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Homer Jay Simpson

"Lord help me, I'm just not that bright."

Voiced by: Dan Castellaneta Other Languages
Debut: "Good Night"

The Bumbling Dad of the Simpson family, and more or less The Protagonist of the show. Homer is overweight, stupid, almost completely bald, rather selfish and short-tempered, but is a good person at heart and has a bright outlook on life.

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  • Abandoned Catchphrase: He used to say "Let's all go out for some frosty chocolate milkshakes!" during the Tracey Ullman shorts, but it was dropped when the show became independent. However, this catchphrase has been referenced for laughs in other episodes, such as during Treehouse of Horror XIII, when errors in the hammock-cloning process result in several off-brand Homers, including a "classic Homer" who delivers this catchphrase (as well as Peter Griffin).
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Though not heavily focused on, a handful of episodes imply Homer is attracted to Maude Flanders, such as "Dead Putting Society" (he compliments her butt while ranting to Flanders), "The War of the Simpsons" (he ogles her cleavage while drunk) and "Homer Loves Flanders" (he believes that Maude is secretly in love with him). Owing to both his crude nature and both characters already being Happily Married to other people, Maude never returned his feelings and the plotline was quietly dropped when she was killed off.
  • Abusive Parents: On both ends of it.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Homer managed to cause a nuclear meltdown, during a safety exercise, in a truck that had no nuclear material within it.
  • Acrofatic:
    • In "Sex, Pies, and Idiot Scrapes," he does complex acrobatics to escape Ned. This is rather odd, since Homer has often been shown out of breath from even the simplest movements (like running only a few feet in "The Springfield Connection" and "New Kids on the Blecch").
    • One flashback shows him to be a very talented gymnast in high school (until his dad distracted him and made him trip on his own feet). It should be noted that he had a much more athletic build back then, though. So him being a good gymnast is less surprising.
    • "Deep Space Homer" showed Homer in astronaut training, performing several cartwheels in rapid succession as if he were some sort of human tire. That is, of course, until he runs into the wallnote .
    • He performed ninja-like feats of acrobatics while practicing killing snakes for Whacking Day.
    • In "Simple Simpson" when Homer (as the Pie Man) escapes the police doing some very complex acrobatics.
    • In "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)" he performs a standing backflip while frantically searching for the "invisible crops" in the fields of his family's farm.
    • In "Marge Vs. The Monorail" Homer spoofs The Flintstones by sliding down one of the power plant's cooling pipes, jumping out the window and making a perfect landing in his car.
  • Action Dad: Homer is a surprisingly competent street-fighter whose combination of strength, low-cunning and explosive-anger allows him to pound better trained opponents into the ground on multiple occasions; especially those who threaten his family. The fact his is not averse to using improvised weapons and dirty tricks (such as using a cinder block as an Epic Flail, which he dubs "The Defender") makes him even more formidable when he does put his mind to it.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Homer is quite easily prone to this. When he does things like owning a gun or going parasailing, he thinks it makes him the greatest human being that ever lived.
  • The Alcoholic: The all-time champion of this, but not before Barney Gumble, who is the very definition of drunk.
    Homer: And I'll get to get drunk on a Tuesday.
    Marge: Today's Tuesday and you've had six beers!
    Homer: But I'm not drunk.
  • Alcoholic Dad: To the point that one of the contact numbers at Springfield Elementary is at Moe's Tavern.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Actually manages to act dumber after sometimes drinking a few too many. In "Boys Meet Curl" Marge says when he is quoting Henry V that this is what Homer sounds like when he is sober.
  • AM/FM Characterization: He primarily listens to classic rock from the 1960s and '70s. This actually provides the premise of "Homerpalooza", as Homer's disappointed that he's out of touch with 90s youth. Of course, as the years have gone by and Homer hasn't aged, that would now logically be the music of his own youth, and indeed the more modern episode "Do Pizza Bots Dream of Electric Guitars" shows a teenage Homer into the then current music of the 90s.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parent: His dad harps about his embarrassing childhood and his mom is a double agent who's always leaving clues only he can understand. Homer himself is this to Bart and Lisa.
  • Amazon Chaser: When Marge muscled up, he found it quite attractive. Originally.
  • Ambiguously Bi: His love for Marge is obvious, and he's shown attraction to other women occasionally. He's also the Trope Namer for Stupid Sexy Flanders, has kissed a man and may have enjoyed it more than kissing Marge, complimented a naked hobo on his physique, and mourns Fat Tony like a dead lover, among other examples. Although he identifies as straight and his attraction to women is serious while his feelings for other men is Played for Laughs. He becomes incredibly uncomfortable whenever the topic of being gay is mentioned and he doesn't seem to understand it. His attraction to other men might actually stem from an attraction to himself because his ego compels him believe that he is the greatest person in the world and he sometimes daydreams about flirting or making out with himself.
  • Ambiguously Christian: He seems to have a volatile opinion/preference of religion, but he's generally irreligious and secular and only shows devout behavior a few times. He dislikes going to church but does so anyways, most likely as to maintain his marriage to Marge, who herself is a devout Christian. This is despite him having a genuine religious experience every time he falls asleep in church (walking around Heaven chatting up God himself). In both the episode "HOMR" and the movie, he claims that God does not exist despite how in several other episodes, he accepted (to varying degrees) Christian theology even without anyone else around him to witness it. In the post-movie seasons, Homer has went back to believing that there is a god or at least some supernatural entity.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • Marge and the kids have alternately all called Homer an ape (Marge), a baboon (Lisa), a monkey (Maggie) or a "kwyjibo" (Bart, who defined a kwyjibo as a fat, dumb, balding, chinless and short-tempered North American ape, all done while Homer was holding a banana). Many of the actual apes on the show, both real and fake, also bear a striking resemblance to Homer both in appearance and in habits. Many of his Imagine Spots feature apes and monkeys of some kind. Even Ned Flanders called him an ape when Marge used his gorilla-like behavior to help Lisa win her case on human evolution in "The Monkey Suit". He especially likes to do a monkey-like screech every time he's scared or enraged. One of the show's earliest episodes also has him mistaken for Bigfoot.
    • He is also associated with pigs, mainly demonstrated through dream sequences and fantasies. In The Simpsons Game, Homer can summon a flying pig as a finishing move in the "Big Super Happy Fun Fun Game" level. He is often regarded as a pig, receives pig-based insults or gives himself pig-based metaphors/involves himself with pig-based idioms. In the "Treehouse of Horror XXVIII" segment "Mmm...Homer", Homer draws a butcher's diagram of himself for his autocannibalism, which is obviously inspired by butcher's diagrams of pigs.
    • Castellaneta once described him as "a dog trapped in a man's body".
  • Angrish: Frequently lapses into this, whether he is justified or not.
  • Anti-Hero: Manages to be a combination of both a Classical Anti-Hero and an Unscrupulous Hero.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: Homer openly admits that he hates his life from time to time, and he also speaks pessimistically about life and regards death as a sweet release in "Brick Like Me". However in spite of his Butt-Monkey status, he keeps going and remains hopeful that things will turn around for him. The only time he truly abandoned hope was when his hive smoker was stolen, in which he was so depressed that he refused to get drunk.
    Homer: Everything good that comes into our lives, the universe takes away. So from now on I'm just gonna lie here and never care again.
  • Anti-Role Model: Homer is well aware that he is a terrible role model and he lampshades it frequently.
    Homer: Look, if it were up to me, I'd be harassing [those manatees] with you. If anything, I'd be the guy who took it too far...
  • Asshole Victim: Whenever he does receive comeuppance for his abuse (i.e. "Barting Over", "Bartificial Intelligence", and "Love is a Many Strangled Thing"), it's easy to not feel sorry for him.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: Let (a censored) one loose in "Who Shot Mr. Burns"; basically, Homer got a tip on how to get Mr. Burns to remember his name by sending him a box of chocolates with his photo in it (well, he and his wife and kids). The ensuing thank-you card has Burns thanking everyone except Homer (his face was obscured by an uneaten piece of chocolate and the box thrown out). Boy, does Homer get pissed...
    Homer: [slowly lowering the letter, shaking with unabashed anger] Kids, would you step outside for a second?
    [Bart and Lisa gawk at their father and go running out of the room]
    Homer: F— [Smash Cut to an overview of the street, a Scare Chord, birds flying away in fear, and the entire neighborhood stopping in its tracks to look in the direction of the Simpson house]
    Ned: Dear Lord, that was the loudest profanity I've ever heard!
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: "My God!" There are times when you can already hear Homer uttering that EXACT phrase.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • For all his crudeness and boorishness, he dearly loves his family and vice-versa. It especially shines with Bart; the boy is snarky, rude, and can be a downright menace at his absolute worst, while his father frequently strangles him or is otherwise quite dismissive of him. And yet, these moments of antagonism towards each other don't stop them from expressing their closeness or working together whenever necessary.
    • In "Hello Gudder, Hello Fudder", after Otto saves him from nearly jumping off a buildingnote , Homer's purpose in life is restored, and he decides to teach Maggie, who he often forgets about, how to swim as a way of spending time with her, inspired after seeing Ron Howard take his kids to the zoo. Homer even proclaims that he'll be spending more time with Maggie from that moment on (though of course, that doesn't carry on into future episodes).
  • Berserk Button: Several. He's also known for his temper, after all.
    • On Bart's worst days, the very mention of him can be one for Homer. When Homer got institutionalized thanks in part to Bart, Homer was diagnosed with severe anger issues. Then Marge suggested maybe they shouldn't mention Bart. The nurse was... alarmed.
    You mean there really is a Bart?! Good lord!
    • During the "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" two-parter, Burns not remembering his name was this. Which resulted in making him one of the prime suspects, as before Burns was shot, Homer tells him he's a dead man as his bodyguards drag him away.
  • Big Eater: He's also the king of this trope, to the point that he's an Extreme Omnivore (he's eaten things considered highly inedible, such as the plastic bride and groom wedding cake decoration (albeit under the mistaken belief that it was made of candy), dishwashing soap, hot wax from a candle, etc). One episode had him becoming the mascot of the Captain's "All-You-Can-Eat" fish restaurant because he sued over being kicked out before eating all he could; taking the moniker "Bottomless Pete," described as "a beast more stomach than man." In exchange for being allowed to gorge himself, people pay an admittance fee to gawp at him. In a Halloween episode he literally ate all the donuts in the world during a stay in hell, and then asks for more.
    Demon: I don't understand! James Coco went mad in 15 minutes!
  • Big Fun: He sees himself as this.
    Homer: Marge, the boy was wearing a Hawaiian shirt.
    Marge: So?
    Homer: There's only two kind of guys who wear those shirts: gay guys and big, fat party animals. And Bart doesn't look like a big, fat party animal to me...
    Marge: So, if you wore a Hawaiian shirt, it wouldn't be gay?
    Homer: Right. Thank you.
  • The Big Guy: While his weight is frequently mentioned, Homer is also a pretty tall guy, and possesses a larger-than-life personality fitting this trope. He's also shown to be quite the fighter occasionally.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Happens to Homer twice and it's Played for Laughs:
  • Boisterous Bruiser: He is more Falstaff than Falstaff.
  • Book Dumb: Homer is not known for reading, outright failing in one episode to list any kind of book he can read at all, but he still retains an amazing breadth of knowledge, including at least some awareness of the works of Walt Whitman, how to brew several varieties of beer, and at least some knowledge of the laws of thermodynamics, despite not knowing who Isaac Newton is.
  • Born Lucky: While he's guaranteed to be the butt of plenty of jokes in any given episode, Homer tends to win contests, meet celebrities and survive near-death situations far more than any person should. He's also married to Marge, a woman who is willing to overlook his many, many many flaws and see the good in him. The episode "Homer's Enemy" is about Frank Grimes, a hard working but Born Unlucky employee, who hates how someone as lazy and inept as Homer manages to be that lucky.
  • Breakout Character: While Homer was always prominent, Bart was initially treated as the show's protagonist. After the initial wave of "Bart Simpson mania", however, Homer became the most popular character, and the show therefore came to focus more on him.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Even when showing signs of high-level intelligence, Homer is averse to hard work. He seems to be aware of this; in the episode where he formed a great security company and became chief of police for it, his efforts to take down the mob had them retaliate by putting out a hit on him. He bemoaned before confronting them "I finally found a job where I wasn't lazy, stupid or corrupt, and now I'm gonna get killed for it!"
  • Buffet Buffoonery: In "New Kid on the Block", Homer eats for several hours at the all-you-can-eat buffet at The Frying Dutchman before being thrown out. He then successfully sues the restaurant for false advertisement and gets to eat there for free in exchange for the Sea Captain marketing him as Bottomless Pete: Nature's Cruelest Mistake.
  • Bumbling Dad: He provides the page image.
    Mr. Bergstrom: Lisa, your homework is always so neat. How can I put this? Does your father help you with it?
    Lisa: No. Homework's not my father's specialty.
    Mr. Bergstrom: Well there's no shame in it, I mean, my dad—
    Lisa: Not mine.
    Mr. Bergstrom: You didn't let me finish—
    Lisa: Unless the next word was "burped", you didn't have to.
  • Butt-Monkey: Even with all his jerkish tendencies, you do feel sympathy for what he goes through sometimes. This is best exemplified in the iconic Couch Gags.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Homer fails at humorous limericks. He tries to disprove this by saying "There once was a man from, I think it was Nantucket. And anyway, he had this interesting characteristic ..." At this point he can't remember the rest, and Lenny and Carl just snicker at him.
  • Captain Obvious: Tends to state the obvious (in a usually comical way), like in this lovely jewel from "The Spy Who Learned Me":
    Marge: HOMER... SIMPSON.
  • Calling the Old Woman Out: In "Mona Leaves-a", he does this to Mona, chewing her out for abandoning him and repeatedly choosing her various agendas and Granola Girl lifestyle over her own son. It's the last thing he ever says to her.
  • Career Not Taken: Any longtime fan of the show will know that Homer absolutely loathes his job at the nuclear power plant, but he still works there mainly to support his family. In "And Maggie Makes Three", Homer finally proves to be financially stable enough to quit his job at the plant and work at his dream job, which is at a bowling alley. However, when celebrating, he and Marge get busy, and she gets pregnant. Although it's a tough decision, Homer eventually decides to go back to the nuclear power plant in order to financially provide for Maggie. He even has pictures of her around his station, and have them covered around a sign so that it reads "Do it for her".
  • Character Catchphrase:
    "Why, you little...!!!", occasionally followed by "I'll teach you to [insert action that warranted strangulation in the first place]!"
    "Mmm, [insert food here]..."
    "The Simpsons are going to [insert location here]!"
    "I didn't say stop."
    "Y'ello?", when answering the phone
  • Character Development:
    • While he does get progressively dumber as the years go on, he also seems to become more accepting of others.
    • A good example is "Homer's Phobia" where after initially rejecting his friendship with John because of John's sexuality, Homer eventually overcomes his prejudice (despite that season two's "Simpson and Delilah" didn't show him being prejudiced against his gay male secretary Karl. Indeed, he was oblivious to Karl's sexuality until he got kissed, and even then, he didn't react the way a homophobe would if that happened to him). Indeed, in later episodes, he has absolutely no problem befriending members of the gay community and actually is more supportive of Patty (despite the fact that he hates her and Selma because they don't care much for him marrying their sister), when she comes out as a lesbian, than Marge is.
    • Later episodes have also frequently deconstructed his stupidity, sometimes conveying him more as a tall order Cloudcuckoolander than specifically dumb, and within his own deranged nature, can actually have impressive random displays of insight.
    • There was also a point where he Took a Level in Jerkass, seemingly being a jerk for the sake of it. He's particularly bad in "Alone Again Natura Diddily", the episode where Maude Flanders dies. Nowadays it varies from episode to episode.
  • Characterization Marches On: Arguably the biggest example in the series.
    • His original personality in the Tracey Ullman shorts focused on him being someone who loves his kids but gets easily flustered by their troublemaking. The early episodes of the series took that and added in the traits of being a more realistic dad, one who comes home from a hard day of work and just wants to relax on the couch with a beer but his troublemaking kids won't leave him alone. He still loved his family, but his maturity level was clearly well above that of Bart and Lisa, whereas much later he is more like One of the Kids.
    • His most popular characterization as a crude, clumsy, lazy, ignorant man, with alcoholic tendencies, makes the first season's, "There's No Disgrace Like Home" an extremely odd episode to watch, especially for those who have never seen The Simpsons in its early days. In it, he is embarrassed by his family's boorish behavior, including Marge getting drunk at his boss's party, and takes them to family therapy. If this was written after the first season, the roles would undoubtedly be reversed. Adding to this, Homer sells the TV in order to pay for the therapy; again, something he'd never even contemplate doing post-season one. While Homer is somewhat called out on it later that episode, since most of the things he was ashamed of them doing were his fault in the first place, he's still shown to be overall more level-headed than he will be in later episodes.
    • Another first season episode, "Homer's Odyssey", has Homer getting fired from his job for crashing a forklift. He goes into such a deep depression at losing the identity of household breadwinner that he actually attempts suicide so he wouldn't feel like a failure around his wife and children. At the end of the episode, he becomes the power plant's safety inspector because he's very concerned that the plant isn't being run safely and wants to make a difference. In later episodes, his on-the-job negligence is legendary, with him personally committing safety violations that would not only get him canned, but probably sent to prison for a long time, if the show cared about realism. He would regularly be sacked for gross incompetence and show little-to-no concern, or casually ditch work for the sake of whatever zany adventure he's going on in the episode. Also, even though his title of safety inspector continues to be mentioned, his job rarely seems to involve any safety inspecting. Admittedly, the plant itself, even without Homer's incompetence, is terribly run and would be shut down in an instant if Burns ever ran into someone he couldn't bribe. Which is probably why Homer has his job security (outside of Burns saying he's here forever after Homer had to beg for the job back when Maggie was conceived); anyone competent would have gotten the place shut down.
      • In "HOMR", when he temporarily has his intelligence brought up to normal due to the removal of the crayon in his brain, this is exactly what happens. He writes up a report on the safety issues of the plant, and it's shut down almost immediately.
  • Charlie Brown Baldness: He has only two little hairs on his head left as he tore it off twice when he found out Marge was pregnant.
  • The Chew Toy: He is constantly hurt for the sake of funny. Lampshaded in a special episode that shows a series of clips of Homer getting hurt. Even in the opening, most of the couch gags (especially starting in Season 8) end with him being killed, maimed, or humiliated. The HD opening sequence alone features Homer getting hit by the family car and crashing through the garage door. Prior to the sequence being reanimated, he would scream and make a break for the garage as Marge pulled in.
  • Chick Magnet: As an adult, Homer has attracted a shocking number of beautiful women, with Mindy Simmons and Lurleen Lumpkin being some of the more prominent examples. It's become a plot point on several episodes, ones that focus on Homer and Marge's marriage. However, by his own admission, he was rejected by most women before he met Marge.
  • Childhood Brain Damage: One episode reveals that Homer is an idiot because he stuck a crayon up his nose as a child and got it jammed into his brain. In "Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie", he told Bart when he was a kid he wanted a bike but his dad wouldn't let him. So he tries holding his breath so his dad would give in. But he passed out and had to be rushed to the hospital, where the doctors say he has suffered brain damage.
    Bart: Dad, what's the point of this story?
    Homer: I like stories.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: For all his flaws, he's the most loyal friend you can have, as he'll always help his friends with their problems. Hell, you don't even have to be a close friend of his to get his help, he'll surely help you even if he only met you just some moments ago. Even his enemies, like Mr. Burns or Selma, might get his aid if he's on a good mood.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Homer has some strange thought processes. Especially in the later seasons:
    • Perhaps most notoriously in The Simpsons Movie where he's imagining a cymbal-banging monkey... and THAT tells him to pay attention to what Marge is saying.
    • An Halloween episode "Treehouse of Horror 5", shows how Homer got driven into madness when he was saying that there wasn't any beer or tv as a riddle, when Marge says "Go Crazy?" because of what was written on the wall, Homer showcases his crazed behavior in such a hilariously memorable fashion.
  • Clueless Chick-Magnet: As the series went on, he had many women falling for him either due to new gained fame or talent or just his good traits, while he will be as clueless as ever.
  • Comically Missing the Point: He almost always fails to understand metaphors, sarcasm, subtext or statements with implications. Unless he's told something bluntly and directly, it will just fly over his head — so much so, most of the examples shown in the shows' own page for this trope are from him.
  • Condescending Compassion: Most of the time, he says something incredibly condescending to his children because he thinks that he knows better than them and is telling them that he's doing the sensible thing; of course, he doesn't realize that he's the one being the idiot in that situation instead.
  • Conjunction Interruption: A Running Gag is Homer's arrogance to anyone correcting him or even vaguely giving him an order or suggestion, leading him to quickly brush them off. This at one point escalated to him snapping at a judge to shut up just so he could have the last word.
  • Convenience Store Gift Shopping: Homer has a very bad habit of doing this sort of thing. It was justified in the episode Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire, since Marge blew the saved Christmas present money on getting Bart's incomplete tattoo removed and Mr. Burns announced that none of the workers are getting Christmas bonuses this year.
  • Court-martialed: In "Simpson Tide", when Homer joins the Navy Reserves, gets put in charge of a sub and sails to Russia, after he gets stopped he is court-martialed. But all of his judges admit to other crimes (or at least investigations) so they're not currently qualified to judge him.
  • Cranky Neighbor: He hates living next to Ned Flanders, and steals all of his property. It's one of his signature character traits, at that.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Homer may be a lazy idiot most of the time, but he can pull off surprising feats of badassery when called upon, especially if his children are involved. On the intelligence front, when properly motivated or passionate about something, he can be very efficient: across various episodes he's started a snow-plow business, ran a very successful home security business and temporarily supplanted Wiggum as chief of police, was able to trick Mr. Burns into making him CEO of the power plant in revenge for his rather comprehensive safety report being ignored, and he's also fluent in multiple languages. On the physical front, Homer is a pretty competent fighter and can and will street brawl if he must, is more acrobatic and graceful than his girth would suggest, and was briefly an amateur boxer who No Selled punches to the head until his opponents got tired. This is also all to say nothing of the jobs he gets for a single episode and may do well in them even if by sheer luck.
  • Cuckoosnarker: As stupid as he is, he'll surprisingly let out the occasional quick quip, usually aimed at Bart.
  • Cutting the Knot: Homer comes up with this a few times, most notably to save his children. When Bart was trapped down a well, Homer is the one who comes up with the obvious idea of grabbing a shovel and simply digging Bart out. When Lisa's automatic self-tapping shoes went crazy, everyone in the audience panicked except for Homer, who simply tripped Lisa and took her off her feet.
    Lisa: Whew! Thanks, Dad!
    Homer: I didn't think, I just acted.
  • Delusions of Beauty: In several Imagine Spots, Homer sees himself as a muscular hunk, when in reality he's an overweight slob.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • His character varies with the plot's demands. He has been a well-meaning moron with selective common sense, so bored with life that he embraces any absurd idea he hears, and deliberately self-centered because he feels the rest of the world owes him. He's even lampshaded this:
      Homer: Because that's the kind of guy I am this week!
    • His physical prowess is another aspect of his character that varies. In some episodes, he's so weak that his punches can't kill a fly, and so out of shape that throwing a single punch or running even a short distance leave him completely exhausted. In other episodes, he's strong enough to use a motorcycle like a sword without breaking a sweat and show surprising speed and agility for his size.
    • Basically his entire character hinges on what's funniest. Some episodes portray him as a well-meaning simpleton who's a danger to everyone around him, others have him be a grumbling Jerk with a Heart of Gold, while others make him an unrepentant jerk.
    • His level of attractiveness in-universe fluctuates from "hunk gone to seed" to "shaved gorilla".
    • Of course, his intelligence ranges from merely stupid to Too Dumb to Live. Occasionally he can even be deceptively lucid and even be an Only Sane Man of sorts as well as being surprisingly capable in a number of fields.
    • How much he can actually eat: while a Big Eater all-around, some episodes like "New Kid on the Block" depict him as an Extreme Omnivore who can eat as much as he wants and never feel full, while other episodes actually give him a limit like "Maximum Homerdrive" (which has him unable to finish a large steak) and "Selma's Choice" (where he takes weeks to finish a large hoagie sandwich).
  • Depraved Kids' Show Host: In "Children of a Lesser Clod".
    Homer: If you're happy and you know it, say a swear!
    Nelson: Boobs!
    Milhouse: Heinie!
    Ralph: Mitten!
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Homer's constantly changing whatever his life's dream is, and while it's almost always played for laughs it is out of a genuine concern that he's a failure.
  • Dismotivation: The show has repeatedly shown Homer's job isn't actually that difficult. A chicken or a brick on a rope could do his job just as easily, but all Homer does is sleep and goof about all day. There are more than a few given reasons; Homer feels overworked, he's got no idea what his job is, and Mr. Burns goes out of his way to make the plant dehumanizing (complete with a large demotivational plaque, to "break what's left of [Homer's] spirit"). As such, while Homer is stuck there, he figures he may as well take what pleasure he can by goofing off.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Strangling his son is a great example. Homer frequently unleashes this on others, due to him being easily provoked. He also goes as far as suing the owners of the local seafood restaurant because he gets thrown out of the "all-you-can-eat" area.
  • The Ditz: Not that bright at all, and one of Western Animation's most iconic Fat Idiots and Idiot Heroes.
    Homer: Lord, help me! I'm just not that bright.
  • Doesn't Know Their Own Child: Homer once hired a private detective to learn about his children.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Downplayed. He's usually shown to be able to follow the rules of the road just fine, but his wild impulses have lead to many traffic accidents over the years.
  • Dub Name Change: The Latin-American Spanish dub, besides tweaking his name to "Homero", gave him in the dub's version of "The Trouble with Trillions" the middle name "Jimeno" for some reason (although it could be because of how "Homero Jimeno" sounds) whereas at that point in the original version his middle name was only given the initial "J." While this wasn't that much of a problem at the time, it would create a Series Continuity Error where the very next season there was an entire episode about how Homer didn't know what his middle name was and trying to find out, eventually revealing that it was "Jay."
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: He tends to be Older and Wiser in Flash Forward episodes, with Marge acknowledging in "Holidays of Future Passed" (in which he has quit drinking full-stop and is beloved by his grandkids) that people learn from their mistakes, and Homer has made many mistakes. He also remains Happily Married to Marge for the rest of his life, despite a brief separation during Bart and Lisa's teen years in "Future-Drama."
  • Egocentrically Religious: On one episode, he endlessly prays to God for good luck or indulgences, which actually come true. He returns the favor later on by suing the church following an accident. In his defense, Homer believed this was God's work, as when he was praying for funds/a better home, he underwent the accident on the church grounds literally seconds later before a lawyer shows up seconds later after that.
  • Elder Abuse: Homer is frequently callous and distant towards his father, with the excuse that Abe himself was an Abusive Dad when Homer was a child. Abe and Homer still insult each other with equal vitriol.
  • Extreme Omnivore: He'll ingest anything from fancy bathroom soaps ("The Front") to plastic lobsters to a ten-pound bag of flour ("New Kid on the Block") to dishwashing liquid ("Marge Gets a Job") to radioactive waste ("E-I-E-I-[Annoyed Grunt]" and "Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder"), and on two separate occasions, has eaten live fish, and a live seal.
  • The Everyman: Homer started as one of these characters (and In-Universe he's still seen as one), but as the series went on more and more absurd and amazing things have happened to him (such as winning a Grammy, becoming an astronaut, being neighbor to two former presidents, etc) and he has demonstrated such absurd, bizarre tastes and a capacity to thrive even with absurdly low levels of intelligence that one episode ("Homer's Enemy") flat-out stated that he's not this.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Many people end up doing this to him, even the NRA at one point as they said his Reckless Gun Usage was dangerous and gave them a bad name.
    • For Homer himself, despite his contempt for Flanders, he has often shown horror or sadness when something truly awful happens to him. When his wife tragically died, Homer at least tried to be a shoulder to cry on. When Flanders Failed also shows he considers wishing Flanders was dead to be "too far".
    • While his parenting skills range from negligent at best to abusive at worst, Homer does make the effort to be a better father than Abe, even if the difference is miniscule.
      Homer: (Dad) said he didn't want to have me.
      Marge: You didn't want to have Bart.
      Homer: I know, but you're not supposed to tell the child!
      Marge: You told Bart this morning!
      Homer: But when I do it, it's cute!
    • Homer is far from the best husband around, but he draws the line at cheating on Marge. No matter how beautiful the woman or how tempting the offer, Homer always stays completely faithful to his wife. In "The Last Temptation of Homer" in particular, he tries everything to not fall for Mindy, even though fate keeps drawing the two of them closer.
    • In "Coming to Homerica", he tells Cletus to stop suggesting names for their group after he suggested calling themselves the Klan and the Nazis, showing even someone like him knows emulating hate groups is wrong.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Almost always seen with hair in flashbacks, a thick mop-top as a child/teenager, and with a receding hairline when Bart and Lisa are little.
    • The episode That 90's Show has Homer with a short haircut which immediately grows long and Kurt Cobain-esque after he becomes a grunge icon.

  • Family Man: Despite his flaws, he still tries to keep his family together as best as he could.
  • Fan Disservice: Whenever he appears naked outside.
  • Fat and Proud: Shifts depending on his mood. Most of the time, Homer is unashamed to admit that he's overweight. He even puts on enough weight to avoid a corporate fitness program and work from home for a time. On a few occurrences, he's upset that he weighs so much. He currently provides the page image.
  • Fat Bastard: Homer's gluttony, depending on the episode, can be taken to extremes. This can range from Homer eating to the point of being bloated and watching his belly bulge out and obscure his view of his feet, to Homer deliberately gaining weight to push past 300 pounds so that he could avoid fifteen minutes' worth of exercise at work and do his job at home. He was a bastard, particularly, in the Ullman shorts.
  • Fat Comic Relief: A combination of Fat Idiot, Fat Slob, Big Eater, and Bumbling Dad, who serves as the comic relief within his family and his workplace.
  • Fat Idiot: Possibly the Trope Codifier. Homer's main defining traits are "overweight and stupid".
  • Fat Slob: He's fat, lazy, eats like a pig and is and gets drunk often.
  • First-Name Basis:
    • His son Bart often calls him Homer instead of Dad, probably just to mock or annoy him, and even refers to his parents as "Mom and Homer" (although he also calls him Dad sometimes, depending on the situation).
    • Downplayed in the Latin American Spanish dub, as Bart still calls him Dad more often than he calls him Homer, since addressing your parents by first name is pretty offensive in most Latin American countries and more so in Mexico, the country from which the dub is made.
    • Averted like hell in many Asian language dubs, since disrespecting your elders in such way is one of the worst things you can do as a child. The Japanese dub is a somewhat subversion on this, though: Besides calling him Dad, he also calls him "old man" (oyaji 親父) at times, which is a playful, but still somewhat disrespectful, way to address your parents or elders in Japanese.
  • Flanderization: He started out as a strict disciplinarian; somewhat unintelligent, but still devoted to being a father.
    • His first flanderization turned him into a stupid yet lovably eccentric Manchild.
    • Eventually, Homer became a moronic Jerkass in Seasons 9-12. This second flanderization was toned down later on and, lately, depends on the writer. Throughout the series, his intelligence drops from average to "really stupid" and sometimes even clever or insightful.
    • Homer's stupidity might have been lampshaded by the writers in the 138th episode, where a fictional fan by the name of Prof. Laurence Pierce 'asks' "I think Homer gets stupider every year.", after which Troy McClure says that isn't a question, but they'll let the viewers decide for themselves, and a bunch of clips of Homer's idiocy show up.
    • His increasing idiocy may possibly be justified by the numerous head traumas Homer has been suffering throughout the years.
    • He was never exactly a model of emotional control, but by Season 15 or so, he can't seem to go longer than a single episode without running out of the room and/or weeping hysterically, often over a minor slight like the kids wanting to go to dinner with their mother instead of him.
    • Ironically his relationship with Flanders is Zigzagged. He started off resentful and jealous towards Flanders if in a passive-aggressive sort of way. Starting from Season 6 he became more and more obsessively hateful towards Flanders and obsessed with making a fool of him. This toned down greatly after Maude's death (likely because there was little way of having him torment a mourning Flanders without crossing into out-and-out vile territory), his treatment of Ned more like a playful rivalry or even just a case of Innocently Insensitive.
    • An interesting aspect of Homer's Flanderization is the role that pop culture has played into it. Unlike most media, The Simpsons redefined prime time entertainment, and reshaped the very concept of sitcoms. The show started as a counter-culture reference towards mainstream "Father knows best"-type sitcoms from the 50s to the late 80s/early 90s (particularly The Cosby Show, which Matt Groening has outright stated as his inspiration). But the Simpsons became such a hit, they themselves reshaped popular culture. This in turn forced the entire show to adapt. The Simpsons became a satire of a society they themselves helped shape. Homer, in turn, was flanderized further, into a caricature of his old self, as that original self became much more the norm of regular sitcoms. Folding Ideas has a video essay explaining this shift in more details.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Particularly in later seasons. In earlier seasons he was simply not that enthusiastic a church-goer and practitioner, but he still could be seen praying at odd occasions (and apparently even pays up to $15 for a Bible just to read it by himself which may or may not be the one he hides his flask in). In later seasons, he's outright decrying God's existence despite the fact that he's arguably met God more than once (and if that didn't count, then the sheer fact that he and his family are alive and well after everything they've been through proves SOMETHING out the realm of nature is hiding in the Simpson house). Then again he also claimed his God is better than native or protestant (he was practicing Catholicism at the time) and in "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bangalore" he seems to believe He wrote the Da Vinci Code so it's more of a Rule of Funny.
  • Fleeting Passionate Hobbies: Tends to get a new "lifelong dream" as the plot needs him to.
  • Foil: To Ned Flanders. Homer is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, Ned is a Nice Guy. The Simpson family are often impoverished and highly dysfunctional, the Flanders family are well-off and loving towards each other. Homer's wife is alive while both of Ned's are deceased. Homer couldn't care less about religion to the point of sleeping in church, Ned is a religious fundamentalist. Homer is fat and bald, Ned is muscular and has a full head of hair.
  • The Fool: In the episode "Homer Defined," Homer's accidental prevention of a meltdown at the nuclear plant inspires the phrase "to pull a Homer," meaning "to succeed despite idiocy."
  • Foolish Husband, Responsible Wife: He's the Foolish Husband to Marge's Responsible Wife. He dwells in front of the couch on his days off from the Nuclear Power Plant, resorts to strangling Bart in the earlier seasons when Bart provokes him, and generally doesn't think before he acts.
  • Forgetful Jones: He occasionally forgets that Maggie exists, and he tends to mix up Lenny and Carl. In "Homer's Paternity Coot", he's primarily driven by the possibility that Mason Fairbanks could be his real father, but by the time a DNA test taken by Dr. Hibbert seemingly confirms it, Homer had forgotten who Mason is.
  • Formerly Fit: Used to be quite trim in his youth. Various stories show him trying to lose weight and he sometimes succeeds for a time, with one episode ending with a montage of his body size differing over the years (ranging from graphically obese to slender, with a random one where his arms are enormous).
  • Freudian Excuse: His mother left him as a kid, and his father didn't know how to raise him. It's also implied that his abuse of Bart was stemmed from being abused by his own father. Furthermore, his dad's blunt lack of faith in him resulting in Homer not being able to achieve his full potential. He also is a glutton due to mental scars caused by finding Waylon Smithers Sr.'s corpse though it's mentioned that this was also from trying to fill the hole in his heart left by his mom. That and, according to Moe, also alcohol.
  • Friendly Enemy:
    • Marge's sisters Patty and Selma Bouvier are quite open about their hatred of Homer, while Homer feels the same way about them and calls them the "gruesome twosome." However, his and Selma's relationship has actually become warmer over time: in one episode, Selma tries to take care of Bart, Lisa, and Maggie for a day, fails miserably, and expresses admiration for Homer's ability to parent; in return, he comforts her. In another instance, Homer was willing to pretend to be Selma's husband to help her adopt a child from China. Marge even tells Patty that Homer feels sorry for Selma for having her for a sister.
    • Even if Homer openly hates Ned Flanders, there are moments where they act like friends, or at least Vitriolic Best Buds.
      Homer: Ned! You're having a family reunion and you didn't invite me!?
      Ned: Oh, gosh Homer. This is strictly a Flanders affair. I've got family here from around the globe.
      Homer: I can't believe you didn't invite me. After I painted those cool stripes all over your car. I know! I'll throw my own barbeque. The greatest barbeque this town has ever seen, and I'll only invite who I want. That'll show you.
      Ned: Can I come?
      Homer: Sure. [turns away] D'oh!
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Not that often but it happens Depending on the Writer. Probably a plot point in "Homer the Great" when he complains about people who don't like him and the "No Homers Club". Sometimes he's shunned by his drinking buddies for little to no reason ("Fear of Flying", "Don't Fear the Roofer") which will be forgotten in the next episode. Also played with, while his "friends" have no problem hanging out with him most of the time, if Homer is in trouble, they would turn against him at the drop of a hat, like in "Homer Badman".
  • Functional Addict: Depending on the Writer he can guzzle some truly absurd amounts of beer and still look functional.
  • Genius Ditz: When properly motivated, Homer is incredibly intelligent. Across various episodes, he speaks several languages, is a Grammy-Award-winning songwriter and musician, a skilled poker player, a master marksman, and may know a bit of astrophysics. He's also juggled many, many careers with varying degrees of success, pulled off a scheme to trick Mr. Burns into making him CEO of the power plant, formed a security company so successful and efficient that Quimby appointed him chief of police and fired Wiggum, and built both a fully-sentient (if incomplete) robot and a miniature nuclear reactor on separate occasions. The episode "HOMR" reveals he has a crayon stuck up his nose that limits his brain functionality, but when he has it temporarily removed his IQ jumps 50 points and he realizes his full potential (before having it put back at the end of the episode).
  • George Jetson Job Security:
    • Homer gets fired or quits his regular job on innumerable occasions, yet always ends up back working there.
    • Conversely he also has Ultimate Job Security, as Burns inexplicably keeps rehiring him despite his incompetence, laziness and frequent absences to focus on his latest job or hobby.
  • Get-Rich-Quick Scheme: If you presented him with a choice between being given a thousand dollars or spending a thousand dollars on lottery tickets, he'd pick the tickets without a second thought. Homer is as eager to jump on an absurd plan to make tons of money fast as he is averse to hard work and has at multiple times in the past risked his job, his family and himself to make a tonne of money only slightly less quickly than it takes for him to lose it.
    Homer: I can't take his money, I can't print my own money, I have to work for my money. Why don't I just lay down and die?
  • Gleeful and Grumpy Pairing: He has fallen onto both sides of this trope;
    • He's the Grumpy to Ned Flanders' Gleeful. Homer abhors Ned out of both jealousy for his good lifestyle and popularity, as well as Ned's insufferably pious and goody-goody demeanor. Homer is also quick to get angry, especially when his three children (particularly Bart) misbehave.
    • When he's in a good mood, he can be the Gleeful Big Fun at times, especially compared to Moe, who is more bitter and grumpy and less fun-loving than him.
    • In "Homer's Enemy", he's the Gleeful to Frank Grimes' Grumpy. Homer wants to befriend Grimes, but does so in a clingy and annoying way, while Grimes is a cynical No-Respect Guy who despises Homer.
  • Goal in Life: A Running Gag in the early seasons was for Homer to say that doing something related to the plot of the episode was his lifelong dream (be a Monorail conductor/manage a beautiful country singer/be a blackjack dealer), Marge would then point out that Homer already had a lifelong dream, which he has already achieved (run out on a baseball field during a game/eat the world's biggest hoagie/appear on "The Gong Show").
  • Good Parents: Downplayed. His default status is an incompetent parent who nevertheless tries to do the right thing and dearly loves his children, despite his bad habit of strangling Bart.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: While it was more pronounced in the Tracey Ullman shorts, it's definitely still there. One episode even has Bart make an internet cartoon about it. He later tries to bottle up his anger only for it to backfire.
  • Handwriting as Characterization: In "Bart the Genius", the school counselor suspects that Bart is forging Homer's signature on permission slips because of the childish handwriting, but then he receives a check that Homer just signed and it matches the "forged" signatures exactly. This shows how uneducated and immature Homer is.
  • Hanlon's Razor: In general, there are three reasons why Homer Simpson causes the chaos he does: because he's stupid, because he's an asshole, and because he's a stupid asshole. In his absolute worst moments (such as the "Treehouse of Horror" episodes), he's Grey's Law incarnate — it doesn't matter whether he's doing it out of deliberate malice or because he doesn't understand the consequences of what he's doing, he's still making people suffer and/or die, up to and including causing the annihilation of mankind.
  • Happily Married: While he and Marge have had plenty of marital problems, their deep love for each other is always able to overcome them. Indeed, the sole consistent aspect of each future shown in the various Flash Forward episodes is that Homer and Marge will remain married and happy together till the end of their lives.
  • Has a Type: Blue hair, while he still loves Marge even after she shows her hair turned grey, he admits that he prefers when she dyes it.
  • The Hedonist: He's lazy, short-tempered, and gluttonous, which drives him to commit many things for his own pleasure, like seeking for attention and eating large amounts of food. One of his most recognizable catchphrases is even a very detailed drool of pleasure.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: If Homer Takes A Level In Jerkass in the event that his character is made more unsympathetic than usual Depending on the Writer, he can reach a level of disregard for others that borders on sociopathic, but it's still Played for Laughs as usual.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: While normally slovenly in appearance, it's shown that whenever Homer takes effort into his image, he can be quite good looking and charming
  • Hidden Depths:
    • He's generally shown to be something of a Renaissance Man despite his low intellect. It's suggested that Lisa and Bart inherited their musical ability and Omniglot-level talent for learning languages respectively from him.
    • Despite being a typical working guy, Homer has displayed some unusually high-brow tastes (especially given Springfield is a cultural graveyard, and Homer generally avoids going anywhere artsy). In "Cape Feare", Homer shows not only a fondness for The Mikado, but he can sing along to the lyrics of "Three Little Girls". In "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo", while imprisoned in Japan, he takes part in a presentation of The 47 Ronin, and complains about not getting to be a specific character. In that same episode, he also mentions that he's part of a book club back home, through which he befriended a Japanese man named Takashi who works at the zoo with the elephants.
    • He's also shown to be familiar with the mythology and traditions of other cultures. In "Lost Verizon", when the family went to Machu Picchu to find Bart (who's actually at home and just sent them on a wild goose chase), Homer finds a bush that bears a strong resemblance to his son and mistakes him for it, which he theorizes to be the work of Huēhuecoyōtl, the Aztec trickster god.
    • When Lisa tries out for a singing competition she gets intimidated by the performers with more refined vocal talent. Homer runs to a nearby piano shop and within a half hour writes a personalized Springfield song guaranteed to get the local audience cheering. He proves to be her secret weapon with a knack for developing expert routines that appeal directly to the judges and the audience.
    • Homer displays an impressive knowledge of the office of Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, name-dropping John Marshall, Charles Evans Hughes, Warren Burger and Earl Warren - although he was apparently under the impression the latter moonlighted as a male stripper - and reacting with dismay when Lisa calls David Souter a “nerd”.
    • Homer can be surprisingly charismatic and a good leader when he wants to be. In Team Homer, he proves an excellent leader of his bowling team and is able to turn them from a random group that don't get along very well into a very skilled, high functioning and supportive team, enough to win the championship. He also effortlessly leads the town in a march on city hall in Much Apu About Nothing to demand the bear patrol and later easily earns the respect and loyalty of new employees at a plant in India simply by treating them well and giving them benefits in Kiss Kiss Bang Bangalore.
    • Homer is a glutton, but he knows his food well. In Hungry, Hungry Homer, he's able to identify all three toppings on the hot dog Duff Man offers him with just a glance.
    • In The Last Barfighter, according to a piece Moe's "The Reason You Suck" Speech, the reason he comes to Moe's tavern because he's so worried about being a lousy husband/father, and goes there instead of actually trying.
    • The ending of the first "Treehouse of Horror" special could possibly indicate that he understands the words of Edgar Allan Poe better than his children, or at the very least has a better appreciation of poetry than one might expect from him. Bear in mind that Homer's fears in the Go-to-Sleep Ending takes place outside the stories, which would technically make it canon.
  • High-School Sweethearts: He and Marge began dating in high school, and while they've had a handful of falling outs across their relationship, they always inevitably end up back together.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Homer did not have the happiest upbringing, to put it mildly.
    Grampa: [in flashback] Homer, you're dumb as a mule and twice as ugly. If a strange man offers you a ride, I say take it!
    Homer: [in the modern day] Lousy traumatic childhood.
  • Hot-Blooded: Especially when he's angry.
  • Hypocritical Humor: His hypocrisy is often used as a subject of gags. Homer gets angry at Mr. Burns for failing to remember his name despite his years of service in "Who Shot Mr. Burns", yet he himself doesn't care to remember Burns' name either - "Burns' Heir" has him refer to his boss as "Mr. Kurns".
  • Hypocrisy Nod: When he gets angry at his father in "Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy"...
    Homer: He said I was an accident... he didn't want to have me.
    Marge: You didn't want to have Bart.
    Homer: I know, but you're never supposed to tell the child.
    Marge: You tell Bart all the time! You told him this morning.
    Homer: But when I do it, it's cute.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!:
    • Homer admired John F. Kennedy and dreamed of being president one day during his childhood (until his dad told him that the U.S. was specifically made so that way idiots like Homer couldn't be President). As a middle-aged man, he remarks the constant discouragement and contempt he received from his father turned him into a deadbeat.
    • He was also a talented dancer in his teen years, but after publicly screwing up due to Abe distracting him with a mean-spirited putdown, Homer lost his drive.
  • Idiot Hero: One of Western Animation's most iconic examples. He's the main hero of the show and usually gets the rest of the cast out of crises, but is incredibly dimwitted.
  • Idiot Houdini: He originally showed reasonably poor judgment, but repeated encounters have gradually turned him into this trope. However this is also downplayed, because Homer is also one of the show's prime Butt Monkeys. He can get away with his stupidity, but only when the plot calls for it. Other times, fate punishes him dearly, such as in The Simpsons Movie, where, due to his actions getting the town stuck in a dome, the townspeople attack him with torches and pitchforks and his family leaves him, forcing him to make things right again.
  • Informed Deformity:
    • He is considered extremely fat and unfit. In actuality, he only weighs 239 pounds (which has been his weight ever since "Homer's Night Out"), and he's tall (his official height was given as 6'0" in "Dumbbell Indemnity"). While he would be considered overweight according to most doctors' standards, he's not nearly as fat as the characters who comment on his weight make him out to be.
    • Peter Griffin's got him beat. In the universe of The Simpsons itself, so do Comic Book Guy, Chief Wiggum (who actually had the nerve to call Homer fat), Mayor Quimby, and the Mexican Bumblebee Man.
    • He is also said to be diabetic (from when he drank too many Starbucks Frappuccinos during his stint as lead singer of the band, Sadgasm. Marge thought Homer was a heroin addict, but those needles he had were for insulin), but we never visibly see him suffer any diabetic symptoms (though the show does seem to imply that someone can become diabetic if they eat too much sugary foods, like when Carl became a diabetic from eating Grandma Plopwell's Sugar-Packed Pudding).
    • By all the information given on his body, to say nothing of all the injuries he's taken over the years, Homer should by all rights be a physical wreck. He's overweight, a drunkard, a former smoker, constantly exposed to a high amount of radiation, enough that his bloodstream is fluorescent, had several heart attacks, and is in some instances so out of shape that even running a few feet has him scarcely able to breath. He sure doesn't show it. He lampshades at one point that future Homer is gonna have a bad time when it starts catching up to him.
    • You can't really tell when he has his shirt on, but Homer's man-boobs must be a sight to behold. It has been referenced several times that he wears a sports bra ("Days of Wine and D'oh'ses", "Marge Gamer", and "Stop, or my Dog Will Shoot"), that Marge has been saving up for his breast reduction surgery ("Yokel Chords") and that after starving himself, he's down to a B-cup ("Hungry, Hungry Homer").
  • Informed Flaw: His IQ is 55 (then became 105 when he got the crayon out of his head), meaning that, much like Peter Griffin on Family Guy, he's legally classified as being intellectually disabled. As a child he was smart as a monkey, then became dumb as a chimp, either from drinking at a young age ("Lisa's Sax" showed that he and Barney drank when they were kids and caused a tricycle wreck), the crayon that got lodged in his head, or the Simpson gene (which makes all male Simpsons stupid, while their female counterparts stay smart, though that leaves the question of how Homer's half-brother, Herb, became rich and successful if he carries one of Abe's Y-chromosomes).
  • Inner Monologue: Homer converses with his brain often, turning monologues into full-on conversations. Interestingly enough, his brain has to act as the sensible one of the two.
    Brain: What the hell are you doing?
    Homer: Don't yell at me, brain! This happened on your watch! You have two jobs: thinking and bladder control!
    Brain: I'm doing the best with what I got. All you feed me is reality shows!
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • Homer would never intentionally do anything to hurt Marge's feelings. Key word being "intentionally". He routinely does just because he doesn't realise that's what he's doing.
    • Also in the episode "Cape Fear" Homer rushes into Bart's room twice (after they were put into witness protection after Sideshow Bob threatened them with death), once with a butcher knife to cut him a brownie and the other time wearing a Hockey Mask and Chainsaw, to show off his hockey mask and chainsaw.
    • He's this to Frank Grimes in "Homer's Enemy". He is inconsiderate and rude without realizing it, and tries to behave better after Marge calls him out on it in order to befriend Grimes.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Sometimes. In one episode he tells Marge he has no idea why she likes him and is aware she can do much better.
  • Insufferable Imbecile: Depending on the Writer, he's either this or a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. He's stupid, lazy, and prone to jokes at others' expense (just ask Flanders).
  • Invincible Incompetent: Depending on the Writer. He may not advance much in life, but he very rarely wants to and he's always retained his status quo while many other more competent people have lost it all (sometimes thanks to him).
  • Ironic Name: The most famous bearer of the name Homer other than the Simpson patriarch is the famous Greek poet who authored The Iliad and The Odyssey and is credited as pretty much the founder of ancient Greek literature. Homer Simpson... is not like that. At all.
  • It's All About Me: Zigzagged. Homer endlessly causes chaos because of his selfishness, though he also has several unbelievable displays of self sacrifice and compassion. One episode had him walk out on a favor for Marge to buy a lottery ticket. When he actually wins however, his first instinct is to spend it all on his family. He even volunteered becoming a circus act instead of the octuplets in a situation where snakes are biting him.
  • It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: His opinion on the Thanksgiving depicted in "Behind the Laughter" (held during a feud between the family). "I mean, emotionally, it was terrible, but the turkey was so moist!"
  • I Was Quite a Looker: He was slim, trim, clean shaven and had a full head of hair back in high school, all of which made him much more conventionally attractive than he is now.
  • Jack of All Trades: He has done so many things over the years, there's no way he can't be a Jack of All Trades.
  • Jaded Washout: Homer has plenty to regret in life, but is usually just too light-hearted to let it get him down. He always admits at the end that he also has loads to be proud of.
  • Jerkass to One:
    • While Homer is overall not a very pleasant person, he straight up despises Ned Flanders, his good-hearted, religious neighbor, and outright fantasizes about Ned suffering in horrible ways.
    • Also to Bart. He's never physically or (at least voluntarily) mentally abusive to Lisa, Maggie, or Marge (in one episode he's even Driven to Suicide at the idea of having been violent to and actually hurt Marge). With Bart, it's different, since he often strangles him as a Running Gag, is deliberately neglectful in general, and in several occasions it's mentioned that he has no problem telling Bart that he was an accident right to his face.
    • Though they don't interact much, Homer seems to dislike Milhouse. Every time he sees him, Homer insults Milhouse and has never really had a moment of kindness towards him (like he has several times with Flanders), often referring to Milhouse as "that wiener kid".
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Though he's the Trope Namer for Jerkass, Homer has always had moments of either being a horrible person, or extremely caring. In later seasons, he recreates his first date with Marge so she'll fall for him all over again, repeatedly turns down sex so he can read to Lisa, gets very involved in making Bart a good student and making Lisa popular, lives in a terribly cramped apartment by himself so his kids can go to a good school, etc.
    • The movie shows this in spades and they went through numerous rewrites to portray Homer as sympathetic, but also make him such a selfish jackass that when Marge decides to leave him, he realizes to his horror that he has definitely gone too far. It ends up causing him to immediately snap out of his bravado and vow to save the town, despite the odds, because he needs to do it in order to win his family back. Homer even admits that he honestly can't live without them.
  • Karma Houdini: He rarely receives a punishment when he strangles Bart, even for the smallest things. He also has had many bad things happen to him because of his jerkish moments, including ending in prison and on the verge of divorce, but things have always returned to normal by episode's end.
    • Homer is never shown to suffer the same Laser-Guided Karma of Elder Abuse as his father does in the future episodes. The timeline of "Holidays Of Future Passed" even downplays Homer’s abuse of Bart using Grandparent Favoritism while still presenting Abe as an emotionally abusive jerk.
  • Kavorka Man: While the show goes to great lengths to explain why Marge loves him, and frequently shows their marital problems, several other women have instantly been attracted to him for no apparent reason. Of course, his actual level of attractiveness does tend to zigzag between "hunk gone to seed" and "shaved gorilla" from episode to episode.
  • Keeping the Handicap: In the episode HOMR, he discovers that he has a crayon inside his brain that he stuck up his nose as a child, and after having it removed, he becomes significantly more intelligent. Unfortunately, this intelligence comes at the cost of being ostracised by his friends and co-workers, and at the end of the episode he asks for it to be put back in so he can go back to being his old, dumb, likable self.
  • Kev Lard: Homer is overweight and can take tons of punishment.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: Homer on his better days is worthy of this title. He generally is this at the end of the day when he comes through to show his love to his family, even if his idiocy is a main cause of conflict.

  • Lack of Empathy: At his worst, he can be unsympathetic to others' well-being.
  • Large Ham: Homer is undeniably an incredibly loud, animated, and larger-than-life individual.note 
  • Lazy Husband: Most of the time he's a couch-dweller, though he'll get his act together when needed.
  • Lethal Chef: In addition to not being very bright Homer can't cook for crap either. Marge remembers in one episode that the last time Homer tried to cook her anything the fish he served turned out to be still alive and the lobsters pinched him when he tried to cook them. And then of course there was the time he acted as Mr. Burns' assistant and not only smashed his fist into a microwave in an attempt to cook some food, instead of just opening the microwave door and putting the food inside, but he also somehow set a bowl of cereal on fire.
  • Lethally Stupid: He almost causes a catastrophe of nuclear proportions several times throughout the show. On one occasion, he manages to cause a nuclear meltdown in a simulator truck that didn't even have any nuclear material.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Always wears a white shirt with a collar and blue pants, he may include a tie if he is at work. One episode dealt with his blue pants getting damaged and he goes on a journey to find a proper replica.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Surprisingly, "Jaws Wired Shut" implies Homer is such to Marge. For all his faults and atrocities Marge has to put up with, they give her all the adrenaline she needs in life. When Homer actually made a legitimate effort to mellow out, Marge found the normal life dull and became restless and impulsive, almost killing herself in a wacky stunt of her own.
  • Loser Protagonist: To the very deepest degree. Bald, out of shape, constantly drinking at Moe's, works at a nuclear factory for Mr. Burns, a world-case dope (and when he briefly changed that, he so alienated all but one of his family and friends that he was forced to re-cause brain damage), incredibly clumsy, a bad luck magnet, lacks common sense, the Butt-Monkey, has to deal with Ned Flanders as his neighbor and the permanent effect of accidentally killing his wife, Maude, he's the subject of ridicule, especially with Marge's sisters, throttles his son Bart at the drop of a hat, and on top of all that, his father and mother have split up and he's suffered through it all his life. Even worse yet, when he reunites with his mother, she dies. The good news is, Marge loves him deeply and the two manage to resolve their arguments no matter what the case.
  • Loser Son of Loser Dad: As Bart points out, Homer is on both ends of this trope, being the son of the loser Abe, and having a loser son in Bart.
  • Lost Food Grievance: A particular Berserk Button among many, to say the least.
  • Loving Parent, Cruel Parent: Downplayed. While Homer and Marge are both overall portrayed as loving if flawed parents to their children, Homer unlike Marge is iconically physically abusive towards Bart, which is often played for comedy.
  • Made of Iron:
    • One of Homer's more consistent traits is that he can take a beating. In "The Homer They Fall" Dr. Hibbert explains to Homer that he has an extra-thick layer of fluid around his brain, making him very resistant to head injuries. He also traveled with a freak show for a while because of his ability to survive being shot in the stomach by a cannon. And he more-or-less has survived working at a blatantly unsafe power plant, and no less than four heart attacks.
    • Discussed on an episode of Mythbusters. The scene of Homer strapping himself to a wrecking-ball in Sideshow Bob Roberts was tested by Adam and Jamie to see if Homer's girth could be used to cushion the blow of a wrecking-ball. The results showed that on its own, the wrecking-ball did noticeable damage to their control variable. After strapping on their full-size and weight accurate Homer replica to the ball, no damage was dealt to both the test variable or Homer.
  • Mad Libs Catch Phrase:
    • "Mmmm, [blank]." (usually a food item or an adjective for a food item)
    • "[blank], eh?".
  • Magnetic Hero: On far too many occasions to list, Homer tends to convince people to go along with his ideas, regardless of how dangerous or unstable they might be.
  • Manchild: He was originally just a stereotypical Bumbling Dad but eventually developed into, in the show's own words, "a drunken, childish buffoon". A combination of low intelligence, emotional immaturity brought on by a neglectful father and absent mother, and simple Character Development turned him into this trope.
  • Mangled Catch Phrase: When auditioning for Mr. Burns' movie: "Exactly. Heh, heh... D'oh!"
  • Manic Pixie Dream Guy: For all of Marge's complaining, it's occasionally shown, or at least implied, that she does secretly enjoy Homer's antics.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Several "Treehouse of Horror" sketches revolve around his stupidity causing apocalyptic damage.
  • The Millstone: If he ever tags along on some sort of job or misadventure, he's guaranteed to become this. In some episodes (like "Boy Scoutz N' The Hood") he's at least able to redeem himself in the end.
  • A Mistake Is Born:
  • Mood-Swinger: In general Homer's mood can fluctuate from being sad and depressed, to angry, to joyfully happy at the drop of a hat with little to no provocation.
    • Parodied in one episode. Homer takes sleeping pills to sleep well through the night and Lisa reads off the side-effects, one which is Mood Swings. Cue Homer repeatedly saying "Mood Swings" in various moods.
    • Another example is when Homer ends up trapped in his car after driving into the edge of a cliff after Bart outruns him one too many times. Bart then reluctantly comes to his rescue. The following exchange occurs:
      Homer: Boy, push down on the bumper! Then I can back the car up and save myself!
      Bart: Hmm. If I save you, what are you gonna do to me?
      Homer: Shower you with love, because this experience has taught me just how precious you are.
      [Bart pushes down on the rear car bumper, Homer suddenly goes berserk]
      [Bart lifts the car up and glowers at him]
      Homer: [calmly] Kidding! I'm kidding. We can do that, we have a special friendship.
      [Bart pushes the car down again and Homer immediately goes back into rage mode; he continues to slip back and forth between anger and tranquility as Bart, with a smug grin, simultaneously lifts and pushes the car]
      Homer: I'm gonna DOUBLE-KILL YOU! THEN I'M GONNA BURY YOU IN A SHALLOW GRAVE! THEN I'LL DIG YOU UP AND KILL YOU AGAIN—THAT'S THE BEAUTY OF A SHALLOW GRAVE! [car up] You sweet little angel, Oh, I'm [car down] GONNA RIP YOUR HEAD OFF, AND SPIT [car up] down your adorable little neck, because I [car down] WANNA SMASH YOUR LITTLE STUPID HEAD! [car up] Oh, but I love you, we'll go on a fishing trip. [car down] BUT FIRST I'M GONNA PUT YOU IN A SAWMILL, THEN PUNCH YOUR LITTLE FACE OUT! THAT'S WHAT I'M GONNA DO!
  • Mother F-Bomb: In "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson", he mutters one while trying to gnaw the boot off of his car, a Throw It In! by Dan Castellaneta.
  • Motor Mouth: He tends to talk really fast under stress, such as in "King Size Homer".
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Tracey Ullman era.
  • Mr. Imagination: He has had several fantasies about solving his real life problems. This includes life under the sea, robbing the Kwik-E-Mart or living in a chocolate land.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: He is an alcoholic, temperamental, lazy, glutton. But his heart is in the right place, and he'll go to incredible lengths to protect his family.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In "When Flanders Failed" Homer wishes for Flanders' new Leftorium store to go bust. When he gets his wish, he is guilt-ridden and sets about trying to save the store.
  • Multiple-Choice Past:
    • How did he lose his hair? Early episodes give several reasons;
      • Military experimentation he volunteered for just to get out of visiting Patty and Selma.
      • Ripping parts of his hair out each time he found out that Marge was pregnant.
      • Male Pattern Baldness.
      • Stress, caused by The Boy (when Bart's at Kamp Krusty, Homer regrows one hair. It promptly falls out when he sees Bart is the ringleader of the camp revolt).
    • How he got a job at the power plant, despite not even being qualified for his job. Some of the changes are to account for the show's long length.
      • One early episode says he only got the job because of a Ford-era project called "Operation: Bootstrap".
      • "I Married Marge" has him simply signing up in 1980.
      • "Homer's Enemy" has Lenny tell Frank Grimes Homer just turned up the day they opened the plant, even when by Homer's own admission he had no idea (and still doesn't) what a nuclear power plant even is.
    • Why is Homer an idiot? Depending on the different episodes, different answers are given.
      • "Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie" implies that Homer ended up getting brain damage from holding his breath after his father refused to give him a catcher's mitt and then banging his head on the coffee table.
      • "Lisa the Simpson" says that idiocy is genetic in the Simpson family.
      • Finally, "HOMR" states that Homer lost his intelligence after shoving a crayon up his nose and getting stuck in his brain.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Is naked in several scenes, and it's all played for laughs.
  • Never My Fault: In "Kidney Trouble", when his dad's kidney explodes because of Homer refusing to stop at a rest area during a family road trip, Homer refuses to take the blame when Marge holds him accountable for Grampa's fate, instead sarcastically acknowledging his fault.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Some of the jobs he gets tend to be a result of the writers making a broader, Springfield focused story but still wanting to keep some focus on the family. "Marge Vs. The Monorail" and "The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show" are notable examples of this.
  • New Job Episode: Many episodes, especially in later seasons, revolve around Homer getting a new job. Lampshaded in "Poppa's Got A Brand New Badge":
    Homer: I've had a lot of jobs in my life: boxer, mascot, astronaut, baby proofer, imitation Krusty, truck driver, hippie, plow driver, food critic, conceptual artist, grease salesman, carny, mayor, grifter, bodyguard for the mayor, country western manager, garbage commissioner, mountain climber, farmer, inventor, Smithers, Poochie, celebrity assistant, power plant worker, fortune cookie writer, beer baron, Kwik-E-Mart clerk, homophobe, and missionary".note 
  • Nice Mean And In Between: On a meta-note, for the three main Fox dads, he is the In-Between to Peter Griffin's Mean and Bob Belcher's Nice.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Dan Castellaneta described his voice in the early days as a bad Walter Matthau impression.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: When he tries to do right it's usually gonna end up with him in pain or trouble, which he even lampshades when Fat Tony puts a hit on him for stopping his racket and the town leaves him alone to fend for himself.
  • No Indoor Voice: Hoo boy, is he a loudmouth.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • Subverted in an episode when Homer is playing poker with Lenny, Carl and Moe at Lenny's house. He draws four cards and curses his bad hand, before poorly trying to bluff the other players. Lenny and Carl fold, but Moe knows that Homer is bluffing and calls. Homer then reveals that he has a straight flush, and Moe becomes so frustrated at Homer beating him that he ends up choking on his own rage. It looks as though Homer cleverly tricked Moe into playing the hand, but the next morning he tells the family that he didn't even realize he was winning.
    • In another episode he reveals to Lisa that he does experiments on animals.
    • A deleted scene in Mother Simpson has Homer tell his mother he works at the Springfield Nuclear power plant, much to her disappointment (he's working for the man she had to abandon her family over). He then assures her he doesn't work very hard, before whispering that he's actually bringing the place down from the inside.
  • Obsessed with Food: A recurring theme is his appetite for junk food.
  • Omniglot: Has spoken German (he can sing "99 Luftballoons" in its original German language and knows German verb conjugations), Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and penguin. This is never explained.
    Brad: Wake up Homer, those Powersauce bars are just junk! They're made of apple cores and Chinese newspapers!
    Homer: [squinting at bar] Hey, Deng Xiaoping died.
  • Only in It for the Money: Basically the only reason Homer sticks around at the power plant at all (when he's actually there) is to earn enough money to provide for his family, and particularly Maggie.
  • Only Six Faces: Homer's facial features are the most commonly seen in the series. He's got a half-brother and half-sister who look like him, along with two high-class doppelgangers wandering around town and when he puts on clown makeup he can easily pass for Krusty the Clown even among people who know Krusty personally. In one episode he even lampshades the fact that he and Krusty without his make-up look alike and questions why the "universe is so lazy."
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: If the jovial, slow-witted Large Ham is staring you down with shrunken irises and speaking in a straight, menacing baritone, you've crossed a MAJOR line.
  • Opposites Attract: With Marge. Homer is fat, stupid, and behaves wildly whereas Marge is thin, smart, and has a very boring personality. Homer even wonders if Marge is his soulmate in El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer since they are such different people, but he realizes that she is in the end.
  • Organ Autonomy: Homer often frequently argues with his brain, which somehow thinks independently of the rest of him, and is usually more on the ball. Other episodes have shown other body parts can do the same (his liver would prefer it if Homer stopped drinking), but don't usually contribute as much.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Call him what you want, Homer still cares about his kids. He's willing to become a helicopter parent for them, steal chocolate eggs for his baby daughter, return to his lousy job just to make Maggie's dreams come true, throw a pie at a guy mocking Lisa...
    • In regards to Lisa, he is such a Papa Wolf that he'll even defend her honor against Marge. A notable of this was in the episode "$pringfield (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)," when, thanks to Marge's gambling addiction, she forgot to help Lisa with her costume (Florida) for a school play despite promising to do so. Suffice to say, Homer was quite angered, to the extent that he drove over to the casino, located Marge, and then started shouting at her in nonsense before he shouts that he's angry because Marge broke a promise she made to her daughter.
    • While he'll usually strangle Bart (though oftentimes the boy has it coming), there are moments Homer will move heaven and earth for him. He has spearheaded an effort to dig Bart out after Bart fell down a well, took some nasty physical punishment while disguised to be a battle-robot that Bart controlled, and forced crooked T-shirt manufacturer Goose Gladwell, who cheated Bart out of the ideas he'd come up with for T-shirt slogans, by threatening Goose with a portable nuclear fission reactor that he made himself for Lisa's science fair project until Goose paid Bart the money he deserved. It should be noted that if somebody else so much as even looks at Bart the wrong way, they're gonna suffer Homer's wrath.
      Homer: Why don't you [jailed delinquents] pick on someone bigger than you who has this? [draws a gun]
  • Parental Favoritism: Homer makes it very clear his favorite child is Lisa. He thinks of Bart as the bane of existence and often forgets Maggie even exists.
  • Parental Neglect: Homer has such little interactions with Maggie that he forgets that she exists. The rare occasions the show takes to focus on their relationship, subsequently, end up as heartwarming by contrast.
  • Parents as People: Homer often has realizations that he is a terrible parent, but is usually too bogged down by his own stupidity to do anything about it.
  • Parting-Words Regret: In the episode "Mona Leaves-a", Homer blows up on his mother Mona, chewing her out for never being there for him and constantly putting her various agendas ahead of her own son. Later that night, Homer calms down and makes her an apology card... only to find that she died sometime during the night.
  • Perma-Stubble:
    • His beard muzzle/mouth. In the early episodes, it always grew back three seconds after he shaved it off. In his teen years, he didn't have it, and it's not really explained at what age Homer got it (it can be implied that it was around the time he got out of high school and was still dating Marge).
    • His stubble is so permanent that when he grows a goatee he doesn't just shave one from his existing facial hair but grows one through it.
    • The gag about his stubble growing back was revisited in Season 27's "Teenage Mutant Milk-caused Hurdles", where he learns that he's been using his razor with the plastic case still over the blade. He gives himself a proper shave and discovers that he has a manly chin underneath. He tries to show this to Marge (who was helping Lisa with her acne problem), only for the stubble to grow back just as Marge turns to look.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • After Ned's wife dies, Homer tries being a shoulder to cry on.
    • He repeatedly demonstrates loyalty to his wife.
  • Phrase Catcher: Overlaps with Mad Libs Catch Phrase in this exchange between Mr. Burns and Smithers.
    "Smithers! who is that [insult involving Antiquated Linguistics]?
    "That's Homer Simpson, sir, one of your [condescending noun] from Sector 7-G."
    "Simpson, eh?"
  • The Pig-Pen: He not only looks like an ape, he smells like one too.
  • Ping Pong Naïveté: His stupidity is seasoned with odd Author Filibuster moments of uncharacteristic eloquence.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero:
    • This was the entire point of the episode "Homer's Phobia". Homer Simpson was incredibly homophobic, which was shown after he met John, but did mellow a bit after John saved his life. John summed it up rather well at the end:
    John: Well, Homer, I won your respect, and all I had to do was save your life. Now, if every gay man could just do the same, you'd be set.
    • In the much later episode "There's Something About Marrying", he was, unlike Reverend Lovejoy, willing to perform gay weddings, although he primarily did it for money and was originally against it (as he carried a sign that said "death before gay wedding"). Also, while estranged from Marge, he was comfortable living with a homosexual couple in Springfield's Gay Village, although it was the only decent living space he could find.
    • Homer also has a "forgive my intolerance" banner that he finds a good investment.
    • Homer straddles the line between this and Innocent Bigot. He often comes across as culturally insensitive but he's very rarely malicious, and he will apologise if he realises that he's offended someone. The few times he has been genuinely hateful, such as towards a Muslim family or undocumented immigrants, he is usually whipped up by his equally ignorant friends, or occasionally manipulated by the media or politicians.
  • Prematurely Bald: In "The Way We Was", Homer's hair started falling out when he was in high school.
  • Prone to Tears: Tends to break into hysterics very easily. Discussed in "To Cur With Love".
    Bart: You're the only one who hasn't cried about the dog.
    Homer: Not a crier.
    Lisa: What?! You cry all the time! You cried when they cancelled that show you hated!
    Homer: Goofing on it made me feel wise.
  • The Protagonist: While the members of the Simpson family all get their time in the spotlight, Homer will basically always be involved in the main plot of an episode regardless of whether or not he's the focus of it. He's also generally front and center in promotional art and advertisements. He was not always this, however, as earlier seasons tended to focus primarily on Bart.
  • Pushover Parents: Zig-zagged. He strangles Bart on a regular basis, but rarely gives him any other punishments and caves in easier than Marge does. He's not very good at coming up with actual punishments, as shown in "Marge Be Not Proud"; his idea of punishing Bart for shoplifting amounts to not letting him leave the house even for school, denying him eggnog, and forbidding him from stealing for three months. This is addressed in "Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie", where Homer has a difficult time doling out any kind of punishment with a cool head and gives Bart pizza after Marge sent him to bed without any. After a few attempts (including a part where Bart tears up the carpet in front of him, and he just sits there doing nothing about it), Homer finally puts his foot down. He also once "punished" Lisa for lying to Marge by sending her to the Kwik-E-Mart to get him snacks, then gave her money to spend on herself.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He drives a pink Sedan, typically wears a pink tie, adores pink-frosted donuts, and played tea party with Lisa to cheer her up. This didn't work out so well when Homer was forced to wear a pink T-shirt to work (which was the result of Bart putting his lucky red cap in the wash with the white clothes) and (thanks to that and letting Bart fill out his psychiatric evaluation form) ended up in a mental hospital.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: While he is sometimes portrayed as a crack shot, other times (well, mostly) he'll fit this trope instead, which is why Marge tends to confiscate and bury them immediately. An example is when he buys a handgun and uses it for the most menial of tasks, such as getting something down from a cupboard instead of simply fetching a chair; later in the same episode, he freaks out the NRA of all people as they say he's completely nuts. On one occasion, he fired a handgun at his chest while he was wearing body armour, which left him going between grunts of pain and surprised giggles; everybody else is cowering behind cover and most of the glass cases have been shattered.
  • Renamed the Same: Learning his true middle name is "Jay", instead of just "J".
  • Running Gag: In the early seasons Homer would often mention that some event in the episode is his lifelong dream and Marge would remind him that his lifelong dream had already been fulfilled and it'd be different every time with an example of what it was.
  • The Runt at the End: He often arrives at the family's couch last in the iconic Couch Gags, and usually not without some type of injury or misfortune.
  • Sad Clown: He had a rough childhood, is seen as a loser by friends and family alike and is frequently unhappy with his life. This is either ignored or played for laughs, but it is occasionally used for drama.
    • Homer's attempted suicide at least three times in the show's run, and once described Bart as "like me, before the weight of the world crushed my spirit."
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: A high-pitched, grating "AHHH!".
  • Seduction-Proof Marriage: Even at his absolute worst, one line that's never been crossed is that he has never cheated on Marge, despite having a shockingly large amount of women fall in love with him over the years. And the rare occasions where he is genuinely tempted to do so horrify him.
  • Selective Enforcement: In the Tracey Ullman shorts and early series episodes, Lisa was just as bratty and dysfunctional as Bart, though Homer tended to only target Bart for discipline. This was excused by the creative team, they were apparently much more uneasy when offered gags with Homer strangling and comically abusing Lisa compared to Bart.
    • In "Today I Am A Clown", not only did Homer decide to listen to Lisa's suggestions on how to improve his talk show over Bart's, but when her ideas for topics ended up alienating his viewer base, instead of being upset with Lisa he attacks Bart, who chides him for listening to her in the first place.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Ned Flanders' Sensitive Guy.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With his half-brother Herb.
  • Signature Laugh: While in the original dub Homer has a normal laugh, in the Italian dub, to make "his" Homer more personal, Tonino Accolla gives him a distinct laugh: Dehihohoho.
  • Simple-Minded Wisdom: Within the show's long run, Homer, within all his moronic behaviour, has displayed rather palpable showings of obscure intellect or clarity. He can even give fatherly advice to Bart every now and then.
  • Simpleton Voice: He has a funny, goofy-sounding voice. It has been stated that Dan Castellaneta tried to mimic Walter Matthau's voice in the first season, but he couldn't get the inflection quite right, so he modified it from the second season onward.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Depending on the Writer. Sometimes he only has eyes for Marge and doesn't realise when beautiful women are hitting on him. Other times he has shown attraction to other women (or even men occasionally).
  • Solid Cartoon Facial Stubble: The brown section around Homer's mouth is suggested to be a beard. Homer is explicitly shown shaving it at one point, though it grows back within seconds.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The show's early seasons had a balanced focus between the main members of the family, but Homer eventually took over as the main focus due to his wild antics.
  • Stone Wall: He isn't physically fit, and his fighting ability fluctuates depending on the episode, but his damage resistance is always shown to be extremely high, usually for comedic reasons.
  • Stout Strength: He isn't physically fit and he hates working out (he doesn't even know how to pronounce the word "gym"), but he's one of the physically strongest characters.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: A non-super variant; Homer's athletic ability depends on what the writers need for that episode. In "The Homer They Fall," when Homer is training to be a boxer, one of his punches can't even kill a fly that lands on Moe's training glove, and he's often shown out of breath after the smallest amount of physical activity. However, Acrofatic and Stout Strength are also on his trope list.
  • Super Serum: Beer has this effect on him in at least one episode.
  • Sweet Tooth: He sure loves donuts.
  • Taking Advantage of Generosity: Especially when borrowing stuff from Flanders.
  • Tattoo as Character Type: Parodied, he's had 4 canonical tattoos but they are either never revealed or just used once as a gag.
    • Cape Feare: Bart somehow managed to tattoo the words "Wide Load" above his buttocks, an obvious reference to his weight.
    • Round Springfield: He revealed to Lisa that he has a tattoo on his arm, but is dismayed when he realized that the tattoo was of "Starland Vocal Band".
    • The Ten-Per-Cent Solution: He starts panicking when his pants start tearing because he fears people will see his tattoo of "Donald Duck smoking a doob".
    • Waiting for Duffman: he is shown to have a tattoo on his back that says "Marge madness". This is a reference to the phrase "March Madness". Which was a brand name for the "NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament". The term "March Madness" came from the idiomatic phrase "(As) mad as a March hare", which was based on the amorousness of male hares during mating season. Implying that Marge makes him so aroused that he can't control himself.
  • Terrible Artist: When Bart was young, Homer tried to build a Krusty the Clown-themed bed for him, but ended up making a terrifying monstrosity of a clown bed. The next day, Bart was curling up in the fetal position downstairs and repeatedly muttering, "Can't sleep, clown will eat me..."
  • They Killed Kenny Again: He dies in many Couch Gags and Treehouse of Horror segments.
  • Thinks of Something Smart, Says Something Stupid: This is a Running Gag with Homer, whose relationship with his own brain is... shall we say, adversarial.
    • A classic example from "Brother From The Same Planet".
      Big Brothers Employee: And what are your reasons for wanting a little brother?
      Homer's Brain: Don't say revenge. Don't say revenge.
      Homer: Uh... revenge.
      Homer's Brain: That's it, I'm gettin' out of here. [sounds of walking away, followed by a door slamming]
    • Hilariously, the employee checks "revenge" off on her list.
    • "Treehouse of Terror VI" segment "Homer Cubed": Homer is awed by the sight of the Third Dimension.
      Homer's Brain: O, Glory of Glories. O, heavenly testament to the eternal majesty of God's Creation.
      Homer: Holy macaroni!
    • In "Marge in Chains," Mr. Burns finds Homer sitting in a secret private chamber eating a sandwich. Burns furiously demands to know who he is.
      Homer's Brain: Don't panic. Just come up with a good story.
      Homer: My name is Mr. Burns.
      Homer's Brain: D'OH!
  • This Loser Is You: A textbook example. He's a colossal loser out of stupidity, laziness and bad luck.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Homer's extreme stupidity has frequently given him Amusing Injuries or placed him in life-threatening situations. Sometimes taken to its logical conclusion in the non-canon Treehouse of Horror episodes, where his foolish mistakes may end up killing him.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Homer started out stupid, but not really more so than anyone else. The creators admitted that he was made stupider with each passing season to try to outdo what came before and remain fresh. (This trend ended at the start of Season 13, where the writers made a conscious effort to make him smarter.)
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: The Mike Scully era exaggerated his stupidity and callousness. Things weren't better when Al Jean took over, as he became more callous than before (namely in the pre-HD episodes), but toned down in seasons 20 beyond (when the episodes were HD).
  • Took a Level in Kindness:
    • In season 1, he was angry and grumpy all the time but becomes sweeter after season 2, though his angry personality still sometimes surfaces up (usually whenever Bart makes him mad). When the show's Flanderization kicked in, he Took a Level in Jerkass, especially in the Mike Scully years. Now, Depending on the Writer, he occasionally snaps back to being nice, then back to a jerk, etc.
    • As of Season 31, Homer has lost most of his jerkish traits and is consistently portrayed as a loving father and husband who always tries to do what's best for his family.
    • He's become far nicer to Bart. He used to strangle Bart far more frequently, was far more strict as a parent and often contemptuously referred to Bart as "the Boy" instead of his name. Naturally, this has changed over the years, as public opinion on physical discipline, and increased awareness of the existence of mental/emotional abuse has made that kind of parenting seem downright criminal and extremely abusive.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: A literal example as he was the one who introduced his friend Barney Gumble to beer right before the SAT exam and made him into an alcoholic.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Early episodes, it was pork chops and doughnuts. Later episodes, it was just doughnuts (though recent episodes like "Left Behind" and "Throw Grampa From the Dane" have been taking pork chops back into account), though Homer's appetite doesn't discriminate (see Extreme Omnivore).
  • Tranquil Fury: When Homer's normally Large Ham, Played for Laughs Hair-Trigger Temper is replaced with this, you better do like Bart and Lisa did in "Who Shot Mr. Burns" and run like hell.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Ugly Guy to Marge's Hot Wife, though Marge's attractiveness was not intended to be so obvious (the beehive hairdo makes her look much older than she is). However, Homer has usually been shown to have been far more attractive in his younger years when he first started dating Marge, and there is some indication that if Homer managed to grow more hair and take better care of himself, he'd actually be fairly attractive.
  • Unaffected by Spice: Established in "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer). At Springfield's annual chili cook-off, it's revealed that Homer is renowned for being able to eat extremely hot food. Chief Wiggum's chili made of Guatemalan insanity peppers is too much even for him. However, once he coats his mouth with wax, he swallows several of those peppers whole and wins the chili-eating competition. Zig-zagged when Homer gets a different adverse reaction: hallucinations.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Will quite happily go along with any ethically or legally questionable Zany Scheme that comes his way.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Homer is selfish, short-tempered and can sometimes be abusive towards his wife and children, and his reckless stupidity causes many of the problems on the show.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Homer has done this a few times. Granted, sometimes the doom came from things nobody could have reasonably foreseen.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: While he can definitely be a hero nowadays, he was an absolute sweetheart as a kid before his mother left him and getting beaten down by his Abusive Dad.
  • Villain Protagonist: On his worst days. While "Jerkass Homer" is most commonly associated with the Mike Scully era and onwards, it definitely still happened prior - One of the most extreme examples was "Homer the Vigilante", where he ran a Vigilante Militia that effectively amounted to a violent gang.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Flanders. Homer may openly claim he hates Flanders, but the amount of times that Homer has helped him out of the fire and vice-versa, makes it clear they really are the only people in Springfield who can count on the other for support.
  • Vocal Evolution:
    • He started off with a deeper, mumbling Walter Matthau-esque voice in the shorts, which evolved into a gruffer but "dopier" voice over the first few years of the show. By season 3 he got higher pitched and talked faster with a lisp, and it's essentially stayed that way since. This change is the most significant among the main family, it's hard to believe it is the same voice actor.
    • In the later seasons (approximately from Season 30) onwards, Homer's voice sounds noticeably aged and strained, a side effect of Dan Castellaneta's doing the voice for almost 40 years.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: While he definitely neglects Grampa, it's implied that it's due to his own neglect as a child. Occasionally Homer demonstrates he really does want his father's approval and on one occasion when Grampa angrily called him "an accident", Homer kicked him out of the car, left him in the middle of nowhere, then completely stopped speaking to him for several weeks.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Peter Griffin. During the Griffins' visit to Springfield, Homer and Peter became best friends, only to end up falling out when Duff successfully sued Pawtucket Patriot Ale for intellectual theft and patent infringement. In the end, they admit they respect each other, yet agree to stay away from each other.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Many characters have asked why Marge, a kind, intelligent, attractive woman chose to marry fat, lazy Homer. Obviously the viewers know why, and it's also worth noting that they met as teenagers, when Homer was thinner, had hair and was considered decently attractive.
  • We Want Our Idiot Back!: A self-inflicted version in the episode "HOMЯ" when Homer becomes smarter by getting a crayon that was embedded in his brain (a childhood accident) removed, he becomes increasingly fed up with the loneliness that said intelligence is bringing to him (mostly by making everybody else in town, who are highly anti-intellectual, to shun him). In the end he gets the crayon embedded in his brain again, bringing his smarts back down to their regular level of idiocy (a move that he knows perfectly well will make him less loved by Lisa - he even writes in the letter he makes for her before the procedure that he's sorry for "taking the coward's way out").
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: When Homer takes up a new career or hobby, there's often no reference to how it affects his regular job at the power plant. Carl lampshades it when Homer dashes off to begin his scheme to invest his family's life savings on motion-capture technology:
    Carl: So does he still work here or what?
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: It's been shown multiple times that Homer has arachnophobia.
    • In the episode "Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily" where he panics when a spider appears next to his keys.
    • In "Treehouse of Horror XXII", he panics when he realizes that the spider Halloween decoration was a real black widow spider and panics again when a second spider appears later in the episode.
    • Finally, in "Mobile Homer", he's unsettled by the sight of a spider when he's asked by Marge to kill the spiders in the garage and gets into a frenzy when more spiders attack him.
  • With Friends Like These...: He can be disloyal to his friends sometimes.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He has no problem throttling Bart, even when he was a baby. He also sucker punched a baby dolphin, albeit for biting Lisa after she took a can ring off its nose.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: To his credit, he never (intentionally) abuses Marge physically, even in circumstances Marge has outright assaulted him, Homer does not fight back. He also never engages in the same manhandling he does to Bart as he does to Lisa or Maggie, even when they do misbehave as badly (allegedly this was because the writers didn't think the same choking Running Gag translated as well to his daughters). In terms of unintentional harm however, Homer sometimes puts the girls through the wringer just as often.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In the episode "Homer Goes to College," Homer is convinced his college experience will be exactly like the party atmosphere college is often depicted as in movies, not realizing he's in a satire that thoroughly subverts the trope.
  • Wrong Line of Work: Due to laziness and lack of motivation, Homer is largely incompetent at his job at the power plant, either being the source of many problems that occur there or making existing ones worse. And he's the safety inspector. It's hard to think of a worse job for someone like him. Many episodes show he is rather skilled at a great deal of other professions, like being a referee, a chess master, or a bodyguard, to name a few.
  • Younger Than They Look: In the earlier seasons, he was only 34 years old, despite easily passing for a man in his late forties at least. Later seasons aged him up to 40 because the writers couldn't imagine being older than Homer. An amnesiac Marge actually believed he was her uncle given how damaged he looks.
  • You're Not My Father: Downplayed. Bart frequently calls his dad "Homer", but not always. He also casually calls him "Dad", probably just as often.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Simpsons Homer Jay Simpson


"Want a beer?"

Before Barney Gumble became Springfield's town drunk, he was once an intelligent, Harvard-bound student before his high school friend Homer Simpson gave him his very first beer on the night before he was due to take his SATs, and the rest is history.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom

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