Friday, March 09, 2007

The Simpsons & Pigs: "A Wonderful, Magical Animal"

Pigs appear rather frequently in the greatest of all American television programs: The Simpsons. In "Homer Goes to College" (1993), for example, the Springfield A&M mascot is a pig in a letterman's sweater. In "Lisa's Wedding" (1995), Homer gives Hugh Parkfield, Lisa's fiancé, the same pig bride-and-groom cuff-links to wear that he had been given by his father on his wedding day. There is also a suckling pig on a spit at the Renaissance Faire where the fortune teller kicks off the episode. Speaking of edible pigs, in "All's Fair in Oven War" (2004) Brandine creates the festive holiday Alcohog, a recipe that involves pouring whisky down a hog's mouth and garnishing the beast with candy canes." In "Simple Simpson" (2004), Homer is intrigued by a television commercial announcing that the finder of a golden ticket will get a trip to Farmer Billy's Bacon Factory. After buying a ton of bacon at the Kwik-E-Mart he only finds a silver ticket, which permits him to serve as a pig judge at the fair .

"Simpsons Bible Stories" from 1999 features the Pig of Eden, which exists to provide a never-ending supply of pork, wisdom, and droll remarks, including this bit of dialogue:
Pig of Eden: Today I'm featuring mouth-watering pork ribs. Tuck in, then!
(Homer digs into the pig's side and comes up with a side of ribs. He looks at them).
Homer (as Adam): Oh, I gave a rib to Eve and now she's gone forever!
Pig of Eden: One whole rib and still standing. Oh, aren't you the plucky one, sir.
In the classic "Lisa the Vegetarian" (1995), Homer hosts a barbeque featuring roast pig. Enraged, Lisa climbs aboard a riding mower, and drives away with the roast pig in tow. Homer and Bart chase after her, but she pushes the pig off a slope. The pig rolls through bushes, into the river, and is shot into the air by a hydroelectic dam's suction. Meanwhile, Mr. Burns is about to sign a million-dollar check for a donation to a local charity. He says that he will sign it when pigs fly -- just then, the roast pig flies into view. Burns is utterly shocked, but, of course, still refuses to donate the money. This episode features some great pigmeat related dialogue:
Homer: Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. Lisa, honey, are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Ham?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad! Those all come from the same animal!
Homer: [Chuckles] Yeah, right Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.
Pigs are used metaphorically as well in The Simpsons, especially when discussing Homer's behavior and hygiene. In "Some Enchanted Evening" (1990) Homer has this conversation with at Moe's Tavern:
Moe: Hey, you can level with me. You got a domestic situation?
Homer: You might say that. My wife's gonna leave me 'cause she thinks I'm a pig.
Moe: Homer...
Homer: What?
Moe: Marge is right. You are a pig. You can ask anyone in this bar.
Barney: You're no more of a pig than I am. [belches]
Homer: Oh, no!
Moe: See? You're a pig. Barney's a pig. Larry's a pig. We're all pigs. Except for one difference: Once in a while, we can crawl out of the slop, hose ourselves off, and act like human beings.
I'm sure there are many more references to pigs than these. It looks like pigs play a major role in this summer's The Simpsons Movie, at least from the trailers I have seen. The most recent trailer implies that Homer has started raising pigs at home, as there is a silo in the backyard reading "Pig Crap." Marge asks him to dispose of the waste properly, and there is a cut to a scene with Homer and a pig driving to illegally dump the waste in a lake. I guess we'll have to wait until this summer to figure out the whole story.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home