A Simpsons Writer Sorta Ruined A Classic Homer Moment For Himself After Discovering What The Joke Actually Meant

Homer in The Simpsons
(Image credit: Disney+)

The Simpsons has delivered a lot of classic jokes over the years by an endless array of classic characters, many of whom are quoted endlessly by the show's most loyal fans. Some jokes, of course (especially during the early years) are a bit more subtle – and proving that is the fact that one Simpsons writer actually realized they’ve misunderstood a classic Homer moment for years. And now that he understands the joke, he's sharing it with anyone who also might’ve been in the dark about it and expressing a bit of disappointment as well. 

In the Season 5 episode “Bart Gets Famous,” Ms. Krabappel and Principal Skinner attempt to reach Homer and Marge over the phone. After Marge isn’t able to get to the call in time due to being in the shower, the scene cuts to Homer answering the phone with a towel around his waist, despite him being at work. 

Homer responds, “Yello? You’ll have to speak up. I’m wearing a towel.” For years, writer Josh Weinstein assumed the joke meant one thing, but he recently took to Twitter to explain his misunderstanding and the true meaning of the gag: 

For 25 years, I assumed (and loved it) that it was just a non-sequitur, but then someone explained it's what people with long hair say when they have a towel over their wet hair (and ears) after a shower when they answer the phone. Makes 100% sense but also make me like joke less.

Not only does Homer not have a towel over his head for the scene in question, but he also hasn’t had enough hair to even justify saying that line to begin with in some time. It’s a classic moment for Homer, though, and as someone who also never fully understood the joke myself, I agree with Josh Weinstein that it diminishes my appreciation of it by just a bit. 

What is surprising about this news is that Josh Weinstein hadn’t figured it out sooner, as he was on The Simpsons’ writing staff when this episode came to be. It’s amazing to think he went two-and-a-half decades without fully understanding the context of the joke, though perhaps it’s not too surprising with the number of gags the show’s done in that time. I’m sure he’s not the only alumni to have one go over his head, and he won’t be the last. 

Beyond that Homer gag, Disney+ subscribers would do well to check out The Simpsons’ “Bart Gets Famous.” Most notably, Bart imagines the celebrity Kitty Carlisle’s head being in a jar. That gag would pave the way for a long-running idea on Futurama, which famously featured celebrities from our time in the future as heads in jars (something we expect more of in the show's latest comeback season). Season 5, in general, is a great season of The Simpsons and one that anyone could spend an afternoon binging and laughing at as one of Disney+’s best offerings

Anyone who wants to binge The Simpsons can do so on the streaming service. There are also a number of entertaining new shorts featuring the characters to check out, although they may have a different look and feel compared to the more classic episodes of the show. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.