Tag Archives: PCHH

Sex and The Simpsons

Long time readers of the blog know that my weekly Friday afternoon ritual is to listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour and enjoy a little reportage on the latest movies and musings on pop culture. Last Friday featured a discussion on the way sex is portrayed for parents with children, whether its played for laughs or if the people involved actually seem to have some passion. Usually I can count on fellow nerd Stephen Thompson to be right there with a way to relate almost any discussion to The Simpsons, but this week he let me down. Maybe you were just feeling you bring up The Simpsons too much Stephen, though I don’t know how such a thing could be possible. The Simpsons touches on almost all the areas you discuss when it comes to its portrayal of sex, something I will now demonstrate for you with 12 episodes.

Homer desired by other women

Despite being bald and overweight, Homer has had several opportunities for extra-marital affairs, all of which he has declined even in times of marital trouble. In “Colonel Homer” (Season 3 Episode 20) after a fight with Marge, Homer takes country singer Lurleen Lumpkin from cocktail waitress to country TV star when a song of hers relates to him. Lurleen is both grateful for Homer’s interest and faith in her, and lack of expecting something in return. She tries to invite him to “bunk with me tonight”, but Homer declines (and later asks Lurleen to clarify if she would have gone all the way, to which her reply is an enthusiastic yes).

Great line from this: “It takes two people to lie. One to lie, and one to listen.”

More notably in “Last Temptation Of Homer” (Season 5 Episode 9), a new employee at the nuclear plant, who shares Homer’s love of donuts, beer and sports, causes a real conundrum for Homer. He’s obviously attracted to her, and she to him. Despite being shown by the ghost of Colonel Klink that both his and Marge’s lives would actually be better if he left her, and being told by a fortune cookie that he will find happiness in a new love, Homer stays and shows Marge the night of her life. “Oh Margie, you came and you brought me a turkey, on my vacation away from workee”.


Marge desired by other men

Marge has been pursued by a lot of would be Letharios, from Moe to Mr. Burns to a Manatee loving Alec Baldwin to old high school flame-out Artie Ziff. But the most notable is Jacques from Season 1 Episode 9’s “Life on the Fast Lane”. A selfish birthday present from Homer sends Marge to the bowling alley, where she meets a sensuous bowling instructor who invites her back to the Fiesta terrace. Marge is annoyed at Homer, and enamored of Jacques, and was saved only by “an ironic street” depicting love’s blossoming, to old age, to death, to skeletons in a shop window. This leads to one of the most classic endings of The Simpsons where Marge meets a depressed Homer at the power plant, and he carries her out in his arms. “I’m going to the backseat of my car with the woman I love, and I won’t be back for ten minutes!”


Season 14 Episode 4 “Large Marge” also brought Marge a lot of attention, from her husband and other less desirable corners. Her new bazoomas even inspired Homer to song, though they did prove to be an awful strain on her back.

Grandpa vs. Sexual Inadequacy

Season 6 Episode 10 brings a double whammy to the discussion of sex, “Grandpa vs. Sexual Inadequacy”. Here we see Marge and Homer’s problems in bed frankly depicted, with reasons for lack of loving being TV movies, enchiladas, and the classic TV trope of the kids running in. Grandpa has the solution, and while the idea of old people having sex is mostly played for laughs, Grandpa provides a tonic that puts the spring back in Homer’s step, so much so that the two decide to go on the road selling the tonic to everyone.

Both Abe and Mr. Burns fight over the hand of Marge’s mother in “Lady Bouvier’s Lover” (Season 5 Episode 21). Notably Mrs. Bouvier turns both Burns and Abe down for sex and marriage, but while some moments are still played for laughs, particularly Homer giving his Dad “play it cool” advice to get a kiss, some moments are really sweet and show Grandpa can be more than just an old coot.


Homer’s weight is rarely discussed as an issue with his relationship with Marge (less than you might think), though a notable exception is “King Size Homer” Season 7 Episode 7, in which a scheme to get disability payments by gaining weight forces Marge to make the admission that she is less attracted to Homer.

Homer goes too far

Homer does occasionally get himself in real trouble with Marge on the issue of sex. In Season 1 Episode 10 “Homer’s Night Out” a photo of Homer dancing with Princess Cashmere circulates through Bart’s school and Homer’s work, eventually leading to Marge throwing him out. Homer redeems himself by teaching Bart that women are not just objects (sort of), but his impassioned plea is good enough for Marge.


More ruinously, Homer reveals many of Marge and his private moments in Season 5 Episode 22 “Secrets Of A Successful Marriage”, thoroughly embarrassing Marge, and causing her to believe she can’t trust him anymore. His plea for forgiveness of “complete and utter dependency” is a little weak, but while Homer doesn’t always say the best things, he says them in the right way.

Homer the Lover

Homer and Marge have on balance a fairly healthy sex life, with some ups and downs. They do occasionally engage in roleplay (or at least winter coatplay) “That name again is Mr. Plow”. When the kids are away in “Kamp Krusty” (Season 4 Episode 1), Marge and Homer get frisky in the shower, though all the lost weight, new hair and love life evaporate as soon as the kids return.


In “Natural Born Kissers” (Season 9 Episode 25) Marge and Homer’s dull anniversary leads them to believe the passion is gone. But after nearly getting caught hiding in a farmer’s barn, the element of danger adds new zest. This leads them to try nookie in all sorts of dangerous places, leading to nearly being discovered in their old love nest in the putt-putt windmill, and finally ending up standing naked in a loaded football stadium. While a lot of this is played for laughs, and there is definitely some “ew, gross” from the kids, much of the episode does show the two of them having fun.

So, as we have now learned, The Simpsons belongs in every discussion of pop-culture. You would do well to remember this, Stephen 🙂


Filed under Round-Ups

My Pop-Culture Myopia

Pop Culture Happy Hour (or PCHH) is a regular Friday afternoon pastime of mine. This past Friday they were discussing “Pop Culture Myopias” or areas of pop culture that you love despite any evidence to the contrary, otherwise known as the “Billy Joel” line.

For myself this myopia is pretty obvious: Isaac Asimov.

In the words of Professor Frink: “So many books, not too many good.”


I read most of the Asimov canon sometime between Middle School and the end of High School. I have read all seven of the Foundation books, the four robot novels, and hundreds of short stories and lesser novels. My bookshelves downstairs are lined with back issues of his science-fiction magazine, back when he wrote the editorial column.

Now don’t get me wrong, Asimov is one of the best science (fiction or otherwise) thinkers of all time. The three laws of robotics formed the basis of countless stories, and are even adopted as general principles by many researching AI.

  • A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  • A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  • A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

(Source: Wikipedia)

The Powell and Donovan robot stories in particular are probably one of the reasons why I’m an engineer, and have influenced some of my writing including Atlantia.

The Foundation series introduced the idea of using mathematics for societal change. And even the detective stories like The Caves of Steel, or the Black Widowers stories offered intellectual puzzles, or noir-esque mysteries that were stylistically formative to a young writer.

But the man can’t write women to save his life, a flaw which is by no means unique among authors of his time, but nonetheless damning. His later books are probably twice as long as they need to be, and riddled with bizarre philosophies of Gaia, or the following:

 A breakfast pastry, kind of like a croissant or baklava, filled with a warm honey like filling that is so messy it must be eaten naked.

And let’s not forget the chops:


Granted, if you shaved out the middle of my beard at the moment, I’d be rockin’ chops of equal magnitude, but still.

His prose can be painful. It certainly doesn’t have the poetic quality of Bradbury (though at least he’s not as dull as Clarke).

And yet I love him. An Asimov book that I do not own is probably one of the few physical books I buy without even thinking twice. Sometimes even duplicate copies. My paperbacks of Asimov are all dog-eared and well loved from multiple readings. I listen to audiobooks, and I even love the two Asimov movies, even though I, Robot is nothing like the book, and Bicentennial Man suffers a serious case of Robin Williams.

And his essays are hilarious, even ones on science topics that are long out of date. He tells funny dirty jokes and his voice is a unique one to say the least. And he’s responsible for this guy and his positronic brain:

Celebrity City

I know that I will be introducing Asimov to my children, probably one of the first books my mom suggested to me, the aforementioned Caves of Steel. And I’ll be reading him for years to come, no matter what anyone says.

What are your pop-culture myopias?


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What’s Making Me Happy (#2)

It’s Friday and in PCHH tradition it’s time for another round of what’s making me happy, in no particular order.

1) Friend and fellow blogger Brian will be visting on Saturday for an overnight geek weekend. If we work for four hours we might get two more minutes of our fake sub done.

2) Enjoyed staying up way too late on Wednesday (3am) watching the end of Buffy Season 6 with the wife. If you’re a fan of powerful redheads with pitch black eyes, this is for you (also Babylon 5’s Lyta).

3) GOG (Good Old Games) has started selling new and indie titles including a very fun Czech puzzle adventure, Machinarium. Conversations and backstory are told in thought bubbles and the music and artwork is very unique. Hearkens back to the days of VGA matte painting. Definitely going to be some playing of this (and Rayman Origins) this weekend.

4) The blog crossed 50 posts this week. I really can’t express how thankful I am for all of you who have commented, liked, followed, and just kept coming back even on the days when I haven’t posted anything. BTW someone (or a bot) checked out my about page from a Google search 21 times on Monday. What a delightfully weird stat.

5) My taxes are finally done!

6) Had a great time last weekend celebrating my Grandpa’s 92nd birthday. He’s a very special guy, and it was good to see some of my family I haven’t had a chance to see in a couple of years. For those who haven’t read it you should check out the 40-minute story “Pool“, kinda my birthday gift this year.

7) The Simpsons is going as strong as ever despite what anyone tells you. Just watched “Them, Robot” yesterday (my 2nd favorite of the season after “The Book Job”). See if you can pick out who the special guest star is.

8) It’s the end of the month and so it’s time for the afternoon “cupcake meeting”, my company’s birthday celebration with Buehler’s cupcakes. The icing on top is nearly a third of the cupcake’s total height.

9) My car is fixed!

10) And finally as always the little red haired girl, who works way harder than I do, and is very special not only in my life but in the lives of others.

Have a good weekend everyone! What’s making you happy this week?


Filed under Round-Ups