The Simpsons began as a series of animated shorts aired on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987, a dysfunctional family providing a satirical look at American values. 30 years, 28 seasons and a stunning 618 episodes later, The Simpsons is still going strong.
The show is of such cultural importance that there practically no one in the world who doesn't know Homer, Bart, Lisa, Marge and Maggie. From modern television to internet memes to the lexicon of the 21st century, there's very little in this world not influenced in some way. And with that comes a multitude of people obsessing over the show, as well as what it could mean. This means a lot of fan theories have hit the web, most of which are completely bonkers.
1. There is more than one Hans Moleman
A Redditor put forward the theory that Hans Moleman isn't just a person, but a group of identical people. This starts off as an explanation for the show's running gag about the character suffering seemingly fatal events but returning in later episodes. But things get weird when he adds new evidence to the theory:
"In the episode where it is discovered that Springfield is the world's fattest town, a ball of people roll down a street - in the ball you can see two 'Moleman'-s. The theory is that Moleman DOES die - there are just multiple Molemen. This would explain why he is sometimes seen living in the retirement home and sometimes not, and it also explains the sheer number of occupations Moleman had throughout the series."
Another Redditor supposed that "They are a race of human-mole hybrids that live under Springfield. In their gradual attempts to take over the world they are taking up jobs one by one in Springfield". This is backed up in the episode "Hello Gutter Hello Fadder", where Homer glimpses "The Fortress of the Moles" in the sewers.
2. The Simpsons are secretly rich
In season eight, Homer is given the Denver Broncos as a gift from Hank Scorpio, his previous boss. While he isn't too happy about it, the team is worth $1.94 billion as of 2016, leaving Homer to rake in the cash over the years:
"This source of income gives Homer the means to do whatever he wants, spend as much time out of work as he wants, and so on. The only reason he remains stingy is because 1. He's an idiot, and 2. He does not care much for the Denver Broncos, and doesn't keep track of their worth."
3. Homer knows he's a cartoon
As the show's episode count got higher and higher, it became less and less grounded in reality. And as things move on, Homer himself seems to care less about his effect on the world around him. According to this Redditor, he knows a secret no other Springfielder does:
"In the season 4 episode of The Simpsons, having decided he doesn't need to go to church to remain faithful, Homer has a day dream in which God sits with him in the Simpsons' house. At the end of the episode, he sees God again, and asks him what the meaning of life is. God goes to answer him, but we cut to the closing credits. So what does God say? God tells Homer he's a cartoon.
Homer, in this moment, learns that there are almost never lasting consequences for his actions. He can quit his job, go to space, ignore his kids and wife, whatever he wants. He's in a status quo forever. This explains why Homer has become a bit crueller in the later years of the show. He's lost some empathy and knows he's basically untouchable now."
It's also noteworthy that if "God" in The Simpsons relays a message from the writers, it may explain why he is the only character to have five fingers ...
4. Grandpa Simpson is a time-traveller
This is one of the weirdest ones out there. Springfield shows changes in the geography of the town, important life-changing events are immediately forgotten, and history itself is different in some ways. Redditor Dataforge claims that it is down to Grandpa, who has a time travel device similar to what Homer made in Treehouse of Horror V.