People can get extremely pointed about ANYTHING in entertainment. Take, for instance, this argument that The Simpsons fans have been having for years. When introducing himself in the classic Season 8 episode "You Only Move Twice," the pleasantly evil Hank Scorpio (voiced by Albert Brooks) throws away a pair of shoes and asks Homer if he'd ever seen someone say goodbye to a shoe before, to which Homer replies, "Yes, once." Some people out there are extremely convinced that Homer's answer refers to what he'd just seen Scorpio do, while others are equally convinced he's referring to a previous incident. Thankfully, the question was posed to Homer Simpson himself, Dan Castellaneta, who said this:
The line was improvised. Albert Brooks always improvised whenever he did the show. That line was a reflexive response to Albert's improvised line about seeing a man say goodbye to a shoe. I probably thought it was a previous time but it is funnier if it means he saw it at that moment.
Boom! The world now has an answer to a question that is undoubtedly more important to society than that of how to feed the hungry and who will win the next presidential election. (Okay, perhaps it's somewhat-doubtedly.) Getting the answer straight from the Homer's mouth likely still won't make anyone believe that he wasn't talking about Scorpio's shoe throw, but everyone else can take comfort in it while smugly flicking donut sprinkles into the faces of the more unrelenting believers. At least he thought that idea was funny, so there's a silver lining, right?
Solving this mystery became the obsession of one Buzzfeed writer, whose search began with a simple story post that riled people up to no end. The story got to former showrunners Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein, who both assumed Homer was speaking of a previous instance, but both pointed out that Castellaneta improvised the line. Against all odds, a message sent to the actors reps resulted in Castellaneta's answer, rather than a refusal that left the world in the dark until the end of time.
You can check out the scene below.
While not exactly the same kind of mystery, another question that Simpsons fans have been asking for nearly 20 years is "When are we going to see Hank Scorpio again?" The fan favorite character has been the most oft-requested repeat character, and one watch of the standout episode is clear proof of why. Personally, I want him to lead another movie, should that ever come to be. Then we could get 90 minutes of jokes and gags about shoes.
Castellaneta's improv skills were showcased in The Simpsons' recent live segment, in which he-as-Homer answered call-in questions from fans. It seems like that would have been the absolute perfect time for the Buzzfeed writer to have posed the shoe question, but at least we got an answer anyway.