Hank: You like those moccasins? Then neither do I! Heh, ever see a guy say good-bye to a shoe?
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It seems innocuous, but it has split a very specific portion of the internet apart: Some people think Homer is laughing at the shoe he just saw thrown, while others hold that he is thinking about a shoe-throwing from a completely different time. I believe both are right. The divide speaks to the way people perceive jokes: Are they created by omniscient writers or by their characters?
There are many fans who know the writers of classic episodes by name, who view the golden-era Simpsons writers as sort of all-powerful gods, imparting perfect jokes to these hand-drawn characters. In the Tomacco episode, Homer tells the country folk outside the door he got his shoes from a hobo. Ergo, he saw a hobo say goodbye to his shoes, which Homer immediately took and found his favorite pair of shoes.
But in his incorrectness he does represent the desire for comedy to hold up to science-fiction-like scrutiny. Hank asks if Homer ever saw someone say bye to a shoe. Hank and the audience think that no one has ever said bye to a shoe. In other words, Homer imagining another time when he saw someone say good-bye to a shoe makes sense and The Simpsons makes sense.
The counterpoint is that the comedy is specific to Homer. The other group of viewers is, for whatever reason, more likely to stay in character — they start from Homer and his established traits and work out from there.
The joke is simply about how Homer is stupid. That might not be as elegant, but is undeniable. A list about Homer's worst moments wouldn't be complete without mentioning the time Homer financially ruined him. Flanders tries starting a new business by opening a store with products for left-handed people. Homer goes out of his way to hurt Flanders' business. By the end of the episode, Flanders and his family were practically living in their car because of how much they lost.
And the worst thing about this story? Homer's gloating. Homer and Bart's relationship is filled with moments of abuse. One awful case was when Homer began to fear that Bart was gay.
The inappropriateness of fearing something like that aside, Homer's plans to remedy the situation were terrible. The worst thing he tried was forcing Bart to shoot a deer in order to toughen him up. He dragged poor Bart to Santa's village to try hunting a reindeer. Luckily, the reindeer turned out to be vicious and unhappy with Homer's attempts to kill them.
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Marge puts up with a lot by being Homer's wife. If you ask us, she should have left him years ago.
In fact, she should have left him after he framed her into getting a DUI. After a night of heavy drinking for the both of them, Homer gets into an accident while driving them home. He then situates things to look like Marge was driving. She gets arrested and blamed for the whole thing. She has to go to rehab afterward.
And can you believe she ends up forgiving him when he confesses? This is the point in our list where lives are on the line. From this point on, Homer is responsible for people's deaths. In regards to Ned's wife, Homer unintentionally caused her death by ducking at an inopportune time. After arranging for a T-shirt cannon to be shot at him, Homer chickens out when it's fired.
He ducks down, and Ned's wife, a slimmer and more frail person than Homer, was standing right behind him. She takes the full brunt of the shot, falls down, and ends up dying.
Homer's recklessness with firearms, while comedic to watch on our television screens, made anyone who knows the danger of a gun wince with horror. He twirled his gun around like a party favor, left it unguarded in a residence with children, and fired it at mundane items just for fun. While no one on the show was offed, Homer's complete disregard for everyone's safety was horrific. This is where Homer's irresponsibility could have proved fatal. While driving in the car with his father, Homer refuses to make any bathroom stops. Even though his father begs for a pee break, Homer just says no.
The situation escalates when Homer's father's kidney explodes from holding it in. As if Homer's life-threatening disrespect was not enough, later in the episode, he refuses to donate his own kidney to save his father's life. He flees from the hospital before the procedure. If he was inconsiderate enough to disregard his father's pleas, the least he could do is donate an organ to save his dad's life, right?
While this sign of fatherly abuse is considered to be a riot, if you really think about it, it's one of the worst things that Homer does on the show. Since Bart was a toddler, he has had to endure the rough hands of his father around his neck. If that were to be portrayed in a show that was not animated, the father would be denounced for a monster. After finding out his family got their area code changed without his knowledge, Homer goes to Town Hall to protest.
During the meeting, Homer pulls off his jacket to reveal he's wearing a bomb belt. Because the bombs were made by himself, they don't go off, but the fact of the matter is that Homer was trying to blow up a town meeting. He was intentionally trying to murder everyone in that room with the explosion.
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