Science in The Simpsons
With a writing staff that includes science geeks, will the movie feature another guest star like Stephen Hawking?
There are countless reasons to go see the long-awaited Simpsons movie this weekend, but for geeks, one of the big draws of the show has always been the sometimes obscure, always intelligent references to science and mathematics. At least a few editors of this magazine are devotees of the famous Halloween episode in which Homer ventures into the third dimension. It’s practically a primer on cosmology and extra-dimensional physics. And über-nerd Professor Frink is featured heavily, which is always a bonus.
Thanks to a writing staff that includes ex-computer-scientists and former mathematicians, the show also has cachet among real scientists. Renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking—whom Homer refers to as “that wheelchair guy” in the 3D episode—even guest-starred at one point. Other science types making guest appearances have included Steven Jay Gould, who visited Springfield to investigate Lisa’s angel skeleton (“Can I use your bathroom?”) and astronaut Buzz Aldrin (“Homer, no!”).
We’re hoping the movie will include some equally delightful geek goodies, perhaps even an obscure guest star or two. The details of the plot have been kept secret, but the general idea – that Homer has to save the world – is encouraging. Let’s hope he appeals to an egghead for help.
So what’s your favorite geeky Simpsons moment or quote? I’ll start with a classic:
“Lisa, in this house we OBEY the laws of thermodynamics!”
Leave your own favorites in the comments. —Gregory Mone
(Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox)