It’s rare to see a comic animated TV series carry such an immense social impact like The Simpsons has provided for twenty-seven years. No one could have imagined a dysfunctional, yellow colored family comprised of a bumbling, idiotic father, a stereotypical sitcom mother, a rebellious son, an intelligent daughter, and an infant who can’t speak; would become the longest running American animated program, the longest running American sitcom and the longest running American scripted Prime-Time television series.
The Simpsons characters are all uniquely enjoyable in their own right, but the character who has had a major influence in comedy and culture is none other than Homer J. Simpson. Homer is iconic, he is the flagship character The Simpsons have focused on over the years and is a huge part of the success the show has had for over 25 years. However, Homer didn’t start out as the star of the show, for the first four seasons the show focused heavily on the antics and adventures of Bart. A change was made when creators noticed the admiration fans had for Homer. Homer turned out to be a staple of American TV culture, and his character has received numerous accolades. In 2010, Entertainment Weekly named Homer "the greatest character of the last 20 years." Furthermore, he was placed second on TV Guide’s 2002 Top 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters, and fifth on Bravo's 100 Greatest TV Characters (he is one of only four cartoon characters on that list).
The Simpsons left a lasting impression on animated television, and they set the bar to newer heights after receiving so much success in a prime TV slot. The Simpsons led a 90’s boom of animated Prime-Time shows such as Family Guy, South Park and King of the Hill. Even with the declining quality in recent years compared to its “Golden Age” (first ten seasons), The Simpsons are still one of the top shows on network television.
15 Why are The Simpsons Yellow?
The Simpsons can often be identified by their color, as no other sitcom in the world has its characters the same color as the blazing sun. The reason behind them being this color was told by creator Matt Groening himself in various interviews. Groening wanted to get the attention of channel surfers by having bright yellow characters.
14 Location of Springfield
Even after more than 25 years, fans still have no idea where Springfield really is. It borders states all over the US, it has coastlines, mountain ranges, deserts, and oil fields.
13 Bart's Prank Calls
12 Homer Was Almost Krusty
Ever wonder why Homer and Krusty the Clown look very similar? The similar looks between the characters was meant to be a key element for Bart; he hates Homer but idolizes Krusty.
11 Maggie's First Word
10 Maude Flanders' Death
9 Full "McBain" Movie in Show
8 Salary of the Voice Actors
The brilliant voice overs is one of the main reasons this show has stayed relevant all these years. The voices bring The Simpsons we love to life. Most of the voice actors play multiple characters in The Simpsons, and as you might expect they are well compensated for their work. During the golden age of The Simpsons, the voice actors were getting a mere $30,000 an episode. The salary has gone way up since then to $400,000, thanks to the growing popularity of the show and well timed strikes.
7 Reason Lisa is a Vegetarian
One of the biggest stars to ever guest star on on the show was Sir Paul McCartney. Paul and his wife Linda, agreed to guest star the episode “Lisa the Vegetarian” on one condition, that the writers maintained Lisa’s vegetarianism throughout the rest of the series. Those were big demands, but the writers complied and till this day Lisa is still a vegetarian.
6 God is the only Character with Five Fingers
One of the most noticeable traits of The Simpsons characters (besides them being yellow) is that they only have four fingers. Many thought this was merely a mistake that Groening never corrected because it was unique. Groening later revealed: “it is easier to draw, that is a lot of pencil mileage if you add another finger”.
5 Smithers was Originally Black
4 The Characters' Ages
3 An Episode Wasn't Shown For Five Years
2 "D'oh" Wasn't Scripted
Considered one of the most iconic catchphrases in television, Homer's classic "D’oh" was never intended to be in the show. The voice actor, Dan Castellaneta (who does Homer) came up with the catchphrase himself. Using inspiration from the comedy duo act Laurel and Hardy, Dan used Jimmy Finlayson’s catchphrase. This phrase is so culturally popular that it made its way into the Oxford English Dictionary.
1 The Simpsons Were Originally Rabbits
This iconic series almost had a drastic change even before it aired its first episode. The Simpsons family were originally intended to be rabbits. Groening explained this potential switch on BBC in an interview, “I was going to do something completely different but then thought to myself, I’ll do humans instead of bunny rabbits, which was my original idea. And then I just drew them really quickly.” Turns out Groening made the right decision as it seems...
Sources: hollywoodreporter.com, buzzfeed.com, independent.co.uk
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