The Simpsons is one of the most beloved animated sitcoms of all time. It takes place in the fictional town of Springfield and features a number of memorable characters.
One of the main characters of The Simpson is Homer Simpson, the patriarch of his family. Over the course of the show, Homer has done many interesting, outrageous things. However, there is something that apparently Homer is not allowed to do, according to an unspoken rule behind the scenes of The Simpsons.
Homer Simpson was based on creator Matt Groening’s dad
The show’s creator, Matt Groening, based the Simpson family off of his own one.
As he shared in an interview with Smithsonian Magazine in 2012, “I basically drew my own family. My father’s name is Homer. My mother’s name is Margaret. I have a sister Lisa and another sister Maggie, so I drew all of them. I was going to name the main character Matt, but I didn’t think it would go over well in a pitch meeting, so I changed the name to Bart.”
However, Homer is not that similar to Groening’s father. Homer Simpson is a clueless, lazy man who works as a technician at a nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, Groening described his father in an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2010 as “creative” and “intelligent.” Homer Groening—who passed away in 1996—was also cartoonist and filmmaker.
Homer Simpson is apparently not allowed to do 1 thing on the show
While Groening’s father did not seem to have a problem with Homer Simpson being based off of him, he did tell Groening that Homer Simpson should not be mean to his wife.
“He said that was a rule, which corresponds with the way he treated my mother,” Groening told Smithsonian. “He was very nice to her.”
Groening added, “I don’t know if that is a rule that has ever been articulated to people who work on the show, but everyone just gets it.”
In fact, he shared with Entertainment Weekly that Marge and Homer’s love for each other is perhaps one of the reasons why Homer himself is likable to viewers.
‘The Simpsons’ was originally not supposed to focus on Homer Simpson
The Simpsons has released many episodes following various characters on the show, but Homer is arguably one of the most important protagonists. However, what some fans might not know is that the series originally was supposed to focus on Bart, not Homer.
Groening told Entertainment Weekly he felt Homer had more potential for jokes and humorous story lines, which is why the show shifted its focus to him.
He shared, “With Homer, there’s just a wider range of jokes you can do. And there are far more drastic consequences to Homer’s stupidity. There’s only so far you can go with a juvenile delinquent. We wanted Bart to do anything up to the point of him being tried in court as an adult. But Homer is an adult, and his boneheaded-ness is funnier.”
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