I consider myself to be a pretty big wheel down at The Simpsons Reference factory. I’ve seen every episode, seasons 1 through 15, a dozen times, and every episode, seasons 16 through 28, at least once (I’d say “at least twice,” but you try sitting through “Moe Goes from Rags to Riches” again). I regularly attend Simpsons trivia, own all the now-frayed capsule books, and even occasionally wear Simpsons shoes. Yup, I’m a regular “but my mom says I’m cool” dork when it comes to The Simpsons, but until last week, I had never heard about a debate amongst fans that’s apparently been raging for 20 years.
In the all-time great episode “You Only Move Twice,” bridge-collapsing supervillain Hank Scorpio introduces himself to the Simpsons family in the middle of a fun run. “Hey, look at my feet,” he tells Homer. “You like those moccasins? Look in your closet; there’s a pair for you. Don’t like them? Then neither do I! Get the hell outta here! Ever see a guy say goodbye to a shoe?” Homer chuckles, then responds, “Yes, once.” Some viewers think the “once” is Homer recalling Hank having just thrown his shoe away, while others, like me (I’m a guy like me!), believe it’s referring to another instance. That’s the joke.
It’s a heated argument.
The joke is that scorpio, and the audience laughing at home, is expecting no one to have heard someone say good bye to their shoe before. But Homer laughs and says “yes, once” to say that he has seen someone say good bye to their shoes, before hank scorpio does so. Classic misdirection, hilarity ensues. (Via)
I’ve lost relationships over this argument. There is a whole subculture of people who believe Homer is referring to what he’s just seen. Some of these people may be people you know, people you care about, people you… love. Be careful. (Via)
i had a massive argument once with someone over this joke
when homer says “yes, once” i claim that he’s referring to the shoe that hank literally just threw. this person claimed homer was just recalling some other time he saw it happen.
i really think it’s much funnier if it’s the shoe that just got thrown, because of the way homer nostalgically says the line. (Via)
The other person was right, sorry (Via)
It turns out the line was ad-libbed by Dan Castellaneta. BuzzFeed reached out to the voice actor, who responded, “The line was improvised. Albert Brooks always improvised whenever he did the show. That line was a reflexive response to Albert’s improvised line about seeing a man say goodbye to a shoe. I probably thought it was a previous time, but it is funnier if it means he saw it at that moment.” Well, that solves it: Homer’s thinking about a previous time, unless he isn’t. Glad we could settle this ridiculous debate.
One thing’s for sure:
We’re all a little mad about shoe.