- Van Houten family
The Van Houten family (pronEng|vænˈhaʊtən) is a family in the animated television series "
The Simpsons". The nuclear familyconsists of Bart Simpson's friend Milhouse and his parents, father Kirk and mother Luann. Of the three, Milhouse has the largest role within the show. All three look alike: hair, red coke-bottle glasses, and giant, softball-sized noses, similar to earlier characters Akbar and Jefffrom Matt Groenings " Life in Hell" comic strip. They are some of the few regular characters with eyebrows (though Luann's are revealed to be fake). The Van Houtens divorced in the eighth-season episode " A Milhouse Divided", but remarried in the nineteenth season episode " Little Orphan Millie".
name=Kirk Van Houten
relatives=Wife: Luann Son: Milhouse
Bart's Friend Falls in Love"
Kirk Van Houten sometimes called Milhouse's Dad is voiced by
Hank Azaria. He is the father of Milhouse, and the remarried husband of Luann. He first appeared in Bart's Friend Falls in Love.
Kirk has been portrayed as a stereotypical middle-aged male loser and deadbeat dad. Much of Mr. Van Houten's character revolves around his extreme emotional depression after his divorce from his wife Luann. Luann got custody of Milhouse when they divorced, but Kirk has visiting rights and is often seen with Milhouse in later episodes. Much to his displeasure, Milhouse often addresses him as "Weekend Dad". Kirk suffers from the need to cry all the time after his divorce, even in good times. The episode "
Little Orphan Millie" established that Kirk is of Dutch ancestry. Kirk previously served in the U.S. Army, and graduated from Gudger College. Apparently Kirk's mother is of Greek orthodox ancestry, based on the nineteenth season episode " Husbands and Knives." In the episode, Milhouse says, "But that's the money Yaya Sophia gave me for Greek Orthodox Easter!".
The eighth season episode "
A Milhouse Divided" marked a major turning point in the family's life. During a party hosted by Homer and Marge Simpson, their mutual unhappiness is exposed. According to Luann, Kirk was not a very good provider, and she had to borrow money from her sister to make ends meet. She even admitted to having to steal clothes from the church donation box, much to the surprise of Reverend Lovejoy. When Luann demands a divorce in front of the party's guests, Kirk is all too happy to oblige. Unfortunately, he loses his middle-management job at Southern Cracker, a job given to him by Luann's father, as a result.
Kirk reveals in the episode "
I Am Furious Yellow", where he visits his son's school on career day, that he was currently employed as an assistant to the guy who puts fliers under people's windshield wipers. Kirk also had a job standing on the curb holding a sign directing people to a condo development and worked as a scarecrow protecting a soy-bean crop, which resulted in his eye being gouged by a crow. Since being fired from the cracker company, Kirk seems to be unable to maintain a steady job. He once shouted at Luann that she had to keep up the alimonypayments she owed him, and he has been seen at the Springfield unemployment office, perhaps suggesting that alimony and unemployment benefitsare his only steady sources of income. Kirk was put in jail in the episode " Pranksta Rap" for " kidnapping" Bart which he greatly enjoyed due to him being envied by women and fed three meals a day. Hank Azaria based Kirk's voice on his impression of Milhouse.
name=Luann Van Houten
relatives=Husband: Kirk Son: Milhouse
Luann Van Houten is voiced by
Maggie Roswell. When Roswell left the show, she became a primarily nonspeaking character. However, Roswell has since returned. She first appeared in " Homer Defined".
Luann Van Houten is of Danish and Italian descent, as established in "Little Orphan Millie". She was born in Shelbyville, and moved to Springfield in early life. When younger, she had been to "Camp Land-a-Man", a camp to form girls into women, with Marge, Patty and Selma,
Helen Lovejoy, and Cookie Kwan(" The Way We Weren't"). It is stated in " A Milhouse Divided" that she has a sister.
Luann was married to Kirk for several years, giving birth to a son, yet the marriage was an unhappy one. After an argument over a game of
Pictionary, she leaves Kirk after he remarks he can't draw "dignity", since he gave it up when he married her. Although Kirk found the new liberty of a single life tough, Luann uses her newfound freedom to live life on the fast lane. Luann began dating American Gladiator Pyro shortly after her divorce with Kirk (Pyro being a reference to real-life Gladiator Nitro) for several seasons, but was caught cheating on him with his best friend, Gyro. In Apu Nahasapeemapetilon's bachelor years, she had been one of his bachelorettes. In " Milhouse of Sand and Fog", it is revealed that Luann had also gone out with Disco Stu, disco dancing. As well, within the same episode, she also admits she had begun a relationship with Sea Captain.
Milhouse of Sand and Fog", when the Van Houtens are on the verge of reuniting, Bart and Milhouse hatch a scheme (in a parody of an episode of " The O.C.") to get them to separate again (because Milhouse enjoyed both of them fighting over him). The scheme backfires, and nearly results in the separation of Homer and Marge Simpson. Bart and Milhouse try another hapless scheme by attempting to push a mannequinned version of Bart over a waterfalllike in " Mother Simpson." Since then, they are often seen together (although in a later episode, Kirk was seen with Milhouse at a single father's outing, showing he and Luann were still not married). As of " Little Orphan Millie", they are remarried.
Milhouse Van Houten is the son of Kirk and Luann, and best friends with
Bart Simpson, though Bart usually does not treat him with much respect. He is of average intelligence, but is often characterized as a nerd by his glasses and shy personality. He has a long lasting crush on Lisa Simpson.
Bart Sells His Soul" Milhouse and his parents are forced to spend the night at his grandmother's house when their house is fumigated for potato bugs.
Milhouse's grandfather attends Grandparents Day at Springfield Elementary in the episode "
Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in The Curse of the Flying Hellfish". This grandfather appears to be Kirk's father rather than Luann's father who runs the cracker factory. He also mentions that he has a new wife.
Interestingly, both grandparents introduced in the show have the same physical characteristics as Milhouse and his parents, making it more unclear just whose parents (Kirk's or Luann's) they are.
Milhouse's other grandmother, Sophia, is first mentioned (but not seen) in "
The Last of the Red Hat Mamas". A resident of Tuscany, Sophia hates English because she was left pregnant by an American soldier during World War II, a child who would become Milhouse's uncle Bastardo. She had spoken only Italian and got angry at Milhouse when he couldn't speak any Italian.
Norbert Van Houten (who likes to be referred to as "Zack"), is the uncle of Milhouse, and of Danish descent. He has a strong hatred of Kirk because of his Dutch heritage. He only appears in
Little Orphan Millie, where he takes care of Milhouse after his parents are lost at sea, though he does find and rescue them. He bears a resemblance to Indiana Jones, whom he dresses like.
List of characters from The Simpsons
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