Injury Lawyers Tally Up The Real-Life Cost Of Homer Simpson's Medical Bills

When I was younger, one of my favorite gags from "The Simpsons" came in the eleventh season episode called "Behind the Laughter." A faux making-of documentary, the episode detailed the (totally fake) behind-the-scenes moments that made "The Simpsons" a success. At one point, Homer (Dan Castellaneta) gives commentary on a famous scene in which he tumbles down a rocky cliffside, hitting every rock along the way. Then the mockumentary showed us the less-funny aftermath of the accident, in which Homer underwent a grueling rehabilitation process.

That's exactly the type of energy DTLA Law Group is bringing to the table with a recent research project they did on the Simpson family's clumsiest member. Apparently, the group studied 50 of Homer's accidents and injuries over the course of 31 seasons of the long-running animated sitcom. I'm assuming they didn't include the "Treehouse of Horror" episodes, which regularly end with the Simpsons family exploding, being shredded to bits, and dying in other gruesome, impermanent ways. After gathering all the data, the group then tallied up the actual cost of Homer's medical care, and revealed a shocking theoretical number: $141 million.

Homer v. Healthcare

You read that right: if Homer Simpson were real and uninsured, he'd need to be a hundred-millionaire to pay off his medical expenses. If you're like me, you might be reading this and thinking, "Why?" First off, why would a group of lawyers look into this? But also, why would anything ever cost that much, even for a fictional character who's extremely prone to bonking his head?

The answer to both questions likely has to do with America's astronomically expensive healthcare system. DTLA Law Group offers an infographic breaking down the individual costs of common injuries Homer has sustained, highlighting the prohibitive costs uninsured patients face every day. A thumb amputation, for example, costs $40,000. "The Simpsons" writers are no stranger to social commentary, and in the case of the episode the chart is referencing, they actually make a jab at the healthcare system themselves. In the season 12 episode "Trilogy of Error," Homer's thumb is cut off during a kitchen accident, and when he goes to the hospital to have it reattached, he hilariously learns that his specialized "finger insurance" doesn't actually cover thumbs.

The Simpsons Knows The System Is Broken

Other cost breakdowns featured in the research include electrical burns ($46,540), radiation exposure ($150,000), and 10 different falls leading to multiple broken bones, with each incident costing roughly $48,000 to treat uninsured. If these numbers are making your eyes cross, you're not alone. Homer himself says it best in "Homer's Triple Bypass," an episode that aired all the way back in 1992, "America's healthcare system is second only to Japan, Canada, Sweden, Great Britain. Well ... all of Europe."

DTLA Law apparently put together this project to start a conversation about the importance of health insurance. Their research results includes a statement from Senior Trial Attorney Farid Yaghoubtil:

"Whilst Homer Simpson is a fictional character, his injuries are very real, and examples of incidents that many people are entitled to compensation for. We hope this medical bill rap sheet encourages anyone who is considering it, to get health insurance and avoid paying the price."

Thinking about health insurance isn't nearly as much fun as watching Homer describe the jagged rocks that hit him in "Behind the Laughter," but we can't begrudge a project like this one, that gives us a dose of reality wrapped up in some funny packaging.