Has Homer Simpson been in a coma for the past 22 years? Yes, according to a bizarre theory that might just make you rethink the show. The theory was proposed by a redditor who perhaps has too much time on his hands. The argument that Homer has been unconscious, and that every episode since 1993 has been his fantasy, is actually compelling.
The springboard for the theory is the episode “Homer the Heretic“ (October 1992) in which Homer talked to God. He asks God the meaning of life, but God says he will have to wait until he dies to find out? “I can’t wait that long!” says Homer. “You can’t wait six months?” God replies. Six months after that episode aired, in April 1993, the episode “So It’s Come To This” sees Homer put into a coma after an argument with a vending machine.
According to the fan theory, everything following that coma episode has been a Dallas-like “it was all a dream.” The theory explains the fact that nobody gets any older. “This is why the characters don’t age. Homer remembers Bart, Lisa, and Maggie as 10, 8, and 1 year old, so they will always appear that way in his dreams. He is subconsciously aware of time passing, so his mind will often ‘update’ his memories so that the year they occurred matches up with the age he thinks he is (eg. That 90’s Show contradicting other flashback episodes).”
And it also justifies the more fantastical elements of the show that came in after 1993. As Buzzfeed puts it:
Before, the plots of the show were more grounded and mundane – such as Lisa’s crush on her teacher and Homer and Marge’s marital problems.
After the coma episode, plot devices see Homer travelling into space, Marge getting breast implants, Maggie shooting Mr. Burns, and Homer going to work for supervillain Hank Scorpio.
“With no real world restrictions, Homer’s mind is able to dream up scenarios of him and his family in fantasies involving him winning a Grammy, his father fighting his boss for buried WW2 treasure, his wife getting breast implants, his infant daughter saving him from drowning, etc.”
So far Simpsons creator Matt Groening has not commented on the theory.
It’s an interesting theory – is that why The Simpsons hasn’t been good for the past few years? Is Homer’s imagination just not up to the task?
What do you think of the theory?