From: The Simpsons
Genre: Cartoons, Television
Who said it?: Homer Simpson
The story behind the quote: The quote comes from The Simpsons’ 7th Treehouse of Horror special. The Treehouse of Horror is the show’s annual Halloween television special where the show spoofs various films and television shows. As such, they don’t fall into the regular “continuity” of the show’s illustrious 25 years of being on the air. One of the mainstays of the Treehouse of Horror specials is the appearance of the aliens Kang and Kodos. While they do appear in the episodes, they mostly are relegated to the background.
However, the segment Citizen Kang, they’re actually the ones that push the story forward. The aliens replace Bill Clinton and Bob Dole and run for the presidency in their place. Even after Homer exposes the aliens’ plot, Kang gets elected as “it’s a two-party system.” While the human race is building a weapon for the aliens, Homer reveals who he voted for.
Geek wisdom: It’s easy to focus blame on someone else. It’s almost instinctive for a lot of people and it’s understandable. No one wants to be the cause or the one at fault for anything bad. But someone has “to take the blame” and most of us are fine as long as it’s not them!
However, this is the wrong way of thinking. We have to own up to our mistakes when we commit them. That’s the only way we’ll learn from them. If we steer blame away from ourselves, the only thing we learn is how to avoid taking responsibility.
4 thoughts on ““Don’t blame me. I voted for Kodos.””
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You really missed the point of this joke, I think. It’s VERY pointed criticism at the “two-party” system of American politics, where there are only two realistic choices for Americans and neither is all that different. Homer’s line is, on the surface, only about divesting himself of responsibility for society’s plight, However, below that, there is the very serious critique that had everyone voted for Kodos, like Homer “wisely” did, they still would have ended up enslaved because the system was rigged against them. The fact that only a minute earlier in the episode, Americans wouldn’t vote for Ross Perot even when they knew he was the best choice, sets up Homer’s rather dark joke.
In hindsight, it’s one of the most daring and pointed critiques of the American political system the show ever attempted. Indeed, I can’t think of another show that handled the issue of ballot options with such clear and simple satire.
Yeah, I did understand the joke… but I just couldn’t think I could make the message “wisdom-y” (if that’s even a word). So I decided to put a new spin on the quote.