The Inanimate Carbon Rod is a rod made of carbon. Two such rods thwart Homer in his quest for respect.
The first was an employee at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant who wins the "Worker of the Week Award" in recognition of his long overlooked "tireless efforts" without which the plant could not function. This greatly angers Homer who is now confirmed as less valuable to the plant than an inanimate object and is the only human at the plant not to win the award. In the episode "C.E. D'oh", it is shown on an org chart that the rod outranks Homer.
The other rod was a component of the NASA Corvair space shuttle which Homer, Race Banyon and Buzz Aldrin were on. When Homer snapped the handle off the shuttle door, Banyon prepared to kill him, so Homer took the rod off the wall to smash Banyon's "pretty face" in. However, Homer unintentionally lodged the rod in the shuttle door, closing it and allowing Homer and the other astronauts a safe return to Earth. The rod received all the credit. It was featured on the cover of Time magazine with the caption "In Rod We Trust!". It was also given the main seat in the subsequent parade, much to Homer's annoyance, as he had been upstaged yet again by an Inanimate Carbon Rod. Homer then turned off the TV airing the parade, much to the chagrin of Bart and Lisa, who proclaimed "they were about to show a close-up of the rod!"
Homer is seen working with a carbon rod in the opening sequence. When the whistle blows to signal the end of the shift, he throws it into the air and heads out the door, but the rod falls into his shirt. On the way home, he discovers the rod and throws it out the car window.
In the HD opening sequence, Otto picks up the rod and eats it.
In other media
- In the Parker Bros. Simpsons Clue board game, the rod is one of six weapons, titled "plutonium rod".
- In the crossover video game Lego Dimensions, the Inanimate Carbon Rod is targeted by the game's villains as one of a series of "foundation elements" used to rule all of the dimensions. The rod sits in the back pocket of Homer's pants, which causes Lord Business and his Micro Managers to target and chase him before finally taking the rod (pants and all).
- Opening Sequence — Used by Homer
- Episode – "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish" Used as paperweight
- Episode – "Deep Space Homer"
- Episode – "Lost Our Lisa" In Homer's drawer
- Episode – "C.E. D'oh" Shown in org chart
- HD Opening Sequence — Used by Homer and eaten by Otto