In order to be hip, The Simpsons must admit the existence of gay people and at least pretend to be tolerant — although gay walk-on characters are always fey stereotypes. No other cartoon of the 's portrayed same-sex relationships so overtly, but several presented same-sex desire as an ordinary part of everyday life. They present, in fact, contradictory or vague contexts that do not fix any particular sign, and allow for the reading that they are none of the above, that they are in fact romantic partners. The Critic , Dr. Within the context of the cartoon, it seems to signify that Bugs is is joking, that he has no malicious intent. What are we to make of Marge, who in "Homer Phobia" has a gay best friend, but in "Brother's Little Helper", a later episode, has not a clue that gay people even exist? Same-sex desire is neither perverse nor necessarily heterosexual, as in Ren and Stimpy. Paramount When Pinky and the Brain moved to prime time in , plotlines became more complex, with movie and television parodies and recreations of the basic scenario in various historic periods. When it turns out that the snail was simply fixated on a sandwich in Patrick's pocket, Patrick exclaims: An object of ridicule, Elmer is ineffectual as hunter and easily duped into revealing his "true" feminine nature. Much has been made of Warner Brothers' characters' forays into drag. While characters informed by same-sex identity all but vanished from the animated screen in , romantic or erotic desire is available to everyone, and present to a degree in every interaction, albeit often ignored or suppressed, and there are countless ways of imagining, modeling, and acting upon same-sex desire without expressing gay or lesbian identities; indeed, the imperative to present heterosexual desire as the only possibility has traditionally made gay characters appear as asexual, not interested in anyone at all. On Rocko's Modern Life , the relationship between twenty-something Rocko — a wallaby — and Heifer — a steer — is often coded as unrequited same-sex attraction. Were they just buddies, relatives or lovers?