Simpsons Did It!: “Homer’s Phobia”

There was something about this episode that always bugged me.  Lisa explains to the family’s new friend John that Homer’s newfound acceptance of John is as tolerant as he gets.  Since when was Homer Simpson intolerant of anybody that wasn’t Flanders or Patty and Selma?  I don’t mind an episode exploring Homer’s distaste for gays and how he learns to change his mind, but the idea that he’s “intolerant” suggests something off.  Homer’s always been too childlike in his intelligence to be intolerant of just about anybody.

OK, rant over.  Let’s look at the episode.

Aw crap, Bart broke the drier.  To pay the gas bill, the family will need to either retrieve the giant jar of pennies from the large hole it caused when Homer dropped it, or the family will need to sell Marge’s grandmother’s Civil War doll.

Except it turns out it isn’t an old doll.  It’s a relatively more recent liquor bottle.  Heck, it still had some inside.  Marge learns this horrifying truth when the owner (I think he’s the owner) of a camp and kitsch shop in the Springfield Mall, John, tells Marge as much.  And John loves all things camp, such as the ludicrously tragic or the tragically ludicrous.  That’s sort of like when a clown dies.

Since John is so taken with, well, the sort of stuff the Simpsons have all over their house, Homer invites the guy over for snacks.  The two hit it off, but Homer fails to notice something that Marge has to spell out for:  John’s gay.  I mean, sure, he’s voiced by John Waters, and there’s an implied rocky relationship with Waylon Smithers, but how else was Homer to know John prefers the company of men in a different way than Homer himself apparently does?

But Homer doesn’t like gay people and he wants John to stay away from the entire Simpson family.  Look, if Homer really feels that way, he only needed to wait an episode.  John being voiced by a guest star means no matter how friendly he and the family are, he won’t be a regular character.  Like how Lisa was befriending Alison Taylor.  I mean, sure, it would be nice, but Winona Ryder wasn’t going to become a Simpsons regular, so how much have we seen of her since then?

Oh, there she is again. I really must try her Netflix series...
Oh, there she is again. I really must try her Netflix series…

But Homer’s biggest concern is Bart.  Bart is picking up habits from John, so Bart might be turning gay!  Look, this is how Homer thinks.  Having Bart stare at a billboard of two women in nightgowns having a pillow fight only made Bart want a cigarette…and a Slim at that.  Homer’s next attempt means going to a steel mill.  That didn’t work out very well either.

What’s Homer to do?  Moe suggests war, but there isn’t one.  Now I have something else to miss about the 90s.  Well, they can always go deer hunting.  Killing something is bound to keep Bart straight.

Too bad the state park got converted to astroturf.  No deer.  Except the Santa’s Workshop place has a bunch of penned-in reindeer.  Bart doesn’t want to shoot one of them, and then the animals go nuts and start attacking.  Moe and Barney find shelter, but Homer will protect Bart as long as he can.  After a few hits, Homer and Bart are saved by Santa…the Japanese robot John had in his car.  Now Homer likes gay people, or at least John.  A few thousand or so more instances of these guys saving his life, and Homer will be fine.

So, is Bart gay?  He’s ten.  Why are you even asking?  Weirdo.

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