Mother Simpson is the Perfect Simpsons Episode
Mother Simpson: Is there a Simpsons fan who doesn’t like this episode of Simpsons? Season 7’s episode in which Homer finds his mom 27 years after he thought she was dead is so beloved by Simpson fans that it appears on almost every “Best Simpsons Episodes” list. It’s no surprise that Mother Simpson encapsulates classic Simpsons’ greatness in just 22 minutes.
It’s funny, touching, and feels complete. This episode is one I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys The Simpsons. And, since today is Mother’s Day, I thought it would be a great time to discuss what makes this episode so special.
Let’s begin with the best thing about The Simpsons: its humor. This episode is only two minutes old and already has one of the most memorable jokes on the show. Homer fakes his death by throwing an identical dummy from the waterfalls. This joke is hilarious. The dummy is saved and then is in danger again. And then it is saved again.
Although you may not realize it’s a dummy crossing the falls when you first see this episode, you still laugh because you know that they won’t start an episode with Homer dying. This segment is the one that makes me cry no matter how many times it’s been viewed. This is the clever and funny joke The Simpsons are known for and an absolute master at. The jokes aren’t finished there. Mother Simpson, which is considered one of The Simpsons’ saddest episodes, is filled with hilarious jokes.
Some of my favorites include Ned Flanders awkwardly trying to console Marge (“Homer’s passing…away…into death.”) and Mr. Burns being trampled after saying, “Whoever did this will never get past me!” Sure, the latter is an obvious joke, but that’s always been one of my favorite things about classic Simpsons: even when you can see the punchline coming from a mile away, it’s executed so well that you’re still laughing hard when it arrives.
The drama is what makes this episode special. Everyone knows that Simpsons is great at making you laugh and makes you cry. Mother Simpson is often the first episode people refer to when discussing Simpsons’ tearjerker episodes. Most people start to cry at the end, and that’s because of the wonderful character writing throughout the episode.
You can see how happy Homer is to have his mom back and how happy Mona is to be back in her son’s life. This is impressive considering how short the episode is. Mona does not appear until episode 5 minutes. With 17 minutes to go, it was necessary to show Mona’s love and sadness for Homer. It works somehow. The first time she leaves Homer, Homer is not even awake. All she can do is kiss him on his forehead and whisper, “I’ll Miss You, Homer.” This is one of the saddest moments in the episode and the entire series.
The real goodbye scene is at the end of the episode when Mona must say goodbye to Homer. It isn’t easy to believe that anyone would not be moved by this scene. “Attempt this time I’m awake to your goodbye” is my favorite Homer line, especially because Dan Castellaneta delivers the lines with such conviction. Then, of course, Mona’s response of “Remember that whatever happens, you still have a mom and she’s truly proud” – Glenn Cl
The final credits show Homer sitting on the car’s hood and staring at the night sky after his mom has left. This scene is almost silent, and Homer stares at the sky for the entire duration of the credits. This is a very poignant scene that shows so much and yet shows so little. What does Homer think about as he looks at the stars? We don’t know, and we aren’t supposed to know. He might not be thinking about anything — perhaps the weight of the past few weeks is too heavy for him, and he needs to just focus on the stars.
It’s a great ending to an episode of Simpsons. You’ve probably made it this far, so you must be a Simpsons fan. Even if you don’t like Simpsons, Mother Simpson is a great episode to watch, even if you aren’t a Simpsons fan. It’s still one of the most moving episodes of American television, even though it is 26 years old.