Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From Milhouse Van Houten
It is the weirdest thing, you guys. I am such a confident person who never has a hard time getting people to pay attention to me, who walks into a room and immediately owns it, who has a bunch of friends…but I always love the underdog. I always relate to the Neville Longbottoms of the world: the people who have so much potential, but that likely lack confidence in themselves. Both IRL and in the fictional world of movies and television. (And books, obviously, because Neville was my example.)
As most human beings, I have been watching The Simpsons since I was born, pretty much, except that it became a show when I was two, so obviously I am exaggerating. Just roll with it. For the entirety of my life, my favorite character has been Milhouse. Wellllllll, and Moe. It is like a tie, like a legit tie. I digress. Let’s just get into it.
EINTKILF Milhouse Van Houten
1. How to be in a boy band.
Welp, I am going to try to not make this claim, but the “boy band episode” of The Simpsons might just be my favorite one of all-time. Officially called “New Kids on the Blecch,” L.T. Smash, the world’s most appropriately named boy band producer, drafts (see what I did there?) Bart, Nelson, Ralph, and Milhouse to be the next big musical thing. Of course, Lisa discovers that they are actually singing subliminal messages about joining the Navy, so it doesn’t last for long. I will admit here and now, however, that I would legitimately have listened to the Party Posse because I loved all of the songs, pretty much.
I mean, seriously. They were real funky, but not threatening. They would give it all up for that special girl! I miss boy bands. Wait, they’re coming back, right? I’m not gonna lie, though. I was hoping “The 20/20 Experience” would channel a little less Al Green, a little more “No Strings Attached.” Ah, to be young again.
2. How to love.
Yeah, it’s a Lil” Wayne song, but if I were you (And I am you! Surprise!) I would take advice on love from Milhouse before I would take advice on love from any rapper, but that’s neither here nor there. Milhouse loves Lisa Simpson–and who doesn’t?–since they were like eight years old. Wait, they are still eight years old. But they have been eight years old for over twenty years, so that is a long time to love someone. Anyway, he does all kinds of things for Lisa like support her in her crush on jerk Nelson, and be a loyal best friend to her jerk brother, and there is that quote I love:
“When she sees you’ll do anything she says, she’s bound to respect you!”
WHICH IS TRUE, DUH. Who doesn’t want to walk all over their man?! I know I do!
(Hi, I’m single.)
3. Choke is not spelled with an “f.”
Principal Skinner: Okay Milhouse, your first word of the spelling bee is “choke.”
Milhouse: Ha ha that’s so easy! “F–“
…it still makes me laugh uncontrollably.
4. Your mother is always right.
Though I usually disagree with Lois’ life choices, I do happen to agree that her son is really cool.
5. Don’t pass a note for the girl you love. Or maybe for any girl.
…because you will get beat up by the school bully.
I mean, Milhouse was just doing Lisa a favor and Nelson mistook his intentions and beat the daylights out of the poor little guy.
Also, is this a thing? Can I send my friends to bring notes to boys I like? That’s way easier than like…the way dating actually is.
6. Don’t let people lie to you.
Bart and Milhouse, though pretty cute for a best friend duo, have kind of a messed up dynamic. I mean, Bart is clearly the leader of the pack, and as we all know, is a bit on the mischievous side.
He always gets Milhouse into trouble at church and in school, and I mean…the jerk even let his dog-for-one-episode Laddie eat Milhouse’s goldfish.
“Remember the time he ate my goldfish? And you lied and said I never had goldfish. Then why did I have the bowl, Bart? Why did I have the bowl?”
You go, Milhouse! You stand up for yourself!
Also my picture collage reminds me that Milhouse also taught me how to…
7. GO CRAZY BROADWAY STYLE.
Springfield, Springfield, you’re a hell of a town!
8. Make sure you have a spot to cry in.
I mean, my crying spot is just my bedroom, or the backroom at work, or my living room. I mean, I also cry in movie theaters pretty often because every movie makes me cry, and I guess I have also cried at my mom’s house a lot, but the whole point of all of this is, I should be crying in caves because that is way cooler.
9. Why kissing is so romantic.
Let’s pretend that Milhouse is not an eight year old boy for a second, and talk about how adorable this quote is:
“Bart, it’s not just the kissing. A lot of it is waiting to kiss, you know, like when you open an Eskimo Pie and you wait just a little bit for it to melt?”
Gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh so true! I think my favorite part of a kiss is the right before it, though I will admit that I like a good surprise kiss. Like the last time someone kissed me, I had no idea it was coming because A) I was literally working and B) we had never kissed before and C) he was moving across the country that day.
I’m sorry, to be honest, I just really needed to tell you guys that story because it’s my best kiss story ever.
K, but really–the anticipatory aspect of love is the best part. The buildup. The waiting for your Eskimo Pie to melt part. Milhouse knows everything.
10. What it feels like when doves cry.
In also-one-of-the-best-episodes-ever, the kids declare a war against the kids of Shelbyville, the neighboring town, because they stole their lemon tree. Milhouse meets his match in a kid from Shelbyville though, almost literally. He meets a boy with blue hair, no glasses, and a similar self-deprecating demeanor. AND HIS NAME IS MILHOUSE.
Oh, and for the record, I called Bart Simpson a jerk in this thing like a million times, but I really love Bart. I am also always the leader of the pack, and I am usually a huge jerk, and I get people into trouble sometimes, too. I mean, he’s basically the Regina George of The Simpsons, and I am basically the Regina George of my personal life, so we’re cool.