The Simpsons movie is officially 16 years old, and to celebrate, we’re looking back on some of the film’s many great lines and quotes.
Remarkably, The Simpsons Movie is now officially old enough to obtain its driving license. We are now officially 16 years out from the release of what is surely the most iconic comedy movie in animation history and, to this day, the film’s best quips remain as quotable as ever. From Chief Wiggum’s incompetency to Homer’s dense, well-intentioned words of wisdom, we’ve compiled some of our favorite lines from the irreverent masterpiece that is The Simpsons Movie.
Abe Simpson: “EPA! EPA! EPA!”
Dan Castellaneta’s delivery of Abe Simpson’s iconic rant inside the hallowed First Church of Springfield occurs right at the start of the movie and hasn’t strayed far from the minds of the millions of people who have watched it in the years since.
In what would eventually transpire to be excellent foreshadowing from the Springfield senior who initially appeared to have lost his grip on reality, Abe’s calls of “Twisted tail! A thousand eyes! Trapped forever!” set the scene for the rest of the movie, as his fellow townspeople proceed to learn exactly how it feels to be “trapped forever” inside the Environmental Protection Agency-enforced Dome.
Of course, a nonplussed Homer dismisses his father’s cries of “Epa!” as a “senior moment”, after leaving Simpsons fans with a core memory of Abe being rolled out of the church in a long stretch of carpet whilst yelling gibberish – pausing only to politely thank fellow churchgoers for listening to what he had to say.
Chief Wiggum: “Yard trimmings”
He has never been the sharpest tool in the box, and Chief Wiggum certainly didn’t cover himself in glory when presented with a fairly obvious case of dubious behavior from one of Springield’s most notorious residents.
Upon seeing the show’s resident mob boss, Fat Tony, disposing of a tarpaulin-covered lump that looks suspiciously like a dead body, Wiggum has the gall to talk down to his colleague, Lou, who attempts to point out the obvious to the local chief of police.
“You gotta learn to listen, Lou” Wiggum muses less-than-wisely in response to Lou, a line I, presumably like many others, find myself murmuring under my breath more often than I’d care to admit.
Cletus Spuckler: “I can’t, I simply can’t!”
Showcasing his foolproof plan to stop people from dumping waste in the local lake, Mayor Quimby enlists the help of the only person in Springfield with less intuition than Chief Wiggum.
Tasked with dumping a rat over a wall that comes no higher than his chest, Cletus Spuckler meekly bashes into the blockade just twice, before giving up and conceding that he has been outsmarted.
“I can. I simply can’t,” Spuckler admits in his iconic Southern accent, the perfect mantra to repeat to oneself whenever you’re feeling bested by a frustratingly simple task.
Homer: “I got a chainsaw!”
In what would go on to become a perfect illustration of those who use the anonymity provided by social media to launch empty threats online, Homer was found out in sensation style when he attempted to intimidate the angry mob bearing down on his house.
Part of what makes The Simpsons movie so special is the way the show’s writers transported their clever gags and endearing wit so well from TV to the big screen, as can be seen here, when the baying protestors quickly swap their fists for their eyes to check if Homer is really telling the truth.
Of course, it’s Homer, so he isn’t telling the truth, and his threat of “Stand back, I got a chainsaw!” is as empty as the silo of pig muck he had just dumped into the lake.
President Schwarzenegger: “Number three!
“I was elected to lead, not to read” is the perfect representation of how The Simpsons feel about the idea of the celebrity president, before *the* celebrity president was even a thing.
When President Schwarzenegger, (who is definitely not modeled on and made to sound like Hollywood star and then-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger), is made to pick between five options for handling the climate crisis in Springfield, he declares his alliance to the number three, despite having not read or listened to any of the information contained in any of the dossiers sat in front of him.
Tough perhaps just a throwaway line, Schwarzenegger’s instinctive decision to make a call without being clued up on the topic, and his subsequent stubborn attitude to switching to option four can be viewed as a depiction of how The Simpsons view the decision-making of governments that have engaged in years of inaction when it comes to the climate issue.
Homer: “The worst day of your life, so far…”
And, to cap things off, we couldn’t write about The Simpsons Movie’s best lines without including this profound nugget of wisdom from Homer.
Attempting to make a trouserless Bart feel better while he endured the shame of being tied to a lampost half naked for all of Springfield to see, Homer refutes his son’s “This is the worst day of my life” claim.
“This is the worst day of your life, so far…” came Homer’s rebuttal – a clear attempt at trying to make his son feel better, that actually felt less like words of encouragement, but rather a threat about how even darker days were yet to come for the young Springfield Elementary student.
So if you’re ever feeling down and think nothing is going you’re way, just remember, as Homer once famously pointed out, it’s only going to get worse from here…