On some level, we can all relate to Bart Simpson’s best friend, Milhouse Van Houten. And as much as Bart might protest, Milhouse is his best friend. No one outside the Simpson family appears in every single episode of the show, because there are simply too many residents of Springfield to find something for all of them to do every week, so very few Simpsons fans’ favorite character is someone outside the family.
But a lot of fans make an exception to that rule for Milhouse, whose irrepressible dorkiness is simply adorable. So, here are the 10 Most Relatable Milhouse Quotes.
10 “Everything’s coming up Milhouse!”
When Milhouse first tries on the flood pants that his parents have bought him, he hates them. But he turns out to have gotten them at just the right time, because when he opens the door, a flood comes crashing into his bedroom, up to his ankles.
Then, he warms to the flood pants and realizes how great they are: “Hey, they’re working! My feet are soaked, but my cuffs are bone dry! Everything’s coming up, Milhouse!” You might not have been in that exact situation, but we can all relate to Milhouse’s delight over the practical use of a new product in this classic Simpsons moment.
9 “So, this is what it feels like...when doves cry.”
In the season 6 episode “Lemon of Troy,” the kids of Springfield all rally against the kids of Shelbyville after the kids from their rivaling town cross the border and steal their famous lemon tree. Even Martin and Nelson put aside their differences and team up to take down the kids from Shelbyville and get the tree back.
Milhouse unexpectedly becomes friends with one of the kids from Shelbyville, because they’re exactly alike – he’s the Milhouse of Shelbyville. They share a heartfelt moment like Jerry and Doofus Rick in Rick and Morty when they have to bid each other farewell.
8 “ALF pogs! Remember ALF? He’s back – in pog form!”
In the classic episode “Bart Sells His Soul,” Bart, unsurprisingly, sells his soul. He sells it to Milhouse when they’re held back after church to clean the organ as punishment for one of their pranks. His point is that there’s no such thing as a soul, but then some strange things start to happen that make Bart think that maybe there is a soul.
So, he wants it back from Milhouse, but Milhouse has already given it to Comic Book Guy: “I kinda traded your soul to the guy at the comic book store. But look! I got some cool pogs. ALF pogs! Remember ALF? He’s back – in pog form!” This is a hilarious articulation of pop culture buffs’ obsession with nostalgia.
7 “My mom doesn’t believe in fabric softener. But she’s not around!”
Kids dream about all the freedoms they’ll be allowed when they’re adults, but those freedoms – the freedom to do the dishes, the freedom to pay off a mortgage, the freedom to get a job – aren’t as fun as they sound. But to Milhouse, they are. When he and Bart find some money outside the Kwik-E-Mart, there’s just one thing on Milhouse’s mind: laundry.
They head to a laundromat to wash their clothes and watch the cycle. His mom doesn’t use fabric softener when she does the laundry, but Milhouse is in charge now and he’s determined to use it. This is about as fun as it gets in the real world.
6 “I think she’s hot! Sorry, it just slipped out.”
The filter between the mind and the mouth is a curious thing. It can be easy to misspeak, or for something unexpected to slip out verbally when you meant to internalize the thought. When Milhouse was showing off his new earring to Bart, Bart’s argument that earrings aren’t cool was that his mom wears earrings.
He asked Milhouse if he thought his mom was cool and Milhouse replied, “No, I think she’s hot! Sorry, it just slipped out.” We already know that Milhouse has a long-standing crush on Lisa, so his attraction to the women of the Simpson family is constantly growing.
5 “A fat kid with a dream. I can’t compete with that.”
In the season 25 episode “Luca$,” Lisa begins dating a competitive eater, and Homer and Marge worry that her standards have dropped too low. Meanwhile, Milhouse finds himself both jealous and in awe of this guy. As far as he’s concerned, competitive eater-in-training Lucas Bortner is actually a better suitor for Lisa than he is: “A fat kid with a dream. I can’t compete with that.”
Zach Galifianakis guest-starred in the episode as Lucas in one of the finest guest castings in recent Simpsons history. The episode itself was criticized for lazy plot development, even ignoring the absurd heights the show once reached, but this line is great.
4 “My shirt fell off.”
When Milhouse is caught taking glamor shots in a photo booth, he tries to claim that his shirt fell off. He’s shirtless, flexing his biceps for the camera, and he’s embarrassed to have been caught red-handed. The scene perfectly demonstrates the mixture of confidence and insecurity that continually stirs around Milhouse’s head.
He’s confident enough to get his shirt off and take a bunch of shirtless photos, but he’s not confident enough to own it when a man pulls open the curtain and catches him in the act. To be fair to him, he was supposed to have privacy in that booth.
3 “Trust me, Bart, it’s better to walk in on both your parents than on just one of them.”
Milhouse’s home life has never been particularly fun. His parents resented each other, and then they got a divorce, and then they used him to compete with one another, and then they got back together, and then they got lost at sea. Milhouse has always had a tough time with his parents.
When they were divorced, he learned that there’s something worse than walking in on your parents in bed together – walking in on one of your parents in bed with themselves, so to speak. So, he assures Bart that there are worse things to walk in on than what he walked in on.
2 “Not only am I not learning, I’m forgetting stuff I used to know!”
In the episode “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song,” one of Bart’s pranks ends up getting Principal Skinner fired. He’s replaced by Ned Flanders, who is completely unequipped to deal with the kids and doesn’t discipline them at all, leading Milhouse to brag about forgetting everything he’s ever learned.
Most kids have an aversion to learning, which makes teaching them pretty difficult. It isn’t often as articulated as well as when Milhouse describes it, but kids pride themselves on avoiding education. This quote also applies to how most college students feel when they miss a couple of lectures to sleep off hangovers.
1 “But my mom says I’m cool.”
This line is from the episode in which Mr. Burns is seeking an heir. He holds auditions and all the kids in Springfield show up. Martin sings a song, Lisa makes a case for a female heir, Nelson beats up some nerds, and Bart reads a poorly worded statement Homer prepared for him.
Burns immediately turns down Milhouse before he even shows off his special talent, telling him that the ad for the heir specifically said, “No nerds.” Milhouse protests the assumption that he’s a nerd, because his mom thinks he’s cool, but that only serves to prove Burns’ point even more.