Today We Honor Ralph Wiggum
August 11, 2014 9:14 AM   Subscribe

There is no place on the social structure for a second-grade boy who thinks rats are “pointy kitties” and calls his teacher “Mommy.” Kids can be misfits (Milhouse), or they can be brownnosers (Martin), or they can be troublemakers (Nelson), or they can be tattle-tales (Sherri and Terri), but being Ralph is simply not a taxonomically viable option. Ralph Wiggum's Finest Moments.
posted by Ghostride The Whip (121 comments total) 64 users marked this as a favorite

 
Previously.
posted by almostmanda at 9:17 AM on August 11, 2014


"I love Lisa" is such a great episode. I can't even tell you how many times my wife and I have said to one another, "Look in the tunk."
posted by MoonOrb at 9:18 AM on August 11, 2014 [7 favorites]




Bravo!
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:26 AM on August 11, 2014


"In my family, we call fires 'uh-ohs.'"
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 9:27 AM on August 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


I have a conflict of interest, but the idea that Ralph is a child and not a kid is wonderful and dead on.
posted by The Whelk at 9:33 AM on August 11, 2014 [22 favorites]


When I was in grad school and we'd go to academic talks which were either incomprehensibly presented or over our heads or both, myself and fellow grad students would signal across the lecture hall to each other by holding our hand up, bringing opposable thumb to palm and back out repeatedly, which is the internationally-known Ralph Wiggum sign for "My Cat's Name is Mittens"
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:34 AM on August 11, 2014 [22 favorites]


This post tastes like burning.
posted by misterpatrick at 9:36 AM on August 11, 2014 [14 favorites]


volunteers unprompted, nonsensical declarations (“My cat’s breath smells like cat food”)


Unprompted, yes, but totes sensical.

Also my go-to admission that I'm out of my depth.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:37 AM on August 11, 2014 [8 favorites]


Both of these articles are wonderful. I hope she continues to write such lovely things about Simpsons side characters (even if I'm sad that she didn't bring up the Viking thing).
posted by Greg Nog at 9:38 AM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, let's not go there again...
posted by Naberius at 9:38 AM on August 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


There was NEVER A VIKING THING GREG IT NEVER HAPPENED
posted by The Whelk at 9:39 AM on August 11, 2014 [25 favorites]


Jasper is not an old man, he is an old coot.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:39 AM on August 11, 2014 [6 favorites]


Is this where I can get my Wookie unbent?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:40 AM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I want an essay on The Squeeky Voiced Teen, always on the edge of failure, always working some marginal job, never once winning at anything or in charge of anything. He doesn't even get a NAME.
posted by The Whelk at 9:40 AM on August 11, 2014 [32 favorites]


Jasper is not an old man, he is an old coot.

Oh, you better believe that's a paddlin'.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:41 AM on August 11, 2014 [23 favorites]


I want an essay in The Squeeky Voiced Teen, always on the edge of failure, always working some marginal job, never once winning at anything or in charge of anything. He doesn't even get a NAME.

Gil Junior?
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:43 AM on August 11, 2014 [4 favorites]


"This is my swing set. This is my sandbox. I'm not allowed to go in the deep end. That's where I saw the leprechaun. He told me to burn things."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:45 AM on August 11, 2014 [15 favorites]


If you're having a bad day, or a good day, or one of those passive-aggressive days that can't make up its damn mind, just grab anything Mallory Ortberg has written from the Toast archives e.g. What the Bride Took.
posted by maudlin at 9:45 AM on August 11, 2014 [14 favorites]


I'm happy and angry
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:47 AM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'd like to see one of these written about Moe Szyslack: A Man With Two Knives.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:48 AM on August 11, 2014 [4 favorites]


The comments following the article are not only safe to read, but actually pretty decent. I like this one.
posted by exogenous at 9:49 AM on August 11, 2014 [4 favorites]


I noticed that the latest episode referenced in the article as far as I could tell was from season 9 (Lisa the Simpson), which was 15 years ago. It's telling because after a certain point the Simpsons characters stopped developing and simply became caricatures.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 9:50 AM on August 11, 2014 [5 favorites]


I noticed that the latest episode referenced in the article as far as I could tell was from season 9 (Lisa the Simpson),

Wait--there were episodes after Season 9? I'm afraid I have no idea what you're talking about.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:53 AM on August 11, 2014 [12 favorites]


Me fail English? That's unpossible!
posted by Gronk at 9:54 AM on August 11, 2014 [9 favorites]


He is borderline mentally retarded and a classic representation of what happens when such children are mainstreamed in with their non-retarded cohorts instead of getting specialized care like they would in any civilized society that cares about child education. He learns nothing and slows down the progress of others. His only hopes lie in his well connected father and his own gentle soul.
posted by Renoroc at 9:54 AM on August 11, 2014 [5 favorites]


Gil Junior?

The Squeaky-Voiced Teen both precedes and exceeds Gil. Let us not mention Gil again.
posted by kenko at 9:59 AM on August 11, 2014


The Bloodhound Gang, mostly known for songs about being horny, made a rather melancholic sounding ballad using lines spoken by little Ralphie.


I'm going to Africa yes ma'am I'm a brick was President Lincoln okay? mitten
There's a dog in the vent chicken necks? I pick Ken Griffey Jr. I fell out 2 times
I'm pedaling backwards this snowflake tastes like fish sticks we're a totem pole dying tickles
I heard a Frankenstein lives there she's touching my special area go banana

Ralphie ralphie
Get off get off
The stage the stage
Sweetheart sweetheart

Oh say can you rock?

I'm a pop sensation
I'm a pop sensation

Salmon gutter?

I'm idaho you smell like dead bunnies that's where I saw the leprechaun fun toys are fun
Chocolate microscopes you're not it that is so 1991 I bit my tongue

Ralphie ralphie
Get off get off
The stage the stage
Sweetheart sweetheart

Oh say can you rock?

I'm a pop sensation
I'm a pop sensation

Yvan eht nioj
Yvan eht nioj
Yvan eht nioj
Yvan eht nioj
Yvan eht nioj
Yvan eht nioj
Yvan eht nioj
Yvan eht nioj

My sash says ultraman

posted by M Edward at 10:00 AM on August 11, 2014 [8 favorites]


Related, not to Young Master Wiggum but to the idea of children being children, here's a poem I've always liked: David Talamantez on the Last Day of Second Grade, by Rosemary Catacalos
posted by gauche at 10:01 AM on August 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's telling because after a certain point the Simpsons characters stopped developing and simply became caricatures.

But the Simpons only ran for nine years. Wait ...who was the president after Clinton in your universe?
posted by The Whelk at 10:02 AM on August 11, 2014 [18 favorites]


Me fail English? That's unpossible!

This line became so beloved by me, so ingrained, that I had to stop myself from accidentally referring to things as "unpossible" without out meaning to.

As a side note, I teach English.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 10:03 AM on August 11, 2014 [22 favorites]


But the Simpons only ran for nine years. Wait ...who was the president after Clinton in your universe?


Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:06 AM on August 11, 2014 [37 favorites]


I've called rats "pointy kitties" ever since that episode aired.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:07 AM on August 11, 2014


This line became so beloved by me, so ingrained, that I had to stop myself from accidentally referring to things as "unpossible" without out meaning to.

Similarly, I must take great care that, thanks to Will Ferrell, I don't refer to our "strategery" during planning meetings.

/professional communicator
posted by Rangeboy at 10:07 AM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


In this thread, *everyone* is a viking.
posted by panboi at 10:08 AM on August 11, 2014 [8 favorites]


Not a Ralph-ism, but I use cromulent as if it were a perfectly cromulent word itself.
(I too use unpossible. And I work in English education.)
posted by Seamus at 10:12 AM on August 11, 2014 [6 favorites]


I love Ralph, but am waiting with keen interest for at least 100,000 words expanding on the sublime beauty of Milhouse Mussolini Van Houten.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:14 AM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


"My mouth tastes like burning" and "Do you like stuff?" and "That's unpossible!" are regular verbal visitors in my household.
posted by Foosnark at 10:16 AM on August 11, 2014


The Squeaky-Voiced Teen

"Morning Guvnah. Lube job while you woit?"
"Don't touch me."
posted by history_denier at 10:21 AM on August 11, 2014


If you're having a bad day, or a good day, or one of those passive-aggressive days that can't make up its damn mind, just grab anything Mallory Ortberg has written from the Toast archives e.g. What the Bride Took.

"Women Having a Lousy Time in Western Art History" is a gutbuster.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:21 AM on August 11, 2014 [5 favorites]


"_____ tastes like burning," is probably the Simpsons quote I use most often, along with the Nelson laugh and cromulent.

This article totally just filled me with affection for Ralph. And I agree, the distinction of Ralph being a child and not a kid is the perfect way to describe him.
posted by yasaman at 10:22 AM on August 11, 2014


I have this insane fan theorylong-lived hypothesis that Ralph's character in the first season was not just the result of the writers solidifying their secondary characters as they went. Early Ralph (he of "Yes, but what man can tame her?") is NOT proto-Ralph, retconned away a year later. His Season 1 personality wasn't just subsumed by later seasons, as suggested here: he underwent a radical personality shift, partly due to his wildly unstable home life (speaking like Humphrey Bogart doesn't win you any points when your dad cracks walnuts with a revolver) and partly because he thinks it's his best chance of finally marrying Lisa. Ralph is a subtle genius. He's playing the long con. Twenty-some years and counting.
posted by Mayor West at 10:24 AM on August 11, 2014 [10 favorites]


This is my swing set. This is my sandbox.

This is for fighting, this is for flummox.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 10:24 AM on August 11, 2014


"I Love Lisa" is also one of my favorite episodes for the "Placeholder Presidents" song:

There's Taylor, there's Tyler, there's Fillmore and there's Hayes
There's William Henry Harrison
I died in thirty days!

posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:24 AM on August 11, 2014 [10 favorites]


As was recently pointed out back in July, among her many achievements and honors Mallory Ortberg is the world's foremost authority on Ronbledore.
posted by Wretch729 at 10:25 AM on August 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


He gets the joke, and for once the punchline isn’t him.
.... awww.
posted by travertina at 10:41 AM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Rangeboy: I routinely say "stragedy" in place of "strategy," a la Bugs Bunny, to amuse myself. Like you, I have to watch myself in meetings at work.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 11:00 AM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


One of my favorite Simpsons moments was when Comic Book Guy was renting videos as part of his store (I'm not sure if it was a permanent part of The Android's Dungeon) and Ralph wanders into the curtained-off adult section; a second later, you hear his delighted voice: "Everyone's hugging!"
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:03 AM on August 11, 2014 [27 favorites]


I want an essay on The Squeeky Voiced Teen, always on the edge of failure, always working some marginal job, never once winning at anything or in charge of anything. He doesn't even get a NAME.

In the New Economy, we are all Squeeky Voiced Teens.
posted by clockzero at 11:03 AM on August 11, 2014 [13 favorites]


I routinely say "stragedy" in place of "strategy," a la Bugs Bunny, to amuse myself.

If I heard that, I would assume it was being used as a portmanteau of strategy and tragedy. A term which has much to recommend it.
posted by clockzero at 11:06 AM on August 11, 2014 [8 favorites]


My wife, who works in education, gets annoyed whenever I ask her what the Super Nintendo is up to.
posted by drezdn at 11:14 AM on August 11, 2014 [7 favorites]


Metafilter, I ch-ch-choose you!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:24 AM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


[Folks, please take discussion of language use to MetaTalk, not to this thread. Thanks]
posted by restless_nomad at 11:27 AM on August 11, 2014


He's not slow, he's just from Canada.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:29 AM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, Ralph. His dreams and optimism were always so much bigger than his brain.

He's the only fictional character I'll still find myself quoting, even if only silently to myself, at 42.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:34 AM on August 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


Could we just go ahead and make it a rule that Mallory Ortberg is the only person who's ever allowed to write anything, ever again, until the end of days? This alone is argument enough.

My favorite Ralphism.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:36 AM on August 11, 2014 [4 favorites]


Wow, that Viking thread is a beautiful train wreck. I know what I'm doing this afternoon!
posted by Itaxpica at 11:46 AM on August 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ralph and Zoidberg live in similar places in my soul.
posted by joyceanmachine at 11:48 AM on August 11, 2014 [11 favorites]


I always love it when people play close attention to peripheral characters. While creators are madly working to make the leads entertaining they don't have time to notice that the supporting cast is filled with truth.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:52 AM on August 11, 2014


I tell ya, that dog has had some adventures...
posted by Navelgazer at 12:00 PM on August 11, 2014


I recall that Ralph crushed all comers in the Tournament of Simpsons Minor Characters, in must have been about March 2001 (It was a NCAA-style bracket). IIRC, he defeated Mr. Burns in the final round of voting.
posted by thelonius at 12:02 PM on August 11, 2014


Wow, that Viking thread is a beautiful train wreck. I know what I'm doing this afternoon!

If it's not driving our ships to new lands, you are dead to me.
posted by thelonius at 12:03 PM on August 11, 2014 [8 favorites]


While creators are madly working to make the leads entertaining they don't have time to notice that the supporting cast is filled with truth.

I think what made the Simpsons so amazing in its golden years was exactly this, creating and developing a host of engaging side characters and not just being the adventures of a wacky family that it became.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:04 PM on August 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


I know what I'm doing this afternoon!

Sacking a monastery?
posted by elizardbits at 12:06 PM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


WWRWD
posted by y2karl at 12:11 PM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think what made the Simpsons so amazing in its golden years was exactly this, creating and developing a host of engaging side characters and not just being the adventures of a wacky family that it became.

Wacky family, depressingly shrinking circle of side characters, and SO FUCKING MANY STUPID STUPID CELEBRITY APPEARANCES, which pretty much oppositted and invertified what made it all good when it was. The Simpsons should have been a place where we could breathe free of neverending celebrity bullcrap, for heaven's sake (see also: Futurama), not an excuse for Matt Groening to fill out his kids' autograph books.

Still, I think Ralph and Butters have something in common in being truly earnest and enthusiastic with a moral center in the midst of so many characters who have none of those qualities.
posted by sonascope at 12:13 PM on August 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


Futurama signaled almost immediately that celebrities were going to be a part of it (with the Head Museum and all) but Futurama also made a lot better use out of the celebs it had on. (Except for Hawking, who actually plays the same caricatured version of himself in both.)
posted by Navelgazer at 12:26 PM on August 11, 2014


but Futurama also made a lot better use out of the celebs it had on.


Um...that wasn't actually Henry Kissinger.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:30 PM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I was going to mention Butters too. South Park has always seemed to unequivocally say "Adults are stupid, and the only good people are Kyle and Stan, whose innocence lets them see and speak the truth." My take is that they are all assholes except for Butters.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:31 PM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


If it's not driving our ships to new lands, you are dead to me.

Actually uh I meant Viking in the metaphorical sense of 'champion' so...
posted by Itaxpica at 12:31 PM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


> "My mouth tastes like burning" and "Do you like stuff?" and "That's unpossible!" are regular verbal visitors in my household.

Every time I see or overhear a couple out on a date that doesn't seem to be going very well, I can't help but think "So...do you like...stuff?"
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:31 PM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


SO FUCKING MANY STUPID STUPID CELEBRITY APPEARANCES, which pretty much oppositted and invertified what made it all good when it was.
"You wouldn't believe the celebrities who did cameos! Dustin Hoffman, Michael Jackson. Of course, they didn't use their real names, but you could tell it was them." - Lisa Simpson, Season 4.

Even if you only consider celebrity appearances where they did use their real names, those were there early and often.
posted by roystgnr at 12:32 PM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I once printed out an "I CHOO-CHOO-CHOOSE YOU" valentine for my valentine at the time. It was a lovely Valentine's Day and nobody looked in the tunk and nobody's heart broke at an easily recordable split-second.

Ralph is my fave.
posted by Spatch at 12:34 PM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Um...that wasn't actually Henry Kissinger.

Ha! You are right, of course, but I had recently been "corrected" by a friend that he voiced it himself, which I thought was amazing. I now know it was John Dimaggio, who I've learned aparently has a voice other than the Bender/Jake the Dog voice, so I'm happy.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:34 PM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Every single terrible Simpsons celebrity guest spot is worth it for Buzz Aldrin's cameo alone.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:36 PM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I now know it was John Dimaggio


He does have the best line in the episode, though:

"Mr. Ambassador, our people tell the same story."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:45 PM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


I was talking with a friend once about the school system and legitimately got confused and mentioned the incoming SuperNintendo. I never heard the end of it.
posted by downtohisturtles at 12:49 PM on August 11, 2014






Joyce presents a slightly older Ralph in the second chapter of Ulysses:
  Sargent who alone had lingered came forward slowly, showing an open copybook. His thick hair and scraggy neck gave witness of unreadiness and through his misty glasses weak eyes looked up pleading. On his cheek, dull and bloodless, a soft stain of ink lay, dateshaped, recent and damp as a snail's bed.
  He held out his copybook. The word Sums was written on the headline. Beneath were sloping figures and at the foot a crooked signature with blind loops and a blot. Cyril Sargent: his name and seal.
— Mr Deasy told me to write them out all again, he said, and show them to you, sir.
  Stephen touched the edges of the book. Futility.
  — Do you understand how to do them now? he asked.
  — Numbers eleven to fifteen, Sargent answered. Mr Deasy said I was to copy them off the board, sir.
  — Can you do them yourself? Stephen asked.
  — No, sir.
  Ugly and futile: lean neck and thick hair and a stain of ink, a snail's bed. Yet someone had loved him, borne him in her arms and in her heart. But for her the race of the world would have trampled him underfoot, a squashed boneless snail.
posted by languagehat at 1:20 PM on August 11, 2014 [16 favorites]


Even if you only consider celebrity appearances where they did use their real names, those were there early and often.

There's a difference between celebrities voicing characters and appearing as themselves.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:22 PM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sangermaine: "I think what made the Simpsons so amazing in its golden years was exactly this, creating and developing a host of engaging side characters and not just being the adventures of a wacky family that it became."

The apotheosis of this robustness being season 7's 22 Short Films About Springfield.

Also, season 8 was the last season. You "season 9" truthers are crazy.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:39 PM on August 11, 2014


...and nobody looked in the tunk...

My sister and I ALWAYS say "in the tunk."
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:43 PM on August 11, 2014


No Season 9 was the widely uneven season that showed the wear and rust was spreading and it was time to shut it down. (Season 9 has the honor of having the first completely unmemorable Treehouse Of Horror episode. I still have the DISTINCT memory of feeling somehow betrayed.)
posted by The Whelk at 1:46 PM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Every single terrible Simpsons celebrity guest spot is worth it for Buzz Aldrin's cameo alone.

Controller: Er, some good news, gentlemen. We have quite a treat for
you. We've been able to coax superstar James Taylor in here
to Mission Control to wish you well and play you a little
bit of his own brand of laid-back adult contemporary music.

Homer: Wow, former president James Taylor.

Taylor: How ya doin', fellas?

Buzz: With all due respect, Mr. Taylor, this isn't the best time
for your unique brand of bittersweet folk rock. We have a
potentially critical situation here. I'm sure you'll
understand.

Taylor: Listen, Aldrin, I'm not as laid back as people think. Now
here's the deal: I'm going to play, and you're going to
float there and like it.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:51 PM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wish all of the Simpsons were on Netflix or Hulu. All the time I want to reference something from an episode and then realize that outside of the daily syndication reruns the show just isn't out there. It's understandable, because of how much money is tied up in those deals, but the show is drifting out of the public consciousness before it really should be.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:52 PM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wish all of the Simpsons were on Netflix or Hulu.

You're going to be pleased soon.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:56 PM on August 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


I wish I had a billion dollars and weed was legal.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:58 PM on August 11, 2014 [9 favorites]


there are going to be so many "ten Simpsons episodes you have to see right now" lists out there when that goes live and I am going to hate every single one.
posted by The Whelk at 2:02 PM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Any list that doesn't include Last Exit to Springfield and I Love Lisa doesn't count, anyway.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:03 PM on August 11, 2014


Hi Super Nintendo Chalmers!

Was President Lincoln ok?

Go banana!

Man, this thread is where I'm a viking.
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 2:07 PM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


Man, this thread is where I'm a viking.

But that doesn't make any sense! Unless you mean... oh, man...
posted by Navelgazer at 2:14 PM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Even if you only consider celebrity appearances where they did use their real names, those were there early and often.
There's a difference between celebrities voicing characters and appearing as themselves.
I agree. That's why I distinguished celebrities appearing as themselves ("where they did use their real names") from the alternative, before demonstrating that both were common. (search for "self" and "selves")

Seasons 3 through 6 are uncontroversially Simpsons Golden Years, right? Each has more than half a dozen celebrities appearing as themselves and at least twice that many voicing characters.
posted by roystgnr at 2:15 PM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


> There's a difference between celebrities voicing characters and appearing as themselves.

The worst words you can ever hear in a Simpson's episode are "Hi Bart, I'm Taylor Swift/Al Pacino/Robert Downey/etc/etc/etc". Might as well turn it off once that happens.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:37 PM on August 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


3-7, I figured this out when I was in a cabin in the woods in Maine with a full 1-6 Simpsons DVD sets and spent all my evenings watching back to back episodes and I really wanted to watch Lisa The Iconoclast but that's season seven.

8 has a few more clunkers to fun, nine has two or three good episodes and is mostly embarrassing cause everyone is written so off model.
posted by The Whelk at 2:52 PM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's sorta amazing to me how much the old Viking thread still makes me angry to read. Makes me want to go beserk, like Ralph in his dreams.
posted by Hoopo at 2:55 PM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


That thread has 434 instances of the word "viking." The word has started to lose all meaning.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:39 PM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd like her to do one about Penny-farthing bicycle man. I feel like he must have a good back story.

Or maybe an expose about what led to the Bomb Disarming Robot's suicide.
posted by dios at 3:40 PM on August 11, 2014


That thread has 434 instances of the word "viking." The word has started to lose all meaning.

Semantic satiation! That's where I'm a series of seemingly meaningless phonemes!
posted by cortex at 3:41 PM on August 11, 2014 [13 favorites]


"My mouth tastes like burning"

See also "even my boogers are spicy!"
posted by IndigoRain at 3:43 PM on August 11, 2014


I just adore the Simpsons. I was a teenager at its height and I deeply suspected I would never see anything as glorious again. It was one of the few things I got right back then.
posted by StephenF at 4:03 PM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


Go Banana!
posted by Go Banana at 4:39 PM on August 11, 2014 [7 favorites]


I hope you all are happy I had to interrupt my Wiggle Puppy schedule for this thread.
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:49 PM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Mrs. Krabappel and Principal Skinner were in the closet making babies, and I saw one of the babies, and then the baby looked at me.
posted by bitteroldman at 7:57 PM on August 11, 2014 [4 favorites]


Mrs. Krabappel and Principal Skinner were in the closet making babies, and I saw one of the babies, and then the baby looked at me.

I remember clearly noting at the time that line was delivered that whoever wrote that had a pretty damn good grasp of the strangely delightful way that children lie. Just perfect.
posted by sonascope at 8:15 PM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


the baby looked at you?!
posted by Drinky Die at 8:16 PM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]




My girlfriend has never seen more than one or two Simpsons episodes, but she's come to quote it a lot just from exposure to all the references I make. (Like so many of you, little things like 'unpossible' really stuck. When I played the Star Trek MMO, I even flew the U.S.S. Cromulent.)
posted by mordax at 11:11 PM on August 11, 2014


Finally I have the proper audience for an anecdote I've been telling for the last week.

Just last week my boss - who is always talking too fast and stumbling over his words - accidentally said "unpossible" in the middle of telling me something or other. I was proud of myself for maintaining my listening face.

I've been telling people about this ever since, and no one gets the reference. I've been feeling so alone in the world.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 11:56 PM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, one of my favorite Ralphie bits, which doesn't seem to have been mentioned here or in the article, is when we see him struggling in the Tethered Swimming class:

"Eh, eh, eh, eh... I don't feel right!"
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 3:09 AM on August 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Disco Stu don't need to advertise.
posted by epersonae at 7:28 AM on August 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


No love for "embiggen?"
posted by bluejayway at 11:45 AM on August 12, 2014


No love for "embiggen?"

What love does it need? It's a perfectly cromulent word.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:56 AM on August 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Bravura dissection of Ralph, but wait... how is Milhouse a "misfit"? Have I always misunderstood what that means?
posted by psoas at 7:27 AM on August 13, 2014


Well, maybe you have some kind of connotation around "misfit" that I am not picking up. But we can safely say that Milhouse is definitely not popular, and is the target of mockery.

Relevant quotes:

(While playing the 'Mystery Date' game in the Flanders' beach house, Homer notices the similarity of the 'dud' character to Milhouse)
Homer: "Hey! He looks just like you, poindexter!"

Mr. Burns: I specifically said, no geeks!
Milhouse: But my mom says I'm cool!

Milhouse: Bart, I don't want you to see me cry.
Bart: Aw come on, I've seen you cry a million times. You cry when you scrape your knee, you cry when we're out of chocolate milk, you cry when you're doing long division and you have a remainder left over.
Milhouse: Well, I didn't want you to see me cry THIS time.

Bart: [trying out Milhouse's new 8-Ball] Will I pass my test today. "Outlook not so good." Hey, it does work!
Milhouse: Let me try! Will I get beat up today? "All signs point to yes."
Nelson Muntz: That ball knows everything!
[Hits Milhouse over the head]

Mr. Dewey Largo: Miss Simpson, do you find something funny about the word "tromboner"?
Lisa Simpson: No, sir. I was laughing at something outside.
Sherri: She was looking at Nelson!
Class: Lisa likes Nelson!
Milhouse: She does not!
Class: Milhouse likes Lisa!
Janey: He does not!
Class: Janey likes Milhouse!
Uter: She does not!
Class: Uter likes Milhouse.
Mr. Dewey Largo: *Nobody* likes Milhouse! Lisa, you've got detention!

Lisa Simpson: I like you, Milhouse, but not in that way. You're more like a little sister.
Milhouse: No, I'm not! Why does everyone keep saying that?

Bart Simpson: Milhouse, quick! Look out the window!
Milhouse: Oh no, Bart. I never look out the window of a bus! If I do, I leave myself open to wedgies, wet willies, or even the dreaded rear admiral!

Mrs. Krabappel: Mmm. Milhouse, you're next.
Milhouse Van Houten: Uh, I have a horsey.
[mimics his toy horse neighing then trails off]
Nelson Muntz: Wuss!

[Milhouse is quaking in the goalie position]
Milhouse Van Houten: I could have been equipment manager, but nooooo!

Milhouse Van Houten: [Milhouse is sitting in the cockpit of a grounded harrier jet, holding the control stick and making machine gun noises] Take that, Mom! Take that, Dad! Send me to a psychiatrist will you? Take that, Dr. Sally Waxler!
[Milhouse wildly pushes buttons on the console, eventually pressing the ejector seat button by accident. He goes flying off in to the distance]

Milhouse Van Houten: Hey, wait! I'm okay today! My mom bought me deodorant!
posted by Chrysostom at 8:56 AM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also relevant:

Milhouse, to Bart: Remember when he ate my goldfish, and then you lied to me and said I never had any goldfish? But why did I have the bowl Bart? Why did I have the bowl?

....

We're through the looking glass here, people.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:31 AM on August 13, 2014


The "through the looking glass" sequence is one of my top 5 Simpsons scenes of all time.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:41 AM on August 13, 2014


I think it might just be that while misfit can more or less map to outsider, loser, excluded oddball, it can also have a connotation of like rascally, Dennis-the-menace tomfoolery or hijinks or whatever. The former fits Milhouse fine, the latter is more Bart's territory.
posted by cortex at 9:57 AM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


We're a couple of misfits
We're a couple of misfits
What's the matter with misfits
That's where we fit in!

posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:01 AM on August 13, 2014


My dog's breath smells like cat poop.
posted by y2karl at 12:19 PM on August 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


Also Milhouse:

Bart: Good idea, you can speak nerd to them!
Milhouse: I'm not a nerd, Bart. Nerds are smart.


the dreaded rear admiral may be my favorite throwaway Simpsons line ever
posted by Existential Dread at 2:05 PM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


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