|Type of site||Internet forum and The Simpsons fan site|
|Owner||Eric Wirtanen, Jacob Burch, Tino Persico|
The No Homers Club is a website and community devoted to the television show The Simpsons. Created by Eric Wirtanen, Jonah Flynn, Tino Persico. It was launched on August 27, 2001. Although the web page contains many features typical to Simpsons fan sites, including an episode guide and images, its primary draw is its message board, which has over 36,000 members, 84,000 threads, and 3 million posts. For the last decade, its message board has been the most active online forum pertaining to The Simpsons.
The community has been mentioned on numerous DVD and Blu-ray audio episode commentaries and other media by multiple members of the The Simpsons staff, including creator Matt Groening and current show runner Al Jean. The site has also held several Q&As with staff members of the show and Bongo Comics.
The No Homers Club (aka the NHC) was created by Eric Wirtanen in 2001 with assistance from Jonah Flynn and Tino Persico. It was originally a part of the "Evergreen Terrace" Simpsons fan site (online from February 1998 to August 2002), which first held the domain. Although at that time the Internet had dozens of Simpsons discussion websites, the NHC quickly gained the support of other fan sites and their webmasters.
After Wirtanen shut down his "Evergreen Terrace" website in 2002 (largely due to a cease and desist order from 20th Century Fox), the No Homers Club became mostly independent and developed a large community. The forum's address was originally club.nohomers.net but the board moved to simpsonsforum.com within days after its creation. In October 2002, it took its current domain, nohomers.net. Since 2002, Jacob Burch has also had a significant part in the maintenance of the NHC and as of June 2006, he is the co-owner of the website. On September 29, 2008, the NHC message board logged its two millionth post.
When the forums were first created in August 2001, the NHC ran on the YaBB forum software. However, in October 2001 (after just a few months), the NHC started using vBulletin forum software. As of June 2012, the message board runs on the vBulletin 4.20 platform. Currently the administrators of the NHC include Wirtanen, Burch, Amber Dowland, Ben Newbold, James Tyner, Ryan O'Reilly, and Adam Jameson.
NHC Relaunch & Boards and Recreation
Following the website's tenth birthday in August 2011 and after a brief stint as a general discussion message board, the NHC re-dedicated itself to The Simpsons and became affiliated with The Simpsons Archive. NoHomers.net's general discussion community subsequently divided from the NHC. A large contributing factor to the general discussion community's move from the NHC was the division in opinion on the quality of the show after its first decade on the air, as well as a shift in interest away from The Simpsons.
The NHC's off topic community moved to BoardsandRec.com (known as "Boards and Recreation"), which served as both an off topic message board and a general community of all things pop-culture. The moniker, also known as Boards & Rec, was viewed as more reflective of the mission of the community: to "provide you with a frequently updated website and forum offering intelligent and amusing articles & reviews pertaining to entertainment & geek pop culture." Boards & Rec's forum remains comparably active to the NHC's to this day. Additionally, to this day the two websites share some of the same maintainers, moderators, and longtime members.
Simpsons episode reviews
The NHC lets users critique individual episodes of The Simpsons. Users can rate, review, and discuss each episode. Criticism ranges from the harsh to the approving. One constant debate concerns the difference in quality between old and new episodes.
Simpsons staff involvement
The staff of The Simpsons, including creator Matt Groening and current show runner Al Jean, has acknowledged the community several times on some of the DVD and Blu-ray audio commentaries. They go into detail in the episode commentary for "Homer the Great". The producers of The Simpsons do read the website often. On the aforementioned commentary, David Mirkin, a former show runner, joked that it should be renamed "the worst show ever weekly" forum. In response, the tagline appeared in the forum's default banner until April 2006. On one of the DVD commentaries, Mike Scully sarcastically refers to himself as an "idol of NoHomers.net," a reference to the fact that many fans on the site blame Scully for the show's decline in quality.
In addition, in the DVD commentary for The Simpsons Movie during a conversation regarding how die-hard fans of the series would be upset about Moe's Tavern being located adjacent to the First Church of Springfield in the film, Jean remarked "This is for you, No Homers."
Groening also mentioned the website in the June 2007 issue of Playboy Magazine, stating that NoHomers.net "has the most vocal fans [of The Simpsons]. They often act like spurned lovers if they don't like something." Wirtanen later responded to Groening in the September 2007 issue by saying "Of course we often act like spurned lovers — The Simpsons hasn't satisfied some of us in years. Nevertheless, the show is still more satisfying than our imaginary girlfriends."
The website has hosted question-and-answer sessions with three former executive producers. In early 2002, Al Jean (who had just become the show runner) answered questions for fans, and in late 2005, Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein answered questions in the first of two moderated sessions, coinciding with the release of the seventh season on DVD. They also took questions in January 2006 for the commentaries for the eighth season on DVD, which they would be soon recording. Both have also occasionally contributed to other threads on the forum.
In addition, other staff such as show animators Jen Kamerman and Sarge Morton, former layout artist Mark Colangelo, and Bongo Comics writers/artists Bill Morrison, Ian Boothby, Chris Ungar, Gail Simone, and Jesse McCann have dropped by the site to interact with users and answer any questions about some of the less-frequently addressed aspects of the show. McCann took part in a Q&A session in late 2006 and early 2007, and in 2012 Colangelo identified scenes he had worked on.
In the Simpsons episode, "Sleeping with the Enemy", from the show's sixteenth season, director Lauren MacMullan confirmed that they added a sign in the bowling alley to pay homage to the website. The sign said "N.H.C. Champs! 15 Seasons" and can be seen for about a second.
Origin of No Homers Club
The website took its title from an episode of The Simpsons, "Homer the Great", written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Jim Reardon. In the episode, Homer laments that years ago his peers started a "No Homers Club" and excluded him from the group, even though they let in a boy by the name of Homer Glumplich. (This is explained by the fact that it's the No Homers (plural) Club, and they're "allowed to have one.")
Boy: Hey Billy! Hey Joey! Come on in. There's plenty of room. Sorry, not you, Homer.
Homer: Why not!?
- [boy points to sign, "No Homers Club"]
Homer: But you let in Homer Glumplich!
Homer Glumplich: [pops head out window] Hyuck hyuck!
Boy: It says no Homers. We're allowed to have one.
— The Simpsons episode 2F09, "Homer the Great".
- "The Simpsons Forums and Message Boards". Big-Boards.com. 2012-06-23. Retrieved 2012-06-23.
- "No Homers Club FAQ". No Homers Club. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
- "Roarke named co-owner of NoHomers.net; Channel Surfer now an admin". Boards and Recreation. Retrieved 2012-05-06.
- "No Homers". Big-Boards.com. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
- "things have changed. don't have a cow, man". No Homers Club. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
- "About Us". Boards and Recreation. Retrieved 2012-04-29.
- Groening, Matt; Mirkin, David; Castellaneta, Dan; Smith, Yeardley (2005). The Simpsons Season 6 DVD commentary for the episode "Homer the Great" (DVD and Blu-ray). 20th Century Fox.
- Brooks, James L.; Groening, Matt; Jean, Al; Scully, Mike; Silverman, David; Castellaneta, Dan; Smith, Yeardley (2007). The Simpsons Movie DVD and Blu-ray commentary (DVD and Blu-ray). 20th Century Fox.
- Sheff, David (2007, June). The Playboy Interview - Matt Groening. Playboy (p. 60).
- "NoHomers Rises for Battle - The Playboy Blog" (page), Playboy.com, webpage: 
- "A Message from Al Jean Regarding Harry Shearer". No Homers Club. 2004-08-11. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
- "Ask Bill and Josh Q&A Thread". No Homers Club. 2005-10-021. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
- "Ask Bill and Josh 2 Q&A Thread". No Homers Club. 2006-01-08. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
- "Jesse McCann Q&A". No Homers Club. 2006-12-04. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
- "Former Simpsons artist identifies his scenes". No Homers Club. 2012-06-19. Retrieved 2012-06-23.
- "Rate & Review: "Sleeping With the Enemy" (FABF19)". No Homers Club. 2004-11-24. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
- "Homer the Great". The Simpsons.