Mr. Sparkle (ミスタースパーコル Misutā Supākoru) is a Japanese dishwashing detergent mascot who bears a strong resemblance to Homer.
When Homer takes Bart and Lisa to the Springfield Dump to dispose of a Christmas tree, they find a Mr. Sparkle box. Homer thought that the company was using his likeness without his permission until a video from Mr. Sparkle's parent company explains it came from combining the logos of the companies who produced Mr. Sparkle as a joint-venture: a cartoon fish (representing Matsumura Fishworks) and a lightbulb (representing Tamaribuchi Heavy Manufacturing Concern), proving the resemblance was sheer coincidence. The whole thing is summed by what Bart tells his dad, "There's your answer, fishbulb."
Non Canon Appearances
Mr. Sparkle appeared in The Simpsons Game, when the Simpsons enter the video game world and Homer and Lisa enter a game featuring Mr. Sparkle, where they have to help him clean up a Japan-style world by clearing several levels. He commits seppuku towards the end of the game for dishonoring his ancestors (with a sword, bizarrely, since he has neither hands nor a chest). Here, he was voiced by Hank Azaria.
Behind the Laughter
Mr. Sparkle is seen on the checkout belt in the new version of the opening sequence.
- The three dancing women in the commercial were fashioned after the three members of Japanese pop/rock band Shonen Knife.
- The Mr. Sparkle commercial was the inspiration for the Fruity Oaty Bar commercial in the movie Serenity.
- In one scene during the commercial, the audience sees a large grey toy aircraft whose design heavily resembles Thunderbird 2 from the popular British Sci-Fi puppet television series, Thunderbirds.
- There is a blade in the game Fruit Ninja named Mr. Sparkle.
- The visual programming software Grasshopper 3D has a component arrangement/distribution feature named Mr. Sparkle.
- In "Married to the Blob", Kumiko mentions Homer looks like Mr. Sparkle, and that the detergent is a popular means of suicide in Japan.
- Mr. Sparkle's speech bubble in the box is supposed to read like "power clean!" (パワークリーン！ pawā kurīn!); however, due to a typo, the handakuten on パ is absent, turning the phrase into ハワークリーン！ (hawā kurīn!). It translates to 'Hower Clean'
- Still on the subject of English-to-Japanese transcription inconsistencies, the word "Sparkle" is more accurately rendered as スパークル (supākuru); when transcribing consonantal encounters into Japanese, the syllable representing the first consonant most commonly is the one with a U nucleus (e.g. プラグ puragu for "plug").
- Mr. Sparkle's voice actor in the Japanese dub of the episode also voices Krusty.
- Episode – "In Marge We Trust"
- Episode – "Lisa the Skeptic" (kept in Homer's safe-deposit closet)
- Episode – "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo" in commercial
- Episode – "Funeral for a Fiend" Commercial seen
- Episode – "A Tree Grows in Springfield"
- Episode – "Married to the Blob" (mentioned by Kumiko)
- THOH – "Treehouse of Horror XXVI" (Appears on a billboard during Homerzilla)
- Episode – "Gal of Constant Sorrow" (Opening Gag)
- Episode – "Orange is the New Yellow"
- – The Simpsons Movie
- Video game – The Simpsons Game
- Video game – Tapped Out