As cartoon imagery continues to evolve, there’s one element of illustration that remains consistent and also, kind of baffling. After all these years, why don’t cartoon characters ever change their clothes? Sure, it's expensive and time consuming to animate and render new outfits for characters, but really their clothing becomes so recognizable that it's a bit of a symbol in and of itself.
The Simpsons is no exception to the rule. After approximately 500 years on the air and almost as many amazing Simpsons episodes, they even have gags related to the fact that they almost never change their clothes, such as Homer’s subscription to Blue Pants Weekly or Marge folding piles of identical laundry. In one episode, their constant washing and drying of the same exact outfits actually breaks their washing machine and they’re forced to break out threads they find in the attic. The Simpsons is no stranger to adult meta-humor.
Surprisingly enough however, there have been several times the Simpsons changed their clothes. In fact, they were out of their traditional attire for some of the most memorable moments on the show. Who can forget Homer’s muumuu, Marge’s bikini, or Mr. Burns’s real live monkey suit? Because the Simpsons step out of wardrobe so infrequently, new clothes often signify serious life changes like new employment, finding love, and even winning the lottery. Here are some of the best instances of The Simpsons dress code changes, what they signified, and why we love them.
This epic episode, aptly titled "Lisa's Wedding," features a futuristic glimpse into Lisa Simpson’s love life, and it’s just as deep and thought provoking as her character. Her dress symbolizes her love, not for her soon to be husband (who turns out to despise her family) but rather, for her goofy parents and siblings.
When faced with the decision to turn her back on the Simpsons and walk down the aisle, Lisa realizes that she really loves her family after all.
In the episode "Colonel Homer," something very... unexpected happens when Marge and Homer have a big fight. With his marriage on the rocks, Homer rather unwittingly breaks a country girl’s heart after showing up as her “knight in white polyester.”
Not only is the cowboy hat darling, but the fringe and tassels made a serious statement despite being so silly. This is classic Simpsons style all the way down to the belt buckle.
There are a lot of downsides to wearing the same exact outfit every single day for decades. But here’s one you might not have considered: a moldy washing machine. In the hilarious Simpsons episode "Cue Detective," this is the exact scenario they face.
At the end of the day, the family is forced to don their dusty, attic clothing but there is a silver lining. Leave it to The Simpsons to turn stinky washers and mildewed clothing into a grandiose barbeque with fun for all.
Bart Simpson changes things up a bit when he falls for the reverend’s daughter in the episode "Bart’s Girlfriend," which debuted in the sixth season of the Simpson saga. But of course, his fancy new gear didn’t keep him from his old tricks.
Unfortunately, Ms. Lovejoy becomes a kill joy when it’s revealed that she’s way more dubious than Bart himself.