In the show, Homer is
- the son of Abraham and Mona Simpson
- married to Marge née Bouvier
- the father of Bart, Lisa, and Maggie
- the half-brother of Herb Powell and Abbie
It has been suggested in the series that Homer is between 36 and 39 years old. In one episode, a quiz indicates he will die at 42 and he wails that he has "only three years to live" (it should be noted that Homer's mental arithmetic may not be reliable). Various episodes have given his date of birth as May 12, 1956, May 10, 1955, and even 17-23-1956 [sic]. One episode had Homer and Marge attending a 1974 high school class reunion, which would be appropriate for a person born in 1955 or 1956.
Homer and his family probably live at 742 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield. Several alternative house numbers on Evergreen Terrace are given in various episodes, including 59, 94, 743, and 1094, in addition to 430 Spalding Way.
Homer works in the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, although "working" in this case refers to dozing and eating doughnuts. He spends a great deal of his time at Moe's Tavern with his lifelong friends Barney, Carl, Lenny, and bartender Moe.
His hobbies include heavy drinking (especially Duff Beer), television, bowling, and whatever he fancies from week to week.
Homer's essential personality traits presented themselves early on. He was raised solely by his father after the approximate age of 11. Homer slid through his classes and apparently graduated despite not passing Remedial Science until some twenty-plus years later. His senior yearbook reveals a lack of interest in sports and activities, and his quote was "I can't believe I ate the whole thing." In high school, Homer fell in love with Marge Bouvier, whom he would later marry (though both would later learn they had first met while children at summer camp). Following the completion of Remedial Science, Homer entered Springfield University and graduated due solely to illicitly changed grades. His education was further buttressed by Clown College, Bodyguard School, Successmanship 101, and mandatory Family Skills courses.
Regarding his health, Homer is incredibly lucky to be alive. Morbidly obese to begin with, he once gained an extra 70 pounds or so to get on disability. He has broken almost every bone in his body and received countless cuts and bruises, both major and minor. He has blown out his knee; had his thumb cut off; undergone coronary artery bypass surgery (performed by Dr. Nick Riviera); had laser eye surgery; stabbed himself in the eye with a switchblade; been in a coma because of an April Fool prank; had his jaw wired shut; donated a kidney; been rendered infertile from radiation exposure; suffered repeated back trauma; been institutionalized; nearly destroyed his stomach with beer and cannonballs; been forced by his cruel boss Mr. Burns to consume radioactive waste with a spoon; suffered four simultaneous heart attacks; had his abdominal area torn open by a rabid badger; been pummeled while inside of a robot; crushed by boulders and wrecking balls; been bitten by venomous snakes; electrocuted himself; set himself on fire numerous times; suffered multiple gunshot wounds; and fallen off cliffs, down stairs, and off the roof of the house frequently. Furthermore, his brain is cushioned by a unique and eponymous genetic condition: "Homer Simpson's syndrome."
As widely evidenced, Homer's mind is vacuous nearly throughout but sprinkled with occasional dense packets of knowledge. He has shown small bursts of astonishing foresight, memory, creativity, and fluency with language (including Japanese, German, Chinese, Spanish, and penguin). These bursts are almost always temporary and constantly changing. The nature of this intellect is multi-fold. Much of his mental ability is suppressed by the presence of a wax crayon in the frontal lobe of his brain, the result of a bizarre childhood mishap. Also credited is the Simpson Gene, which almost guarantees that male Simpsons become underachievers. His stupidity may be exacerbated further by excessive alcohol consumption, repetitive cranial trauma (such as a giant pipe falling on his head), and exposure to radiation on the job (which has also rendered him virtually impotent). Furthermore, Homer volunteered himself for experimentation by the Army Neurochemical Research Center. In addition to the stupidity gene, he suffers from two other maladies--stubbiness (abnormally short and thick fingers) and the "Simpson butt" (a rather large rear end), which are genetic and which he has passed on to his children.
Homer is inclined to fall into mental fantasy, often drifting off into his own world or perceiving reality in a more personally appealing manner. Notable are the odd conversations he has with his own brain, typically in an adversarial tone. Homer is also very suggestible when deprived of sleep.
His minute attention span complements his intense (albeit short-lived) passion for hobbies, enterprises or causes. Although by nature an exceedingly lazy man, he is capable of exerting tremendous effort toward something, if only for a week or less. Good examples are when he converted his garage into a bar, just to spite his local bartender Moe Szyslak; spent a whole episode studying and emulating Thomas Edison; and attempted to uncover a plot to trade Springfield's baseball team interstate by going on a hunger strike. These massively spirited endeavours can be triggered by almost nothing, as evidenced by his short-lived grease collection business.
Homer is also prone to becoming very emotional, especially when it comes to his neighbors, the Flanders family or troubles related to his son, Bart. He has rage issues and has been physically and violently abusive, often towards his son, whom he has strangled and even struck on numerous occassions. Homer is also deeply compassionate, if not initially so--he often has to be driven to show his softer side by guilt.
On the food front, Homer is particularly fond of doughnuts and pork chops, but also pie, chili, Krusty Burgers, nachos, pork rinds, bacon, potato chips, and heroes/hoagies/grinders. He once spent weeks eating a gigantic hoagie long after it went bad, making him deathly ill. In his gluttony, he has also consumed items that are not necessarily food from time to time, such as flowers, Play-Doh, dirt, and some novelty plastic lobsters from a salad bar. His diet is not a good example to younger viewers and this point is frequently made throughout the series. Homer typically responds to food with copious drool and exuberant postures.
While Homer generally enjoys the affection of all Springfield, his mental and emotional nature have garnered him more than a few lasting enemies. Most notably is the deceased Frank "Grimey" Grimes, for whose death Homer was indirectly but intensely responsible. This naturally resulted in the rancor of the aforementioned's son, Frank Grimes, Jr. Other adversaries of note include his sisters-in-law Patty and Selma Bouvier, employer C. Montgomery Burns, Springfield University Dean Bobby Peterson, "Professor Know-It-All" the parrot, president George H. W. Bush, the Prime Minister of Japan, New York City, the State of Florida, and an inanimate carbon rod. Along with the rest of his family, he has been banned from nearly every state in the United States. As of late, Homer has turned soft toward his neighbor and longtime enemy Ned Flanders, though his selfishness and inconsiderate nature makes it a rather uneasy and unhealthy friendship for Ned.
Homer has gone by many names and aliases. While in the Witness Relocation Program, the family assumed the surname "Thompson" (which he had a hard time understanding at first). Homer legally changed his name to "Max Power" for a time to escape public ridicule. He has also been known by many nicknames, including "Homey," "Homina," "Home-boy," "Colonel Homer," "Dancin' Homer," "Mr. Plow," "Mr. Sparkle," "Hungry, Hungry Homer," the "Brick Hit House," the "Southern Dandy," and "Bottomless Pete, Nature's Cruelest Mistake," among others, often of a depreciative nature. He once ran a gossip website under the alias "Mr. X."
Homer's middle name, "Jay," is a tribute by Simpsons creator Matt Groening to the work of cartoon producer Jay Ward, creator of Bullwinkle J. Moose and Rocket J. Squirrel. Abe and Bart share this middle initial, though not the name. Groening has stated that he named the core of the Simpsons family after members of his own family (Homer was his father's name). He also acknowledges that Homer Simpson happens to be a character in Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust.
Homer Simpson popularized the annoyed grunt "D'oh!" (made memorable, of course, through Dan Castellaneta's distinctive voice work), which began as an abbreviated form of Jim Finlayson 's "Dooooh" from the films of Laurel and Hardy. This modern interjection has found enough popular acceptance to be included in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Assuming compensation (such as money, Powersauce Bars, etc.), but excluding Halloween episodes and passing bets (grave digger, panda, etc.), Homer's past occupations include:
Springfield Nuclear Power Plant
- Technical Supervisor, Sector 7G
- Supervising Technician, Sector 7G
- Safety Inspector, Sector 7G (current position)
- Executive (with bathroom privileges and an assistant, Karl)
- Executive Assistant/aka Smithers
- Executive Vice-President
- Prank Monkey
- Plant Supervisor/Executive (Globex Corp., Cypress Creek)
- Junior Vice-President (CompuGlobalHyperMegaNet, his own short-lived company)
- Owner (ZiffCorp)
- Petty Officer Third Class, Naval Reserve (USS Jebediah)
- Mayoral bodyguard
- Mayor (New Springfield)
- Sanitation Commissioner
- Guard (Springfield Juvenile Correctional Facility)
- Chief of Police
- Owner, private security firm (SpringShield)
- Telemarketer (Happy Dude/Sorry Dude)
- Carnival worker/Carny
- Con artist/Grifter
- Bartender (Moe's Tavern)
- Bartender (Homer's Hunting Club)
- Sugar smuggler (Motherloving Sugar Corp.)
- Sugar salesman (Farmer Homer's Sweet Sweet Sugar)
- ToMacco salesman
- Traveling salesman (Simpson & Son, Revitalizing Tonic)
- Grease collections/sales
- Door-to-door spring salesman
- Door-to-door knife salesman (Slash-Co.)
- Candle maker (Ye Olde Candlemaker, Olde Springfield Towne)
- Attack-dog trainer (Pitiless Pup Attack Dog School)
- Service Trainee (Gulp 'n' Blow Drive-thru)
- Inventor (eg. automatic hammer, 6-legged chair,makeup shotgun, lazy-bowl, as well as building several robots and being the creator of the alcoholic drinks The Flaming Homer and Skittlebrau)
- Oil-rig worker
- Astronaut (NASA)
- Celebrity assistant (Basinger/Baldwin)
- Sports club owner (Denver Broncos)
- Sports mascot (Springfield Isotopes )
- Boxer (Association of Springfield Semipro Boxers, referred to in the episode as ASSBOX)
- Mountain climber (Murderhorn)
- League bowler (Pin-Pals)
- Bowling alley assistant/Pin monkey (Bowl-o-rama)
- Mini-golf assistant (Sir Putts-A-Lot)
- Blackjack dealer (Monty's Casino)
- Convenience store night-clerk (Kwik-E-Mart)
- Safety protester
- Baby proofer (Wee Care)
- Union Boss (Intl. Union of Pastry Chefs, Jazz Dancers, and Nuclear Technicians)
- Car designer (Powell Motors)
- Used Car salesman
- Chauffeur/Limo driver (Classy Joe's)
- Truck Driver/Trucker
- Snowplow proprietor and driver (Mr. Plow)
- Freelance ambulance driver
- Monorail conductor
- Actor (SAG name, "Homer Jay Simpson")
- Talk Show Host (Homer Simpson Show)
- Cartoon voice (Poochie)
- Drug Spokesman (Viagrogain)
- Instructor, "How to keep a successful marriage" (Adult Education Annex)
- Fortune Cookie fortune-writer
- Food critic (Springfield Shopper)
- Movie Producer (Mr. Smith Goes To Washington remake)
- Entertainment manager - Animal (Suds McDuff)
- Entertainment manager - Country/Western artist (Lurleen Lumpkin)
- Musician (Be Sharps)
- Musician (Everybody Hates Ned Flanders)
- Street musician (one-man-band)
- Performance artist/Freak (Hullapalooza)
- Authorized Krusty impersonator
- Personal entertainer/Prank monkey
- Conceptual artist (Louvre: American Style)
- Mall Santa Claus
- Superhero (the Pie Man)
- Mr. X
- Ambulance Driver
- Grim Reaper
Awards & Honors
- First Annual Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence, 1992 (after sterilization)
- Springfield Nuclear Power Plant Toxic Waste Handler of the Month, 1990
- Springfield Nuclear Power Plant Employee of the Month, 1991 (after saving Springfield from a nuclear meltdown)
- Springfield Nuclear Power Plant Medal for Bravery, 1995 (after physically plugging a radioactive gas leak)
- Springfield Nuclear Power Plant Belching Contest Winner, 1995 (award later yielded to Jay Sherman)
- Springfield Nuclear Power Plant Children's Model-Building Contest, 1997
- Grammy Award for Outstanding Soul, Spoken Word, or Barbershop Album of the Year, 1985 (Be Sharps)
- Greaser's Café Dance Contest, 1999
- Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, (Dr. Haing S. Ngor or Don Ameche)
- Springfield Bowling Championship, 1996 (PinPals)
- P.J. O'Harrigan's "Sir Drinks-A-Lot," 1999
- Pulitzer Prize for Journalism, 2000
- Springfield Olympic Mascot Contest,1999 (Springy)
- High school reunion awards: "most weight gained," "most hair lost," "most improved odor," "oldest car," "lowest paying job," and for "travelling the least distance to get to the reunion," among others, 1993 (awards later withdrawn)
- The Simpsons Archive
- Is Homer Simpson a Communist?