There's a reason why The Simpsons has stayed in the collective hearts of a generation even as the series lumbers into its 30th season later this year. It isn't just because it was once one of the funniest shows on television. It isn't just because of its charming art style. And it isn't just because you could literally decorate and populate everything in your house with Simpsons themed merchandise. It's because the show knew just what emotional heartstrings to pull at to make us smile and cry. And the core of this heart is the love between Homer and Marge Simpson.
The two couldn't be more opposite if they tried. Homer is the overconfident, blundering and selfish oaf who falls bottom backwards into success time and time again. Marge, on the other hand, is a sensitive, overly-caring, and forgiving wife who still loves her dumb husband even after all of his blunders. Since The Simpsons has been on the air in some form since 1987, a lot of secrets about the relationship of Marge and Homer have been sprinkled throughout the years.
Some of these secrets are heartwarming. There have been numerous episodes which show in more detail how the two got together and how the birth of their children came to be. On the other hand, we also have those moments which the couple would prefer that people forget about. Amazingly, these moments come from both sides of the relationship and not just Homer.
20 Meeting The Flanders
Early on in the series, we're given no indication that Homer and Marge have known Ned Flanders and his wife Maude for any long period of time. Stick around until season 20 of the show, though, and you realize that the two couples knew each other for much longer than we thought.
They actually met many years before they moved next to each other.
In the episode "Dangerous Curves," it is revealed that when they were still in their dating years, they had crashed their vehicles while heading on a vacation. As they're walking on foot, they're picked up by newlyweds Maude and Ned Flanders. Due to Ned's religious nature, he convinces the Simpsons to... how would Flanders put this... not play hide Noah's Ark until marriage. Thus, Marge and Homer were in separate rooms at the cabin while Ned spent time with Maude.
19 The Secret To A Successful Marriage
It may not be the most tempting idea, but just for one second put yourself in the role of Homer Simpson. You are teaching a class on the secrets of a successful marriage but you feel that you're losing your audience. You need something big to get back on your side. So what do you do? Well, obviously, you tell them deeply personal information about your wife's desires.
In the classic episode "Secrets of A Successful Marriage", Homer teaches a class on having a longtime marriage to all the single losers of Springfield. But in an attempt to keep them from dropping the class, Homer tells them that Marge loves to have her elbow nibbled on sometimes. That stunt gets Homer thrown out of the house. Hope it was worth it, homeboy.
18 They Truly Were Meant To Be
One of the reasons why Homer and Marge Simpson's romance is one of the greatest in fictional history is just how much we know about their history together. From their time as children all the way into the far future, the two seem to be made for one another. Sometimes, they didn't even know it.
In the season 15 episode "The Way We Weren't," Homer admits that even though Homer was Marge's first kiss, the opposite wasn't true.
Throughout the episode, we see Homer recall a time when he was 10 years old that he went to a summer camp and kissed a girl with brown hair. However, as the episode rolls on, we find out that the girl was indeed Marge. Even if they didn't know it yet, their souls were truly bound together.
17 Homer Sold His Soul To Her
So, for the most part, I try to stay away from moments found in the Treehouse of Horror episodes because they obviously don't make sense in the continuity of the show. However, this moment is so sweet and doesn't necessarily contradict anything else in the series, so I'll include it here. Well, if this isn't an advertisement for marriage, I don't know what is.
In Treehouse of Horror IV, we have the classic short where Homer sells his soul to Satan (Ned Flanders) for a doughnut.
Due to being in America, Lisa gets Homer a trial to save him from eternity in the underworld. Just when it seems like all is lost, Marge finds a note Homer wrote her which stated that he gave her his soul in exchange for marrying him. That voids the deal with Satan and saves Homer.
16 They Almost Went Elsewhere... At The Same Time
It seems borderline impossible for Marge and Homer to cheat on one another. We've seen numerous times in the series where they each come close only for them to pull back. However, there was one point where they were about to cheat on each other at the exact same time.
In the season 20 episode "Dangerous Curves," we flashback to a time when Homer and Marge were freshly married and stressed. They attend a party hosted by the Latin hotshot Alberto and as Homer starts to flirt with another woman at the party, Marge finds herself enamored with Alberto. Right as Homer and Sylvia drive to the cabin, so do Marge and Alberto. Their love, however, wins out in the end and Sylvia and Alberto end up together. Everybody wins! See, potential affairs can be great!
15 Homer Impressed Marge With His Gymnastics
Despite being a lumbering lovable buffoon, there was a time when Homer was destined for greatness. While his initial intelligence was lost as the "Simpsons gene" began to sink its claws into him, he could have still had a career as a gymnast. However, his curmudgeonly father ruins that as his lack of confidence in his son causes Homer to fail in front of his entire high school.
However, his brief display of agility was enough to flutter the heart of one blue haired teen in the audience.
In the episode "Bart Star" from season nine, Homer becomes the coach of Bart's Pee Wee football team and goes overboard with his support of his son. This is a response to his own dad not giving him any support in his activities as a kid. Thankfully, his talents caught a teenage Marge Bouvier's attention in the crowd.
14 That 90s Show Is Not Canon
Easily one of the most reviled episodes of The Simpsons has to be season 19's misfire "That 90s Show." This episode rewrites the history of the Simpsons to try and reorient them into modern times. Instead of Marge and Homer living through the late 70s and 80s, their romance now took place throughout the 1990s. Homer invents grunge music, creates a band called Sadgasm, and unfunny shenanigans ensue. To many fans, this tried to solve a problem which didn't need fixing. Well thankfully, it doesn't really matter.
After the episode aired back in 2008, fans were concerned that the past history and beloved backstory of Marge and Homer was replaced with this story of Marge almost leaving Homer for a college professor. Fans can breathe a sigh of relief, though, as future seasons ignored this episode and went back to previously established history.
13 Marge's Pregnancy Caused Baldness
The reason as to why Homer is bald has changed throughout the series. At first, it seemed like it was because of a military experiment Homer underwent which side effects included potential baldness. The next season, however, we see a clip that may also explain why Homer has just two hairs.
The moment doesn't make sense from a continuity standpoint, but what does in The Simpsons?
In the episode "And Maggie Makes Three" from season 6, we see that Homer always reacted poorly to the news of Marge being pregnant. The first time when Marge breaks the news, Homer rips out about half his hair while screaming like a girl. Then when Lisa is announced, Homer rips out the rest leaving just three hairs. Maggie's birth cost him just one, leaving him with his signature two.
12 The Circle Of Love
It is common nowadays for people to get married multiple times. For once, we can't say "The Simpsons did it first" because this has been a thing for decades. However, I can say that Marge and Homer were the first couple to have three separate marriages... to each other. Turns out they were divorced, after all.
The first of these weddings is the one most fans would be familiar with. This is the one back in the season 3 episode "I Married Marge" which flashes back to their tiny ceremony inside of Shotgun Pete's Wedding Chapel. The second time is in "A Milhouse Divided" where Homer files for divorce so he can give Marge a perfect wedding. The third time is in season 20's "Wedding For Disaster" when Reverend Lovejoy found out that his wedding license had expired, so Homer and Marge had been divorced since season 9!
11 Only Separated In One Future
There have been numerous episodes in The Simpsons' history that show a potential future for the family and the residents of Springfield. Most of them however still feature Marge and Homer together as a married couple. Not in season 16's episode "Future Drama," however. Krusty was originally supposed to be Homer in season 1, so maybe this all works out?
In this episode, Marge and Homer aren't divorced, but they are legally separated. It seems that Homer's idiotic decision to blow the family's savings on an underwater house is what finally did in the marriage. While attending Bart and Lisa's high school graduation, Homer fights Krusty as he is now dating Marge. Sure, Marge, because Krusty never has any financial problems throughout the series, right?
10 Their Fathers Didn't Want Them Together
Many people have their own viewpoints on the relationship between Homer and Marge. Many feel like Marge should have left Homer a long time ago and it was a mistake from the start. Well, you could count Abraham Simpson and Clancy Bouvier as part of that crowd. I suppose I can see their points, but still, screw them.
Back in the season 2 classic "The Way We Was," we see the origins of Homer and Marge's high school relationship.
Between the two, Marge's father has the lower opinion, as when Artie Ziff ends up being the one who takes Marge to prom, he is immensely relieved and welcomes him with open arms. Abraham tells Homer to aim lower than Marge because he thinks his son will screw it up somehow. Good support, guys, well done.
9 This Isn't Goodbye... Right?
Can we all take a second here and remember just how awesome The Simpsons Movie was? A reason why it was so good was not just the humor, but the heavy emotional beats. One of these takes place right at the end of the second act and is possibly the saddest moment in the franchise.
As Homer takes his family away from Springfield after subjecting the town to exclusion from the rest of the U.S, Marge decides they must return to save the town. Homer, however, doesn't want to help the town as they were the ones who drove them out in the first place. Having enough of his selfishness, Marge takes the kids and leaves Homer in Alaska and tapes over their wedding video with her goodbye. Deep stuff for a "comedy" series.
8 They Won A Gold Medal Together
Much has been said about The Simpsons' ability to predict real-life events with scary accuracy. Obviously, the most famous one has been the series predicting Donald Trump's presidency more than a decade before it happened, but just this year at the Winter Olympics "The Simpsons did it!" was screamed at the top of everyone's lungs again.
All those years of sweeping came in handy for Mrs. Simpson.
The U.S. has never been a powerhouse when it comes to curling so when Marge, Homer, Principal Skinner, and his mom Agnes won gold for curling back in Season 21, everybody thought it was a nice fantasy. But lo and behold, at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, the U.S. men's team secured a gold medal defeating favorites Sweden to win. Just as it happened in The Simpsons.
7 They Were Almost An Inter-Species Couple
The earliest days of The Simpsons are a fascinating look back into the turn of the 1990s. While nowadays we can say that Homer is the "main character" of the series, Bart was actually the main character then. Not only that, but there originally was going to be a giant shocker as it related to Marge.
Matt Groening originally was going to end the first season with a gag that would have revealed that Marge actually had bunny ears under her tall blue hair. If you play The Simpsons Arcade you can actually see them on her character model. However, another producer told Groening simply "heck no." So while she and Homer are a regular old human couple, never forget that Homer almost was going to be married to a rabbit.
6 Homer Can't Read Marge At All
While the exact number of years that Marge and Homer have been married is impossible to say with The Simpsons' bizarre timeline, it's obvious that they've been together for a long time. Having said that, Homer still hasn't developed the ability to read Marge's facial expressions. Case in point; season 2's episode "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish".
In this episode, Homer eats the poisonous part of a rare fish served to him at a sushi restaurant. Homer is rushed to the hospital where he awaits his fate. When Dr. Hibbert comes in to give the news alongside Marge, Homer assures the doctor that he can read Marge like a book. Despite Marge being near tears, Homer thinks that there's good news incoming. Maybe he was just being optimistic? No, he's just dumb.
5 Lisa Is The Only Baby They Planned
I'll admit that this one is more of a theory than confirmed fact, but I believe that the evidence lines up. While Maggie and Bart weren't planned by the world's favorite yellow couple, Lisa undoubtedly was.
Let's start with Bart. We know for a fact that Bart wasn't planned by Homer and Marge because Marge became pregnant with him before the two were married as seen in season three's "I Married Marge." In Season 5's "And Maggie Makes Three," we see that Homer quits his job at the Nuclear Plant because he knows that he could support the family of four with a job at Barney's Bowlarama. With Lisa, though... well, Homer and Marge take it in stride, and thanks to Grandpa selling his home Homer and Marge are able to put a down payment on the classic Simpsons home. Lines up nicely, eh?
4 The Beginning Of Bart
The first child of Marge and Homer Simpson, Bart, is a bundle of mayhem that has provided just as much grief to the family as he has joy. It's clear from his personality that he must have been conceived in an odd fashion and sure enough, that is the case.
Bart's affinity for wacky shenanigans might be caused by the place he started.
In the episode "I Married Marge" from Season 3, we're able to see what happened between Marge and Homer before the spiky-haired prankster. After watching Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, both Marge and Homer end up inside a tiny castle in a mini-golf course. That's pretty weird, but hey, they made it work!
3 Homer Kept His Deepest Secret From Marge
Spoiler alert: Homer Simpson is not that bright. While most of the reason why isn't his fault, the fact still remains that Homer is one of the dumbest characters in television history. How dumb is he? Well, he originally never even graduated from high school! Worse than that, he never told his devoted wife Marge either!
In the Season 4 episode "The Front," Homer finally tells Marge his secret after she receives an invitation to their high school reunion but Homer doesn't. Now, in the real world, this would be a giant deal but after all the things that Homer has done even by that point of the series, this is small potatoes. Nonetheless, keeping such a secret from your life partner is quite a hefty deal. At least he passes his failed science class at the end of the episode.
2 Homer Lost The One Thing He Really Shouldn't
You can't rely on Homer for much. He forgets things all the time, says the wrong things at the wrong times and is extremely lazy. However, he can surely be relied upon to keep on to his wedding ring right? Right?
Well, it turns out that's a firm no. In the season 14 episode "Large Marge" Homer goes with Lisa to help build houses for the homeless with ex-presidents like Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. While there, Lisa notices that Homer's "wedding ring" is actually just a band-aid wrapped in tin foil. When Lisa asks him where the wedding ring is he says it's inside a turtle. I mean, at least he knows exactly where it is, right? It's a classic Homer move.
1 Homer Prefers Marge Petite
For the most part, the Simpsons' physical appearances have remained the same over the past few decades. However, there have been a few episodes where the characters undergo some physical transformations in wardrobe and body. In Season 14, Marge gets two of these; she becomes a bodybuilder in one episode, and accidentally gets an enhancement surgery in "Large Marge."
Now, as you would expect, Homer at first reacts positively to this and brags to everybody in the town about how beautiful Marge is now. However, as the episode goes on Marge grows to hate her new chest, and by the end of the episode, she has them removed. You would expect Homer to be disappointed, but he instead says that he's happy at least one of them can wrap their arms around the other.