Purple Mush Dinners: A Discussion

Early episodes of The Simpsons are many things: ground breaking and hilarious come to mind – but having stellar animation with great attention to detail? Not so much. I’ve been re-watching the early seasons recently and I have to ask: what is the purple mush the Simpsons family keeps eating for dinner in Season Two?

Exhibit One – Bart the Daredevil


Exhibit Two – Lisa’s Substitute


Even the PETS are eating the Purple Mush!


The weird thing is that in Season One includes some fairly detailed dinner shots such as “The Crepes of Wrath”


And the Season Three episode “Dog of Death” is good too, featuring chub night!


For some reason, in Season Two, the animators didn’t want to bother creating a detailed meal as the family sits around the dinner table and so they settled on “unidentifiable stuff on a plate” as the go-to food option for the Simpson family. Why purple though? Almost any other color would better represent food since so few foods are actually purple.

I’m not sure what a reasonable representation would be for this type of meal: Eggplant? Ground beef dyed purple? Fruit (purple is a fruit)? I guess I’ll never know…

    1. That was a suggestion in the facebook discussion as well! I don’t think American’s know what beetroot is, so I’m left to conclude that this might have been it’s less popular (but very attractive) cousin Rootmarm.

  1. I’ve always wondered if the Korean animators received notes on what colour the less important props – like food – should be. Even if it wasn’t purple/grey, what the hell are they eating? Some sort of casserole, maybe? Unless they’re eating piles of mashe potatoes for dinner…

    I’ve also noticed that Lisa’s dinners are usually whatever the rest of he family is eating minus the meat. So a side of potatoes and greens, really. I get that it’s a nuisance to draw something completely different for a background prop but it’s always made me worry for Lisa. Not much nutrition you can get from daily meals of mashed potatoes and salad greens, I don’t think.

      1. If they were their kids would’ve ended up being horrible freaks with pink skin, no overbites and five fingers on each hand.

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