The Simpsons has had an unrivaled impact on pop culture for the past two decades. This has resulted in video game spinoffs, movies, comic books and vast amounts of merchandise relating to the characters from the town of Springfield. And in the digital age, memes.
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So, so many memes. Whether it has to do with the Simpsons family or any of the countless memorable ancillary characters that have appeared on the show, here are 10 memes about The Simpsons that are sure to strike a chord with the fans:
10 Political Commentary
There was a time when The Simpsons was known for its biting social commentary in the form of hilarious satire. Age has mellowed out the show considerably, but fans are still using scenes from episodes to comment on existing socio-political norms. In this meme, two scenes from the show become a metaphor for Brexit.
In the first scene, we see both Bart and the fish embody the UK, suggesting that the UK is driving a knife through its own heart via Brexit. Similarly, we see a similar scenario play out between Mr. Burns and Maggie, with Ireland represented in the back as a mute spectator. Pretty deep for a meme.
9 The Years Keep Getting Worse
There is a general sentiment these days that the days just keep getting worse, with each new year bringing us close to greater political instability, natural disasters, and the spread of hateful ideology. How much of it is real and how much is exaggerated hysteria is debatable.
But here we see that sentiment aptly summarized by Bart falling down the stairs, with each new step down representing a fresh year of greater pain and going further away from the goodness of the earlier years. Does the present generation somehow think bad things are a recent invention, and the earlier world was some kind of paradise free of hate and bigotry?
8 Poor Smithers
This scene riffs on one of the longest-running gags from the show, with Smithers getting put in a situation that would be a paradise for others, but which only fills him with revulsion.
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This meme talks about the double attraction of alcohol and chicken wing purchases, while Smithers is just the average Joe being tempted by both, and desperately trying to ignore them in a bid to save money.
7 You Can’t Get Ride Of The Ads
Barney is a permanent fixture at Moe’s Tavern. Much like online ads are a permanent fixture on your browser. No matter how hard you might try to remove the ads, they will always find a way to reappear at the touch of a page refresh button. Just like Barney will always find a way back to Moe’s bar, no matter how many AA meetings he attends, and how hard Moe himself physically tries to remove Barney from the premises.
In both cases, you begin with brief relief at having successfully gotten rid of a pesky nuisance, and the resulting greater irritation at turning around to find it right back at its old spot.
6 A Bitter Life Lesson
The jury is still out on whether or not Homer can be classified as a good father. But he does give his children some interesting advice on occasion, with more than a grain of truth. After a despairing Bart declares a day spent stuck to a pole without pants on in full view of the public as the worst day ever, Homer kindly reminds him it is only the worst day so far.
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Oof. Brutal but honest. It is exactly how a person stuck in a crappy job would feel on the first day, only to be reminded by more experienced co-workers that there are many more even worse workdays left to weather.
5 Gallows Humor
The death of Maude Flanders was where The Simpsons got real. Her demise was played straight, with no last-minute return for the character or the whole thing being revealed to be some kind of elaborate illusion. Maude really did die, and Ned Flanders was left a broken-hearted man. It was the end of one of strongest relationships on the show, handled in a sensitive and tasteful manner.
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But that won’t stop people from making memes about his misery. And here they found the perfect opportunity to combine Pokemon with The Simpsons, with the silhouette for Diglett, the digger pokemon resembling Maude’s gravestone. Poor Ned.
4 Moe’s Brave Face
Moe Syzzlac may very well be the most tragic character on the show. He has no family. Most women are repelled by his appearance, his only friends are his drinking customers, and he regularly tries to take his own life and keeps failing in those attempts.
Whenever Moe tries to smile, it feels like he is trying hard to push down all that misery deep inside and put on a brave face. But the cracks into his soul revealed by the pain in his eyes and the forced nature of the smile tell a different story.
3 His Own Worst Enemy
Whatever the context of the scene this meme was taken from, it becomes a tragic metaphor in meme form. Barney has severe impulse control problems, leading to his perennial drinking habit that destroyed his life.
One episode revealed that Barney has a sensitive, artistic side that would have made him a gifted filmmaker if only his obsession with alcohol did not rule his life. Barney is literally his own worst enemy and the one hell-bent on ruining his life.
2 The Many True Predictions
The Simpsons has gained notoriety for showing all kinds of outrageous events taking place in their world… and then those events take place in real life. This has even led some to believe that the creators of the show have some sort of future-seeing ability.
Whatever the truth is, it’s surprising how often the show has predicted significant world events and still continues to do so. Like the last election, for example.
1 Getting Meta
Over the years, with each new increasingly, outrageously stupid and dangerous stunt he pulls, Homer has become synonymous with a dumb person. So much so that being compared to Homer in any capacity automatically labels you a moron. Such is the power of this trend that even the show itself could not resist making the joke.
This was one of the few instances of the show, which usually plays itself as a straight satire, breaking the fourth wall to comment on its own impact on pop culture.
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