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|“||Don't worry, Homer. You will always be a part of me. [hits her head on the van] D'oh!||„|
|~ Mona Simpson, before leaving.|
Mona Penelope Simpson (nee Olsen) was a minor character in the animated television series The Simpsons. Mona is the estranged wife of Abe Simpson and the late mother of Homer Simpson. Homer believed that his mother was dead, a lie his father Abe told him when in reality she was on the run from the law. Mona first appeared in the second season in a flashback in "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?". She returned in the seventh season for her first main appearance in "Mother Simpson" and also had a large role in "My Mother the Carjacker". The character appeared last time in Season 19's "Mona Leaves-a", but died during the episode.
Mona is named after writer Richard Appel's wife but the inspiration for the character came from Bernardine Dohrn of the Weather Underground. Glenn Close's performances as Mona have been well-received by critics and she was named one of the top 25 guest stars on the show by IGN.
Many of the details of Mona's life are unknown, but various pieces of her story have been revealed. Mona was first mentioned in season one and made two brief flashback appearances, but her first major appearance was in "Mother Simpson". In the episode, it is revealed that in the 1960s, Mona was a housewife who lived with her husband Abraham Simpson and Homer, who at the time was a child. She became caught up in the hippie movement after her beliefs were ignited by seeing Joe Namath's long hair during Super Bowl III. Mona soon after became a political activist and, at one event, Mona and a group of other activists protesting germ research entered Montgomery Burns's laboratory and destroyed all the biological warfare experiments. As the gang escaped, she stayed behind to help a fallen Burns, who in turn threatened her. Since that night, Mona was forced to leave her family. Seeking to comfort his son, Abe lied and said Mona had died while Homer was at the movies. For 27 years Homer presumed that his mother was dead. He was accidentally reunited with Mona after he faked his own death to get a day off of work and Mona visited his supposed gravesite. Overjoyed at their reunion, he brings Mona home to meet his family. At first, Mona does not reveal her whereabouts and spends time catching up with her family, but is forced to reveal her past. She later travels to the post office with Homer, where Mr. Burns recognizes her face and tracks her down with FBI assistance. Forced to go on the run again, Mona tells Homer she loves him and escapes to the underground. Homer and Mona in the 60s, as seen in "Mother Simpson".
In "D'oh-in in the Wind", it is revealed that at some point, Mona started spending time at a commune with two hippies Seth and Munchie after life with Abraham became unbearable. It is also strongly implied that she was unfaithful to Abraham.
In "My Mother the Carjacker", Homer discovers a secret message left for him in a newspaper that tells him to go to a location. Homer does, and finds Mona, who explains that she had to return after she saw a macaroni pencil holder Homer had made for her when he was five. Still on the run from the law, she is captured by the police and forced to go on trial for the crime she committed. Due to Homer's heartfelt testimony she is acquitted. Mr. Burns is angered by this and has her imprisoned for the minor charge of signing into a national park under a false name. As she is being transported to jail, Homer attempts to break her free from the prison bus, but the chase ends in what appears to be her death when the bus drives off a cliff and lands in the water, where it explodes, and sets off a rock avalanche which buries it. In truth, she narrowly escaped before the bus went off the cliff, and is still on the run.
Mona returned in "Mona Leaves-a" to try to make up for lost time with Homer, but he angrily refuses, saying that she will just end up abandoning him again. Homer feels guilty about being mad at her and tries to make up with her only to find she has died. She is cremated and according to her will, Homer is supposed to throw her ashes out on a mountain, where they disrupt a missile guidance system which would have devastated the Amazon Rainforest once again plotted by Burns. Although disappointed that the last thing his mother asked him to do was "another hippie protest", Homer successfully stops the launch.