The internet moves from joke to joke with the speed of something really fast, but Simpsons shitposting may be eternal. At a live taping of Jordan Jesse Go! in Portland, former Simpsons showrunner and current fast-food reviewer Bill Oakley revealed that his favorite Simpsons meme is “The Dud.” The meme comes from the season-seven episode “Summer of 4 ft. 2,” in which the Simpsons (and Milhouse) go to a beach town. Lisa meets cool teens voiced by Christina Ricci and Bart gets stuck playing a dream-date board game with his parents. He gets — you guessed it — the dud. Who looks a lot like Milhouse. Oakley told Vulture via Twitter message that the scene originated in his family: “The mystery date game was in my basement when I was in a kid and my sister was always playing it and calling people duds.”
As deployed by the shitposting community, the dud pops up in unexpected places, and Homer’s dawning joy is grafted on to onlookers’ faces. Does it make any sense? Absolutely not. But that’s not the point of shitposting. There is no point to shitposting, besides the dadaist joy of smashing signifiers together and just kinda dwelling inside a pop-culture blender.
“The Dud” comes from the Bill Oakley–Josh Weinstein era of The Simpsons. But Oakley loves “The Dud” because of the animation, not the writing. “It’s the subtle way Homer smiles,” he wrote. “Episode director Mark Kirkland said his dad smiled that way. So great and a little uncanny.” The smile is definitely the most important part of a “Dud” sequence. So if you’ve ever loved this meme, you’ve actually loved Mark Kirkland’s dad.