If you squint hard enough, the Solar Opposites family kind of looks like the Simpsons.
Solar Opposites takes the traditional cartoon nuclear family and flips it on its head. There are two parental figures (Korvo and Terry), but they’re sexless aliens who can seem more like work frenemies than a married couple. There are two siblings (Jesse and Yumyulack), but they’re actually “replicants” of their “parents.” And then there’s the Pupa, a mostly non-speaking baby who’s actually some sort of genetically engineered creature designed to terraform entire planets.
But if we accept that Solar Opposites co-creators Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan are taking some inspiration from the world’s favorite cartoon family, then there’s one question we have to ask: Do Terry and Korvo love each other? (After all, there’s no denying that Homer and Marge are in love, even if that love has hit plenty of speedbumps along the way.)
This might seem like an unusual question to ask, but I can’t take credit for it. Almost a full year ago, after Solar Opposites premiered on Hulu, I noticed an uptick in Google searches for the phrase “are Korvo and Terry dating?” Unfortunately, I’d missed my chance to ask the show’s creators in person, and when I reached out on Twitter, I was ignored.
Thankfully, Solar Opposites Season 2 provided a chance to finally get some answers. So when I got on a Zoom with Roiland and McMahan, it was the first thing I asked:
Are Korvo and Terry a couple?
The answer was surprisingly simple. The two Solar Opposites characters were never meant to be a couple, but over the course of two seasons, that’s exactly what they’ve become.
“I think we didn't know when we started writing it, but at this point, I'd say yeah,” Justin Roiland tells Inverse. “I mean, they don't have penises or buttholes, but they are in a committed relationship. They do love each other. They do go on vacation together. They pay the bills together.”
“When they launched off of Shlorp they weren't a couple,” McMahan adds, “but I think after living on Earth for so long, they love each other. That's how we write them, you know?”
“Yeah, their partners,” Roiland concludes. “I think they're like, beautiful partners.”
The Solar Opposites are going to Springfield!
Speaking of The Simpsons, there’s a recurring joke in The Solar Opposites Season 2 that’s a direct reference to the beloved cartoon. Throughout the season, one of the main characters will excitedly announce: “The Solar Opposites are going to...” with the final word queuing up an adventure whether that destination is London or jail.
It’s a funny bit of meta-humor that works surprisingly well, but according to the show’s creators, it’s also a direct reference to The Simpsons. Here’s McMahan with a full explanation:
“It was me in the Season 2 premiere because I wanted to do an episode that felt like when the Simpsons would travel, and they'd be like ‘The Simpsons are going to Lagos!’ or whatever. So it started off as that ‘The solar opposites are going to London!’
Internally, when we're talking about the Wall versus talking about the other side of the show, we call the the Solar Opposites side of the show the Solars for short. And so because in the writers room, we were calling them the Solar Opposites versus, ‘Okay, today, we're going to do some story breaking for the Wall,’ it kind of leaked into the show, which you see happen in comedies a lot.
And then, since we did that joke in the pilot, it just felt like it was part of the DNA of the show. So every time it made us laugh.
Will the Solar Opposites ever actually go to Springfield? Considering that the two shows are both owned by Disney, it’s not impossible, but I’ll have to wait until Season 3 for another chance to ask Roiland and McMahan.
The Solar Opposites is streaming now on Hulu.