Created by Dave Hall
Contributions from Dale G. Abersold
Maintained by Matt Henry
(Note some observations were edited for this document.)
Whether be it gay, burnsexual, or a sycophantic side-kick, Smithers' sexual
preference is often debated on alt.tv.simpsons. Although it is unlikely
the writers will ever give us a open confession, the following is a list of
WHAT PEOPLE ON THE SIMPSONS STAFF HAVE TO SAY
- Harry Shearer:
- Allison Breyer says Harry Shearer came to speak at the
University of Georgia. At the end of his presentation, someone in
audience asked if Smithers was gay. Shearer replied that according to
the writers of the show, Smithers and Burns were "just friends."
- Yeardley Smith:
- Kerro explains when Yeardley Smith was in Melbourne, Ms. Smith was asked
if Smithers was gay. Ms. Smith said it didn't start out that way, but
somewhere along the line, the writers just started throwing in homosexual
references for no particular reason. And they intend to keep doing so as
well. As Jerry Seinfeld would say, `not that there's anything wrong with
- David Silverman:
- Aaron Varhola, who attended David Silverman presentation in San Francisco,
says: Someone asked if there were any gay characters. Silverman said
`Smithers, and Karl (Homer's secretary from 7F02)". End of story. (Add John from
"Homer's Phobia" to this list-Ed.)
INNUENDOES/GENERAL WEIRD BEHAVIOUR FROM THE SERIES
- [7G07] ``The Telltale Head''
- When Burns is overcome with emotion, he tells Smithers that he loves him.
Smithers replies, "The feeling is more than mutual, sir."
- [8F04] Homer Defined
- During the nuclear meltdown scare, Smithers makes Burns' last few moment
on earth socially awkward by confessing his love for the old man.
Velveeta adds: When SNPP is about to suffer catastrophic meltdown. Burns
remarks "I guess there's nothing left but to kiss my sorry ass
good-bye." Smithers asks, "May I, sir?"
- [8F09] Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk
- Burns informs Smithers that he named his queen bee after him.
Dmitri G. Brengauz poses a subtle connection/parallel between the last
Sherlock Holmes story and the Burns/Smithers phenomena:
In ``His Last Bow'', Holmes retires and becomes a beekeeper in much the
same way Burns does in 8F09. (Both were later coax out of retirement.)
Both stories dealt with Germans. The fact that Burns names the queen
bee after Smithers is an expression of a long time friendship and
service is similar to how Holmes views his relationship with Watson, a
loveable but dim-witted sidekick. However, the fact that Smithers
stands for a long time braving the bee stings seems to indicate that
his motives are far from pure.
- [8F17] Dog of Death
- When Burns asks Smithers what he thought if he started sniffing his
crotch and slobbering all over him. Smithers replies, "If you did it,
- [9F04] Treehouse of Horror III
- When Burns asks Smithers what he thought about hiring Marge, Smithers
says, "I think women and sea-men don't mix." Burns replies, "We
know what you think!"
- [9F05] Marge Gets a Job
- When Burns fantasies about Marge, he asks Smithers about that dream where
you're in bed and they fly in through the window. Smithers groans with pleasure,
imagining Burns himself flying through his bedroom window. Smithers says,
"You've been reading my wishbook, sir."
- [1F01] Rosebud
- Smithers imagines a naked Burns jumping out of a cake and singing "Happy
Birthday, Mr. Smithers."
Later, in trying to cheer-up Burns, Smithers dresses up in a bear suit
and asks Burns to hug him, squeeze him and at his fur.
Tony Stott suggests we should listen to the groan Smithers makes when
Burns collides into him while hanging between the Simpson and Flanders
- [1F03] Marge on the Lam
- When Burns and Smithers attend the ballet, Burns says, "Bah! Far too
much dancing, not nearly enough prancing!" To which, Smithers replies,
"A little mincing would be nice."
- [1F05] Bart's Inner Child
- At the "Do What You Feel" Festival, Burns fails to hear Smithers
confession of love for him. Afterwards, Smithers quitely says, "Oh, who
am I kidding? The boathouse was the time!"
Robert Bolyard explains: A boathouse is the place in many "stories" of
homosexual encounters. Males are changing into/out of swim suits, things
pop up, and it's a convenient ice breaker, so to speak.
John Eue adds: Smithers' comment that "the boathouse was the time" may
have been a reference to E.M. Forster's "Maurice." In the book (and the
Merchant Ivory film), Maurice fulfilled his yearning for a virile young
groundskeeper in the boathouse of a college friend.
- [1F12] Lisa vs. Malibu Stacey
- When Lisa seeks Smithers for help in contacting the inventor of Malibu
Stacey, Smithers gets the information from his home computer. When he
turns the computer on, the computer screen shows a nude Burns that utters
in broken English: "Hello, Smithers. You're quite good at turning me on."
- [1F20] Secrets of a Successful Marriage
- In a flashback, Smithers explains why he "couldn't keep his marriage
Michael Schwartz explains: Smithers' flashback is a reference to
Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", about a husband (Brick) who
is having difficulties with his wife (Maggie) because he is gay."
- [1F21] Lady Bouvier's Lover
- In this episode, Smithers basically shows a lot of resentment towards
Burns courting Marge's mother. When Burns asks for help in composing a
love letter, Smithers recites "`Darling one, read my words and hear my
heart speak of a love soft and undying: a love that will be with you
always. Sincerely,' yatta, yatta, yatta." Burns asks how he thought it
up so fast. Smithers cries, "I sent it to you on your birthday! [sob]
Excuse me, I have something in my eye!"
- [2F02] Sideshow Bob Roberts
- Smithers makes a comment that Sideshow Bob's ultra-conservative views
conflicts with his "choice of lifestyle."
- [2F08] Fear of Flying
- When a record thrown by Moe hits Smithers in the head, Smithers appears
to get excited when he sees the record's title "It's raining Men."
- [2F20] Who Shot Mr. Burns? - Part Two
- During his confession, Smithers mentions he once tried to march in the
St. Patrick's Day parade.
It was pointed out by several people that some cities in the US have
managed to ban homosexual groups from marching in the parade.
- [3F06] Mother Simpson
- When Burns and the police arrive at the Simpsons house, Burns discovers
Smithers had recorded over his tape of "Ride of the Valkyries" with a
recording of ABBA's "Waterloo".
Benjamin Fan: It's a stereotype that gay people really like ABBA. It's
more of an in-joke or sly reference since most people not cued in to the
gay scene would miss it. (But isn't it an even bigger stereotype that
gay men love opera?-Ed.)
- [3F14] Homer the Smithers
- Smithers goes on vacation to a resort where "taking pictures" is
Bvuckmas provides the following list about Smithers' trip:
- Smithers calls Burns from a bar where men are visibly dancing with other men.
- Smithers heads a conga line composed of only men.
- Smithers drives a speedboat, pulling a pyramid of men in Speedos.
- [3F17] Bart on the Road
- Smithers mentions that he is partial to "Jolly Ranchers." "Jolly," of course, is a
synonym for the traditional meaning of "gay..." (Thanks to Mark Richey and Dave Peterson).
- [3F19] The Curse of the Flying
- Haynes Lee: Smithers tells Burns that he is "familiar with Grampa's
- [3F23] You Only Move
- Smithers is offered a job featuring insurance coverage for him and his "life partner."
- [4F05] Burns, Baby
- Burns asks Smithers to take off his belt; Smithers replies, "with
- [4F06] Bart After
- Smithers is "caught on film" leaving a burlesque house. Burns demands an
explanation; Smithers replies, "My parents insisted I give it a try."
- [3F24] El Viaje Misterioso de
- While at the chili cook-off, Smithers asks Marge to dance. When this episode aired, this
incident caused many to question his homosexuality. However, as Dave Grossman pointed out,
his flamboyant outfit "neutralizes any straight tendencies he might show for several
episodes to come."
As Elson Trinidad paraphrased, "Smithers danced with a WOMAN! That is so gay!" (Quotes
courtesy of Frederic Briere's episode capsule).
- [3G01] The Springfield
- Smithers is a little unsetted when Burns asks him if he was doing something
gay. "You know, lighthearted, fancy-free, mothers lock up your daughters,
Smithers is on the town." Smithers replies, "Exactly, sir," followed by
- [4F11] Homer's
- In a restaurant Smithers discovers John, who is an homosexual, eating
dinner with the Simpson family, and becomes upset.
Smithers: So this is your "sick mother"?
John: Don't do this to me, Waylon.
- [4F13] My Sister, My
- Several people have pointed out the indiscreet "innuendo" that Smithers
wouldn't let Lisa go ahead of him at the emergency room because he wanted
something taken care of right away; and though Smithers didn't seem to be
physically ill, he preferred to stand rather than sit down to wait. (I can't
go into any more detail than that. This is a family website, after all.)
- [4F15] Homer vs. the Eighteenth
- At Moe's speakeasy, Smithers is briefly shown sitting next to Mr. Burns, drinking a
flamboyant cocktail of some kind (brightly colored, slice of lemon, parasol...)
- [4F17] The Old Man and the
- When Mr. Burns is shocked at "Hit Man" Hart's "old man smell" remark, Smithers tells
him he has an enchanting musk.
- [4F20] The Simpsons Spin-off
- Smithers is head of the "Waylon Smithers Dancers" on "The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety
Hour." Plus, he performs a slightly-altered version of Devo's "Whip It" while wearing a pair
of very revealing chaps.
- [5F03] Bart Star
- In Homer's gymnastics flashback, we see a young Smithers at a microphone saying,
"Well, that's the end of the girls' floor exercises, now let's bring on the men!"
- [5F05] Lisa the Skeptic
- When it appears that the world is coming to an end, Smithers says "Oh, what the hell,"
and kisses Mr. Burns full on the lips. Afterwards, he makes some lame excuses about it
being "a sign of deepest respect." You know, I think Mr. Burns is starting to suspect
- [5F23] The Joy of Sect
- Mr. Burns asks if Smithers sees him as a god, and if he would kneel before him, which
Smithers readily assents. (If you don't catch the significance of "kneeling," just think
of Smithers as "Monica" and Mr. Burns as "Bill.")
- [5F13] This Little Wiggy
- When Lisa's message-rocket breaks into Mr. Burns's office and lands in his suit, the old
man tells Smithers he has "a rocket in my pocket." Waylon's knowing reply: "You don't have to
tell me, sir." (Thanks to Jay [Jellohead@aol.com]).
- [3G04] Simpson Tide
- During the "In the Navy" musical number, Smithers is seen dancing next to the Village
People. (And for those of you ignorant of the Village People's oeuvre, "In the
Navy" is full to the brim with gay undertones, just like their best-known song, "YMCA.")
This reference pointed out by many, including "Lenny" Debard and Dave Peterson).
- [5F14] The Trouble with Trillions
- At his apartment, Smithers is seen in a pink bathrobe, ironing, and singing "Everything's
Coming Up Roses." (It is a popular stereotype that gay men worship Broadway divas like
Ethel Merman, Lena Horne, and Liza Minnelli).
- [5F22] Bart the Mother
- Smithers is at the Bird-Watcher's meeting with Mr. Burns, wearing a flamboyantly pink shirt. (Of course, just because he's wearing a pink shirt doesn't mean he's some kind of...pink donut eater.)
- [5F19] When You Dish Upon a Star
- Smithers asks Kim Basinger about her shoes from L.A. Confidential mentioning that he wants a pair for his, uh, mother. (Then again, transvestism is not synonymous with homosexuality).
- [AABF02] D'oh-in in the Wind
- When Mr. Burns goes through his lunch, he comes across... "One jar of
garlic pickles. No one will want to kiss me after these, eh Smithers?"
"It's their loss, sir."
- [AABF05] Mayored to the Mob
- Smithers attends "Guys and Dolls" with Mr. Burns. (As stated above, it is
a stereotype that gay men are devotees of musical theatre).
- Alex Werner:
- My girlfriend discovered that Waylon Smithers anagrams to "wants him
- Haynes Lee:
- In the Globe and Mail there was 5th column office politics article about
sycophants in the workplace. It mentions Smithers as a prime example.
- Andrew Johnston:
- Our man Waylon Smithers is featured on the cover of an issue of GENRE, a
gay lifestyles magazine. The cover line: "Is Waylon Smithers...you
know...one of US?" There's an amusing article inside, as well as an
"interview" with Smithers. The magazine mentions that the Official
Simpsons Website once described Smithers as "part of a select 10% of the
population", which I did not know.