The Simpsons: Patty & Selma
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.
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:
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
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
In a episode in 2005, Patty finally came out of the closet as a
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
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
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
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!").
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
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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