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Homer Simpson

Real name:
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single

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Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons voiced by Dan Castellaneta. He has become a very popular cartoon character along with the rest of his family, and his catchphrase, the annoyed grunt "D'oh!", has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary. Homer is named after the father of the show's creator Matt Groening.

Matt Groening first conceived the Simpson family in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. He had been called in to pitch a series of animated shorts, and had intended to present his Life in Hell series. When he realized that animating Life in Hell would require him to rescind publication rights for his life's work, Groening decided to go in another direction. He hurriedly sketched out his version of a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, with Homer being named after his father. Homer's middle initial "J," which was revealed to stand for "Jay", was a "tribute" to Bullwinkle J. Moose from Rocky and Bullwinkle, a show Matt Groening loved as a child.

According to Matt Groening, the whole family was designed so that they would be recognisable in silhouette. However, the features of Homer's character design are not used in other characters. Homer then made his debut with the rest of the Simpsons clan on April 19, 1987 in the Tracey Ullman short "Good Night".

Homer's attitudes toward women, romance, and sex are occasionally explored. While Homer's marriage with Marge is occasionally strained, it seems generally happy and faithful. Despite this, Homer usually shows no qualms with gawking at (and drooling over) attractive women. Homer successfully avoided an affair with Mindy Simmons, but has made the occasional remark denoting his attraction to other women (including the gag about coveting his neighbor's wife), even in front of Marge.

The Simpsons has been recommended for use in the teaching of sociology to modern-day college students. The (non-academic) book The Simpsons and Philosophy, the D'oh! of Homer includes a chapter analyzing Homer's character from the perspective of Aristotelian virtue ethics.

On May 30, 2003, Homer was made an honorary citizen of Winnipeg, Canada, in recognition of Matt Groening's father Homer Groening, who is believed to be from the Manitoba capital.

Homer placed second on TV Guide's 2002 Top 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters, behind Bugs Bunny. In 2005, Homer was listed fifth on Bravo's 100 Greatest TV Characters, one of only four cartoon characters on that list.

A five-year study of more than 2,000 middle-aged people in France found a possible link between weight and brain function, dubbed the "Homer Simpson syndrome". Results from a word memory test showed that people with a BMI of 20 (considered to be a healthy level) remembered an average of nine out of 16 words. Meanwhile, people with a BMI of 30 (inside the obese range) remembered an average of just seven out of 16 words.

Homer's ubiquitous catch phrase "D'oh!" was famously added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2002, without the apostrophe. The spoken word D'oh is a trademark of 20th Century Fox.


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