25 Simpsons Facts You Probably Never Knew About

Posted by , Updated on November 12, 2022

The Simpsons is one of the most iconic and longest-running shows on television. The famous show about the yellow-skinned family of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie (and their many pets, such as Santa’s Little Helper) has given us a glimpse into the life and antics of the Simpson family and the other Springfield residents (and occasionally nearby adversary Shelbyville). For decades now, The Simpsons has provided a valuable social commentary and given people around the world – from Canada to Germany to Saudi Arabia – a common point of discussion. (Though, the family has a different name and many parts are edited out in the latter country – a point discussed more in #19.)

This list introduces a variety of Simpsons facts which you probably don’t know but have wondered about – basic questions like “Where is Springfield?” and “Why are all the characters yellow?” to more elusive questions like “Where did ‘D’oh!’ come from?” and “Who has been the highest-profile celebrity to appear on the show?” If you’re curious to learn more about one of the world’s favorite dysfunctional families – still running strong after 27 seasons – check out our list of 25 Simpsons Facts You Probably Never Knew About.


The Simpsons creator, Matt Groening, named the town Springfield because there are loads of cities with the name throughout the United States. This way, audiences would never be able to guess which of the 30 states with a Springfield they were in.

springfield-sign-simpsonsSource: NME, Image: Gawker

Bart Simpson is known for writing something unique on the chalkboard in every opening sequence. Some of his best lines include "World War II could not beat up World War I," "Jesus is not mad his birthday is on Christmas," and "Pork is not a verb."

simpsons-blackboardSource: 20th Century Fox, Image: simpsons.wikia.com

Bart's locker combination can occasionally be seen in the show. Its numbers? 36-24-26: the same string of numbers from AC/DC's song "Dirty Deeds Done Dirty Cheap."

bart's locker simpsonsSource: NME, Image: Gizmopod

Many Simpsons lovers may notice a striking resemblance between Krusty the Clown and Homer Simpson. It's no coincidence; Groening did it purposely, saying, "The satirical concept that I was going for at the time was that 'The Simpsons' was about a kid who had no respect for his father, but worshiped a clown who looked exactly like his father." In original designs, Krusty was written in as Homer's secret identity though this was later ruled out.

krusty faceSource: CNN, Image: Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr

Homer's iconic phrase - D'oh! - was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2001. It is defined as "Expressing frustration at the realization that things have turned out badly or not as planned, or that one has just said or done something foolish."

dohSource: NME, Image: youtube.com

The "D'oh!" sound was created by Homer's voice actor (Dan Castellaneta) and is based off the long "Doooooh" sound James Finlayson made when he was annoyed in the old Laurel & Hardy films.

homer saying d'ohSource: NME, Image: ScoopWhoop via Twitter

When The Simpsons airs in Arab countries, Homer drinks soda instead of beer and eats beef sausages instead of pork sausages. He's also known as Omar Shamshoon while Marge, Lisa, and Bart are respectively known as Mona, Beesa, and Badr - more traditional Arabic names.

al shamshoonsSource: NME, Image: Made My Day via YouTube

If you wondered why show favorites (for fans and the show's writers alike) Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz disappeared after season nine, it's because they were retired in tribute after the unexpected murder of their voice actor Phil Hartman by his deranged wife.

phil-hartman-simpsonsSource: CNN, Image: mytalkshowheros via youtube

As part of a contest to promote the show, a full-sized Simpsons replica house was built in Clark County, Nevada, in 1997.

the_simpsons_houseSource: NME, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Notable hillbillies Cletus and Brandine now have 44 kids. Some of their names include Crystal Meth, Dubya, and Something New.

Cletus and BrandineSource: NME, Image: pyology X via youtube

To promote whole American values, President George H.W. Bush said during a 1992 speech, "We are going to keep on trying to...make American families a lot more like the Waltons and a lot less like the Simpsons." In response/retaliation, the show's creators released a short where Bart retorts, "Hey, we're just like the Waltons. We're praying for an end to the Depression, too."

Waltons_1972Source: CNN, Image: Wikipedia

Most of the show's voice actors play some serious double duty. Dan Castellaneta voices Homer, Krusty, and Barney Gumble; Julie Kavner voices Marge and her sisters Patty and Selma; Nancy Cartwright voices Bart, Nelson, and Ralph Wiggum; Hank Azaria voices Moe, Apu, and Comic Book Guy; and Harry Shearer voices Mr. Burns, Smithers, and Principal Skinner. (Actually, Shearer voices 36 characters in total, and many of the other voice actors also voice many more roles than we could include here.)

dan-castellanetaSource: 20th Century Fox, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

While everyone in the Simpsons' world has four fingers, whenever God appears, he always has five fingers.

simpsons-godSource: NME, Image: en.wikipedia.org

When *NSYNC first read the script for their appearance in the show, Justin Timberlake argued he'd never say "Word!" as it was written. The ever-satirical editing team took the one take where he said "Word!" and replayed it after many of his lines.

justin_timberlake_-_the_2020_experience_world_tour_-_charlotte_north_carolina_03Source: 20th Century Fox, Image: en.wikipedia.org

To promote the release of "The Simpsons Movie" in 2007, various 7-Eleven stores in the U.S. changed their shops into Kwik-E-Marts, even selling Squishees and Buzz Cola.

Kwik-e-mart-7-11Source: NME, Image: Wikipedia

The two green, domed aliens in the flying saucer are named after two characters from "Star Trek: The Original Series." Kang was a Klingon warrior and Kodos was a mass murderer.

Face_of_Kang_&_Kodos_Twirl_n_Hurl_Springfield_U_S_ASource: NME, Image: Wikimedia

When France opposed to the proposed invasion of Iraq in 2003, conservative American columnists plucked a reference to the French from Groundskeeper Willie, calling them "cheese-eating surrender monkeys."

groundskeeper willie strawSource: CNN, Image: Geograph.co.uk

Though The Simpsons may seem banal and low-brow, it's quite the social commentary! Sideshow Bob is given the prison number 24601, the same as Principal Skinner when he was captured in Vietnam. This number is more famously attributed to Hank Jennings in "Twin Peaks" and Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables."

skinner-and-bob-prisoner-numberSource: NME, Image: via Twitter

From the show's beginnings in 1989 until 1998, the characters' voice actors earned $30,000 per episode. For the next six years, they earned $125,000 per episode and nowadays they make a cool $400k per show.

simpsons_voice_actorsSource: NME, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Whereas the couch gag during the opening sequence may seem to be a clever way to make the show's opening sequence fresh every time, it was actually designed and used to make the show shorter or longer, based on how long the episode was.

simpsons-drawingSource: NME, Image: ShinoHaseo via Deviant Art

One of Homer's signature toasts has become widely popular. Have you ever heard it at a party? "To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems."

moes-tavernSource: CNN, Image: simpsons.wikia.com

The Simpsons is both the longest-running American sitcom and the longest-running American animated program. Since its start in 1989, the show has released nearly 600 episodes and won countless awards including TIME's choice for the best television show of the 20th century. It also holds the record for most guest stars featured in a TV series.

simpsons-watching-tvSource: CNN, Image: youtube

Michael Jackson is the highest-profile celebrity to ever appear on the show when he voiced a character in the 1991 episode "Stark Raving Dad." Contractually, he could not sing so a voice impersonator sang "Happy Birthday" to Lisa. The rest of the voice was his, though, and he was cited in the credits as John Jay Smith. (MJ also co-wrote the chart-topping song "Do The Bartman".)

michael jackson singingSource: CNN, Image: Wikipedia

Though The Simpsons has no current plan to stop production, if it does, the show's Executive Producer Al Jean wants it to end with the beginning of the Christmas pageant from the show's pilot episode, making all of its seasons a continuous loop.

simpsons_20_years_by_gabrielshepardSource: CNN, Image: gabrielshephard via deviantart

And finally, one of the biggest mysteries regarding The Simpsons is their color - why are they all yellow? The show's creators have said yellow was chosen because it would be distinctive and catch viewers' eyes when flipping through TV channels.

the_simpsons_film_festivalSource: NME, Image: Deviant Art

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