10 Things You Didn't Know About Homer Simpson

9. Homer's Tragic Upbringing

It's easy to dismiss Homer as a clueless, drunken clod, but the series has offered occasional glimpses into the reasons why Homer is the way he is. The roots of his complete dysfunction as a normal human being lie in his difficult childhood. Homer grew up with a disinterested, frequently abusive father. He says in the episode "Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy" that he could have been a success if only Abe had believed in him more. He also had a loving mother, Mona, whose new-found hippie lifestyle forced her to go on the run from the law and into hiding, leaving young Homer behind. This was a loss that Homer never quite got over, and which he quite rightly tagged as the root of most of his problems, such as his excessive eating and drinking. The abuse continues in his continual strangling (played as a running joke by the series writers) of Bart. In the nineteenth season episode "Mona Leaves-a", Homer's mother tries to convince him that she has changed her ways and intends to stay in Homer's life, but Homer angrily refuses to listen to her. He later tries to apologize but finds that she has died in her sleep, which devastates him and creates a guilt that will be with him forever, adding a layer of pathos to an otherwise buffoonish character. Further adding to his trauma was the adventure he, Lenny, and Carl remembered in the episode "The Blunder Years", where it is revealed that as a young boy, Homer was terrified by the discovery of a decomposing corpse in the water (later shown to be the body of Waylon Smithers, Sr.) If the series were ever to revisit the complete picture of Homer's many traumatic experiences, it could go quite dark indeed.
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Hi there, What Culture-ers! I'm William Graff, a 40-year old freelance writer from the wilds of Capitol Hill in beautiful Denver, Colorado. I enjoy many things such as beer, Doctor Who, The Simpsons, record collecting, stand-up comedy, long aimless walks, and of course the Broncos, which is required by law if you live here. I appreciate all feedback for my writing, but I prefer cash and/or deleted Smiths singles in lieu of praise. Rock on!