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The Real Reason Homer Had To Quit His Dream Job On The Simpsons

"The Simpsons" has been a fixture on television since its debut in 1989. The animated series about the struggles and triumphs of the sometimes wonderful but often woeful Simpsons family of Springfield has introduced us to countless catchphrases and was ranked by Rolling Stone as the sixth best show in television history. In its 33 seasons, "The Simpsons" has treated us to more than 700 episodes, making it the longest-running scripted prime time series ever, as well as the most enduring American sitcom and animated series in TV history.

Many of the series' storylines center around family patriarch Homer's main job as a Safety Inspector at Springfield's nuclear power plant — which he quits or is fired from numerous times — and the many career detours and side jobs he takes along the way (via Simpsons Wiki). Over the show's historic run, Homer works as a minor league baseball mascot, snow plow driver, missionary, Krusty the Clown impersonator, prison guard, fish gutter, and door-to-door salesman of three different products.

In Season 3, Episode 12, "I Married Marge," we are taken back in time to 1980, where Homer is working as a miniature golf attendant. When Bart is conceived inside the course's windmill, Homer goes pursuit of more stable employment, taking jobs as an attack dog trainer, candle maker, knife salesman, and drive-thru attendant at the Gulp-n-Blow before eventually proposing to Marge and landing his position at the power plant. But he later gets — and loses — his ultimate dream job.

Homer had to quit his dream job to support his family

In Season 6, Episode 13, "And Maggie Makes Three," we are again sent back in time, but in this episode it's to the end of Homer's first stint at the power plant. Having paid off his debts, Homer quits loudly and dramatically, playing Mr. Burns' head as if it's a bongo and parading him past the plant's employees before literally burning a bridge behind him. Emboldened, he heads for the Bowlarama and is immediately hired as a "pin monkey" by his drinking pal Barney's Uncle Al.

Homer immediately falls in love with his job, calling it "a wonderful waking coma." But he and Marge celebrate his new career by conceiving Maggie, and Al tells him the raise Homer now needs for his growing family won't be possible without some additional business. Homer's attempts to promote the bowling alley end in failure, and he is forced to quit his dream job and crawl through a door marked "supplicants" to beg Mr. Burns for his safety inspector position back. It's not often we see Homer make the self-sacrificing choice, but when he does it's usually for the benefit of his family.

Mr. Burns has somehow forgotten Homer's very recent assault and rehires him, installing a giant plaque reading "Don't forget, you're here forever" in Homer's line of sight. But the grumpily reluctant father is transformed the instant the newborn Maggie grabs his thumb, and in one of the most heartwarming moments of the entire series, he uses photos of her to cover most of the plaque. The remaining letters spell out "Do it for her."