1. What's up with the yellow skin?

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The Simpsons are - in a broad sense - meant to be stand-ins for the traditional American sitcom family, which means a nuclear family of a dim-but-well-meaning father, a supportive, dutiful mother, and some rambunctious children. Obviously the Simpsons deconstructs and satirizes all of these roles with their characters to varying degrees, but that's generally what they're going for. Oh, and also - like 99% of sitcom families up until that point, they're Caucasian.

...except, uh, they're also yellow.

"Yellow skin" in the Simpsons-verse BASICALLY represents whiteness/Caucasian-ness - which is already kind of weird, because other races (black, hispanic, etc.) are - for the most part - shaded similarly to individuals of these races in the real world. The real weird part is that the characters on the show vary a lot between describing themselves as "yellow"...

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...and "white."

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Hell, they even go out of their way to CLEARLY distinguish themselves for the real world equivalent of "white people":

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Complicating things EVEN FURTHER is 22 Short Stories About Springfield - where some gum in Lisa's hair escalates to the point where the only solution is to chop off a good portion of her hair, which leaves her scalp exposed...and it's the traditional light-beige version of real life Caucasian!

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So maybe the answer is that they alternate white and yellow because they're actually BOTH? I have no idea.



2. Grandpa's hair mutates from normal-looking brown hair to the main characters' style of skin-fused hair.

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Bart, Lisa, and Maggie all have incredibly unique hairdo's in the world of The Simpsons, where it APPEARS as though their hair is more or less fused with their skin. Of course, there have been enough jokes with this to indicate their hair color just happens to EXACTLY match their skin tone, meaing they're all a very specific shade of blonde.

Things About 'The Simpsons' That Still Bother Me

But there's another member of the Simpsons family who shares this kind of hair - Grandpa Simpson.

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But the weird thing is that he only got this hair much much later in life - he was a brunette until at least his 50s. And instead of growing grey like...well, virtually EVERY SINGLE elderly person ever seen in Springfield, Grandpa's hair turns yellow and is no longer clearly distinguished from his skin.

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And complicating things EVEN FURTHER is that GRANDPA SIMPSON DID GO GREY (at least, he was grey for the period right before Lisa was born):

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So what's the deal? Is Grandpa now that specific kind of blonde? Why isn't his hair separate from his skin (like other blonde characters, and like Abe used to be)? How did he go from brunette to grey to blonde?! WHAT THE HELL?



3. Why do Lisa and Maggie have the same hair?

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The hair of the core Simpsons characters are all incredibly unique - this was a conscious choice by Groening and the designers, who wanted each member of the Simpsons to stand out. Groening said this in an interview with Bob Dylan:

The secret of designing cartoon characters -- and I'm giving away this secret now to all of you out there -- is: you make a character that you can tell who it is in silhouette. I learned this from watching Mickey Mouse as a kid. You can tell Mickey Mouse from a mile away...those two big ears. Same thing with Popeye, same thing with Batman. And so, if you look at the Simpsons, they're all identifiable in silhouette. Bart with the picket fence hair, Marge with the beehive, and Homer with the two little hairs, and all the rest. So...I think about hair quite a lot.

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And this seems pretty believable - each member of the Simpsons has a unique haircut and look that isn't shared by virtually anyone else in the Simpsons universe. No one else has Bart's picket fence hair, no one is bald the same way Homer is, and no one else has Marge's cartoonishly huge hair (except her mother, but Mrs. Bouvier is very very rarely seen - and her similar hair is mostly there as a throwaway visual joke). The one weird exception to this is Maggie and Lisa, who - for some reason - have identical hairstyles (more or less). It really feels like the designers just got lazy with Maggie - maybe tentatively giving her Lisa's haircut as a temporary stand-in, figuring they would do something different with it later...except they never did.



4. Homer only makes $10,000 a year?!

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In one of the funniest "Homer ignores his actual job to pursue some cartoonishly insane get-rich quick scheme," Homer steals a bunch of sugar from an overturned truck, piles it up in his backyard, and tries selling bagged sugar (and blasting caps) door-to-door. However, his new mode of income doesn't sit well with Marge, especially because he's not actually making any money from it:

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This is a throwaway joke I'm reading too much into, I'll grant you that, but it's a line that suggests something truly depressing about Homer's job situation. He's been working at the plant for about 10 years at this point, and - as safety inspector - is still an hourly employee. Not only that, but assuming Homer clocks 8 hours a day, that means he's earning only $5/hour, which is juuust above minimum wage in 1994 dollars (the year this episode aired). So - in 10 years - Homer is making nearly the legal minimum and is still hourly...and is somehow supporting his family of 5 on $10,000 a year ($40/day x 5 days/week x 50 weeks/year = $10,000).

Granted, there are families that must get by on similar levels of income, but the Simpsons live in a pretty cushy upper-middle-lower class existence - Marge is able to be a homemaker with no income, they have two cars, and while they DO run into money issues fairly regularly, nothing near what they should be dealing with (the "poverty line" in 1994 for a family of 5 would have been about $17k/yr - nearly DOUBLE what Homer made).

AND YET SOMEHOW, THEY CAN AFFORD LOBSTER FOR DINNER?!

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Actually, knowing what wages are like at the Springfield Nuclear Plant makes Frank Grimes' life make so much more sense.



5. A wizard COULDN'T HAVE DONE IT in Xena Episode BF12...because there WAS NO EPISODE BF12!

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Xena: Warrior Princess production codes ALWAYS begin with either "76" (in season 1) or V0 (in all subsequent seasons). There IS no episode BF12 - there COULDN'T BE. Therefore, Lucy Lawless' assertion that "a wizard did it" could not POSSIBLY apply, as there would be NO EPISODE IN WHICH A WIZARD COULD EXIST.