The Reason Behind Dr. Marvin Monroe's Death on The Simpsons

Simpson's Trivia

Dr. Marvin Monroe
Dr. Marvin Monroe.

Photo from Amazon

A common question for fans of The Simpsons who have started delving into the show's trivia about secondary characters is, "When did Dr. Marvin Monroe die?" 

Who Is Dr. Marvin Monroe?

Dr. Marvin Monroe, a psychotherapist whose phone number is 1-800-555-HUGS, first appeared in Season 1 of The Simpsons in "There's No Disgrace Like Home." When Homer Simpson realizes his family isn't normal, like the families at the company picnic or on their street, he takes them to Dr. Marvin Monroe's Family Therapy Center, after seeing an ad on TV at Moe's Tavern.

Homer's hopes for a normal family are dashed, however, when it becomes clear his family will never cut it. In fact, Dr. Monroe decides the Simpsons need more than his usual therapy practices, and hook them up to electrodes and allows them to zap each other when they're feeling angry at someone. Of course, since they're the Simpsons, they keep shocking each other over and over, even Maggie, to the point that they drain Springfield of all its power.

  • ICYMI: The perfect family at the company picnic can be seen on Dr. Monroe's waiting room, looking pretty unhappy with each other.

Dr. Monroe realizes he can't help the Simpsons and gives them back double their money, begging them never to return.

He also appears briefly in Season 3 in "Stark Raving Dad." When Mr. Burns suspects Homer is insane because he wore a pink shirt to work, Burns consults Dr. Marvin Monroe. Homer is given the Marvin Monroe Take-Home Personality Test, "Twenty simple questions that determine exactly how crazy, or 'meshuggeneh,' someone is." Homer panics and has Bart fill out the answers. Bart's answers get Homer thrown into the New Bedlam Rest Home for the Emotionally Interesting.

Dr. Marvin Monroe pops up again in Season 3, on a subliminal cassette tape Homer's listening to. Homer thinks he's going to sleep listening to a tape to help him lose weight, but instead, we hear Dr. Monroe saying, "Hello, this is Dr. Marvin Monroe. Let's build your vocabulary..."

When Did Dr. Marvin Monroe Die?

Presumably, Dr. Marvin Monroe died off-camera before the season premiere of Season 7, "Who Shot Mr. Burns, Part Two." In that episode, Homer is taken to the Marvin Monroe Memorial Hospital. Obviously, it can't be a "memorial" hospital unless Dr. Monroe is dead.

His death was confirmed later that season in "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular," when the announcer says that both Dr. Monroe and Bleeding Gums Murphy were dead.

However, during "Diatribe of a Mad Housewife," in Season 15, Dr. Marvin Monroe pops up and Marge says, "Dr. Marvin Monroe! I haven't seen you in years!" He replies, "Oh, I've been very sick. We'll just discount that for now as part of a running gag." (Very meta!)

Why Did Dr. Marvin Monroe Die?

During the DVD commentary for The Simpsons: The Complete First Season, executive producer Al Jean explained that doing the voice of Dr. Monroe was too hard on Harry Shearer's voice, so they axed the character.