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The Homer Simpson effect

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australians 14+ October 2012- Sep2013, n= 49,846. Base: Australians 14+; Alcohol related questions based on Australians 18+ (n= 47,071)
Going strong for a quarter of a century, The Simpsons is not just a TV show: it’s a pop culture phenomenon, spawning endless merchandise, a movie, and even a series of commonly used slang expressions. Central to the show’s enduring appeal is loveable oaf and patriarch of the Simpson family, Homer Simpson — whose taste for fatty food and beer appears to be shared by his most passionate viewers, according to the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research…


Homer Simpson’s love of doughnuts was immortalised in an episode where he declared he’d sell his soul to the devil for a doughnut, only to end up with a doughnut for a head. Interestingly, viewers who ‘really love to watch The Simpsons’ share his enthusiasm for this sugary treat: they’re 35% more likely than the average Australian to eat muffins/doughnuts in any given seven days.

Doughnuts aren’t Homer’s only culinary indulgence. Burgers, hot dogs and pizza also feature heavily in his diet, as they do in the diet of viewers who really love to watch The Simpsons.

Viewers who ‘really love to watch’ The Simpsons: how they compare to the average Aussie


This chart shows the index of the target profile group compared to the population average, with 100 being the average. Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australians 14+ October 2012- Sep2013, n= 49,846. Base: Australians 14+; Alcohol related questions based on Australians 18+ (n= 47,071)

Not only are these Simpsons super-fans 36% more likely than the average Australian to like eating pizza, they’re 41% more likely to enjoy hamburgers and 79% likelier to enjoy hot dogs. It almost goes without saying that they’re 36% less likely to agree that ‘A low-fat diet is a way of life for me’!

Just as Homer Simpson is a regular visitor to Fast-Food Boulevard, Springfield’s quick-service restaurant strip, viewers who ‘really love to watch The Simpsons’ are 96% more likely than the average Aussie to pay 10 or more visits to a quick service/fast food restaurant in any given four-week period.  Their favourites are McDonald’s and KFC.

“Good ol’ trustworthy for beer. My love for you will never die”

Homer is preaching to the choir with the quote above. Adult viewers who really love to watch The Simpsons also really love the amber nectar.  They’re 53% more likely than the average adult drinker to ‘prefer beer to wine’ and 49% more likely to believe that ‘beer is often a good way to start the night’.

In any given four-week period, these same viewers are 30% more likely to have drunk full strength beer and 3% less likely to have drunk the low-alcohol variety. But they won’t settle for any old brand: they like a high-quality brew, and are 35% more likely than the average Aussie drinker to have drunk premium/imported beer in the last four weeks.

“Gym? What’s a gym?”

Lazy to the core, with his only exercise being operating the remote control, Homer Simpson is the original Couch Potato. This is where his audience differs: viewers who really love watching The Simpsons are 41% more likely than the average Australian to ‘love doing as many sports as possible’, and in the last three months are much likelier to have done some formal exercise (gym, cycling etc) or played some kind of sport. 

Furthermore, the time they spend watching TV per week is just four minutes above the national average (18 hours, 47 minutes vs 18 hours, 39 min) rather than excessive.

George Pesutto, General Manager Media & Communications, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“For all his faults, Homer Simpson is a much-loved character who’s especially popular with young Australians. The 14-34 age bracket is most likely to ‘really love to watch’ The Simpsons, with men’s affection for the program lasting until they hit 50 (women seem to lose interest before they’re 35).

Although these passionate Simpsons viewers don’t share Homer’s TV addiction or his distaste for physical exertion, their zeal for junk food and, once they reach drinking age, beer is certainly comparable to the character’s.

“While it’s unlikely they’re consciously emulating him (younger Australians are more likely than older generations to enjoy junk food and some kinds of beer anyway), they do represent a potentially lucrative audience for marketers of these products who are considering whether to advertise during The Simpsons' time-slot.”

View our extensive range of Media and Communication profiles and reports, including TV, Pay TV viewers, and Television activities.  These profiles provide a broad understanding of the target audience, in terms of demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage in Australia.

For comments or more information please contact:

George Pesutto
General Manager, Media & Communications
Office: +61 (3) 9629 6888

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%