The Simpsons is on track to become the 2nd place record holder for number of episodes aired, overtaking Lassie sometime early next year with its 589th episode. It already holds the record for number of seasons, since back in the days of Gunsmoke (1955-1975, 635 episodes and 20 seasons) and Lassie (1954-1973, 588 episodes, 17 seasons and six different Lassies), the seasons had more episodes than we do now.
So, in celebration, here are a few things that started with or were inspired by Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and the gang, and have lasted in our culture ever since!
1. The immortal alternate words to Jingle Bells!
It was on The Simpsons that I first heard those lyrics, in season 1, episode 1, Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire. The lyrics are said to go all the way back to the 60s, but I don't care. Bart owned it!
One word: “D'oh!!!”
Those were Bart's first words, and they've been uttered in schoolyards across the country ever since.
“Eat my shorts!”
Again, schoolyard taunts...
Absolutely LOVED that episode!
“Don't have a cow, man!”
Yet another phrase still uttered today by the undecided slackers, and it's said that this one originated on the show.
In 2003, after France expressed opposition to the invasion of Iraq, columnist Jonah Goldberg of the National Review referred to them as “cheese-eating surrender monkeys.” He grabbed that from Groundskeeper Willie and his description of the French, and it spread to other media outlets.
3. Prank Calls
Who hasn't tried to prank call someone the way Bart always got Moe?
4. Spin-offs and inspirations
Originally a series of shorts that ran on the variety show, The Tracey Ullman Show, The Simpsons was responsible for numerous series being born. Futurama was made by Matt Groening, and animated series like South Park, Family Guy and King of the Hill all drew inspirations from The Simpsons' success.
The cartoon also had influence on the live-action, real person shows, also. Malcolm in the Middle chose to use sight gags and no laugh track, which wasn't quite the norm during that time. The Office was inspired by The Simpsons, as well.
There we have it! How has The Simpsons influenced your every day life? Let me know in the comments below!
Bonus Simpson Fact
No, no, no, Ned. Bonus, not boners. Take a look at Matt Groening's mother's obituary:
See any familiar names? It really was true that Matt used his family for inspiration for his show!