February 29, 2024

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Simpsons Did It!: “Homer Defined”


What legacy will we leave behind?  How will people remember us?  Can we control how the world will see us in future generations?

That’s some heady stuff for Homer Simpson.

Yes, Homer somehow averts a nuclear meltdown at the power plant.  Don’t ask him how he did it.  Even he doesn’t know.  After exhausting his usual ideas of hoping someone else will fix the problem, trying the instruction manual that is surprisingly complicated for a nuclear reaction, remembering his training, and blaming a Rubik’s Cube, Homer just does some eenie meenie magic and presses the moe button, as opposed to the button to call Moe for a beer.

I mean, if you ask Homer what button he pressed, he may just say he pressed moe.  What sort of confusion is there?  I mean, it worked didn’t it?  And twice no less!

What’s weird is Homer doesn’t ask for adulation and praise for his actions.  In fact, given he was just really, really lucky, he’d rather just let everyone forget it.  The problem is no one, and I mean no one, will let him forget it.  When Magic Johnson tells Homer that people like him are eventually revealed for the frauds they are, it just makes Homer feel worse.

By the way…all the cheerleaders hanging around Magic?  Yeah, in retrospect, that’s a little disquieting.

But no, Homer is Employee of the Month, his usual ignorant proclamations are now being seen by Lisa as words of great wisdom, he’s expected to be a motivational speaker for the Shelbyville Power Plant owned by Aristotle Amadopoulos (voice of Jon Lovitz), and Marge is treating him a hero.  Homer can’t even get any relief at Moe’s since Lisa follows him there, just as Barney used to do as a kid with his father.  Mr. Burns’ weak thumbs up even seems to be a problem for Homer, but is mostly a problem for Burns if he’s that physically weak he can’t lift his own thumb.

In the B-Plot, Milhouse’s mother tells him he can’t be Bart’s best friend anymore, which is a first since up to this point Milhouse was just a random kid Bart hung out with.  Marge knows a thing or two about what boys need, even if Bart is a bad influence who gets Milhouse to drink paint.  It all works out.

In fact, everything works out.  Homer does get his picture in the dictionary as a something he can live with, and all he had to do was pull a Homer.  He’s rather good at that.