10 Genius In-Jokes In The Simpsons
The most hilarious and cromulent Simpsons in-jokes in history.
While The Simpsons' fierce mainstream popularity went many years ago, there's still no denying the enormous impact Matt Groening's legendary animation has had the world over.
Perhaps the single most recognisable piece of animated media since Mickey Mouse, there's scarcely a place on the planet where The Simpsons couldn't be found.
And years after its peak, the show's finest earlier years continue to live on through repeat viewings on Disney+ and, yes, those sweet, sweet Internet memes.
As hilarious as The Simpsons is, though, it's also intensely clever and a top-tier example of perceptive, thoughtful comedy writing that works on different levels for kids and adults.
The Simpsons has winked at the audience many, many times over the course of its 33 seasons to date, drawing attention to its own creation and speaking to very specific portions of its viewer base through brilliantly sly, niche humour.
In-jokes work precisely because we as humans love to know a secret that others don't - it makes us feel special and smart, and The Simpsons has exploited that with great intelligence and humour.
If you missed the true meaning of these gags don't feel bad, but if you did, very well done...
10. Paul & Linda McCartney's Lentil Soup Recipe
The season seven episode "Lisa the Vegetarian" is an all-time Simpsons favourite among fans and critics alike, and features memorable guest appearances from Paul and Linda McCartney as themselves.
While talking to Lisa, Paul explains that he's so committed to animal rights that if you play his song "Maybe I'm Amazed" backwards, you'll be able to hear the recipe for "a really ripping lentil soup."
This alone seems like a fun nod to The Beatles' song "Revolution 9," which has been alleged to contain hidden messages only audible when played backwards, and also the general Satanic panic of the 1980s where Christian groups accused rock bands of implanting subliminal messages in their songs.
Yet the episode does one better during its closing credits sequence, which are in fact set to Maybe I'm Amazed.
Those few who bothered to actually heed Paul's advice and play this modified version of the song backwards would indeed hear McCartney reciting a recipe for lentil soup.
Even better, Paul can also be heard saying, "By the way, I'm alive," in reference to the decades-old urban legend that he died in 1966 and was replaced by a lookalike.