Behind the Laughter: 22-Year-Comatose Homer?

Could it be true? Could Homer Simpson, one of the most famous characters in US cultural history have been dreaming since April 1993, when Bart’s April Fools prank of shaking a beer can so furiously (and him being flattened by a vending machine), have sent him into hospital?

The theory, which was originally posted on Reddit 10 days ago (Feb 4) and has become so popular it has nearly 1000 upvotes and has made worldwide news.

The redditor, Hardtopickaname, starts off his post with:
“October 1992: Homer The Heretic airs and ends with Homer talking to God.

Homer: God, I gotta ask you something. What’s the meaning of life?
God: Homer, I can’t tell you that. […] You’ll find out when you die.
Homer: I can’t wait that long!
God: You can’t wait six months?

April 1993 (SIX MONTHS LATER): So It’s Come To This: A Simpsons Clip Show airs and involves Bart’s April Fools prank inadvertently putting Homer into the hospital, where he is then crushed by a vending machine and put in a coma.

Now the episode ends with Homer waking up (and giving us a hilarious POV shot of him choking Bart), but it seems to be too convenient and sudden.”

We see Homer’s eyes open before he strangles Bart…but is it something he thinks he’s doing…?

The redditor then goes on to say that he proposes that all scenes after this episode, and after Homer’s seemingly awaking – are Homer’s comatose imagination. He then goes onto say that this will explain the theory of the Simpsons never aging, the continuously zany plots, constant barrage of celebrities, and the declining popularity of the show overall (due to its Family Guy-eque stupidity).

The Redditor states “This [after comparing the plots of prior to 1993 and after] is clearly Homer’s imagination running wild. With no real world restrictions, Homer’s mind is able to dream up scenarios of him and his family in fantasies involving him winning a Grammy, his father fighting his boss for buried WW2 treasure, his wife getting breast implants, his infant daughter saving him from drowning, etc.”

“The massive amounts of celebrity appearances are easily explained as well. People in comas can sometime hear what people in the same room are saying. While Homer wouldn’t physically react, his mind processes that information and includes it in his dreams. Maybe the nurse leaves the radio on and Homer hears a Lady Gaga song. […] His family visits and talk with each other about the new Mel Gibson movie they’re going to be seeing after leaving the hospital.”

“This is why the characters don’t age. Homer remembers Bart, Lisa, and Maggie as 10, 8, and 1 year old, so they will always appear that way in his dreams. He is subconsciously aware of time passing, so his mind will often “update” his memories so that the year they occurred matches up with the age he thinks he is (eg. That 90’s Show [sic] contradicting other flashback episodes).”

One of the plots he mentions is of slammed “Saddlesore Galactica” of Season 11, wherein Homer discovers the secret world of jockeys. Another he mentions is “Lisa Goes Gaga” from Season 23, wherein Lady Gaga tries to help Lisa overcome her depression; the episode was, in 2014, rated the worst by fans on IMDb. One he also mentions is universally panned and perhaps one of the most controversial episodes of the show “The Principal and the Pauper“, wherein Skinner is revealed to be an imposter, having stolen the identity of a soldier; the episode has been signalled as the start of the show’s decline, as the golden years of the show have been known to have been up until mid-1990s. The Guardian’s Ian Jones once argued that the “show became stupid” in 1997, pointing to “The Principal and the Pauper” as the culprit. “Come again? A major character in a long-running series gets unmasked as a fraud? It was cheap, idle storytelling.”

Ludicrous and asinine plots like this have gathered criticism from fans and sent ratings plummeting.

Redditors in the comments shot him down, however, one (MrBeans18) saying: “in episodes after 1993 the show features objects/celebs that were not invented/popular enough to be known to Homer at the time. If he was in a coma, there is no way he would know of these advances in culture/technology. For example, recent episodes include iPhones, Justin Bieber [etc]”

Loldogex provided: “It does leave one hole in the theory. Even if people in a coma can hear and comprehend what is going on around them, how did he know what the celebrities looked like? I’m referring to any of them that became relevant after the April 1993 episode that started the coma.” JPatton89 said: “Out of every scene that features God in the whole show, this is the ONLY one where God had 4 fingers [as he usually has 5]. As evidenced by the screenshot that OP provided. My point is this: based on Simpsons canon, Homer was not really talking to God, which could negate this entire theory. Perhaps he dreamed the whole thing. It’s possible that it wasn’t a true vision from God?”

Pookah remarked: “Biggest hole in this theory is that Mr Burns would have pulled the plug on Homer a long time ago [which he actually threatens to do in the episode] to save on his HMO premiums.”

KevinKolbThrowback then said: “The other thing that happened around the 93 shift, specifically ~94 and the monorail episode, was Conan and his team of writers. After the monorail, there was no real “moral focus” or whatever that the earlier episodes featured, it was just trying to be the funny and zany show that it became and is today.

Maybe the producers and showrunner(s) knew of and planned the coma aspect and brought in a group of younger comedy writers, instead of the traditional early season writers, to make that imaginative nature of Homer’s mind.”

Huffington Post have also said in their “case against”: “”Simpsons” did have some zany plots before Homer went in a coma. For instance, this theory all stems from an episode where Homer is talking with God. In addition, other “Simpsons” theories, such as one that claims Springfield operates outside of time and space, could explain things like the characters staying the same age.”

One thing I have to say, though, is how did Bart not sustain any injuries from the original explosion? He wouldn’t be in a coma, but severely injured?

Al Jean, who is widely blamed by Simpsons fans for dragging the show down into the mess it is in now, has recently shot the theory down, and Matt Groening has yet to comment, with the Redditor having edited the post to say:

“He [Al Jean] says it’s not true, but what does he know about the Simpsons?”

So, do you think the theory’s true? Sound off in the comments if you want. It’s probably not. The show just makes it up as they go along.

(Picture sources: Baby Simpson, Wikisimpsons)

2 thoughts on “Behind the Laughter: 22-Year-Comatose Homer?

  1. Awww com’ on, this is certainly stupid… and the fact the guy with the theory treats Al Jean like if he doesn’t know anything about the show is so egocentric and denial XD

    1. This theory is probably something stupid – but the evidence is there and if people want to believe it – they can. And you can kinda expect the Al Jean hatred – he is widely regarded as the one who has brought the Simpsons down into the mess it is in now.

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