Homer And Marge Simpson
Credit: Fox

As Kurt and Blaine battle it out with the Doctor and Rose in EW’s Greatest TV Couple of All Time championship, we’re unveiling our favorite couples, who didn’t advanced as far as we would have liked. Here’s the case for Marge and Homer Simpson.

Homer and Marge losing the title of TV’s Greatest Couple? It seemed unpossible — until Lost‘s Desmond and Penny smote them in Round 2 of our competition. “The Constant,” it seems, is the only thing capable of conquering a rock-solid relationship that’s thrived despite — among other things — unplanned pregnancies, money troubles, alcoholism, neglect, one short-lived divorce, accidental bigamy, Homer’s stint as an oversharing adult education teacher, and temptations from the likes of sexy bowling instructor Jacques, sexy country singer Lurleen Lumpkin, and sexy sexpot Michelle Pfeiffer. And that’s just in seasons 1-10!

In 1992, then-president George H.W. Bush famously dismissed Springfield’s first family, pledging to help Americans become “more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons.” But as any fan could have told him, there’s actually a lot to admire about the Simpson family dynamic — especially Marge and Homer’s everlasting love, which serves as the clan’s strong, yellow backbone. The deck was stacked in their favor from the very beginning — after all, these two are named after Simpsons creator Matt Groening’s real-life parents, though the similarities allegedly end there.

This relationship is even more powerful because of how simple it seems — Homer could have been just another ugly dude with an inexplicably hot wife, an example of a trope that’s been around as long as television itself. And it’s true that initially, their bond resulted from one-sided physical attraction: We learned way back in season 2 that teenaged Homer was immediately, hopelessly smitten with Marge when he first spotted her in detention, earning himself five extra days of punishment just for speaking to her. (Homer: “It was worth it!” Teacher: “Six days!”) Slowly but surely, though, Marge was won over by her classmate’s persistence and his dopey devotion. While she had spurned Homer’s prom invitation, she ended the night of the dance in his arms…

… and then, a few years later, Marge got pregnant. D’oh!

Yes, theirs was and is not a fairy tale romance. Upon learning they were having a baby, Homer and Marge had a shotgun wedding; after his new wife’s ring was repossessed, Homer sheepishly offered her an onion ring instead. (She took it off after just a few moments because the oil was burning her finger.) Both of them were forced to put their dreams on hold for the sake of their growing family. To this day, the show constantly reminds us that smart, capable Marge deserves much more than a doof like Homer, who can only really offer her his “complete and utter dependence”… which, for the record, is “a wondrous, marvelous thing,” according to him.

Against all odds, though, Marge agrees. She’s a woman who desperatelyneeds to be needed, making bumbling Homer her perfect match — and giving their apparently unbalanced relationship another undercurrent of credibility. This, along with its less than storybook qualities, is why Marge and Homer’s love story truly resonates: it’s simultaneously funny and sad, a poignant, believable bedrock that anchors one of TV’s zaniest and longest-running comedies. And while The Simpsons has absolutely gotten wackier and less relatable as it’s aged, Marge and Homer’s unconditional love has stayed constant — take that, Desmond and Penny — acting as a grounding force for the series as a whole.

For their unwavering affection, their unlikely compatibility, and their status as the beating heart that makes The Simpsons more than just a joke factory, Marge and Homer absolutely deserved the title. Guys: This one’s pour vous.

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