Warning: Spoilers for The Simpsons season 34, episode 22.
While The Simpsons season 34 finale didn’t answer every lingering mystery about the world of the series, the episode did offer a few explanations for a handful of persistent canon hiccups. Over the years, The Simpsons has become less attached to the show’s ever-changing canon. According to showrunner Matt Selman, The Simpsons has an “elastic canon.” This means that details about the characters, their life histories, their hometown, and the show’s supporting stars can change without warning. However, this has not always been the case, with many episodes of The Simpsons relying on viewers having some knowledge of past episodes to make sense of recent storylines.
This can be an issue for the series, particularly when The Simpsons repeats plots from earlier episodes in new seasons. However, to be fair to the series, The Simpsons season 34, episode 22, “Homer’s Adventures Through the Windshield Glass,” did an admirable job of explaining a lot of plot holes in the show’s universe. The episode’s story saw Homer get into a car crash after discovering that Marge kept a significant chunk of money secret from him. Then, as time slowed down and Homer entered his mind, he was led through a journey of self-discovery by Goobie Woo, Maggie’s Happy Little Elf toy (voiced by guest star Lizzo).
5 Season 34’s Finale Proves The Simpsons Is A Show In-Universe
In “Homer’s Adventures Through the Windshield Glass,” Lizzo played Goobie Woo as a straight-talking font of advice for Homer. However, the last scene depicted Homer and Lizzo recording their lines for the episode, implying that The Simpsons is a fictional TV show within the show’s universe. This was implied in both The Simpsons season 11, episode 22, “Behind the Laughter,” and season 7, episode 10, “The 138th Episode Spectacular.” However, the series has not frequently revisited this idea much in the intervening years, even though this twist might have helped cover up behind-the-scenes changes like The Simpsons dropping Apu due to allegations of racist stereotyping.
The revelation that The Simpsons is a show in-universe is not unique to this adult animated series. For example, in American Dad season 5, episode 14, “Bar Mitzvah Hustle,” Stan and Francine’s subplot ended with a zoom-out revealing that the entire series is a filmed network television show in-universe. However, The Simpsons did repeatedly revisit this idea in early seasons, and the premise could potentially allow the show a lot of creative freedom to explore more ambitious, meta plot lines. Although The Simpsons season 34’s finale only used this revelation to make a joke about Lisa jamming with Lizzo, the possible implications of this reveal could mean more experimental future plot lines.
4 The Simpsons Season 34 Explains Marge’s Income
Early in “Homer’s Adventures Through the Windshield Glass,” The Simpsons reveals that Marge has received $1000 monthly from her late father’s estate. This explains how she never had to work outside the home, a detail that was a lot more believable when The Simpsons began airing in 1989 than it is in 2023. While Marge has tried her hand at all manner of jobs, from daytime television producer to pretzel salesperson to real estate agent, none of these careers have lasted longer than an episode. The Simpsons explained this Marge mystery by proving that the family will always be financially comfortable regardless of Marge’s employment status.
3 The Simpsons Season 34 Finale Justified Homer’s Misadventures
As well as explaining where Marge’s money comes from, “Homer’s Adventures Through the Windshield Glass” also explained how Marge spent these monthly payments. Since her father’s offscreen death, the money went to getting Homer out of the many absurd scrapes he ended up in. This explains all of the episodes of The Simpsons that end with the family broke, in debt, or otherwise financially troubled, only for them to be back to normal in the next outing. This might be the biggest plot hole that “Homer’s Adventures Through the Windshield Glass” explained since The Simpsons has often left its heroes in dire financial straits without explaining their escape.
2 The Simpsons Season 34 Finale Depicted Marge’s Missing Father
While it took The Simpsons years to address COVID-19, it has taken the show even longer to clarify some details about its heroes. Over the years, The Simpsons have offered two distinct versions of Marge’s father. There was a slender blue-haired version of Clancy Bouvier seen in The Simpsons season 6, episode 11, and a broader, red-headed iteration of the character seen in earlier episodes. It is the latter character who reappears in “Homer’s Adventures Through the Windshield Glass,” and this episode implies he is the real Clancy Bouvier. When Homer speaks to Clancy in hell, neither character acknowledges his changed appearance.
1 The Simpsons Made Marge And Homer’s Origin Story Canon
While The Simpsons season 2, episode 12, “The Way We Was,” depicted the red-headed Clancy disapproving of Marge and Homer’s early ‘70s romance, later episodes offered different backstories for the couple’s first dates and early romance. These included the infamous ‘90s-set plot of season 19, episode 11, “That ‘90s Show,” which depicted Homer and Marge as teens in the ‘90s, and the season 33 premiere, which stated that they attended high school in 1999. Of course, The Simpsons season 34 already parodied “The Way We Was,” but a flashback in “Homer’s Adventures Through the Windshield Glass” confirmed that this iconic episode’s version of their romance is canon.
In “Homer’s Adventures Through the Windshield Glass,” Clancy Bouvier looks the way he did in “The Way We Was,” and his opinion of Homer has not changed much since that episode. As such, it is clear that the events of “The Way We Was” are canon according to “Homer’s Adventures Through the Windshield Glass.” Clancy only left that money to Marge because he didn’t believe that Homer would prove capable of providing for her, which is the same concern he voiced earlier in “The Way We Was.” As such, The Simpsons season 34 finale proves that the version of Homer and Marge’s romantic first date is true within the world of the series.