With The Simpsons set to leave their mark on the world of cinema after almost two decades of waiting, we at CRACKED thought it would be a good time to look at the impression Homer and co. have left on the English language. The Simpsons's writers have loaded our linguistic consciousness with hundreds of useful and often hilarious words and phrases. They might not get a lot of recognition from major dictionaries, English professors, or loyal Cosby Show enthusiasts who are still a little bitter, but that doesn't mean they're not everywhere.
And so, with apologies to banjologist, debigulator, disembowelingest, embiggen, kwyjibo, sacrilicious, Jeebus, Scotchtoberfest, shutterbuggery, tromboner and yoink (all honorable mentions in their own right), we present the 12 most memorable words The Simpsons ever created.
Simpsons Origins: Homer's plutonium-fueled crossbreed of tomato and tobacco ("E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)", Nov. 9, 1999) just barely beats out our second favorite clever butchery of tomato, coined when Homer's editor ("Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner?", Oct. 24, 1999) put a damper on the fat man's stint as a food critic, complaining, "You keep using words like pasghetti and momatoes."
Real World Applications: Tomacco would probably be known only to Simpsons mavens if it hadn't been for Rob Bauer, who created a real tomacco plant in 2003-ensuring that tomacco would survive in the footnotes of botany, and that The Simpsons now had a valid claim to the nerdiest and most dedicated fan base in television history. (Eat it, Trekkers!)
While we have no intention of eating Bauer's version (the taste of which can be described as "zesty poison with just a hint of death") we sincerely hope that this trend of life-imitating-Simpsons continues, at least until someone comes out with Homer's fictional beer-candy hybrid, Skittle Bräu.
Simpsons Origins: When Bart dissed Homer's Christmas decorations as craptacular ("Miracle on Evergreen Terrace," Dec. 21, 1997), the overused adjective crappy gained a cooler, more expressive synonym.
Real World Applications: This episode was the greatest thing to happen to crap enthusiasts since the word crap. Adding -tacular on the end of one of our favorite words opened doors we didn't even know were in the house, and helped save the otherwise tame and boring crap from early retirement from the lexicon. With Bart's help, a word that was considered by most to be completely overused was given a sparkling Renaissance and a substantially extended life expectancy.
Simpsons Origins: In "Brother's Little Helper" (Oct. 3, 1999), Homer eats a mix of taffy and Focusyn (a Ritalin spoof) that puts our beer-swilling hero in a mildly hallucinogenic state that inspires this conversation among the hyper-holy Flanders males:
Todd: Does Mr. Simpson have a demon, daddy?
Ned: Looks like it. Run and get daddy's exorcism tongs.
Rod and Todd: Yay!
We like to imagine Ned keeps this handy demon-extracting utensil in the same drawer as the excommunication juicer and beatification whisk.
Real World Application: We'd be lying if we said we didn't go out to every Christian-themed general store in the country hoping to acquire our very own set of exorcism tongs the day this episode aired. We'd also be lying if we said, on a somewhat related note, that we weren't currently banned from every Christian-themed general store in the country.
Simpsons Origins: "I have isolated the chemical which is emitted by every geek, dork, and four-eyes. I call it poindextrose." Lisa said it, and then everything that everyone had come to know about bully-nerd relations was turned upside-fucking-down. To come to this conclusion, in the episode "Bye Bye Nerdie," (March 11, 2001) Lisa had to put some nimrods through a workout that included the following conversation:
Lisa: Come on, people! Move it! I want to see some sweat!
Martin: I'm not mastering another stair until you explain the purpose of this monstrous experiment.
Lisa: I believe the key to bully-nerd antagonism lies in your drippings.
Martin: Then I shall drip like a pot roast.
Lisa: Excellent. Now don't mind the squeegee.
Real World Applications: Not surprisingly, it's best used to describe the sweat of a Poindexter, which is an especially useful term if you or anyone you know plays disc golf. Poindexter itself is a TV word for a geek or nerd the came from the Felix the Cat character Poindexter, who was the nephew of Felix's enemy, The Professor. To recap, Felix the Cat's arch nemesis was a teacher and the writers's most lasting contribution was coining a hurtful nickname for nerds.
And if you thought this brief etymological aside was interesting, then we hate to tell you this, but you're one of the very nerds for whom this little Simpsons nugget can be attributed. Sorry, Poindexter.
Simpsons Origins: If you ever wondered why Ned Flanders is such a repressed son of a diddly ding dong, "Hurricane Neddy" (Dec. 29, 1996) answered that nagging question for you: As a tyke, Ned was even more of a Hell-spawn than Bart, and he only learned to behave himself after participating in The University of Minnesota Spankological Protocol, which consisted of eight months of 'round-the-clock, university-sanctioned buttock-flaying attention, what some critics today might call "abuse" or "child molestation."
Real World Applications: We think spanking enthusiasts of both the parental and romantic camps are missing out by not adopting this word. Adding the suffix -ologist to any profession or -ological to any practice immediately confers legitimacy or, alternately, a hilarious level of self-seriousness to any pursuit. Just ask the inebriologists at your local bar. Surely there's room for at least one American Spankological Society in the world?
Simpsons Origins: This full-body IV allows condiment connoisseurs such as Homer to really be themselves, at least in the privacy of their own depraved fantasies. In "Skinner's Sense of Snow" (Dec. 17, 2000) a fume-inhaling Homer has a lady-filled hallucination that includes these words: "Enough! I grow weary of your sexually suggestive dancing. Bring me my ranch dressing hose."
Real World Applications: While in the past this was strictly reserved for ironic use by fat college students after one too many bong rips, given the increasing popularity of the Homeric physique and diet on the American populace, this invention might not be as far from reality as we'd like to think. Also, while the odds against it are astronomical, if you're lucky enough to casually ask for a ranch dressing hose at a restaurant and find a waiter quickly running off to fetch one for you, you are guaranteed to end up with something fantastic: You'll either get a garden hose full of ranch dressing, or, due to an amazing phonic misunderstanding, a group of (at least three) hos, all covered in ranch dressing. And when you find out what that restaurant is, you email CRACKED immediately.
Simpsons Origins: Groundskeeper Willie coined this expression in "Round Springfield" (April 30, 1995). However, the origins of the phrase can't be separated from its appropriation by conservative writer Jonah Goldberg, who helped spread this slur for the French by using it in many of his National Review columns. Alas, Jonah Goldberg isn't funny-at least not intentionally-so we're giving this one to Willie and the Simpsons writers. Sorry, Jonah, you'll get your chance next week when CRACKED runs "14 Racist Things Jonah Goldberg Said That No One Cared About."
Real World Applications: For much of recorded history, we've had plenty of reasons to hate the French but tragically few insults to hurl at them. Then The Simpsons rode up on a white, Duff-fueled stallion and, as they so often do, made our lives substantially better, creating a wonderful insult that continues to spawn countless useful and appropriate variations. Using cheese-eating surrender monkey as a template, and getting creative, you've suddenly got wine-swilling surrender monkeys, frog-chomping capitulation apes, or white flag-waving baguette baboons (try it at home!).
For extra fun, change a few more words around and the same basic template can be applied to other countries. Isn't that right, Canada? Or should we say Molson-Chugging Hockey Vaginas?
Simpsons Origins: Even before Homer gave him this nickname in "The Father, The Son, and The Holy Guest Star," (May 15, 2005), George W. Bush has been a nickname magnet. He's the Nicknamer-in-Chief who came up with Turd Blossom (Karl Rove), Pootie-Poot (Vladimir Putin), Landslide (Tony Blair), Congressman Kickass (John E. Sweeney) and the pairing of Little Stretch and Super Stretch for two lanky White House beat reporters. He's also been the Nicknamee-in-Vhief, and Commander Cuckoo-Bananas is one of many that have been a little less flattering than Dubya or The Decider.
Real World Applications: Despite all of the hard work that no doubt went into crafting President Bush's many, many nicknames over the past few years (Chimpy McBunnypants, Drinky McCokeSpoon, Smirky McFlightsuit, President Short Bus, Drunk Texas Prairie Monkey, Bushitler, Jesus W. Bush, Spurious George, Flubya, Fundraiser-in-Vhief or Darth Dubyous), none can match Commander Cuckoo-Bananas in its delicate simplicity and intentional lack of subtlety. Vintage Simpsons.
Simpsons Origins: In "Lisa the Iconoclast" (Feb. 18, 1996), two of the most well-known Simpsons-centric words were introduced, when legendary Jebediah Springfield is quoted as saying, "A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man," and another teacher reassures Mrs. Krabappel that embiggen is a "perfectly cromulent word."
Real World Applications: Like cleave-which means both "to bring together" and "to separate"-cromulent is its own opposite, meaning both respectable and not respectable at all. If you have a hard time remembering this definition, think about cleavage; how two breasts are separate, yet as one. In fact, go ahead and think about cleavage right now. As a matter of fact, think about cleavage as a solution to any problem. Then, fail Calculus.
Simpsons Origins: In "Lisa's Date with Density" (Nov. 5, 2000), Nelson and Lisa share a crush, which puts a chink in the little thug's bully cred. He's confronted by his peers:
Dolph: You're broadcasting geek rays all over the entire valley.
Nelson: 'Fraid not! I'm still wicked bad.
Jimbo: Oh, yeah? Then prove it, assbutt.
Real World Applications: We know how it is-you're writing out Christmas cards and you need something special that brilliantly sums up how you feel about all of your friends and relatives. And let's face it: Asshole, asshat, buttmunch and butt burglar just don't carry the same shock value that they used to. The wordsmiths over at Simpsons headquarters step in, and now you have 200 "Dear Assbutt" cards, ready for delivery. Be sure to thank Groening and company for saving Christmas, once again.
Simpsons Origins: The first Simpsons use was in "Lisa's Wedding" (March 19, 1995):
Bart: Oh, these Renaissance fairs are so boring.
Marge: Oh, really? Did you see the loom? I took loom in high school.'
(Marge then weaves the message "Hi Bart, I am weaving on a loom")
Real World Applications: If you're on the Internet much, (as you undoubtedly are, right this goddamn second), the success of meh isn't a newsflash. It's such a perfect expression of adolescent blahness that most people who use it don't even realize that it originated with our favorite yellow family. That's how effective and appropriate meh is; we assume it is our body's natural reaction to being unimpressed. You eat when you're hungry, you pee when you need to pee and you say meh when you're bored. And The Simpsons made that happen. Impressive, right?
Simpsons Origins: When Homer said, "Expand my brain, learning juice!" ("See Homer run," Nov. 20, 2005) alcoholics everywhere gained a new rallying cry.
Real World Applications: While learning juice may be the perfect way to describe beer, Simpsons-loving lushes already had plenty of boozy one-liners to choose from, including, "To alcohol, the cause of-and solution to-all of life's problems," "I'm a people person... who drinks" and "Alright, brain, you don't like me and I don't like you. But let's just do this, and I can get back to killing you with beer."
We here at CRACKED will not rest until learning juice is nationally recognized as the new official name of beer. After that, we shall continue not resting until learning juice is
a) constantly stocked and available in every supermarket, hospital and car wash;
b) required drinking in every school;
c) part of a balanced breakfast;
d) a welcomed replacement for water in water fountains; and
e) totally free.
Once all of those demands are met, then we'll rest. We'll rest so goddamn hard that we won't remember all of the learning juice-related yelling, beating and sexing from the previous night.
Mark Peters is making a dictionary with his blog Wordlustitude, where readers can learn words such as "skankspionage," "pre-schmoopification," and "cat-nookiepalooza."
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