Beatles References and Appearances

Created by Keith Topping
Maintained by Nicol�s Di Candia

Season 2

  • [7F04] The opening sequence includes a Paul McCartney gravestone (parodying the 60s 'Paul is Dead' rumours)
  • [7F05] Marge is advising Bart on peace and love stuff, Homer interrupts saying "Enough of all that Maharishi Gandhi stuff" {sc}
  • [7F12] Reverend Lovejoy's call for a public burning of "Krusty related merchandise" echoes the church's reaction to John Lennon's 'Bigger than Jesus' comments in 1966 and the subsequent destruction of 'Beatle Trash' {vc}
  • [7F15] Patty and Selma's co workers Stanley and Martha Peterson's wedding vows include two lines from 'Martha My Dear' {kb,lg}
  • [7F18]
    1. Bart: 'Hey, who's the Mop-Top with the big Schnozz?!'
    2. Marge had a schoolgirl crush on Ringo ('a likely story' notes Homer jealously).
    3. Richard Starkey (MBE) guest-stars. He lives 'somewhere in England' seemingly in a castle(!) still answering his mid-60s fan mail with a butler named Weatherby. His favourite colour is blue and he is partial to 'tea and crumpets' (aren't we all?)
    4. Ringo replies to Marge's letter (sent 1966) and confirms we have 'French Fries' in England (but we call them 'chips'). He thinks her portrait is 'Gear'!
    5. Ringo's 'It Don't Come Easy' is featured.
    6. Monty Burns remembers the Beatles "off-key caterwalling on the old Sullivan Show".
Season 3
  • [8F05] Krusty's office wall contains a photo of Krusty with the Beatles c. 1964; At the Simpsons house, Krusty finds a video-tape of George's 'Concert for Bangladesh'
  • [8F06] An orchestral version of 'Golden Slumbers' accompanies a Homer dream sequence. {dc} This sequence is repeated in [9F17] but with a different soundtrack.
  • [8F11] Vince Chan suggests that Janey's skipping song my be a reference to 'Come Together' ("One and One and Three is Five...")
  • [8F19] After Lureen singed "Finally Bagged Me a Homer" in the studio, the producer says "There's some kind of grinding noise on the track" (Marge, grinding her teeth). This may be an oblique reference to the 'You're Gonna Lose That Girl' sequence in 'Help!' ("Boys, are you buzzing?!") {pa}
  • [8F21] Homer's version of 'Spanish Flea' includes a lyric concerning the Beatles.
Season 4
  • [9F15] Lisa's dentist dream sequence turns into a missing scene from the Yellow Submarine film ("Look, it's Lisa in the sky", "No diamonds though").
Season 5
  • [9F21]
    1. Marge's portrait of Ringo [7F18] is on her swapmeet stall.
    2. 'Meet the Be Sharps' LP cover is a parody of 'With the Beatles' (The American edition was, of course, 'Meet the Beatles')
    3. Moe's Cavern!
    4. The sacking of Wiggum and the 'anti-Barney' protests echo the sacking of Pete Best, and his replacement with Ringo in 1962
    5. After recording 'Baby on Board' Nigel says "Gentlemen you have just recorded your first number 1" - allegedly what George Martin said after the Beatles recorded 'Please Please Me'
    6. Nigel getting Homer to keep his marriage a secret echoes Brian Epstein's similar instructions to John Lennon.
    7. The JFK Airport and Press Conference scenes are directly lifted from the Beatles arrival in America in February 1964 (even down to Barney/Ringo combining his hair!)
    8. Homer: "Then came the greatest moment of my life"
      George: "Hello Homer, I'm George Harrison"
      Homer: "Oh my God! Where did you get that Brownie?!"
    9. The Be Sharps merchandising - lunch boxes, mugs, (poisonous) funny foam (cf. the 60s Beatles merchandising craze).
    10. Bart: "What did you do, screw up like the Beatles and say you were bigger than Jesus?"
      Homer: "All the time. It was the title of our second album!"
    11. The 'Bigger than Jesus' cover parodies 'Abbey Road'
    12. The 'Meet the Be Sharps' back cover parodies the back cover of 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'.
    13. Peter Vesuwalla suggests Homer getting the idea for 'Baby on Board' from a car sign may refer to John gaining inspiration for 'Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite' from a poster.
    14. A parody of the infamous 'Get Back' session photo of the Beatles looking sick and glum.
    15. Barney's new girlfriend "the Japanese conceptual artist".
    16. "Number 8"!
    17. The rooftop reunion at Moe's, an (uncannily accurate) parody of the rooftop gig in 'Let it Be'
    18. George: 'It's been done!'
    19. Homer: "I'd like to thank you on behalf of the group, and I hope we've passed the audition!"
    20. The shortening (almost) of Apu's name (ala Ringo).
    21. The chorus of 'The Surgeon General Song' could be a reference to 'I Am the Walrus' suggests 'Zed'.
  • [1F14] Homer & Ned visit the 'Helter Shelter'
  • [1F16] Deprogrammer: "My greatest achievement was getting Paul McCartney out of Wings."
    Homer: "You idiot! He was the most talented one!"
  • [1F18] Joe Cocker's cover of 'With a Little Help From My Friends' accompanies the 'Wonder Years'/ home-movie opening sequence {dh}
Season 6
  • [1F22] Springfield waxworks contained an exhibit of the Beatles as they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. Unfortunately, they've melted in the heatwave.
  • [2F02] Lisa describes Sideshow Bob as 'Ringo to his [Birge Barlow's] rest of the Beatles'
  • [2F06] One of the corrections 'Rock Bottom' offers is "The Beatles haven't reunited to enter kick-boxing competitions"
  • [2F14] Barney smokes a cigar without removing the wrapper, and sees "Sgt. Pepper" growing out of Homer's back.
  • [2F22] The wig Bart wears when infiltrating the Shelbyville gang: "makes him look a lot like one of the Beatles"
Season 7
  • [2F20] The DNA database includes the names of Paul, George and Ringo. {kb}
  • [3F03]
    1. Paul and Linda McCartney guest star ('I read about you in history class!')
    2. Apu performs 'Sgt. Peppers' Lonely Hearts Club Band' on the tabla.
    3. Apu's claim to be "the fifth Bee-atle" (a 'Help' film reference) cannot entirely be discounted.
    4. The 'Maharishi Period' is mentioned (see [7F05])
    5. Paul *isn't* dead, apparently! (see [7F04])
    6. "She's Leaving Home?"!
    7. Homer looks in an ancient pram in front of a brick-wall, drawn from the imagery of the European cinema trailer for 'A Hard Days Night'. [most obscure reference yet?!]
    8. Linda mentions "Apu's garden in the shade".
    9. 'Maybe I'm Amazed' plays over the credits with references to backward messages (sadly *not* "We'll f**k you like a superman" - this *is* a family show after all)
  • [3F10] The Lovejoys' and Flanders' bowling team is called, "Holy Rollers", clearly inspired by the lyrics of "Come Together". {em}
  • [3F09] The Ringo portrait [7F18] is seen.
  • [3F15] A picture of Ringo Starr appears at Pimento Grove (where Troy McClure takes Selma for dinner) {bg}
Season 8
  • [4F02] The Ringo portrait from 7F18 is seen again {bg}.
  • [4F06] The opening 'couchgag' is a parody of the 'Sgt. Pepper's' LP cover {ah}. The opening music segues into the closing A-chord from 'A Day in the Life' {kb}. The entire sequence seems to have been influenced by the opening to the 1987 British South Bank Show documentary 'The Making of Sgt. Pepper' which featured an animatation of the LP cover.
  • [3F24] During Homer's 'trip' Jasper (almost) quotes from 'I Am the Walrus' (Not quite 'Goo Goo Goo Joob', but close enough);
    Several viewers have suggested that Barney Gumble's echoing belch when Homer is hallucinating may be a reference to the final chord in 'A Day in the Life';
    The pyramid-thing that Homer climbs to see the coyote/fox looks exactly like the one Old Fred had to climb in "Yellow Submarine" {em};
    I had a fascinating email from Ken Furphy who suggests that this entire episode is filled with allusions to the Beatles work of the late 60s - citing dozens of examples including the wax that Homer eats being a reference to the waxwork figures on the Sgt. Pepper cover. "The entire theme" Ken writes "of Homer's search for a meaning to life beginning in 'Pepperland' and ending in the harmony of marriage is a clear reference to the course that John and Paul's lives took in the years 1967-1970". I'm not sure I agree with a lot of Ken's assumptions, but it's an interesting take on the episode.
Season 9
  • [5F01] The man behind Sideshow Mel and Moe at the football game is Charlie, Homer's coworker at the nuclear plant. This has nothing to do with the Beatles, though it said so here before.
  • [5F09] The episode is dedicated to Linda McCartney, who passed away prior to its airing.
Season 10
  • [AABF02] The psychodelic song over the credits has references to 'Tomorrow Never Knows' (drumming) and 'Strawberry Fields Forever' (Homer says 'I buried Flanders').
  • [AABF16] When Bart turns the senior citizens loose, they re-enact the "Can't Buy Me Love" field sequence from A Hard Days Night. Also, on the end titles an album cover that looks suspiciously like the A Hard Day's Night LP cover is seen, with 4 moptop haircuts and the title "A Bart Day's Night" {dct}
  • [AABF17] Episode title 'Monty Can't Buy Me Love'.
Season 11
  • [BABF07] A mop falls on Lisa's head. Wiggum sees her and says "Yeah, right, mop top, and I'm Ed Sullivan."
  • [BABF19] 'Twist and Shout' plays over footage of fan hysteria over the sudden success of The Simpsons (not the Beatles' version of Twist and Shout, though).
Season 12
  • [CABF04] Bart's chalkboard punishment: "I am not the sixth Beatle".
  • [CABF12] The Beatles are shown in their Sgt. Pepper outfits attacking a dummy, as a way to get teenagers into the army.
  • [CABF17] In the background at the Delaware train station there's a sign that says "20 IF". This, of course, refers to the Abbey Road cover, where a license plate supposedly says "28 IF" (it's actually "281F") and that's interpreted to mean that Paul McCartney would have been 28 years old if he'd been alive, a theory that conveniently forgets the fact that McCartney was 27 when Abbey Road was recorded and released.
Season 13
  • [CABF18] The episode is dedicated to George Harrison, who passed away prior to its airing.
  • [DABF03] Springfield promotes itself as "birthplace of the Beatles".
Season 14
  • [EABF03] Homer asks Lisa if his favorite Traveling Wilbury is Jeff Lynne. In addition to George Harrison being one of the Traveling Wilburys, Lynne was the producer of the two Beatles "reunion" singles, 'Free as a Bird' and 'Real Love'.
  • [EABF16] Ned Flanders has all sorts of Beatles merchandise: dolls, signed posters, Ed Sullivan Show suits, "Learn carpentry with the Beatles" book, lunchboxes, mugs, a yellow submarine, novelty beverages (John Lemon, Orange Harrison, Paul McIcedTea and Mango Starr) and framed album covers, among many others. Bart drinks one of the 40-year-old cans and hallucinates, seeing Milhouse as John Lennon in different stages of his life: 1963 "mop top", 1967 (complete with green Sgt. Pepper outfit), 1969 (as seen in "Let It Be") and 1980 (parodying a scene from his last photo session).
    A reader by the name of Peter adds that Bart, while hallucinating, quotes a line from I Am the Walrus: "Yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog's eye".
Season 15
  • [EABF20] In England, Homer says "our Beatles are better than your Rolling Stones".
  • [FABF06] Title "Margical History Tour" refers to "Magical Mystery Tour".
  • [FABF11] Bart refers to his prank as "this is my Sgt. Pepper".

The "We love you Matlock" song from 'Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy' [1F12]: Though an unofficial anthem for Beatles fans in the 60s, this song actually originated in the late 50s Broadway musical 'Bye Bye Birdie', despite claims of authorship by the mum of at least one person on this group! Thanks to Bob Stahley, Douglas Miller and 'Jamie' for exhaustive reserach on this subject.

Similarly, Mike Hunt (ahem...) informs me of a persistant rumour that the Beatles are mentioned in one of the Tracy Ullman shorts. Since these never made it to England, I have no way of checking the veracity of this. (Note by the new maintainer: I've seen the shorts and never noticed any references to the Beatles, and they are certainly not mentioned).


{ah}  Alan Hamilton
{bg}  Bruce Gomes
{dct} Dan Cantwell
{dc}  David Carson
{dh}  Dominik Halas
{em}  Erin McLaughlin
{kb}  Kevin Bowman
{lg}  Lisa Gardner
{pa}  Peter Ahles
{sc}  Sudhakar Chandrasekharen
{vc}  Vince Chan

Additional thanks to Ian Abrahams, Ian Atkins, Dan Ben-Zvi, Paul and Wendy Comeau, Martin Day, James Drake, Keith Foofeu, Rob Francis, Ken Furphy, 'Noel Gallagher', Richard Green, Jeff Hart, Mike Hunt, Theresa Lambert, Audra McHugh, Mick McWawar, Felicia O'Sullivan, Peter Perpetua III, Steve 'Tiddler' Purcell, 'Reggie', Ian Reid, Adam Rubin, Gary Russell, Peter Shackelton, Trina Short, Richard Sixsmith, Jonathan Steinfield, Ian Strung, Kathy Sullivan, Susannah Tiller, Graeme Topping, Peter Vesuwalla, Clive Walker, Pavel Wangadonha, Mark Whitney, Jacob R. Wilberding, Tommy Wonga, 'Zed', and someone who still insists on calling himself 'Bart's Arse' for their outstanding work in turning what was once a simple little list with about six entries into this SHIMMERING BEAST... And my mother, for teaching me to write despite the inadequacies of the British educational system and Walker Comprehensive which did as much for education as myxamatosis did for rabbits.

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Last updated on March 25, 2005 by Nicol�s Di Candia