The Last Temptation Of Homer was the ninth episode of The Simpsons’ fifth season. It averages and 8.5/10 score on IMDB making it one of the show’s most respected episodes, but it is one of the most talked about and disputed episodes due to its ending to which I am going to line out a few theories for what could have taken place.
The idea for the episode came from showrunner, David Mirkin, and guest featured Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns) as love interest Mindy Simmons, as well as Werner Klemperer reprising his role as Colonel Klink from Hogan’s Heroes. When the episode was first shown at a test screening it didn’t receive the usual level the laughs the show had been accustomed to which gave the staff worries, but obviously seeing the response the episode gets today shows it was a success.
The original idea for Mindy was for her to be flirty like Lurleen Lumpkin in the earlier Simpsons episode ‘Colonel Homer’ (S3E20), but Mirkin dismissed this idea wanting her to be a normal character who happens to have a mutual interest in Homer. The episode features cultural references such as Homer fantasising Mindy as the Botticelli painting: ‘Birth Of Venus’ and Homer parody the song ‘Mandy’ by Barry Manilow where the titular character is replaced by Homer’s infatuation with Mindy. Venus was the Roman Goddess of love and desire and so is an appropriate metaphor for Homer’s instant infatuation with Mindy.
The plot of the story is that Mr. Burns needs to hire a woman to work at the plant due to breaches in employment standards and hires Mindy Simmons. Homer becomes interested in Mindy after she displays the same characteristics as Homer such as snacking and generally being lazy. Homer’s home life isn’t great at the moment with Bart becoming a nerd due to medical alterations, Lisa just being strange and Marge being sick. Even though Homer, the faithful man that he is tries to avoid Mindy and stop thinking about her, their awkward interactions get them sent to represent the plant at an energy convention in Capitol City.
The two have to share a room together and at the end of the episode the two look like they’re going to sleep together, but Mindy tells Homer to “Look in your heart” for what he really wants. In the next scene we see Marge in Mindy’s red dress as her and Homer proceed to have sex. This is where the theories come in for what actually happens in the end.
What is important to point out is that in a later episodes ‘Another Simpsons Clip Show’ (S6E03), the Simpson family share their love stories which includes Homer telling the Mindy story. Marge seems oblivious to even knowing who Mindy is and asks what happened to her. This makes me wonder if Marge even went to Capitol City and Homer’s answer is that Mindy hit the bottle and got fired from her job. This was interesting as unlike most one-off characters, Mindy hadn’t had a proper ending.
THEORY 1: HOMER SLEPT WITH MINDY
The first theory is that Homer decides to go through with everything and sleeps with Mindy in their hotel room. Their libidos are too strong for each other and the two succumb to their feelings. After all Colonel Klink does show Homer his paradise life if the two got together. As the two sat down on the bed, Homer expresses to Mindy how torn he is, but does say that he wants to sleep with her. Before the scene cuts to Homer and Marge, he and Mindy share a kiss which could either be the start or end of things.
THEORY 2: HOMER SLEPT WITH MINDY BUT IMAGINED MARGE
The second theory is that Homer did still sleep with Mindy, but imagined her as Marge the whole time. Was this because of the guilt he feels towards Marge, or that he will always lust and picture Marge in this situation? All hypothetical, it’s a cartoon. This is believable with Marge being seen to wear Mindy’s dress. I mean could they both have the same red dress?
THEORY 3: HOMER SLEPT WITH MARGE
This is the nicest theory of the bunch I think and I imagine is the storyline we all like to imagine. Maybe Marge traveled all of the way to Capitol City to be with Homer was is a fair few miles, but has proven to be within driving distance. She also remarks that a turkey has fallen behind the bed which Mindy has already referred to previously in the episode. Homer is constantly reminded about Marge as he is wearing the smeared face shirt she gives him and the hotel buffer sounds like her nagging.
THEORY 4: MINDY ROLEPLAYS AS MARGE
I find this to be possible, I mean if Homer wanted to go through with it and Mindy really wanted to as well, maybe she was up to the idea of roleplaying as Marge? As the two begin to get intimate in the scene, Homer says “mmm, Marge.” It explains the dress being the same and the idea of Marge getting to Capitol City in a short amount of time. Also if Marge did go to the hotel, what happens to Mindy?
THEORY 5: HOMER FANTASISES THE WHOLE SCENE
Maybe Homer went home, or maybe he went straight to bed. However, in his lust-filled moment he plays out a romantic scene with Marge, but wearing Mindy’s dress. Perhaps this is his ultimate woman/idea and therefore imagines in his head what could be. If he was so infatuated with Mindy and cause many hiccups throughout the episode, I doubt that he could easily forget about her.
THEORY 6: MINDY ISN’T REAL
Stay with me on this one as obviously it seems a bit unrealistic with the whole episode being about Homer and Mindy and has events in multiple locations. However, because Homer’s home life is so depressing or uninspiring at the present time, perhaps he starts to fantasise about the ideal woman. The fantasy plays into his day to day events where he is distracted at work and can still crash his car. Maybe he does have to go to the convention on his own and that’s why there’s one bed. Marge might show up later, or that really is just Homer’s imagination.
Those are my six theories on a great episode of The Simpsons. If you haven’t seen it then I highly recommend it! Share with me some of your favourite theories about this episode and any other episodes you’d like me to take a look at.