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It is time for yet another post about learning money lessons from animated sitcoms! This time, we are going to learn five money lessons from The Simpsons!
I am sure I have some fans of the Simpsons among my readers! I watch many animated sitcoms myself. And while The Simpsons is not my favorite of them, I often have fun watching episodes of this show! I already found five money lessons from Family Guy and five money lessons from South Park. Now, it is time to find out if we can learn something from Homer. Compared to the other two animated sitcoms, The Simpsons is a bit more logical and down to earth, although it is often pretty stupid.
I have tried to find some interesting episodes from The Simpsons with real money lessons. Some of them are all about money. And some others have only small lessons. But I hope you will enjoy both the episodes and the lessons we can learn from them!
All the pictures from this post are the property of Fox.
Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk
Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk is the eleventh episode of the third season. It is a great episode for money lessons, it is all about money. And before you say that I used the wrong language, this title has always been in German. It means Burns sells the plant. At the beginning of the movie, Burns is feeling resentful of his power plant taking too much of his time. He is wondering whether he should sell the plant.
In the meantime, Homer learns he has some stocks of the power plant company. Every employee is entitled to some stocks. His broker is contacting him to say that the value of his shares went up. The share price is now worth 25 cents, making it a total value of 25 dollars. Homer directly decide to sell. He then heads to the bar to have a beer.
Later on, we learn that the shares have gone up to 52 dollars a share. And Marge is very happy that they have so much money. Of course, Homer didn’t tell his wife he sold the shares. When he comes back home, everybody is highly disappointed with him. On the other hand, all the other employees kept their shares and are able to afford a lot of new things after selling their shares.
The price of the shares is going up because some German investors want to purchase the plant for a very large amount of money, driving the price up. When Burns learn of the offer for one hundred million dollars, he directly sells the plant. The new owners announce that they are going to bring their own employees. In the end, they only fire hire Homer, who is the least qualified of the employee. The family has to make a lot of sacrifices to afford their lives.
After selling the plant, Burns tries many new hobbies. He even tries boxing and bee breeding. However, he soon discovers that what he wants to do is run his power plant and be tyrannical to his employees. In the meantime, the Germans have discovered that the power plant is in terrible shape. Mr. Burns manages to buy back the plant for fifty million dollars. He made a nice profit in the operation. Burns hires Homer back for personal revenge. In the end, everybody’s happy!
There are many things we can learn from this episode. First of all, a lesson from the Germans, you should always study what you are going to buy. This is especially true for a big purchase. You should carefully inspect something you want to buy. The outside is often hiding something else. Another lesson is that you should not take decisions too hastily about the stock market. Your emotions are not helping investing decisions. And you should always be open with your significant other! Finally, you may not realize that you want to do is actually what you are doing right now. Before you take a life-changing decision, you should plan ahead!
The second pick, Lisa’s Pony, is yet another episode from the third season, the eighth episode. The episode starts with Homer disappointing his daughter Lisa because he chose to go to a bar instead of helping her. He then realizes he has been a terrible dad all along. Instead of spending time with her daughter, he decides to buy her a pony to make her forgive him.
Of course, they cannot afford a pony. Marge tells him that they already have difficulties paying the bills. Of course, Homer does not listen to Marge and goes on to buy a pony anyway. He finds a farm selling ponies. However, the cheapest pony cost five thousand dollars. He decides to try to borrow money from the Employee Credit Union. He gets the money after signing a paper from Mr. Burns without even reading it.
Homer goes on to buy the pony and bring him home in his car. Of course, Lisa forgives her father. Then, Homer realizes he cannot keep a pony at home, so he has to pay 530 dollars a month for a room in a stable. He first tries the lottery but does not get anything. In order to pay all the bills, Homer takes a second job at a Kwik-E-Mart. He very soon becomes exhausted from having two jobs at once.
After Lisa realizes that he cannot keep it up like this, she gives up the pony. Homer can quit his second job. We even learn that even though he was terrible at this job, he was the best employee Apu ever had.
There are a few things we can learn from Homer mistakes in this episode. First, you should never sign a contract without reading it first. Then, instead of going into debt to buy something, you should save money and only buy when you are able to afford it. And you should not forget to consider maintenance costs before you go and buy something. Another more abstract is probably that you should not try to buy your children’s love with money!
Our third episode, Old Money, is the seventeenth episode of the second season. At the beginning of the episode is being terrible with his father, Abe Simpson. Soon after that, Abe meets a woman in the retirement house. They soon start going out together. After a terrible day with his son, he comes back to the retirement house to find out that his girlfriend died.
After the burial, Abe finds out that he inherited 106’000 dollars. He first calls his son to tell him he will not get anything. Then, he goes out to spend his money to have fun. He soon realizes that money does not buy happiness and goes back to his family.
Abe decides to hear people that need the money and he will give it to the one that deserves it the most. After hearing a lot of people that do not really need the money, he realizes to help people that really need it, he needs more money. He decides to gamble the money to get more. After he wins some more money, he donates it all to the retirement home.
You should have a plan on what do with a large windfall. It can be very difficult to find out what to do with it. And if other people learn about it, it can complicate matters even further. One solution is to write an Investor Policy Statement (IPS) to define what you are going to do with a windfall. Money does not buy happiness, it may help your life. But it will not change it. Finally, do not gamble your windfall!
Mr. Plow is the ninth episode of the fourth season. It is one of the early episodes that I really like. Homer goes back Home in a big snow storm. He destroys his car and Marge’s car as well in the process. He lies to the insurance guy telling him that he was buying pornography and not drinking beer.
Homer has to buy a new car. After checking a few real cars, Homer buys a plow, without checking with his wife first. He decides to start a business and calls himself Mr. Plow. He starts marketing for his new business first with flyers. He then goes to advertise at church. Finally, he makes a cheap commercial on a small channel. After this, Homer starts to get jobs for his plowing business from all over the town. He even gets the key to the city in reward.
However, one of his friend, Barney, decides to go into the plowing business as well. And Barney has a bigger plow. Homer soon loses his clients to the competition, Barney. Homer has to return the key to the city and Barney gets it. In vengeance, Homer sends Barney plowing into a big snow storm. Homer gets back the clients while Barney is struck by an avalanche. Homer saves Barney and they decide to make a business together. However, God decides that winter is over and melts all the snow in an instant. Their business is over before it started and Homer’s plow is repossessed. At least Homer keeps Mr. Plow jackets that seem to excite Marge.
The main thing we can learn from this episode is that you should be aware that some jobs are seasonal. You will not be able to have a plowing business in summer in most countries. And you should always be careful about competition to keep on top of your game. I may not have to say it, but you should probably not send your friend in a storm to steal his clients!
Lard of the Dance
Our final pick for today’s post is Lard of the Dance, the first episode of the tenth season. At the beginning of the episode, Homer discovers that people buy grease. He starts to make bacon at home in order to get some grease. It is actually funny that he is saying that he is trying to achieve Financial Independence with grease. Homer decides to remove his son Bart from school to help him into the grease business.
Homer sells his first four pounds of grease for 63 cents. And he had to pay 27 dollars for the bacon. That is not a good investment at all! Homer realizes he has to expand his business. They decide to take the grease from Krusty Burger’s deep fryers. But some big shots take the grease from Homer, saying that they run the grease racket in this town.
Then, they go to the school kitchen to steal the grease. But they soon discover that Groundskeeper Willie wants the grease for himself to fund his retirement. Homer gets beaten up by Willie. This episode ends with all the grease being released to the student dance party. And the children start to have fun with all grease like it was snow.
There are a few things we can learn from Homer going into the grease business. First of all, if you want to start a business or an investment, you need to consider the costs and the real returns. There is no point buying bacon at 27 dollars if you can get 63 cents of grease out of it! Then, you also need to learn about the competition. If a business is profitable, it is unlikely that you are the only to have thought about it. I probably do not have to say it, but you should not steal in order to get more money! And you should probably not pull your children out of school to help you make money!
There you have it! Five money lessons from The Simpsons! I hope you like this new installment in the series about money lessons from animated sitcoms. It took a long time to write because I do not know the Simpsons as well as the other series I have written about before. But it was quite fun to write!
I was thinking it would be difficult to find some episodes The Simpsons for this post. However, they have so many episodes that it was actually really easy. This may not be my favorite animated sitcoms, but I really enjoyed watching these episodes again. From what I have seen during my research, it will be pretty easy to find five more episodes of The Simpsons for a future second installment.
If you want to learn more, read about more money lessons from animated sitcoms. The next installment in the series is either going to be about American Dad or a second installment about Family Guy or South Park. Which would you prefer? Would you like me to cover another show?
What did you think of the chosen episodes? Do you like The Simpsons? Do you have other examples of money lessons learned from animated sitcoms?