- “(Referring to Homer) He slept, he stole, he was rude to the customers, Still, there goes the best damned employee a convenience store ever had.”
- ―Apu Nahasapeemapetilon[src]
- “Thank you! Come again.”
- ―Apu's catchphrase
- “That is of great offence to my ancestors and family-but okay.”
- “Okay what ever”
- ―The Simpsons Tapped Out
- “I can't believe you don't shut up!”
- ―When Apu is fed up with someone and doesn't want to listen
Dr. Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Ph.D. Jr., also known as Apu Du Beaumarchais, Slime Q. Slimedog and Steve Barnes, is the operator of the Kwik-E-Mart. He is a recurring character in The Simpsons. He is an immigrant from India, and as such, speaks with a strong Indian accent.
During the 1960s, whilst still living in India, Apu spent some time as a student of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in which capacity he became a friend of Paul and Linda McCartney. Apu's friendship with the McCartneys caused him to be referred to by some (mainly himself) as "The Fifth Beatle", They visited Apu in Springfield around the time he became a naturalized citizen, He said that he graduated from Calcutta Technical University, where he was the top of his class of 7,000,000 pupils and got a scholarship in the United States at the Springfield Heights Institute of Technology (S.H.I.T.). Once in the United States, he achieved a doctorate in Computer Science by designing the world's first tic-tac-toe program that only the top human players could beat (which was broken by Bart years later). He then took a job working at the Kwik-E-Mart to repay his student loan. He has great remembrance.During the mid-1980s, Apu was a member of the barbershop quartet called The Be Sharps, which also consisted of Homer Simpson, Seymour Skinner, and Barney Gumble, who replaced original band member Chief Wiggum. Upon the advice of Nigel, the band's manager, Apu took the stage name Apu du Beaumarche (a pun, as "du beau marché" means "of the beautiful market" in French) and denied "by the many arms of Vishnu" that he was actually a Hindu.
Apu and Manjula married after two years, Despite trying to wriggle out of the situation, Apu was won over soon after meeting Manjula and the pair actually did fall in love. Later, Manjula gave birth to octuplets after receiving a larger-than-recommended dose of fertility drugs. Apu and Manjula have a mostly happy marriage, despite understandable marital problems caused by Apu's workaholic nature, the stress of caring for eight children, and two instances of infidelity by Apu. He and his family are devotees of the Hindu gods Shiva, Ganesha, and Vishnu. At Apu's wedding, Homer, in a misguided attempt to play on the bride and groom's families' fear of the gods, arrived dressed as the Hindu god Ganesh. The impersonation was seen through by one of Apu's relatives and failed miserably. Before getting married, Apu became known as the leading ladies' man in Springfield, because he holds a Ph.D. and runs his own business. He also admitted, "I'm not much of a talker, but I love to listen. I also like to design and build furniture and then to have a discussion about where it could be placed in a room," which made the single women of Springfield go crazy for him. Despite his hectic marriage and home life, however, his first love is still to work at the Kwik-E-Mart, sometimes taking shifts long enough to send him into sleep deprived hallucinations in which he thinks he is "...a hummingbird of some kind." Also after Apu had an affair with the Annette, Manjula made him legally change his name to Slime Q Slimedog. He is revealed to have slept with Selma Bouvier after Homer and Marge's second wedding.
He claims to know Pi to 40000 decimal places, noting that the last place (40001 first digit of pi) is one.
When he is elderly, he looks like Sanjay.
Apu is generally polite towards his customers, always saying thank you, even after less-than-genial interactions with the public, such as armed hold-ups. He is also a dutiful worker to the point of being a virtual workaholic, spending so much time awake at one point he began to believe he was a hummingbird. He is often found spending more time at his workplace than even with his own family, to Manjula's irritation, especially when she finds out that in America, workplaces normally have weekends off, a practice that Apu evidently never told her. It is also implied in the show, and confirmed in one of the Bongo Comics, that Apu's workaholic nature grew more severe after his marriage to Manjula and his becoming the father of octuplets, viewing his stressful homelife as a reason to continue working extensively at Kwik-E-Mart.
However, he has some negative traits, shown throughout the course of the show. His hard work ethic and though loyal attitude notwithstanding, Marge In Chains shows him ruthlessly prosecute Marge Simpson over a misplaced and absentmindedly forgotten bottle of bourbon, and to even where he refuses the pleas of Homer for him to drop the unjustified shoplifting charges and the trial for the sake of the reputation of security company joint sponsor of Kwik-E-Mart's, Nordyne Defense Dynamics. Apu's antics with the Squishy Woman also highlights his infidelity that comes with his workaholic mentality.
In some episodes, Apu is even seen manipulating customers into buying things they don't really need (sometimes into things which may be potentially life-threatening and even fatal), and at exorbitantly jacked up prices. He also sometimes lets slip some snideness in his polite greetings. He has a bit of a paranoid nature, as evidenced by him once jumping behind a counter and then shouting threats to Bart and Lisa who were walking in to investigate a robbery at the Kwik-E-Mart, and on at least two occasions went up to the roof and started firing a rifle at potential customers. Apu is also not immune to practicing the customary traits of Springfieldians, being backwardness, myopia, and even to outright stupidity, having been seen flocking to various questionable trends and to even participate in various mobbings.
It is implied in a few episodes that Apu may have some nudist inclinations, as, aside from a brief publicity stunt where he made the Kwik-E-Mart have a clothing optional policy, he at one point while extremely drunk from the Saint Patrick's Day Parade declared in a bullhorn for everyone to "get naked" and tried to entice the crowd by stating to not be "stuck up" as it will be great, and when entering international waters, he was briefly seen dancing naked on Mr. Burns' yacht.
In addition to being Brahmins, Apu and Manjula appear to be South Indian, because of their last names and especially dark complexions. The name Apu means "loving child" in the Tamil language. However, Apu has also been shown to be Bengali. However, Manjula speaks Hindi (interpreted as "baby talk" by Marge), to Maggie, as opposed to Tamil or Bengali, further complicating the debate. Still, Apu's parents very strongly appear to be Tamil. Apu has a cousin named Kavi, who lives in Bangalore, which is part of Karnataka, South India; which would imply that they are actually Kannadigas.
Apu is a naturalized U.S. citizen and holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science. He graduated first in his class of 7,000,000 at the Calcutta Institute of Technology, going on to earn his doctorate at the Springfield Heights Institute of Technology. His doctoral dissertation was the world's first computer program to play perfect tic-tac-toe; which Bart Simpson ruined years later by plucking a random punch card out of the box along with several others. Apu began working at the Kwik-E-Mart whilst at university to help repay his student loans.
Sanjay, Apu's brother, helps him run the Kwik-E-Mart. Sanjay's daughter (and Apu's niece) is Pahusacheta. Sanjay's son is Jamshed. They all share the Nahasapeemapetilon surname. Apu has another younger brother, who is only mentioned in the episode of his wedding. This younger may be Kiku who Apu mentions in a reference to Life of Pi in the episode "much Apu about nothing", whose memory Apu repressed which would explain why he is never mentioned. When Apu's and Manjula's parents were first arranging their marriage, Apu was shown as the oldest of three on a chart. Apu also has a cousin living in India named Kavi, who helped Homer when he visited India. He works for many American companies taking service calls and can speak with American, Western, and Jamaican accents. This episode, seeing that it takes place in Bangalore, strengthens the theory that Apu was born in South India.
Due to his job at the Kwik-e-Mart and it frequently being a target for robbery, he has frequently ended up being shot and having to go to hospital. He had been shot enough times that when Springfield held a town meeting for what to do with $2,000,000,000 they got from a lawsuit from Mr. Burns after the latter was caught dumping nuclear waste in a park, Apu suggested using it to train more competent cops and adding security to the Kwik-E-Mart, citing his being shot on the job multiple times as a reason. Despite not liking being shot, however, he did at least have some attachment to it, as after taking a bullet for James Woods after a robber tried to shoot him, he expressed nostalgia for being shot before telling Woods he might be dying. Ironically, his past instances of being shot actually saved him from that shooting, as one lodged-in bullet managed to block that particular bullet from doing fatal damage to his heart.
Non Canon appearances
Apu has been a playable character in several Simpsons games. He is the only non-Simpson family playable character in the video game The Simpsons: Hit and Run, and his standard vehicle is a yellow version of his Pontiac Firebird called "Longhorn". He is in the fifth level which is downtown Springfield at night, where he tries to find the source of Buzz Cola and, with Bart Simpson, uncovers the alien reality TV show that has fuelled many of the game's events.
In the Simpsons Game when Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney are assigned by Skinner to rob from the Museum. They stop by the Kwik E Mart and Apu witnesses them take Milhouses Pants by force. Later when Bart and Homer Save and destroy part of the museum Apu tells them that thanks to them his Children will one day know the boredom of the Museum. Apu later tells Bart that Springfields Fattest Pigs are sighning up for the Duff Eating Contest. After the Contest Apu tells Bart way to give Homer a unfair advantage in the Eating Contest. Later when Mr Burns Is planning to cut down the forest he goes to the Kwik E Mart and buys a Magazine called GEO and leaves Without Buying it. After the foil of Mr Burns plan Apu says to Bart saving a forest will asures he will be atleast a pigeon in his next life. Apu later Joins Marge to banned the Itchy and Scratchy Game and succeeds. When the Aliens invade Springfield Apu sees the Mall being attacked by Aliens. Apu later heard on the Radio that Dolphins are attacking Springfield and wishes that his Donuts do not join the Lard Lad Reighn of terror. Apu tells Bart that in honor of his victory he is serving Dolphin Flavored Squishys. He Tells Bart that he really showed Lard Lad who's boss. He thanks Bart for putting a Small Dent in the Aliens Plan.
Although, he did not appear fully in person in The Simpsons' sister show, Futurama, his head could be seen in the head museum in "Space Pilot 3000" and "Bender's Big Score".
Behind the Laughter
Apu is voiced by Hank Azaria, who, owing to the character's Indian origins, voices him with a Hindi accent. Apu's surname, Nahasapeemapetilon, is anagram of the name Pahasanee Mapetilon, which are the first and last names of a schoolmate of Simpsons writer Jeff Martin.
MerchandisingApu has had four action figures in the World of Springfield line. There is also an Apu figure in the Kidrobot figure line. In May 2014, LEGO released a Minifigure Series based on The Simpsons . It included 16 characters from the series, Apu was one of them.
In 2015, a LEGO set based on the Kwik-E-Mart was released. It included a variant of Apu wearing his Kwik-E-Mark uniform.
The character of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon has gone under fire recently in the year of 2018 for his Indian stereotype, with it going so far that Hank Azaria claimed he would be willing to step aside his voice of Apu if it was necessarily. Many people have come out and said they used to be bullied and harassed because of how "similar" they were to Apu. But, the controversy actually started in 2017. Although, the documentary against Apu was rated well in Rotten Tomatoes, but it was also negatively received on iMDB.com as they gave the documentary a 4.2/10.
In an interview with USA Today, creator Matt Groening dismissed the criticism of the Apu character, saying, "I think it’s a time in our culture where people love to pretend they’re offended". Dana Walden, the CEO of the 20th Century Fox Television, said in an August 2018 interview in regards to the Apu controversy that the network trusts the showrunners "to handle it in the way that’s best for the show".
Simpsons' response to Apu's controversy
The Simpsons episode "No Good Read Goes Unpunished", first aired in April 8, 2018, was widely received as a response to Kondabolu's film.
In it, Marge finds that a book she loved as a child contains elements that would now be considered offensive, and edits the book herself to remove these elements. In doing this she finds the book loses its "emotional journey". She and Lisa then look to a picture of Apu, and Lisa comments that "something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive, is now politically incorrect. What can you do?" Kondabolu wrote on Twitter that he was disappointed that the message of his film had been reduced to the concept of "politically incorrect".
- Apu is a vegan, like many Indians who practice Hinduism.
- The ethnic background of Apu is debated; as one episode implies that he is Bengali, Hindi in another episode, Kannadiga in another one and Tamil in another one.
- In Treehouse of Horror IX, in the segment Hell Toupe, Chief Wiggum is unable to pronounce Apu's surname, so he blames Homer only for Moe's murder.
- Apu owns a Halloween store called Official Halloween Headquarters.
- On an episode of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, voice actor Hank Azaria revealed that he is willing to step aside from the role of Apu; following recent criticism that the character advances racial stereotypes of Indian people.
- In Much Apu About Nothing, Apu says he worked for several months on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as an actor but complains how you can only see his hand
- ↑ Abraham Simpson II
- ↑ Homer's Barbershop Quartet
- ↑ Homer's Barbershop Quartet
- ↑ The Sweetest Apu
- ↑ All's Fair in Oven War
- ↑ Much Apu About Nothing
- ↑ Homer's Barbershop Quartet
- ↑ Eight Misbehavin'
- ↑ Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment
- ↑ The Mansion Family
- ↑ 22 Short Films About Springfield
- ↑ Much Apu About Nothing
- ↑ The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons
- ↑ Kiss Kiss Bang Bangalore
- ↑ Kiss Kiss Bang Bangalore