Gif of Homer Simpson backing into the bushes and disappearing from view.

Homer Simpson Backs Into Bushes

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Homer Simpson Backs Into Bushes is a reaction GIF taken from a scene in the animated comedy series The Simpsons in which the main character, Homer Simpson, steps back into a hedge until he is no longer visible. The GIF is used to express embarrassment and has been frequently edited so Simpson disappears into other things.


On March 17th, 1994, an episode of The Simpsons titled "Homer Loves Flanders" first aired in the United States. in one scene, Homer appears from the bushes and surprises his neighbors, inviting them to spend the day together. When they decline, Homer backs into the bushes and disappears (clip below, left).

On December 8th, 2010, the website GIFGarage[1] published Homer's movement as a reaction GIF (shown below).


On November 5th, 2012, Tumblr [6] blog kompajunior published a template of the GIF that erased the hedge, allowing others to edit other images into its place (shown below).

On November 6th, 2012, UpRoxx[4] published a post titled "Homer Backs Into Things Is The GIF Theme We Need Right Now," which featured several edited versions of the GIFs showing Homer disappearing into other items like pizza and french fries.

Two years later, the GIF was later included as one of the 37 GIFs exhibited at the Museum of Moving Images[2] in Queens, New York, from March 12th, 2014 to May 15th, 2014.

On June 13th, 2014, Redditor [3] OSUperson added a thread titled "I made a Homer Backing Into Things generator. Can anyone come up with some funny ones?" to the Simpsons subreddit which featured a link to the generator,[11] allowing users to upload an image file to replace the hedge within the GIF. The generator was featured on several media outlets and websites including On The Media[5] and The Journal.[7]

Appearance in "The Girl on the Bus" Episode

On January 13th, 2019, the 12th episode of the 30th season "The Girl on the Bus" premiered on Fox.[12] In the episode, Homer sends the GIF of himself backing into the hedge to Lisa. On the same day, The Simpsons official Twitter [13] shared the scene. The post gained over 8,900 retweets in 12 hours.

Serious Guy @jerjef Replying to @TheSimpsons First time I laughed hard at this show in years. Han @Han49825073 Replying to @TheSimpsons Its a GIF inside of a GIF, Its GIFception

Writer's Response to Memedom

On June 25th, 2019, Vulture[14] published a report on the history of the meme as well as its history on the show. In the article, Simpsons writer David Mirkin, who wrote the joke and the episode, claims that the movement was an homage to his own childhood obsession with science fiction. "Him coming through the hedges was based on my childhood behavior of walking through hedges in my neighborhood. I would pretend that I was dimension-hopping."

Mirkin also explained that the scene is also mistakenly considered a reference to the 1991 science fiction action film Terminator 2: Judgement Day. This is due to the fact that Homer's movement resembles the film's character the T-1000, a shapeshifting robot that can move through prison walls in a similar fashion. Additionally, an "almost shot-for-shot Terminator homage that immediately follows [the scene], in which Homer robotically chases down Ned’s sputtering Geo as the Flanders family desperately tries to escape his affections."

The article also included images of the animation storyboards for the joke (shown below).

Vulture also spoke with Cesar Mazariegos, who pitched the meta-joke to have Homer send the GIF within the episode. He said that it was during his first week on the show and that a scene "needed a pop." Mazariegos continues to explain his relationship with the meme:

When I saw it as a meme, of course it went into my phone. It’s the perfect button to, you know -- you’re having a conversation and it’s a TMI moment or like an ‘I don’t need to be here’ moment. It fits into whatever people are trying to say in that moment."

Mirkin considers the meme a "great compliment. He continues:

It’s one of the greatest gifts you can have as a writer, because you go, ‘Oh yeah, that made an impact -- that hit people in the imagination’ … We’re always thrilled with that, and it really is the goal to get as much of your stuff out there into the culture as you possibly can, because it’s guaranteed that you will live forever when that happens and never die.

Fair Weather Fans

A four-paneled reaction image featuring Homer disappearing into the hedge, then coming back out has been used to portray sports fans who begin rooting for the winning team as their original team begins to lose. The concept was first used online during the 2014 Superbowl, the image set featuring Homer wearing a Broncos jersey going into the hedge and emerging with a Seattle Seahawks jersey was included in a post titled "The 25 Funniest Broncos Super Bowl Memes" published on TotalProSports[8] on February 4th, 2014. The image set was applied to Canadian basketball in a post published by RaptorsCage[9] published on April 8th, 2014. The meme was also applied to the 2014 soccer World Cup, appearing in a post published by The Daily Mail[10] on June 20th, 2014.


Various Examples

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