Over the course of 26 seasons of The Simpsons, it’s become abundantly clear that Homer Simpson is a man of simple pleasures. Sure, he loves his kids and wife, but it really doesn’t take a lot to make him happy. Give the guy a Duff beer and TV and he’s pretty much set. Homer’s sweetest love, though, is without question the donut. The promise of free donuts are pretty much the only thing motivating him to go to work each day, and the guy’s literally attracted to them. Even just the mere mention of donut glaze has the power to send him into a drooling trance — though, to be honest, a lot of foods have the same effect.
You needn’t look far to see the importance of Homer’s beloved pastry within the show. His pink-iced donuts have been the focus countless pieces of Simpsons merchandise, the subject of recipe recreations, even the menu icon of Simpsons’ World is a donut.
Tracing every visual reference of the donut throughout the history of The Simpsons would be a near impossible task, but there are certainly a few episodes where Homer’s donut addiction is on full display. To mark Sunday’s premiere of another season of The Simpsons, let’s look back at the passionate and often times bizarre love affair between Homer Simpson and his glazed mistress.
Homer watches the horror of a teacher burning a donut.
Destroying a donut is the equivalent of throwing a bag of puppies into the river for Homer Simpson. It’s a horror that he just can’t fathom. After it’s revealed that he never graduated high school, Homer vows to retake the science class that held him back. It’s in this class that he witnesses the tragic sight of his professor burning an especially sweet donut. Homer eventually passes the class and receives his diploma, but at what cost? The man might now be able to call himself a high school graduate, but the psychological trauma of witnessing donut murder will surely haunt him the rest of his days.
Homer chases the dragon and becomes a donut junkie.
Homer claims that donuts help him write, but the man is clearly crying out for help with his donut addiction. He’s skipped over eating them and gone straight to melting them down and injecting the sugary junk right into his bloodstream. I would say that an intervention is in order, but in Homer’s case it probably wouldn’t do any good and he’d simply zone out the moment somebody uttered the word “dough.”
Homer is placed on trial for his donut crimes.
Even in Homer’s dreams he can’t escape his donut cravings and finds himself on trial for eating half the population of a planet inhabited by talking donuts. He doesn’t seem particularly concerned, however, and casually takes a bite out of one of the donut lawyers before being devoured by a giant monster donut. In the season 9 episode, Homer wakes up from his dream to discover that there’s only one donut left in the break room. Faced with the unthinkable dilemma of having to actually share his snack with Lenny and Carl, Homer places the donut in the reactor core to make a giant donut. Naturally, this science project backfires horribly.
Homer’s donut greed brings about the wrath of Lard Lad.
It was only a matter of time before Homer’s insatiable donut addiction caused serious havoc, and in “Treehouse of Horror VI”, his appetite nearly causes the complete destruction of Springfield. Angry that Lard Lad Donuts doesn’t actually sell a giant donut, Homer steals the one atop the Lard Lad statue, causing Lard Lad to come to life and seek revenge. Even after Homer begrudgingly returns Lard Lad’s donut, the destruction continues with other statues and billboards coming to life to stomp all over Springfield. It’s a prime example that Homers’s appetite for donuts isn’t just unhealthy for himself, but life-threatening to the town’s entire population.
A donut nearly kills Homer.
Just the scent of fresh donuts has the power to send Homer into a feeding frenzy, and anybody foolish enough to put their hand near his mouth is sure to lose a finger. Lenny and Carl warn him to slow down and actually chew his donuts, but that’s obviously an exercise in futility. Nobody tells Homer how to eat donuts, not even his gag reflex.
Homer finds himself in a nightmare world where donuts don’t exist.
In “Treehouse of Horror V,” Homer somehow turns a broken toaster into a time machine and finds himself in an alternate universe paradise, in which Selma and Patty are dead and his family is ridiculously rich. It’s all too good to be true, of course, as Homer discovers this paradise is actually his own version of Hell, and he comes to the terrifying realization that donuts don’t exist. In a cruel twist, Homer uses the toaster time machine to escape this universe just before it’s revealed that he really was in paradise, as donuts begin raining from the sky.
Giant donuts are the only hope for destroying a clone army.
Homer’s dream of a giant donut finally becomes a reality, but unfortunately he never gets to eat one of the two-ton treats. After Homer creates clones of himself to do all the boring chores that are part of everyday life, the clones get out of control and begin cloning themselves. Unable to stop the approaching Homer army, Lisa has the idea of using giant donuts to lure the Homers to their doom. While the plan does work, it also costs Homer his life, as he is easily hypnotized with the rest of the clones and follows his sprinkled obsession right over the edge of the Springfield Gorge. Rest in peace, Homer, you donut-loving fool.
The Donut from Hell.
Without a doubt one of the better Treehouse of Horror episodes, “The Devil and Homer Simpson” finds Homer selling his soul to Satan Flanders for the pleasure of eating a donut. Homer’s able to resist finishing the final bite for a little while, but of course he gives in eventually, and finds himself in Hell for a day before having his soul put on trial. Satan’s minions quickly put Homer through a series of torturous scenarios only to find that he’s impervious to their ironic torture treatment.
Also, when it comes to the Simpsons’ greatest GIFs, Homer eating every donut in the world is right up there at the top.
After Marge proves during Homer’s trial that he had already pledged his soul to her years earlier, the Devil has no choice but to return Homer to his family. He ultimately gets he last laugh, though, and turns Homer’s head into an irresistible donut.