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Thread: The Birth of Jerk-Ass Homer



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    Bake 'em away toys! The Wiggs's Avatar
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    The Birth of Jerk-Ass Homer

    Recently I've been watching a lot of episodes trying to find the answer to this question: When was the exact moment that Jerk-Ass Homer first appeared? I'm trying to find the first time where Homer obviously doesn't give a shit about anyone besides himself. Even his family. I think the writers turned the Homer with many personality traits (like a real person) into Jerk-Ass Homer because they thought he'd be funnier. It actually made him less relatable and therefore less funny. So when did you first start feeling that Homer had made that horrible transition from loving father to Jerk-Ass?

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    Stonecutter Cash Kerouac's Avatar
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    I mentioned in this thread that I saw early signs of "Jerkass Homer" in When Flanders Failed.
    "Did you exchange, a walk on part in a war, for a lead role in a cage?"

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    Before someone sez: "Homer's always been a jurk, dumbass!", let me remind these people that Homer, at least the preJerkass Homer was a little kid who said things that seemed insensitive. This was due to Homer's massive immaturity level and he said things without realizing the consequences of what his words could lead to. To bottom line it--Homer used to be innocently stupid and/or a lovable oaf since he wasn't fully aware he was being mean.

    Back in the late 90's the old Simpsons message board alt.tv.simpsons had posters calling Homer--especially in the Scully episodes--"Asshole Homer" since they felt the Scully written episodes had a Homer that was too over the top. "Lisa on Ice" was one of the most hated episodes when it first aired because Homer's behavior was deemed to much of a jackass. Granted, compared to the actual Scully Era Homer, it might seem trite, but even the fans in the late 90's knew the signs of JA Homer were becoming more frequent.

    But if you want Jerkass Homer by the barrel-full, "Trash of the Titans" seemed to be when Jerkass Homer was here to stay.

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    Can I Borrow a Feeling? theinfamouselbarto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patches O'Houlihan View Post
    But if you want Jerkass Homer by the barrel-full, "Trash of the Titans" seemed to be when Jerkass Homer was here to stay.
    Ya that makes sense. It was somewhere in the season 8/9 area that JA Homer became prominent and "hilarity" ensued.

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    Internet, eh? Rowdy Roddy Peeper's Avatar
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    It's difficult to say because I thought Homer was being unnecessarily mean in 'Dead Putting Society'...does that mean that was the birth of jerkass Homer?

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    The Hammer is my penis Capt Hammer's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think there were moments of Jerkass Homer in the early seasons, as much as you want to deny it. Granted they were minor and sometimes it was just that he was slightly too much of a jerkass for too little of a reason but it was this that lead to Season 10-13 major jerkass Homer.
    "Look, Marge, you don't know what it's like. I'm the one out there every day putting his ass on the line. And i'm not out of order! You're out of order. The whole freaking system is out of order. You want the truth? You want the truth?! You can't handle the truth! Because when you reach over and put your hand into a pile of goo, that was your best friend's face, you'll know what to do! Forget it, Marge. It's Chinatown!" - Homer's rant.

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    He Wears Short Shorts tom cody's Avatar
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    Yeah, he was a jerkass in some episodes in the early seasons. I love "Homer The Heretic" but you can argue that he was a jerkass in that episode.
    Kids, let me tell you about another so-called ``wicked'' guy. He had long hair and some wild ideas. He didn't always do what other people thought was right. And that man's name was...
    I forget. But the point is... I forget that, too. Marge, you know what I'm talking about. He used to drive that blue car?

    -- Homer's parable of the guy in the blue car, ``Homer the Heretic''

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    Stonecutter Nauru-1's Avatar
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    There were potential moments in episodes preceding Scully, but Bart Star is where I first thought there was seriously going to be a change in the character that would not go away easily. It wasn't a trainwreck, but this is the first point where I begin feeling things actually steering more in this direction. Trash of the Titans would be the episode that took this to another level in having the newly turned obnoxious Homer run the show for the whole episode with his tiring antics.
    Last edited by Nauru-1; 05-15-2010 at 01:38 PM.
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    fan fatale of Takena Nagao jal90's Avatar
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    It all depends on what you mean by jerk-ass.

    If you mean being rude and a bastard to people, it's When Flanders Failed.

    If you mean being unbelievably rude, stupid and downright hateful, it's that "my honor has been sullied" fight in Trash Of The Titans.


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    Stonecutter Léo Pard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom cody View Post
    Yeah, he was a jerkass in some episodes in the early seasons. I love "Homer The Heretic" but you can argue that he was a jerkass in that episode.
    I agree. If we follow your criterias, Homer is "jerkass", as you say, in 3/4 of episodes (or more). For example, just by only counting episodes or Homer strangles Bart (or someone else), his behavior with Flanders, etc...
    I think we should stop with "jerkass Homer". We must not forget that we are only spectators, Homer is a fictional character. I don't think there stunned spectators at the point of strangling their children "just for imitate Homer". And if all the characters were beautiful and kind, the series would be boring...

    Actually, only 1 moment of "jerkass Homer" really disliked me : his dream in Papa Don't Leech. I'm not one to be shocked for a yes or for a no. What bothers me, it's his ultra stupidity in Jean era. When Homer of Scully era makes me laugh (even in seasons 11 and 12), I'm pretty often in "mode facepalm" when Homer does something that is supposed make laugh. When the Homer of Stark Raving Dad has no place in psychatric hospital, the Homer of Jean era deserves it.
    Season Rankings : 7 > 5 > 6 > 8 > 4 > 9 > 3 > 2 > 10 > 15 > 16 > 1 > 11 > 14 > 12 > 20 > 18 > 17 > 19 > 13.

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    at the other side of reality cinco's Avatar
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    Dinner at 80 mph lionelhutz123's Avatar
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    Homer being a jerk in "Dead Putting Society" or "Lisa On Ice" isn't the start of jackass Homer. Everyone, no matter how good-hearted and lovable you are is selfish every now and then. It's human nature to want something in benefit for yourself. If humans didn't live in a society, people would be doing whatever they please, but humans understand that we have to live in a society to control that chaos, that selfishness, because people do feel remorse and guilt for their actions. Society helps prevent living in fear of being a victim. Thus, basic moral values, while still subjective are established naturally. Still, society doesn't rid the world of chaos and selfishness, but only balances it. So, when someone commits an act of selfishness, it's not out of character and it's not abnormal. It's in our nature, but we still practice moral values to prevent this, and try to improve as an individual by thinking of others before our own wants or even needs. Of course, if people lived their lives with an 100% focus on considering other people's benefits before their own, then nobody would be truly happy, because while people may be doing you favors, the part of yourself that only you know, knows what would truly make you happy. So, when Homer is forcing Bart to win the mini-golf tournament, or is letting out his competitive side in "Lisa On Ice", I don't say "What the fuck!?!?". I mean, yeah I'm against his attitude, but at the same time I understand it. Therefore, I don't object to it. It's normal to think primarily about yourself every now and then. What I don't accept however is when Homer becomes consistently selfish, where even society can't control him. He doesn't care. He has no desire to improve himself. His morals are completely violated for the sake of the joke. His crude humor is priority. The balance between his once good-hearted self and the natural selfishness becomes unbalanced and stays that way. There is no ground to hold him within the universe of Springfield. It's like society doesn't matter anymore in their town, so he gets to do whatever he wants like become mayor of New Springfield or sanitation commisioner. No wonder he gets such outrageous jobs week after week, because he is too focused on what he wants, and then he GETS IT. Hanging out with Alec Baldwin and Kim Bassinger? Being put in charge of a superbowl halftime show? The writers actually reward his selfishness. As long as the consistent jackass Homer exists, the writers will never run out of plots.
    In the episode "Dead Putting Society", he gets punished in the end for his behavior. In "When Flanders Failed", he feels the guilt for what he has done, and we get one of the sweetest endings ever. Bart and Lisa realizing family is more important than a hockey game put Homer's competitive side in it's place. Pretty much every episode that had Homer appear selfish in the classic era ended with Homer realizing he is wrong or in some form of punishment. Now yes, jackass Homer in the Scully era did end up with Homer getting punished on rare occasions, but after the wacky, unbelievable aftermath of the unlikable character's adventure, it ends with Homer whining, "Our house is so boring" in "The Mansion Family" or nobody liking the movie in "Beyond Blunderdome". Boo-fucking-hoo! Other episodes didn't even have a punishment like in "A Tale Of Two Springfields", it ends with The Who rocking out. That's reward, not punishment. So I think it's unfair to say that jackass Homer began during seasons 2, 3, or 6, because that's not what jackass Homer is. Just because there are individual episodes that feature the character's selfishness in the collection of episodes where he's not, doesn't mean anything. Those acts of selfishness have a certain standard of justification and explanation, where it's plausible for the character to commit that behavior, and it turns into an actual conflict within the episode that gets resolved. Homer gets put in his place or even learns from his mistakes. When I think of the term 'jackass (jerkass) Homer', I think of the actual era where Homer's selfishness becomes consistent where his moral self is almost non-existent, and his acts are never justified or if so, done very poorly. Imagine what "Homer Vs. Lisa & The 8th Commandment" would be like if it was produced during the Scully era? I bet it wouldn't even be called that. It would probably focus on the crude humor of sticking it to the man.
    It's like the writers during the scully era were using Homer as the poster-boy for the once incredibly successful show, and made his character do what he wants, when he wants. Why? "Because we have created one of the greatest shows of all time and our beloved iconic character is above everything. We are bad-ass!"
    IMO, as much as I love season 8, I think particular episodes like "Homer's Enemy" might have sparked the idea behind the jackass Homer era, and season 9 developed it a bit more until future seasons made it an unfortunate reality from then on out. It's hard to really tell, but if I'm sure of anything, there is no way it started any earlier than that.
    Last edited by lionelhutz123; 05-16-2010 at 08:05 AM.


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    King of the Rock Bottom The Sovereign's Avatar
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    I think it was when Mona Simpson pushed him out of her vagina


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    Nothing Goes Over My Head Walid's Avatar
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    maybe around the kidney trouble episode. i don't really know, it's hard to pinpoint the exact moment because everyone has different issues, and it's not like every single person can agree on one exact moment which showcased this. he said "Jerk-Ass" in Joy of Sect, so maybe right around there he started to evolve. Season 10 was his peak, as was most of 11.

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    at the other side of reality cinco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Sovereign View Post
    I think it was when Mona Simpson pushed him out of her vagina
    It was so warm and cosy over there.


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    Quote Originally Posted by cinco View Post
    The thing is, as unsympathetic as Homer can seem to be in Homer's Enemy, he wasn't being an intentional jerk. He truly wants to be friends with Grimey. Granted, this episode had him at his most idiotic self ever at the time it aired...But not at his meanest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Isidro25 View Post
    The thing is, as unsympathetic as Homer can seem to be in Homer's Enemy, he wasn't being an intentional jerk. He truly wants to be friends with Grimey. Granted, this episode had him at his most idiotic self ever at the time it aired...But not at his meanest.
    I would agree that he's definitely less mean-spirited in Homer's Enemy. What might bother some people, and myself to an extent, is how this is the point where Homer as a buffoon is not just accepted, but actually embraced by everyone around him. Of course, knowing Oakley and Weinstein I interpret as more of an experiment than a serious character change that they intended to make for the long haul. That doesn't make it entirely successful, but this would have had to carry over to other episodes for me to think this transition was actually made before Scully.

  18. #18
    chinese martian physicist HRH Sir Prince Charles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nauru-1 View Post
    I would agree that he's definitely less mean-spirited in Homer's Enemy. What might bother some people, and myself to an extent, is how this is the point where Homer as a buffoon is not just accepted, but actually embraced by everyone around him. Of course, knowing Oakley and Weinstein I interpret as more of an experiment than a serious character change that they intended to make for the long haul. That doesn't make it entirely successful, but this would have had to carry over to other episodes for me to think this transition was actually made before Scully.
    Exactly, the episode was an experiment on what would happen if you inserted a real person into The Simpsons. To achieve that, they had to play up the show's cartoony side and exaggerate certain traits to highlight how absurd the goings on in the show actually are.

    As Patches O'Houlihan points out, there were always elements of Jerkass Homer in episodes Scully wrote. He clearly had it in his mind that Homer was funnier when he was being an ass, the difference was that those ideas were tempered by the other members of the writing staff. When Scully was in control, he was able to assert his vision a lot more.

  19. #19
    The shitty forgotten Brit AngusCastle's Avatar
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    Jerk-ass Homer began in When Flanders Failed. He literally wishes failure upon Flanders and takes satisfaction in when his wishes come true

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    Well what can I say... FormulaMoss's Avatar
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    Season 6.
    Season 28 Rankings: Monty Burns' Fleeing Circus 3/5, Friends and Family 4/5, The Town 5/5, THOH XXVIII 2/5, Trust but Clarify 3/5, There Will Be Buds 5/5, Havana Wild Weekend 3/5, Dad Behavior 0/5, The Last Traction Hero 4/5, The Nightmare Before Krustmas 4/5, Pork and Burns 4/5, The Great Phatsby 3/5 , Fatzcarraldo 3/5, The Cad and the Hat 2/5, Kamp Krustier 2/5, 22 For 30 5/5, *A Fathers Watch* 5/5 Caper Chase 2/5 Looking for Mr. Goodbart 4/5 Moho House 0/5 Dogtown 1/5

    Seasons Best/Worst: 1. Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire / Homer's Night Out, 2. Lisa's Substitute / Bart gets an "F", 3. Colonel Homer / The Otto Show, 4. Mr. Plow / Krusty gets Kancelled, 5. The Last Temptation of Homer / Deep Space Homer, 6. Homer the Great / Lemon of Troy, 7. Bart Sells His Soul / Much Apu about Nothing, 8. The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show / My Sister, My Sitter, 9. The City of New York vs. Homer / The Principle and the Pauper, 10. Homer to the Max / Sunday, Cruddy Sunday, 11. E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt) / Grift of the Magi, 12. HOMR / Day of the Jackanapes 13. Half-Decent Proposal / Homer the Moe 14. Moe Baby Blues / Strong Arms of the Ma, 15. Fruadcast News / My Big Fat Geek Wedding, 16. Pranksta Rap / Mobile Homer 17. The Girl Who Slept Too Little / The Italian Bob 18. 24 Minutes / Kill Gil, Volumes I & II, 19. Enternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind / Funeral for a Friend, 20. Eeny Teeny Maye Moe / The Burns and the Bees 21. Boy Meets Curl / Thursday with Abie, 22. Homer Scissorhands / How Munched is That Birdie in the Window, 23. Holidays of Future Passed, / Lisa Goes Gaga, 24. The Day the Earth Stood Cool / Gone Abie Gone 25. Brick Like Me / The Yellow Badge of Cowardge, 26. I Won't Be Home for Christmas / The Man Who Came to Be Dinner, 27. Halloween of Horror / Every Mans Dream, 28.* A Fathers Watch / Dad Behavior

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    (To InfamouselBarto) Don't you mean... "Hillary" ensued? (I'm sorry...)

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    Kong is King BuyMyCereal's Avatar
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    OK, who gave you the idea to make that pun when it was least relevant? And where did you get the idea to say that to a user who hasn't been on here since 2010? You're making my head spin, dude.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerkass Homer View Post
    I guess this is the same Nicholson who did Joker in the Batman 1989 movie.

  23. #23


    Episodes like "When Flanders Failed" and "Lisa on Ice" are just individual moments of Homer being an asshole. As someone above me said, the problem started when he consistently had asshole behavior and never took responsibility for his actions. He started feeling like he was owed things, and instead of having the traits that made him a great character, he was dumbed down episode by episode and just started doing things for the sake of doing them.

    This new interpretation of his character started somewhere in season nine, and was amplified in "Trash of the Titans." He was way over the top in that episode and from that point forward, the writers stuck with this new version of his character for several years.

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    Stonecutter ComicBookGal's Avatar
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    I think it started around season 2ish sometime between Dead Puttin Society and Lisa's Substitute

    at least that's what I think

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    Junior Camper Honest Slug's Avatar
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    Somewhere in season 34.

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    Season 34 doesn't exist, it never has existed, and it hopefully won't ever exist.

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    Thinking about a new hit Telso's Avatar
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    Of course season 34 exists, I even played Hurt&Heal on it !

    http://www.nohomers.net/showthread.p...=1#post3718829

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    That's a fakey-fakey FAKE.

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    Stonecutter Bartesque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lionelhutz123 View Post
    Homer being a jerk in "Dead Putting Society" or "Lisa On Ice" isn't the start of jackass Homer. Everyone, no matter how good-hearted and lovable you are is selfish every now and then. It's human nature to want something in benefit for yourself. If humans didn't live in a society, people would be doing whatever they please, but humans understand that we have to live in a society to control that chaos, that selfishness, because people do feel remorse and guilt for their actions. Society helps prevent living in fear of being a victim. Thus, basic moral values, while still subjective are established naturally. Still, society doesn't rid the world of chaos and selfishness, but only balances it. So, when someone commits an act of selfishness, it's not out of character and it's not abnormal. It's in our nature, but we still practice moral values to prevent this, and try to improve as an individual by thinking of others before our own wants or even needs. Of course, if people lived their lives with an 100% focus on considering other people's benefits before their own, then nobody would be truly happy, because while people may be doing you favors, the part of yourself that only you know, knows what would truly make you happy. So, when Homer is forcing Bart to win the mini-golf tournament, or is letting out his competitive side in "Lisa On Ice", I don't say "What the fuck!?!?". I mean, yeah I'm against his attitude, but at the same time I understand it. Therefore, I don't object to it. It's normal to think primarily about yourself every now and then. What I don't accept however is when Homer becomes consistently selfish, where even society can't control him. He doesn't care. He has no desire to improve himself. His morals are completely violated for the sake of the joke. His crude humor is priority. The balance between his once good-hearted self and the natural selfishness becomes unbalanced and stays that way. There is no ground to hold him within the universe of Springfield. It's like society doesn't matter anymore in their town, so he gets to do whatever he wants like become mayor of New Springfield or sanitation commisioner. No wonder he gets such outrageous jobs week after week, because he is too focused on what he wants, and then he GETS IT. Hanging out with Alec Baldwin and Kim Bassinger? Being put in charge of a superbowl halftime show? The writers actually reward his selfishness. As long as the consistent jackass Homer exists, the writers will never run out of plots.
    In the episode "Dead Putting Society", he gets punished in the end for his behavior. In "When Flanders Failed", he feels the guilt for what he has done, and we get one of the sweetest endings ever. Bart and Lisa realizing family is more important than a hockey game put Homer's competitive side in it's place. Pretty much every episode that had Homer appear selfish in the classic era ended with Homer realizing he is wrong or in some form of punishment. Now yes, jackass Homer in the Scully era did end up with Homer getting punished on rare occasions, but after the wacky, unbelievable aftermath of the unlikable character's adventure, it ends with Homer whining, "Our house is so boring" in "The Mansion Family" or nobody liking the movie in "Beyond Blunderdome". Boo-fucking-hoo! Other episodes didn't even have a punishment like in "A Tale Of Two Springfields", it ends with The Who rocking out. That's reward, not punishment. So I think it's unfair to say that jackass Homer began during seasons 2, 3, or 6, because that's not what jackass Homer is. Just because there are individual episodes that feature the character's selfishness in the collection of episodes where he's not, doesn't mean anything. Those acts of selfishness have a certain standard of justification and explanation, where it's plausible for the character to commit that behavior, and it turns into an actual conflict within the episode that gets resolved. Homer gets put in his place or even learns from his mistakes. When I think of the term 'jackass (jerkass) Homer', I think of the actual era where Homer's selfishness becomes consistent where his moral self is almost non-existent, and his acts are never justified or if so, done very poorly. Imagine what "Homer Vs. Lisa & The 8th Commandment" would be like if it was produced during the Scully era? I bet it wouldn't even be called that. It would probably focus on the crude humor of sticking it to the man.
    It's like the writers during the scully era were using Homer as the poster-boy for the once incredibly successful show, and made his character do what he wants, when he wants. Why? "Because we have created one of the greatest shows of all time and our beloved iconic character is above everything. We are bad-ass!"
    IMO, as much as I love season 8, I think particular episodes like "Homer's Enemy" might have sparked the idea behind the jackass Homer era, and season 9 developed it a bit more until future seasons made it an unfortunate reality from then on out. It's hard to really tell, but if I'm sure of anything, there is no way it started any earlier than that.
    This six year old post sums it up very well in my opinion.

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    Thinking about a new hit Telso's Avatar
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    Lol great quote




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