The Homer J. Simpson Guide to Success

Homer Simpson is easily one of the most influential, infamous, and idiotic characters in television history.

This is a guy who once said “oh, they have internet on computers now!” and “With $10,000, we’d be millionaires! We could buy all kinds of useful things like…love!”  I love the man, but he is clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed.

The longest running television sitcom ever, The Simpsons has always cranked out twenty-two minutes worth of hilarious comedy every Sunday night.  Funny story: I wasn’t allowed to watch the show as a kid because my parents thought it wouldn’t be a good influence… and then they actually watched an episode.  Every Sunday night after that became “Simpsons watching time” at the Kamb house.

With the season premiere right around the corner, I figured it’s time I finally did a post about the man, the myth, the moron: Homer J. Simpson.

Below are some of my favorite Homerisms and what we can learn from them in our epic quests to succeed.

Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They’re about to announce the lottery numbers.

Although he’s trying to pass along some decent words of wisdom to Bart, Homer sounds like Bowser than Mario.  He knows that life isn’t easy, that anything worth chasing is going to be difficult, but he’s really just too lazy to do it himself.

What we can learn – like with most things in life, it takes a dedicated effort to get in good shape and stay that way.  If everybody could get really healthy with a magic pill (or by winning the lottery), nobody would appreciate the hard work that is usually required!  When I see people busting their butts to get stronger and healthier, I smile.  When I read about the newest miracle cure or watch the latest infomercial (shake weight anyone?) part of me dies inside.  Doh!

Are you waiting for your number to be called?  Do you keep talking about how you want to do this, or look like that, or have this, without ever actually doing something about it?  Less yapping, more action.  Go.

Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.

Hilarious, but oh so wrong. In fact, failing is a huge part of success.  Thomas Edison failed over a thousand times to find the right filament before inventing the light bulb.  Each “failure” allowed him to cross one more material off the list of possibilities, getting him one step closer to finding the right one.  Why was he eventually successful?  Because he kept failing in different ways.

According to Albert Einstein, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If counting calories and running on a treadmill has failed you repeatedly in the past, what makes you think it’s actually going to work this time!? Why not try the Paleo diet and never count calories again? Have you considered a solid weight lifting routine, which has been shown to burn more calories and build way more muscle than just running for hours?

Mix it up, try different things, expect to fail, and use each failure as a “okay that didn’t work, onto the next thing!”  The lesson is to not “never try,” but to repeatedly try over and over long as you’re trying different things.

Alright Brain, you don’t like me, and I don’t like you. But lets just do this, and I can get back to killing you with beer.

Replace “Brain” with “Body” and I think we all can relate. If you’re just getting started on your quest for a healthier lifestyle, every day will be a fight against your body – it wants to sleep, it craves bad foods, it wants to cut workouts short, and it wants to keep doing what its been doing for decades.  Unfortunately you don’t really get to pick a new partner – you have to work with the one you have.  If you want to live a long life full of win, you need to play nice.

Try this – “Alright Body, you don’t like me, and I don’t like you.  But let’s just do these workouts and start eating better, and I’ll be able to keep you around much longer and occasionally kill you with beer and bad food.”

Although I’m currently following the Paleo Diet for my meals on the current 28-Day Challenge, I still eat unhealthy food every once and a while.  Yesterday I ate pizza and drank beer at a bar, and it was awesome.  I work out consistently and 95% of my meals are healthy, which means I can eat bad foods on the weekend guilt-free.

Just because I don’t care doesn’t mean I don’t understand.

If you’ve been reading Nerd Fitness for a while, you know that there are certain things that I (and the NF Rebel Army) truly believe in:

  • Lift weights – more efficient than straight cardio at burning calories and will help you maintain muscle
  • Eat better – Get rid of liquid calories, cut out processed carbs and start eating real foods
  • Be consistent – you’re not dieting, you’re making changes that will last a lifetime
  • Have a purpose – set goals, train with conviction, and stay on target

Every article I write probably can be traced back to one or more of these ideals.  I can certainly teach you how to lift weights, I can teach you what to eat and what not to eat, and I can provide you with tips and strategies for how to make life-long changes.

What I can’t do is give you a reason to care – that’s gotta come from you.

When I see somebody who is struggling to succeed, I see somebody who hasn’t found his/her “reason to care” yet.  One day, things will click, that reason will make itself known, and success will soon follow.  NF reader Matt just woke up one day, decided he wanted to get in shape, and lost 160 pounds in twelve months.  Tony thought he was having a heart attack, went out for a walk, and now runs marathons and half-marathons almost weekly.

Maybe it’s for your first kid being born.  Maybe it’s your doctor telling you how much longer he expects you to live.  Maybe it’s because you got cut from your high school basketball team (that was my reason).  Once you know your “why,” the “how” part becomes remarkably easier.

Have you found your reason to care yet?

Other great quotes

Now, just because these aren’t part of the article’s overall theme doesn’t mean they’re not great.  Here are a few more Homer Simpson quotes that everybody should know:

I’m not normally a praying man, but if you’re up there, please save me, Superman!

There’s so much I don’t know about astrophysics!  I wish I read that book by that wheelchair guy.

You can’t keep blaming yourself.  Just blame yourself once, and move on.

In this house, we OBEY the laws of thermodynamics!

Don’t eat me.  I have a wife and kids.  Eat them.

Here’s to alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all life’s problems.

Good things don’t end in ‘eum’, they end in ‘mania’… or ‘teria’.

Well, it’s 1am. Better go home and spend some quality time with the kids.

Thanks Homer

Homer’s the man.  He’s dumb as a brick, often neglects his family, and drinks far beyond a healthy amount, but he means well.  Do we have any other Simpsons fans out there?  Any other Homerisms that I missed?




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  • I love Homer Simpson (and by extension, this article.) Good advice, all the way around. (from you, not Homer) And my favorite Homer quote? “That it! You people have stood in my way long enough! I’m going to clown college!” And Bart’s comeback, “I don’t think any of us expected him to say that.”

  • Hahahaha, that clown college episode was incredible. Just so many things were hilarious.


  • Nick

    Oh man…classic. I’m a lifelong Simpsons lover and had the same parental reaction at first, good thing that didn’t last long. Another great one to add to this list: “Can’t someone else do it?!” From ‘Trash of the Titans,’ where Homer becomes sanitation commissioner.

    A few other (sort of) relevant quotes off the top of my head:
    “You don’t win friends with salad! You don’t win friends with salad!”
    “Doughnuts. Is there anything they can’t do?”

  • Prefect42

    Two personal favorites, both from the old school Treehouse of Horrors episode where Mr. Burns is “Dracula”:

    “Oh Lisa, you and your stories. Bart is a vampire. Beer kills brain cells. Now let’s go back to that building…thingy…..where our beds and TV…”

    “Kill my boss?! Do I dare live out the American dream?!”

  • Nick

    Can’t believe I forgot to include this one!

  • I wasn’t allowed to watch the simpsons as a kid either 🙁 sad day…

  • Prefect42

    And completely forgot what I think is my all-time favorite Simpsons clip of all:


  • Have To Add This One…

    That Vas’ Ten Minutes Ago!

  • alr

    Whenever I am especially frustrated with my job, I think of that sign above Homer’s desk in the episode where he had to make a faustian bargain with Mr. Burns and give up his dream (owning a bowling alley) and go back to the nuclear plant to support his family. The bit where the letters fall off and change the sign from “Don’t forget – It’s forever” to “Do it for her,” is one of the best tv descriptions of parental self-sacrifice that I have ever seen.

  • Jo

    Great article! I grew up watching The Simpsons. I think my favourite Homerism (forget which episode) is where he dances about singing: ‘I am so smart. I am so smart. S-M-R-T. I mean, S-M-A-R-T.’

  • Marshall

    @alr–that episode is my favorite (I think it’s from season 6). However, the letters don’t fall off of the sign; Homer covers them up with something…it’s worth watching that again, particularly if you’re a parent.

  • Kalell

    “Stupid TV, Be More Funny!”

  • Earlyconner

    My parents felt the same way, it would be a bad influence on us kids. AND THAT WAS ON LIKE THE SECOND SEASON OF THEM WATCHING IT! I’m not bitter though. My best friend introduced it to me and Bart is my favorite character because he reminds me of myself when I was a kid trying to kill my father:) Joking. Sort of. We went back and forth a lot

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  • Lover

    TThis is a wonderful article, I could not stop laughing..It shares great advice !!!!

  • he covers them with pictures of Maggie

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