The Simpsons Ruined Homer Joining Bart & Grampa’s Best Golden Age Story With One Joke


  • Homer’s absence from Grampa and Bart’s adventure in a classic episode of The Simpsons was actually a good thing, as it allowed for a stronger bond between Grampa and Bart.
  • Homer’s decision to opt out of the adventure was in line with his character’s tendency to take the easy way out rather than answer the call of adventure.
  • Homer’s conflict of interest as an employee of Mr. Burns would have disrupted the storyline if he had joined Grampa and Bart, as he is afraid of his powerful and cruel boss.

While Grampa and Bart shared a great Golden Age adventure in The Simpsons, Homer missed out on this bonding opportunity thanks to one throwaway joke. Throughout the 35 seasons of The Simpsons, Homer has spent a lot of screen time feuding and eventually working together with his irascible father, Grampa. Similarly, Bart and Homer have also shared plenty of storylines over the years, with one of their most heart-warming plots forming the through line of The Simpsons Movie. However, three generations of the Simpson family have rarely been involved in the same story.

While The Simpsons season 36 might change this, there are currently very few episodes that unite Homer, Bart, and Grampa as a unit. This is a shame, since their clashing personalities and unexpected similarities cause a lot of in-built conflicts that could make for great television. However, one classic episode from the show’s Golden Age did almost send the three Simpsons on an adventure together, and this plot ended up being Grampa and Bart’s best story. Despite this, it wouldn’t have worked if Homer joined them, meaning it was good that his involvement was written off in a throwaway joke.

Homer Could Have Helped Bart and Grampa Retrieve The Hellfish Bonanza

In season 7, episode 22, “Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in ‘The Curse of the Flying Hellfish’,” Grampa and Bart battle Mr. Burns and retrieve the Hellfish bonanza from the ocean floor in a genuinely exciting adventure. This episode doubled as a rare chance for the unlikely duo to bond since, while The Simpsons never age, Bart rarely goes on solo adventures with his elderly Grampa in the seasons that followed. Homer could have joined Grampa and Bart on their best adventure if it weren’t for one (admittedly great gag), but him dropping out worked better.

When Homer heard that Bart and Grampa were looking for buried treasure, he immediately wanted to get involved. However, he just as quickly opted out of this story when Grampa warned him it would test his mettle, prompting a disinterested “Pass” from Homer. It was a great character beat and on-brand for Homer, who would always rather take the easy way out than answer the call of adventure. Moreover, while Homer and Bart’s Simpsons relationship hasn’t always been steady, they have shared plenty of sweet scenes. As such, Homer dropping out of this storyline let Grampa bond with Bart.

Why Homer Really Opted Out of Bart and Grampa’s Adventure

Mr Burns and Grampa seen from behind in a rainy graveyard in The Simpsons

Homer works for Burns so, while it would have been fun to see all three generations of the Simpsons working together, this conflict of interest would have ruined the storyline. While Homer has stood up to Burns in the past, he is understandably afraid of his immensely powerful, callous, and cruel boss, and he isn’t necessarily close enough to Grampa to take his side in their feud. In contrast, Bart had just discovered his grandfather’s war service and was impressed, so The Simpsons hero was ready to throw down against the richest man in town if it meant helping Grampa.

The Simpsons

Release Date
December 17, 1989

Tress MacNeille , Julie Kavner , Harry Shearer , Pamela Hayden , Nancy Cartwright , Hank Azaria , Dan Castellaneta , Yeardley Smith