- "[reads] "To start, press any key." Well where's the "any" key? I see Esc, Catarl, and PigUp. There doesn't seem to be any "any" key!"
- ― Homer Simpson
| "King-Size Homer"
| Episode Information
"King-Size Homer" is the seventh episode of season 7 of The Simpsons and the one-hundred and thirty-fifth episode overall. It originally aired on November 5, 1995. The episode was written by Dan Greaney and directed by Jim Reardon. It guest stars Joan Kenley as the telephone operator.
- "Homer tries everything to get out of the plant's new exercise program and discovers that being on disability would do just that. With Bart's help, Homer starts eating everything he can, even playdough."
Mr. Burns organizes an exercise program at the power plant. While this program finds some support among the workers, Homer is not among them. After learning that those on disability get to work at home (and not take part in the exercises), he tries to injure himself. When he discovers that hyper-obesity counts as a disability, he decides to put on weight until he is 300 pounds. In this way, he can be legally disabled and force Burns to let him telecommute. Despite Marge's protests that this could endanger his health and jeopardize her attraction to him, Homer engages in nearly unprecedented gluttony. After a mass eating spree, Bart tells Homer they're out of food. Faced with the prospect of another day at work, Homer eats a Play-Doh donut that Maggie made. This manages to push him over the 300 pound goal, but it is then that Bart notes that Homer's gut is caught on a towel rack. Once Homer lets his gut hang down, the scale readjusts to 315 pounds.
A computer work station is set up in the Simpsons home for Homer's position. Homer enjoys working from home: he realizes that all he has to do is hit "y" (for "yes") on the computer repeatedly. However, he soon tires of the repetitiveness of the situation, and begins to get distracted. One day, Homer leaves a drinking bird hitting the "y" button while he goes out to see a movie. After being refused to be seated due to his size, and heckled by some people outside the theater, Homer returns home, vowing to show that overweight people can be important. Upon his return, he finds the bird has been knocked aside, and a nuclear meltdown at the power plant is imminent. Homer rushes to the plant and bravely tries to take charge. He ultimately saves the day — his enormous gut gets stuck in the release tube and blocks the toxic gas from escaping. As a reward and upon Homer's request, Mr. Burns guarantees that he will make Homer thin once more. After Homer fails with his exercise program, Mr. Burns decides to just pay for the liposuction.
"King-Size Homer" was the first episode Dan Greaney wrote for The Simpsons. Greaney pitched some ideas to the writing staff, but none of them were any good, so then-show runner Bill Oakley gave him the idea for this episode. The writers wanted the title of the episode to make Homer sound proud about his weight, so they decided to name it "King-Size Homer". David Silverman designed the fat Homer for the episode. The writers were also discussing about how they were going to treat Homer's fatness. They did not want Homer to come off as a "hog", so they decided that the viewer should barely see him eating after he reaches his 300 pounds goal.
In its original broadcast, "King-Size Homer" finished 45th in the ratings for the week of October 30 to November 3, 1995, with a Nielsen rating of 10.0. Since airing, the episode has received mostly positive reviews from fans and television critics. In 2008, Empire placed The Simpsons at the top of their list of "The 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time", and noted "King-Size Homer" as the show's best episode, calling it "An unimprovable mix of sharp dialogue, hilarious sight gags and heart." NoHomers.net ranked the episode number thirty-three in their 2012 "NHC Top 100 Episodes" voting, with a total of 554 votes and number twenty-one in their 2014 "NHC Top 100 Episodes" voting, with a total of 670 points.
Nick Offerman has stated that this is his favorite episode of the series.
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