Question about the use of subjunctive in a Simpsons episode

Hi y'all,

I've been watching The Simpsons in Spanish to improve my vocabulary and listening comprehension. I just saw a scene where the use of the subjunctive confused me.

For context, Bart is returning home after running away because he was blamed for ruining Thanksgiving. Before he walks through the door he imagines how his family will react. At first they are happy but then they demand that he apologizes to Lisa and they also all start blaming him for their imperfections.

Homer says: "Tú tienes la culpa de que yo sea calvo."

Grandpa Simpson says: "Tú tienes la culpa de que yo sea viejo."

Maggie: "Tú tienes la culpa de que no pueda hablar."

and Uncle Sam uses "esté" similarly.

I don't understand why they all use the subjunctive. They're blaming him with certainty and they believe what they're saying to be true, so why the subjunctive? Thanks for reading.

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One thought on “Question about the use of subjunctive in a Simpsons episode

  1. fernando says:

    It’s more simple than that. “Tú tienes la culpa de que” requires the subjunctive.

    Sometimes, students try to make a rational of languages. If languages were rational and logical there would be just one language: “the logical one” in the same way that there is just one way of doing Maths. However, languages are just agreements among people and those agreements don’t need to make any sense. For example, some guys called their search engine “Google” and now people are using it as a verb: “I’m googling it” Why? There are thousands of possible answers. Who was the first person in using “to google” what for? How was “to google” propagated to other people? What was the context? Were they joking, were they serious? Etc.

    Therefore, the best way of learning the subjunctive in Spanish is by learning expressions that require them and in what circumstances.

    Hope this helps.

    Un saludo,


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