The Olmec head is a large Olmec statue of a head, and was a gift from Mr. Burns to Bart after the latter had donated his blood to him . Burns tells them it is a representation of Xtapolapocetl (Pronounced 'Ex-tapo-lapo-kettle'), the God of War. The head has no function and is totally useless; the Simpsons thus move it into the basement.
Since its introduction, the head is seen outside the basement for the first time as an item for sale in the Simpsons' yard sale. The head is later seen outdoors again, this time as part of the wall between the two parts of Springfield. It then remains part of the attic in the Simpson house. How it ever got in the basement, out of the house, or up the attic remains unknown.
In the comics the head was actually the home of an old Olmecian man whose sacred duty was to wait in the head until his god appeared to judge the world. The head apparently has exceptional longenative powers as the man was in his 120's at the time yet was able to move about without even a stick and technically live without support.
In another comic, the family does occasionally find uses for it, seen in flashbacks where Burns mentions his fondness for such artifacts: Homer uses it to store donuts, Bart uses it to prop a skateboard ramp against, while Marge hangs the end of a clothesline on it, as well as occasionally beating wet laundry against it, as it supposedly "gets stains out like nothing else".
A Treehouse of horror comic portrays the head as a religious idol of an active religion. The worshipers decorate the head with food to honor the dead. When homer eats the food, the dead rise.
- Episode – "Blood Feud"
- Episode – "Homer Alone"
- Episode – "Bart Gets an Elephant"
- Episode – "Homer the Great"
- Episode – "Two Bad Neighbors"
- Episode – "The Day the Violence Died"
- Episode – "Burns, Baby Burns"
- Episode – "Hurricane Neddy"
- Episode – "Homer's Phobia"
- Episode – "When You Dish Upon a Star"
- Episode – "A Tale of Two Springfields"
- Episode – "The Strong Arms of the Ma"
- Episode – "The Color Yellow"
- – The Simpsons Movie
- Episode – "Homerland"
- Episode – "Smoke On The Daughter"
- Episode – "The Kid is All Right"
- Episode – "Days of Future Future"
- Episode – "To Courier with Love"
- Video game – The Simpsons: Tapped Out
- non-canon: "Time and Punishment" in Episode – "Treehouse of Horror V"