Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Van Houten family
In the animated series The Simpsons, the Van Houten family consists of the father Kirk, the mother Luann, and their son Milhouse. Of the three, Milhouse has the largest role within the show. All three look alike: cobalt-blue hair, red coke-bottle glasses, and giant toucan noses.
Milhouse Van Houten is Bart Simpson's best friend, and is most distinctive for his extreme nearsightedness requiring thick glasses to correct. He is constantly led into trouble by the wilder Bart who is not shy about taking advantage of his na´ve and trusting friend.
Milhouse harbors a hopeless crush on Bart's younger sister, Lisa. However, the nature of his sexual orientation is actually left rather ambiguous, as the running joke about Milhouse is that he's gay. (Lisa thinks of him "more like a big sister."). When Homer fears that Bart may also be gay in one episode, his fears are exacerbated by finding Bart and Milhouse wearing dresses, jumping up and down on a bed, and singing "Sisters are Doing it For Themselves." Another episode saw an event where the school counselor accidentally revealed that he had assessed Milhouse to be gay.
It is rumored that Milhouse was based on the famous "Paul" on the show The Wonder Years, as well as Milhouse's mother and father. He was named for Richard Nixon (whose middle name was Milhous) and, apparently, Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten.
Kirk Van Houten worked at the cracker factory, in middle management, while Luann is a normal, boring homemaker. Later in the series, Kirk and Luann got divorced. When Luann leaves, Kirk gets fired from the factory (since his boss considers crackers a 'family food'). He moves into a rundown singles community and tries to start a new career as a singer-songwriter. His demo tape, Can I Borrow a Feeling? left Homer in hysterics. Kirk has since been portrayed as a sterotypical middle-aged male loser. Meanwhile, Luann is now using her freedom as a single mom to live life in the fast lane. Luann has been dating American Gladiator Pyro, but was caught cheating on him with his best friend Gyro.
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