PDA

View Full Version : Why do the Simpsons wear the same clothes every episode?


The Big Cheese
05-03-2002, 08:38 PM
Every episode it's the same old clothes, Homer in his white shirt and blue pants, Bart in his blue shorts and red shirt......and so on.

Why don't they ever change clothes?? Granted they do if it requires it, Homer in the muumuu when he went for fat disability, Marge in the cop uniform, etc. but why the monotony? Maybe Homer wants to be bold one day and wear white pants after Memorial day, maybe Bart will go along with the rest of the 11 year olds and wear a Gap shirt or something.

Why do cartoons do this? I guess you could say a lot of them do, Flintstones with barney in that brown thing and Fred in his beautiful orange shirt. I find it rather curious.

Mr. Blue Sky
05-03-2002, 08:46 PM
Easier to draw on a regular basis.

Ranchoth
05-03-2002, 08:49 PM
Well, from what I remember, some shows keep characters dressing the same because of cost (Apparently it costs too much for a few ounces of paint), and I imagine others do it to keep a consistant "feel" to a character's design, though I personally think for the most part it just ends up looking like laziness on the animator's parts. Note that not all animation is like this; Nickelodeon's As Told By Ginger apparently changes at least the main character's clothes every episode.



Ranchoth

SmackFu
05-03-2002, 09:17 PM
Most people don't care enough for the animators to bother doing it differently.

meyer
05-03-2002, 09:22 PM
I always thought they did this in childrens cartoons to make it easier for young children to recognize and keep track of individual characters. By the time cartoons for adults became popular, the idea of keeping the clothing consistent had become so entrenched in the style of cartoons that it stayed.

Sort of like the characters never getting older, there are just things you have to accept when you watch a cartoon.

Alessan
05-04-2002, 12:31 AM
Frankly, I can't think of any cartoon or comic where characters change clothing on a regular basis. There's only so much detail an animator can draw into a face, and you have to be able to tell characters apart somehow.

friggae
05-04-2002, 02:18 AM
Originally posted by The Big Cheese
Every episode it's the same old clothes, Homer in his white shirt and blue pants...Why don't they ever change clothes??

So you can have great gags like Homer reading "Blue Pants Weekly" :).

Stinky
05-04-2002, 03:13 AM
The Simpsons live in a two dimensional Universe. Because they have such a large Area to Perimeter ratio. They have never evolved sweating. And thus don't have the custom of laundry.

AS I said there Universe is only two dimensional, no time. They only now, no past and no future. And any evidence to the contrary. Is just a figment of Our four dimensional minds.

Eutychus
05-04-2002, 05:57 AM
Same reason why Jack Webb always wore the same suit in 'Dragnet." So they can reuse scenes from previous shows and still have a match.

The Big Cheese
05-04-2002, 06:34 AM
Now that I think about it, there's this guy at work that wears the same clothes every day for a week straight....

Luckily for Bart's sake, it doesn't seem to get too cold for his shorts in Springfield.

gex gex
05-04-2002, 08:08 AM
for the same reason they don't grow older i guess. they're cartoon characters

that said, they don't wear patterned clothing because it's very hard to animate (i.e keeping the stripes in the same place), but i guess if they really wanted to, they could give bart a green shirt, and homer orange pants. just like they could make the simpsons move to germany and have each episode revolve around barts efforts to irritate the local german population.

ain't going to happen though.

Just Some Guy
05-04-2002, 08:57 AM
There's two things going on here. First, animators use model sheets which are sets of drawings of a character to guide the artwork. When you're working with a large team of people all of which have to draw with exactly the same style having characters switch clothes as often as normal people do would be harder to animate steadily.

Second, there's very few data points for identifying characters in animation if you're dealing with characters that are all human (or close to it). A given animation style typically lacks a lot of detail in facial features. Take any two Simpsons's characters, look at just their head, and take all the hair off that and you'll have a very hard time telling them apart. So typically hair and clothing are the easy identifying marks for animated characters and so characters rarely change them. The actual Simpson family has unique designs for the show which makes them more recognizable than their supporting cast when they wear something else.

Max Torque
05-04-2002, 11:45 AM
I should note that the Simpsons has actually made fun of the "same clothes every day" on a few occasions. The most obvious, in my mind, being the episode where Marge finishes ironing a stack of blue shorts and a stack of orange shirts, shuffles them together like a deck of cards, and says something like, "There, Bart's set for another week."

clayton_e
05-04-2002, 12:32 PM
"For example, why do I wear the same red shirt and blue shorts that I've worn for 10 years?"

-Bart Simpson

Guinastasia
05-04-2002, 03:17 PM
"Hey Mom! They have your dress!"

Marge, looking through rack of green dresses, and comes up with a blue one.
"Blue? No thank you!"

bouv
05-04-2002, 05:15 PM
Or Lisa, in the ep. when Marge is in jail, I think.

"Ugh, I feel like I've been wearing this dress for five years!"

matt_mcl
05-04-2002, 07:23 PM
This is a common phenomenon. Mo from Dykes To Watch Out For is perpetually wearing a sweatshirt (or t-shirt) that's white with black stripes. They keep making jokes about it - once when she wanted to look nice for a crush, she wore black with white stripes.

MIKE_P
05-04-2002, 08:53 PM
Didn't Bart have a blue shirt in like 1 or 2 episodes? I seem to remember him wearing one. They made fun of this in one episode too. Homer uses Lisa's red dress to anger a bull and then picks up Bart and says "And now for some calm blue" or something to that extent and the says "Hey where's your blue shirt?"

Guinastasia
05-04-2002, 09:21 PM
BTW, why does Bart wear blue in most pictures that aren't from the show itself?

pizzabrat
05-04-2002, 09:23 PM
Didn't Bart have a blue shirt in like 1 or 2 episodes? I seem to remember him wearing one. They made fun of this in one episode too. Homer uses Lisa's red dress to anger a bull and then picks up Bart and says "And now for some calm blue" or something to that extent and the says "Hey where's your blue shirt?"

Bart never wore a blue shirt on the show. He only wears a blue shirt in Simpsons merchandise (toys, illustrations, etc.). That's what made the joke so funny, that he referred to a Bart of an entirely different universe that only we are familiar with. Just like that "rhino's don't lay eggs" joke in the Africa episode ("What did you just see, Lisa?").

Jervoise
05-05-2002, 07:00 AM
Another joke about wearing the same clothes:

Lisa: "It feels like I've been wearing this same red dress for years!". (When Marge is in jail and no-one else can wash clothes. Think Homer in a wedding dress.)

Jeremy's Evil Twin
05-05-2002, 07:58 AM
Bart wears a blue jacket to church. Maybe that's what Homer meant?

pizzabrat
05-05-2002, 08:25 AM
Bart wears a blue jacket to church. Maybe that's what Homer meant?

No!!! He meant what I said! THAT was the joke!

Ripple
05-05-2002, 09:20 AM
Well we all saw what hapened to Homer when he wore a pink shirt to work one day. Poor guy, can't blame him for not wanting to try out new things anymore.

Otto
05-05-2002, 12:33 PM
Originally posted by The Big Cheese
Luckily for Bart's sake, it doesn't seem to get too cold for his shorts in Springfield.
He and the family just change into their winter clothes, which are the same winter clothes they've been wearing for 11 years too.

Freudian Slit
05-05-2002, 01:20 PM
Originally posted by Jeremy's Evil Twin
Bart wears a blue jacket to church. Maybe that's what Homer meant?

Yeah, maybe.

Remember Lisa's little black cocktail dress in the episode with the new girl, Alex? And the episode where she becomes cool, and looks like "Blossom."

Oh, and a reference to how they all dress the same, even (mostly) in cold weather. "It was an unusually warm Valentine's Day, so the children all walked home without jackets."

pizzabrat
05-05-2002, 06:00 PM
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Jeremy's Evil Twin
Bart wears a blue jacket to church. Maybe that's what Homer meant?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Yeah, maybe.

WTF?!?! I already said the correct answer! He was referring to the blue shirt Bart wears on Simpsons merchandise! Why are you people ignoring me!?

Rilchiam
05-11-2002, 04:43 AM
Also, the animators have enough to do without having to update the characters' clothes to fit current styles.

As far as the clothes themselves, Marge and Lisa are a tad easier to animate this way. Marge's legs are hidden by the long tube, and Lisa's arms move independent of sleeves. Maggie, of course, is happy crawling around in her little bag.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.