Women and seamen don't mix

Agito a42

Senior Member
Source: The Simpsons (an American animated series), S04E05: "Treehouse of Horror III" (October 29, 1992).

Mr. Bruns and Co are sailing for the Ape Island. He asks Smithers his opinion on hiring Marge (a woman).
Mr. Burns: What do you think, Smithers?
Smithers: I think women and seamen don't mix.
Mr. Burns: We know what you think.


Could you help me understand this pun, please? My best guess:
1) I think women and seamen don't mix. -> Women and seamen don't get along well.
2) I think women and semen don't mix. -> Women get pregnant.

I tried to search the Internet, but about the only clue I could find is that it has something to do with gays: "Smithers is gay", they say. I have no idea as to why.
 
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  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    If you're sure it's intended as a pun, and you're sure that Smithers is gay (I don't know for sure in either case), then Smithers is saying that, as Keith said above, it is an old tradition that women are not welcome on board a ship and that also, in his opinion, women and semen don't mix i.e he wouldn't have sex with a woman.
     
    If you're sure it's intended as a pun, and you're sure that Smithers is gay (I don't know for sure in either case), then Smithers is saying that, as Keith said above, it is an old tradition that women are not welcome on board a ship and that also, in his opinion, women and semen don't mix i.e he wouldn't have sex with a woman.
    Agreed. The gay guy doesn't want his semen to go to a woman (so says Smithers). Pun on the old 'Seamen don't want women on board'.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Smithers came out on the show in 2016, but he has always been the subject of jokes about his ambiguous sexuality.

    To me, it’s an obvious “seamen/semen” pun.
    That was my thought too. But then my dirty mind is legendary.:)
     

    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    Though it is somewhat salty humor for that series, that is always what I understood: The line is a pun of "semen" aimed at adults, who will understand Smithers' reluctance as informed by his presumed homosexuality or even his possessive feelings towards his eternal object of affection, Mr. Burns.
     
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