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The Simpsons: Patty & Selma

By Wikipedia

The Bouvier Sisters (voiced by Julie Kavner) are fictional characters on The Simpsons. They are Marge's two cynical chain-smoking older sisters. They both work at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and have a strong dislike for Homer.

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It is not easy to distinguish the twins from each other. According to Marge, Selma is "the one who likes Police Academy movies and Hummel figurines, and walking through the park on clear autumn days." This table may help:

  Patty Selma
Necklace pearls circular oval
Earrings triangular s-shaped
Hair undivided divided

The following mnemonic devices can also be used:

  • The sister whose earrings are two triangles is Patty.
  • The sister whose earings are s-shaped is Selma.
  • Selma's hair is m shaped.


Selma reportedly lacks the senses of taste and olfaction due to a childhood bottle rocket accident. Both twin sisters tend to be cynical and are noted for their strong dislike for their brother-in-law and their addiction to tobacco smoking. Selma's favorite brand of cigarettes is identified as "Laramie Hi-Tars," as opposed to her sister's "Lady Laramie 100s." They share an apartment and work together at the Department of Motor vehicles (DMV), although on numerous occasions they have acted in a unprofessional manner when doing their job. For example, allowing Otto to get a driver's license due to their mutual dislike for Homer which developed while Otto was briefly living with the Simpson family.

Like her twin sister Patty, Selma is an avid (and sometimes maniacal) fan of the Awesome80s TV series MacGyver. Her favorite film actor was reportedly Troy McClure.

In a episode in 2005, Patty finally came out of the closet as a lesbian.


Patty and Selma are very close, working together and sharing an apartment. Selma cares for her deceased aunt's iguana Jub-Jub. Most recently, Selma adopted a Chinese baby, Ling, after signs of menopause. During the process, however, Selma had to pretend to be married to Homer, since the Chinese government only allowed their children to be adopted to successful couples. When the jig was up, Selma kept the baby anyway, as the Chinese dignitary had a single mother also.

The Bouviers and the Simpsons

PattyAs children, Patty and Selma were reportedly rather domineering towards Marge and ridiculed her ambition of becoming an astronaut. However, their relationship seems to have improved over the years. As adults, the Bouvier twins appear to have a friendly relationship with their sister and frequently visit the Simpsons. They seem relatively fond of their nieces and nephew. They have, on occasion, watched the kids when their parents were out of town. However, Bart and Lisa would rather not be around when their aunts ask for a foot massage. Their idea of bonding with Lisa includes tutoring her in the belief that men are pigs, using Homer as the prime example.

Their relationship with Homer remains one of mutual dislike. They have continued to exchange insults since the day Marge first introduced them to each other. They tend to compare their brother-in-law to a caveman. They have even suggested him capable of trading Maggie for beer and a nudie magazine. Selma and Patty have occasionally expressed their common hope that Marge will eventually divorce Homer. They are usually quick in discovering and pointing out his attempts at insincerity and/or infidelity. They have offered Marge their help in finding a replacement for Homer. The couple, however, is still together after a decade of marriage.

Selma once took the Simpson children on a disastrous trip to the Duff Gardens theme park, where Bart manhandled several animatronic characters and Lisa went on a psychedelic trip after drinking "water" from a boat ride (she shows up later swimming naked in the Fermentarium and exclaiming "I am the lizard queen!").

Romantic Liaisons

Despite being identical twins, Patty and Selma Bouvier have had very different track records when it comes to finding dates. According to Marge, Patty chose a life of celibacy, while Selma had celibacy thrust upon her (a sly reference to Malvolio in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night). This presumably explains her occasional attempts at romance. Her standards tend to be rather low though, as evidenced by her comments on Charles Montgomery Burns: "Single, eh? Well, he passes the Selma-test."

Patty once had a brief fling with Seymour Skinner. Skinner later proposed to her, but both had decided to end the relationship to make Selma happy. Overall, Patty is characterized as being far more distrusting of men than her sex-crazed sister.

In the February 20, 2005 episode, There's Something About Marrying, Patty came out as a lesbian after Springfield legalized same-sex marriage. However, before their own wedding, Patty's partner Veronica was revealed to be a man who had disguised his gender to get into the LPGA tour. Patty's sexuality had earlier been hinted at when her voice was recognizably coming from an "in the closet" float on the Springfield Gay Pride Parade. Another hint from an earlier episode as to Patty's sexuality is from a "Treehouse of Horror" episode where Patty sees Homer naked and says "There goes the last lingering thread of my heterosexuality."

Selma, on the other hand, has actively sought out a husband, having been married four times. Her full name has evolved into Selma Bouvier Terwilliger Hutz McClure Stu, after failed marriages to Robert "Sideshow Bob" Terwilliger, Lionel Hutz, Troy McClure, and Disco Stu ("From now on I'm only getting married for love, ...and maybe once more for money.")

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Aired: December 17, 1989 -

Cast: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Harry Shearer

Network: FOX

Genre: Cartoon

Theme songSoundtrack

Spinoff of: The Tracy Ullman Show

Image courtesy of FOX

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from this Wikipedia article, which is probably more up to date than ours (retrieved August 12, 2005).

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