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The Only Characters On The Simpsons To Have Five Fingers

"The Simpsons" has given audiences some of television's most memorable animated faces. There are people who have never grown up in a world without the names Homer, Bart, Lisa, Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Chief Wiggum, Sideshow Bob, and Krusty the Clown, amongst countless others, being a part of their lives in one way or another. There are several elements that have helped these characters remain among the most recognizable in all of pop culture for over 30 years. From the brilliantly written episodes to the lively voice performances from Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, and more, all the stars seemed to be aligned to keep these characters memorable and relevant in the realm of entertainment.

Another crucial factor that doesn't get enough mention in what has helped these figures remain so beloved is their iconic design. Series creator Matt Groening has an animation style that is immediately recognizable with simple, yet distinct shapes and expressions that have come to define "The Simpsons" and his other two animated sitcoms, "Futurama" and "Disenchantment." In that simplicity, one common cartoon trait featured with his characters is that they only have four fingers on each hand. However, a pair of characters featured on "The Simpsons" break that rule in a big way. 

The almighty five-finger design

It would only make sense that the only character on "The Simpsons" worth having five fingers would be the most omnipotent of figures. First appearing in the Season 4 episode, "Homer the Heretic," God's design is the only one to consistently be shown with five fingers. He usually makes appearances when someone questions religion or his abilities. These include bringing the sun out to ruin both Homer and Barney's plowing businesses after Homer brags that not even God can stop two best friends when they're working together, aiding Ned Flanders when his son Todd is floating down a river, and stopping a flood going through Springfield when Reverend Lovejoy asks for forgiveness. While given an extra finger, one feature we almost never see on God in the show is a face, which is only seen on a few brief occasions. Additionally, Jesus is occasionally shown to have five fingers as well, but not to the extent that we see in God's design.

Given how difficult hands can be to draw in animation, amongst other factors, artists have generally always stuck with the four-fingered design for their characters (via The A.V. Club). According to the commentary track on "The Complete Fourth Season" DVD set for "Homer the Heretic," God's five-finger design was a deliberate choice to help make him more unique and allow him to stand out as a divine figure. Even if it is a small detail, it nevertheless adds to the already-lively world of "The Simpsons" that has helped make it such a beloved show.