Why the Simpsons are Yellow and 7 Other Pieces of Trivia

The Simpsons trivia

FOX / 20th Century / Disney

The Simpsons first exploded onto television sets in 1989 and have been on-air ever since. Although it’s argued that the first ten seasons are generally the strongest, it’s hard not to respect Matt Groening and the team for producing the longest-running animated series of all time. Here’s some trivia about The Simpsons… 

1) Matt Groening coloured The Simpsons yellow to attract channel hoppers 

One thing that sets The Simpsons apart from other animations is that it colours (most of) its human characters in yellow. When asked what was the reasoning behind the colour yellow, Matt Groening said the colour would stand out to, and attract, channel hoppers. 

2) Phil Hartman’s characters were retired out of respect

Actor Phil Hartman, who voiced characters such as sleazy lawyer Lionel Hutz, and Troy McClure, was murdered by his wife in 1998. The writers took the decision not to recast the voices, and the characters were retired, although they often appear silently in crowd scenes.

3) Comic Book Guy’s catchphrase comes from a negative review

One review for the show was titled, ‘Worst episode ever!’ The writers found it quite funny, and decided to own it. Comic Book Guy quite often uses that line, sometimes replacing ‘episode’ for other things. 

4) ‘D’oh’ doesn’t appear in the script

Although it’s probably the most famous recurring phrase from The Simpsons, Homer’s famous catchphrase, ‘D,’oh,’ doesn’t appear in the scripts that the actors receive. Instead, it usually appears as, ‘ANNOYED GRUNT.’ 

5) Homer is the only character to have lines in every episode 

With over 700 episodes in existence, Homer is now the only character who has had dialogue in each and every installment. There is one episode, Krusty Gets Kancelled, where Marge appears but has no lines. Similarly, Lisa appears in, ‘Chief of Hearts,’ but has no dialogue. Bart doesn’t appear at all in, ‘Four Great Women and a Manicure.’ 

6) The full Fraiser gang 

Bart’s famous arch enemy, Sideshow Bob, is voiced by Frasier star Kelsey Grammer. The episode Brother From Another Series features Bob’s brother, Cecil, who is voiced by David Hyde Pierce, who plays Frasier’s brother Niles in the Frasier. John Mahoney, who plays Niles and Frasier’s father in the sitcom, also had a part in The Simpsons – he voiced Bob and Ceil’s father, Dr. Robert Terwilliger, Sr.. 

7) Nancy Cartwright tried for the part of Lisa 

When auditioning for The Simpsons back in the late 80s, Nancy Cartwright originally went for the role of Lisa. She performed the Bart voice that we know and love today. The producers clearly thought the voice suited a boy, rather than a girl, and cast her as Bart. She also voices Nelson, Ralph, Kearney, Todd and others. 

8) Why Maggie is scanned for $847.63 

In the opening title sequence, Maggie is put on the store conveyorbelt and gets scanned. The cash register pops up with $847.63. This comes from a survey that Groening read at the time, which balanced out the average monthly cost of a newborn baby as $847.63. 

9) Dr Marvin Monroe was retired to save Harry Shearer’s voice

Harry Shearer, who voices the majority of secondary male characters in The Simpsons, including Ned Flanders, Principle Skinner and Kent Brockman, used to voice Dr Marvin Monroe, too. However, the character was retired in 1995 as it put too much strain on Shearer’s voice. The character did make a one-time reappearance in season fifteen, though. 

There you have it – 9 pieces of trivia about The Simpsons!