuse me if I’m a little sick of the petulant whining about criticism from people getting paid for their efforts (or “lack of effort” as the last 15 years would suggest). You can say I’ve watched the show for free, Al Jean, but I’m also not getting paid to criticize the episodes you were paid to work on.

    • 11 calonordic
      30 July 2015 at 3:00 pm

      Well said.

    • 12 Matthew
      3 August 2015 at 6:13 pm

      If they were doing their job, this site wouldn’t exist.

      Bart was wrong. Fans who aren’t satisfied with what they’re putting put are under no obligation to kiss their asses. And it didn’t even sound like a Bart line. It wasn’t; it was the writers projecting their own sense of entitlement onto the fans.

      And as for it being “free entertainment,” hardly. The electricity that powers your TV costs money. Your TV set costs money. And now that the show is on DVD, those cost money, too. And the writers didn’t exactly work for free, nor did the voice artists, and we all know of the artistic repercussions of all those salary disputes. Comic Book Guy says “as a loyal fan, I feel they owe me” but since he’s a straw man being set up to attack the show’s critics, the writers never allowed him to articulate what he felt the ITCHY & SCRATCHY writers owed him. But he was right to be pissed off that the show betrayed its basic premise for a stupid, meaningless non-character who distracted from the main point of the show. But Bart actually said “what right have you got to criticize them?” That’s rich coming from a show that used to pull no punches in its social satire. It’s also invalid as a defense of Poochie, especially since it came after Bart admitted “it wasn’t great.” He was trying to be magnanimous about it because it’s his Dad’s job of the week and therefore his family’s livelihood of the week. But in saying “if anything, you owe them,” Bart suggests that fans owe the creators of the show total loyalty. Nope, not if they can’t make an entertaining show. It’s not entitlement to expect TV shows to not be crappy. It’s a minimum expectation, one THE SIMPSONS used to exceed but now doesn’t even try to meet anymore. They have no incentive to improve because they’re nothing but a profit-machine for Fox.

      There is nothing good about Zombie Simpsons. Nothing. Its attempts at trying to remain relevant represent the worst kind of manufactured cynicism. And after watching that video where the writers joked about killing a band with a gay man in it “for the benefit of Western Civilization,” I’m not watching anything on Fox other than EMPIRE until this show is cancelled.

      • 13 Staniel
        3 August 2015 at 7:22 pm

        “The electricity that powers your TV costs money. Your TV set costs money.”
        Just get one of those solar laptops and you’ll be mighty fine.

  4. 14 Staniel
    30 July 2015 at 1:19 am

    All of those plots you’ve mentioned are so diarrhetic they can’t be seriously considered. How can one remain true to saying it’s even “The Simpsons” we’re still talking about (I mean, “Zombie Simpsons” still has “Simpsons” in it) if none of this holds together anymore? Homer isn’t a jerkass anymore. He’s a prop character executing basic script. I don’t think I can put it any clearer.
    Out of the last 60 episodes, over half were sketches. Seriously. The rest of them were either celebrity spotlight or joke recycling into full 22 minutes episodes. Let’s be honest. You can’t compare that. Season 15 (and prior) were still “seasons”. This… is *sigh*.

    • 15 Sarah J
      31 July 2015 at 1:55 am

      I feel like in ZS, character doesn’t matter any more. The stories are story-driven rather than character-driven, in the sense that the characters do what the writers want to get the story done even if it makes no sense for the character to do it.

      • 16 Disenchanted Viewer
        31 July 2015 at 11:41 am

        I’d even say that, starting more or less from S13, the episodes are jokes-driven. In the sense that it seems like the writers try to make as many jokes as they can about some subject and then they build a convoluted plot to keep together the jokes. In my opinion this is also why many of the stories don’t even make any sense, since they are built only to sort the sketches out. Then, as you say, the characters are forced into the story no matter if it is appropriate for them. Since the jokes are mostly not funny to begin with, the whole episode collapses in a disaster.

        • 17 Staniel
          31 July 2015 at 1:47 pm

          Suprise-surpise! Jean became the show’s director starting what season? =)

        • 18 Sarah J
          31 July 2015 at 8:15 pm

          I’d argue that this is the biggest problem of the show. All of the episodes are just generic plots with no real thought or creativity put into them. The older episodes were good in large part because they were subversive, they did something different than stock sitcom plots played straight. ZS, though, just takes those stock plots and doesn’t do anything different. Sometimes when I see or read about a ZS episode, I like to think about how the plot would go if it was written during the classic years. Like, there’s one episode where Moe starts taking up pickup artist advice and uses Homer as a wingman, to great success. Classic Simpsons would’ve taken the opportunity to joke about how stupid PUA stuff is, and have funny scenes where Moe and Homer fail spectacularly. Only in my mind, only in my mind…

      • 19 Staniel
        31 July 2015 at 1:51 pm

        Up to approximately Season 20, they had the non-themselves-acting family still live in familiar Springfield. After this, they garbled Springfield beyond recognition as well. One of the obvious things was to openly admit that it’s a prop town akin to Anytown, America.

  5. 20 Mr. Incognito
    30 July 2015 at 11:27 pm

    I posted a link to this article to which Mr. Jean replied, “yep they (Dead Homer Society) win!” :/

  6. 25 ecco6t9
    1 August 2015 at 2:35 am

    Does Al Jean hate us?

    • 26 Sarah J
      1 August 2015 at 4:50 am

      Personally I like to imagine his reaction as amusement rather than hatred. Like, I like to think that he knows that ZS isn’t very good, but he doesn’t care because he still has the job and he’s still making money, and he thinks it’s cute that we criticize the show on deeper levels than the average viewer.

      That’s how I like to picture it, anyway.

  7. 27 Joe H
    4 August 2015 at 2:32 am

    Despite having watched all those episodes, the majority of those moments I had pretty much forgotten.

  8. 4 August 2015 at 8:07 am

    Le reste ressource probablement obtenue hierdoor utilisant the Clash spéciale de
    Teams Hack o qual nous fournissons.

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