Homer Simpson TM and (C)2008 TTCFFC All Rights Reserved/Fox Homer Simpson TM and (C)2008 TTCFFC All Rights Reserved/Fox

Woo-hoo! This Sunday, The Simpsons begins its 20th season on the air, tying Gunsmoke's record. Throughout this time, we've gotten to know not just The Simpson family but a cast of thousands. The little town of Springfield has had more than its fair share of run-ins with presidents, celebrities and super-villains - all the while managing to stay the town we know and love.

No single member of this tiny hamlet has done more with the life given to them than Simpson patriarch, Homer. In his perpetual 36th year of life, Homer has visited both heaven and hell and covered the earth and space between. He's saved thousands of lives, won a Pulitzer Prize and both befriended and brawled with presidents. Arguably no other fictional American has accomplished more. (Okay, maybe Forrest Gump but it's not his 20th anniversary, is it?)

Grab a Duff and a donut and enjoy our list of Homer's greatest moments:

20. Dancin' Homer: Homer J. Simpson's first brush with greatness didn't occur until Season 2, when he became the official mascot of the Springfield Isotopes. While attending "Nuclear Plant Employees, Spouses and No More Than Three Children Night" at Springfield Stadium, a drunken Homer boosts the crowds' spirits by dancing. He's later given a shot at filling in for the Capitol City Goofball. Unfortunately, his time in the spotlight seems to be over. The antics which energized the citizens of Springfield do nothing for the big city folk in Capitol City. Homer returns to Springfield a local hero with a story to tell at Moe's for years to come.

19. Giving Up Free Cable: One of Homer's more modest achievements, but an important one, nevertheless. In Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment, Lisa's conflict of conscience leads Homer to give up the illegal cable hookup he loves so much. Not even the "So You've Decided to Steal Cable," pamphlet can dissuade him of the valuable lesson his daughter taught him.

18. Catching the General Sherman: While on his way to a marriage counseling retreat, Homer learns the legend of catfish General Sherman. It turns out the fish resides in the very lake Homer and Marge are going to. After blowing off the counseling sessions, Homer catches the fish. He throws it back once he sees what his selfish ways have done to his wife.

17. Saving Springfield from nuclear meltdown... twice: In both season three's Homer Defined and season seven's King Size Homer, Safety Inspector Simpson manages to "turn a potential Chernobyl into a mere Three Mile Island." Hey, the first time may have been the luck of "eenie, meenie, miney, mo," and the second time may have been due to his gargantuan size, but he still saved the town.

16. Winning the softball championship: While he's not in the best shape, a few of Homer's greatest accomplishments are in sports. When not even Don Mattingly and Ken Griffey Jr. can, Homer manages to force the winning run and win the company championship game against Shelbyville. He beats the ringers, takes a softball to the skull and comes out Springfield's hero yet again.

15. Stopping an out-of-control Monorail: In the Conan O' Brien- scripted Marge vs. The Monorail, Homer manages to craft a crude anchor to stop the substandard monorail that con artist Lyle Lanley has sold to Springfield.

14. Winning a Grammy with The Be-Sharps: In the 5th season premiere, Homer's Barbershop Quartet, we learn that in the summer of '85, Homer formed a barbershop quartet with Apu, Principal Skinner, and Chief Wiggum. Wiggum was swiftly replaced by Barney Gumble before the group experienced flash-in-the-pan success with their song "Baby on Board."

13. Going to Space: In what most would consider Homer's greatest achievement, he blasted off to the final frontier as part of a NASA public relations campaign. While destroying NASA's experiment and almost being sucked into oblivion, Homer manages to save his shipmates with an inanimate carbon road. We may not ever know whether ants can sort tiny screws in space, but Homer has had the experience of a lifetime.

12. Being town crier in Springfield's bicentennial parade: While a more down-to-earth (ugh!) accomplishment, Homer nabs the hat and bell from rightful crier Ned Flanders (who, let's face it, does suck-diddly-uck) in season seven's Lisa the Iconoclast. Police Chief Wiggum's response to what could only be considered assault and battery? "Let the man march, boys! Let the man march."

11. Owning an NFL team: In You Only Move Twice, a classic from Season 8, Homer gains brief employment with a delightful, villainous genius named Hank Scorpio. After unwittingly helping Scorpio to do away with nemesis James Bont, Homer is given the Denver Broncos. With John Elway still playing quarterback for the team in 1996, this is a pretty big accomplishment for any sports fan.

10. Becoming the "Beer Baron": In Season 8's Homer vs. The Eighteenth Amendment, alcohol is prohibited in Springfield. Homer quenches Springfield's thirst by creating a microbrewery in the Simpsons' basement and secretly shuttling it to Moe's, which has become Springfield's hottest speakeasy.

9. Climbing The Murderhorn: In Season 9's King of the Hill, Homer gorges on Power Sauce energy bars. The company sees Homer as a walking publicity stunt and convinces him to try to climb The Murderhorn, a mountain in Springfield.

8. "Solving" an ancient Egyptian puzzle: In season nine's Lost Our Lisa, Homer accidentally discovers The Orb of Isis, an Egyptian artifact, is actually a music box. The father and daughter are the first to hear its song in thousands of years.

7. Becoming an artist: In season 10's Mom and Pop Art, Homer's destruction of a barbecue grill piques the interest of art critic Astrid Weller and Homer becomes the hottest new thing on Springfield's art scene. His niche? Outsider art - art created by a hillbilly, monkey or mental patient.

6. Creating Tomacco: In Season 11's E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt), Homer tries his hand at farming and with a little help from plutonium, develops tomacco - a highly addictive tomato-tobacco hybrid. Interestingly enough, this episode inspired the real-life creation of such a product.

5. Bowling a perfect 300 game: Homer manages to accomplish an athletic milestone by bowling a perfect 300 game in Season 11's Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder. This event inspires a parody of The Natural during the final frame (complete with exploding lanes and arm-pumping), adulation and a prime spot as center square on Springfield Squares.

4. Winning a Pulitzer Prize: Homer prints "all the muck that's fit to rake" in season 12's The Computer Wore Menace Shoes. He exposes Mayor Quimby for diversion of funds and Mr. Burns for selling uranium to terrorists and in doing so, earns Mister X (Homer's nom de plume) a Pulitzer for investigative journalism.

3. Going on a hunger strike: For a man who once drooled over 64 slices of American cheese and maca-ma-damia nuts, relinquishing food is a big deal. But in Season 12's Hungry, Hungry Homer, he does exactly that in the hopes of exposing the Springfield Isotopes' move to Albuquerque. The episodes ends with the move being discovered. Homer is heralded as a hero and ends his hunger strike while being showered with food.

2. Getting a talk show: Following in the great tradition of Johnny Carson, Steve Allen and Tyra Banks, Homer gets his own talk show in the season 15 episode Today I Am A Clown. With Moe, Carl and Lenny (later substituted with Barney and Disco Stu), the show is a ratings bonanza and Homer becomes the talk of the town.

1. Becoming Pie-Man: In season 15's Simple Simpson, Homer again tries his hand at vigilantism by donning a mask and becoming Pie-Man, a pastry-flinging superhero who delivers delicious justice to Springfield's evil-doers by pie-ing them in the face.

What are your favorite Homer Simpson accomplishments? And what about the rest of his family? - Daniel Aughey

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