Ready for a full-on dose of fan theory-fueled insanity? Then strap in for this doozy of a head-scratcher.
Why have the Simpsons never aged, despite time clearly progressing around them (new pop culture, celebrities, products, etc.)? How can a guy like Homer manage to do all of the crazy things he’s done in his life, and still end up in the same job, city, and heck, even the same house for the past two decades?
Well, maybe because all of it is just happening inside Homer’s head.
A Reddit post is currently making the rounds that brings up some very intriguing points. Check it out:
In the 1992 episode Homer The Heretic, Homer meets God who tells him that he will die in six months.
Then, six months later in April 1993, So It’s Come To This: A Simpsons Clip Show has one of Bart’s April Fools pranks putting Homer in the hospital. Homer subsequently gets crushed by a vending machine, and ends up in a coma. He wakes up at the end of the episode, but this fan theorizes that he actually never did, and everything from then on out are Homer’s coma hallucinations.
The fan theory’s creator points to the fact that a lot of the episode plots before this 1993 episode were much more realistic, at least in terms of cartoon logic. For example, Bart cheats on an IQ test, or Homer tries to quit drinking, Lisa has a crush on her teacher, etc.
After So It’s Come To This, things get much crazier (Homer goes to space, Mr. Burns finds the Loch Ness Monster, Homer works for an actual supervillain, Bart and Homer discover the magical land of the jockeys). Not to mention, the early 90s soon led into an era of endless celebrity cameos on the show.
According to the theory, all of this is playing out in Homer’s mind. All of the pop culture references and celebrity cameos are the result of Homer’s brain subconsciously processing stuff going around him in the hospital (like hearing the TV, people talking, etc.).
This would explain why time passes in Springfield, but no one ever ages. Bart, Lisa, and Maggie were 10, 8, and 1 year old when Homer fell into the coma, so that’s the age he remembers them as.
It could also explain why no finds it weird that Homer can win a Grammy and a Pulitzer, get his own talk show, become an astronaut, and own an actual NFL team, but still works a dead-end job at the power plant. On that note, I would add that in early episodes of the Simpsons (the most famous example probably being the series premiere Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire), the family’s financial troubles are a recurring plot point. In more modern episodes, it’s almost never brought up.
And to cap it all off, here’s how that Reddit post wraps this one up:
There’s one last thing I want to leave you with. Going back to Homer’s conversation with God, what is the meaning of life? Or at least Homer’s life? Well life can have different meaning for different people and a purpose or reason for one’s existence can be as unique as their fingerprints. For Homer, his grand purpose is obvious – he is here to entertain. His dreams, his imaginative adventures, have provided billions with amusement and will continue to do so for decades.
Excuse me, I appear to have something stuck in my eye.
All of that being said, it’s a fun fan theory, but The Simpsons has never been a show that gives a crap about continuity. Through the decades, it’s been more about seeing this wacky family having adventures and dealing with things that are hot in current events and pop culture.
Still… the show has to end sooner or later (right?), so this is one idea that the writers might just want to consider…