There’s a case to be made that Homer Simpson is the greatest character in the history of television, but he’s not necessarily the best dad on TV. He spends every night at a dive bar getting wasted, he strangles his 10-year-old son on an alarmingly regular basis, and sometimes, he forgets that Maggie even exists.
However, while he’s definitely not a good role model as a parent, he’s far from the worst father in the world. On a number of occasions, Homer has shown himself to be a well-meaning and loving parent. So, here are 10 times Homer Simpson proved that he's actually a good father.
10 When he took a second job to pay for Lisa’s pony
When Homer realized that Lisa wanted nothing more in the whole world than her own pony, he became determined to make her dream a reality. But in order to pay for the pony and all the extra costs that come along with maintaining a pony, he had to take a second job working night shifts at the Kwik-E-Mart.
He was spending all day at the nuclear power plant and all night at the Kwik-E-Mart, getting two minutes of sleep in between shifts, and he did it all to make Lisa happy. Only a truly dedicated father would go to those lengths.
9 When he let Maggie keep Bobo
All throughout the Citizen Kane-inspired episode “Rosebud,” Mr. Burns desperately searches for his childhood teddy bear, Bobo. It ends up on an iceberg and then in a bag of ice at the Kwik-E-Mart (Apu insists on getting ice straight from Antarctica, because he can’t think of “a better way to get ice”).
Maggie becomes attached to the teddy, and when Mr. Burns comes to get it back, she refuses to let him have it. Even though Burns is offering a lot of money for the bear, Homer realizes he can’t put a price on Maggie’s happiness and he lets her keep Bobo.
8 When he dressed up as a robot to put a smile on Bart’s face
One of the sweetest, most endearing things about Homer is his dream of making his kids proud of him. When he wanted Bart to think he was smart, he tried to design a battle robot for him to use in the TV series Robot Rumble. Failing that, he got into a robot suit himself and had fights with robots on television, all to put a smile on Bart’s face.
Homer’s skills as a parent are very limited, but the one thing he can do is take a beating to make his son happy. Very few parents would do this for their kids (mainly because it’s really stupid).
7 When he snuck Lisa into the Egyptian museum
When Homer and Marge are unable to take Lisa to the final day of the Ancient Egyptian exhibit at the museum, she decides to go by herself. However, she ends up getting hopelessly lost in the Russian district of Springfield and Homer has to hijack a cherry-picker just to look for her.
When he finds her, he tells her it’s okay to take risks every now and then and takes her to the exhibit after all. They sneak into the museum after hours, accidentally crack the Orb of Isis, hear its beautiful lullaby, and decide to keep it a secret.
6 When he let Bart go to Kamp Krusty
In the season 3 episode “Kamp Krusty,” which was under consideration as the plot of a Simpsons movie before being condensed into an episode, Homer has told Bart that he can’t go to the summer camp he’s been dying to go to unless he gets good grades. Even though he doesn’t make the grades and tries to fudge his report card unconvincingly, Homer still lets him go to the camp.
It’s one of the rare, sweet moments in The Simpsons where Homer’s selfishness barrier drops and his love for his kids is shown. Like all great parents, Homer is firm, but fair.
5 When he put Maggie to bed and she said, “Daddy!”
In the episode “Lisa’s First Word,” Homer and Marge reminisce about when Lisa was born and Bart was initially jealous of her, only to warm to her when her first word turned out to be “Bart.” There’s a running joke throughout the episode that neither of the Simpson kids ever called Homer “Daddy,” but rather addressed him as “Homer.”
This leads to one of the show’s sweetest moments when, at the end of the episode, Homer takes Maggie up to bed, places her in her crib, and leaves her to sleep, then she takes out her pacifier and says, “Daddy!”
4 When he sold his Duff blimp ticket to enter Lisa into a beauty pageant
Beauty pageants, on the whole, are pretty problematic. But in the best way he knew how, Homer tried to boost Lisa’s confidence by signing her up for a beauty pageant. She’d been feeling unattractive recently and it was ruining her self-esteem, so Homer decided to fix that by entering her into a pageant. The only problem was that he couldn’t afford the entry fee, so he sold his ticket to ride the Duff blimp – which he’d been dreaming about for months – in order to pay the fee.
There’s another sweet moment when Marge warns Homer that he’s looking at Lisa through a father’s eyes and he says, “If I could gouge out somebody else’s eyes and shove them into my sockets, I would, but to me, she’s beautiful.”
3 When he supported Bart at the Soap Box Derby
In the season 3 episode “Saturdays of Thunder,” Homer tries to bond with Bart by building him a soapbox racer to use in the Soap Box Derby. However, the racer he builds isn’t very good and Bart elects to instead drive Martin’s racer after Martin is put out of commission by a broken arm.
At first, Homer is irritated by this and feels like Bart has abandoned him. But then he realizes how selfish he’s been and, at the last second, rushes down to the race to wish Bart luck, tell him he’s proud of him, and cheer him on.
2 When he bought Lisa a saxophone
On two occasions, Homer has given up his dreams of buying an air conditioner to ride out a heat wave in order to spend the savings on a saxophone for Lisa. The first time, a psychologist told Homer that Lisa was gifted and needed to have her talent nurtured by her parents, so he responded by getting her a creative outlet.
The second time, Homer himself had destroyed Lisa’s saxophone by accident and replaced it by way of apologizing. The first sax’s inscription read, “Never forget that your daddy loves D’oh!” The second’s read, “May your new saxophone bring you many years of D’oh!”
1 “Do it for her”
In the episode “And Maggie Makes Three,” Bart and Lisa wonder why there aren’t any pictures of Maggie in the photo albums, and there couldn’t be a more tear-jerking reason. As it turns out, Marge’s pregnancy with Maggie was unexpected, so Homer had to give up his dream job at a bowling alley and go crawling back to Mr. Burns, begging for his old job. Mr. Burns put up a sign at Homer’s workstation that says, “Don’t forget: you’re here forever.” Homer covered it in all the photos of Maggie to alter the message to say, “Do it for her.”