The Worst Things Homer Ever Did To Marge On The Simpsons
The worst things Homer ever did to Marge on The Simpsons
Homer Simpson is a lot of things to a lot of people. To his boss, he’s lazy and dangerously incompetent. To his kids, he’s neglectful, occasionally abusive (the whole “choking-his-son” thing), and sometimes affectionate, in his usual muddled way. To Moe the bartender, he’s a top customer. To his friends, he’s an occasional co-conspirator and more often a co-derelict. To his wife Marge, Homer is as loving as he can be, which at times doesn’t seem like much.
Homer Simpson is a slob and neglectful of his wife on his best days. Of course, in “The Simpsons,” he’s also a pater familias who delivers quite an amazing life full of excitement and adventure for his wife and kids.
That said, there are times when Homer mistreats Marge not as a side effect of his mush brain, but because he’s selfish and thoughtless. Homer’s bad acts range from betrayal and abandonment to embarrassment of his loving wife. Let’s put it this way: If this were a real-life relationship, everybody would be cheering for Marge to leave the dopey schmuck and possibly press charges on the way out, no matter how much he loves her. Instead, no harm, no foul; we cheer for the Simpsons to continue their dysfunctional marriage for time eternal and for Homer to win her back with his regular grand acts of redemption.
Gave her a bowling ball for her birthday
Marge has never shown an interest in bowling, so it’s quite a gutter shot when Homer gives her a bowling ball for her birthday in Season 1, Episode 9 (“Life in the Fast Lane”). Homer is out supposedly shopping for Marge, but when he sees a bowling ball he would love himself, Homer buys it, gets his name engraved on it, and gives it to Marge, ostensibly thinking she won’t like it and in turn will give it to Homer. Did we say that he actually put it in her birthday cake?
Such selfishness is par for Homer’s course. But to so egregiously disrespect your loving, committed wife that you can’t even get her a gift for her birthday is pretty horrible. Of course, Marge gets back at him by actually learning to bowl, eventually getting an instructor who gives Marge more than just lessons in bowling. She has a near-romance with the instructor, but eventually stays with her husband to honor their lifetime commitment of marriage. Hopefully, he learns from this that he must appreciate his wife. He learns from it, right? Right?
Framed her for his drunk driving
Homer is far from a perfect husband, though most of his offenses within his marriage are crimes of omission, or due to his own shortcomings — basically, he has no malicious intent. But in Season 15, Episode 9’s “Co-dependents Day,” his actions seem downright villainous. He not only drags Marge down his own drunken path, but also frames her for his own drunk driving.
This is a huge betrayal. Homer has been drinking heavily, as always. This is a rare instance where Marge has also indulged. Homer flips their car while driving home. Fearing the repercussions, he switches seats with Marge. She goes to jail, he bails her out, but then Barney suggests she goes to rehab. Homer has been an alcoholic since the beginning of the series (and probably longer), yet Marge, largely a teetotaler, is the one to go to rehab. Homer of course can’t watch the kids by himself, so he lets Flanders take care of them. In rehab, Marge discovers that she doesn’t even have a drinking problem, she just wants to spend time with her husband, which she feels she can’t do without drinking. That’s a truly sad realization.
Ruined a dinner party and their counseling
In “The War of the Simpsons,” the 20th episode of Season 2, Marge decides to have a dinner party, inviting all of their friends for what she hopes will be a great social event. Naturally, Homer gets drunk, makes a fool of himself and Marge, and ogles Maude Flanders. Marge is so embarrassed she enrolls them in a couples’ therapy retreat.
What does Homer do at the retreat? He goes fishing. In fact, he plans to go fishing when he finds out where the retreat is, never really intending to put much into the counseling. Homer sneaks out and hooks a massive fish. Marge, of course, is forced to attend the workshops alone — just another sign that this marriage is, at best, one-sided.
Homer, who has pretty much never shown any interest in fishing, decides to go instead of working on his troubled marriage. This is after he ruined his wife’s dinner party. Not exactly the actions of a good hubby.
Married another woman in Vegas
Often it seems that the only thing holding Homer and Marge together is their commitment made in the ceremony of marriage, so perhaps few of Homer’s misdeeds are more disrespectful of Marge than when he gets married in Las Vegas. In Season 10, Episode 10, “Viva Ned Flanders,” Homer and Ned go on a bender in Vegas and marry some trashy waitresses. Homer realizes his mistake, so perhaps it’s okay that he simply got blackout drunk and married. He and Ned then run off, hoping that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
All seems well until Homer’s Vegas wife, Amber, shows up at their doorstep in Season 13’s “Brawl in the Family.” Homer never took the time to divorce her, so she shows up, embarrasses his first wife, and tears apart his family. Homer has a dream of what he could do with two wives: basically, they could both do chores for him.
In the end, Marge helps him clean up the mess. Homer’s excuse for this horrible act? Again, surprise, he was drunk.
In Season 12, Springfield needs to adopt a new area code because they have too many phone numbers to all share the same area code. The second episode, “Tale of 2 Springfields,” is centered on this development. Homer’s reaction is to split the town. He shows up at a town meeting covered in dynamite he tries but fails to explode, basically acting like a terrorist and trying to kill everybody in town.
Toward the end, after The Who help the town reunite, Homer says he’s glad Marge’s crazy idea is over, even though the whole idea was his. When she goes to argue, he uses chloroform to knock her out. To sum up: Homer threatens their town, alienates his family (again) from all their friends for a stupid reason, blames Marge for his horrible actions, and then drugs her into silence so he can continue enjoying the party he really doesn’t have much right to enjoy anyway.
Deceived her about his gun
In “The Cartridge Family,” the Simpson family takes on America’s gun issue by showing us what it really means when everybody, including one of America’s most alcoholic and irascible buffoons, can get a gun. In this episode of Season 9, Homer starts wielding a gun irresponsibly, to the point that Marge realizes the only thing she can do is take the kids and leave.
Following a burglary, Marge asks Homer to get an alarm system. Instead, he buys a gun, which he shows to her by pointing it at her face. Homer then “hides” the gun in a place where Bart is able to find it and he and Milhouse play William Tell. Marge tells Homer to choose between the gun or his family. Homer chooses his gun. Eventually, even the local chapter of the NRA, made up of many of Springfield’s madmen (such as Moe showing how to make one gun out of five), decides Homer is too reckless to have a gun. Homer promises Marge he’s gotten rid of the gun, but then reveals that he didn’t actually get rid of it.
Got the town domed so they had to leave
In “The Simpsons Movie,” Homer not only harms Marge, but the rest of his family and the whole town of Springfield to boot. Homer wants to keep his pig, which he names Spider Pig. When Spider Pig relieves itself all over the yard, Homer decides to get rid of the waste by dropping it in a lake that’s already dangerously polluted. This results in the town getting sequestered by a dome and essentially sentenced to death.
Homer manages to get his family out, but it also means that they’re now separated from their friends and neighbors, who blame the family for the doming. Homer’s selfish insistence on getting a pig leads him to take a shortcut, which leads to the family being forced to leave everybody and everything they know. This is one of the worst things Homer has done not only to Marge but to everybody else. She finally points this out, only for him to weasel his way back in.
Aired her secrets
Homer likes to think that he knows things, even when he doesn’t. In Season 5, Episode 22, “Secrets of a Successful Marriage,” his friends make fun of him for being slow. He resents them when he finds Moe and Lenny teaching at the adult learning center.
When Homer gets a chance to teach a marriage class (despite the fact that his marriage is anything but exemplary), he jumps at it. As noted before, though, Homer is stupid, and his marriage is pretty bad. To keep the attention of his students, he tells his students secrets about his relationship, even airing plenty of Marge’s secrets that have nothing to do with their marriage. When she discovers this, she kicks him out.
Why does she take him back in? Because, as Homer explains, he will be forever dependent on her. Homer betrays Marge’s secrets and then explains that he’s with her because he’s unable to live by himself. Which, for some reason, she thinks is love.
Watched a whole season of their “show”
Part of having a committed relationship these days is sharing the experience of watching a show together — and, when you have a free day, of bingeing it. There are maybe few betrayals short of infidelity worse than bingeing your and your partner’s favorite show by yourself. Yet Homer does this in Season 30, Episode 13, “I’m Dancing As Fat As I Can.”
Marge has to go out of town to see a sick aunt and makes Homer promise not to watch their show, “Odder Stuff” (yes, it’s a “Stranger Things” parody). Homer agrees, despite the fact that it means he has to hide when the kids watch it. Homer is a weak man, though, and when he finds out everybody else has watched it, he can no longer hold out (he even has an “Odder Stuff” dream where he’s in “The Simpsons” version of the Upside Down). Not only does he sneak an episode; he binges the whole season. A betrayal most foul, even if he learns to dance to win her back.
Always gets drunk
Homer goes to Moe’s after work, before work (Moe calls it Homer’s “eye-opener”), and sometimes during work. He drinks every day. And almost every time he drinks, he continues until he’s drunk. One example is when he gets too drunk on Christmas Eve (“I Won’t Be Home for Christmas”) to come home.
A lot of the mishaps described in this article are perfect examples of how his drinking has hurt Marge. When Barney tries to get sober, Homer resents it. One can only imagine how Marge must feel, taking care of the kids while Homer drinks himself into a stupor and staggers home. It becomes tough to figure out how many of Homer’s worst acts are due to his drinking. He even once exclaims, “To alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.” Despite how much harm Homer has inflicted on his family, he’s never once tried to really get sober (at least not without a court order).
Marge is constantly having to clean up Homer’s alcohol-fueled messes.
Had frequent near-dalliances
Homer is fortunate to be married to Marge, a woman whom many other men pine after (from Artie Ziff to Moe), and who keeps the slob’s happy domestic life together. Yet Homer is constantly tempted to stray, even when it’s blatantly obvious that Marge is the better one in the relationship.
In the Season 3 episode “Colonel Homer,” he leaves his family to manage Lurleen Lumpkin and they have a near-romance. In Season 5, he falls for his coworker Mindy in “The Last Temptation of Homer,” only at the last moment resisting her. In “The Seven Beer Itch,” Homer falls for a beautiful British woman. In the Season 27 premiere, Homer and Marge go to therapy (again), and he has a dream of a trial separation in which he ends up with a young woman.
Okay, that one technically ends up being Marge’s dream. But her intuition, and Homer’s penchant for having many near-trysts while Marge is home with the kids, obviously led her there. Plus, her dream came from Homer using his narcolepsy as an excuse for getting out of helping her out with anything around the house.
Ruined her life
Marge manages the Simpson household. There’s nothing wrong with this life, though Homer rarely seems to appreciate how much Marge does to keep the house running. When Lisa discovers in “Lisa Simpson, This Isn’t Your Life” that Marge was extremely intelligent and motivated before she married Homer, she gets discouraged, since she feels this is her own destiny. She feels like Marge squandered all her potential for an idiot who disrespects her and hardly even fulfills his part of the old-school “man works, wife stays home” bargain.
“The Way We Was,” the 12th episode of Season 2, also touches on this. That episode shows Marge as an extremely intelligent high school student with a passion for female empowerment and all of the academic promise in the world. She could have gone on to higher education and a great career, especially compared to Homer, who was unmotivated to do anything with his life. She falls for Homer in large part out of pity and supports him despite the fact that he has no desire to make life better for himself or his loved ones.
Arguably the worst thing Homer did was curb Marge’s dreams and ambitions. It’s mitigated only by the fact that this may have partly been her decision, though we never really see Marge getting a choice.
Homer never really seems to acknowledge how much better her life would have been if Marge had found somebody as intelligent and motivated as she was. But hey, the brilliant homemaker and the lazy slob have had quite a zany ride. And their kids probably won’t be too damaged by it.