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 are the Purple Mush Dinners the Simpsons family keeps eating at dinnertime? Exhibit one is from Bart the Daredevil, but there are many more…

Exhibit Two – Lisa’s Substitute:


Even the PETS are eating the Purple Mush!


The weird thing is that 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 the Purple Mush Dinners 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…






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could be purple potatoes! and no, i don’t mean ube; purple potatoes are a seperate tuber entirely. maybe marge wanted to spice up her mashed potatoes a bit and added some purple ones

Evil Homer

Purple is a fruit


It might be ube halaya, the only purple food stuff out there. Though, it is filipino and usually used for desserts like cakes.

T Bryan

I know exactly what the purple mush is. “We got beets!”


I love how excited that makes Lisa, because it certainly does not make me excited.

ignacio becerra

mashed potatoes and beets!


I mean, it has to be something with beets since they were so popular with Springfield’s founder!


Could be beetroot


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.


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… Read more »


My understanding is that Marge likes to add a little bit of meat juice to Lisa’s vegetables so at least we can be sure she’s getting some protein from that!

Glenn S.

Perhaps in season 2 Marge discovered the “exotic” purple yam (or ube) and was using it liberally in her recipes.


I’m now starting to realize this might be a Rootmarm type of dish. Do we have confirmation that Homer isn’t Marge’s attractive cousin?

Glenn S.

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