09. King Size Homer
Season Seven, Episode Seven
Premiere Date: November 5, 1995
Writers’ Room: “King Size Homer” was the first entry to what would be a steady run for writer Dan Greany. With the issue of Homer gaining weight being a bit sensitive of a topic, the most effort in developing the episode seemed to be keeping things respectful while also humorous. Part of that is seen in Homer’s attitude throughout the weight gain, and how it is, at least for the character, a goal-oriented task. Among the ideas that didn’t make the cut, though, was a plot point where Homer would do a 180 and become skinny for Marge.
Essential Quote: “I wash myself with a rag on a stick.” –Bart
D’oh! Moment: Homer is trying to get injured at work and stands in a hard hat area waiting for falling objects. When a wrench falls near him, Homer moves to that spot, only to have bucket of gravel fall in the spot he had just left. “D’oh” is the only suitable response.
Best Visual Gag: When Homer goes to the movies, the marquee reads: “Pauly Shore and Faye Dunaway in Honk If You’re Horny.”
Welcome to Springfield: It’s not a person that’s most memorable as a new edition to the cast, but a talking pig that Homer encounters in a fantasy sequence, urges our portly hero to gain weight. Apparently, the role was written with Cary Grant in mind, but having been long deceased, regular Hank Azaria got the part.
Episode as a GIF:
Analysis: “King-Size Homer” is an episode full of contradictions. It’s Homer’s laziness that sets him on a quest that winds up being hard work: getting to 300 pounds. And by episode’s end, he’s forced to do the exercises he was trying to avoid just to get back to his original weight. Homer’s weight leads to a series of classic sequences, including the eating montage where Homer learns to rub food against a surface to see if the surface becomes clear. And, when Homer goes searching for loose-fitting clothes at The Vast Waistband, he settles on a muumuu because he “doesn’t want to look like a weirdo.” The episode hits on a number of issues the obese face, including health problems to ostracizing, and does so without being self righteous. It’s a classic Simpsons move to examine a topic from multiple angles, and one that’s hardly matched in deftness throughout the show’s history.