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"D'oh!" ( ) is a catchphrase used by the fictional character Homer Simpson, from the long-running American animated sitcom The Simpsons (1989–present). It is typically used when Homer injures himself, realizes that he has done something stupid, or when something bad has happened or is about to happen to him. All his prominent blood relations—son Bart, daughters Lisa and Maggie, his father, his mother and half-brother—have also been heard to use it themselves in similar circumstances. On a few occasions Homer's wife Marge and even non-related characters such as Mr. Burns and Sideshow Bob have also used this phrase.

In 2006, "d'oh!" was listed as number six on TV Land's list of the 100 greatest television catchphrases.[1][2] The spoken word "d'oh" is a sound trademark of 20th Century Fox.[3] Since 2001, the word "doh" has appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary, without the purposeless apostrophe.[4] The earliest recorded usages of the sound "d'oh" are in numerous episodes of the BBC radio series It's That Man Again between 1945 and 1949, but the OxfordWords blog notes "Homer was responsible for popularizing it as an exclamation of frustration."[5]


  • Origin 1
  • Episode names 2
  • Dictionary 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


During the voice recording session for a Tracey Ullman Show short, Homer was required to utter what was written in the script as an "annoyed grunt". Dan Castellaneta rendered it as a drawn out "d'ooooooh". This was inspired by Jimmy Finlayson, the mustachioed Scottish actor who appeared in 33 Laurel and Hardy films, from the pre-sound era up to 1940. Finlayson had used the term as a minced oath for suggesting the word "damn!" without actually saying it. Matt Groening felt that it would better suit the timing of animation if it were spoken faster. Castellaneta then shortened it to a quickly uttered "d'oh!"[6] The first intentional use of "d'oh!" occurred in the Ullman short "Punching Bag" (1988),[6] and its first usage in the series was in the series premiere, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire".[7] It is typically represented in the show's script as "(annoyed grunt)", and is so spelled out in the official titles of several episodes. Some episodes feature variations of the word such as "Bart of Darkness" (season six, 1994), where Homer says "D'oheth"[7] after an Amish farmer points out to him that he has built a barn instead of the swimming pool he was intending; "Thirty Minutes over Tokyo" (season ten, 1999), where Homer says "d'oh" in Japanese (with English subtitles); or The Simpsons Movie (2007) where Homer shouts "d'oooohme!" after the EPA seals the Simpsons' home town, Springfield, in a giant dome.[8]

Episode names

As the word arose out of Castellaneta's interpretation of a non-specific direction, it did not have an official spelling for several years. Instead, it was always written in Simpsons scripts as "(Annoyed Grunt)". In recognition of this, four episodes feature the phrase "(Annoyed Grunt)" in the episode title:

After the word became well-defined, nine other episodes just had it written in their titles as "D'oh" (initially interspersed with "(Annoyed Grunt)", then replacing it):


The term "d'oh!" has been used or adopted by many Simpsons fans, and even non-fans. The term has become commonplace in modern speech and demonstrates the extent of the show's influence. "D'oh!" was first added to the The New Oxford Dictionary of English in 1998 as an Interjection with the definition "(usually [in a manner] mildly derogatory) used to comment on an action perceived as foolish or stupid."[4]

In 2001, the word "d'oh" was added to the Oxford English Dictionary;[9][10] The definition given is:[9][11]

Expressing frustration at the realization that things have turned out badly or not as planned, or that one has just said or done something foolish. Also (usu. mildly derogatory): implying that another person has said or done something foolish (cf. int. DUH).

The headword spelling is doh, but d'oh is listed as a variant (as is dooh). The etymology section notes "the word appears (in the form D'oh) in numerous publications based on The Simpsons".[9] Eight quotations featuring the sound "d'oh" are cited: the earliest is from a 1945 episode of the BBC radio series It's That Man Again; two others are Simpsons-related.[9][5]

See also

  • ¡Ay, caramba!
  • Facepalm
  • "grimace" – A sharp contortion of the face expressive of pain, contempt, or disgust.
  • "duh"


  1. ^ "Dyn-O-Mite! TV Land lists catchphrases". USA Today. 2006-11-28. Retrieved 2008-09-07. 
  2. ^ "The 100 greatest TV quotes and catchphrases".  
  3. ^ "Latest Status Info". TARR. Retrieved 2007-08-25. 
  4. ^ a b Shewchuk, Blair (2001-07-17). "D'oh! A Dictionary update".  
  5. ^ a b "Ay caramba! A look at some of the language of The Simpsons". Oxford Dictionaries. 2013-04-17. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  6. ^ a b "What’s the story with . . . Homer’s D’oh!".  
  7. ^ a b Simon, Jeremy (1994-02-11). "Wisdom from The Simpsons' 'D'ohh' boy".  
  8. ^  
  9. ^ a b c d OED, 3rd draft online edition, s.v. "doh"
  10. ^ "It's in the dictionary, d'oh!". BBC News, Entertainment. BBC. 2001-06-14. Archived from the original on 2002-12-03. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  11. ^ D'oh!' The Right Thing?"'".  

External links

  • The definitive "D'oh" list
  • Homer Simpson says "D'oh!" 32 times (WAV sound file)
  • D'oh! joins the Oxford English Dictionary – BBC News
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