Simpsons Running Gags

Time for a little poll. This is a comments-centric entry, so be prepared to contribute! My question is simple: What is your favorite Simpsons running gag? I’m talking about the jokes that appear in several episodes, again and again. For instance, you could say your favorite running gag is when Homer chokes Bart and Bart’s tongue sticks out like a little red squiggle under his bulging eyes (although the gag is more literal in that instance, no?). That’s might not be anyone’s favorite, but it’s an example.

Mine is right here. Dr. Nick gets me every single time even though I know exactly what’s coming. (“The B is for bargain!”) Still, I have a feeling that once people start picking theirs, I’m going to go “Oh! That one is way better than mine… dangit.”

Oh! And if you’re feeling really creative, also give your favorite instance or variation of the gag. For mine, it would be when Mel Gibson gets cornered in the movie theater lobby and says “Hi, everybody!” and Dr. Nick steps out and says, “Hi, Mel Gibson!”

Anyhow, sound off!


  1. Posted July 30, 2004 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Definitely Ralph Wiggum.

  2. Posted July 30, 2004 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Oh I mean Ralph Wiggum when he gets some class project and before anything can even start Ralph goes:

    Miss Hoover, I ate my ________________.

    Worms and paste come to mind. Although the worm is actually “My worm jumped in my mouth and I ate it” (a variation on the theme)

  3. Posted July 30, 2004 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    It would either be Homer’s “Mmmmmm….__________________.” Whatever the case may be. Sacrilicious. Donut. Whatever. It’s alwasy funny.

    Or, Homer forgetting the existence of Maggie. Hee hee.

  4. Posted July 30, 2004 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    While picking a favorite would in itself be sacrilicious, I’ll just mention one of many favorites:

    Flanders’ diddilies and doakilies that follow just about everything he says (“Okiley doakily”). My two favorite variations are “Son of a diddily!” and the Flanders’ family reunion when the Latino Flanders says “buendindidilydios, senor” and the British Flanders says “how do you do…. er-didily.”

  5. Neal
    Posted July 30, 2004 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Oh! Oh! My turn! MY favorite is the running away gag. You know, like where Grandpa Simpson tries to explain away his partner having a bite in him after mountain climbing. And then his dentures fall out and fit perfectly in the bite. He blinks as everyone looks at him. “Here’s what I think happened…” *runs off quickly*

    Though I must say my personal favorite was Mark Hamill running away. Though that one was closely followed in that episode by “Luke Be a Jedi Toniiiight!”

  6. Jeremy
    Posted July 30, 2004 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    I like the things that burst into flames. E.g., the episode re Curfew when Honer, Barney, and co. are driving round the baseball field and run through the backstop which suddenly bursts into flames. (I can’t think of other examples, but it seems like something that happens every now and then.

  7. Posted July 30, 2004 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    You’re totally right Jeremy. Another one that comes to mind is in the episode where Homer has a heart attack (Season 4, just watched it today) where homer is driving behind a truck that is moving the house where Edgar Allan Poe was born, and he’s honking and ramming it, and it goes off the edge of the road and off the cliff. But just a second before it actually goes off the road, the whole house bursts into flames. I love that.

  8. Posted July 31, 2004 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Going off of Neal’s, I’m a big fan of the noise people make as they run away. “Nyoing!” (or some variation) For some reason, people of Springfield actually remember to say that when running off. I usually forget.

  9. Jon
    Posted July 31, 2004 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I like the constant string of problems Principal Skinner faces in running Springfield Elementary — a custodian who wants to kill him, teachers who would rather work anywhere, disaster that strikes at every visit from Superintendant Chalmers, those Vietnam flashbacks, and especially the school’s chronic budget shortages (like Skinner presenting Lisa a scale model of Mars, which is actually a playground ball with “Mars” written on it: “Behold: the Red Planet!”).

  10. Posted July 31, 2004 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Yoink is another good one.

    All time favorite use of ‘yoink’: Jasper Johns stealing Marge’s painting in the episode where Homer becomes an artist (same episode as another favorite line, “Le grille?! What the hell is le grille?!”)

  11. POP
    Posted July 31, 2004 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    My favorite Simpson running gag is where he kills his wife and then convinces the jury that he didn’t do it. Wait, that’s not all! Then he goes around acting like he’s looking for the real killer, and some people actually believe him!

    I mean, comic value! WOW! Hilarious!

  12. Posted July 31, 2004 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    LOL! That was good, Dad.

    Kevin, my personal favorite “yoink” is when Bart yoinks Kent Brockman’s danish, and Brockman hears Bart say “Yoink!” and responds, “Yoink?!?”

  13. abby
    Posted July 31, 2004 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Troy McLure (sp?) is a pretty good one – I love all the movie we “may have seen him in.”

    I also like when they work in as many of the characters’ catch phrases as possible – the best example being at Maude Flanders’ funeral when Rev. Lovejoy says that she wasn’t well known and didn’t really have a catch phrase and all the towns folk agree by uttering their own personal phrase.

  14. abby
    Posted July 31, 2004 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and it’s not really a running gag through the seasons but it is throughout one episode. The one when Bart and Lisa play hockey and they fight and Lisa says, “I’m gonna go like this (kicks air) and if you get kicked, it’s not my fault.” and then Bart replies with, “I’m gonna go like this (punches air) and if you get hit, it’s not my fault.” Then in the next scene you see Homer in the kitchen talking to a pie saying, “I’m gonna go like this (takes big bites of the air) and if you get eaten, it’s not my fault.”

  15. Posted July 31, 2004 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Mmmmmm… that’s good satire!

  16. Neal
    Posted July 31, 2004 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and my favorite is when they sit around and whine and complain about nothing, and break up with people for equally stupid and inane reasons. Oh wait, wrong show. 😉 Both shows are hilarious in my view, but not everyone will agree. *looks innocent*

  17. Posted July 31, 2004 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Oh! Zingin’ the dad!

  18. Neal
    Posted July 31, 2004 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    What? What did I do? *drops bat and runs off doing his Fat Tony impression*

    Heh, I pondered it for a second, but I know the Lewis family has a sense of humor. All in good fun!

  19. Shawna Warner
    Posted August 2, 2004 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    yoink & ralph. hands down

  20. Posted August 12, 2004 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if it’s my favorite, but the very first gag to come to mind when I read this post – and which *shock* hasn’t shown up yet – is Comic Book Guy’s “Worst … ever.”