Favourite Under-Quoted Simpsons Quote?

by Jaime Weinman

I haven’t written much about The Simpsons since my screed against “comedy writer jokes,” so here’s a more positive subject for discussion, sort of similar to the “Underrated Monty Python Sketches” thread. What’s your favourite Simpsons line that you haven’t heard quoted to death?

That is, some Simpsons quotes are so famous — “Worst episode ever,” or ” save me, Jeebus!” or “it’s a perfectly cromulent word” — that they have entered the language. Some equally great quotes, however, aren’t as famous. So what’s a quote you particularly love but that hasn’t yet been ruined by over-quoting?

My favourite under-quoted quote is from the season 2 episode “Homer Vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment” (still, after all these years, one of the best Simpsons episodes, a great combination of pop-culture jokes and family relationship stuff). The family is watching movies on cable, and with each movie, Bart gives the lead character the name of the movie. These get progressively less plausible:

BART: Oh, this is where Jaws bites through the boat.

BART: Oh, this is where Die Hard comes through the window.

BART: Oh, this is where Wall Street gets arrested.

To me, that’s just a perfect Simpsons joke on every level. It combines George Meyer-y, comedy-writer fascination with language (it might even be a Meyer joke) with real, observational humour about the way real people sometimes confuse characters with titles.  (Eg people used to think the round-headed kid in the comic strip was named “Peanuts.”) It’s a comedy-writer joke that also sounds like a human being might say it.




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Favourite Under-Quoted Simpsons Quote?

  1. Saw episode years ago, don't know what it was called, but when Simpsons go to Australia and Bart writes Dont Tread On Me on his butt while escaping. Anyways, there was a scene where Aussie says "I see you've played knifey-spoony before" and I say it to this day to confound people.

    Just though it was funny/absurd, don't know if it is considered a famous one though.

    • Coffee….
      Beer….
      C-O-F-F-E-E….
      B-E-E-R….

      • Your stick thingy went and boomeranged on us!

  2. The one where Sideshow Bob runs for mayor, and fixes the voters list. Lisa gets suspicious, and goes to

    <The Springfield Hall of Records (Not the Good Kind of Records, Historical Ones)>

    My job involves dealing with historical records, and this sign just makes me laugh harder every time I see it!

  3. "I have two questions: how much, and give it to me."

  4. Trying is the first step toward failing. (Homer to Lisa)

    Your lust for dirty magazines kept me in business those first struggling years. By the way, here's your copy of Gigantic Asses. (Apu to Homer)

    I think he's talking to you. (Homer whispering to guy beside him during Witness Protection interview)

    I wash myself with a rag on a stick! (Fat Bart in his fantasy)

  5. I don't know how famous it is, and it's not the funniest or most clever. It's just the one I think of most often:

    When will people learn? Democracy doesn't work.

  6. The one you cited is actually one of my favorites. I said "This is where Arrested Development burns the banana stand" to my girlfriend just the other day, in fact.

    The first two that sprang to my mind were: Grandpa's "List of Words I Never Want to Hear on TV Again" from season one ("Number one: Bra. Number two: Horny. Number three: Family Jewels"), and "You wanted a world without zinc, Jimmy, and now your car has no battery" from the educational film at the beginning of Bart the Lover in season three.

  7. Homer: Wait a minute wait a minute wait a minute. Lisa honey, are you
    saying you're *never* going to eat any animal again? What about
    bacon?
    Lisa: No.
    Homer: Ham?
    Lisa: No.
    Homer: Pork chops?
    Lisa: Dad! Those all come from the same animal!
    Homer: [Chuckles] Yeah, right Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.

  8. You don't win friends with salad!

  9. But what about all the times I DIDN'T go to school with a dress? Huh? Nobody ever talks about that!

  10. Mob: We're here! We're queer! We don't want any more bears!
    Lenny: Catchy chant, Homer! How'd you come up with it?
    Homer: Oh, I heard it at that mustache parade they have every year.

  11. Since my top three have already been quoted,

    Homer: You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college! [leaves]
    Bart: I don't think any of us expected him to say that.

    • I'll thank you not to refer to Princeton that way.

      Not the same episode I know, but still funny.

  12. I always loved one line from the early days, where Snake is on a crime spree in Springfield.
    He has stolen a electronic device, and upon looking at it closer exclaims
    "Oooo Noooo…….. Beta!"
    Loved that!

    "Dad – You killed the Zombie Flanders!!!!"
    "He was a Zombie?"

    "Hi I'm actor Troy McClure. You might remember me from such films as 'Today We Kill, Tomorrow We Die' and 'Gladys, the Groovy Mule'."

  13. Can't say it's a favourite, but it's one that stuck with me for years (haven't seen any episode in, like, forever):

    Sign at the entrance to an old folks' home: "Thank you for not discussing the outside world."

  14. Bart and Lisa tell Marge to enjoy a night out with Ruth Powell. Homer to himself:

    "Man's best friend indeed!"

    Or that highly quotable gem:

    "Everything's coming up Milhouse!"

  15. Lisa: "Dad, do you even know what rhetorical means?"
    Homer: "Do I know what rhetorical means?!" (said rhetorically)

    Ralph: "Super Nintendo Chalmers"

    Marge: "Homer this is the worst thing you have ever done!"
    Homer: "You say that so often that it's lost all meaning."

  16. Surprisingly underquoted considering how adaptable they are in everyday conversation:

    "That's a load bearing poster."

    "Ha! Ha! I get THAT reference!"

    "Pray for Bobo" (actually, that's kinda well known)

  17. oh, and

    "hmpf! Roughriders."

  18. Burns (after being kicked at a Stonecutters meeting) :
    "Patience Monty. Climb the ladder…"

    Ahmish fellow: "That's a fine barn, Englishman, but 'tis no pool." Homer: "Doeth!!!!"

    Lionel Hutz: "This is the most blatant case of false advertising since my suit against the movie The Neverending Story."

    • "That's a fine barn, Englishman, but 'tis no pool"

      Actually, fyi, that line is "That's a fine barn, English, but 'tis no pool."

      "English" is Amish slang for "outsider", or non-Amish person.

      • Thank you! My memory isn't what it once was. At least I seem to remember it was once better, but maybe I'm mistaken. What were we talking about, by the way?

  19. Wiggum: This is Papa Bear. Put out an APB for a male suspect, driving
    a…car of some sort, heading in the direction of…you know,
    that place that sells chili. Suspect is hatless! Repeat,
    hatless!

  20. "And always whirling, whirling, whirling towards tommorow!"

    [Scottish accent] "I take it by context you mean [beekeeper]"

  21. "That's a load of thick rich creamery butter"

  22. "That's right, gather the nectar my little drones, and make the honey….honey for your children. Fools! Ha ha ha ha!"

  23. Bart: Dad, remember those self-hypnosis courses we took to help us ignore Grampa?
    Homer: Do I ever! It's five years later and I still think I'm a chicken. I'm a chicken, Marge!
    Marge: I know, I know.

    • I always laughed loudly at that one while others in the room looked at me funny.

  24. Favourite under-quoted Simpsons quotes — two semi-quoted throw-aways you've likely heard and a big finish:

    1. WIGGUM: Okay Ralphie, time for bed.
    RALPH: Yay, sleep-time. That's where I'm a Viking.

    2. HOMER: Bart, why aren't you out making big business deals?
    BART: I'll doooo it this'afternoooon.

    3. MRS LOVEJOY: Please, don't talk about S. E. X. in front of the C. H. I. L. D. R. E. N. !
    KRUSTY THE CLOWN: Sex Cauldron? I thought they closed that place down!

  25. Moe: Finally, I can realize my lifelong dream of visiting Easter Island!
    Homer: Oh, right, with the statues.
    Moe: With the what now?

  26. "I can't help but feel partly responsible." A line so profound, The Office ripped it off and repeated it verbatim.

  27. Just tell us your plan, and we'll vote for it!

    Also: Marge, where's that thing you use….to dig…..food.

    • Mike,

      Good call on that one. But what actually made that quote so funny is that he called it a "metal dealy."

  28. Hello, is this President Clinton? Good! I figured if anyone knew where to get some Tang, it'd be you.

    • And just before that: "And another thing: how come I can't get no Tang 'round here?"

  29. Homer (while Bart is eating a chocolate bar): Kids, your daddy and his daddy are involved in a very sticky, nutty, chewy, chocolatey — put it away, boy!

  30. Marge: They're revealing a new combination smock/apron. It's called a "smapron."
    Homer (excited): Did you say "smockron"?!?
    Marge: No.
    Homer (dejected): Oh.

  31. Ralph: Me fail English? That's unpossible!

    Homer (to Bart): I'm intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    Mr Burns (After opening a fortune cookie): Oh, it seems to be some sort of communiqué

  32. Whenever I'm feeling poorly I tell my wife "pray…for…Mojo"
    Other favourites are
    Ralph Wiggum "I broke my Wookie"
    and
    Krusty "I wouldn't touch that with a ten-foot clown pole"." I still use that quote anytime I want nothing to do with something.

  33. I can't give a favourite quote, because I would just give back the whole Stonecutters epidose. It is such comic genius that every line depends on the one previous.

  34. Bart: "Grandpa, didn't you wonder why you were getting cheques for doing absolutely nothing?"

    Grandpa: "I figured it was because the Democrats were back in power."

    ("The Front", Season 4, Episode 19)

    • Secretary: Yes, is this the Abraham Simpson who wrote the Itchy and Scratchy episode?
      Abe: "Isshy and what?" You must be some kind of crazy person!
      Secretary: I'm sorry, but I have a substantial check here for a Mr. Abraham J. Simpson.
      Abe: That's right! I did the "Iggy!"

      "I did the Iggy" is one of my favourites.

  35. Best Canadian quote (IMHO) — from Season 10, "Homer to the Max." Clinton is dancing with Marge.

    Clinton (talking to Marge): I know you think you're not good enough for me but believe me, you are! Hell, I've done it with pigs! Real, no foolin' — pigs!
    Marge: Are you sure its a federal law that I have to dance with you?
    Clinton: You know, I'd change that law if I could, Marge, but I can't!
    (Guy whispers something to the president)
    Clinton: Awwww, shoot, Quebec's got the bomb! Well I got to go but, Look, if you're ever near the White House there's a tool shed out back, I'm usually in there most of the day.

  36. Homer: For once in my life, I'm confused!

  37. Even though it was not typical Homer (although maybe that's why I like it):

    "I also understand bowling expressions."

  38. Season 16, Episode 13: "Mobile Homer"

    Homer and Marge are arguing, in part because Homer has suddenly bought an RV and parked it in the back yard. The argument expands to take in every grievance in their marriage — including this exchange:
    MARGE: And I am so sick of that story about finding an onion ring in your French fries! It was twenty years ago!
    HOMER: That was my Woodstock.

  39. "Everything looks bad if you remember it."

    "The lesson is, never try."

  40. "And here I am using my (insert appropriate body part) like a sucker."

    This one should be more popular:

    "Here's to alcohol. The cause of and solution to all of life's problems."

  41. It's not really one that can be quoted every day…or, really, ever, but this one, from when Homer was replacing Smithers as Burns' assistant, always makes me laugh:

    Homer: Here are your messages: "You have 30 minutes to move your car", "You have 10 minutes", "Your car has been impounded", "Your car has been crushed into a cube", "You have 30 minutes to move your cube".
    [phone rings, Homer answers]
    Homer: Yello, Mr. Burns' office.
    Burns: Is it about my cube?

    There's just something perfect about the hopefulness in Burns' voice when he says it that gets me every time.

  42. I remember a lot of "Simpsons" quotes that don't necessarily make me laugh, but have somehow remain permanently entrenched in my brain. One of those is from "Bart Gets an Elephant, after Bart runs away with Stampy, and Homer assumes the ivory dealer took both Stampy and Bart.

    Homer (screaming): That wasn't part of the deal Blackheart! That wasn't part!!!"

    I don't know why it's remained with me, but there's something eternal about it.

    • I use variations of this line to decry various petty injustices, at least three times a week.

      Also eminently useful and under-quoted are Homer's words of comfort to Bart:

      Homer: (gently) There, there. Shut up, boy.

    • This reminds me of one that I always remember:

      Homer: I'm never getting my comeuppance! Do you hear me? Never!! (beat, then to camera:) We'll be right back.

  43. After Homer replaces Smithers as Burns' assistant, almost kills him, and gets Smithers his old job back, there's a shot of the family on the couch looking at the gift basket Homer's been sent by Smithers.

    Bart: So what did you get this for?

    Homer: Eh, I pushed my boss out of a window.

    Lisa: Is he dead?

    (and here's the line…)
    Homer: What am I, a doctor?

    • A similar joke, which I hate in the episode, since I think it marks a point where the show crossed a line of its cartoon reality and also of weirdly disgusting meanness, but which out of context is pretty funny:

      Homer is attacked by a badger while trying to get it to come out of the doghouse. He emerges badly scratched up, then lifts his shirt to reveal that the skin on his chest has been completely torn off and all his internal organs are visible.

      Lisa: How did it do that without tearing your shirt?

      Homer: What am I, a tailor?

  44. Skinner: Edna, we both know these children have no future.

    (silence in the cafeteria)

    Skinner: Prove me wrong, kids! Prooove me wrong!

  45. Mr Burns: "Donuts?! I told you no ethnic foods."

  46. Lionel Hutz watching tv: oh yeah right, like lawyers work in big skyscrapers and have secretaries, look he's wearing a belt! That's Hollywood for ya!

  47. Guy 1: “wait we can just turn the monorail off
    Guy 2 “no such luck it’s solar”
    Guy 1: ” psshh, solar, when will they learn.”

    also from that episode
    Krusty: “krusty wants out” (jumps out of door)

    Lenord Nemoy: (grabs him) “no, the world needs laughter.”

  48. Bart: What do we need church shoes for, Jesus wore sandals.

    Homer: Well, maybe if he had better arch support they wouldn’t have caught him.

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